Increasing use of colored gemstone engagement rings Gemme Couture
June 7th 2019 10:10 am | by Svetlana Pantelic | Posted in
Colored gemstone engagement rings are unique and, today, very desired engagement rings. It turns out that diamonds are not anymore girl’s best friend when wedding rings are in question.
Diamonds may have been a girl’s best friend once upon a time, but it seems they’ve lost their sparkle among millennials. Young couples are increasingly choosing colorful stones such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires for engagement jewelry, eschewing from a long-standing tradition (and marketing push) towards diamonds.
Millennials gravitate towards alternative engagement rings for a variety of ethical, financial, and even expressive reasons.
Among the engagement rings, this is not a totally new trend. Colored gemstone engagement rings have been throughout history because of their uniqueness.
1. From Napoleon Bonaparte to Joséphine de Beauharnais (1796)
More than 200 years ago, in 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte gave his future empress, Joséphine, a sapphire and diamond Toi et Moi (“You and Me”) ring for their engagement. The golden ring is in an 18th-century setting called “Toi et Moi,” “You and Me,” with opposing tear-shaped jewels — a blue sapphire and a diamond. The carat weight of the two gems is little less than a carat each.
Napoleon and Josephine’s Engagement Ring was sold for $949,000 in 2013.
2. From Prince Albert to Queen Victoria (1840)
Prince Albert’s and Queen Victoria shared a long-lasting, passionate love for each other. They were particularly generous, both with each other and with their friends, and made it a point to give lavish gifts during life’s big moments. One of the first of these was the engagement ring that Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria. It was not a well-known custom in England to give your betrothed an engagement ring, so this one-of-a-kind ring was especially show-stopping. The uniquely-designed serpent-shaped band, made out of pure gold, was supposed to symbolize eternal love, while the emerald embedded into the gold was Victoria’s birthstone.
3. From John F. Kennedy to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1953)
The Kennedys were considered by many to be America’s royal family, and with good reason: these all-American Bostonians were the perfect picture of class, intelligence and wealth. As such, it was only appropriate that the heir to their throne, John F. Kennedy, proposed to his future wife with a ring fit for a queen. The piece that featured in it is positively dazzling. Jacqueline Kennedy’s engagement ring, designed by the famed jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, has a 2.88-carat diamond, a 2.84-carat emerald, and several tapered baguette diamonds set into a yellow gold band. In 1963, the smaller diamonds were remounted and cut into Marquis- and brilliant-shaped stones.
4. From Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer (1981)
Lady Diana Spencer’s engagement to Prince Charles, the heir of the British throne, drew eyes from all over the world. Such a well-publicized event warranted a show-stopper of an engagement ring. The 19-year-old soon-to-be princess was given a selection of rings from the jeweler. Out of the half-dozen treasures she was presented; she chose this sapphire ring. The 12-carat Ceylon blue sapphire is set in 18-karat white gold and surrounded by 14 diamonds. Out of the half-dozen treasures she was presented; she chose this sapphire stunner.
The 12-carat Ceylon blue sapphire set in 18-karat white gold and is surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds. The piece is impressive without sacrificing elegance or simplicity, and its beauty has survived the test of time. After Princess Diana’s tragic death in a car accident in 1997, her belongings had been left to her sons, Princes William and Harry.
Prince William used Diana’s engagement ring to propose to his future wife, Kate Middleton, in 2010.
Prince William proposed to the future Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, with his mother’s 18-carat sapphire ring. The gem, initially worn by the late Princess Diana, features a halo of 14 diamonds and is set in 18-karat white gold. It is now considered one of the most famous heirloom engagement rings in history.
There are meanings and connotations behind each colored gem. Emeralds are believed to represent hope, and rubies passion, prosperity, and protection. Sapphire, in all its celestial hues, is a stone of wisdom and royalty, of prophecy and Divine favor. The popularity of rubies as the most notable, since it’s a rare gem. However, with the connotations around red being the color of love, they’re proving particularly popular as engagement rings.
Today colorful gemstone engagement rings are decorating the fingers of royals and other style makers, reviving a not-so-new trend for adding pops of color – and personality – to traditional colorless diamond engagement rings.
Traditional engagement ring styles haven’t lost their shine among young couples, though.
However, diamonds may no longer be the most expensive stones on the market: The growing popularity of colored gems means that they, too, are becoming pricier and beyond the reach of many consumers.
Diamonds are forever —though, rubies, emeralds, and opals can be now, too.
Brides are able to show off their individuality with beautiful blue, gorgeous green, and romantic red hues, with some getting even more personal by choosing their own birthstone as their engagement bling. It’s more personal than showing everyone how big your diamond is.
Some of the most well-known women in pop culture have donned gemstones including rubies, emeralds, and sapphires in place of conventional diamonds. Here is a countdown of some of the most famous gemstone engagement rings in Hollywood and beyond.
- Actor Javier Bardem gifted wife Penelope Cruz with a beautiful blue engagement ring. The 3-carat oval stone is a sapphire set in a flower-shaped, diamond halo. The vintage gem is estimated to cost more than $30,000.
2. Jessica Simpson’s birthstone is the ruby. That’s also what she wears on her ring finger, thanks to now-husband Eric Johnson. The former NFL star proposed with a 5-carat ruby ring, flanked by two dazzling diamonds.
3. Cricket player Shane Warne surprised actress Elizabeth Hurley with a jaw-dropping 9-carat sapphire engagement ring, which is a highly popular gem among British royalty. Hurley’s ring also features two 2-carat trillion-cut diamonds on either side of the sapphire for a breathtaking effect. The ring is reportedly worth an estimated $100,000. Hurley’s ring also features two 2-carat trillion-cut diamonds on either side of the sapphire for a breathtaking effect.
4. Academy Award winner Halle Berry sports one of the most standout engagement rings and one of the costliest. Her 4-carat emerald ring includes an unusual setting that is one of a kind. The hand-forged gold ring came from French jeweler Robert Mazio, and the square cut emerald has been adorned with two smaller diamonds on each side of the ring. The perfect, clear emerald ring contains Phoenician codes that supposedly represent the couple’s love story, making it even more priceless than the ring’s estimated value of $200,000.
5. Victoria Beckham is a lucky woman. Soccer star husband David Beckham has gifted his fashion designer wife with, not one, but 13 engagement rings throughout their 17 years of marriage. Three have featured gemstones, including emerald, sapphire, and ruby stunners.
One more Royal Colored Gemstone Engagement Ring
Princess Eugenie’s newest royal engagement ring earned a well-deserved spot among the aristocratic ones and is having no problem standing out from the rest. The unique light pink padparadscha sapphire center stone (surrounded by diamonds, of course) probably has something to do with that. It’s a gorgeous gemstone and very unique, due to its pinkish-orange color. Her ring showcases the gemstone in a mixed metal white and yellow gold setting, with a distinctive vintage halo that has pear and round diamonds.
What we love about Eugenie’s ring is that it’s a beautiful reflection of a general trend we’re seeing in the marketplace of brides who opt for rings that express their unique personality and individual tastes. In particular, her ring incorporates a number of stylistic elements that are becoming increasingly popular among brides today — she’s featuring a colored gemstone in lieu of a center diamond, a setting with a distinctive halo or mixed metal. She’s even incorporated the very on-trend millennial pink hue into her ring.”
Colored gemstone engagement rings also offer the possibility of certain phenomena, such as chatoyancy (the cats-eye effect) and asterism (a star), that are not seen in diamonds. These phenomena are being caused by the reflection of light off dense inclusions of minerals in gems cut as cabochons. Such phenomenal stones provide exciting design options for a colored gemstone engagement ring.
After you’ve purchased your colored gemstone engagement ring, you’ll want to keep it like new. The right way to clean it will vary depending on the gem material and whether the gem was treated. Usually, gentle cleaning solutions specially formulated for delicate gems – or just warm, soapy water and a soft cloth – are all you need. If you’re uncertain about the durability of your gem, avoid using ultrasonic cleaners and off-the-shelf cleaning solutions.
With so many different colored gemstones available, your challenge will be finding one that sets your heart aflame. Need more inspiration for colorful engagement rings? View our collections of designs featuring colored gemstone engagement rings and contact us if you have questions and need help.