For decades diamonds have been the most popular option when it comes to choosing an engagement ring.
But with the average cost of an engagement ring in Australia more than $5000, diamonds do not have to be your only choice.
Stones such as morganites and sapphires are becoming trendy as couples opt for rings that won’t deplete two months salary.
Michael Hill Bridal buyer Emily Vukovac said she was seeing the rise in coloured gemstones as alternative options.
“Choosing coloured gemstones over diamonds can be a more affordable option because they cost less, while achieving a much larger look for your money, also having something a little different to everyone else,” she said.
Ms Vukovac said if you wanted a friendlier price tag, morganites were a great choice.
“You can maximise your spread by choosing a cluster or halo setting which accentuates the centre stone and increases your rings carat size without increasing the price,” she said.
“Clusters are a fraction of the price of a singular diamond, and made using dozens of carefully placed diamonds giving the wow-factor without breaking the bank.
“Metal also makes a difference. Gold is less expensive than platinum, but the higher the carat of gold the more expensive it will make the metal”.
Tessa Lomman, 23, did not have thousands to spend on her engagement ring so her husband purchased a morganite ring for $900.
“We were only 19 when we got engaged so we didn’t have the biggest budget,” she said. “I did lots of research and knew I didn’t want to spend over $1000 as we wanted to travel and save for a house.
“I saw rose gold morganite rings with a diamond halo and fell in love. For me it wasn’t about the price but the meaning behind it.
“My advice if someone buys a ring online is to do their research, read reviews and check for return policies. Our site was Rosado’s Box and they also had a physical store.”
Toby Bensimon, managing director of jeweller Shiels, said the rise of coloured gemstones began in 2011 when Prince William gave his mother’s sapphire to Kate Middleton.
“The 2011 spike in sales followed with a 2015 trend with the morganite which continues today,” he said.
“The soft pink colours resonate within the millennial audience. If you’re worried about trends, sapphires, rubies and emeralds have a long tradition of being used as engagement rings.
“There is still no reason to overlook diamonds — they’re the most popular purchase at Shiels, with some gorgeous bridal rings with matching diamond bands in platinum, rose or yellow gold under $1000.”
Originally published as Diamonds not always a bride’s best friend