Did you know that if you went online today to compare the prices of a 1.00-carat round diamond to a sapphire of the same size, you’d end up spending nearly five times more for the diamond? Combined with the rising trend of colorful center stone engagement rings, it’s no wonder that brides-to-be are letting go of the age-old tradition of a diamond engagement ring, opting instead for budget-friendly alternatives.
“Our customers’ interest in colored stones is rapidly increasing,” says Shane Co. VP of Merchandise Alicia Davis. “Traditional blue, white and peach sapphires are three of our most requested-for engagement rings.”
A long journey to the perfect ring
According to popular wedding site The Knot, consumers are looking at 26 rings over a period of 3.5 months throughout their engagement ring shopping journey. And according to Shane Co. stores, at least part of the reason they’re doing so is because they’re on the search for the largest diamond they can afford within their budget.
“We can thank celebrities and royals like Princess Eugenie, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow for starting this trend and giving women the confidence to consider colored center stones for their engagement rings,” says Davis. “But it’s the price and rarity of these stones that truly closes the deal.”
Durable and beautiful
Much like diamonds, sapphires make great options for engagement rings because of their hardness and ability to withstand daily wear. They also come in every fancy shape from oval to emerald, making them easily accessorized with a unique setting.
Alternatively, semiprecious gemstones, like aquamarine or emerald, don’t function as well in engagement rings because of their relative softness and low rating on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means they are more prone to damage and better suited to fashion jewelry like pendants.
Don’t just take our word for it — our customers absolutely love the unique look that goes along with sapphire center stones.
Bonnie Olian, who was engaged in 2017 and married in 2018, recently traded in her diamond for a 2.00-carat colored sapphire.
“I loved my engagement ring — but I really envied the look of a larger center stone,” says Olian.
“Since Shane Co. opened over 40 years ago, diamonds have been and always will be our No. 1 seller for engagement rings,” Davis comments. “But we love how much fun these new brides are having with playing with color and sapphires as a modern twist for their rings.”
Here are some of our favorite engagement rings celebrities are rocking today:
- Princess Eugenie’s ring shows off a rare padparadscha sapphire, complete with a gorgeous halo of diamonds surrounding the oval stone.
- Lady Gaga favors a beautiful sapphire engagement ring in a fun floral-inspired halo design. Her 6.00-7.00-carat bright pink sapphire certainly turns heads!
- We’ve probably all fawned over Kate Middleton’s stunning blue sapphire ring. By wearing another popular halo, Kate stays on trend while evoking past traditions — the ring originally belonged to Princess Diana.
- Elizabeth Hurley’s 9.00-carat blue sapphire engagement ring is flanked by two triangular diamonds, creating an unforgettable look.
- Gwyneth Paltrow’s bling-tastic traditional blue sapphire engagement ring features a diamond-studded band that highlights her show-stopping stone.
- Penelope Cruz sports a vintage-inspired 3.00-carat blue sapphire ring framed by a flower-shaped halo of diamonds.
To find the perfect sapphire for your engagement ring, visit ShaneCo.com and start creating your dream ring when you shop by stone. You can also start by picking out your favorite setting and completing it with the sapphire, ruby or diamond of your choice. To learn more about diamond alternatives, you can read up on white sapphires and lab-created diamonds here.