A recent social media post led to a conversation about using colored gems in engagement rings. We want to answer some of those questions here.

Colored Gems

Let’s start with the trend of using colored gems for the centerpiece in an engagement ring. We are seeing a lot of couples wishing to use a color for the center. Specifically sapphires have been very popular. The traditional blue Sapphire comes in a variety of hues, from the very light blue, also known a “Ceylon” sapphire to a very deep, almost black blue color. This is just a matter of personal taste as to which you choose.


From a durability, daily wear aspect, Sapphires are a very good choice for the center of an engagement ring. Sapphires are second only to Diamonds as far as hardness goes. Sapphires are also very durable from the aspect of resisting chipping and cracking. Diamonds are harder, but when cut into the fancy shapes that come to points, such as a marquise, they can be delicate and prone to chipping. The Sapphire is more resistant to this. Because a Sapphire is so hard, it can only be scratched by another Sapphire or a Diamond.


Another little known fact is: Sapphires are one of the few gems that occurs naturally in almost every color of the rainbow! Greens, oranges, purples, pinks and shades of all of these are available and make for a beautiful centerpiece in an engagement ring.

So if you have a favorite color, green perhaps, and think that an emerald is right for you, you may want to consider a green Sapphire. As the emerald is a very delicate and softer gem prone to chipping. You can also get a colored sapphire in all of the shapes that a diamond is available in. If you do a center in a color, side diamonds make a beautiful accent that gives the piece a lot of sparkle, for a beautiful contrast.


Rubies are another classic precious gem that is wonderful for a center in an engagement ring. It is a little known fact that Rubies are the same mineral family as a Sapphire, ( Corundum ), but are a specific deep red in color. If the Ruby is too light in color it would be a ” Pink Sapphire”.

Like the Sapphire, a Ruby is the same hardness as the Sapphire and is also a very durable, chep resistant gem suitable for everyday wear. The red comes in a variety of hues, so there is some personal preference there also. For both the Sapphire and Ruby, the cutting talent and experience of the gem cutter is a paramount concern. The better the cut, proportions and polish, the more life, and beauty the gem will possess.


Garnets were once used as the center for engagement rings. This is still a popular option for the lady looking to recreate a unique vintage feel. And for those who do not like the traditional color of the garnet, there is a garnet called a Rhodolite that is a beautiful deep purple-pink color with a lot of life. If you want something unique, talk to us about all of the unique gems that you could choose that most do not even know exist.

Some of the more well known gemstones that are truly beautiful but are of a more delicate nature would be the Emerald, Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Pearl and Opal, all four of which we would shy away from saying are good for an everyday ring setting. These are softer in nature, can scratch and chip fairly easily.

There are literally hundreds of beautiful gems that we could talk about, but this is just a start here. If you have one that we did not discuss, and would like to talk about, please contact us and we would be thrilled to give you the information you need to create your very own unique ring.