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Non-Traditional Engagement Rings: Is It Okay To Break The Rules?

Non-traditional engagement rings, Yay or Nay? What do you think?

And what about non-traditional wedding rings? Another question that lives in your mind: What is the rule? Follow tradition or go modern?


Are non-diamond engagement rings acceptable? What if your fiancé prefers rubies or emeralds? What if she doesn’t like gemstones at all? Is a plain engagement band acceptable? And does it have to be a gold band?

These may be things you are asking yourself now that you are thinking about proposing. Do you have to follow tradition and buy a diamond solitaire? What is acceptable? And better yet, do you even care about “fitting in?” Is this about you and your fiancé? Or is it about following the rules?

We asked the experts and we have some options for those you want to break the roles and opt for something a bit “off the cuff!”

Options For Non-Traditional Engagement Rings

  1. Are Non-Traditional Gemstones Acceptable?

Of course, we know that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” But what if that’s not the case for your fiancé? And, what if she prefers rubies or another gemstone? Is it okay to buy a ring with a gemstone other than a diamond?

The answer is a loud, resounding YES! By the way, there are many gorgeous gemstones out there and if your girl is not particularly fond of diamonds, then by all means, buy her a ring with the gemstone of her choice.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular gemstones and their meanings. You don’t’ have to use this list. First of all, your fiancé would prefer rubies simply because red is her favorite color. Or they may be her birthstone. This list is just a guideline if you wish to choose a ring with symbolism and meaning specific to your relationship.

  • Agate represents protection and strength
  • Apatite symbolizes open communication as well joining together old and new
  • Aquamarine stands for courage to overcome fears, protection for travel
  • Blue topaz means courage to overcome fears and obstacle and is often associated with, friendship, gentleness, integrity and fidelity.
  • Garnet symbolizes commitment, devotion and passion
  • Emerald represents growth, physical healing and fertility
  • Onyx is believed to repel the negativity and represents perseverance, strong will and determination
  • Opal represents passionate love, creativity and spontaneous nature
  • Pearl symbolizes purity, humility and harmony
  • Rose quartz represent innocent and pure love, calmness and serenity and is often associated with disposing negativity is often used to heal emotional wounds.
  • Ruby represents friendship that has caught fire and true & lasting happiness
  • Sapphire symbolizes virtue, wisdom, sincerity, commitment and faithfulness.
  • Turquoise symbolizes friendship, tranquility and spiritually


  1. Would She Prefer A Family Heirloom Ring?

What’s more romantic than a family heirloom ring? If your family, or hers for that matter, has a ring that has been in the family for generations, you can save a lot of money. Chances are you could buy it from a family member for a small price. Or if you are lucky, they could give it to you for free.

And a family heirloom ring can have a lot of history and meaning. Also, your fiancé may prefer a ring that has personal a meaning over a new ring that has yet to hold any special sentimentality. You could even pass the ring onto your children one day to keep the family tradition alive for many more generations.

  1. What About A Ring Without A Gemstone?

There is no rule that says an engagement ring must have a gemstone. How about an infinity knot? This is a perfect way to symbolize your lifetime commitment. And it’s just as elegant and stylish as any fancy gemstone!

Or could design your own ring with a special carving or engraving? Why stick to tradition? Why not create your own unique ring or a ring with small gemstones instead of one big gemstone? The possibilities are limitless when it comes to creating your own engagement ring!

  1. How About An Irish Claddagh Ring?

Believe it or not, the traditional Irish Claddagh ring is actually a popular choice for engagement rings these days.  The Claddagh ring consists of two hands, a crown and a heart, and stand for friendship, loyalty and love (in that order). What can be a better symbol for an engagement ring?

The joined hands represent the exchanging of vows. Also Claddagh rings date back to Renaissance Times and were used in wedding ceremonies in that period. And those of Irish descent often use this as their traditional wedding ring. A woman will wear the ring on her left ring finger so that the point of the heart is facing outward, . Once the wedding is complete, she would turn the heart facing inward (toward her heart just as the wedding ring is traditionally worn closer to the heart when worn in conjunction with an engagement ring)

You don’t have to be Irish to wear a Claddagh ring! Why not embrace an ancient tradition and make it your own?

  1. An Antique Or Vintage Ring?

If your fiancé loves antique or vintage jewelry, then you could consider a vintage or antique engagement ring. Similar to a family heirloom ring, they have a lot of history. You can shop for antique or vintage rings online, in antique store, boutique, consignment stores, pawn shops and even thrift shops. What is most noteworthy, You never know that kind of treasure you will find!

As a result, you have five awesome suggestions for non-traditional engagement rings! But the only rule you HAVE to follow is to buy a ring that you know what your fiancé would like! After all it is her ring and she is the one who is going to be wearing it for the rest of your lives together. Her happiness is what matters most! Who cares what anyone else thinks?

Main photo: Ken And Dana Design