Rev up the romance with this crimson-hued gemstone on your bridal bling.

Rubies may be not be the first stone that comes to mind when thinking about an engagement ring, but they have a long history of symbolizing love, courage, passion and protection. If you're looking for a colorful stone, these fiery red gems with notes of purple are about as timelessly revered as you can get. Rubies, after all, were once the stones of ancient kings and queens, and who doesn't want to look down at their hand and feel like she rules the world?

Since a ruby's color is crimson, it pairs really well with more vintage settings and yellow or rose gold. That doesn't mean, though, that you're limited to dainty or alternative settings. Plenty of platinum and white gold more modern or classic settings (think: halo) go well with this fiery gemstone too. And if you're not fully committed to going for a red-hued center stone, rubies are a great accent to your diamond.

Of course, there's also the cost benefit of choosing a ruby. Like any gemstone, you're likely to get a lot more bang for your buck when going for a ruby engagement ring as opposed to a diamond one, even if you mix it with diamonds in a vintage or art deco setting. Whether it's Anna Sheffield's contemporary take on this tried-and-true gem, or Kwiat's diamond and ruby vintage-inspired piece, rubies offer as much variety as any other center stone.

Sold on a ruby engagement ring? Click through to see all of favorite red-hued styles.

lllustration: Christina Park

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