Tag Archives: gemstone engagement rings

Engagement Ring Buying Guide: Diamonds & Alternative Styles

Engagement rings under $1,000? Yes they do exist, and in different styles, shapes, sizes, and cuts! Trust us and take a look at some of our favorite diamond and alternative engagement rings on Jewelry.com.

Diamonds – You can never go wrong with diamonds (but you already know that don’t you?). What you might not know, is that you can find gorgeous diamond rings for under $1K, like a 1 ct diamond bridal set. 

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Click on the image to view this bridal set.

Unique Shapes – What better way to ask her for her hand in marriage, than with a heart shaped diamond ring. It’s simple, sweet, and super affordable.

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Click on the image to view this heart ring.

Gemstones – If you’re looking for something different for the leading lady in your life, try a gemstone engagement ring (they’re very trendy!). For some style inspiration, take a look at Kate Middleton’s stunning sapphire engagement ring. 

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Click on the image to view this sapphire ring.

Cubic Zirconia Cubic zirconia is a great engagement ring option if you’re on a budget, and it’s just as sparkly as a diamond. See for yourself!

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Click on the image to view this cz ring.

Happy shopping!

Cyrstal Bowersox’s Engagement Ring Revealed

While the jewelry hound pack knows I love myself a diamond, I’ve always been a fan of the non-traditional engagement ring. Ever since Princess Diana got that stunning sapphire for her ill-fated union waaaaay back in 1981, I’ve been fascinated by brides who opt out of the diamond for their ring finger bling.


American Idol runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, isn’t the first person you’d think of to keep Diana’s company, but People reports her diamond-free engagement ring was all the rage at her surprise wedding to fellow folkie and longtime friend, Brian Walker last weekend.

The bride wore an organic, hemp and cotton wedding gown from Vermont designer Tara Lynn, according to People and sealed the deal with a 1.1-carat princess-cut ruby ring designed by Walker and crafted by Chicago’s Traci Coughlin and Steve Quick Jewelers.

“There are no diamonds to be found as we don’t believe in the violence and injustice that occurs within the diamond trade industry,” Bowersox explained. “Both rings feature the masonry symbol, an infinity 8, and the Sanskrit symbol for the sound ‘om’ and a personal design that for us represents three: Brian, Crystal, and Tony.”

I won’t judge her ‘diamond-free’ political statement , but I do love her ruby replacement. And for brides and grooms on a bauble budget, rubies and other gemstone styles are often a more affordable option than the traditional diamond.

I’m afraid I can’t find a picture of Crystal’s ring (yet!), but I found this ruby wedding band option on Jewelry.com if you want to go the Bowersox route for your big day. Or for any day, by golly.

What do my fellow jewelry hounds think of the non-traditional engagement ring trend? Anyone out there have one? Weigh in!

The Jewelry Insider

July 13, 2009

Wedding jewelry for most of us consists of a diamond ring and matching band and perhaps some pearls here and there. But if you’re a celeb, the high-end jewelers come out in droves to make sure you’re dripping in their diamonds – and American Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi is no exception.

The superstar songwriter and Bikini Girl wanna-be walked down the aisle on July 5th in Prospect, Maine wearing a Vera Wang gown and almost 100 carats of diamonds from jeweler to the stars, Neil Lane.

She sparkled in a 30-carat diamond-and-platinum bracelet and chandelier earrings with 20 carats of diamonds. The total value? $250,000.

“She wanted something glamorous,” jeweler Neil Lane told People about DioGuardi’s wedding bling.

I guess 250 large qualifies.


Kara got engaged to Mike McCuddy, a general contractor, on December 8th after a year and a half of dating. The engagement took place while they were on vacation in Mexico and the alternative engagement ring was another Neil Lane creation featuring a smokey topaz center stone instead of the more traditional diamond fare.

In fact, many women today are going for colored stones instead of diamonds for their bridal bling – including the Today Show bride, who is sporting an emerald solitaire on her ring finger for her big day.

What do you guys think? Would you wear a colored stone engagement ring or are you afraid to buck with diamond tradition? Weigh in! And in the meantime, take a gander at Jewelry.com’s education section about the many ways to skin the engagement ring cat.

Ok. Bad metaphor. But you get the idea…