Gemstone VS Diamond Engagement Rings

We thrill at the special allure which diamond engagement rings possess. While we agree that colorless diamonds are exquisite, some brides want to personalize their engagement rings even more by adding color with special meaning for them. Colored gemstone engagement rings can reveal more personality and make a statement about the bride’s taste. The gemstone vs diamond engagement ring question is on most bride’s minds today. Connecting your personality to certain colors in your engagement ring make it unique—just like you.

Color Diamonds 

The Rarity of Color Diamonds

Choosing fancy color diamonds is an excellent option. They are rarer than colorless diamonds. Specific trace elements in their crystal introduce color into the stone. They tend to be pricier than colorless diamonds and even colored gemstones for that matter.  But they are a perfect union of diamonds and color.

Diamond Market Size, Share, Value, Demand and Growth 2030
Diamond Market Size, Share, Value, Demand and Growth 2030 (Credit: Zion Market Research)

The question then is, should you select a color diamond engagement ring or a color gemstone engagement ring? Is there really a difference between diamond and gemstone jewelry? To help you make your decision, we’ve created a quick overview of each type of stone, their pros, and cons, and what you can expect from them. After careful consideration, you’ll discover the right choice for you.

Pros and Cons of Opting for Color Diamonds

Earth mined diamonds are the hardest known natural substance on earth. This is one reason why diamonds are so sought after. Traits of genuine diamonds mirror what we desire in our forever relationships. They are durable, beautiful, and rare, to name but a few of their prominent qualities.

The distinct adamantine sparkle of a diamond, known as its brilliance, is a huge factor in attracting jewelry fans to this impressive jewel. This feature is paramount when we consider fancy color diamonds because they embody the shimmer of a colorless diamond plus the ravishing colors we’ve always dreamt of.

The gemstone vs diamond engagement ring debate really comes down to your taste. Ultimately you get to decide exactly which kind of stone, color, and style you prefer. If you have your heart set on a diamond but would like some color, then select a color diamond. However be prepared to pay more for these rare gifts of nature. It will be worth it. Color diamonds on the whole have soared in value over the years.

LEIBISH 1.35 carat Fancy Yellow Oval Diamond Engagement Ring

Both colorless and fancy color diamonds are rated 10 on the Mohs scale for hardness. They are the hardest of all natural substances—including every other gemstone. While they rank highest on the Mohs hardness scale, they are not totally indestructible. The chances of them suffering a crack or chip are rare, but they can chip just like any other gemstone under certain conditions. Diamond and gemstone engagement rings are precious. Each one is unique, so treat them with care like your other valuables. You’re going to enjoy them throughout your entire lifetime.
Mohs Hardness Scale
Gemstone Hardness (Credit: Gem Select)

Balancing Brilliance and Unique Hues

Along with their brilliance, the exciting thing about gemstones is their wide array of colors—many of which are unique. Just about any color you can dream of will be found in a gemstone. Are you forming a preference about the gemstone vs diamond ring concept by now? From delicate and dainty pastels to the most robust primary colors, there’s a stone for everyone.  

The only downside to gemstones, if you can call it that, is that they aren’t diamonds. With access to the remotest corners of the globe, dealers are now delivering attractive gemstones in scintillating hues that prove diamonds are not the only option for engagement rings today.

Diamonds are a classic gemstone choice for diamond engagement rings, with centuries of fascinating history behind them. But did you know that some colored stones like ruby, are even rarer than diamonds? That’s a key reason to consider these rich stones.

Unheated Ruby & Diamond Dress Ring
LEIBISH Unheated Ruby & Diamond Dress Ring

Colored Gemstones

The vibrant red tint found in ruby is like no other stone. The same can be said of majestic green emeralds and lively saturated blue sapphires. If you take time to search a bit, you’ll find an entire world of glamorous gemstones to consider.

Global Gemstones Market
Global Gemstones Market (Credit: Market Research)

The Versatility of Colored Gemstones

There’s a difference between diamond and gemstone jewelry. Gemstone’s versatility is the main driving factor that sways many shoppers. So many colors, sizes, and shapes to choose from. You will soon discover that there are more affordable colored gemstones available compared to fancy colored diamonds. Just ask yourself what is the budget that you need to stay within.

Remember to factor in the price of your center stone plus the setting as well.  That will help direct your focus toward the perfect stone. While a diamond engagement ring may be your first choice since we’re more familiar with these rings—you may be just as thrilled or more so with a glamorous colored gemstone engagement ring. It can have more of a personal meaning to you.

In fact, admiring royal jewelry with its scepters and crowns may convince you of how coveted colored gems have been throughout time.  If Royalty treasured them, why couldn’t we?

Emerald Pear & Yellow Diamond Designer Ring
LEIBISH Emerald Pear & Yellow Diamond Designer Ring

Breaking the Myth: Diamonds vs Other Gemstones

For tradition and classic elegance, it’s hard to top the beauty of colorless diamonds for your bridal jewelry. Paired to the metal of choice, whether it’s white, yellow, or rose gold, or even platinum, you’ll be creating a custom ring that is sure to elicit compliments.

So, a diamond engagement ring, or a gemstone engagement ring, which is it? Colorless and fancy color diamonds are most definitely superior for their durability. Sapphires and rubies offer excellent options in terms of hardness with a 9-Mohs scale ranking. Emeralds are coveted but are less durable and may not be the best choice if you use your hands a lot at work every day.  The myth that only a diamond will do for an engagement ring is being broken every day with brides discovering the gemstone of their dreams can be made into a lasting engagement ring to cherish forever.

These and many other precious gemstones deliver a range of durability so this is one of the traits you should consider when choosing the perfect gemstone engagement ring.

Regardless of your choice, remember to care for your fine jewelry—especially your bridal jewels. Take care of them with regular cleaning and inspection for loose prongs or damage. It’s a good idea to remove your wedding ring and engagement ring before you plan on activities like playing tennis or go outside to work in the garden.

Do you absolutely love color but not the prices of fancy color diamonds? If that’s not in your budget---not to worry! Any one of the many intriguing color gemstones can be a strong contender. You may even become an aficionado of color gemstones in general after learning more about them.

Exploring the Beauty of Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire

But keep in mind that some of the more precious rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, can be just as expensive as diamonds. Many luxurious looking gemstones are durable and thus last longer, especially when cut into cabochons rather than faceted stones. Softer faceted stones can get abraded facets over time, which affects the shine of the stone as well as its attractiveness. Stones in the 6.50 to 9 range on a Mohs scale are routinely used for jewelry.

These 3 desirable stones --- ruby, emerald and sapphire are called the trinity of colored gemstones. They are regal and make gorgeous statement engagement rings.

Vivid Green Octagon Emerald and Diamond 3 Stone Ring

It is true that diamonds for the most part, are the more expensive gemstone option. But there are exceptions to every rule. For starters, some diamonds of a lesser quality grade can be more affordable. You have to decide where you will compromise if you need to fit a nice sized stone into a limited budget. A bit lower on the grading scale does not necessarily mean the stone is less appealing—but examine each stone to find which one catches your eye.

If you’re set on colored gemstones, bear in mind that the majority of colored gemstones have gone through some treatment to enhance their color. This is an industry-wide accepted process which makes them more salable, attractive, and affordable. Their treatments will be disclosed at the time of purchase.


The Verdict

High quality gemstones that have not undergone treatment may be priced closer to a diamond. That is why it is important to look at the whole picture and factor in your taste and your maximum budget. Diamonds may cost a bit more, but you will most likely be getting a high quality product to cherish for a lifetime. Still, colored gemstones can help tell your love story beautifully and personally.
If there’s one piece of advice to take with you when looking for your bridal jewelry, it would be to follow what your heart tells you. In the end, you want to be in love with your selection and treasure it for the rest of your life. 

Consumer Study Shows Diamonds Have a Dazzling Future Ahead
Consumer Study Shows Diamonds Have a Dazzling Future Ahead (Credit: Instore Magazine)

If you like the look, browse through our collection of colored diamond or gemstone engagement rings.


Are diamonds a gemstone? 

Yes. Diamonds are included in the category of gemstones, which are crystals formed from certain compounds or elements. Gemstones may be plentiful or rare and are natural materials.

Are diamonds stones? 

When referring to gems as stones, yes—they are. The choice of words is interchangeable in the jewelry trade.

What makes gemstones a popular choice for engagement rings?

Brides often opt for colored gemstones for a more personalized ring. It’s important that whatever stone is selected, that it’s a hard stone to endure everyday wear for years.

Can colored gemstones be more affordable than diamonds?

Yes. Surprisingly many gorgeous colored gemstones are less costly than diamonds yet offer a lovely customized engagement ring. Look for harder stones—something above 6.5 on the Mohs scale for long term wear.


Article Image

It isn't the amount of diamond facets that will change the brilliance of the stone. Rather, it is how well the facets are cut and polished!

Article Image

Here are a few of the easiest tests anyone can do in order to identify the authenticity of a diamond.