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Diamond Vs Gemstone Engagement Rings

Looking for an engagement ring? Considering diamond vs gemstone engagement rings? Diamond rings have become largely associated with big milestones in our lives – most iconically, engagements. However, gemstone engagement rings too have attracted quite a following of their own, loved by royalty and trend-setting celebrities. So which is better for you? Get the facts below. 

Diamond Engagement Rings


Firstly, diamonds are rare and beautiful, renowned for their sparkle that adds glamour and luxury to the everyday. What better way to remind yourself of your love than glancing at your beautiful diamond ring?

Secondly, diamonds are also very, very strong and hardwearing. This makes them ideal for everyday wear. A diamond endures a lifetime and more. With the correct care and love it will always look beautiful and sparkly.

A third benefit of diamonds is their colourless appearance. It means they’re a very versatile accessory that easily matches any outfit, style and skin tone. So you don’t need to worry whether the stone’s colour suits the recipient.

(Having said that, diamonds also come in various colours like yellow and pink, perfect for brides wanting classic sparkle with some colour.)


Diamonds are more expensive than other gems. A single diamond, called a solitaire, is usually the most expensive kind. Diamond prices go up per carat, and big diamonds are rarer than small diamonds. So the bigger your diamond, the pricier it gets.

One way around this problem is to opt for a “cluster ring” made up of smaller diamonds. When set closely together, they can give the appearance of a much larger diamond that looks just as beautiful and sparkly. But you get more for your money.

Another disadvantage of diamond engagement rings is that some people consider solitaires too conventional. In order to make your ring feel unique and special to you, look for different cuts and settings that suit your personal style.


  • The cost of a diamond depends on its quality and size. Very roughly speaking, you can purchase a 0.25 carat diamond ring, set in 18K white gold, set with a premium quality solitaire in a round brilliant cut, for about £900 on the highstreet and around £500 online.
  • For the same ring, but with a diamond in 0.50 carat weight, premium quality, round brilliant cit, you’d be looking at about £2,200 on the highstreet and around £1,200 online.
  • Finally, going up to 1.00 carat with the same style of ring, but better quality soliataire as big diamonds require a higher grade to look clean and sparkly to the eye, you’d pay around £7,000 on the highstreet and about £4,600 online.

This is the most popular style of diamond engagement ring with a round brilliant cut solitaire. See it here in various sizes, prices and qualities.

2. Gemstone Engagement Rings


First of all, gemstones come in an array of stunning colours, each with their own individual character, all with plenty of sparkle. In engagement rings, they really stand out from the crowd.

Secondly, gemstones are not as conventional as diamonds, and have grown increasingly trendy and popular in recent years. The trend set by Kate Middleton’s gorgeous 12-carat sapphire engagement ring has seen sales in blue sapphire rings soar. Many other celebrities have followed suit with other gems, for instance Eva Longoria with her ruby engagement ring.

Thirdly, despite some gemstones being a little too brittle or soft for everyday wear (for instance opal and pearl are not suited), sapphires and rubies are extremely durable, ideal for engagement rings.

Rubies range from dark pink to bright red, and sapphires come in almost all colours of the rainbow, so you definitely won’t be limited to just blue and red. Plus you don’t have to forgo diamonds, as most gemstone rings have added accent diamonds.

Finally, gemstones cost less than diamonds per carat, so if you want a really showstopping ring, you will be able to get a much larger ring for your money.


As mentioned above, certain gemstones are not suitable for engagement rings because their mineral structure is too weak. Meaning they can chip or break easily or get damaged while you take a shower, clean the house or expose them to too much heat.

  • Ideally you should stick to rubies and sapphires.
  • Topaz is also very durable, although not as conventionally chosen for engagement rings.
  • Though not ideal, emeralds, tanzanite, quartz, aquamarine, amethyst and tourmaline can work if you look after them carefully. To withstand daily wear, these gems should be in a robust platinum or 18K gold setting and not exposing too much gem surface area to knocks and environmental damage. You’d be well advised to remove them when in the gym, swimming, sunbathing and so on.
  • Opal, pearls, garnet, turquoise and amber are not suited to engagement rings. They are either too soft or, like pearls, damage easily in water, making them awkward for daily use as engagement rings.


  • The cost of a sapphire or ruby (same as diamonds) depends on its quality and size. Very roughly speaking, you can purchase a 0.50 carat sapphire or ruby ring, set in 18K white gold and accented with premium quality diamonds, for about £500 on the highstreet and around £750 online.
  • For a 0.80 carat sapphire accented with H/Si quality diamonds, set in 18K white gold, you’d be looking at about £3,200 to £4,000 on the highstreet and around £2,800 to £3,500 online.
  • Finally, going up to a sapphire or ruby around 2.40 carats with multiple accent diamonds in H/Si quality, set in 18K white gold or platinum, you’d pay around £4,500 to £4,900 on the highstreet and about £2,700 to 3,300 online.

This is the most popular style of gemstone engagement ring with an oval cut blue sapphire. See blue sapphire rings here in various sizes, prices and styles.

Diamond Vs Gemstone Engagement Rings – THE FINAL VERDICT

A diamond engagement ring is for you if…

You’re looking for timeless sparkle that will never go out of fashion. If you value tradition, beauty and luxury, then a diamond solitaire engagement ring is for you. But remember, there are many diamond ring designs and even coloured diamonds to choose from, if you want something that stands out from the crowd. If in doubt: a classic round brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring in a simple setting is a sure-fire choice.


A gemstone engagement ring is for you if…

You’re looking for sparkle with a bit of colour, pizzazz and originality. A gemstone ring makes a statement and can be a real conversation piece. Also, with gems, if you’re perhaps looking for a bigger stone for your money, then switching from diamonds to gems is a great idea. Finally, remember that your fiancée will wear the ring every day. If you pick a ring that’s too quirky, she may get bored with it or it may end up looking dated. If in doubt: a blue sapphire in a classic setting is a timeless choice you cannot go wrong with.



READ NEXT: How to Understand the Diamond Sales Processes and Save on Your Engagement Ring

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Please note prices quoted 6th November 2017 and may vary at any time after this date.