Sapphire Engagement Rings vs Diamond Engagement Rings
Engagement rings are a big, life-long decision, and with all of the different options offered, picking just one ring can be overwhelming. Traditionally, engagement rings have been diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, but as of late, other gemstones have begun to gain popularity within the engagement ring community. People nowadays may sport a little color on their left hand, given by an emerald, ruby, or sapphire. Sapphires, especially, have surged in popularity as Princess Kate Middleton wears an 18-carat royal blue sapphire previously belonging to Princess Diana.
Between yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum, the choices already seem endless, but with the addition of the choice between sapphire or diamond, the options grow exponentially. While there are plenty of different engagement ring options, there is no “right” or “wrong” ring. Each engagement ring style depends solely on the preferences of the couple purchasing it. Sapphire and diamond differences are few, but significant. Picking between these two stones can change the engagement ring immensely.
Although not as popular as diamonds, the sapphire has become a more typical stone for an engagement ring. Rightfully so, as sapphires can add that “something blue” to any wedding. Additionally, the legends of sapphires make them increasingly more desirable. In ancient times, sapphires were said to have medicinal and protective powers, while in medieval times, they were said to be symbolic of honesty and wisdom. During these times, a sapphire was a typical gemstone for royalty given its royal blue color and its lucky powers. Today, however, a sapphire engagement ring is loved for its rich color and durability.
Sapphire Engagement Rings Pros & Cons
Sapphire pros include its durability and hardness, earning a 9 on the Mohs scale. However, diamond pros also include hardness, ranking at a 10, the highest for any natural stone found on Earth. The high level of hardness make both sapphire and diamond engagement rings a logical choice for everyday use. The durability debate does not end here though because sapphires can more easily be scratched, a rarity for diamonds. Sapphire cons include the necessity to take the stone in for extra care such as re-polishing and re-cutting. Although it is more damage prone than a diamond, the high sapphire durability make it a more popular choice than other gemstones, such as emeralds or rubies.
Diamonds refract more light than sapphires do, appearing more brilliant, adding to their value. While a diamond is valued for its brilliance, sapphire value is determined by its color. Sapphires are made up of the element corundum, but trace amounts of other elements give them especially vivid colors. Blue sapphires, the most popular choice, contain iron and titanium, while white sapphires are made up of pure corundum, making the stone colorless. The blue sapphire remains the most valuable because it is also the rarest type of sapphire. It’s most important quality is the richness of the color; a perfect sapphire will be a deep blue without any other modifying colors. Although less popular, sapphires can also be found in pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, and black. Uniquely, one of the pros of buying a sapphire is that there is a stone for every skin tone. Lighter skin will be complemented by a sapphire containing pastel undertones, darker skin will be complemented by cobalt undertones, and olive skin will be complemented by a royal blue sapphire.
Diamonds sparkle even when they are dirty, but a white sapphire may not. Therefore, if the color is what piques your interest, a sapphire is the right choice, but if clear is your desire, diamond is the way to go. No two sapphires are exactly alike. A sapphire engagement ring is guaranteed to be unique, making sapphires more intimate than diamonds. Because of their uniqueness, durability, and intense color, sapphires are quickly becoming more popular in engagement rings, triggering a quick rise in value. Regardless, sapphires remain to be less valuable than diamonds, allowing for engagement rings to have a bigger sapphire at a lower cost. For example, the standard size for a sapphire is about 6 mm which equates to a .75 carat diamond in cost.
Sapphire Engagement Ring Styles
Popular diamond engagement ring styles include the Solitaire and the Halo, but as the ring grows more complex, the value skyrockets. However, the cut of a sapphire is not as important as the cut of a diamond because overall, it is harder to see inclusions of a sapphire with the naked eye. Popularly, sapphire rings can have round, oval, and cushion shapes. The oval cut sapphire gives the engagement ring a more vintage and nostalgic look, while the round is more timeless. Often, sapphire engagement rings have diamond accents or engraving details. One of the most popular choices for a colorful ring is the three stone sapphire engagement ring. This particular ring offers a center sapphire flanked by two smaller diamonds. Another popular choice is a sapphire halo diamond ring which features diamonds encircling the entire sapphire gem.
Sapphires and diamonds balance out in their pros and cons, but ultimately, diamonds are more traditional. However, sapphires are always an option for couples wanting to take have an engagement ring that truly stands out.
White gold bands are a popular choice for engagement rings with both diamonds and sapphires. Some people prefer the simple white gold band, while others choose designs that incorporate accent diamonds or sapphires over part, or all, of the band. Platinum is also another common choice, because it’s another white metal, and it’s durable and strong.
Some gemstone cuts for diamond and sapphire engagement rings include round, oval, princess and cushion cut stones. People even often pair round with oval gems, or cushion with emerald cut diamonds and sapphires. Both of these stones work well for center stones, and provide a timeless complement to one another when paired with accent stones. They also work well in tri-stone styles.
A popular style for engagement rings with sapphires is vintage. Sapphires make excellent antique looking rings, especially in halo settings, or surrounded by filigree (beaded) metal work.