Gemstone vs Diamond Engagement Ring

3 min read

Gemstone vs Diamond Engagement Ring

Choosing the right engagement ring can be one of the most stressful moments in anyone’s life.
You want the ring you choose to be absolutely perfect; the ultimate representation of how you feel about your future fiancé, and something that they will love wearing for years to come.
The most traditional ring is, of course, a diamond, but modern couples are also embracing coloured gemstones.

If your future fiancé is the type that stands out from the crowd and loves something unique, you may want to choose a gemstone. Sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and even coloured diamonds can all make beautiful engagement rings that are sure to dazzle.

"Coloured gemstones are becoming more and more popular with modern couples who want to step away from the traditional and try something more contemporary."

Coloured gemstones can be mounted with diamonds to create the bridal look without losing the excitement of the colour. A frame of diamonds on either side of the central gemstone is all it takes for a beautiful focal point.

Solar Eclipse Ethical Light Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring

Ring featured above is the Solar Eclipse Ethical Light Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring in 18ct Fairtrade White Gold. Click to view full details.


Gemstones are not as hard as diamonds on the Mohs scale. This scale is a 1-10 numerical scale that represents which gemstones are the toughest. Diamonds are at the top of the list, number 10. In relation, rubies and sapphires, which both come in a variety of colors, are a 9. Emeralds are between a 7 and a 7.5. Gemstones like spinel, alexandrite, and topaz are around an 8. 


In addition to being the hardest stone, there’s no denying that a diamond is the most classic choice for an engagement ring.  A clear stone will match anything, making it the perfect accessory for wearing every day for the rest of her life.

In the late 1930s, diamond miners were failing due to the hard economy. In order to save their place in the industry, the De Beers Mining Corporation launched an ad campaign that was one of the most successful campaigns in the world. It was this campaign that gave us the slogan “A diamond is forever”, and we haven’t looked back since. 

If you want to convey the message that your love is timeless, a diamond could be the best choice.


The final consideration when choosing between a gemstone and a diamond is what type of metal your ring will be made of. Diamonds, being clear, work for any type of metal. Yellow, rose, or white gold, silver, platinum, titanium, or any other metal will all look great with a clear diamond.

Hera Pink Sapphire Fairtrade Rose Gold Engagement Ring

The Hera Engagement Ring above features a Pink Sapphire which matches beautifully with a 18ct Fairtrade Rose Gold band. Click to view the Hera collection.

On the other hand, coloured gemstones require a little more thought. In general, it’s best to err on the side of a silver-coloured metal when choosing a coloured gemstone. Some gemstones, like emeralds, look great with anything; yellow and rose gold goes well with rubies; others, like sapphires, need the blank canvas of white gold or silver to stand out and look their best.

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Love, Arabel 

Arabel Lebrusan
Arabel Lebrusan

Arabel Lebrusan is an artist, designer and pioneer of the ethical jewellery movement, with almost two decades of industry experience behind her. She is a fount of knowledge when it comes to responsible sourcing, sustainable manufacture, and the preservation of traditional craft. Her engaging blog posts range from personal accounts of once-in-a-lifetime sourcing trips to helpful tips for buying and wearing jewellery and opinion pieces on pressing industry matters.