Gemstone Engagement Rings vs Diamond: 3 Trends Revealed


There is nothing more precious than a shinning diamond when it comes to personalized jewelry gifts, at least this is what we’ve all heard and internalized over the years.

However, the more I dive into the world of modern jewelry trends, the more I ask myself if a sparkling diamond is still the only precious gemstone that can make her happy when proposing.

A gemstone engagement ring besides a diamond is, despite popular belief, becoming popular with millennials and older generations alike as the trend towards top diamond alternative precious gems like ruby, sapphire, or emerald is gaining momentum. 

Let’s find out why.

What exactly is driving the new exciting gemstone trend and if diamonds are still the girl’s best friend is the subject of the following gemstones’ engagement rings versus diamonds special guide.

Gemstone Engagement Rings Benefits

Before we can dive into the gemstone benefits for engagements gifts, let’s clarify what we mean with gemstones first.

What is a gemstone?

According to the CIBJO (International Organization for Jewelry, Gems, Diamonds, Pearls) gemstones are minerals, rocks, and melting glass as well as amber or pearls. These stones, including special coal types and pearls, are moreover classified as of unique beauty qualified for jewelry making. 

With this official definition in mind, we now know that diamonds (coal type minerals) are a gemstone just like colored sapphire, opal, or ruby, and other precious stones.

But, which is the better deal on your proposal day, a unique VVS diamond ring or another type of gemstone for her like fake, but trendy moissanite jewelry?

Benefits of a Gemstone as an Engagement Ring

First, gemstones are generally an excellent engagement ring for women since the introduction of diamond ring proposals by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477 (Source).

Traditional Benefit of Rings

This Catholic tradition spread wide and fast across classes, cultures, and regions until now lovers exchange sparkling rings on their wedding day preceded by the unique diamond ring for females.

Today it is not just a religiously accepted ritual, but a globally recognized tradition, though still a significant number of countries gift non-rings for the proposal itself.

Financial Benefit of Gemstones

Precious gems like diamonds symbolize to the bride-to-be not just traditions of love and customs. The gemstone gift possesses a monetary value of significance.

A diamond, ruby, emerald, amethyst, or tanzanite can be an expensive investment, especially true for premium gemstones rings.

Romantic Benefits of Precious Stones

An additional gem benefit is a romance, of course. Which girl out there doesn’t want, at least once in her lifetime, that the man of her dreams kneels, pulls out the jewelry box,  say those magical words paired with a sparkling ring?

This romantic moment is truly unique and for years will be remembered whenever she sees, polishes or wears the engagement ring with maybe a birthstone gemstone brilliant on top of it.

Gemstone Engagement Rings Disadvantages

Next to these wonderful advantages of gemstones as engagement rings there are, unfortunately, some drawbacks I won’t keep silent on.

Expensive Gemstones

Fine jewelry gems are not created equal innately, as demand and supply vary too. This leads to different values, depending on their market price for gemstone jewelry. 

In short, a rare gem results in a high jewelry ring price, which is obviously a possible purchase disadvantage to deal with.

Precious Gemstone Quality & Price Criteria are further determined by:

  • Clarity (carat brilliant ones are higher priced than those with flaws)
  • Size (usually the bigger the better, esp when clarity is high)
  • Origin (some regions command higher prices than others)
  • Colors & Variety (depending on trend and stone color is key)
  • Cut, Shape & Treatment (determine the value significantly too)

Precious Gemstones Price Chart (per 1 Carat)

Gemstone Price in USD ($) quality dependent
Diamonds 1K – 40K 
Ruby 6K – 18K 
Emerald 500,00 – 1K 
Sapphire 25,00–1.5K 
Aquamarine 700,00
Tanzanite 500,00

The gemstone price chart is a sample of popular jewelry stones and is in no way complete, as the valuation of gems depends on many factors (see above) and specific stones. For example, sapphire exists as sapphire blue, golden, orange or pink, white, and so forth.

Nevertheless, the gemstone chart gives you a good overview of why e.g a ruby star engagement ring is a valuable and pricey jewelry investment to consider.

For your time (and money) we are now going to focus on the three most popular gemstones´ benefits and drawbacks as well as diamonds in determining which gemstone engagement ring should you best shop.

Diamond Engagement Ring Benefits & Disadvantages

engagement ring pros and cons

Diamonds are the most precious gemstone known today. Moreover, though, we know by looking at the price chart that other stones are in high demand and of great value in terms of price and fashion jewelry too.

Diamond Engagement Ring Benefits

  • Diamonds have a high-value price
  • Diamond rings have a high emotional value
  • Diamond-based jewelry rings last for very long time 
  • Diamonds symbolize serious commitment & wealth
  • A diamond can easily be traded at pawn shops and elsewhere

Drawbacks of Diamond Rings for Engagement

  • There are costly as a proposal gift
  • She may not like the shape, cut, treatment
  • An expensive diamond may lose in value (even if quite low)
  • Simply unaffordable, but “required” like a dowry
  • High-priced diamonds draw undesired attention

These are the pros and cons when considering buying a diamond stone engagement ring. Usually, couples add diamond and fine gold engagement rings to their wishlist, not just a simple sparkling ring. 

Precious metals like pure silver or gold add up to the price for the entire fine jewelry setting. It’s a great jewelry and love statement indeed, but also something that costs real money at first.

If you can afford it, perfect. If not, then you may have to search for alternative proposal gift rings.

Ruby Engagement Rings Benefits & Disadvantages

One of the most amazing gemstones ever created by mother nature and perfected by jewelry makers around the country and beyond is ruby.

What is a Ruby Gemstone?

Ruby (Latin: rubeus) is a reddish gemstone of the mineral corundum. In the Old Testament, it symbolizes the fourth of the 12 stones and is considered the stone of the stones unifying all others within. Moreover, the red color of it has transformed ruby into the happiness stone of love.

With these characteristics what can go wrong with getting yourself a rare ruby ring gift?

Benefits of Ruby Gems

  • Symbol stone of love since ancient times
  • Symbol stone of life, power, and honor
  • Precious in real life value
  • Ruby jewelry is fashionable
  • A good ruby stone quality can be pawned

Ruby Gemstone Disadvantages

  • It may not be as expensive, hence less “valuable” as diamonds
  • Ruby doesn’t last long as diamonds (if not taking care of)
  • Red may not be her color

Rare ruby stones are, like all gems quite sought after by fashion jewelry consumers and investors in precious metals, stones, and pearls.

A red glowing ruby ring with great shaping and clarity can outshine any average diamond ring from the shelf.

On the other low-quality, ruby gems may harm your proposal. An affordable ruby engagement ring in good quality is therefore the way to go and thankfully available if you want to surprise her with the gift she won’t ever forget.

You can still save the diamond bling-bling ring for a wedding day if you want the traditional wedding.

Sapphire Engagement Rings Benefits & Disadvantages

The sapphire gemstone is a widespread engagement ring for many people, especially those who love it for its remarkable color and what it stands for.

Sapphire Gemstone Meaning

Sapphire stone derives from the corundum mineral that in old Greek meant blue color, though one may encounter yellow, green, or pink sapphires as well. The popularity is also associated with the spiritual symbolization of wisdom, loyalty, and royalty for the rich blue it mainly contains. The birthstone month for this astonishing stone in September.

Sapphire Engagement Ring Benefits

  • Considered one of the precious gemstones
  • Its blue color symbolizes loyalty and royalty
  • More affordable than, e.g., diamonds
  • Everyday ring is not too conspicuous
  • Princess Di’s engagement ring was sapphire centered

Sapphire’s Drawbacks as Engagement Rings

  • Sometimes mistakenly for source of misfortune
  • Not considered as precious as a natural diamond 
  • Non-blue sapphire rings less valuable
  • She might not like the distinct color of it at all
  • Blue may be considered a manly color by traditionalists

A royal sapphire engagement ring is, compared to a classic diamond proposal ring a standout gift she might well embrace and love you forever.

If she doesn’t approve of blue, why not pick the other bright colors from pink to green or even yellow sapphire?

The variation expands furthermore with shape, size, and origin, whereby this stunning oval to round gemstone has its very own character a diamond stone cannot always match in beauty or meaning.

Emerald Engagement Rings Benefits & Disadvantages

The emerald stone is part of the popular engagement ring gemstones for good reasons, though will also touch on the less discussed matters with it.

What is Emerald?

Emerald is a colored green gem of the beryl variety, whereby the stone can range from light to dark. In Mohs ascending mineral and metal hardness scale (1 to 10) it scores 7.5–8 out of 10. The associated birthstone month is May and Emerald symbolize a happy marriage.

Benefits of Emerald Gemstones Engagement Rings

  • Unique green shinning stone (the darker, the better usually)
  • Directly associated with marriage and happiness
  • Costs less than a real diamond stone
  • Solid with a hardness scale of up to 8 out of 10
  • Less scratchable and feminine color

Emerald Engagement Ring Drawbacks

  • Green may not shine like a lustrous diamond
  • Not as hard as diamonds though close
  • She might dislike green at all
  • Emerald is usually cheaper, hence not perceived high value

The good, bad, and ugly about buying and wearing an emerald engagement ring may add that this natural green stone especially suits all nature lovers and feminine types of women as well as fashionistas perfectly.

Boys and girls, there you have it, your gemstone engagement ring vs diamond jewelry guide with the most important aspects when comparing and shopping for an engagement ring.


Gemstone Rings Pros & Cons Conclusion

Diamond rings are for many couples still the number one stone of choice when proposing. The glowing gemstone sitting on top of a gold or silver setting is an irresistible symbol indeed.

It’s the go-to engagement jewelry and is culturally fully accepted, however times change and you can now go for other great gemstones. Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire are the three top engagement rings gems to choose from and you now know why.

What Stone Is Better Than A Diamond?

Though no stone is inherently better than a diamond. The other three most valuable gemstones for engagements after diamonds, mainly emerald, sapphire, and ruby are close regarding quality (cut and shape), uniqueness (especially color), and cultural attributes (from loyalty to royalty).

Moreover, these gemstone alternatives with their very own characteristics and symbols are in today’s connected world-widely recognized which has to lead to jewelry originality you can now choose from.

Not everybody wants a diamond as an engagement ring. Some want to spare that for the big day.

What Stone Is Best for Engagement Ring?

Best for an engagement ring is a sparkling red, bright green, or royal shinning blue gemstone or white diamond, as this insider guide has proven to you. In other words, depending on your preferences, gemstones features, and budget – your final choice may vary.

All these stones are fashionable and especially affordable as commitment ring statements, ready to challenge the white and colorless bright stone we all know and love.

Ruby (my favorite), emerald, sapphire, or diamond is not the question nowadays. Buy and wear your favorite gemstone as an engagement ring. 

It’s your choice, your happy life as a fiancé and married couple, not a question of gemstone engagement ring vs a diamond anymore.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

Related Posts