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Ever since De Beers launched their historic 'A Diamond Is Forever' campaign in 1948, women around the world have defaulted to the sparkling gemstone as the engagement ring of choice. But that was over seventy years ago—a lot has changed since then. Trend shifts in recent years have unveiled a yearning for something less expected and nontraditional when it comes to bridal jewelry, which is why a colored engagement ring is likely something you've had on your radar for some time now.
Colored engagement rings encompass both fancy color diamond rings and vivid gemstone rings such as rubies and sapphires. Essentially, any design that brings in color can be a striking pick for an engagement ring and thanks to designers both classic and contemporary, there's a slew of beautiful pieces to choose from.
First things first is to select the color you're hoping to achieve as well as the cut of the stone that reflects your personal style. But don't narrow your thoughts too much! "Keep an open mind for similar shapes, as you may find the perfect color in a slightly different shape. Then, build your ring around your gemstone to showcase its beauty," suggests Lorraine Brantner.
Meet the Expert
Lorraine Brantner is a sales manager for James Allen, a fine jewelry company dedicated to premium customer service and affordable prices.
Read on for the best colored engagement rings.
Best Pink: DAVIDOR Ring in 18k White Gold with Arch Cut Pink Tourmaline and and Brilliant Diamonds
Handcrafted in DAVIDOR's Paris Atelier, this gorgeous 18k white gold ring, featuring a pink tourmaline stone, is perfect for a classic bride who enjoys a pop of color. We especially love the arch detailing–a delightfully unique touch.
For the Traditional Bride: Marisa Perry by Douglas Elliott Oval Cut Emerald Three Stone Ring with Pear Shape Diamonds
If you have your heart set on an emerald engagement ring (we don’t blame you), it doesn’t get much more breathtaking than this creation from Marisa Perry. The three-stone setting features a bold oval-cut emerald paired with two delicate pear-shaped diamonds.
Best Tourmaline: Bulgari 18K Gold Ring
This striking tourmaline center stone feels especially old world thanks to the bezel setting. At 2.40 carats and flanked by an engraved chevron pattern, you won’t be able to resist this Bulgari masterpiece.
Most Unexpected: Simon G. Pink Diamond Lined Engagement Ring
A two-tone 18k white and rose gold ring that offers white baguette diamonds and pink diamonds. In other words, it’s a feast for the eyes.
Best Light Blue Sapphire: Michelle Oh Sonya Ring
A round brilliant cut light blue sapphire steals the show with this romantic engagement ring. To finish, a floral cluster of marquise diamonds circles the delicate band.
Best Pink Tourmaline: Cathy Waterman 22K Recycled Gold Ring
The feeling when you realize pink tourmaline and diamonds is the combination your romantic, jewelry-loving heart has desired all along. This ring spotlights recycled gold and ethically sourced stones—perfect for the socially and environmentally conscious bride.
Best Peach Sapphire: Porter Gulch Peach Cushion Sapphire Isa Ring
For an engagement ring that exudes rosy sparkle, you’ll want to check out this number from Porter Gulch. It features a 1.39 carat cushion-cut peach Malagasy sapphire center, two rose-cut round white diamonds, and two round white diamonds totaling 0.31 carats.
What to Look for When Choosing a Colored Engagement Ring
While you may think the color of your bold bling is the most important feature to consider, think again. "Cut is the number one factor in determining how nicely your diamond or gemstone sparkles. While there are stricter parameters for D-Z color ranges, fancy colored diamonds and gemstones are cut to maximize their face up color in addition to sparkle," Brantner says.
In this case, the stone is the most exciting to pick out, as it determines the whole look! "There is a lot of personal preference with the color of your center stone! Blue sapphire is the most common gemstone, though you may find that you prefer a lighter, icy blue color more than the typical medium blue," says Brantner. Whether your personal style gravitates towards a softer pastel hue or a more rich, fiery shade, there's a style, cut, and setting to accommodate every look.
When selecting a colored engagement ring, it all truly begins and ends with the stone. "Pick your gemstone type and then your outline shape first," suggests Brantner. Consider which is more important to you: the color or the shape of the stone. Due to the rarity of some colored gemstones and diamonds, you may fall in love with the color of one stone but the shape of another. In this case, you may have to prioritize which is more valuable to you. Focus on the feature that holds a greater influence on your personal style.
What are some of the most affordable gemstones?
What metals work best for a colored engagement ring?
There are no rules when it comes to picking a metal color for your gemstone engagement ring. While white diamonds tend to go with every type of metal, you may find that certain gemstones work better with certain metals and colors.
What colored stone is the most durable?
"Rubies and sapphires are both corundum and the hardest colored stones. They are the most durable for everyday wear," Brantner states.
What colored stone is the least durable?
"Pearls and opals are very soft and the most prone to damage and abrasion," warns Brantner. "Special care should also be taken with an emerald ring as they are softer gems and exposure to abrasion and chemicals can remove the oiling that aids in the gem's beauty and luster."
Why Trust Brides
Nicole Kliest is a fashion, travel, and food & wine writer based in New York City. With over nine years of experience in the digital publishing industry, her work has appeared on sites including Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, Cools, Popsugar, Harper's Bazaar, Elle.