There are so many coloured gemstone ring alternatives now; Champagne Diamonds, Sapphires, Spinel, Aquamarine or Tourmaline. What colour is right for you?
How do I pick the right gemstone? Are lab grown gemstones as good as natural ones?
Finding the right gemstone for your ring is probably the most important starting point in creating your perfect ring. There are many deciding factors, not the least of which is the budget. While white diamonds hold an undeniable appeal, there are plenty of beautiful coloured gemstone alternatives that are more affordable and individualistic. Below are some options, and you can read more on our blog here and here.
Champagne and cognac diamonds are a great alternative to the white diamond, and are more budget friendly, as are lower colour grade white diamonds if you like softer, warm colours. Diamonds are the hardest known gemstone on Earth and coloured diamonds have the same hardness as their white counterpart, 10 on the Mohs scale.
Emerald Sapphire Diamond
Sapphires come in a rainbow of colours and can even combine two or three colours in one stone (so called parti sapphires). Australia produces some of the most beautiful blue-green, blue-yellow and green-yellow parti sapphires, and some moody dark blue and green gems. Ceylon and Sri Lanka produce more vivid colours, with pinks, yellows and vivid blues being the most popular, as well as some more unusual shades, like teal, light silvery blue and very light grey. With hardness of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, sapphires are a fantastic choice for rings worn every day.
Spinel is another wonderful alternative. Little known until recently, spinel is often found in the same deposits as corundum (rubies and sapphires) and comes in a variety of beautiful colours: blue, grey, pink, red, lilac, purple and black, with shades of orange and peach being quite rare. Despite being rarer than sapphire, spinel is more affordable. Like sapphire, spinel is a hardwearing stone, with a rating of 8 on the Mohs scale, which makes it a great choice of gem to be worn every day.
Bespoke Grey Spinel
Aquamarine and Morganite, both from the beryl gemstone family, are popular engagement ring choices, being 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. Their durability, lustre, clarity and brilliance make these gems a great choice. Morganite is a pretty, peach or pink coloured gemstone discovered in the early 20th century. Dubbed ‘the love stone’, morganite is said to have the metaphysical properties of attracting and maintaining love, making it a beautiful choice for a ring symbolising love and commitment. Aquamarine comes in a variety of cool shades from pale to more saturated blue and green, with the more saturated stones valued more than paler ones.
Venus Morganite Diamond
is another beautiful gemstone that comes in a dazzling array of colours but is softer, 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. It can still be used for engagement or wedding rings, provided it’s in a protective setting that ensures it won’t get chipped or scratched easily.
In recent years, there’s been a trend for using lab-grown (synthetic) diamonds, known as moissanite, and synthetic sapphires and rubies in engagement rings. While they may be pretty and very affordable, for me personally there’s always something much more special about natural gemstones that took millennia to form within the Earth. This choice comes down to personal preference.