You’ve probably heard the phrases “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” or “a diamond is forever.” Diamonds have dominated the engagement ring industry. They are perfect for regular and colored engagement rings for decades. Their sparkling brilliance and famous durability have captured the popular imagination as the ideal symbol of eternal love ever since De Beers ran their famous ad campaign in 1938 to bolster diamonds’ falling prices.
While white diamonds have since become a classic choice for most gemstone engagement rings, their ubiquity has blinded many to the possibilities of other gemstones that generations in the past enjoyed. Fortunately, in recent years there has been a renewed interest in colored engagement rings, allowing today’s lovebirds to have a wider range of engagement ring choices than ever before.
Is It Okay to Have a Colored Engagement Ring?
In short, yes! There is nothing wrong with wearing vivid gemstone rings — if you want to wear a colored engagement ring with vibrant gemstones, there’s no need to worry about breaking tradition with a one-of-a-kind engagement ring. Personal style differs from person to person, and a blue topaz, yellow diamond, or sapphire engagement ring may hold more value to some people over others.
Before the diamond became the most popular choice for engagement rings, a wide variety of gemstone engagement rings existed. From the rings of iron and gold offered to prospective brides in Ancient Rome to the emerald snake ring gifted to Queen Victoria by her beloved Prince Albert, engagement rings have traditionally been crafted from a wide variety of metals and gemstones.
Even in the modern day, colored gemstones have stirred up excitement from time to time. Princess Diana famously wore an ornate sapphire engagement ring — dubbed the Marguerite ring — following her engagement to then-Prince Charles. This gorgeous, unique engagement ring features a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold. The Marguerite sapphire engagement ring is now in the possession of Princess Diana’s daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales.
Read on to learn what a colorful gemstone engagement ring might have to offer for you and your intended.
Modernize Your Colored Engagement Ring
Marriage is a traditional institution, and some modern couples may worry about going against the grain if they select a non-traditional engagement ring. However, colored stones for rings are steep in tradition while matching current trends.
Best of all, colored stone engagement rings can allow you and your fiancee to show off a ring that captures the nature of your unique relationship. If your or your fiancee has a favorite color or a stone that has personal significance, like a birthstone, you can incorporate it into your engagement ring and make it even more meaningful.
Of course, you’ll want to ensure that your choice of metal complements the gemstones you select. For example, actress Blake Lively sports an engagement ring made of rose gold to perfectly complement its rare pink diamond. You may want to do some research and consult with jewelry experts to find a combination that fits your personal tastes.
Find The Perfect Gemstone for Your Colored Engagement Ring
Over the centuries, engagement rings have contained diamonds, rubies, garnets, amethysts, topazes, emeralds, sapphires, and even semi-precious stones like agates, chalcedony, and quartz, all in a rainbow of colors. This same variety is available today, especially with new technology that allows jewelers to create gemstones to specifications in a lab.
With such a wide selection of stones and colors, you’ll have to carefully consider appearance and function. Some of the more popular colored gems for modern engagement rings include:
A variety of the mineral corundum, sapphires are often a stunning blue. But these stones also come in a wide variety of other colors, including pink, yellow, orange, green, and purple. Sapphires can be bi-color and contain more than one hue.
Also a variety of corundum, this gemstone has a certain saturation of color. It can come in a variety of hues but is almost always red. Rubies are almost as hard as diamonds, which makes them a nice durable choice for engagement rings.
By definition, emeralds are green, but they range from yellowish to more blueish hues. Emeralds often contain impurities and can be prone to breakage, so more care should be taken with emerald engagement rings.
A semi-precious variety of purple quartz, amethysts range in hue from pale violet to deep purple. Amethyst has been used in jewelry for millennia and is a great choice for a modern gemstone.
The gem form of the mineral olivine, peridot comes in various hues of olive-green. They are more or less yellowish or brownish in hue. These are often mistaken for emeralds. These gemstones can be prone to breakage, so should be handled with care in jewelry.
Though they are often dark red, garnets can come in all colors. Garnets have been used as gemstones since the Bronze Age. Their hardness can vary, but these stones are not especially prone to breakage.
Famous for its golden-yellow color, topaz also naturally occurs in pale blue. It can also take on hues of darker blue, pale green, orange, pink, and purple. Topaz is a harder mineral, so it works well in rings.
A semi-precious variety of quartz, citrine ranges in color from light yellow to brown and has been used in jewelry since the Hellenistic period. Natural citrines are somewhat rare and are often replaced with heat-treated amethysts to get the same color.
Precious types of opal refract light, which makes them display an iridescent rainbow of colors known as “opalescence.” This changing array of colors is backed by black, white, or any of a variety of other colors. Most opal is cut into a round cabochon when used in jewelry, and it can be fragile, so opal engagement rings should be treated with care.
Prized for their striking hues of blue, indigo, violet, and purple, Tanzanite gemstones are named for Tanzania, the only place they can be mined. They are often dichroic, which means they can reflect more than one color simultaneously.
A variety of beryl, morganite gemstones are quite durable and are known as a good alternative to diamonds. They come in a variety of shades of pink and are named after famous financier J.P. Morgan.
Also a type of beryl, aquamarine is popular for its beautiful colors ranging from pale blue to light green. It has been used for crafting and decorative purposes in a variety of ancient cultures across the world. As a more common mineral, aquamarine can be relatively inexpensive and can make a great ring choice for those on a budget.
Diamonds make our list of colored gemstones because they can actually come in a variety of colors besides white. Clean Origin offers a variety of lab grown diamonds in blue, green, red, pink, and yellow hues. Pick a diamond color and then pick a setting to create a unique and perfect engagement ring.
Shop Gemstone Engagement Rings
You can include any of these gems solitaire-style, in combination, or as accent stones to a more traditional white diamond, as seen with our Modern Sapphire Halo Ring. Whether you’re looking for a simple-yet-elegant traditional ring or a customized creation to call your very own, the sky is the limit.
Shop for colored engagement rings with Clean Origin today. With our ethically sourced materials and great value, you’re sure to walk away with a ring you and your betrothed can be proud of.