29 Non-Traditional Engagement Rings For The Modern Bride

Welcome to Aisle Style, a series that features the most untraditional engagement ring trends, coolest bridal designers to know, and brides who walk to the beat of their own “Canon In D.” Buck the tradition and say I do to personal style — the aisle is yours.

While diamonds can be forever — specifically the sparkly white kind that instantly has you humming the first movement of “Palladio” — they’re not the only option for a ring on that finger. If your taste leans toward avant-garde, understated, or you simply don’t want a ring that looks like everyone else’s, turn to the best non-traditional engagement rings instead.

From colored gemstones to unusual orientations and settings that look like genuine works of art, tons of unique engagement rings abound from brands ranging from indie to world-famous. Unique stone cuts make for a reinvigorated approach to white diamonds if you’re on the fence between something timeless and distinctive. Meanwhile, geometric shapes like shields, hexagons, and kites ensure your ring is stand-out. On the more affordable end of the engagement ring spectrum, there are portrait cuts, which are flat and transparent, and alternatives like moissanite, lab-grown, or trendy salt-and-pepper diamonds. 

There’s even the option to rock a fanciful band instead of a stone ring, which is not only more understated but also practical and durable for everyday wear. Even more, a band is super versatile for stacking and interchangeable on other fingers, should you choose to upgrade your ring for an anniversary down the road. 

Then there are the non-traditional settings to consider: East-West, off-kilter, and suspended or floating settings will give even the most classic cuts like emerald, round brilliant, pear, and oval shapes a uniquely modern look. At the same time, knife-edge bands, bolder prongs, and flush-mount settings appear decidedly edgier, whether you embrace a minimalist or elaborate design. Finally, mixed-metal choices always equates to cool.

Of course, antique and vintage rings are the most sustainable and instantly gratifiable way to obtain a one-of-kind ring that no one else will have.

Ahead, discover 29 non-traditional engagement rings guaranteed to make you forget all about diamond solitaires. 

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An oval solitaire — one of the most traditional (and popular!) settings — feels unexpected with a yellow diamond center stone.

Bucherer Fine Jewellery Joy solitaire (price upon request), $, available at Bucherer

This two-stone design featuring brilliant-cut shield diamonds is a modern take on the recently popular Toi et Moi ring.

Mociun Alchemy Ring, $, available at Mociun

Never before has an emerald appeared so enchanting as this pear-cut stone nestled within a pavé band. It’s a flawless choice for those seeking color in their engagement ring. 

KatKim Emerald Trace Pavé Ring, $, available at KatKim

Eva Fehren’s signature edge and eye for delicate, geometric shapes come through in this inverted white trillion diamond suspended from a beveled rose gold heptagon band. 

Eva Fehren White Diamond Trillion Queen Ring, $, available at 1st Dibs

A floating marquise solitaire stone nestled within a delicate V-shaped band is incredibly eye-catching while simultaneously timeless. 

Vrai The Signature V Solitaire Ring, $, available at Vrai

What’s more striking than one Asscher-cut diamond? Two — set in an open-wrap design featuring two tapered baguettes and a rounded square band.

Ashley Zhang Margaret Asscher Cut Engagement Ring, $, available at Ashley Zhang

Embrace the chunky engagement ring trend with Azlee’s East-West-set hexagon diamond enveloped in a weighty yellow gold staircase setting. 

Azlee Empress Diamond Staircase Ring, $, available at Azlee

A spray of diamonds adds a modern touch to a vintage-inspired turquoise ring. 

Marrow Fine Turquoise & White Diamond Navette Ring, $, available at Marrow Fine

Traditional stone cuts are made new thanks to a Toi et Moi ring setting.

Ring Concierge Toi et Moi Engagement Ring, $, available at Ring Concierge

This ring is a perfect example of how a classically cut stone, like a pear, immediately appears non-traditional when set off-kilter on a simple band. Bonus points for an eye-catching color, like tawny. 

Aaryah Nyoka Ring, $, available at Aaryah

A chunky, vintage-inspired signet setting in an East-West orientation modernizes a classic marquise diamond — the perfect durable non-traditional engagement ring.   

Kinn The Eloise, $, available at Kinn

A black diamond is the ultimate non-traditional approach to a rose-cut round diamond set in a delicate recycled yellow gold setting. 

Catbird Odile, The Swan Supreme, $, available at Catbird

Made for the hopeless romantics, this heart-shaped diamond is made even more stunning with the addition of tapered baguette-cut side stones.

Graff Promise Heart Shape Diamond Engagement Ring baguette cut side stones, platinum, $, available at Graff

This ring, showcasing a rare and exotic brilliant round-cut Cornflower Blue Ceylon sapphire, is a total showstopper. If the alternative center stone weren’t enough, the geometric octagonal setting adds to its unique allure with a durable feel.

Marei Octavian Brilliant-Cut Cornflower Blue Sapphire Engagem, $, available at Marei

Another modern take on the storied Toi et Moi engagement ring that will appeal to demure tastes is this flush-mount design in a thick, but not overly chunky, band.

Mejuri Toi et Moi Diamond Ring, $, available at Mejuri

Asscher- and radiant-cut stones never looked as bold as in this pink sapphire-and-diamond combo. The rose gold setting takes things a step further for non-traditional types. 

Jemma Wynne Prive Pink Sapphire and Asscher Cut Diamond Ring, $, available at Jemma Wynne

A mix of floating stones on a domed gold band epitomizes modern bridal style. Even better, this Grace Lee design — featuring marquise, oval-shaped, and pear-shaped diamonds — comes in yellow gold, rose, and white gold options. 

Grace Lee Demi Demi Plus Oval, Marquise, Pear Ring, $, available at Grace Lee

For a minimal-meets-modern engagement ring, A.M. Thorne’s rose-cut, pear-shaped salt-and-pepper diamond is exceptional. 

A.M. Thorne Salt + Pepper Pear Diamond Ring, $, available at A.M. Thorne

Shahla Karimi’s ultra-delicate curved band is a spellbinding, non-traditional way to set off a classic brilliant-cut round diamond. 

Shahla Zaha Brilliant Wrap Ring, $, available at Shahla

Simplicity and distinctiveness combine in this Asscher-cut emerald solitaire. The North-South, East-West prongs are a captivatingly subtle detail.

ILA Spectrum Ring, $, available at Catbird

Lizzie Mandler’s East-West marquise diamond, set on a thin knife-edge band, is inspired by her mother’s wedding ring from the ’70s — a spectacular choice for those seeking an ultra-delicate ring with distinction. 

Lizzie Mandler Knife Edge Diamond & 18kt Gold Ring, $, available at MatchesFashion

This gray diamond ring is a winner for an avant-garde take on a brilliant round cut. The rose-gold prongs add another element of distinction.

Anna Sheffield Hazeline Solitaire Ring, $, available at Anna Sheffield

If you want a large stone on a budget, Mateo’s overlapping band pavé with a vibrant blue topaz stone at the center is it. 

Mateo Point of Focus 14-karat gold, topaz and diamond ring, $, available at Net-A-Porter

A double-band ring featuring an off-kilter pear diamond is peak non-traditional for those with a minimal sensibility. 

Jade Trau Sadie Diamond & 18kt Gold Solitaire Ring, $, available at MatchesFashion

Colored stones and unique shapes are among Seattle-based Valerie Madison’s signatures, like this bezel-set half-moon salt and pepper diamond.

Valerie Madison Bezel Half-Moon Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Ring, $, available at Valerie Madison

This seemingly suspended trillion-cut ring is not only unique enough on its own but — with a pave band that comes in white, rose, and yellow gold — also allows for some fun (and very modern and cool) stacking.

The Clear Cut Triple Threat Trillion Ring, $, available at The Clear Cut

Harwell Godfrey’s knife-edge design is weighty with plenty of brilliance if going the band route. The gold triangle details represent a compass motif as a subtle reminder of choosing a direction or path.

Harwell Godfrey Rosa Pave Knife Edge Band, $, available at Harwell Godfrey

In a world where minimalist solitaire rings reign supreme, this vintage-inspired cluster design (a look that originated in the Georgian era) feels decidedly fresh in a two-tone setting. 

Stone and Strand The Ava Ring in Yellow Gold, $, available at Stone and Strand

If you’re into timeless antiques with stand-out elements, look no further than this old European-cut diamond surrounded by lustrous rubies in a rose gold, platinum, and black rhodium setting. 

Erstwhile Ruby Wings Ring, $, available at Catbird

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