Dare We Suggest Another Gemstone Besides the Diamond?


Diamonds. Are they beautiful? Yes.  

Are they brilliant and sparkly? Absolutely.  

Are they classic? Always.  

But hear us out. What if we told you that diamonds, usually the main character, do not always have to be the star? What if we were so bold as to suggest another option for an engagement ring? One of the supporting players, if you will.  

A stone that possesses a pop of color, the birthstone of your partner, or a stone with some pizzazz. Hamilton Jewelers has some beautiful, not to mention colorful, options that go beyond diamonds. Join us somewhere over the rainbow to create an exciting and personalized engagement ring that will symbolize your everlasting love!  

Engagement History: Humble Beginnings

To support our argument of another stone taking center stage in possibly one of the most important and significant pieces of fine jewelry in a person’s life, we feel it is important to paint the proper picture of the history of “the engagement.”  

Engagement rings can be traced back to the Ancient Romans. In the past, rings were primarily used to signify ownership, which is a far cry from what they are today. Not only were engagement rings a symbol of practicality at this time, but they were also made from very humble materials including ivory, bone, copper, and even iron.  

What is Good is Gold

In 850, Pope Nicholas I gave the engagement ring a more spiritual and romantic meaning by declaring that the ring represented a man’s intent to marry giving a period of “engagement” to a couple. This is also the period when gold became the metal of choice for engagement rings.  

The First Diamonds

In 1477, diamonds made their first appearance in Archduke Maximilian of Austria’s engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy where he had small diamonds cut and set into a ring shaped like the letter “M.” The diamonds used in this ring were rough cuts of the stone and marked the beginning of diamonds becoming the popular engagement stone. 

Sapphires and Emeralds

Sapphires and other gemstones like rubies and emeralds gained popularity for engagement rings in the 18th and 19th centuries. This was because diamonds from Brazil and Africa flooded the market, which reduced their value. As a result, other gemstones were coveted for use in engagement rings. Sapphires were the stone of choice due to their symbolism of romantic love, fidelity, and commitment. Emeralds, however, also hold a special place amongst many which we will touch on later.  

Diamonds are Here to Stay

Diamond engagement rings did not become popular until the late 1940’s when DeBeers launched an advertising campaign touting the stone as the best for daily wear and status. After all, it is the hardest substance on the Mohs scale. With that and the long-known ad slogan, “A Diamond is Forever,” diamond engagement ring sales skyrocketed and have remained the standard when designing engagement rings to this day.  

Other Options

Increasing in trends are engagement rings whose center stones are those of a more colorful state. The top four gemstones in the world are emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. And since diamonds are more common these days, we are going to highlight the other top three gems of the world to show just how unique, meaningful, and historical a ring featuring one can be!


When it comes to engagement rings, emeralds are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to diamonds. Emeralds are known for their brilliant shades of green, which are said to signify renewal and growth. Because of this symbolism, emeralds can be used to commemorate a special milestone, such as an engagement. There is also a legend that states wearing an emerald gives the owner the ability to see the truth and future. 

Emeralds are also a wonderful choice for engagement rings because of their durability. Emeralds are a hard stone, rating 7.5-8 on the Mohs Scale, making them resistant to scratching and chipping.  

Finally, emeralds are the birthstone for May, making them a great choice for those born in that month. If you are looking for an alternative to diamonds for your engagement ring, consider emeralds for their unique beauty and symbolism. 

Private Reserve Platinum and 2.78CT Emerald Ring


Platinum and 18k Gold Cushion Emerald and Diamond Ring



Rubies are a deep and vibrant red gemstone that have been coveted for centuries for their beauty and strength. They are part of the same family as sapphires and both minerals are made of the same mineral: corundum. The difference between them is the trace elements present in their chemical structure, which give rubies their intense red color.  

Rubies have long been associated with passion and romance, with some cultures believing that wearing a ruby brings good luck and protects the wearer from harm.  

Rubies make excellent stones for engagement rings because they are a classic choice that symbolizes love and commitment. In addition, they are extremely hard, a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them a durable choice that will last! 

Platinum and 18k Gold Cushion Ruby and Diamond Ring


Private Reserve Platinum and Ruby Ring


18k White Gold Ruby and Diamond Alternating Band

We know this blog is about engagement rings but look how beautiful a gemstone option would be for a wedding band or a layered anniversary stacked band look.  



Sapphires are a beautiful and timeless gemstone, made up of a variety of minerals. Why choose a sapphire for an engagement ring? Sapphires are known for their strength and durability (9 on the Mohs scale), making them an excellent choice for an engagement ring stone. Sapphires symbolize wisdom, purity, and integrity - all perfect qualities for a lasting marriage. Additionally, sapphires come in a variety of colors to fit any style or taste from deep blue to pastel pink.  

September is the birthstone month for sapphires! It is believed that those born under this month and wearing this birthstone will benefit from good luck and fortune.  

Many celebrities have chosen to opt for sapphire engagement rings. This includes Princess Diana who received an 18-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by diamonds as her engagement ring. Gwen Stefani also received a 12-carat blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds as her engagement ring from Gavin Rossdale.

Platinum Oval Sapphire and Diamond Halo Ring


Platinum Cushion Cut Sapphire and Diamond Ring


We Cannot Wait to Help

Like Andrew Siegel said, “Helping someone to find that perfect something, to be a part of their journey and their experience, makes everything worth it.” Hamilton Jewelers finds it to be an honor to assist our customers in finding that perfect celebratory piece of jewelry that will last from generation to generation. We are here to educate you and assist in designing your perfect piece. Our engagement blog is a good place to start researching, devising a budget, and becoming familiar with some basic terminology. Once you are ready to pop the question visit us at one of our locations!  

Come visit us at one of our locations
to start the engagement ring buying process!