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Rubies might 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. About as distinguished as you can get, rubies were once the stones of ancient kings and queens, making a ruby engagement ring an entirely regal choice. Besides, who doesn't want to look down at their hand and feel like royalty? In terms of feeling fresh and modern, ruby engagement rings are entirely in line with the untraditional ring styles modern brides crave—from unique settings to contemporary shapes, and, of course, gemstones.
While most precious gems are much softer than diamonds, which are the most durable (hence their dominance in the engagement ring market), rubies are a lot more resilient than other gemstones. They come in second to the diamond in terms of toughness, and they range in color from bright cherry-red to dark reddish-brown. The most popular hue is blood-red with blue and purple undertones (these are known as Burmese and pigeon's blood rubies). All pair incredibly well with yellow and rose gold settings, but that hardly means you're limited to said settings. Plenty of platinum and white mountings pair well with this blazing gemstone.
If you're not fully committed to going for a red-hued center stone, consider a ruby to serve as a side or accent stones in a three-stone ring or cluster design.
Of course, there's the cost-benefit of choosing a ruby, too. 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 setting or go for a raw or rough-cut stone.
Sold on a ruby engagement ring? Ahead, scroll through our favorite spectacular styles for every taste and budget.
Angara Pear Ruby Ring With Diamond Halo
Pear-cut stones create an elongating effect on a finger in the most stunning way. And with a diamond halo and pavé band, this ring is super sparkly.
SHOP NOW: Angara, from $8,108
Berganza Burmese Ruby and Diamond Three-Stone Ring
This Burmese ruby is nothing short of stunning, showcased in a three-stone setting. We love the use of an 18K gold band, paired with a gold claw setting to bring together a gorgeous look.
SHOP NOW: Berganza, $10,033
Barbela Ruby Stellan Ring
Who says a ruby needs to be big and bold? This ring is dainty, but it packs a beautiful punch with a single ruby and two diamonds off to either side.
SHOP NOW: Barbela, $500
Berganza Pigeon Blood Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring
What a way to make a statement! This dark red ruby is set between two trapezium diamonds, all brought together by a stunning claw setting in platinum.
SHOP NOW: Berganza, $75,600
Bario Neal Custom Diamond and Ruby Cluster Ring
Rubies can offer so much potential for playing with shapes and colors. This stunning cluster ring brings together one bold ruby, paired with pink sapphires, and champagne diamonds for a one-of-a-kind look.
SHOP NOW: Bario Neal, $14,500
Jacquie Aiche Pavé Band Freeform Ruby Pear Ring
We love the way a pavé band leads to a stunning pear-shaped ruby on this ring. And with it set in rose gold, it brings in the tiniest bit of a vintage vibe.
SHOP NOW: Jacquie Aiche, $5,250
Harry Winston Classic Winston Cushion-Cut Ruby Ring
There's something so special about mixing metals, especially when it comes to a claw setting. The gold plays its part in making this stunning cushion-cut ruby stand out in this beautiful design.
SHOP NOW: Harry Winston, price upon request
Jane Taylor Cirque One-of-a-Kind Large Cloud Swing Ring With Ruby
Who says you can only have one ruby in your ring? This one-of-a-kind design breaks all the rules, in the best way. With one large center ruby, surrounded by multiple mixed cut rubies, this rose gold ring is absolutely stunning.
SHOP NOW: Jane Taylor, $10,505
Jennie Kwon Ruby Tanzanite Diamond Dew Ring
Add a splash of color to your ring finger by mixing stones. This thin gold band features an oval ruby, but it also brings in two tanzanites and six little diamonds to round out a beautiful look.
SHOP NOW: Jennie Kwon, $846
Kwiat Vintage Ruby and Diamond Ring
This argyle design is so unique and so sparkly! With rubies and diamonds set to create a pattern in white gold, this ring is playfully gorgeous.
SHOP NOW: Kwiat, $6,100
Lauren Wolf Jewelry Ruby Gold Octagon Ring
Not all rubies need to be loud and proud. Go for a simpler look with a beautiful gold setting. We love the way this unique ring utilizes an octagonal shape to stand out.
SHOP NOW: Lauren Wolf Jewelry, $345
LaMore Design Vintage Floral Ruby Engagement Ring
Doesn't this ring just feel like it's fit for royalty? With a floral-shaped ruby, surrounded by diamonds, this gives off such an art deco vibe.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, from $2,346
Mark Broumand Cushion-Cut Ruby and Diamond Ring
Make a regal statement with this stunner. We love the purple hue of this 1.66-carat ruby, paired with a contrasting gold and diamond halo.
SHOP NOW: Mark Broumand, $9,950
Ring By Irina Cluster Ruby Ring
Even if you don't want a ruby to be the star of the show, there are still unique ways to incorporate this stunning stone. This cluster ring pairs gray diamonds and one lovely ruby for a beautiful design.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, from $1,700
Zales Princess-Cut Ruby Engagement Ring
Take a classic princess-cut diamond and switch it up. This white gold ring, with a center ruby stone and diamonds all the way around, is so special.
SHOP NOW: Zales, $349
Lori McLean East-West Double-Banded Ruby Ring
An East-West ring can be such a special option, but a stunning ruby takes it to a whole new level. We love the double-band in gold with an oval-cut ruby for a unique, bespoke look.
SHOP NOW: Lori Mclean, price upon request
Tiffany & Co. Tiffany Soleste Ruby Ring
Shine in true Tiffany's fashion with this stunning ring. With not one, but two, rows of diamonds surrounding this gorgeous ruby, this ring is sure to be a show-stopper
SHOP NOW: Tiffany & Co, $9,500
Van Cleef & Arpels Motifs Pétales Cushion-Cut Ruby Ring
We love the way two pear-shaped diamonds are placed on either side of a brilliant cushion-cut ruby in this design. The three-stone setting is classic and elegant.
SHOP NOW: Van Cleef & Arpels, price upon request
Selin Kent Defne Ruby Ring
Make a statement with a uniquely shaped stone. This offset .4-carat ruby truly stands out with a special marquise cut. Paired with rose gold, this setting makes for a bold design.
SHOP NOW: Selin Kent, $820
Moritz Glik Ruby Shaker Ring
This is such a unique ring design in its own right, but adding in rubies totally ups the ante. This 18K gold ring showcases glistening rubies in a white sapphire shaker to create something truly out of the ordinary.
SHOP NOW: Moritz Glik, $5,600
Ausgems Co Lab Ruby Halo Engagement Ring
Ruby stones pair perfectly with rose gold to create a gorgeous, vintage look. This ring brings even more of a vintage feel with a stunning oval-cut stone surrounded by a diamond halo, complete with a pavé band.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, from $969
Anna Sheffield Attelage Marquise-Cut Ruby Engagement Ring
Adding a diamond halo around a ruby can create such a regal look. But this ring takes that one step further with a stunning marquise-cut stone and a double yellow gold band.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $5,300
Ferkos Fine Jewelry Ruby Cluster Engagement Ring
Make a ruby the star of the show, but add a few diamonds for good measure. This oval-cut ruby makes a statement, but with the addition of multi-cut diamonds on either side, it's truly one-of-a-kind.
SHOP NOW: Etsy, $580.50