Choosing the Perfect Stone for Engagement Rings

There is no doubt that diamond engagement rings make up a hefty percentage of all rings in this category, but that does not mean that diamonds are the only stone you have to choose from when deciding on which stone you wish to feature in your ring.

The world of precious gemstones is one that is, quite simply, enormous – not to mention, filled with beauty and wonder. From tanzanite to opal; emerald to morganite; pearl to amethyst, there are many beautiful stones to be found – each offering its own unique qualities. If you are looking for something a little less classic, and a little more unique and individual, it is often worth taking the time to do a bit of homework on the many types of stones that can be used in your ring.

How to Decide on a Stone for Your Engagement Ring

Ultimately, the decision on which stone to use for your engagement ring comes down to your own preferences, tastes and, of course, budget. Some stones costs less than diamonds; others cost more. Like there are many factors to consider when purchasing a diamond – colour, cut, clarity and carat – there are often similar factors to note when choosing other precious stones. Some of the stones that are lovely in this type of ring include the following:

  • Tanzanite. Characterised by its vibrant blue-purple tone, which can vary from violet all the way to deep blue, tanzanite is a mineral found in Tanzania, East Africa. This stone works particularly well in cool toned metal bands and settings, and is often paired with platinum. As a rare and treasured stone, tanzanite is not cheap. But its high value and beauty makes it constantly in demand all over the world.

Tanzanite Engagement Stone

  • Opal. These stones come in a range of colours, from crystal to black and white. Depending on their vibrancy, they have the ability to reflect all colours of the rainbow when they move. This means that every opal is unique. Look for bright stones, and be prepared for some tarnish over the years – these stones are not the strongest. They are however unusual and striking, especially paired with a pretty, ornate setting.

Opal Engagement Stone

  • Emerald. With their vivid green hue, these stones are bright and bold. They are popular in art deco and baroque styles, as well as other retro and vintage styles, and pair well with gold and platinum. They are also durable stones, making them strong and resistant to everyday wear and tear.

Emerald Engagement Stone

  • Morganite. From the same family of emeralds comes morganite – a romantic, pink hued stone that has become more popular in recent years. This stone pairs very well with rose gold, and has a soft, feminine appeal. It is quite a durable stone, but prices can vary hugely – do your research and speak to your jewellery about the cut and quality of your stone before making your final decision.

Morganite Engagement Stone

  • Pearl. Made of calcium carbonate and known for their timeless, classic beauty, pearls are every bit as iconic as diamonds, in any type of setting. These stones work well on their own or clustered around a diamond, in every type of metal. They work well in modern, minimal ring designs as well as vintage designs. They are however fairly delicate, which means that care will have to be taken when the ring is worn. Choosing a smaller pearl and setting it into a surround of tougher stones will help protect the stone.

Pearl Engagement Stone

  • Amethyst. This purple hued stone is most often seen in its raw state. When cut however, it has a unique, rich look that works very well in a variety of styles and settings. This stone is fairly hard, but are not as expensive as many other stones. The stone pairs well with white or rose gold, or platinum, as well as other stones (including diamonds).

Amethyst Engagement Stone

By taking the time to look at your options, you will be able to choose a stone that suits your own sense of style, while making sure that your ring is truly one of a kind. Adding a more unusual stone alongside a more classic diamond is another way to add individuality to your ring. Once you have an idea of which stone you wish to use for engagement rings, you can contact an experienced jeweller such as Cape Diamonds to have your ring custom made from scratch.

A Look at Bold, Art Deco Style Engagement Rings

While minimal, classic and even vintage style rings may appeal to some brides-to-be, others prefer engagement rings that have more of a bold, art deco style. The bold look came into its own during the art deco era, but throughout history, eye-catching, beautifully ornate rings have certainly remained a constant favourite for many – especially amongst those who like to stand out from the crowd.

The term art deco is one that is used to describe jewellery, clothing, décor and even architecture. It originated in Paris in the 1920s, where the term itself was coined as a result of an exhibition at the World’s Fair held in the French capital in 1925. The exhibit was called Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts). Around the time of the industrial era, art imitated machine, with many design trends showing this influence through designs that featured distinctive geometric shapes, symmetry and parallel lines. Art deco drew inspiration from cultures such as Egypt, Greece, Mesoamerica, Africa and East Asia, with jewellery and motifs based on shapes like circles, triangles, squares and rectangles, along with intricate geometric patterns with sharp angles, bold, rich colours, abstract elements and symmetry. While the trend itself came and went over the decades, it continues to inspire those with a creative spirit and sense of unique style.

Why Consider Bolder Style Engagement Rings?

What is it about the art deco style that makes bold, retro inspired engagement rings a good choice for modern brides? Here are some of the top features of this ring style…

  • Maximum visual impact. It goes without saying that eye-catching jewellery designs are noticed. Whether you opt for colourless stones such as diamonds, or you choose something brighter and bolder, such as tanzanite, emerald or ruby, an art deco style ring is one that will be noticed, without fail.
  •  Creative and unique. The only real ‘rule’ to consider with this type of ring is making sure that it follows general art deco guidelines. That means geometric lines, sharp angles and symmetry. As far as settings, stones, band and the actual design go however, you can pretty much go as big or small as you choose, to create a ring that is truly unique.
  •  Ideal for anyone with a love for the jazz age. This style came into being during the roaring Twenties – a time known for its elegance, glamour and glitz. If you are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the jazz age or Parisian retro chic, this style is sure to be one that resonates.

There are a few options that you may consider when choosing this type of ring for your engagement. If there is an original piece within the groom’s family (or the bride’s, for that matter), you could have it restored by a professional jeweller to fix any wear and tear and make sure that it is as good as new. You could also look in books, search engines or social image bookmarking websites to find images of art deco rings to use as reference, and have your ring made from scratch by a qualified, experienced jeweller. The latter option gives you a lot more room to add your own style and personality, while also giving you full control over details such as the metal of the band, the type of stones, the setting and the overall style of the ring.

Whatever your decision may be, Cape Diamonds is here to assist with all of your engagement ring requirements.