They say diamonds are forever, but they might not be for everyone! A coloured stone can add personality and a distinctive beauty to your engagement ring. The question is, how do you choose with so many different tones and shapes? Expert jeweller and gemmologist, Matthew Ely, shares his top tips on finding the perfect gemstone ring.
1. Start With A Broad Idea
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when investigating coloured gemstones for the first time, but considering your partner’s favourite colour or birthstone helps to narrow the field. I work personally with couples to source the perfect stone that they are looking for, starting with the preferred gem and then deciding on tone, shape and size.
2. Choose Your Hue
Each gemstone comes in different intensities, from pastel to deep hues, which means your engagement ring can be truly unique. It’s important to take into account your partner’s fashion palette and skin tone here.
3. Don’t Disregard Diamonds
Traditional white diamonds can still be combined with gemstones in your design. The vibrancy of a coloured gem makes for an eye-catching centre stone and offers a stunning contrast when paired with white diamonds.
4. Get Creative With Your Design
I believe design should be taken into special consideration with gemstones, to help maximise the stone choice. Gemstones often need shoulder stones to contrast and compliment the piece as a solitaire in a coloured gemstone does not have the same effect as a diamond.
5. Consider Your Lifestyle
Gemstones are typically less ‘hard’ than diamonds. Stones such as emerald and opal can be very soft and easily scratched, so you will need to take extra care of them. If you ultimately decide on the softer coloured gemstones, regular checks by an experienced jeweller every 6-12 months are a good idea.
6. Size It Up
Generally speaking, most gemstones cost less than white diamonds and therefore allow for a larger sized stone for the same price. However, some precious and rare gemstones, like certain types of tourmaline, emerald, ruby and sapphire, can cost more than diamonds of the same size.
7. View The Stone Before Purchasing It
Because gemstones are natural, no two look exactly the same. It’s important to view the stone before you buy it to avoid being disappointed by the visual size vs the weight it’s been listed at, as most gems are cut deeper than diamonds to enhance their colour.
Look for an even dispersion of colour throughout the stone with no light and dark patches – a well-cut gemstone will be bright and have an even sparkle.
We love the idea of personalising your engagement ring with a coloured stone – thanks to Matthew Ely for his fantastic insights!