The popularity of сolored stone engagement rings
Colored stone engagement rings have been around for hundreds of years, and have continued to be popular with royalty and the world’s most well-heeled women.
One of the most famous engagement rings in the world, is, of course, Kate Middleton’s 12 ctw Burmese sapphire, which used to adorn the hand of Princess Diana. Elizabeth Hurley also wears an impressive sapphire, as did Empress Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s beloved queen. Style icons of their day, The Duchess of Windsor and Jackie Kennedy, were proud of their fine emeralds, as is Halle Berry today. Jessica Simpson wears a Burmese ruby, as did Sarah Ferguson the former Duchess of York.
The popularity of colored stone engagement rings isn’t relegated only to the royals and taste-makers–in the past few years, the popularity of colored stone engagement rings has soared around the globe, and for good reason!
Some of the most vibrant hues known can be found in the vast rainbow of colored stones – the intense reds of ruby and spinel, the lush greens of emeralds and tsavorite garnets, the warmth of yellow and orange sapphires, and the majestic blues and violets of blue sapphires, to name but a few. Talk about personality!
There is a definite allure and romance to colored stones, and they just seem to suit some people and really convey their style and personality! Colored stones can also be a great value for those who fancy a larger stone on a smaller budget.
What are some guidelines for choosing a colored stone engagement ring?
Like diamonds, colored stones are evaluated by the 4 C’s, an objective system created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the 1930’s. Since colored stones are so diverse, GIA does not evaluate colored stones in exactly the same way, or give the same detailed reports as it does with diamonds–the 4 C’s are more of a guideline than gospel for colored gems.
While Cut, Clarity, and Carat are factors in the world of colored stones, Color is king! Certain hues and intensities tend to be valued over paler or duller tints for historic reasons and/or due to demand and rarity. Ultimately, it’s always a good idea to choose the color that speaks most to you.
Each colored stone has its own wide or limited range of color – sapphires come in almost every color, except red! Red sapphires are actually rubies–they’re the exact same mineral only red!
A well-cut colored stone certainly pleases the eye, but can also influence the color of the stone! Since color is the dominant feature of colored stones, fair, good, or even poor cuts are more common, especially as many colored stones are facetted by hand. Look for pleasing symmetrical shapes with good proportions, or a rougher more organic shape for it’s own rustic appeal.
While a seemingly minuscule characteristic can have a profound affect on a diamond’s value, nearly all types of colored stones contain clarity characteristics that are visible under 10x magnification, if not by the naked eye. Depending on the variety and species of colored stone, inclusions are more tolerated and sometimes even desirable!
While many people equate carat with size, it’s actually a measure of weight! As colored stones have different densities (much like comparing a pound of lead with a pound of feathers), the visual size of a 1 ctw sapphire will be dramatically different to a 1 ctw diamond or amethyst.
Some colored stones are super rare, and others more common–a 1 ctw ruby will have a different price than a one carat garnet.
Most people know that diamonds are considered the hardest material on earth, which is one reason they’re so successful as engagement rings. Many colored stones are resilient enough to stand up to everyday wear, but some are not. Stones like pearls and opals are better suited to occasional rings and earrings and pendants.
The world of colored stones is fascinating, and we are here to help you choose the right colored stone engagement ring for you! Please feel free to book a consultation with any member of our team for more information on any colored stone you might be considering. We can take care of all of the other details and help you design you the ring of your dreams!