A Guide To 10 Engagement Ring Gemstones

A Guide To Engagement Ring Gemstones

A timeless symbol of love and fidelity, the iconic engagement ring could be one of the most important purchases of your life. It is often also the first piece of fine jewellery you may buy, leading to a wealth of consumers making uninformed purchases they may regret later. This guide to engagement ring gemstones is designed to make it easy for you to choose the perfect gemstone for your partner and get one step closer to buying the perfect engagement ring.

It is so important to understand the types of rings that are available, and carefully select a ring that represents you and your beau. There’s plenty to consider – from the cut of the stone to the material used for the band, there are a lot of decisions to be made. You can check out our other engagement ring guides for everything else you need to know.

Diamond

Diamond engagement ring on a white background
Diamond engagement ring

Diamonds are the most enduringly popular choice for engagement rings. Their resilience, brilliance and rarity mark them as the most coveted gemstone, while tradition has crowned them the ultimate symbol of love.

With a subtle sparkle that will never go out of fashion, the diamond is the perfect choice for couples who want to celebrate their love with a traditional symbol of devotion.

Diamonds could have a whole piece written just about them, but the key aspects to look out for when choosing a stone are Carat, Clarity, Colour & Cut. It’s easy to enhance your diamond ring by choosing an unconventional cut , a fancy colour or even an unusual setting. 

There is also a growing trend to use lab grown diamonds which are much cheaper and more ethical.

Sapphire

A blue sapphire engagement ring on a reflective background
A blue sapphire engagement ring

Sapphires come in all colours of the rainbow. They are a variety of the mineral corundum which is actually the same mineral as rubies. The traditional sapphire is a stunning stone, ranging from deep midnight blue to a simpler aquamarine colour. It is an extremely durable, hardwearing stone making it ideal for daily wear.

In some cultures, the sapphire represents wisdom, making it a superb choice if this is one of the traits you value most highly in your other half.

Kate Middleton popularised the sapphire engagement ring – her style, which has remained a chic choice since her engagement in 2010, is a large sapphire stone set in a diamond cluster. This style offers serious sparkle, while remaining highly sophisticated.

Amethyst

A Green Amethyst engagement ring
Green Amethyst engagement ring

Like sapphires, amethysts vary in the intensity of their hue – so you can choose anything from a sweet light-hearted lilac colour to a deep violet shade, to a vivid green.

The colour you choose is a matter of personal preference – but all amethysts share the same enduring popularity and symbolism – they’re said to promote healing and wellbeing.

Amethyst is classed as a semi-precious stone, which makes it one of the more affordable engagement ring gemstones.

Ruby

A Red Ruby engagement ring
A Red Ruby engagement ring

Rubies offer a deeply romantic twist on your engagement ring. Like sapphires they are extremely hard wearing and ideal for daily wear as engagement ring gemstones.

Although ruby engagement rings are currently less popular with modern couples, there’s no denying that the ruby is a timeless gemstone which will always hold its beauty and value.

There’s a beautiful romance to a ruby engagement ring that no other stone can replicate; The red hue symbolises passion and vitality, making it a sensational stone for gregarious, amorous couples.

Emerald

Green emerald engagement ring
Green emerald engagement ring

Emeralds are actually the rarest of the cardinal gemstones. Valued for their vivid green tone, they look incredible set in yellow gold or flanked by diamonds. 

With an opulence usually reserved for royals – Cleopatra herself was said to be a great lover of emeralds – these stunning green gems are sure to draw all eyes to your ring finger.

Green symbolises new beginnings – making the emerald a fantastic choice for your engagement ring, as it signifies the start of your lives as a married couple.

While highly valued, emeralds are less hard wearing than diamonds and sapphires and should be taken great care of.

Tourmaline

Pink Tourmaline engagement ring
Tourmaline engagement ring

Unlike most gemstones, tourmaline doesn’t have a primary shade. Depending on the minerals within it, it can come in a wealth of colours, from sea-blue turquoise to mellow orange. It is also a hard wearing gemstone, and extremely appropriate for daily wear.

This makes it a fabulously versatile choice for your engagement ring – you can choose whichever colour you like best, without compromising on the properties of the stone.

Certain colours are more tricky to source in higher carats, so be sure to research the type of tourmaline you like before you make any firm decisions.

Topaz

Blue topaz engagement ring
Blue topaz engagement ring

In its naturally occurring state, topaz is a yellow-orange colour that’s associated with fire – however, it’s more well-known as a jewellery gemstone in its rarer blue form.

While yellow topaz offers a sunny sophistication, the pretty light blue topaz is the perfect stone for a more subtle engagement ring that oozes simple elegance.

A symbol for friendship, love, and confidence, a topaz engagement ring is sure to start your marriage off with the best of intentions.

Pearl

Pearl engagement ring
Pearl engagement ring

The pearl is so sophisticated that it will never go out of style. The milky white shade is utterly timeless, so you or your partner will never stop loving it from the day it goes on your finger.

This feminine stone is perfect for exuding simple elegance, and is also sometimes seen as a symbol of fertility.

Pearls were actually the most popular engagement ring gemstone during the Edwardian and early Victorian era. However, not many examples survive due to the delicate nature of the gems. If you do choose a pearl engagement ring you should be aware that they require very special care and should not be worn every day.

Aquamarine

vintage wedding aquamarine ring
vintage wedding aquamarine ring

Aquamarine is a beautifully subtle gemstone, with the inimitable shade of a clear, almost colourless lagoon. It has been one of the most popular engagement ring gemstones for centuries due to its delicate “something blue” colour.

The Duchess of Sussex has famously been spotted wearing Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring, a gift from her husband Prince Harry – which shows the elegance and sophistication of this gemstone.

With calming, serene properties, aquamarine is a fabulous engagement ring gemstone for keeping one another’s wellbeing and tranquillity at the forefront of your relationship.

Garnet

Gold ring with garnet
Gold ring with garnet

A more unconventional choice for engagement ring gemstones, the garnet is a fierce gem that suggests fervent adoration. The rich red tone makes it the perfect stone for couples with desire as the cornerstone of their relationship.

Set in a gold band, garnet engagement rings are the ultimate in dignified opulence.

Collection of luxury engagement rings

When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, the most important thing is that it speaks to who you are as a couple, and that you both view the ring as a symbol of your intentions. Buying a big diamond is a grand gesture – but it’s also important to make sure the ring means something to you. For more guidance on sourcing and selecting your wedding jewellery, check out more of our articles here.

What is a gemstone engagement ring?
A gemstone engagement ring is a type of ring that has no diamond centre stone. It is usually designed by using traditional engagement settings such as three-stones, solitaires and halos but some couples do prefer less traditional settings to hold their centre stone.
What is the most popular gemstone for an engagement ring?
Diamonds have high-grade properties that help make them the top-selling gemstone for engagement rings. Diamonds have a hardness of 10 which makes them the most scratch-resistant gemstone.
What stone is bad luck in an engagement ring?
They may be a popular choice for engagement rings but they are said to be bad luck for weddings. If propose to your partner with an emerald engagement ring then your wedding is ‘unlikely to happen’ and an engaged woman would likely die an old maid. Pearl rings are also considered bad luck in some cultures as the natural shape of a pearl looks like a tear drop that symbolises mourning.
What are the birthstones for each month?
January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Aquamarine

April – Diamond

May – Emerald

June – Pearl

July – Ruby

August – Spinal

September – Sapphire

October – Tourmaline

November – Topaz

December – Tanzanite

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