Choosing Gemstones for Engagement Rings: A Guide

Choosing the perfect gemstone for an engagement ring is a testament to a couple’s unique story and individual tastes. While diamonds have long held the crown in engagement ring preferences, the charm of coloured gemstones is undeniable for those seeking a path less trodden. Each gemstone brings its own blend of symbolism, durability, and beauty, offering a distinctive way to mark the beginning of a lifelong journey together. In this exploration of gemstone choices, we delve into the characteristics that make each option ideal for encapsulating your love story.

Diamonds: The Eternal Symbol of Love

Diamonds are not just the most sought-after gemstones for engagement rings due to their brilliance and durability; they also symbolise eternal love and commitment. The remarkable hardness of diamonds, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale, ensures they withstand the rigours of daily wear, making them a lasting emblem of your bond. The way a diamond refracts light is unparalleled, creating a spectacle of sparkling brilliance that mirrors the depth and complexity of love.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the tradition of diamond engagement rings dates back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an “M”?

Sapphires: A Spectrum of Deep Blues and Beyond

The nobility of sapphires extends beyond their stunning array of colours, from the deepest blues to vibrant pinks. Revered for their hardness, second only to diamonds, sapphires represent loyalty and trust, making them an ideal choice for symbolising a committed relationship. The most famous sapphire engagement ring belonged to Princess Diana, now worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. This choice reflects a desire for something both unique and steeped in history.

Emeralds: The Gem of Royalty and Romance

Emeralds are treasured for their mesmerising green hue, which can range from pale to deep, lush forests. Symbolising love, new beginnings, and growth, emeralds are perfect for couples embarking on a new chapter together. However, their beauty comes with a need for care; emeralds are softer than diamonds and sapphires, requiring gentle handling to maintain their splendour.

Rubies: The Heart’s Flame Encased in Stone

Rubies, with their vibrant red colour, are the embodiment of passion and love. Their durability makes them a practical choice for engagement rings, while their rich colour adds depth and intensity to the jewellery piece. Rubies have been associated with prosperity and vitality throughout history, offering a bold and heartfelt symbol for an engagement ring.

Amethysts: A Royal Hue of Serenity

Amethysts, with their enchanting shades of purple, from lilac to deep violet, offer a touch of royalty and peace to engagement rings. Historically favoured by royalty, amethysts are believed to embody the qualities of wisdom, clarity, and courage. Their affordability makes them an attractive choice for those seeking a unique yet meaningful gemstone. While softer than diamonds, their durability is sufficient for everyday wear if treated with care.

Aquamarines: The Whisper of the Ocean

The serene blue of aquamarines captures the calming essence of the sea, making them a perfect symbol for hope, health, and longevity in a marriage. Their clarity and pastel tones can complement any skin tone, offering a subtle yet stunning alternative to more traditional stones. Aquamarines are durable enough for daily wear, embodying a bond that remains strong and clear through the ebbs and flows of life.

Opals: A Kaleidoscope of Nature’s Fire

Opals are truly unique in the gemstone world, with their dazzling play-of-colour showcasing a spectrum of hues. Associated with creativity and inspiration, opals are for those who seek a ring as unique as their love story. While opals require more care than harder gemstones, their mesmerising beauty makes them a compelling choice for an engagement ring that stands out.

Alexandrite: The Chameleon of Gemstones

Alexandrite astonishes with its remarkable ability to change colour from green in daylight to red in incandescent light, symbolising the dynamic nature of love. It mirrors the capacity for change and adaptability in a lasting relationship. Though rare and often pricier, alexandrite makes for an extraordinary engagement ring, embodying the magic and mystery of love.


Selecting the perfect gemstone for an engagement ring goes beyond mere aesthetics; it’s about finding a piece that resonates with the couple’s journey, values, and dreams. From the eternal brilliance of diamonds to the unique fire of opals, each gemstone carries a universe of meaning and history. Whether drawn to the traditional elegance of sapphires and rubies or the distinctive allure of amethysts and alexandrite, the choice of a gemstone is a deeply personal decision. It’s about celebrating love in its most tangible form, with a ring that not only dazzles the eye but also captures the heart.


  1. What makes diamonds the most popular choice for engagement rings? Diamonds symbolise eternal love with unmatched durability and brilliance.
  2. Can sapphires be considered a durable option for engagement rings? Yes, sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness, making them very durable.
  3. Are emeralds a good choice for someone who values symbolism in their ring? Emeralds symbolise love, new beginnings, and growth.
  4. What is unique about opals compared to other gemstones? Opals offer a unique play-of-colour, symbolising creativity and hope.
  5. Why might someone choose alexandrite for their engagement ring? For its rare colour-changing properties, symbolising change and adaptability.