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gemstones engagement ringEngagement ring trends are changing all the time, and right now sales of colourful engagement rings are on the up. Whether it’s a stunning pink diamond or a teeny-tiny discreet ring you’re looking for, you no longer have to choose the same gold band and diamond that everyone’s been wearing.

Fancy something that reflects your personality a bit better? If you’re a unique bride-to-be looking for something a little more alternative for your engagement ring, these coloured engagement ring styles are oh-so-pretty…

Diamonds are the rockstar when it comes to engagement rings, but there have always been brides who choose to make a unique statement with a coloured ring. From Princess Diana’s famous Ceylon Sapphire and Jackie Kennedy’s emerald and diamond show-stopper, to today’s brides opting for alternative gemstones, it’s also becoming more popular. 

Not only do gemstones bring a pretty pop of colour, each one has a unique story and symbolism, so you can choose one to help tell your love story. 

The History of Gemstones

The concept of a non-diamond engagement ring might seem trendy. The history of these unique engagement rings goes back to when Napoleon Bonaparte gave his future empress, Joséphine, a sapphire and diamond engagement ring in 1796. Before we understood the potential with diamonds, people gravitated towards gemstones because their colour was evident before the stone was cut and polished.

While celebrities like Megan Fox, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry choosing alternative gemstone engagement rings. Don’t overlook this opportunity for self-expression. When you come across the right gemstone, it’s like you’re looking at yourself but in gemstone form…Colour is an easy and exciting way to reinforce your style and voice.

A Gift From Mother Nature

Today we know more about how gemstones form than ever before. We also understand better what makes a stone valuable. But there is still much mystery surrounding this fascinating subject. 

The natural product of the chemicals buried deep within the earth, formed over time and by great pressure, the crystalline structure of the gemstone is as varied as the geographies that give birth to them.

Certain areas are responsible for the most coveted and high-quality stones, crystals, and pearls  — yes, pearls are considered gemstones as well, assisted by clams and mussels as much as by mother nature herself.

Earth’s Gemstone Recipe


Key Ingredients






calcium carbonate


aluminum oxide


aluminum oxide

The Rock Cycle

All gemstones are formed by what we know as the rock cycle, or the process of minerals taking their shape over long periods of time (sometimes over millions of years) where the conditions transform the Earth’s chemicals into the wonderful stones we ultimately discover and fashion into our beloved jewellery. 

How Are Gemstones Formed?

Minerals that result from the cycle are occasionally organised atomically, taking on a special structure we know as a crystal. The mineral crystals known for their shapes and beautifully coloured stones can be classified as Gemstone Crystalline Structures.

Here are some of the most-loved gemstones for engagement rings, and the stories behind them.  The rock cycle how gemstones are formed

Shopping Considerations

As you’re comparing popular engagement ring gemstones, Daniel says that similar to diamonds, the 4Cs (colour, clarity, cut, and carat) are crucial to making your ring selection. Colour plays a major role in the gemstone’s appearance, especially when considering the saturation and intensity of it, he explains. Durability is also very important when it comes to gemstones withstanding daily tasks.

Sapphire Engagement Rings

The stone:

Sapphire is a precious gemstone which is a variety of corundum. It can be found in a range of colours – in fact, every shade of gemstone quality corundum is called a sapphire, except for the red varieties (which are ruby!). It is most loved, however, in its stunning deep blue shade, and this is the most popular of all coloured gemstones for engagement rings.   

Sapphire is an extremely hard gemstone, second only to diamonds, so it’s also a durable choice for your engagement ring.  

The symbolism:

Sapphire has long been associated with wisdom and loyalty – the perfect meaning for your engagement ring, as you commit your love to your partner knowing that they are the one for you. Sapphire is also the birthstone for September, so for brides with birthdays at this time it offers an extra personal meaning.sapphire engagement ring, gemstone engagement ring

Morganite Engagement Rings

The stone:

Morganite is one of the most recent gemstones to be discovered, first found in the early 1900s in Madagascar. Morganite is beloved for its beautiful clarity and natural peach-pink colour. With its soft hue, morganite is a romantic yet versatile gemstone for your engagement ring, making it a popular alternative to diamonds.  

It’s a variety of beryl, which is the same mineral that forms emerald and aquamarine. It is also a hard gemstone, rated 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale, so it won’t scratch easily when worn in an engagement ring.  

The symbolism:

Given that morganite is a relatively new discovery for humans, it doesn’t have ancient stories and symbolisms attached to it like some other gemstones. However, with its lovely blush colour, morganite is associated with love and romance, as well as joy and compassion, making it a beautifully meaningful gemstone for your engagement ring.Morganite engagement ring, gemstone engagement ring

Aquamarine Engagement Rings

The stone:

Aquamarine, just like morganite, is a gemstone variety of beryl. Its colour ranges from pale blue to green-blue, making it a unique yet timeless alternative to diamonds. Aquamarine is also renowned for its beautiful transparency and sparkle, and similarly to morganite, it’s a hard gemstone – making it both a beautiful and practical choice for your engagement ring.  

The symbolism: 

With its soft blue sea-like colour, aquamarine has long been associated with the sea. In fact, its name comes from the Latin words for “sea water.” Once thought to calm the waters and protect sailors on ocean voyages, this lore has translated today into symbolisms of harmony, connection, and hope – perfect as you and your loved one start your next chapter together.  

Aquamarine is also the birthstone for March, so it’s perfect for brides who want an extra personal touch with their engagement ring.Aquamarine engagement ring, gemstone engagement ring

Topaz Engagement Rings

Topaz comes in a variety of types and colours, but one of the most-loved is stunning blue topaz. Blue topaz shades vary from a bright Sky Blue to a deep and faceted London Blue, so you can find the perfect shade for your personal style. Blue topaz is believed to represent spiritual connections, making it the ideal symbol for committing your love to your soul mate.  

It’s also the birthstone for December, so a blue topaz engagement ring will be an especially meaningful and personal gesture for people born in this month.Topaz engagement ring, gemstone engagement ring

How do I style a gemstone engagement ring?

Coloured gemstone engagement rings are versatile to style with wedding and eternity bands.  

For a simple way to create a beautiful, matched look, pair your gemstone engagement ring with either a plain precious metal band, or a diamond-set band in the same metal colour. Diamonds are incredibly versatile and will look stunning paired with any coloured gemstone. If you’d like to add extra colour, you can also pair your gemstone ring with a gemstone wedding band. Experiment with adding a band featuring the same gem, or mix it up with a different colour. 

How do I care for a gemstone engagement ring?

It’s important to care for your gemstone engagement ring to keep it beautifully sparkling.  

Different gemstones vary in hardness and some will require extra care to ensure they don’t scratch against harder gems or materials. For instance, diamonds are by far the hardest stone; while you can pair a diamond wedding band with a gemstone engagement ring, ensure that the diamonds will not rub against the gemstone itself.  

Most gemstones that are suitable for engagement rings can be cleaned in a solution of warm water and mild detergent to remove any dirt or oils that can build up. We also recommend bringing your precious jewellery to Anania Family Jewellers to have it professionally and carefully cleaned. 

As you’re looking through different engagement ring options, Daniel says selecting a gemstone that speaks to you is what matters most. Seek out a centre stone that matches your personality and makes you feel excited every time you see it, he suggests. If great care is put into the gemstones you select, these, too, can be heirloom-worthy and will be admired for a lifetime.

Non-Traditional Engagement Rings

Browse our alternative engagement ring designs to find the ideal option for your unique style. Beautifully detailed wide bands are a distinctive choice for those who wish to forgo the traditional centre diamond. A rose cut diamond ring, a ring stack, or a ring featuring a cluster of diamonds instead of a single centre stone, give a nod to tradition while ensuring your ring stands out.

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