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Gemstone Engagement Rings: Things You Need to Know

Torn between diamond vs gemstone engagement rings? We’re breaking down our favorite reasons to take the plunge and invest in a colorful precious gemstone ring for your bride or groom-to-be. 

Gemstone engagement rings

Picking an engagement ring is not a task done lightly. We understand the time and effort that goes into choosing and even creating the perfect ring for your partner. As far as engagement rings go, diamonds are usually the first choice given their sparkle, durability, and brilliance.

On the other hand, Gemstones make for equally stunning center stones on engagement rings of all styles and settings. 

Gemstone engagement rings aren’t a new trend. We’ve seen for centuries the most glamorous royals and celebrities styled in gemstone jewelry. Unlike diamonds, unique gemstone rings come in any color across the spectrum and add something special to the ring.

Gemstone engagement rings can add sentimental value to the ring and also allow you to show your partner how well you know them. Whether it’s gifting them with a center stone gem that is their favorite color or one that holds a certain meaning to them. And trust us, gemstones of all kinds are filled with beautiful symbolism and unique characteristics, just like your future fiancé. 

Take a walk with us as we explore the endless pros of getting a gemstone engagement ring.  

Popular Gemstone Engagement Ring Types 

The four most sought-after precious gemstones are diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. We’ll be taking a deep dive into the last three and explain why each of them have unique and worthwhile features that match the value of a diamond centerpiece. 

Blue Sapphire Engagement Rings

Not sure if you’re into sapphires yet? Let’s count the many ways these precious gemstones will take your engagement ring to the next level.

Sapphires don’t just come in popular blue tones but can occur in nature from pink to violet. In fact, you can find any fancy sapphire and pick your favorite color from the rainbow. Like fancy-shaped diamonds, you’ll also find that your gemstone center stone can be cut to your desired shape. 

These gems are also incredibly tough and durable. On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, sapphires score a 9 out of 10. That means that the only material strong enough to scratch them is a diamond. When you aren’t considering how stunning they are, it’s good to know that your gemstone engagement ring also has endless durability.

Yellow Sapphire Engagement Rings

Replacing a diamond center stone for a sapphire could increase the sentimental value of the engagement ring for you and your partner. 

For example, we mentioned gemstone symbolism before, and it so happens that sapphires hold the perfect meaning for the start of a lifelong promise. Truth, peace, prosperity, and faithfulness are just some of the many special feelings this gemstone represents, making it quite fitting as an engagement ring choice. 

Pink Sapphire Engagement Rings

Let’s put a spotlight on one of our favorite romantic gemstones. Sapphires are rare but the rarest of all are pink sapphires, commonly found in Sri Lanka. These gemstones range from a pinkish-orange color to bright pink and can add the perfect touch to your engagement ring.  

Finally, if all the other impressive facts haven’t convinced you, we’ll play our final card. Did you know that sapphires are mystical gemstones that have the ability to change color throughout the day? 

Yes, you heard right. Blue sapphires can take on a more purplish hue under incandescent light at night time, making them all the more alluring and unique, like your love. 

Emerald Engagement Rings

When we think of emerald engagement rings, several A-list celebrities come to mind, from Jackie Kennedy to Halle Berry and the style icon that is Victoria Beckham. 

Their rings are among the most famous gemstone engagement rings and there are plenty of reasons why emerald center stones are unforgettable statement pieces. 

To begin with, high-quality emeralds are rarer than diamonds and have a lower density, making them appear larger than a diamond with the same carat weight. 

While emeralds are a softer gemstone, they can still be cut and polished to your preferred shape. No matter what size and shape your emerald is, you can count on it to be vibrant and eye-catching.

Ruby Engagement Rings

Ruby engagement rings come in shades of red, starting from pinkish hues to blood-red colored gemstones. They’re just as strong as sapphires, registering as 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, making them a resilient choice for center stones. 

Rubies often come flawed, and those that are without imperfections are known as, “Burmese Rubies.” Even though there is no perfect ruby it’s hardly cause for concern, as they are the boldest and most breathtaking gemstones, in our humble opinion. 

These unique gemstones symbolize richness, success, and romance, the perfect representation for an engagement ring. They pair well on three stone ring settings and shine brighter when they have diamonds alongside them. 

Key Takeaways

Gemstone engagement rings are always there as an option and a colorful alternative to a diamond engagement ring. So, talk to your partner if choosing an engagement ring together is an option. 

At James Allen, we love the idea of customizing your glow, so take a peek into our ring studio or customer-inspired engagement ring designs and find out which gemstone engagement ring is the one for you. 

For any and all questions about the ring of your dreams, feel free to contact our non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts who are here for you 24/7. 

Want to know more about gemstone jewelry and engagement rings in general? Read our related articles below: 

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Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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Simple Engagement Rings And Their Matching Wedding Rings

Ah, the beauty of a simple, shining engagement ring! If you do it right, you don’t have to go over the top. After all, diamonds aren’t the only way to achieve incredible sparkle. Simple engagement rings come in a huge range of designs. You can be assured that less is more.

Simple engagement ring with his matching wedding ring

What makes an engagement ring “simple”? Most broadly, it means that it’s free of the more glitzy ring features: pavè, engraved designs, halos, and multiple accent stones. Simple engagement rings are all about clean lines and the restrained use of diamonds and gemstones. They’re often solitaire rings, meaning that the band is completely stone-free except for one striking center stone. But – this isn’t always the case. 

This is the fun part: there are SO MANY types of simple engagement rings!

The Benefits of Minimalist Engagement Rings:

1. Fewer Diamonds = Easier Upkeep. 

More diamonds means more sparkle, but it also means more maintenance: accent stones trap dirt and require regular cleaning, and the multiple prongs require tightening by a jeweler twice a year. The bottom line is: simple engagement rings are perfect for the no-fuss wearer.

2. All Eyes on Your Diamond!

Go all in on an eye-popping center stone. It will take center stage! There’s little to distract from your sparkling stone. Plus, with the money you save on accent stones, you can invest to the fullest in your dream diamond.

3. Gives You a Lot More Pairing Options For Your Wedding Ring

A simple engagement ring complements absolutely any style of a wedding ring. Your wedding set will look fabulous no matter which wedding ring to choose. Keep it simple? Glitz it up? Add gemstones? Play with diamond shapes? Yes yes yes yes. Flex your creativity!

4. Easier On the Wallet

Less overall glitz means that there’s less upfront cost. There’s no need to spend a large part of your ring budget on a diamond-studded band. This frees you up to invest the lion’s share of your money in an incredible center diamond or gemstone! Pro tip: go for a lab created diamond to get a 30% larger diamond while staying on budget!

We’ve put together a walk-through of our best and most creative simple engagement ring styles.

Solitaire Engagement Rings

Everyone loves the classics. And with good reason! There’s a reason why everyone in the car can’t help but belt it out when Johnny Cash comes on the radio. There’s a reason why, over the course of 60 years, “Pride and Prejudice” has inspired 5 different TV adaptations and 3 movies. And there’s a reason why everyone loves solitaire engagement rings!

It’s because they can’t be improved upon. They are exemplary to their core. 

Stick with the classics. Be happy. Sparkle hard.

Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
100% timeless. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Knife Edge Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring
The edged band adds a unique taper to this classic solitaire engagement ring.

Interesting Diamond Shapes

Your favorite non-standard diamond shape will always look incredible in a simple engagement ring. A simple band design will complement any stone shape. Pear, emerald-cut, oval, asscher, princess-cut…choose whichever shape you have your heart set on.

 

Two-Toned Princess-Cut Engagement Ring

14K Gold Two-Tone 1.8mm Comfort-Fit Modern Twisted Solitaire Engagement Ring
The clever combination of rose gold and white gold lends this classic ring a bit of intrigue.

Emerald-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold East West Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring
Two captivating elements set this ring apart: one of the more uncommon diamond shapes, a beautiful emerald-cut diamond, mounted in an uncommon position: horizontally! 

Three Stone Engagement Rings

Three stone engagement rings: the perfect way to keep it simple while still getting your diamond fix. The elegant combination of a large center stone and two smaller, identical side stones is undeniably minimalist. And yet, all those facets sparkle bright! This engagement ring style is proof that simple doesn’t need to mean sparse.

Three Stone Round Diamond Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Classic Round Shape Three Stone Engagement Ring

How does this three stone engagement ring avoid overwhelming the eye? By sticking with a simple round diamond cut. Symmetrical, straightforward, stunning.

Embedded Diamond Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Cross Prong Diamond Accent Solitaire Ring

This embedded diamond engagement ring, although it features three stones, is undeniably minimalist. Two petite diamonds sit flush in the gold band, giving the center diamond space to shine.

Gemstone Engagement Rings

These simple engagement rings are rich in gorgeous hues. For anyone who thinks “simple” is a synonym to “plain,” these gemstone engagement rings are proof that’s simply not so. These singular rings are packed with personality. 

Which gemstone should you feature in your engagement ring? If you’d like to honor special dates in your lives, you can choose according to birthstones. A few customer favorites that often play starring roles in engagement rings: Emerald, the May birthstone; ruby, the July birthstone; and sapphire, the September birthstone.

Sapphire Side Stone Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Three Stone Pear Shaped Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring

Diamonds or gemstones? With this gemstone side-stone engagement ring, it can be both. Flank your big, brilliant diamond, with two deep blue sapphires.

Emerald Split Prong Engagement Ring

Make your favorite gemstone the star of the show. This gemstone engagement ring features a beautiful verdant emerald on a simple, slightly curved band.

Bezel-Set Engagement Rings

A bezel-set engagement ring is a sweet and simple way to mount your stone. Plus, it’s a super secure setting. If you lead an active lifestyle, or if you work with your hands often, then a bezel setting will be your new best friend. Of all the ring settings, it protects your center stone best AND it will never snag on fabric. 

Bezel-Set Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Bezel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

All bezel, all the time. This simple engagement ring is the best sidekick and will accompany you throughout all your adventures.

Pavè Bezel-Set Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Pave Crown Bezel Engagement Ring

Say hello to the bezel setting with a touch of flair! The subtle pavè on this ring is visible only from the side, so it still qualifies as “simple.” Simply brilliant.

Split Band Engagement Rings

A split band, or split shank, gives a slight flair to an otherwise classic solitaire band. 

Delicate Split Shank Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

This almost-classic engagement ring shows off a subtle fork as the band meets the basket. So elegant!

Clawed Split Shank Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Split Shank Double Claw Solitaire Engagement Ring

Now, this engagement ring goes for a deeper split shank. The delicate tapering of the split shanks makes the center diamond appear larger!

Swirling Band Engagement Rings

Get. It. Twisted. The bands on these rings aren’t packed with diamonds, but they are packed with plenty of personalities! Jewelry metal stands on its own in a variety of gorgeous designs.

Bypass Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Bypass Engagement Ring

A modern, asymmetrical engagement ring that is striking in its minimalism.

Rope Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

A thin dual band, elegantly twisted together to achieve a natural “woven” look. 

Wedding Rings To Pair With Simple Engagement Rings

Simple Wedding Rings

Keep it simple! A simple engagement ring loves a simple wedding band. It’s a no-fuss, elegant combination that’s affordable to boot! Any of these simple wedding rings will pair perfectly with any simple engagement ring.

Slightly Domed Wedding Ring

14K Yellow Gold 3mm Slightly Domed Comfort Fit Wedding Ring

The timeless choice. Enough said.

Two-Toned Wedding Ring

14K Gold Two-Tone 1.8mm Comfort-Fit Wedding Band

This white gold and rose gold band pairs beautifully with white gold or rose gold engagement rings.

Half-Pavè Wedding Ring

14K White Gold U Pave Rounded Wedding Ring

This low-key, delicate pavè band adds a bit of sparkle, but not too much. 

Diamond Eternity Wedding Ring

14K Yellow Gold Ladies 0.50ctw* Angled Common Prong Diamond Eternity Ring

A gently sparkling eternity band studded with petite diamonds that won’t overpower your simple engagement ring.

Glitzy Wedding Rings

On the other hand, simple engagement rings are the perfect pairing for diamond wedding rings. The heavy sparkle of these blingy wedding rings isn’t overpowered by their accompanying engagement rings. Go for it! 

Double Row Pavè Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Double Row Pave Ring

Many, many tiny accent diamonds mean hundreds of facets that catch the light.

Seven-Stone Wedding Ring

14K Rose Gold Prong Set Matching Wedding Ring

Go big or go home! Seven beautiful round diamonds give 1 carat’s worth of glitter to this wedding ring.

Diamond Cluster Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Marquise And Round Array Diamond Ring

A cluster of marquise and round diamonds give this wedding ring a glittery vintage vibe.

Petite Waves Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Petite Infinity Diamond Ring

Go with the flow with this thin, diamond-encrusted infinity ring.

Even More Minimalist Engagement Rings! 

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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affordable engagement rings

Affordable Engagement Rings: Our Top Picks

These affordable engagement rings are equally as beautiful as they are budget-friendly!

Affordable engagement rings: pear-cut diamond halo engagement ring

Everybody deserves their dream engagement ring. However, in some cases, high-quality glitter comes with an equally high price tag. If you’re looking for an affordable yet beautiful engagement ring, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of our top-selling affordable engagement rings that will have your SO beaming as bright as the rings themselves.

1. Solitaire Engagement Rings

When it comes to affordable engagement rings, a solitaire ring is always a good place to start. Consisting of a single stone and a simple setting, this timeless ring allows your diamond to take center stage. Keep it simple but shiny with these classics.

White Gold Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

2. Elongated Stones

Although classic shapes are the most popular, you’ll find a golden opportunity with elongated fancy shapes. These stones are not only cheaper, but their shapes create the appearance of a larger surface area. Consider these stunning pear, oval and marquise diamond rings and get more bang for your buck.

Pavé Halo & Shank Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Yellow Gold Navette Leaf Halo Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Navette Leaf Halo Engagement Ring

Rose Gold Beaded Marquise Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Beaded Marquise Shape Engagement Ring

3. Pavé The Way

Pavé rings consist of small diamonds encrusted on the band, making the band itself look like it’s made of diamond. This elaborate display of diamonds gives the ring a boost of extra sparkle at an affordable price, without needing to invest more in increasing the center stone’s carat size.

Yellow Gold Petite Pavé Cathedral Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Petite Pave Cathedral Engagement Ring

Rose Gold Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Pave Rope Engagement Ring

4. Well, Halo There

If you’re on a budget and want an affordable yet supersized sparkle, look no further than a halo! We recommend a cushion-cut stone paired with a pavé halo band. Alternatively, choose a clean trellis setting and let the halo do the sparkling.

White Gold Pavé Halo Engagement Ring (Cushion Center)

14K White Gold Pave Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Yellow Gold Trellis Halo Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Trellis Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

5. Colored Gemstones

Gemstones have become an increasingly popular option when shopping for affordable engagement rings. If you’d like to venture away from a traditional all-diamond engagement ring, a gorgeous side-stone ring with marquise-shaped sapphires or a ruby 3 stone ring will do the trick.

White Gold Vintage Diamond & Marquise Sapphire Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Vintage Round Diamond And Marquise Sapphire Engagement Ring

Yellow Gold Ruby Three Stone Engagement Ring

1.89 Carat Round Natural Ruby Three Stone Diamond Engagement Ring With Scroll Undergallery

Found your dream affordable ring? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

  1. Classic Minimalist Jewelry
  2. How Much To Spend On An Engagement Ring
  3. 11 Gorgeous & Affordable Engagement Rings
  4. How To Budget For An Affordable Engagement Ring

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jarred Maram

Jarred is a writer by day and unofficial office ping pong champion

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Celebrity Engagement Rings: Our New Favorites

A whole heap of our favorite celebs has shown up lately sporting some sick new sparkle. Brace yourself, you’re about to get obsessed with these celebrity engagement rings!

Celebrity engagement rings: Jourdan Dunn, Emma Stone, and Lindsey Vonn

What? Did someone say celebrity engagements? Mmmmmm, yes we did. Because if there’s one thing we love about our famous counterparts, it’s that they’ve got enviable style.

We’re so starry-eyed over their fashion sense that we’ve put together a lineup of celebrity engagement ring lookalikes. Read on to slice off a piece of their celeb shine!

Emma Stone + Dave McCary

Emma Stone and Dave McCary got engaged this past December with one of the most unique engagement rings we’ve seen in years: a pearl and diamond beauty! The two had been dating for nearly two years. Dave McCary, a writer for SNL, popped the question and the Oscar-nominated actress said yes, announcing their engagement in an adorable Instagram post. 

These two were made for each other, just like this gorgeous pearl ring was made for you!

Emma Stone’s
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Emma Stone and Dave McCary showing off her pearl engagement ring.

Pearl & Morganite
Engagement Ring

Pearl and morganite engagement ring in yellow gold.

Adam DeVine + Chloe Bridges

Our favorite melodic “Pitch Perfect” star proposed to his now-fiancée, Chloe Bridges, with an emerald-cut diamond in an elegant solitaire setting. Adam announced their engagement in a sweet Instagram post: “You are my best friend and I’m thrilled you want to get old and wrinkly with me!” Can we all agree that they’re the sweetest?! 

Get your version of Chloe Bridges’ beautiful solitaire with this stunning ring that’ll make you positively hum with lustre.

Chloe Bridges’
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Adam DeVine and Chloe Bridges smooching as Chloe shows off her engagement ring.

Comfort Fit Solitaire
Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 2mm Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

Lindsey Vonn + Pk Subban

Super athletes skier Lindsey Vonn and football player PK Subban are such a perfect couple that they got engaged TWICE! This past summer, PK proposed to Lindsey. Two months later, Lindsey proposed to PK! She posted on Instagram: “We talk about equality but actions speak louder than words. Men should get engagement rings too and this is what PK deserves.” Their couple dynamic is serious #goals. 

Plus, we are not disappointed to get DOUBLE the celebrity engagement rings! 

Lindsey Vonn’s
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Lindsey Vonn and PK Subban on the red carpet. Lindsey's emerald engagement ring in the foreground.

Emerald Three-Stone
Engagement Ring

Emerald Three-Stone Engagement Ring

PK Subban’s
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Lindsey Vonn and PK Subban wearing pajamas in front of their Christmas Tree as PK displays his gold engagement ring.

Flat Comfort Fit
Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 8mm Flat Comfort Fit Wedding Ring

Freida Pinto + Cory Tran

“Slumdog Millionaire” actress Freida Pinto and photographer Cory Tran announced their engagement with some of the most beautifully-shot engagement photos – EVER. But those pics can’t compare to the stunning engagement ring that took center stage to these two beautiful people.

One reason we love celebrity engagements? We get seriously inspired. So inspire yourself with this vintage engagement ring!

Freida Pinto’s
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Frienda Pinto displaying her vintage engagement ring as she embraces fiancé Cory Tran.

Vintage Halo
Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Regal Frame Diamond Engagement Ring

Alex Honnold + Sanni McCandless

Legendary rock climber and famed subject of the Oscar-winning film “Free Solo” Alex Honnold pulled off the cutest Christmas proposal to his girlfriend Sanni McCandless. According to Sanni, it was characteristically chill: “He said, do you wanna keep doing what we’re doing? And I said, yes 🙂

Her engagement ring is similarly sweet and simple! Grab your own celeb ring lookalike: a yellow gold setting with subtle diamond accents.

Sanni McCandless’
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Sanni McCandless wearing her engagement ring as she kisses Alex Honnold on the cheek.

Diamond Accent
Engagement Ring

Jourdan Dunn + Dion Hamilton

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn said yes to rapper beau Dion Hamilton and YES to a stunning diamond halo and pavé engagement ring. Her oval diamond is impressive (to say the least), clocking in at nearly 2.5 carats and surrounded by a halo of lovely accent diamonds.

Talk about celebrity inspo – ready to design your own dream version of Jordan’s incredible ring?

Jourdan Dunn’s
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Jourdan Dunn wearing her diamond halo engagement ring.

Pavé Halo
Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Martha Hunt + Jason McDonald

Oh, Martha – how DO you do it? The Victoria’s Secret model and photographer Jason McDonald sealed the deal with one of our favorite celebrity engagement rings. Her sparkler stars a nearly 3.5 carat cushion-cut diamond accented with tapered baguette diamonds. “I have a secret…” she captioned an Instagram post of her shushing the camera with her bedazzled left hand.

Your own tapered baguette ring is just waiting for you to say yes!

Martha Hunt’s
Engagement Ring

Celebrity engagement rings: Martha Hunt showing off her engagement ring by "shushing" the camera.

Baguette Diamond
Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Seeking out more celebrity engagement rings? This is for you!

Obsessing over one (or more) of the celebrity engagement rings in this post? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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