Traditionally, engagement rings have been designed with diamonds, but other gemstones have begun to gain popularity. Nowadays people may want to wear a little color, and are choosing gems like emeralds, rubies, or sapphires for their rings. Sapphires in particular have surged in popularity, with their stunning hues and durable nature, they’re a great alternative. Plenty of influential women including Kate Middleton, Elizabeth Taylor, Victoria Beckham, Penelope Cruz, Elizabeth Hurley, and more sport sapphire rings.
How Popular are Sapphire Engagement Rings?
Sapphires were first used in jewelry by ancient civilizations such as Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and gained international popularity in the 1700s when they were featured prominently in European royal jewels. Arguably popularized in modern times by Princess Diana in 1981, and now Kate Middleton (who wears the late Princess Diana’s ring), sapphire engagement rings have become more sought after and are a regal choice. Though definitely not as popular as the traditional diamond engagement ring, sapphires have definitely made their mark in bridal jewelry throughout history and today.
Although the word sapphire comes from the Greek word sappheiros, meaning “blue color”, these stones actually come in a wide array of colors. Sapphires are made up of the element corundum, but trace amounts of other elements give them especially vivid colors. Blue sapphires, the most rare, valuable and popular choice, contain iron and titanium. White sapphires are colorless and almost indistinguishable from diamonds to the naked eye. Although less popular, sapphires can also be found in pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, and black (red corundum is called ruby).
Like diamonds, sapphires come in many different shapes, such as round, cushion cut, and princess. Although sapphires can look beautiful cut in any way, the oval cut tends to show off a sapphire’s vibrant color best. Oval cuts allow the most light to travel through the gemstone, enhancing its color and ensuring the stone doesn’t appear flat. The most popular cuts for sapphires are oval, round, cushion and emerald. Sapphire rings can also be designed with any type of setting, two of the most popular being halo and three stone settings.
Why Choose a Sapphire Engagement Ring?
Sapphires are durable, one of the hardest gemstones, second only to diamonds, making them logical for everyday wear. Sapphires also don’t have cleavage, meaning they don’t easily break when struck. In many cases, sapphires are more affordable than diamonds of similar carat weight and quality, making them an attractive option for couples looking for a beautiful stone without a high price tag. Some couples are also drawn to sapphire due to ethical concerns surrounding the diamond industry, and may choose sapphires or other colored gems as more socially and environmentally responsible alternatives.
Unlike diamonds, which are known for their fire and brilliance, sapphires are known for their variety of colors, from rich indigo to ocean spray, white (colorless), orange, champagne, and even green. This variety allows couples to choose a sapphire in a color that resonates with their personal style and preferences, making each ring unique. Keep in mind diamonds sparkle even when they’re dirty, but a white sapphire may not. If color is what piques your interest, sapphire might be the right choice, but if clear is your desire, a diamond is likely the way to go.
No two sapphires are exactly alike, so a sapphire ring is guaranteed to be unique. We love helping couples craft their dream ring, and we understand that the process can be daunting. Whether you’re set on a sapphire or just exploring your options, we can help. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment.