Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings: What You Need to Know
There’s no doubt that diamonds are the most popular stone choice for engagement rings, but 11% of brides still prefer gemstones. Of them, 20% opt for sapphires.
Both stones have their pros and cons and often the choice simply comes down to personal preference. If you’re debating between the two, this sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings showdown has everything you need to know.
The hardness rating of a gemstone measures its resistance to being scratched. Because engagement rings are usually worn every day, the durability of the stone is important.
Both diamonds and sapphires can take the heat, though. Diamonds are rated 10 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, while sapphires are rated a nine. Unless you only plan to wear your engagement ring on special occasions, it’s best to choose a stone on the high end of the Mohs hardness scale to ensure a long lifespan for your ring.
Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Hardness Winner: Diamonds
Budget usually plays an important role in the engagement and wedding process. As you may have already guessed, sapphire engagement rings are more affordable than those with diamonds.
Of course, diamonds and sapphires both come in a wide range of prices depending on their size, shape, cut, color, quality, and much more. On average, though, a one-carat sapphire will cost less than a one-carat diamond.
Blue sapphires are the most expensive color because they’re the most sought after. Likewise, the more brilliant and pure the color is, the more expensive it will be. As with all gemstones, sapphires decline in price as they decline in quality and get smaller, cloudier, or both.
Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Cost Winner: Sapphire
Brilliant, colorless diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings, but many brides don’t know that the stone actually comes in a variety of colors. You can get a diamond in any shade of the rainbow.
Sapphires are similar. While blue is the most popular sapphire shade, the Gemological Institute of America explains that the stone also comes in “violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, or brown.”
The only shade that sapphires don’t come in is red. Sapphire is a corundum mineral and red corundum is simply called ruby instead.
Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Color Winner: Tie
Sapphires are a great alternative stone option for brides who prefer to stand out from the crowd because they’re much less common than diamond rings. The icy blue sapphires are eye-catching, especially when paired with white gold or platinum bands. If you want an engagement ring that’s different from the rest, sapphires may just be the perfect stone for you.
Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Style Winner: Sapphire
And The Winner Is…
In this sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings showdown, sapphires have just barely squeaked out ahead.
However, both stones come in a wide variety of colors and are hard enough to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life. Comparing sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings shows a lot of similarities, so the most important factor in choosing between the two is simply personal preference.
If you want to stick to tradition with a timeless piece of jewelry, diamonds may be right for you. If you want to save money on your engagement ring and stand out from the crowd, sapphires are a perfect choice. Check out our custom sapphire engagement rings
Keep reading to learn more! This list covers some of the most frequently asked questions about sapphire gemstones.
Where do sapphires come from?
The gemstones are found in many locations around the world. Africa, Asia, and Australia all produce a steady stream of high-quality sapphires and Montana sapphires from the United States are growing in popularity as well.
What do sapphires symbolize?
The American Gem Trade Association explains that “Ancient Persian rulers believed that the earth rested on a giant Sapphire and that its reflection colored the heavens blue. Even the jewel’s original Latin name, “Sapphiru,” means blue.” Due to their color, sapphires were often associated with the skies and celestial planets.
Other common meanings attributed to the gemstone are wisdom, trust, and loyalty. In the past some believed that sapphires protected the wearer from harm and protected lovers from infidelity. Sapphires have also been linked to royalty, a concept reinforced by England’s royal family. Prince Charles gave Princess Di a famous 18-carat oval sapphire engagement ring that Kate Middleton still wears today.
In addition, Sapphires are the September birthstone and also the traditional stone for 5th-anniversary jewelry and gifts.
What are sapphire treatments?
As you begin to research sapphires you’ll start to see the term “treatment” crop up a lot.
Usually, these are heat treatments to improve the color and clarity of the stone. Heat treatments never wear off or fade away and their improvements are permanent. Diffusion treatments, the process of diffusing beryllium or similar elements into the stone, are also becoming more common.
Typically, sapphires are either treated or untreated and the history of the stone should be clearly marked when you purchase it. High-quality untreated stones are more rare than their treated counterparts and also more expensive.
What is the history of sapphire engagement rings?
Exchanging engagement rings started around the 14th and 15th centuries. When the tradition first began, gifting colorful gems was just as common as diamonds.
However, the diamond market was flooded in the 18th and 19th centuries and diamonds began to drop in price. Sapphires and other colored gemstones became all the more popular as they were perceived to be more valuable.
In 1948 the DeBeers company coined their famous phrase “A Diamond is Forever” and the idea took hold. Diamonds became almost synonymous with true love and the use of sapphires and other colorful stones declined once again.
How do I care for a sapphire ring?
Caring for your ring is simple but will help ensure a long lifespan. Wash it regularly with warm soapy water and a toothbrush and take it your jeweler once or twice a year for a deep clean. Remember to remove it every night before going to bed and take it off before showers, swimming, and high-impact activities as well.
Can I buy a synthetic sapphire?
It’s not recommended.
Synthetic sapphires work well in industrial applications but they shouldn’t be the centerpiece of a ring. Synthetic sapphires have a one-dimensional color that makes them look slightly fake, more like costume jewelry than the real thing.
We only create the highest quality custom engagement rings here at Davidson Jewels so we never work with synthetic gemstones - especially when it comes to sapphires. There is such a wide range of natural sapphire options to choose from that we can find a beautiful stone for nearly any budget.
Design Your Custom Sapphire Engagement Ring with Davidson Jewels
Ian Davidson designed his first ring in 1969 and has five decades of experience in the industry. At Davidson Jewels designing custom jewelry is more than just a job - it’s a privilege and a joy to be a part of the love story and build personalized pieces for Calgary residents every day.
Here, creating a custom engagement ring is easy with our team of experienced designers by your side. Simply choose the perfect size, shape, and cut of your sapphire and then watch the ring come to life around your center stone.
Once we design the ring to your specifications in our special CAD software, we’ll 3D print it for you to try on in-store. After your final approval, in-house designers will source your stones and build your custom sapphire engagement ring.
When you design a custom engagement ring with Davidson Jewels you have the freedom to personalize the piece any way you please. When it comes down to sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings, sometimes you just can’t choose. So, why not use both in your unique ring? A halo of clear diamonds around a center sapphire stone is timeless, but the two stones truly complement each other in any setting.
Sapphires are budget-friendly gemstones and hard enough to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use. They come in almost every color of the rainbow and make a gorgeous centerpiece for any custom engagement ring. In fact, our designers often use sapphires in our unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Davidson Jewels is located at 533 Riverfront Ave. SE in downtown Calgary and our studio is open for appointments Tuesday through Saturday. Contact us to create your custom piece and turn your dream sapphire engagement ring into a reality!