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In Victorian times, members of the nobility and aristocracy gave diamond engagement rings to their betrothed, although most people still held to the tradition of plain gold bands for engagements. Even among the nobility, however, the popularity of diamond engagement rings decreased after World War I and the Great Depression.

In 1938, things changed when the De Beers created a marketing campaign to boost the popularity of engagement rings among the younger generation, who tended to think they were old fashioned. It worked, and their 1940s slogan “Diamonds are Forever” was so effective that many people to this day believe that diamonds are the only acceptable stones for engagement rings.

But coloured gemstones have made gains in recent decades, and it’s becoming more and more common to see brilliant colours in engagement rings. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of today’s popular gemstone colours and styles for engagement rings.


One of the most popular gemstones for engagement rings is the sapphire. In colour, it can be white, blue, yellow, pink, purple, black, green or parti coloured, but the most common shade is a brilliant blue. Often seen as a centre stone surrounded by a diamond halo, sapphires make show-stopping engagement rings.

A tough and durable gem, sapphire is second in hardness only to diamond. It’s also the birthstone for September, which plays into the decision-making process for some. Overall, sapphires are an excellent choice for an engagement ring.


Carat for carat, high-quality emeralds can be two to three times more expensive than diamonds. Part of the reason for their high cost is that flawless emeralds are exceptionally rare; it’s very common for them to have inclusions.

Visually rich and elegant, emeralds vary in colour from deep green to a lighter blue-green. They’re softer than sapphires and diamonds, so it’s important to set them in rings that will protect them from chipping and cracking. Emerald engagement rings make a sophisticated yet enchanting statement.

Blue Topaz

In its natural state, topaz usually ranges from yellow to brown. Natural blue topazes are rare, although they have been found in Brazil and Texas. Most of the blue topazes that we see in fine jewellery have been heat-treated and irradiated to produce the sparkling blues that are so popular for engagement rings.

You can find blue topazes in a stunning range of colours, from light aquamarine to deepest navy. It’s one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals, so it’s perfect for an engagement ring for an active person.


A deep red gem associated with love, rubies are perfect for engagement rings. In India, rubies are associated with royalty and deities, and in China, rubies were anciently laid beneath the foundations of important buildings to secure good fortune for the inhabitants.

Ruby colouring can range from pink to deep red, and rubies match sapphires in durability. They make brilliant centre stones for engagement rings as they contrast beautifully with diamonds. Even a small carat ruby provides a lovely pop of colour.


With its delicate pink colouring, morganite is appearing more frequently in engagement ring designs, especially when combined with rose gold. A type of beryl, Morganite was named after the financier J.P. Morgan.

When eyeglasses were first constructed in the 13th century, the lenses were made of beryl because current technology couldn’t create glass that was clear enough for the purpose. That crystal clear stone is now one of the fastest rising gemstones in the jewellery world, and we’re seeing it featured on more and more engagement rings.

Engagement Ring Styles

Certain ring styles are more popular than others when it comes to coloured gemstones. To highlight the stones’ beautiful colours, jewellers often set them between diamonds or in the centre of diamond halos.

Coloured gemstones also make lovely pavé-style rings. Whether the tiny stones are set around the band or simply on the face, these pops of colour certainly turn heads.

Always popular and classy, solitaires highlight the beauty of a gemstone. It’s important to consider the colour combination between the gemstone and the metal (yellow gold, white gold, platinum, titanium or silver), as some combinations are more harmonious than others.

Whatever you choose, protect your gemstone engagement ring with cover from Q Report. If anything happens to it, you’ll be able to return to your original jeweller for repair or replacement. Enjoy finding your perfect ring!


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Helpful resources

Diamond Setting Fact Sheet

The Complete Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring Shopping Checklist

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