Diamonds are the rockstar when it comes to engagement rings, but there have always been brides who choose to make a unique statement with a coloured ring. From Princess Diana’s famous Ceylon Sapphire and Jackie Kennedy’s emerald and diamond show-stopper, to today’s brides opting for alternative gemstones, it’s also becoming more popular.
Not only do gemstones bring a pretty pop of colour, each one has a unique story and symbolism, so you can choose one to help tell your love story.
Here are some of the most-loved gemstones for engagement rings, and the stories behind them.
1. Sapphire Engagement Rings
Sapphire is a precious gemstone which is a variety of corundum. It can be found in a range of colours – in fact, every shade of gemstone quality corundum is called a sapphire, except for the red varieties (which are ruby!). It is most loved, however, in its stunning deep blue shade, and this is the most popular of all coloured gemstones for engagement rings.
Sapphire is an extremely hard gemstone, second only to diamonds, so it’s also a durable choice for your engagement ring.
Sapphire has long been associated with wisdom and loyalty – the perfect meaning for your engagement ring, as you commit your love to your partner knowing that they are the one for you. Sapphire is also the birthstone for September, so for brides with birthdays at this time it offers an extra personal meaning.
Explore our range of beautiful.
2. Morganite Engagement Rings
Morganite is one of the most recent gemstones to be discovered, first found in the early 1900s in Madagascar. Morganite is beloved for its beautiful clarity and natural peach-pink colour. With its soft hue, morganite is a romantic yet versatile gemstone for your engagement ring, making it a popular alternative to diamonds.
It’s a variety of beryl, which is the same mineral that forms emerald and aquamarine. It is also a hard gemstone, rated 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale, so it won’t scratch easily when worn in an engagement ring.
Given that morganite is a relatively new discovery for humans, it doesn’t have ancient stories and symbolisms attached to it like some other gemstones. However, with its lovely blush colour, morganite is associated with love and romance, as well as joy and compassion, making aa beautifully meaningful engagement ring.
3. Aquamarine Engagement Rings
Aquamarine, just like morganite, is a gemstone variety of beryl. Its colour ranges from pale blue to green-blue, making an a unique yet timeless alternative to diamonds. Aquamarine is also renowned for its beautiful transparency and sparkle, and similarly to morganite, it’s a hard gemstone – making it both a beautiful and practical choice for your engagement ring.
With its soft blue sea-like colour, aquamarine has long been associated with the sea. In fact, its name comes from the Latin words for “sea water.” Once thought to calm the waters and protect sailors on ocean voyages, this lore has translated today into symbolisms of harmony, connection, and hope – perfect as you and your loved one start your next chapter together.
Aquamarine is also the birthstone for March, so it’s perfect for brides who want an extra personal touch with their engagement ring.
4. Topaz Engagement Rings
Topaz comes in a variety of types and colours, but one of the most-loved is stunning blue topaz. Blue topaz shades vary from a bright Sky Blue to a deep and faceted London Blue, so you can find the perfect shade for your personal style. Blue topaz is believed to represent spiritual connections, making it the ideal symbol for committing your love to your soul mate.
It’s also the birthstone for December, so a blue topaz engagement ring will be an especially meaningful and personal gesture for people born in this month.
Gemstone Wedding Bands
Love the symbolism of gemstones but have your heart set on a diamond engagement ring? Add a touch of colour and extra meaning with a wedding band featuring gemstones! Keep your engagement ring and wedding ring in the same shade of gold for a perfectly paired look.
How do I style a gemstone engagement ring?
Coloured gemstone engagement rings are versatile to style with wedding and eternity bands.
For a simple way to create a beautiful, matched look, pair your gemstone engagement ring with either a plain precious metal band, or a diamond-set band in the same metal colour. Diamonds are incredibly versatile and will look stunning paired with any coloured gemstone. If you’d like to add extra colour, you can also pair your gemstone ring with a gemstone wedding band. Experiment with adding a band featuring the same gem, or mix it up with a different colour.
How do I care for a gemstone engagement ring?
It’s important to care for your gemstone engagement ring to keep it beautifully sparkling.
Different gemstones vary in hardness and some will require extra care to ensure they don’t scratch against harder gems or materials. For instance, diamonds are by far the hardest stone; while you can pair a diamond wedding band with a gemstone engagement ring, ensure that the diamonds will not rub against the gemstone itself.
Most gemstones that are suitable for engagement rings can be cleaned in a solution of warm water and mild detergent to remove any dirt or oils that can build up. We also recommend bringing your precious jewellery to your nearest Michael Hill store to have it professionally and carefully cleaned.
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