Best Colored Gemstones for Engagement Rings

Did you know that engagement rings were originally designed with colored gemstones before the popularity of diamonds? For years, celebrities have dazzled us with their elaborate engagement rings and many of them said a traditional diamond simply doesn't cut it. When they are looking for something unique and captivating, they turn towards the big three: emerald, ruby and sapphire.

Kennedy engagement ring


  • Princess Diana's 18-carat blue sapphire engagement ring
    • Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the this ring and it is considered the most famous family heirloom engagement ring. 
  • Jackie Kennedy's 2-carat emerald and 2-carat diamond engagement ring
  • Jessica Simpson's 5-carat ruby engagement ring
  • Halle Berry's 4-carat emerald engagement ring 

So if you are looking to create something unique or want to express yourself through color, then a non-traditional engagement ring may be what you are looking for. I have custom designed numerous engagement rings with a main colored gemstone, added accents of colored gemstones or set small little birthstones for each the husband and the wife on the side of the ring.

emerald pearl and diamond yellow gold engagement ring

Click here to view more photos of this ring

There are great benefits for deciding to custom design with a colored gemstone:

  • Usually lower cost
  • Larger stone size
  • Wide range of colors and shapes

In many situations a diamond may be more out of pocket, so you can use the savings to add diamond accents or hand select a larger gemstone. With a large rock on your finger, you are sure to feel like a celebrity!

There are a few downsides when selecting a gemstone for an engagement ring. Since wedding rings are worn almost daily, you do have to take some precautions when selecting and wearing a gemstone.

  • Not as hard as diamonds
  • Susceptible to chemicals
  • Harder to replace exact color of gemstone

blue sapphire and diamond custom wedding ring

Click here to view more photos of this ring

I share with my clients that as long as you take your ring off while doing dishes, cleaning, working out, or outdoor activities then a colored gemstone will be a perfect choice. (I also recommend taking your ring off for these activities even with diamonds!) So I have a few gemstones that I would recommend for any engagement ring based on their durability and strength.

  • Sapphires (available in a rainbow of colors)
  • Ruby
  • Topaz (variety of colors)
  • Aquamarine
  • Morganite
  • Spinel

These gemstones are great options as well, just a little softer on the gemstone hardness scale. As a reminder, don’t use normal jewelry cleaner to clean colored gemstones. Many cleaners are too harsh. Check out my favorite cleaner for all gemstones including opals and pearls.

  • Emerald
  • Tanzanite
  • Tourmaline
  • Amethyst
garnet diamond engagement ring


Of course! Depending on the color you are looking for, I will suggest the perfect gemstone as your main stone or add an accent of color. Feel free to contact me and I will provide a free estimate and design suggestions on creating the perfect engagement ring.

Don't forget to take a look at my custom design photo gallery to view a few of the many engagement rings I have created with colored gemstones.


star ruby sapphire