Gemstones, or coloured stones are gaining increased popularity as alternative options for engagement rings.
Rooted in ancient times, diamond has always been widely used in engagement rings since the middle of 20th century, the ring finger was chosen because it was believed there was a vein in that finger that was connected directly to the heart, symbolizing love. Overtime this tradition has evolved slowly with wider selections of middle stone, including sapphire, ruby, topaz, aquamarine, tourmaline, tanzanite, emerald, citrine, peridot, amethyst, and even labgrown diamond.
Here are our top 10 popular gemstones. You are now spoilt for choice, so do choose the right one wisely, and customize it with the right metal for your proposal ring or wedding ring.
Known as one of the most precious gemstones, with hardness 9 on Moh’s scale, sapphire mostly originates from Kashmir, Burma and Sri Lanka.
Unknown to many, sapphires come in many colours, ranges from greenish blue to violetish blue, to green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and even colourless. Padparadscha, a peachy pink sapphire, is one of the most valuable fancy sapphire.
Sapphires can come as cheap as $25 per carat, to over $11,000 per carat. A blue sapphire around 1 carat is likely to cost from as little as $450 to $1,600, depending on quality.
One of the big 3, besides sapphire and emerald. Belongs to the same corundum as sapphire, Ruby is only red, premium rubies with saturated, vivid colours and well-cut, can command a high per-carat price, with record prices over a million per carat. 1 carat ruby prices can range from US$10 to US$12,000, depending on quality.
Known for its attractive saturated green hue, Emerald belongs to the beryl family, with hardness 7.5-8 on Moh’s scale. Most emeralds have eye visible inclusions, and many have gone through treatments, some more permanent and generally acceptable than others. At a Christie’s auction, a 18.04 carat emerald was purchased for $5.5 million, or $305,000 per carat. That made it the most expensive emerald per carat ever sold. 1 carat emerald price is usually around USD $3000.
Named after the colour of sea water, aquamarine is a beautiful pastel blue to blue-green gem of the beryl family. Readily available and moderately priced, the modern gemstone with beautiful clarity can appear dazzling when it is well-cut. 1 carat aquamarine can range from US$100 to US$250, depending on quality.
“Emerald by day, ruby by night,” Alexandrite is well known for displaying one of the most astonishing colour changes in the world of gem. It appears to be green emerald in daylight and red ruby under candlelight.
This not only makes Alexandrite unbelievably beautiful but also pricey. 1 carat Alexandrite can cost $15,000, and up to $70,000 per carat for a larger size. The Smithsonian Institute probably owns the largest faceted Alexandrite, which is a cushion-cut stone weighing 65.08 carats valued at over $4 million.
Amethyst is the most loved purple gemstone from the quartz family. It is famous for it’s representation for peace, calm, and tranquility, and is believed by some to have healing properties. It is also widely available and therefore affordable, but worth higher when it is carefully cut, mounted and customised into sophisticated design of engagement rings or wedding rings.
Peridot has a magnificent pure green hue that is lighter than emeralds, and well like by many, younger couples included. Similar to Amethyst, Peridot is also believed to have healing properties, which brings happiness, warmth, purity, and energy.
Most gemstones are usually form in earth’s crust, but peridots are formed much deeper in the earth’s upper mantle, they are then transported towards the surface of the earth through volcanic activity. 1 carat peridot price starts from USD $80 per carat, and up to $450 per carat for bigger size.
Named after the French word citron, meaning lemon, Citrine is usually bright yellow and transparent variety of Quartz, although color can range from pale to golden yellow, honey or almost brown, and may contain rainbow or sparkle inclusions.
The attractive color of Citrine, plus the durability and affordability, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem. It’s an attractive alternative for yellow sapphire. Available in wide range of sizes, the most premium color of citrine color is saturated yellow to reddish orange with no brownish tints.
Timeless, demure and refined, pearls are extraordinary. There are different types of pearls from different parts of the world, with varying temperature, pressure, and methods of culturing, including South Sea, Tahitian, Akoya and Fresh Water, which are distinctive in sizes, overtones, lustres, shapes, nacre thickness, surface conditions. Pearls have a class of their own.
These organic natured gems are delicate, proper wearing, keeping and maintenance is often needed for this elegant choice of pearls.
Tanzanite is the violet blue and blue violet gem from zoisite. It is found commercially only in one area of the world: Tanzania, which is where it names from.
Tanzanite is known as its amazingly strong trichroism, which is the ability of a gem to show different colors depending on crystal orientation. It appears alternately blue, violet, and burgundy. Tanzanite also shows different colors when viewed under different lighting conditions. The blues appear more under fluorescent light, like daylight or cool light and the violet to purple hues emerge under incandescent illumination, like warm light.