Engagement season is here!
And, with the colourful trends spotted on the runways from New York to Milan, it’s about time colourful engagement rings shine in the spotlight... where they belong.
Several of the most avant-garde and well-known women like Penelope Cruz and Lady Di don exclusive colour gemstone engagement rings instead of the conventional diamond ring.
Their beaus must have realised that only these special (often historic) stones are capable of matching the unique & captivating personalities of their fiancées.
From monochrome ice blue hues, to deep cornflower or bright electric blue – here are our top picks for blue gemstone engagement rings:
1. HIGH & MIGHTY BLUE SAPPHIRE
So what is it with these exquisite blue gemstones that they have adorned emperors, kings and queens for millennia?
The stone traditionally symbolises nobility, sincerity, truth and faithfulness.
Its striking blue is the standard against which all other blue gemstones (such as blue topaz or tanzanite) are measured against.
The stone has been associated with royalty and romance for centuries. In fact, royalty give blue sapphires over diamonds as engagement rings because they’re known to be far rarer than diamonds (remember Lady Di’s blue sapphire engagement ring, now worn by her daughter-in-law?).
Blue sapphires come in varied tones… from pale blue to a famous, rich royal blue.
The most mythical one being the ‘Kashmir blue sapphires’, which were found in the remote Great Himalayan mountains of northwestern India in the 1800s.
The stones from this historic origin were mostly of a fine quality with a superb ‘cornflower blue’ colour.
This stone will remain out of reach for most of us unfortunately and prices can easily be 10x more than blue sapphires from other regions!
Fear not, there are other beauties out there!
Stones from other regions that can rival the beauty of Kashmir sapphires, like from Madagascar or the more dark ‘royal blue’ sapphires from Burma or the beautiful, often lighter blue sapphires from Sri Lanka.
Why you'll love this stone:
- vivid, intensely saturated and extraordinary blue
- soft & velvety in colour due to delicate, intersecting ‘needles’ inside the stone that are called ‘silk’
- incredibly durable
the historic stone of kings and queens
2. STAND OUT IN SECRET SPINELS
Now, let’s lift the mystery veil off this enthralling stone that very few people in the West know of, and one that you don’t want to miss out on.
For centuries, spinel has been mistaken for ruby and regarded as such in Europe’s crown jewels.
It wasn’t until 1783 that the French mineralogist Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle distinguished spinel as a different mineral from ruby. And this high quality gemstone has often been under-appreciated ever since.
Ruby red is just one of spinels variety of hues and the most coveted…
Yet good blue spinels are also incredibly rare.
Their blue is completely different from the blue of blue sapphires, yet also stunning.
They can either be darker ‘blackish’ blue or a lighter ‘ice’ or lavender blue.
And don't forget the famed, often small size, cobalt blue spinels which are found in Vietnam only...
The lighter ice or lavender blues are particularly gorgeous to set in an engagement ring.
I find that a spinel tends to sparkle more than blue sapphires, especially when you pick a light ‘ice blue’ spinel.
This is because a darker body colour will block some of a stone's sparkling effect.
The sparkles generally appear more when a stone’s colour is lighter and more pastel: precisely what you may be looking for in your engagement ring.
So, it all depends on you and the lady’s style & taste, whether you’d prefer the more intense and softer blue of blue sapphires or the lighter but more sparkly ice blue of spinels. If you’re not sure, you can always book a consultation.
Fall in love with this stone for its:
- stunning colours ranging from traffic light red, to orange and hot neon pink. And as a stone for an engagement ring, they exist in softer pastel and lavender blues, pinks and glamorous light greys.
- great ‘hardness’ (meaning the stone doesn’t scratch easily) and transparency. Spinels are often far more ‘clean’ inside the stone than rubies and sapphires. This adds to their sparkling brilliance and makes them belong to the top jewellery gemstones.
historic status of being worn by emperors and kings in ancient times, both in the East and West. Magnificent pieces can be found in one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces by houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and Christian Dior Haute Joaillerie.
3. ENCHANTING ELECTRIC PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Colour stones in general and this stone in particular, remain a very rare thing.
To give you some perspective, for every 10,000 diamonds that are mined, they find 1 gem-quality Paraiba tourmaline.
And this stone can easily fetch five figures per carat... but the steep price tag is well worth it for this rare and exotic beauty.
Although Paraibas originated in their namesake region of Brazil, almost all the Paraibas you find now on the market are from Mozambique.
This origin really shouldn’t stop you from buying one though!
Beauty is what matters most at the end of the day (unless you're an investor or collector and only want certain stones from certain origins, in which case you need to be aware that you're going to pay even more as you'll basically buy a 'brand').
These stones being so rare, we should be glad there are a few more discovered in these other countries, so we can at least still get them!
As long as you have a certificate issued by an international gem lab - see more details on what to watch out for in 'How to Buy Coloured Gems'- that states it’s a Paraiba tourmaline and the stone appeals to you in color, cut, sparkle – you’re good to go!
A note of care regarding this exceptional stone: it can have some ‘inclusions’ inside the stone (totally normal for this gem) – which means you’ll need to be careful how & where you wear it. Try a protective setting featuring a halo of other small stones or a bezel-setting.
Paraiba tourmaline with some small tsavorite garnets from Eva's collection.
Why love this stone?
- an out-of-this-world neon or ‘electric’ blue, green or violet colour. Some people may even think its colour isn't real, it's that intense!
- a relatively young and rare discovery, so you can be sure to be one of the very few on earth wearing it...
- often considered more special than any other green tourmaline because of its exquisite colour saturation, generally more attractive colour and greater rarity.
- a good 'hard' stone (so, doesn’t scratch easily) but commonly can be included, which makes it more fragile. Because of this, it’s best for cocktail rings, earrings or necklaces.
So, having laid bare these 3 precious stones… I bet you now realise that you can make an expressive choice with coloured gemstones for your engagement ring.
You’re a maverick, right? You want something more tailored to your (or her) uniqueness!
That’s why choosing the perfect colour gemstones for your engagement ring will be so much more personal. And sparkling blue may just be the way to go…
Pop the question with a colourful engagement ring and do let me know if I can help you discover 'the one'.