Non-traditional engagement rings for the sophisticated bride-to-be

Let’s be real – we all know what we want our dream engagement rings to look like. We’ve pictured these precious symbols of love from childhood, our colours and preferences changing as we got older – your sister wants the really glam, cushion cut with a simple platinum band, while your best friend is more into the vintage, ornate, yellow-gold look.

Red box with golden ring placed on table with invitation cards

There’s a ring out there for every woman and if the traditional diamond cuts and styles aren’t your cup of tea, there’s no better place to find alternative wedding rings than Ireland’s incredibly talented jewellery makers. An island renowned for its craft tradition, our jewellery makers have the most stunning range of engagement rings that will stand out from the crowd and offer something a little different. Browse below to see our favourites and click the link to check out their full collections of alternative engagement rings!

Amoc Byzantine ring sapphire diamond 9ct yellow (RRP €1,695.00)

Amoc designs is a go-to for the bride who loves something truly different. This Byzantine sapphire ring was designed by Mette O Connor, a Danish goldsmith living in Ireland. Her pieces are designed and made in her open plan workshop/shop in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Her commitment to aesthetics, traditional skills and attention to detail are obvious in this unique design and every piece of jewellery is designed and hand crafted at her shop in Greystones. This ring combines a unique sense of flowing elegance with impeccable craftsmanship. Mette finds an unlimited inspiration in the beauty of natural gems and metals and always aspires to create truly unique pieces to wear.

She is a trained gemologist and diamond grader and her passion for her profession is evident in all her years of designing and creating the highest quality jewellery. This ring reminds us of Ireland’s ancient gold-crafting traditions, calling to mind ancient lunalae artefacts and hinting at a starry night sky.

Janice Byrne Goldsmith Queenie- Solid Gold Pear shaped Diamond wedding ring (RRP €2,200)

This pear shaped diamond crown style wedding ring is a wedding band fit for a queen! It has 5 brilliant cut pear shaped diamonds and a carat weight totalling approximately 0.43ct.

If you love beautifully crafted fine jewellery, Janice Byrne’s range of handmade, hand finished precious jewellery is for you. Each piece is uniquely inspired by natural shapes and adds a touch of glamour to any hand.

Finely detailed, this piece combines textures, metals and precious gemstones. Janice uses unusual and unconventional combinations when it comes to gemstones and specialises in alternative engagement and wedding rings and each stone is handpicked by Janice for their individuality and uniqueness. She also works closely with clients to ensure they get exactly what they are looking for – exactly the kind of attention to detail you want for your engagement ring!

Brian de Staic Marquise diamond solitaire ring (RRP €4,650)

Irish jewellery making is synonymous with Brian de Staic’s name. And this 18k yellow gold marquise cut diamond solitaire ring shows us why – stunning, simplistic but an utter statement, stand-out ring, this piece is timeless and elegant, the perfect pick for anyone who is looking for pared back design.

The stories and stones of the Dingle Peninsula’s Celtic history are at the heart of Brian De Staic jewellery. Tucked away on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s leading goldsmith is far from any High Street. But on the remote Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Brian de Staic is closer to the Celtic heritage his life’s work embraces. With forty years experience handcrafting intricate and innovative jewellery, Brian de Staic’s work has earned numerous accolades and awards.

Gleeson Goldsmiths 18ct. Yellow Gold Swirl Diamond Ring (RRP €3,500)

We are absolutely OBSESSED with this incredibly intricate and unusual engagement ring. An 18ct. yellow gold ring with a pear shaped diamond enhanced with a gold swirl, this ring is set in a 3 claw platinum setting – making it a really unique piece.

Delicate and different, this is a contemporary spin on traditional ring making and it’s a stunning part of Gleeson’s yellow-gold collection. Years back, yellow gold was the go-to colour metal for engagement rings – but for the last decade, tastes changed to white gold and platinum. In the last 18 months though, Gleesons have commented that they’ve noticed more and more couples opting for engagement rings and wedding bands in classic 18ct. yellow gold – but with an updated, contemporary spin. Split shanks, a hidden pavé or unusual-cut diamonds such as shields or trillions – are all taking yellow gold to the next level.

The beauty is, yellow gold has such a lovely warm tone which is very complementary to most skin tones, while it also requires less maintenance than white gold and needs no re-plating. This ring is perfect for the girl with taste that is a little unconventional, a little bit edgy and a whole lot beautiful!

Stonechat Jewellers Stepping stones diamond ring (RRP €3,850)

And now for the crème de la crème of the Stepping Stones collection! This handcrafted in 18ct gold and skilfully bezel set with beautiful round brilliant cut diamonds (0.74ct in total), standalone ring, really is a talking point! 

This ring is the highlight of Ann Chapman’s Stepping Stones collection, inspired by the stepping stones of life. Each ‘stone’ in Ann’s collection reflects a step forward in life, no matter how challenging.  Diamonds capture highlights, or personal achievements, along the way. This beautiful ring truly is a once off piece! And what’s more, 10% of all Stepping Stones sales will be donated to the Irish charity Aware to support their work helping people with depression, bipolar disorder and other mood related conditions.

Design Yard 18k Yellow Gold 1ct Baguette Diamond Ring (RRP €4,180)

This elegant engagement ring with an Art-Deco vibe in contemporary yellow gold is channel set, with a full 1 carat of geometric baguette-shaped diamonds. A superb alternative to the classic eternity ring, this ring is wide enough to be worn on its own, but really shines stacked with your favourite solitaire.

Precision crafted in 18k yellow gold this gorgeous ring offers a fresh and meaningful alternative to the high street jewellers. DesignYard opened its doors in 1994 in Dublin and have become Ireland’s most established and best known contemporary jewellery, sculpture & art destination.

This ring appeals to the discerning customer who appreciates exceptional design and workmanship and a touch of glamour. A sophisticated and statement ring that needs a powerful woman to pull it off.

Cobwebs Pearl and diamond cluster, circa 1880 (RRP €1,475)

This Victorian pearl and diamond ring, created circa 1880, is one of the most stunning in Cobweb’s genuine vintage selection. A true old-school gem, the pearl set amongst diamonds creates the cluster ‘floral’ design style popular in Victorian times and that is making a comeback. The pearl offers something a little different to the traditional sapphire or ruby that usually colours these rings, giving a softer feel to the ring.

Cobwebs, overlooking the Spanish arch in Galway, has developed from a derelict building on the point of demolition to feature in Bord Failte's advertising on 5th Avenue New York. The shop is often photographed and appears in calendars and travel magazines. Established in 1972, this renowned shop boasts a stunning stock of antique and modern jewels, a visit to which has become an experience not to be missed.

Phyllis MacNamara is the owner of Cobwebs Galway. Jewellery for Phyllis is more than a business – it’s a way of life. Her academic knowledge married to her passion and enthusiasm for these objects of beauty is infectious. She holds a degree in Fine Art from Trinity College and has studied with Sotheby's London and Cartier London, meaning you’re guaranteed expert help when choosing your perfect vintage ring.