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A large cushion cut morganite gemstone engagement ring

Gemstone Engagement Rings Guide

Gemstone engagement rings come in a sparkling parade of hues and cater to your 
individuality—they represent your more colorful, less traditional side and make an 
elegant choice for a center stone. A gemstone that holds significance for you imbues 
your engagement ring—and your relationship—with special meaning. And we believe 
that’s worthy of celebration.

Choosing a Gemstone for Your Engagement Ring 

Regardless of the type or size of the gemstone in your engagement ring, important qualities to look for include:

 The color of a gemstone is its most defining and memorable feature—and for many, it’s the most important factor in choosing a gem. In general, the more saturated a gemstone, the more valuable it is. But for most people, buying gemstones isn’t about picking the most “valuable,” but rather choosing a gemstone in a color they really, really love. 

An Illustration of 3 differently colored gemstones from the side

Gemstone clarity depends on how many inclusions are present. These little flaws include gas bubbles, minerals, and liquid that gets stuck in the gemstone when it’s formed. In general, “eye-clean” gemstones are the most desirable, but in many cases, inclusions add to the unique appearance of the gemstone and make it more special to its wearer.

An Illustration of a gemstone with very few inclusions from the side

A skillful gemstone cut is crucial for proportion and symmetry. Gems are faceted in a way that best highlights their special features, like their color, clarity, or brilliance. Gemstone cuts vary in the number and size of facets carved into the surface. Different cuts bring out different aspects of the stone, such as its color and brilliance. 

An Illustration of a well-cut gemstone from the side

Which Gemstone is Best for an Engagement Ring?

The most significant factor in choosing a gemstone for your engagement ring is how its beauty strikes you. Rest assured that no matter which gem ends up in the setting, all of our high-quality gemstone engagement rings are handcrafted for maximum sparkle and strength.


Blue sapphire is favored in engagement rings for its brilliant saturation. With a Mohs rating of 9, sapphires are one of the hardest gemstones and a popular choice for jewelry that will see daily wear. Blue sapphires are dazzling in step cuts and have been said to foster honesty and loyalty.
A blue sapphire engagement ring set in diamond studded twisted setting


The pink sapphire is reminiscent of summer sunsets and looks gorgeous against white gold. These prized pink gems are rarer than their blue counterpart—the most valuable shades are vivid hot pinks. Pink sapphires are a symbol of love and good fortune—a fitting stone for an engagement ring.
A pink sapphire and pave diamond engagement ring in white gold


Emeralds are characterized by an intense, green hue. This verdant gemstone facets exquisitely and is a favorite for its namesake, the emerald cut, which accentuates its color. Emeralds often have inclusions that have the appearance of moss, creating a garden of delights inside that will grow truth and happiness and truth in your marriage. Emeralds rate a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, making them fairly durable, but you’ll want to wear it with care to avoid chipping and scratches.
An emerald engagement ring ornamented by diamonds and gold filigree


Ruby is the color of passion and romance—a symbol of your commitment to keeping the fire alive. Rubies with the most vibrant red saturation fetch the highest price per carat of all the gemstones. Rubies have a hardness rating of 9, so you don’t need to hold back too much while you’re wearing it. Set it in yellow gold for a look as bold as you are.
A cushion cut ruby engagement ring accented by half moon diamond and halo setting


Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers, wore an amethyst ring carved into the likeness of Cupid. Carry your valentine with you always with an amethyst engagement ring, which you can find in shades from pale lilac to richly saturated purple. This show-stopping gem is eye-clean and pairs wonderfully with a blushing rose gold band. A hardness rating of 7 means amethyst engagement rings are durable enough to wear daily with care.
An emerald cut amethyst and diamond halo engagement ring in rose gold setting


Topaz comes in a rainbow of colors, so it’s easy to find this gemstone in a hue you love. London blue topaz is the most popular color and represents a peaceful partnership. Topaz is generally free of inclusions and has uniform coloring, making it a stellar choice for any shape and any ring style. Topaz rates an 8 on the Mohs scale and is well-suited for everyday wear.
A cushion cut blue topaz engagement set in white gold


Aquamarine symbolizes tranquility and protection in marriage. Icy blues and lush teals are signatures of this eye-clean gemstone, and a hardness of 7.5 to 8 makes aquamarine a fine choice for an engagement ring if you wear it with care. A cushion-cut aquamarine engagement ring with a halo of diamonds showcases the color and clarity of this gemstone beautifully.
A cushion cut aquamarine engagement ring set up twisted diamond pave setting


Morganite is the gemstone of enduring love. These peachy-pink to deep pink gems are generally eye-clean and take well to faceting—and with these beauties, more facets mean more rosy-hued sparkle. Morganite is an 8 on the Mohs scale, making it a durable gemstone worthy of engagement rings. Cushion-cut morganite pairs elegantly with diamonds in an infinity ring—a breathtaking tribute to your happily-ever-after.
A morganite and diamond pave ring with floral details set in rose gold


The otherworldly opal is known for its spectral iridescence. These gems favor cabochon or domed cuts that highlight the opal’s natural color-play. Opals are the gemstone of good fortune, and they bring luck to lovers. They’re a softer gem, with a Mohs rating of just 5 to 6.5. They’re highly susceptible to scratching and other damage, and we don’t recommend opal engagement rings unless your lifestyle fits the type of wear it requires.
A white cabochon cut opal engagement ring with diamond pave accents


Luscious, violet-blue tanzanite is rarer than a diamond, and it has a soothing presence in relationships. A Mohs rating of 6 to 7 makes this gem adequate for engagement rings, but wear it carefully. Tanzanite looks spectacular in many shapes, but especially cushion or oval. Tanzanite is commonly found in gorgeous, paler shades of violet, but deeply saturated tanzanite is the most valuable.
A square tanzanite engagement ring with diamond pave halo


Moonstone is a popular choice for engagement rings due to the way light billows across its surface, an ethereal, otherworldly effect that makes it hard to pull your eyes away. Fine moonstone has a bewitching blue glow, and a cabochon cut beautifully captures this colorful phenomenon. This extraordinary gem represents eternal love—but it falls between 6 and 6.5 on the Mohs scale, so if you choose a moonstone engagement ring, you’ll need to wear it very gently to prevent scratches and other damage.
A gray moonstone engagement ring set in yellow gold

How Do Gemstones Compare to Diamonds?

How do various gemstones compare to the traditional diamond? We’ve created these helpful resources to give you all the information you need to pick the best center stone for your engagement ring.

Why Choose a Blue Nile Gemstone Engagement Ring?

Our mission is to help you find an engagement ring that’s as exciting and exceptional as your love. We’re here to answer any questions you may have while selecting your jewelry. Our experts are happy to assist you via the live chat feature on our website or by phone, email, or text. If you’re near any of our locations, book an appointment to see our collection in person.

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