Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings: A Guide to Ring Styles, Best Settings and Costs

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings: A Guide to Ring Styles, Best Settings and Costs

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings: A Guide to Ring Styles, Best Settings and Costs

January  19, 2024

Sapphire gemstone, is part of the mineral corundum, consisting of aluminum oxide with trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium or vanadium. Although blue is the best-known color, but natural fancy sapphires also come in pink, yellow, purple, orange, and green colors. Red color stones also occur but are known as rubies not sapphires. Pink stones may be called either as ruby or sapphire depending on the mine. Throughout the history, sapphires are cut and polished into gemstones and used in jewelry. They are created synthetically in labs for industrial or decorative purposes in watches. While diamonds are rated 10 on Mohs hardness scale, sapphires are rated a 9. Though sapphires are almost as durable as diamonds, they still require special care, as their crystal surfaces are prone to scratching and abrasion. Unless you only plan to wear your engagement ring on special occasions, it's best to choose a stone on high-end of Mohs scale for long lifespan ring! A sapphire may require more frequent polishing and sometimes re-cutting due to scratching and abrasions.

As sapphires are as durable as diamonds, a genuine sapphire engagement ring made with heat-treated sapphires requires no special care. But can be scratched by other pieces of jewelry - especially those containing diamonds - so ideally the ring should be stored in a protected pouch or box. As with most other types of engagement rings and wedding bands, it is best to remove sapphire rings before swimming or doing dishes.

There is no doubt that diamonds and sapphire look beautiful together in Princess Di engagement ring or with diamond side stones! 3 month salary for a solitaire diamond ring ... sapphires also tend to more affordable than diamonds. On average, a one-carat sapphire will cost less than diamonds. The average price of a sapphire gemstone is $1,000 per carat, which be much less than what you would spend on a diamond.

Colorless white sapphires are often used as a diamond substitute in engagement rings due to their lack of color and lower price than diamonds. Blue is the best-known color, but natural fancy sapphires also come in yellow, purple, orange, and green colors. Sapphires also tend to more affordable than diamonds.

In most cultures, the engagement ring is worn on left hand's ring finger. People used to believe that a vein of love ... today diamonds are popular, but sapphires were commonly used in the early royal engagement rings and tend to be more affordable than diamonds.

Sapphire is the traditional birthstone for September and the gem to celebrate 45th anniversary.

The Most Famous Sapphires in the World:

James Hill�s Kashmir Pendant:

Owned by railroad mogul James J. Hill in the late 19th century, this 22-carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds is a perfect example of a unique blue Kashmir sapphire with its velvety luster.

Rockefeller Sapphire:

The Rockefeller sapphire was owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr.. It is believed that the sapphire stone was acquired from the Indian Maharaja Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, in 1934. The 62 carat gemstone is internally flawless and retains a deep cornflower blue.

Stuart Sapphire:

Part of the British Crown Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II, this sapphire was originally bought by Robert II of the House of Stuarts in the 14th century. The Stuart sapphire is set on the crown band, weighing 104 carats with a cabochon-cut. It is one of the most historically known sapphires.

Logan Blue Sapphire:

Named after Mrs. John A. Logan after it was donated to the Smithsonian Institute, this cushion-cut sapphires was mined in Sri Lanka. Weighing 423 carats with no internal inclusions, it is the second largest sapphire in the world.

Queen Marie of Romania Sapphire:

The 478 carat, cornflower blue sapphire was Cartier�s famous jewel at the 1920 Exhibition in Spain. It was appreciated by royalty from all over the world. Prince Ferdinand bought the sapphire pendant for his mother, Queen Marie of Romania, which she later worn to his coronation in 1920s.

Blue Giant of the Orient:

At 466 carats, the Blue Stone is the largest cut sapphire in the world. The gemstone first made headlines in Sri Lanka in early-1900s but disappeared for almost a century until it was fpund recently. It is often called a Kashmir sapphire not because of its Indian origin but it�s unique corn flower blue that resembles the finest sapphires in the world.

Bismarck Sapphire Necklace:

The 98 carat sapphire necklace is a perfect example of Art Deco design. It is accented with diamonds and sapphires and delicately set in platinum . This Cartier necklace was acquired by the American socialite Bismarck who married Count Eduard Bismarck in the late 1930s.

Star of India:

The Star of India is one of the biggest sapphires in the world at 563 carats. It was given to the American Museum of Natural History by J.P. Morgan in the early 20th century. In 1964, the sapphire was stolen from the Museum and found in a Miami locker several months later.

Royal Sapphire Engagement Ring:

This most popular royal engagement ring was first worn by Princess Diana. It was purchased from Garrard Jewelers and has made blue sapphire and diamond halo engagement rings popular, rest is history. Prince William proposed with his mothers ring to Kate Middleton as a commemorative and romantic gesture.


Like other jewelry, the price for an engagement ring depends on the design and style of the ring you prefer, whether it contains a gemstone or diamond. The price of the colored gemstone depends on the quality of the gem. Diamonds are graded by their carat weight, color, clarity, and cut (also known as GIA 4Cs). Other gemstones, such as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are graded by different factors. You may choose a jewelry because of a family tradition, prefer a unique personal style, want socially responsible features (e.g., a ring style that is not associated with blood diamonds or mercury-free ethical gold), to fit your budget and style. Manmade stones and diamond substitutes such as czs are also popular choices for couples who desire socially responsible materials and lower cost while achieving the same appearance.

The idea that a man should spend three month salary for an engagement ring originated from De Beers marketing campaigns in the 20th century in order to sell more diamonds.

Diamonds are by far the most popular choice for engagement rings since De Beers marketing campaigns. A large single diamond solitaire rings are most common setting for engagement rings, which was popularized by Tiffany & Co. in 1880s and its four-prong setting design continues be popular with today's modern brides. The most popular cut for an engagement ring is the round brilliant cut, which achieves the maximum amount of sparkle. Also popular are three stone engagement rings with side stones. These rings usually have a single large diamond set in the center and smaller diamonds on the sides. The three diamonds or colored gemstones on the ring are believed to symbolize the couple's past, present, and future.

In many cultures, the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of your left hand. In ancient times, people used to believe that a vein from this finger ran directly to the heart.

There's no doubt that diamonds are by far the most popular center stone choice for engagement rings today, but before diamonds became a traditional choice rubies, emeralds and sapphires were common choice for center stones. Sapphires are the most popular of all three precious gemstones.

Both stones have their advantages and disadvantages and often the choice simply comes down to your personal preference - budget and style. If you are thinking between the two, this sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings article has everything you need to know.


Not all birthstones are durable enough for every wear, but we will help you find the gem that best suits your budget and style. The Mohs Hardness Scale measures the hardness of a gemstone on a scale of 1-10. The hardness rating of a gemstone measures its resistance to being scratched. Unless you only plan to wear your engagement ring on special occasions, it's best to choose the stone on the higher end of the Mohs Hardness Scale for a long lifespan. Because engagement rings are usually worn every day, the durability of the stone is important factor to consider. 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 9. Sapphires are one of the hardest stone just behind diamonds, making them amongst the most durable of all the colored gemstones. Less harder stones may look beautiful, but they may not last as long as your love. Which explains why we see so many sapphire engagement rings on the market.

Diamonds, the hardest stone in the world, traditional, forever, a girl's best friend, etc. - which is why they are so popular for engagement rings. But what if you are looking beyond a diamond for a gemstone that will last a lifetime? Our experts are here to help you find the gem that is both beautiful and durable enough for daily wear.

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Hardness - Our Experts Pick: Diamonds


Women love fancy engagement rings. Cost should usually play an important role in the engagement ring process. As you already know by now, sapphire engagement rings are more affordable than those with diamond center stones.

Of course, diamonds and sapphires both come in a wide range of prices depending on their size, shape, cut, depth of color, quality, and many more. On average, though, a one-carat sapphire tends to cost less than a one-carat diamond.

Blue sapphires are by far the most expensive color because they are the most sought after, especially after Princess Diana's sapphire ring, now worn by Kate Middleton. Likewise, the more brilliant and deep the color is, the more expensive it will be. As with all gemstones, sapphires go down in price as they decline in quality and get smaller, cloudier, or both.

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Cost - Our Experts Pick: Sapphire


Colorless diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings, but many brides-to-be do not even know that they actually come in a variety of colors. You can get a diamond in any shade of the rainbow.

Many couples tend to think of sapphires as the color blue, and the most popular blue sapphire engagement ring in the world has to be Princess Diana, now worn by Kate Middleton, with its vibrant deep-blue velvety tone. But did you know that sapphires come in almost every color?

While blue is by far the most popular sapphire shade, the Gemological Institute of America expert say that the stone also comes in - violet, green, yellow, peach, orange, pink, purple, lavender and in between hues. Some sapphire stones display the phenomenon known in the industry as color change, usually going from blue in daylight or room lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, white or brown.

The only hue that sapphires do not come in is red. Sapphire and ruby are part of same corundum mineral and red corundum is actually called ruby instead. With the exception of the trace elements that give them their color, the scientific make-up of both rubies and sapphires is exactly the same.

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Color - Our Experts Pick: Sapphire

Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue

Every bride-to-be knows about the old tradition 'Something old, Something new, Something borrowed'. You can add that 'something blue' to any wedding. Originating from an Old British rhyme, it has become customary that brides carry objects to bring good luck on their wedding day.

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Legends - Our Experts Pick: Sapphire


Sapphires are a great alternative birthstone option for brides who prefer an engagement ring to stand out from the crowd and that represents a unique personal because they are much less common than diamond rings. The vibrant blue sapphires are eye-catching, especially when paired and contrasted with white gold or yellow gold bands. If you want an engagement ring that is truly unique from the rest and last a lifetime, sapphires may just be the perfect stone for her.

Sapphire vs. Diamond Engagement Rings Style - Our Experts Pick: Sapphire


In this sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings debate, sapphires have just barely passed out ahead of diamonds.

However, both stones come in a wide range of colors and are hard enough to stand up to the wear 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 your personal preference - budget and style.

If you prefer to stay with the tradition with a timeless classic piece of jewelry, diamonds may be right choice for you. But, if you want to save some money on your engagement ring and truly stand out from the crowd, sapphires are a perfect alternative choice for modern brides-to-be. Some women want anything but traditional, and sapphires are making a comeback.


Keep reading our guide to learn more about sapphires! This article covers some of the most common questions about sapphire gemstones that our customers ask.


The gemstones are found in many parts of the world. Madagascar, Australia, Ceylon all mine high-quality sapphires and Montana sapphires from the United States are growing in popularity as well, thanks to famous Tiffany gemologist. Kashmir sapphires are the most desirable but can only be found in high end jewelry auctions like Sotheby's, Christies, etc.


The American Gem Trade Association website states that: Ancient Persian rulers believed that the earth rested on a giant Sapphire and that its reflection colored the heavens blue. Even the jewels original Latin name, Sapphiru, means blue. Due to their color, sapphires were often associated with the blue skies and planets.

The Jewelry Editor website states that - Signifying faith and purity, sapphires are said to offer the wearer protection from envy and harm. In medieval times, members of the clergy wore sapphires as a symbol of holiness to attract heavenly blessings. While blue is the most popular color, it comes in a multitude of hues from white, yellow and green, to pink, purple and orange.

Other common meanings associated with the birthstone are wisdom, trust, blessing and faithfulness. Sapphires have also been linked to royalty; a concept reinforced by British Crown Jewels. Prince Charles gave Princess Diana a famous 18-carat blue oval sapphire and halo diamond engagement ring that Kate Middleton still wears today. Many people tend to think that sapphires only come in blue color.

Additionally, Sapphires are the September birthstone and also the traditional stone for 45th-anniversary jewelry and gifts.


As you begin to research for sapphires on google you will start to see the term treatment come 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 considered permanent in the industry.

Typically, sapphires are either treated or untreated and the history of the stone should be clearly stated when you purchase it. High-quality untreated stones are very rare than their treated counterparts and also much more expensive.


Giving engagement rings tradition started around the 14th and 15th centuries, and gifting colorful gemstones were more common than diamonds.

However, the diamond market was flooded in the 18th and 19th centuries and diamonds prices began to drop. Due to instability in diamond prices and man-made diamonds, sapphires and other colored gemstones became all the more popular as they were thought their value will keep on increasing over time.

In 1950s, the Diamond Firm DeBeers company came up with their famous phrase: A Diamond is Forever and the idea became popular. Diamonds became almost synonymous with true love and the use of sapphires and other colorful stones declined once again.


Caring for your ring requires special attention but will help ensure that it lasts a lifetime. Wash it regularly with warm soapy water and a toothbrush and take it your jeweler once or twice a year for a deep clean and checking of prongs. Remember to remove it every night before going to bed and take it off before showers, swimming, and active lifestyle activities as well.


We do not recommend. Synthetic sapphires work well in industrial applications and watches, but they should not be the center stone of a ring. Synthetic sapphires have a color that makes them look truly fake, more like bling costume jewelry than the real thing.

We only use the highest quality sapphires in our custom engagement rings here at so we never work with synthetic gemstones - especially when it comes to birthstone sapphires. There is such a wide range of natural and heat-treated sapphire options in the market to choose from that we can easily source a beautiful stone for almost any budget.

Should I Buy A Vintage Sapphire Engagement Ring?

We recommend vintage-inspired sapphire engagement ring instead of vintage sapphire ring because of wear and tear, as well as for authenticity. This Victorian-inspired sapphire and diamond engagement ring is guaranteed to make any bride gasp. The midnight blue sapphire is surrounded by round brilliant-cut diamonds that dazzle upon inspection. As part of our vintage-inspired line, each ring is one-of-a-kind and made to order. In modern day, sapphire engagement rings are associated with wisdom and fidelity, as well as old-world romance.


At SND Gems designing a unique piece of custom jewelry is easy - it is an honor and a joy to be a part of the love story and build personalized pieces for brides every day.

Here, creating a custom engagement ring is easy with our team of experienced designers in New York City on your side. Simply choose the perfect setting and the best size, shape, color and cut of your sapphire and then see the ring come to life around your center stone.

We design the ring to your specifications in our special CAD software. After your final approval, in-house designers will source your stones and build your custom sapphire engagement ring. Our sapphire engagement ring design includes solitaire, three-stone and multi-stone designs. Choose from attractive blue, pink, yellow sapphires, and more! Each alternative & non-traditional engagement ring is custom made in NYC using responsibly sourced gems, conflict free diamonds, and recycled metals.

New shapes, sizes, fancy colored sapphires and gold colors ... So, a modern bride can celebrate her individuality with it! When you design a custom engagement ring with us you have the luxury to personalize the piece any way you choose to. When it comes down to sapphire vs. diamond engagement rings, sometimes you just cannot choose, both look beautiful together. In toi et moi rings, they were paired to symbolize eternity and love. So, why not use both in your unique ring? A white diamonds halo or as side stones around a center sapphire stone is timelessly elegant, but the two stones truly enhance each other in any setting.

Sapphires are a more budget-friendly move and hard enough to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use. From deep blue to pretty-in-pink, Sapphire engagement rings are vibrant diamond alternatives that make a distinctive statement. They come in almost every color of the rainbow and make a stunning centerpiece for any personalized engagement ring. In fact, our designers often use sapphires in our unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Explore our collection of custom jewelry pieces to see the stone in action and determine if our style is a good fit for you.

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