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.
Read on for the best colored engagement rings.
Jared Aquamarine and Diamonds Engagement Ring
Aquamarine is an unexpected, yet stunning choice for your engagement ring. The soft hue paired with a simple silver band is equal parts timeless and unique.
Best Yellow Diamond
Zales Radiant-Cut Yellow and White Diamond Engagement Ring
A bright radiant-cut yellow diamond cements this gorgeous ring. The modern frame of smaller white diamonds gives off ample sparkle.
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.
Best Blue Topaz
Effy Ocean Bleu 14K White Gold London Blue Topaz and Diamond Ring
London blue topaz—a stone with a vivid cerulean hue—is always a good idea, particularly for the nontraditional bride. Plus, it’s a color that will never go out of fashion.
Kwiat Colombian Emerald Ring With Diamonds
It doesn’t get more magnificent than this beautiful emerald ring from the legendary jeweler, Kwiat. The emeralds are sustainably and ethically sourced from the Muzo and Chivor mines in Colombia.
Brilliant Earth Sapphire Sona Three Stone Diamond Ring
This gorgeous sapphire ring is crafted with unique diamond side stone details and an 18k yellow gold band. It's a classic, deco-inspired shape with a modern, clean twist.
Best Yellow Brown Diamond
1stdibs Natural Fancy Color Yellow Brown Diamonds Halo Ring
This elegant, pear-shaped diamond gets an upgrade with a diamond halo. We love the unusual, golden-brown hue paired with shiny accents. Sparkles for the win.
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 with Pearls
Kataoka Water Lily Ring
Texture and color hit their stride with this ultra-pretty engagement ring from Japanese jeweler, Yoshinobu Kataoka. Aquamarine, pearls, and diamonds—oh my!
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 Green Diamond
Niza Huang Blue Pear Cut Diamond Ring
This large pear cut green diamond is the ultimate statement ring, perfect for the bride who wants to eschew tradition. Champagne diamonds set in an 18-carat yellow gold band seal the deal.
Bea Bongiasca Heart Tendril Ring
Not for the faint of heart, this fashion-forward tendril ring featuring a heart-cut topaz and burgundy enamel is well-suited for the modern, artsy bride. Handcrafted in Italy, this chic ring makes a bold statement.
For the Non-Traditional Bride
Anita Ko Diamond and Ruby Twist Ring
Go modern and ditch the traditional center stone aesthetic altogether. Instead, reach for this gorgeous ruby and diamond twist ring—you won't regret it.
With Clarity Poise Basket Peridot Ring
Peridot’s slightly eccentric hue is perfect for the bride-to-be who loves color. Plus, it's a versatile color and goes well with other jewel tones (perfect for building your ring stack in the future!).
Lauren Addison Ruby and Diamond Cluster Ring
This ruby and diamond cluster engagement ring is a glorious amalgamation of precious gemstones and quality craftsmanship. It's a timeless look that will never go out of style.
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 Five Stone
Anna Sheffield Sapphire and White Diamonds Ring
A medley of sapphire, white diamonds, and gold—this charming ring has it all, and then some. The five stones are set in recycled gold (choose from rose, yellow or white).
Best Green Amethyst
Natalie Marie Precious Oval Green Amethyst Solitaire
A desaturated green hue takes center stage with this beautiful oval amethyst ring. It’s at once simple and striking.
Grace Lee Crown Bezel Turquoise Ring
If turquoise gemstones hold special significance for you, there’s no one saying you can’t have one for your engagement ring. This sleek iteration from Grace Lee is a keeper.
Best Under 2K
Jennie Kwon Emerald Lexie Ring
This ultra-cool, modern ring features tiny, sparkly diamonds set against a rectangular emerald; it feels both timeless and effortless all at once.
Best Pale Blue
Yi Collection Aquamarine Ice Ring
Mirror your love for the sea and the sky with this icy aquamarine engagement ring. The simple gold band (we love the knot details!) and prominently-featured center stone is a fantastic design choice.
Meet the Expert
Lorraine Brantner is a sales manager for James Allen, a fine jewelry company dedicated to premium customer service and affordable prices.
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?
While most colored stones are less expensive than a white diamond, some of the most reasonably priced gemstones are aquamarine, morganite, peridot, topaz, garnet, amethyst, citrine, and rose quartz.
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.