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Gemstone Engagement Rings: What You Should Know

Learn about gemstone engagement rings at KAY

Diamonds weren’t always the first choice for engagement rings. Gemstone engagement rings have been around for centuries, but they have risen in popularity again as a gorgeous alternative choice. But is a gemstone engagement ring right for you?

There are many benefits to a gemstone engagement ring. It is a unique choice that really lets you express your personal style. You can choose a gemstone of your favorite color or even your birthstone, for example.

Some gemstones are more affordable than diamonds, so you may be able to get a larger center stone for less. Some stones have lab-created options as well for something even more affordable.

What is the Best Gemstone for an Engagement Ring?

Adding gemstones gives the engagement ring color. There are some things to keep in mind as well. You’re going to wear this ring every day, so make sure the style and color truly work for you. Do some research about the gemstones you’re considering. Soft stones, like cultured pearls, are prone to nicks and may not be suitable for everyday wear. Visit our gemstone cleaning and care page for more info, or speak to a KAY consultant.

Explore Engagement Rings By Gemstone

Choosing the Right Gemstone Engagement Ring

Light pink engagement rings

If you Want Something Subtle

Maybe you want a pop of color, but you want to keep it simple. Consider lightly colored gemstones like morganite, aquamarine, or some shades of quartz. These stones have soft hues that are almost neutral and will go with nearly everything. However, their light color means things like soap scum will show up more easily. Look for designs that make it easy to clean the center stone.

Engagement ring with gemstone accents

Consider the Gemstone as an Accent Stone

You can use gemstones along with diamonds for a really unique engagement ring. Another option for a subtle look is a style with gemstones as accent stones. Look for a three-stone ring with a diamond and two gemstones or even gemstones set in the band.

Dark blue engagement ring

If you Want Something Bold

For a style that really stands out, consider darker gemstones like sapphire, amethyst, or blue topaz. These vibrant gemstones range from modern to classic depending on the ring style and metal color, making them surprisingly versatile. Other bold choices include tanzanite, ruby, and garnet. Whatever the color of the gemstone, you can also choose a design with a large or fancy-shaped center stone. A halo is another beautiful way to draw attention to your center stone.

Create your own engagement ring

Explore all Colored Ring Options

While KAY has many gemstone engagement rings, you don’t have to stop there. We also carry many fashion rings that would make stunning engagement rings! Find a few gemstones you like, and explore all of your options.

You can also use our Create Your Own Engagement Ring feature to design a ring with sapphires or black diamonds. Check out more birthstones and other classic gemstones on the KAY Jewelers gemstone jewelry page.

Here are a Few Things to Know About Colored Gemstones

Loose gemstones for engagement rings

Lab-Created Gemstones

Lab-created stones are identical to those formed underground and mined. They're "grown" in a lab under the same conditions of heat and pressure as a gem that forms underground. The advantage of this process means the gemstone will have the ultimate color and clarity. It's a great way to get a beautiful color gemstone at an affordable cost.

Shop Gemstone Engagement Rings

There are many choices when it comes to gemstone engagement rings. Find a Kay store near you to shop rings in person. If you want a truly unique ring, book an appointment with a KAY consultant to discuss a custom design.

How to clean gemstone rings


It's typical for some natural gemstones to undergo some kind of "enhancement" process - often intense heating. These treatments make it possible for most people to own beautiful color gemstones.

Durability of Colored Gemstones

Since you will probably wear an engagement ring every single day, consider the durability of the ring. For example, cultured pearls or other gemstones may be delicate. Talk to your jeweler about whether the gem of your choice is practical.

An engagement ring worn daily can endure a great deal of wear and tear, and some stones are softer and more vulnerable than others. If you choose a delicate gemstone or cultured pearl for your engagement ring, choose a setting that will protect it.

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