8 Beautiful Gemstones for Unique Engagement Rings

8 Beautiful Gemstones for Unique Engagement Rings

Vicky K
Diamonds may be the classic choice for engagement rings, but that doesn’t mean they’re your only option. Here at Malka Diamonds, we’ll help you create your own one-of-a-kind, unique ring.
Start by learning about the wide variety of vibrant, beautiful, and durable gemstones!
Alternative gemstones can add a pop of color to your unique engagement ring while speaking to your personal style and highlighting what makes you, you.

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What to consider when choosing a unique gemstone

Diamonds are known for their beauty and timelessness, yes. But they’re also famous for their impressive durability. Diamonds are the hardest natural mineral you can come by — they’re very difficult to scratch and are generally very resistant to daily wear and tear. This isn’t the case for all (or even most) minerals. When you’re considering a unique gemstone for your engagement ring, we’ll help you reference the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale is a 1-10 scale that measures a mineral’s resistance to scratching, with 1 being the least and 10 being the highest. For context, a diamond falls at a 10 on the Mohs scale. A human fingernail falls at about a 3 on the Mohs scale. We’ll ask you to consider your lifestyle as you choose your unique gemstone ring. If you want a ring that can keep up with your daily activities — showering, washing dishes, working in your garden, etc. — then we may recommend looking for something that ranks at least a 7 on the Mohs scale. If you’re enchanted by a softer gemstone, don’t worry. We’ll just recommend that you give it a little extra TLC, such as removing it before any activities that might add wear and tear to the ring. Our team will make sure you understand special care instructions.


During the first 2 years of your ring, our Malka Diamonds warranty covers any and all care, maintenance, or repairs with no questions asked. We also offer complimentary cleanings of jewelry purchased from us, for life.

We love seeing both you and your jewelry, so no matter whether you have a diamond ring or a unique gemstone engagement ring, bring it in at least once a year for an anniversary cleaning and we’ll make it shine!

Favorite unique gemstones for engagement rings



This pale blue or blue-green beryl stone adds an unforgettable dreaminess to any ring. Aquamarine has become a stylish choice for engagement rings, and its oceanic hues look particularly striking when well-cut. This gemstone is a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, making it a more durable choice than its cousin, the emerald. If you want to move away from a classic engagement ring, but not too far, a sapphire is a great option. Sapphires are actually found in a variety of colors, ranging from the deep blue we all know, to purple, green, and even yellow and white. Ranking a 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are the third hardest mineral and make excellent gemstones for jewelry and engagement rings alike.



This pale blue or blue-green beryl stone adds an unforgettable dreaminess to any ring. Aquamarine has become a stylish choice for engagement rings, and its oceanic hues look particularly striking when well-cut. This gemstone is a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, making it a more durable choice than its cousin, the emerald.



Most associate an opal with a milky white color. Actually, the opal comes in a range of stunning colors — from the bright orange of a fire opal to black or clear. If you can’t choose just one color, an opal might be the one for you. Most opals can actually display a variety of colors depending on the light and viewing angle. This, plus the beautiful patterns found on each stone, make it one of the most stunning options we can think of for an engagement ring. However, keep in mind that opals are one of the softest gemstones on this list. Ranging from a 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale, you’ll need to be especially careful with this soft and precious gemstone. Look for bezels or other protective settings when considering an opal engagement ring.



Perhaps it isn’t the look of a diamond that has you considering an alternative gemstone, but the investment. If you need a more affordable gemstone, you’re in luck with Moissanite. Commonly lab-grown, these gemstones are usually less expensive than diamonds, and nearly just as hardy — Moissanite lands at 9.25-9.5 on the Mohs scale. This mineral has been used as a common diamond alternative for years.



Coming in at a 5 or a 6 on the Mohs scale, turquoise isn’t going to be the most durable pick for an engagement ring. However, this hasn’t stopped it from exploding in popularity over the last few years! Much of its popularity came after it was heavily featured in several collections by well-known jewelry designers. Plus — it’s just so lovely! With its affordable pricing and beautiful pale blue matte color, turquoise adds a special touch to any engagement ring.



Used in jewelry for thousands of years, this gemstone has recently gained popularity with jewelry makers thanks to its unique iridescence. For those who love symbolism, this moody gemstone represents strength and shielding properties and is quite stunning. Commonly displaying brown, black, gray, and blue colors, this stone is sure to add a unique, mystical air to your ring. This gemstone is a 6.5 on the Mohs scale, so we may recommend special care (and not wearing it every day) to keep it from scratching or chipping.



Not to be confused with the synthetic diamond substitute cubic zirconia, zircon is an often-overlooked natural mineral that comes in a variety of stunning colors — from blues and yellows to reddish browns and a very rare green. In fact, thanks to heat treatment techniques, zircon can be any color of the rainbow! Zircon comes in low on the Mohs scale at a 6-7.5, and its faceted edges may chip if you’re not careful. However, it is also usually one of the least expensive options for engagement ring gemstones.



This precious gemstone is the most delicate we’ve mentioned here — coming in at a 6 on the Mohs scale. However, as Oregon’s official state gemstone, we just had to include it! This gemstone is gaining popularity among jewelry designers thanks to its stunning glowing, glittery effect. A labradorite variety, sunstones are most commonly found in Norway, but also appear in parts of the U.S., including Oregon. This often-overlooked gemstone will add a special style to any engagement ring.

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Find the perfect unique engagement ring at Malka Diamonds

Your engagement ring should be a reflection of you, your own personal style, and the love you share with your partner. If there’s a gemstone out there that holds a special place in your heart — or has only recently caught your eye — talk to us about whether or not it would be a good fit for an engagement ring. The word “diamond” may be in our name, but we’re proud to offer a wide variety of carefully curated and beautiful gemstones. we’re dedicated to helping you find — or create — the perfect unique engagement ring.

Contact us online or at (503) 850-0133 to book your in-store or virtual appointment today.

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