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Gemstone Alternatives to Emeralds, Sapphires & Rubies


Emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, known as “The Big Three,” are the most popular gemstones. These precious gemstones are a stunning addition to any jewelry style, but there are many other options for a pop of color. 

Semi-precious gemstones come in a wide variety of colors and price points. From statement rings to everyday studs, these gemstones are a stylish and often affordable addition to your jewelry box. Below is a breakdown of semi-precious stones by color. 

Red: Garnet is a gorgeous choice for a pop of red. This gem comes in many colors, but the most popular are deep red garnet and berry red rhodolite garnet. 

Yellow: Sunny citrine often has a darker yellow shade reminiscent of fall hues and sunflowers. This gemstone pairs especially well with yellow gold. 

Green: Bright peridot has a yellow-green hue that is perfect for spring and summertime. It adds eye-catching color to any look. 

Blue: There are many options for blue gemstones. Perhaps the most popular, blue topaz can range from bright sky blue to dark ocean blue with hints of green. Aquamarine is a subtle, pale blue that can even pass for a neutral. And for a stone with purple hues, look no further than gorgeous tanzanite. 

Purple: Amethyst is a favorite when it comes to colored gemstones. This stone ranges from light lavender to deep violet, and it looks extra feminine when set in rose gold. 

Pink: Vibrant pink tourmaline is a great choice for a bold pop of color. For something lighter, trendy morganite has a peachy pink hue that complements any skin tone. Morganite is a favorite for gemstone engagement rings, and it matches perfectly with rose gold. 

White: While not technically a gemstone, cultured pearls are a classic and a popular choice for wedding jewelry. They add instant sophistication and complement modern and timeless designs. Opals can have a similar milky white shade, but iridescent flecks of color transform this gemstone. Lab-created or natural, opals will add a truly unique look to your outfit. 

Black: Black onyx is an intriguing gemstone that adds instant edge to any piece of jewelry. It contrasts sharply with yellow, white, and rose gold, creating a stand-out design.  

A Few Things to Keep in Mind 

When you purchase gemstone jewelry, it is important to know how tough or durable the gemstone is. Some stones, like opals, are soft and prone to scratches. You will need to take extra special care of these gemstones. If you’re hard on your hands, you may want to avoid soft gemstones for everyday rings and bracelets. Look for harder stones for rings and bracelets, but any stone will work for earrings and necklaces.  

Visit our gemstone cleaning and care guide for more information on how to store and care for your jewelry. 

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