Diamond Guides

Coloured Gemstones

Coloured gemstones are found in many types of jewellery, and can make the perfect centrestone for engagement rings. Learn more about the different types of coloured gemstones, including sapphires, rubies and emeralds, and find which will work for you and your ring.

How to find the right coloured gemstone

Gemstones are a characterful alternative to diamonds, offering a pop of colour to suit the wearer’s taste, with a rainbow of hues to choose from. Gemstones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds have been used throughout civilisations to adorn precious jewellery, and in modernity make for characterful and unique engagement rings.

Through natural phenomena, the Earth produces a plethora of sumptuous gemstones, the colour determined by the traces of elements found within the stone. There are around 200 varieties of naturally occurring gemstones in the world, though only a select few are suitable for fine jewellery crafted to last a lifetime and beyond. From heavy inclusions to troublesome softness, delve into why some gemstones should be avoided for fine jewellery, and why stones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds are the best alternatives to diamonds.

We’re here to help

We get it, you’ve never done this before.

That’s why we have diamond and design experts on hand, who are here to guide you through every step - from understanding what carat, color, cut and clarity mean, to designing the perfect ring.

What makes coloured gemstones so perfect for engagement rings?

There are several beautiful and precious gemstones in the world – and following diamonds, none are more suitable for engagement and wedding rings than lustrous sapphires, rubies and emeralds. From their intense and varied colour hues to innate sparkle and hardy durability – discover where sapphires, rubies and emeralds make the best alternatives to natural and lab grown diamond rings.

What is the best stone for an engagement ring?

For any gemstone to be right for your engagement ring, it has to be durable and beautiful to ensure it is as timeless as your engagement. Beauty is for you to decide, but gemstone durability is comprised of 3 factors.

  1. Toughness: This is the stone’s ability to resist a directional and non-directional breakage. This is the overall internal strength of the stone.

  2. Hardness: Indicated by the Mohs hardness scale, this is the strength of the gemstone at its surface, the harder it is the more resistant it is to scratches and abrasion.

  3. Stability: This is a key factor especially for maintenance as it indicates the stone's ability to withstand physical changes, such as heat, light and exposure to chemicals such as cleaning products.

To be a viable and long-lasting engagement ring, a gemstone has to be good across these 3 factors.

Best alternative gemstones for your engagement ring

If you are looking for an alternative gemstone, we’ve found some great options that meet the requirements and create beautiful engagement rings.

Coloured gemstones


Whilst typically blue, sapphires can be found in just about every colour of the rainbow, meaning there is a perfect sapphire hue for every taste. Sapphires are the second most durable gem in the world at a 9 on the Mohs scale, and they shine with a rich lustre.

coloured gemstones


Rubies sapphire variant, meaning they share the same durable and lustrous properties, making them an excellent choice for an engagement ring, furthered by their passion-evoking red colour.

coloured gemstones


Found in a hue of bright and deep green colours, emeralds possess a rich and exotic charm, closely following sapphires in their durability at a 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs scale. While exuding unique quirks and characteristics.

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

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