Planning a wedding this year? Not sure which ring you want? These ethical colored engagement ring ideas should offer some inspo!
By Lora O’Brien
Many proposals of ‘Will you marry me?’ have been followed by a bent knee and a stunning diamond ring nestled in a velvet-lined jewelry box. The classic diamond has been the ring of choice for many engagements. And what’s not to love? (so long as it’s ethical)!
When gemstones are used, they’re usually supporting side stones to compliment the star of the show, the diamond. But now, the roles are truly reversing! Thanks to celebs like Megan Fox and Jennifer Lopez, colored gemstone engagement rings are now a huge thing.
In fact, since JLO and Ben Affleck rekindled their romance, global searches for ‘green engagement ring’ skyrocketed by 1,455% mere hours after they announced their news!
We love colored engagement rings, because the stones actually signify more than a simple diamond.
What the gems in engagement rings mean
Wondering what the meaning behind each gemstone is? These are a few of the most popular:
Aquamarine: The fact that this stone symbolises both courage and communication makes it fitting for a marriage!
Blue sapphire: A gemstone that is truly fit for royalty, this is the stone in the iconic Princess Diana ring. The gemstone is symbolic of honesty and loyalty. Just what you want in a spouse!
Champagne diamond: A subtle alternative to clear diamonds, champagne diamonds ooze modern elegance. The stone is symbolic of commitment. Perfect for weddings!
Emerald: Symbolic of happiness, emeralds are the perfect way to enter into a joyous marriage.
Morganite: If ever there was a gemstone that looks like love, it’s morganite. Its soft pine hue is symbolic of sweetness, love and romance. Plus the stone is connected to the heart. How perfect is that?
Ruby: Often associated with wealth, love and prosperity, rubies are renowned for bringing good fortune. And did you know that a ruby is actually a red sapphire?
Yellow diamond: Many of us envision clear diamonds when we think of pure love, but yellow diamonds are an extension of this. Symbolic of love, happiness and optimism, they represent a long and happy marriage.
How to buy colored gemstone jewelry
Before you go out and buy a colored gemstone engagement ring, there are some things you should know.
For example? There are two main kinds of gemstones: precious and semi-precious.
Precious gems include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Semi-precious gems are pretty much everything else, like turquoise, aquamarine and amethyst.
Other things to look out for when you’re buying gemstones
This refers to any imperfections in the stone. Internal imperfections are known as inclusions and external imperfections are called blemishes. The clearer the stone, the higher the price tag, and the more it shines.
This term refers to gemstone weights. Obviously, the weightier, the pricier. One carat equals 1/5th of a gram or 200 milligrams. You could also phrase that as five carats in a gram. A carat is further divided into units called points. There are 100 points in a carat. So, for example, 25 points, 0.25 carats, and ¼ carats are all the same weight.
Simply put, the more facets a colored engagement ring has, the more brilliantly it will reflect light.
Did you know amethyst is commonly subjected to heat treatments to enhance its color? Turquoise is also frequently dyed. So it’s vital to ask if the gemstone you’re about to buy has been heated or dyed. An indirect, uninformed, or evasive answer should be enough to make you reconsider your choice of vendor.
The most popular settings for princess cut, round cut, and radiant cut colored gemstones are prongs. The stone is held in a four- or six-prong setting and is the best for allowing the stone to catch the light to see its brilliance. However, it can snag on clothing or material, so it isn’t recommended for wearers who lead active lifestyles.
If you are looking for a setting that offers the best protection, then you want to go with a bezel setting. It protects the stone all the way around, though the amount of light that can pass through the stone is reduced. Other popular settings are halo and solitaire settings.
Precious gems obviously cost more than semi-precious. If someone is offering to sell you a large precious gemstone (one carat or above) for less than $500.00, be wary. The gemstone may not be genuine. For fine quality precious gems, expect to pay $1,000.00 or more.
The Best Ethical Colored Engagement Ring Ideas
So now, you’re ready to shop! From bold sapphire, blush pink to statement ruby, these ethical colored engagement ring ideas are guaranteed to take your breath away.
Is your love on fire? What better gemstone ring to symbolise that than with a firey orange sapphire? This gemstone ring is gaining popularity, and it’s no surprise. The orange stone is a brilliant, bright hue that’s truly eye catching. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a unique statement ring.
Wondering where to find it? Angara has a plethora of exquisite ring options, in classic and contemporary styles. You can pretty much choose the setting and personalise it to create your ideal ring.
Price: From $1,050
The two colors most synonymous with love are red and pink. So it just makes sense for an engagement ring to encapsulate this. Brilliant Earth has crafted the perfect ring using a pink pear-shaped sapphire, finished with diamonds. But you can also use this stone as a base for your own design!
In fact, you can pretty much redesign this ring to change the shape, color and size of the stone. It’s perfect for anyone who loves a pink gem.
Brilliant Earth is one of the longest-standing makers of ethical colored engagement rings around. Since 2005, they’ve been elevating the sustainability of the jewelry industry through more transparent, ethical sourcing of materials.
Price: From $1,050
We love Ethica’s rings because they make all of their diamonds and colored gemstones in a lab. No mining that scars the Earth here! But the quality of the stones is exactly the same as what you’d find in the ground.
Just take a look at one of the prettiest ethical colored engagement ring ideas, below.
This champagne-hued diamond ring was a custom made job. You can do the same with stones of whatever color you prefer. Contact Ethica for options and pricing directly.
Price: Depends on your design
What better ring to be symbolic of love than a ruby? Believed to nurture both love and passion within a relationship, a ruby is a fitting stone to keep a marriage thriving. Plus it has a pretty good legend, with many believing the ruby is not actually a gemstone, but hardened fire that can set hearts aflame.
Brilliant Earth is the perfect place to build your perfect engagement ring. You choose every part of the ring, from the gemstone shape, metal preference and size of the gemstone.
Whether you want an oval, pear or cushion ruby, it will make a perfect centerpiece. And we love the minimalism of this look, below!
Price: Stone prices start at around $1,700. Settings are around $1,000
The Angelus ring by Valley Rose is a dream come true! It features rare, ethically sourced galaxy diamonds. But that’s not all! The gold band is certified Fairmined gold, too.
The pear-cut or “water drop” diamonds gets their name because due to their rounded ends and single teardrop point. This flattering shape has an elongating effect on the finger, and always makes a statement. Ethical colored engagement rings don’t get more unique than this!
This stunning one-of-a-kind alternative engagement ring has a gorgeous 1.06 carat pear cut grey rustic diamond with galaxy inclusions. The side diamonds are certified recycled.
Not too keen on the pear-cut? No problem. The brand can cater your stone to your taste.
Price: Around $6700
These are some of my favorite ethical colored engagement ring ideas! And pastel shades are a huge trend right now, too.
Stone and Strand’s Unicorn Sugar Cube Band is a simply delightful ring. Colorful sapphires, peridots and tanzanites illuminate a simple band. Faceted so that they catch the light at every angle, this ring will really make everyone say: WOW!
In case you don’t know the New York-based brand, Stone and Strand only uses ethically-sourced gemstones in their women-created work.
Are you looking at this article on ethical colored engagement rings because Megan Fox’s sparkler blew you away? Then go for an emerald!
With their glowing green fire, they’re nothing short of extraordinary. If you’re wanting full control over the stone shape, setting and size, you can design your very own (just like MGK did for Megan) with Taylor & Hart. It’s one of the best online shops for colored gemstone engagement rings for sure!
Fun fact: Cleopatra was a huge fan of emeralds. She believed that they represented fertility and immortality. Famously, she would adorn herself with handmade emerald jewelry, and even decorated her palace with the stone.
Price: Varies, depending on the ring you design
Love sapphires, but want to avoid looking like you’re copying the iconic Princess Di ring? This square sapphire is a simply stunning alternative.
Set in platinum with diamond accent stones, it’s the center stone that really steals the show. This particular model is from Badis Jewelry, but you can also get the same ring made to order through ethical engagement ring brand Taylor & Hart.
Alternatively, try a sapphire engagement ring by Anania.
Sure, many can appreciate the beauty of a diamond. But yellow diamonds are another story! They’re warm, they’re pretty, and they’re different.
Despite the name, yellow diamonds also come in shades of orange, and brown. Some even have green tints, which heightens their eye-catching quality.
How stunning is this colored gemstone engagement ring below? It’s unique, and a real show-stopper. Find more ethical yellow diamond engagement rings here. You can choose your setting, stone and embellishments to create something truly personal. Just contact the brand directly for a quote.
Price: Depends on what you design
A stone that I personally think outshines a diamond each and every time is aquamarine. The most beautiful light shade of blue, it dazzles in every which way, always reminding me of the sea. Maybe that’s why this is one of my favorite ethical colored engagement ring ideas!
Sustainable engagement ring specialists Brilliant Earth have added a halo of conflict-free pavé diamonds around the aquamarine gem. It gives the ring a nature-inspired snow, sky and sea theme that’s truly breathtaking.
Which of these is your favorite ethical colored engagement ring? Let us know in the comments, below!