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We love a classic around here, but we can't deny that colored engagement rings are having their moment. Thanks to some of our favorite celebs—Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Carrie Underwood, Jessica Simpson, and of course Kate Middleton—those colored gemstones long cast aside for a bright clear diamond are back in the spotlight.
Royal sapphires (just like Kate), morganite, ruby gems, emeralds, and canary diamonds are just a few colored stones worth turning our attention to. Aside from saving your future fiancé a few bucks, choosing a gemstone can make your engagement ring truly unique. Whether you’re inclined to incorporate your favorite color or birthstone or opt for an heirloom piece of jewelry, a colored stone can ensure your engagement ring stands out from the crowd. It's a great opportunity to make this meaningful occasion even more sentimental.
This doesn't mean shunning the whole "diamonds are forever" thing. Set your sapphire in diamonds with a bauble encrusted halo, look for a style with diamond side stones, or consider a pavé diamond band if you don't want to completely forgo the classic.
Meet the Expert
- Lorraine Brantner is a sales manager for James Allen, a fine jewelry company dedicated to premium customer service and affordable prices.
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.
Want a colored engagement ring selfie? Click through to see 35 of our favorite engagement rings featuring colorful gemstones (and some colored diamonds just to mix it up).
Allurez Peridot & Diamond Right Hand Flower Shaped Ring
We've never seen a center stone quite like this! A strikingly unique lime green oval stone is surrounded by a halo of diamonds set on a 14k yellow gold band. This ring is also available in a white topaz, ruby, opal, blue sapphire, or emerald stone.
1stDibs GIA Certified Natural 1 Carat Fancy Purplish Pink Diamond Halo Platinum Ring
We promised color and we keep our promises! This masterpiece reminds us of staring into a kaleidoscope with all of its ever-changing colors and reflections. From a range of pink hues to hints of yellow, it'd hard not to obsess over this piece.
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 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."
- How does the care of a colored gemstone differ from a diamond? "Rubies and sapphires can withstand ultrasonic and steam cleaning, however, special care should be taken with emeralds as well as many other alternative gemstone selections," suggests Brantner. "No matter your ring, always store it carefully in its own box or compartment when not wearing it and take your jewelry off before exercising, swimming, or showering."