Choosing A Ruby Engagement Ring

Another popular choice when it comes to engagement rings are rubies. Other popular gemstone choices are blue or pink sapphires, emeralds or even opals. The metal shank which was once traditionally made from yellow gold can now be made from rose gold, white gold or even platinum.

Solitaire Ruby Engagement Rings

1.5 carat ruby round cut solitare engagement ring in 18k white goldRuby engagement rings come in six basic ring styles: solitaire (pictured left), trilogy, solitaire with shoulder diamonds, bridal set, halo and cluster. A solitaire ruby ring, as the name suggests consists of one ruby held in a pronged setting. The ruby can be held in place by either four or six prongs. With a four prong setting the gemstone is exposed to more light which allows it to sparkle just a little bit brighter than the six prong setting. A solitaire ruby does not have to be round and can come in any shape such as oval, pear or heart.

Rubies can come in many different shapes: round, princess, emerald, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, heart, trillion,octagon, baguette, square and cushion.

Ruby Stone Shapes

Is a Red Sapphire A Ruby?

The gemstone ruby is a mineral known as corundrum – exactly the same as a sapphire. Sapphires are available in blue, pink, padparadscha, purple, orange, yellow, green, colorless and black. A red sapphire is known as a ruby. The red color comes from high levels of the trace element chromium.


Rubies – How Many Carats?

Just as for diamonds, rubies can be compared by their weight which is measured in carats. One carat is equal to 200 mg. Solitaire ruby engagement rings usually start at 1 carat and go up to approximately 3 carats. The price of any ruby engagement ring is dependent not only on the weight of the ruby but also on the color, cut and clarity of the stone. Because corundrums have a high specific gravity, a one-carat ruby will appear smaller than a one-carat diamond.

Ruby Engagement Rings Clarity

2 carat round ruby halo 14k yellow goldPerfect rubies, without any inclusions, are practically non existent. The value of a ruby depends upon how visible the inclusions that the ruby does have are. Inclusions that are obvious or that reduce the brightness or transparency can lower the value of a ruby dramatically.

If the inclusions are located under the table facet and are large and prominent they will greatly diminish the value, brilliance and transparency of the gemstone. Inclusions can also increase the likelihood that the ruby can crack.

Rubies can have thin mineral inclusions called needles. If the mineral is rutile and the needles are in intersecting groups it is referred to as silk. The needles may be short, long or slender and they can appear to be woven tightly together.

The inclusions in a ruby can add to it’s appearance . Rutile silk can make the light scatter through the stone spreading the color through the stone and adding to its softness.

Needle inclusions that intersect can cause a star effect, this is called asterism.


Ruby Engagement Rings – Cut

When it comes to rubies, cut can mean a few different things. It can describe the faceting style or shape of the finished gemstone or it can refer to the rubie’s proportion and finish.

Rubies are not cut with the same precision as diamonds. When gem cutters fashion a ruby they are following four principles:

  1. to maximize the apparent color of the gem. The gem cutter can maximize a sapphire’s brilliance or the amount of light returned to the viewer’s eye.
  2. maximize the ruby’s final weight.
  3. minimize the appearance of undesirable inclusions or color zoning.
  4. filling consumer demand for certain fashions or cutting styles.

Ruby Engagement Rings – Color

Oval ruby 0.73 carat
In the picture: Oval ruby
0.73 carat
James Allen

One of the most important things when it comes to the value of a ruby is it’s color. The best rubies have a pure, vibrant color – red to slightly purplish in color. If the color has too much purple or orange in it the ruby is of less value. The rubies of the best quality have the most vivid color saturation.

If the ruby is too dark in color it affects the brightness of the gemstone. It the ruby is too light, it will be classified as a pink sapphire rather than a ruby.

Whether a pink sapphire is classified as a ruby depends on where you are in the world, for example in Sri Lanka pink sapphires are referred to as rubies, but in most countries they are not.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has a set of control stones to classify rubies, they are known as masterstones and are used to decide if a corundum is a ruby, or if it is a pink, purple or an orange sapphire. In the gem trade, this classification is down to personal perception.

The red color of a ruby has been compared to  “blood from the right ventricle” or the first two drops of blood from a freshly killed pigeon.

Three Stone Or Trinity Ruby Engagement Rings

1 carat three stone ruby engagement ring 14k yellow gold
In the picture:
Three stone Ruby
engagement ring
James Allen

A trilogy or trinity ruby engagement ring has three stones – the middle stone is a ruby and the side stones can be either rubies or diamonds.

The traditional meaning of a trilogy ring is that each stone represents a period in your life: the center stone represents the present and if you choose a graduated ring it is the largest stone. The stone to the left represents the past and the stone to the right represents the future.

An alternative meaning for the trinity engagement ring is that the three stones represent friendship, love and fidelity. A beautiful representation of your future partner.

Solitaire Ruby Engagement Ring With Shoulder Stones

1 carat ruby engagement ring with side stones 14k white gold
In the picture: Shoulder stone
Ruby engagement ring
James Allen

A ruby engagement ring that has shoulder stones consists of a central solitaire ruby (usually round but can be other shapes) with extra smaller stones along the shoulders of the ring. The shoulder stones can be diamonds, rubies or even blue sapphires.

The shoulders of the ring which holds the stones can be various designs. They can be parallel, straight, twisted or tapering. The shoulder stones can be set along a channel cut within the band, or held in a claw setting – in a single row or two rows known as double shoulder..

A ruby ring with shoulder stones can also incorporate other styles in the design such as a halo design, with a circle of small diamonds surrounding the central ruby. Depending on the size of the diamonds used on the shoulders, this design is also known as pavé or micro-pavé.

Ruby Bridal Sets

ruby and diamond 3 stone bridal set
In the picture: Ruby and diamond
bridal set
James Allen

A matching engagement ring and wedding ring (usually purchased at the same time) is known as a bridal set. A wedding set consists of an engagement ring and wedding ring for the bride as well as a wedding ring for the groom, though both these terms can be used interchangeably.

Choosing a matching wedding and engagement ring from the beginning avoids a lot of problems you can come across when you try to match an existing engagement ring to a wedding ring:

  • Proportion – a bigger wedding band could overwhelm your engagement ring and make the ruby look smaller or insignificant. If the wedding ring features diamonds, unless they are a similar cut and clarity using the same setting, the rings will look out of sync.
  • Style – Your engagement ring may be Art Deco, Edwardian or Victorian, you may even be unsure of its design origins, which will make it even harder to match to a wedding ring.
  • Metal – gold comes in different “strengths” and colors – is it white gold or is it platinum? Is it 10K gold or 14K gold? Unless you remember the exact karatage of the metal band of your engagement ring it is going to be hard to match, and mismatched metals can scratch and even erode the softer one.
  • Fit – especially if you have chosen a non solitaire shaped ruby such as pear, marquise or heart shape, the wedding band may not “fit” with the stone so the rings will not sit correctly on the finger.

Halo Ruby Engagement Rings

2.4 carat halo ruby engagement ring 14k yellow goldLooking for a Ruby Halo ring? A halo ring consists of a central ruby encircled by round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds. The advantage of a halo ring is that it makes your ruby look much bigger than it is – giving you much more bling for your buck!

Halo rings do not have to be based just around a round solitaire stone, this design can also be combined with an oval, pear, emerald or marquise ruby.

To increase the bling even further, you can add another circle of pavé diamonds for a double halo… or perhaps even triple halo!

The halo engagement ring first appeared in the 1920s, during the Art Deco movement. Today halo rings come in second place in popularity just behind the classic solitaire.

Third Finger Left Hand

Which ring is an engagement ring worn on? An engagement ring is usually worn on the third finger of the left hand, that indicates that the person wearing it is engaged to be married. Engagement rings are worn mostly by women, and the rings generally feature diamonds or other gemstones. The stones can be set in gold (yellow, rose or white) or platinum. In some cultures men too wear engagement rings and in other cultures the engagement rings are also used as wedding rings.

Engagement rings can be traced back as far as Roman times, the Roman bride-to-be was believed to be given two rings, a gold one which she wore in public, and one made of iron which she wore at home while doing the housework.
Diamond Engagement Ring