28 alternative styles if you don't want a traditional engagement ring

ShutterstockNot every bride wants to wear classic diamonds.
  • Though many people dream of getting engaged, not every bride is as keen on wearing a traditional engagement ring.
  • Instead of diamonds and gold bands, some people prefer unique gemstones and unconventional shapes.
  • To help give you an idea of what’s on the market, we’ve rounded up a number of alternatives to classic engagement ring styles.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The wedding industry may be changing, but engagement rings are still as popular as ever.

Especially when looking at the rocks worn by celebrities such as Hailey Baldwin and Hilary Duff, it’s clear that traditional bands and classic-cut stones are still highly favoured, despite changing ring trends over the years.

But not every bride wants to stay traditional on the big day. For example, some brides still purchase diamonds, but opt for distinct cuts, colours, and styles that better suit their personality. A 2017 study done by insurance group Allianz even found that many brides value honeymoons and homes over luxe diamond rings.

If you’re looking for a unique ring – diamonds included or not – here are 28 alternative ideas.


Use a geometric shape to enhance the look of your diamonds.

ZalesThough its shape is unique, this ring still features some classic elements.

You can make a traditional round diamond look distinct by placing it in the centre of a geometrically shaped cluster of smaller stones.

Cost: $US3,800

Find out more about the Vera Wang Love Collection Diamond Hexagon Frame here.


Instead of wearing a traditional band, opt for one that’s shaped like a wave.

Diamond NexusThis design is sold with either a gold or silver band.

Whereas most engagement rings feature a diamond set on top of a band, this one places its sole stone in between a split ring.

Cost: $US1,099

Find out more about the Messina Round Cut Engagement Ring here.


No one will expect your engagement ring to feature black diamonds.

KayThe only traditional thing about this ring is the circular diamond in the middle.

The edgy, black diamonds featured in this ring contrast with the more classic stones surrounding them.

Cost: $US2,499

Find out more about the Black/White Diamond Engagement Ring here.


Choose a ring that features a unique diamond halo.

KayA yellow-gold band will make your ring stand out even more.

The large marquise diamond on this ring fits perfectly in the crease of its contoured band, making for a one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

Cost: $US1,319.40

Find out more about this Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring here.


Choose a ring in which the band and diamond are the same colour.

KayThe unusual flower shape of this ring is unlike most others on the market.

Rose gold jewellery might be in style right now, but gems of the same colour aren’t as common.

Cost: $US2,799

Find out more about the Neil Lane Morganite Engagement Ring here.


Mixing a yellow band with an unusual setting can make for a distinctive ring.

ArtemerTriangles are a shape rarely seen on engagement rings.

Though there’s a flashy black diamond in this ring, it’s the triangle setting that really grabs your attention.

Cost: $US890

Find out more about the Minimalist Black Diamond Ring here.


You don’t need diamonds when you have colourful gems.

MytheresaIf you want an alternative ring, shop outside traditional jewellers.

The prong setting on this band allows for a variety of colourful gems to be placed side by side, creating an uneven but interesting look.

Cost: $US2,957

Find out more about the Rainbow Frenzy 18k Gold, Diamond, Sapphire Ring here.


Understated bands are basically the opposite of classic sparkling rings.

Saks Fifth AvenueThis ring is part of a collaboration between Gigi Hadid and jewellery brand Messika.

A diamond might be forever, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the highlight of your ring – instead, focus on finding an attractive band.

Cost: $US970

Find out more about the Messika by Gigi Hadid Move Addiction Ring here.


A V-shaped engagement ring also works as an unconventional wedding band.

Saks Fifth AvenueSharply shaped bands can eliminate the need for a centre stone.

Despite set traditions, there are conflicting opinions on how to wear your wedding band and engagement ring after being married. For brides who choose to go against the grain, a V-shaped engagement band is perfect to wear on its own after the wedding.

Cost: $US3,900

Find out more about this Anita Ko Baguette Diamond V-Ring here.


An encased diamond is the perfect option for those who want some subtle bling.

Neiman MarcusThe circle pattern of this band is also very distinct.

An engagement ring featuring a bold circular band and floating diamond might be radical for some, but is the perfect choice for someone seeking an alternative style.

Cost: $US2,340

Find out more about the Chopard Happy Dreams Ring here.


Heart diamonds can be overdone, so choose something a little more whimsical.

Macy’sWhy have one heart on your ring when you can have four?

Engagement rings don’t have to be all about glitz and glam – they can be fun, too. A ring like this one from Effy is quirky but also incorporates classic diamonds.

Cost: $US1,363

Find out more about the Effy Multi-Sapphire & Diamond Heart Ring here.


Heart-shaped rings can also look elegant.

Bing Bang NYCThis ring lays flat, unlike many traditional engagement bands.

A solid-colour band and small diamonds are key to perfecting this distinct style.

Cost: $US95

Find out more about the Bing Bang NYC Sparkle Heart Ring with Diamonds here.


A nature-inspired ring would be completely out of the box.

Neiman MarcusA gold band — like the one featured on this ring — will complement any colour gem.

Choosing a butterfly ring can be a playful way to incorporate a colourful gemstone into your engagement ring.

Cost: $US2,250

Find out more about the Stephen Webster Fly by Deco Drive ring here.


Use your engagement ring as a symbol of you and your spouse.

Zoe LevThough the focus of this ring is the initials, there are still plenty of diamonds.

You can choose to include your new initials if you’re taking your partner’s last name, or you can instead choose a letter from both your and your partner’s names.

Cost: $US690

Find out more about the Diamond Initial Cuff Ring here.


If you want a gemstone on your engagement band, look for an exceptional colour.

De BeersA coloured gemstone will really pop when surrounded by a classic band and diamonds.

Engagement rings are highly customisable, so once you’ve found the perfect band, you can begin searching for the most noteworthy coloured gemstone you can find.

Cost: $US2,100

Find out more about the De Beers Talisman Essence Ring here.


Everyone will want to take a closer look at your intricate band.

ZalesYellow-gold pairs perfectly with classic diamonds.

A solitaire stone atop a gold band is arguably the most traditional engagement ring on the market, so change things up with a glitzy and detailed band.

Cost: $US8,329

Find out more about the Diamond Vintage-Style Engagement Ring here.


Flower-shaped rings are common, so choose one with an irregular shape.

ZalesThis flower-shaped band almost resembles a four-leaf clover.

Roses aren’t the only flower that represent love, so choose a floral ring that best represents your relationship.

Cost: $US8,329

Find out more about the Cushion-Cut Diamond Flower Frame Engagement Ring
here.


Flowers give brides the opportunity to add some colour to their diamond rings.

ZalesThe flowers also add some contrast to the round stone.

If you want classic flowers on your ring but don’t want them to be the centre of attention, choose a ring that uses them as accents rather than focal points.

Cost: $US549

Find out more about the Diamond Frame Flower Promise Ring here.


Petite diamonds make for a surprising engagement ring choice.

ZalesThis ring is simple, but also uncommon in its design.

Large, square-shaped diamonds are popular, so a ring with a flat, square setting and small embedded diamonds can be astonishing.

Cost: $US249

Find out more about the Diamond Square Cluster Engagement Ring here.


Swap out a diamond-encrusted band for something more sleek.

ZalesA bold band still allows a solitaire diamond to shine.

Mixed-metal bands are uncommon, so you’ll undoubtedly break tradition with a swirl-design engagement ring.

Cost: $US349

Find out more about the Diamond Accent Swirl Engagement Ring here.


You can swap out diamonds and colourful gems for elegant pearls.

J.R. Dunn

A pearl engagement ring is an unusual choice on it’s own, but can be even more bold when cased in a square-shaped ring.

Cost: $US170

Find out more about the Honora Geodescent Mother of Pearl Square Station Ring here.


Understated rings can be rather striking.

J.R. DunnPair a dainty band with a striking setting to really show off a bold diamond.

If you want to put a nontraditional spin on the classic pear-shape diamond, make sure your ring shape is irregular and jagged.

Cost: $US1,480

Find out more about the Forevermark Alchemy Jade Trau Envoy Yellow Gold Pear Diamond Stackable Ring here.


Choose a ring that isn’t crystal clear.

Anna SheffieldSalmon-coloured lines criss-cross over this gem stone.

While the centre gem is uniquely patterned, the surrounding halo of diamonds incorporates a more traditional element.

Cost: $US1,200

Find out more about the Anna Sheffield Pave Amulet Ring here.


By minimising the number of diamonds on your ring, you’ll be able to attract more attention to the band.

LagosEven the flower shape on this ring is unique.

Most engagement ring bands are made from a solid metal, but this one stands out for its spherical shapes.

Cost: $US850

Find out more about the Lagos ring here.


Knots will add some texture to your chosen style.

LagosBecause the ring is gold and covered in diamonds, there’s still an element of tradition.

The addition of a sphere-encrusted band adds even more dimension to the ring.

Cost: $US1,500

Find out more about the Lagos Love Knot here >


Varying gem sizes will enhance your ring.

ShamiThe band is also a unique shade of gold.

Though it’s full of colourful stones, this ring is much more dainty than standard engagement rings.

Cost: $US64

Find out more about the Shami Rainbow Row Dainty Ring here.


Mix alternative and classic styles together to create a one-of-a-kind look.

Bing Bang NYCTraditionally, brides often wear gold bands.

Black diamonds might not align with every bride’s taste, but the standout gems are perfect for those looking for a different style.

Cost: $US70

Find out more about the Bing Bang NYC Jet Black Crystal ring here.


Rectangles are a rarely seen ring shape.

J.R. DunnSuch a long shape allows for multiple diamonds.

Not only will a rectangle shape ring be unexpected, but it strays far from the idea of a classic, solitaire-stone ring.

Cost: $US650

Find out more about this ring here.

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