Your Ultimate Guide to Unique Engagement Rings

Six gemstone unique engagement rings with ruby, sapphire and emerald.

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When most people think of engagement rings, they picture classic solitaire rings, halo rings or popular sidestone rings. But these are only the beginning of engagement ring designs. Today’s selections include unique options such as alternative gemstones, creative settings, non-traditional precious metals and custom elements for truly one-of-a-kind rings. 

For brides and grooms with a love of standout styles, unique engagement rings are an excellent choice. These rings represent the same everlasting love as their classic counterparts but use non-traditional designs for a distinctive look. 

Finding the perfect unique engagement rings for women and men starts by understanding how to find the best combination of features for your partner. You can choose between metal types, gemstones, setting styles, engraving and much more. Pop the question with a non-traditional ring that fits your partner’s unique style. 

What Makes Alternative Engagement Rings Unique?

Two-stone unique engagement ring with an emerald and diamond.

Any engagement ring with a design element that strays from the classic look can be considered unique. Also known as non-traditional engagement rings and alternative engagement rings, these pieces proudly depart from the norm. To qualify as unique, these rings have at least one of the following elements: 

  1. Gemstone main stone instead of a diamond 
  2. Different metals or even mixed metals in the design 
  3. Special settings, such as two-stone engagement rings or east west settings  
  4. Non-diamond pavé or halo stones  
  5. Special band designs, such as twisting bands  
  6. Alternative gem or diamond cuts  
  7. Different thicknesses, such as chunky rings 
  8. Creative shapes, scale and setting styles  

These elements are the core of what makes unique engagement rings stand out, but many different aspects can set a ring apart as non-traditional or alternative. Modern unique engagement rings offer unexpected style through settings, materials or scale.  

Popular Non-Traditional Engagement Rings

We offer a wide selection of women’s and men’s engagement rings with unique styles to choose from. If you’re considering a unique engagement ring for your partner, we invite you to explore some of our favorite platinum, tungsten, rose gold, yellow gold and white gold unique engagement rings. 

Asymmetrical Marquise Diamond And Sapphire Engagement Ring

Asymmetrical Marquise And Oval Sapphire Engagement Ring in yellow gold

This two-stone diamond and gemstone ring showcases several features of the most popular unique engagement rings. With a prominent sapphire and a paired offset diamond of your choice, this ring combines non-traditional and classic stones for a stunning design

Rose De France Amethyst And Ruby Octagon Ring

Purple Rose De France Amethyst And Ruby Octagon Ring  in Rose Gold

Engagement rings with prominent gemstones offer some of the most unique styles. This amethyst and ruby ring combines unique gems, shapes and setting styles for a truly non-traditional engagement ring with impressive beauty. 

Two-Stone Engagement Ring With Oval Sapphire

Two Stone Engagement Ring With Oval Sapphire

Take a small step into unique engagement rings with this asymmetrical diamond ring. This style leans on a unique setting to add a non-traditional take to classic shapes. It is ideal for those with a love of both traditional and alternative engagement ring styles. 

Pear Shaped Ruby And Diamond Halo Ring

Pear shaped red ruby ring with accent diamonds in yellow gold

Durable and beautiful rubies are excellent gems for non-traditional engagement rings. This ruby and diamond halo ring brings a classic diamond shape to an unconventional engagement gem, creating a unique piece that makes a great impression. 

Crescent Fancy Pink Pavé Diamond Open Engagement Ring

White gold engagement ring with a pear diamond and accent pink diamonds

This crescent open engagement ring shows how well unique gemstone colors, diamond settings and open shank designs can play together for a beautifully stylish ring. When you choose this ring in platinum or white gold, it will also feature two-tone metal details, creating a rich contrast between the pink diamond prongs and the rest of the ring.  

Oval Opal And Swiss Blue Topaz Halo Ring

Oval opal ring with blue topaz and diamonds in rose gold

For a non-traditional engagement ring that’s sure to stand out, choose this opal and Swiss blue topaz ring. It is important to note that opal is a softer metal, so this ring may not be best for daily wear. 

East West Diamond Engagement Ring

East west emerald diamond engagement ring in yellow gold

This yellow gold east west engagement ring offers a non-traditional setting. It brings new energy to elongated diamond shapes, turning the expected settings on their side to create a truly unique look. This is another design that serves as a stepping stone into modern unique engagement rings while simultaneously incorporating classic elements. 

Single Black Diamond Ring

Single Black Diamond Ring in Tungsten

This black diamond tungsten ring serves as a stylish departure from the classic solitaire look. Its tungsten band creates a unique sheen while the contrasting black diamond offers a two-tone look.

Morganite And Aquamarine Ring

Morganite and aquamarine multi-gem ring in rose gold with accent diamonds

Rings with clusters of diamonds and gemstones bring unique looks to engagement styles. This morganite and aquamarine ring showcases two main gems with matching smaller pairs and accent diamonds. It embodies the mixed gemstone and creative settings that alternative engagement rings are known for. 

Extraordinary Collection: Emerald And Diamond Three-Stone Ring

Emerald and diamond halo three-stone ring

This three-stone emerald and diamond ring is a truly unique engagement style. It combines two-tone metals with rich emeralds and brilliant diamonds. Three-stone engagement rings represent a couple’s past, present and future.  

X Split Shank Hidden Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Split shank diamond and diamond halo ring

Today’s most popular non-traditional engagement rings feature special designs that set them apart. The unique split shank design of this hidden halo ring creates an eye-catching silhouette. For a unique ring with major presence, choose this unconventional design in rose gold.  

Sapphire And Diamond Double Halo Engagement Ring

Sapphire And Diamond Double Halo Engagement Ring

Unique sapphire engagement rings are some of the most durable non-traditional styles. This double halo diamond and sapphire engagement ring offers a colorful addition to wedding stacks. Because sapphires are close to diamonds in durability, they are an excellent choice for alternative engagement rings. 

Men's Nugget Engagement Ring

Textured yellow gold men's engagement ring with a radiant diamond

Some unique engagement rings stand out solely because of their different designs. This men’s nugget engagement ring showcases how the classic elements of yellow gold and diamonds can stand out as alternative styles with different setting details. The textured components of this ring’s band make it truly non-traditional and eye-catching. 

Sapphire And Diamond Floral Ring

Flower-shaped ring with a center oval sapphire and accent diamonds

When it comes to unique sapphire engagement rings, this flower-shaped ring stands out with its breathtaking style. Brilliant diamonds encircle a rich blue sapphire, creating a modern unique ring design. 

How to Know if Alternative Engagement Rings are the Right Fit

If you are considering non-traditional engagement rings, it’s important to make sure that this style fits your partner. Look at the pieces your partner already wears. Do they already have some unique pieces in their jewelry collection? Taking inspiration from their existing pieces can help you determine if alternative engagement rings are the right choice. 

If they have a large collection of black diamond jewelry, unique black diamond engagement rings may be the perfect fit. Do they have a collection of gemstone jewelry? Colorfully unique sapphire engagement rings can be a fitting choice in that case.  

Our engagement ring finder quiz and the experts at our local jewelry stores help you find the best style. 

Questions and Answers About Unique Engagement Rings

It’s best to buy alternative, non-traditional and unique engagement rings from jewelers you trust. We offer transparent reporting for our loose diamonds and gemstones, along with clear photos of all our rings. 

We offer a wide selection of unique engagement rings, from modern styles to vintage-inspired engagement rings. Consider your partner’s style when choosing their non-traditional ring. When in doubt, ask your partner and our jewelry experts for assistance in choosing a ring.  

If you don’t know your partner’s ring size, refer to our ring size chart for guidance on how to measure ring size for someone else. 

Yes, unique engagement rings can still have diamonds. These rings can have less-common shapes, fancy colored diamonds, creative designs, mixed metals and other non-traditional elements that set them apart from the crowd. 

For unique rings with alternative center gems, it’s best to choose long-lasting materials. Designs such as black diamond engagement rings and sapphire engagement rings are both unique and durable. We offer gemstone engagement rings with many of the most popular gems including sapphire, ruby, garnet and morganite. 

Softer gems such as pearls or opals require extra care and caution, making them less common for rings. While rings from softer gems are available, it’s important to ensure your partner is ready to care for this kind of jewelry. Non-traditional engagement rings with softer gemstones are typically worn for special occasions but not daily. If they are worn frequently, it’s best to have these rings inspected regularly to ensure they’re in good shape 

Finding the Perfect Unique Ring

Six unique gemstone and diamond engagement rings including amethyst and blue topaz rings. 

Many of our engagement ring settings can be customized with the diamond or gemstone of your choosing, making it easy to put together the perfect unique design. Choose from a wide variety of diamond shapes, fancy diamond colors and gemstones such as blue sapphires, pink sapphires, yellow sapphires, green sapphires, rubies and emeralds. We also offer special orders for custom engagement rings, helping you put together a truly unique ring your partner is sure to love. 

With fast free shipping, a unique engagement ring is closer than you think. Browse our unique engagement rings online or visit your nearest Blue Nile showroom for assistance in picking a truly memorable ring for your special someone. 

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