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Non-Traditional Diamond Engagement Rings for the Unconventional Bride

By Mike Fried,

Non-traditional engagement rings are rings that offer a unique style and don’t follow a classic or conventional design. They stand out from other rings and have an eye-catching feature, like an intricate setting or a colored gemstone. Many unconventional brides prefer a non-traditional engagement ring because it allows them to showcase their personal style. With a non-traditional design, you can choose a ring that represents you—without needing to follow any general “rules.”

There are many types of non-traditional engagement rings, but the most popular styles are floral rings, vintage designs, or those with gemstones on the side.

Vintage Two-Tone Floral Shield Halo Engagement Ring
Vintage Two-Tone Floral Shield Halo Engagement Ring
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Traditional styles, on the other hand, are more classic in nature, including solitaire rings, pavé bands, or single halos. Most traditional styles also feature a round cut, princess cut, or cushion cut diamond. 

As an example, this simple solitaire four-prong setting from Blue Nile is a traditional engagement ring when set with a round cut diamond. This heart shape three-stone engagement ring from Blue Nile is non-traditional. The setting includes two sapphire pear shape side stones. With a fancy shaped diamond and unique setting, it’s a prime example of a non-traditional ring. 

Let’s look at another comparison. This cushion cut halo engagement ring from James Allen is a traditional ring. It offers a classic, simple style with a single halo and a smooth band. This diamond halo setting in rose gold from Blue Nile showcases a non-traditional style. With the halo forming a floral arrangement, the ring is a unique beauty. Using bigger diamonds for the halo and the prong location making it look like a flower isn’t common or classic, making it non-traditional. 

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Price of Non-Traditional Diamond Rings

The price of non-traditional diamond rings ranges from $1,200 to $25,000 and more, depending on your setting style, carat weight, and other features. The prices for non-traditional engagement rings are similar to traditional engagement rings but can cost more depending on the intricacy of the design and the gemstones used. 

For example, this 0.70 Carat traditional platinum pavé ring from Blue Nile costs $2,786. This non-traditional ring from Blue Nile with the same carat weight and a platinum setting with a twisted vine design costs $4,673 (much more). 

As another example, this 0.9 Carat traditional halo ring from Blue Nile with a J color and SI2 clarity is priced at $4,381, while this 0.9 Carat unique pavé ring from James Allen with a J color and a better clarity grade costs $3,890 (slightly less). 

There are many factors that impact an engagement ring’s price, but in general, you can find traditional and non-traditional styles in every price range.  

According to research published by Rapaport, on average, a couple spends around $6,000 on an engagement ring. However, a third of consumers report spending between $1,000 and $4,000. Choosing a non-traditional engagement ring is more about your style preference than paying more for a ring, but it can be a great way to get more ring for your budget if your preferences lean towards more affordable gemstones or unique settings.

Non-Traditional Engagement Ring Styles

Non-traditional engagement rings range from three-stone settings to vintage designs. By looking at a variety of non-traditional styles, you can get a better sense of which setting is right for you or your partner. From there, compare similar rings to decide on the one that you’ll love for years to come.

Here is a list of styles for you (click on the style you want to jump right to the one you’re interested in the most):

Split Shank Settings

Split Shank Double Claw Solitaire Engagement Ring

A split shank setting features a shank that diverges into two parts that stem from the center stone. Split shanks vary from halos to open split shanks. You can find split shank settings for almost every diamond shape. These settings are best for those who appreciate modern flair and a more open design. 

Check out these split shank engagement rings for inspiration.

Two-Tone Settings

Two-Tone Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring
Two-Tone Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Two-tone engagement rings feature two colors of precious metal in the setting, such as yellow gold and white gold. The contrast offers character and depth to the ring. For those who prefer edgy designs that are easily noticed, a two-tone setting is a great choice. 

Check out these two-tone engagement rings to see which color combination you like best.

Floral Motif Settings

Floral Twist Diamond Engagement Ring
Floral Twist Diamond Engagement Ring by Zac Posen

Engagement rings with a floral or nature-inspired element often draw special attention, because of their unique beauty and design. If you appreciate Mother Nature, gardening, or the petals of a flower, a floral motif could be right for you. 

”There are hundreds of flower ring designs from all parts of the globe. Cherry blossoms, roses, and tropical flowers are some of the popular blooms that have been ingeniously crafted to fit a woman’s hand. Bright and gorgeous, colored gemstones are an ideal way to showcase a flower’s natural beauty – whether featured as a single gem or set with diamonds or pearls.” Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

From halos that resemble flowers to pavé leaf designs, here are two stunning floral rings to inspire you.

Baguette Settings

Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Non-traditional engagement rings may feature baguette-shaped diamond accents. The baguette side stones offer a contemporary look and can give the ring more sparkle. These engagement rings with baguettes range from halo to three-stone and often appeal to those with a modern style. 

Check out these non-traditional engagement rings with baguettes.

Vintage Settings

Art Deco Inspired Octagonal Halo Engagement Ring

Vintage engagement rings have an antique feel and often include ornate detailing and Art Deco designs. Antique rings are best for those with a vintage style who enjoy having some flair in their jewelry collection and wardrobe. Vintage-styled rings have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with National Jeweler reporting in 2018 that Art Deco rings ranked second among trending ring designs on Pinterest — a trend that’s only grown in popularity since.

Here are intricate vintage settings to inspire you.

Gemstone Side Stones

Sapphire Profile and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
Sapphire Profile and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Adding colored gemstones to your engagement ring offers an immediate eye-catching element. From emeralds to rubies, there are breathtaking colors that can enhance an engagement ring and make it truly unique. If you enjoy color in your jewelry and wardrobe, a gemstone engagement ring will give you the flair you’re looking for. You can even choose a gemstone as a center stone which is one of the alternatives to a diamond engagement ring.

Sapphire is the most commonly used gemstone, so we listed these beautiful gemstone engagement rings for your inspiration.

For help in choosing a non-traditional engagement ring within your budget, reach out to our experts.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

Please enter your email address to receive your 25% off coupon code:

What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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