You’re convinced she’s the one for you. Now you’re thinking of the perfect ring to propose and symbolize your love for her. What are the best engagement ring stones to choose?
There are two broad options: colorless stones and dazzling colored stones. We’ll explore these categories, plus stones you should stay away from for that engagement ring.
What are the best colorless engagement ring stones?
Colorless engagement ring stones are a popular choice for many brides. Their white sparkle is attractive and timeless. We’ll be sharing 3 options in this post:
“Diamonds have an image of purity and light. They are given as a pledge of love and worn as a symbol of commitment,” said Peter Singer, the Australian philosopher.
Diamonds have long been a popular choice for engagement ring stones. The reason is not far-fetched. Diamonds are the hardest known substance on earth. They are so hard that a diamond can only be scratched by another diamond, boasting an impressive 10 out of 10 on the Moh’s hardness scale.
Diamonds adorn an engagement ring with brilliance and are coveted for their rarity, value, and beauty. You can beautify your engagement ring with conflict-free natural diamonds or lab-grown diamonds, which are just as dazzling and genuine.
Related: 14 diamond shapes to know before you choose
Next up is moissanite. If you’re looking for a beautiful but more affordable, colorless engagement stone, moissanite is the way to go. They rank 9 to 9.5 out of 10 on Moh’s hardness scale, so they are tough, only second to diamonds, and cost about one-tenth of the price of a diamond.
Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.65 – 2.69, so they shine brighter than diamonds! In addition, due to their pattern, they exhibit a fiery, dancing flash under sunlight. So, if your beloved loves some extra shine and glam, a moissanite stone may be for her.
💡 Did You Know? Moissanites may have a slight yellow, green, or gray tint under certain lights. They also sparkle like a rainbow under sunlight. Some people love this “fire,” but if you don’t, you can minimize these effects by opting for smaller moissanite stones.
Further down the scale is cubic zirconia (CZ). It ranks 8 out of 10 on Moh’s scale, so it is not as hard as moissanite. It has a striking resemblance to a diamond but costs only a fraction of the price.
A 2-karat cubic zirconia stone with a sterling silver setting can cost as low as $18. If you are on a tight budget but are looking for a sparkling engagement ring stone, cubic zirconia may be your best bet.
💡 See our top cubic zirconia engagement rings.
CZ could also be a great option if you’re unsure of your partner’s preference. You could use CZ temporarily and then later choose a ring together.
Swarovski Zirconia is a highly improved brand of cubic zirconia. Developed by the Swarovski brand, their vision was to create “a diamond for everyone.” Swarovski zirconia consists of a material known as zirconia rough, cut to closely resemble a diamond in standards and brilliance. It is more durable and expensive than cubic zirconia.
Buy from Swarovski or its confirmed dealers to ensure you’re getting an authentic Swarovski zirconia. Also, look out for the laser-engraved Swarovski signature on the product.
5 Dazzling Colored Engagement Stones
If you’re looking to add some color to your engagement stone, you’ll find these suggestions helpful.
Sapphires are gorgeous, strong, and unique. In fact, no two sapphires are the same. The color blue symbolizes loyalty. If your loved one loves blue, blue sapphire is a great pick.
Sapphires rank 9 out of 10 on the Moh’s hardness scale. So, like diamonds, they can stand up to daily wear and are scratch-resistant, which is an essential consideration for an engagement stone. Sapphires are also significantly more affordable than diamonds.
💡 Fun Fact: Sapphires are popularly known to be blue, but they can be pink, purple, yellow, orange, green, violet, and even colorless. Sapphires that come in other colors are known as fancy sapphires.
Rubies are sisters to sapphires. They come from the corundum family and share the same hardness as sapphires. Rubies can range in color from pinkish-red to blood-red.
Since red symbolizes love and passion, rubies make a romantic engagement ring stone. The durability, color, and value of rubies make them one of the best engagement ring stones.
Citrine is a brilliant yellow gemstone. It is durable, delightful, and inexpensive, making it highly demanded. Citrine is a variant of quartz and is available in hues from pale yellow to deep orange.
Yellow symbolizes sunshine, warmth, and happiness. If your beloved is a fan of yellow, then a citrine engagement ring stone may warm her heart.
Spinel is a lovely, often transparent stone that occurs in violet, lavender, red, brown, and other colors. It has a hardness of 8 on Moh’s scale, so it can survive daily wear.
The color purple is often associated with royalty and wealth, while the color lavender is associated with tranquility and femininity. Why not flatter your queen with a purple or lavender spinel engagement ring?
Morganite is a sparkling, pink-colored gemstone. It comes in various colors ranging from pink, peach, salmon, orangy-pink, and purplish-pink.
Besides its dazzling beauty and affordability, it has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on Moh’s scale, making it considerably durable. Pink has long symbolized femininity, love, and friendship. A morganite engagement ring stone is perfect for expressing eternal love and friendship.
💡 Take Note: Morganite is not as hard as diamonds or sapphires, so treat with care, keep away from heat and clean it frequently.
Engagement Ring Stones to Avoid
We have considered some of the best colorless and colored engagement ring stones you can choose. Which should you avoid? Let’s look at a few and learn why we wouldn’t recommend them.
Pearls are exceptional for their organic origin and classic look. We love these timeless gems, and genuine pearls are often worth a pretty penny. But we would discourage using them as your engagement stone.
Pearls scratch easily and react to chemicals contained in several household cleaning agents and cosmetics. As a result, they may be too delicate if your fiancee-to-be plans to wear their engagement ring every day.
Opals are envied for their rainbowlike shimmer, playfulness, and fire. No doubt – they have a commanding presence. Unfortunately, with a rating of 5 to 6.5 on the Moh’s scale, they are fragile and chip easily.
Another drawback is that opals are pretty expensive, competing in price with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Unless you’re willing to fork out a large sum for such a delicate ring, you may want to pass on this gem.
Tanzanite is a blue and violet stone that originates from Tanzania. It comes from the mineral zoisite. It is remarkable for its ability to reflect 3 colors under different light conditions and axes, namely blue, violet and burgundy.
Regrettably, tanzanite has a cleavage. This property means that it can break when struck and won’t stand up to the everyday knocks in the life of an engagement ring.
How to Choose the Best Engagement Ring Stones
We’ve just considered some engagement ring stones you should stay away from. How then can you choose from the best engagement ring stones? Here are five criteria to keep in mind.
Your loved one’s taste will play a large role in determining the choice of an engagement ring stone.
If she’s drawn to colorless engagement ring stones, look in the way of diamond, moissanite, or cubic zirconia. But if she prefers to add a splash of color to her everyday engagement ring, you may explore the colored stones we’ve just highlighted.
Another compelling factor is how much you are willing to spend on an engagement ring. If your budget is robust, consider diamonds, sapphires, or rubies. These are the most durable engagement stones guaranteed to last a lifetime – even beyond.
But if you’d rather spend less on an engagement ring, citrine, morganite, and cubic zirconia will make beautiful, yet affordable options.
Sadly, the mining of some precious stones has a negative impact on the environment, and their production may violate human rights, including the use of child labor. As such, more and more buyers are sourcing ethical options.
If you want to buy conflict-free and ethical gemstones, opt for Kimberly-Process certified natural diamonds. This ensures that your money is not used to finance wars against governments around the world.
You could also buy lab-grown diamonds and moissanite, Sri-Lankan sapphires, and Brazilian citrines. Shop on sites like Blue Nile and Brilliant Earth since they guarantee sustainable, conflict-free gems.
Another factor to consider is the engagement ring metal.
There are several varieties, from white or yellow gold to platinum, silver, or sterling silver. Silver and white gold metals stand out with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, purple and lavender spinels, while tourmaline and citrine complement the richness of yellow gold.
Cut and Shape
Stones are cut in several ways by lapidaries to maximize the beauty, minimize imperfections, accentuate the color and retain size. They can be cut into round, oval, princess, marquise, cushion shapes, and more.
When choosing an engagement ring stone, consider the best shape to flatter your loved one’s hands and personality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Deciding on the best engagement ring stone can be emotional. With a plethora of options available, it can also be confusing. We understand. We have answers to some questions you may ask.
Which is the most popular gemstone for engagement rings?
Diamond. According to The Knot’s survey, 85% of wedding rings feature a clear diamond.
Why get gemstones for engagement rings?
There are no rules stating that gemstones must be used in an engagement ring. However, gemstones embedded in rings have long been used as engagement rings.
They complement the contrasting wedding band, usually a simple silver or gold-colored band, and add extra glitz to the ring.
What’s more expensive than a diamond?
Emeralds can be more expensive than diamonds of the same quality. This is because they are rarer than diamonds. For example, the Rockefeller Emerald, the most expensive emerald ever sold, went for $5.51 million in 2017.
What is the best alternative to diamond?
Moissanite. It sparkles more than a diamond, is more affordable, and is very durable.
What size karat should you buy for engagement rings?
If you’re going for gold, remember that the higher the karat, the more scratch-prone your ring will be. Therefore, we recommend 14k to 18k gold which is suitable for everyday wear.
What size carat should you buy for an engagement ring stone?
A popular option is 1 carat, but some go for 1.5 carats. However, the size of your wallet will weigh heavily in your decision. Go for what you can afford. You don’t want to start your new home in debt that strains you and your spouse.
Is it okay to buy a colored gemstone for an engagement ring?
Absolutely! Colored gemstones are spirited, radiant, and rich in symbolism. They make a lively alternative to diamonds and other colorless stones. You can find them in many colors, from green gemstones to pink gemstones, even black!
How can I know which engagement ring stone my fiancée will like?
Your beloved’s favorite color, personality, and style are some things to consider when choosing an engagement ring for her.
You may also want to discreetly consult with her mom, friend, or sister to know what she’ll love.
Alternatively, you can propose with a cheaper metal and stone like cubic zirconia set on sterling silver. Then, when she says yes, you can shop for an engagement ring she prefers together.
Make Her Dream Come True
We’ve put together several gemstones and factors to consider to help you make this significant decision. We hope you find an engagement ring stone that stands the test of time, fits your budget and makes your special one gape with joy.
💎 You should know: We use affiliate links throughout our site. This means we may earn a cent or two when you make a purchase on our site. Thanks for adding to our shine.