Nontraditional Engagement Rings

I'm a fierce advocate of the nontraditional engagement ring. If you aren't interested in a standard, princess diamond engagement ring from Kay Jewelers, then branch out! I'm someone who chose to do just that. My husband knew a typical ring wasn't really my thing, so he went in a different route, and I'm so happy he did.

Photo by Jaime Jo Fisher
Jaime Jo Fisher from Austin, Texas created my engagement ring, and then later made both our wedding bands (as well as earrings gifted to me from my husband on our wedding day).

There are a few aspects of using an Etsy artisan for my engagement ring that were extremely important to me. I really loved supporting an entrepreneurial craftswoman. Jaime is super successful, but she devoted time to working one-on-one with my husband to create something special. That time proves to be invaluable and something you may not come across at a larger chain.

It also proved to be an economical choice. Tradition states that the engagement ring should be equivalent to three months salary. The average reported cost of an engagement ring? $5,000! If you can't fathom spending that much or need to use that money in other ways (hello, student loans), don't! Weddings and marriage have backed away from customs for customs-sake to accommodate the individual, so why shouldn't your ring?

Photo by Kendra Gough Photography

Tips for buying an engagement ring on Etsy:
  • Find a shop that has several rings you love. This means that the artist's aesthetic corresponds with your own, and he/she will be able to collaborate with you easily.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for customization of a current product. Many artists are able to accomodate custom listings and find it helpful if you like one of their items but just wish to tweak it in a few ways.
  • Value communication. If the shop does not communicate well, try someone else. This is especially true if you are creating a custom ring. You want someone reliable and considerate.
  • Choose a shop with many positive reviews, but don't assume 1,000+ reviews means they will be a good fit for you. Thirty in-depth, thoughtful reviews and a communicative shop owner means that chances are, you'll have a great experience.
  • If you're concerned about trusting a shop to follow through, remember that Etsy has a high level of customer satisfaction and will work with you if there's a problem.
  • Think seriously about what you want before requesting it. Many shops require a deposit for custom orders. This ensures that you will not back out at the last minute; however, this does not mean that you should ask for a million iterations of the ring. Shops are willing to work with you to create something you love, but do not abuse that kindness by changing your mind too many times.

These ones will surely give you some inspiration 
and guide you in your quest for your perfect engagement ring: 

Top left: byAngeline: raw diamond + 14k gold, $650
Top right: LilianGinebra: blue topaz + 18k gold, $229
Bottom left: charlieandmarcelle: opal + diamond + 14k gold, $425
Bottom right: ShopClementine: citrine + 14k gold, $189
Top left: ChincharMaloney: dual gemstone ring + white gold, $230
Top right: anatomi: blue geode druzy + 14k gold, $265
Bottom left: TheresaPytell: garnet + sterling silver, $158
Bottom right: DINARjewelry: 14k solid gold, $640
Top left: ASecondTime: star sapphire + sterling silver, $295
Top right: OritNaar: white topax + blue opals + 14k gold, $475
Bottom left: ericafreestone: moonstone + 14k gold, $189
Bottom right: lolide: white sapphire + sterling silver, $265