Probably the second most popular choices when it comes to engagement rings are blue sapphires set in a yellow gold ring. Other popular gemstone choices are pink sapphires, emeralds or even rubies. Rings, once traditionally made from yellow gold are now made from rose gold, white gold or even platinum.
Solitaire Sapphire Engagement Rings
Sapphire engagement rings come in six basic ring styles: solitaire (pictured left), trilogy, solitaire with shoulder diamonds, bridal set, halo and cluster. A solitaire sapphire ring, as the name suggests consists of one sapphire held in a pronged setting. The sapphire is usually 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. If you want your sapphire to be held more securely, a six prong setting will hold your sapphire more securely if you think your ring is going to need some reinforcement!
There are ten different shapes sapphires can come in: round, princess, emerald, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, heart and cushion.
Sapphires – How Many Carats?
The same as diamonds, sapphires are compared is by their weight which is measured in carats. One carat is equal to 200 mg. Solitaire sapphire engagement rings usually start at 1 carat and can be as heavy as 10 carats. The price of any sapphire ring is dependent not only on the weight of the sapphire but also on the cut, clarity and color. Because sapphires have a high specific gravity, a one-carat sapphire will appear smaller than a one-carat diamond.
Sapphire Engagement Rings Clarity
Clarity in sapphires is not the same as it is for diamonds, you do not expect a sapphire to be flawless (ie have no inclusions or blemishes) as it is the inclusions that add to the brilliant color of a sapphire. Here are some of the inclusions that can be found in sapphires:
Cavities – voids or holes that can extend from the surface of the sapphire into its interior.
Color Zoning – uneven color distribution throughout the sapphire.
Feathers – small inclusions that have the wispy appearance of a feather.
Fingerprint Inclusions – tiny liquid-filled tubes that look like human fingerprints. These inclusions are formed when sapphires re-crystallize to partially heal a fracture zone.
Halo or Discoid Fractures – oval or circular fractures surrounding a solid or liquid inclusion.
Included Crystals – light, dark, transparent or opaque minerals trapped inside the sapphire. Extremely small crystals are referred to as pinpoints or grains – they can be minute crystals of hematite, zircon, spinel, calcite, and mica.
Liquid Inclusions – liquid-filled spaces within a sapphire.
Silk – fine fibers of titanium dioxide (rutile) or other minerals that resemble the look of silk. Well-formed silk indicates that the sapphire underwent no heat-treatment and is of natural origin. Silk is a preferred inclusion in sapphires and may actually add value. The highly reflective rutile needles scatter light within a cut sapphire, helping to illuminate a stone’s darker facets and enhance its brilliance.
Sapphire Surface Blemishes
Concaves/Naturals – natural indentations in the surface of a sapphire created during crystal formation. These growth marks are usually found on the girdle and do not affect the sapphire’s beauty or luster.
Scratches – lines scraped on a sapphire’s surface
Pits – tiny holes on the sapphire’s surface
Nicks – broken parts of a stone’s girdle or facet
Abrasions – rough scrapings along the sapphire’s facet edges
Sapphire Engagement Rings – Cut
When it comes to sapphires, 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 sapphire’s proportion and finish.
Sapphires are not cut with the same precision as diamonds. When gem cutters fashion a sapphire they are following four principles:
- 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.
- maximize the sapphire’s final weight.
- minimize the appearance of undesirable inclusions or color zoning.
- filling consumer demand for certain fashions or cutting styles.
Sapphire Engagement Rings – Color
When it comes to the value of a sapphire, color is the most important thing to be considered. The sapphires of most value are those that are colored a velvety blur to a violet blue in medium to medium/dark tones. Saturation should be strong, but without making the color too dark and compromising brightness. Sapphires that have all these values are the ones that will have the highest price per carat.
Hue is the basic color of the sapphire. Although a sapphire can be described as blue, pink or yellow a sapphire is actually made up of a combination of hues. A blue sapphire will also have either violet or green secondary colors, more accurately described as violet blue or greenish blue.
Tone describes how light or dark a sapphire’s color. The finest sapphires will have a medium to medium/dark tone.
Saturation is a measure of how pure or intense a color appears. It is another factor in determining the value of a sapphire. With cool colored sapphires such as blue, green, and violet stones, gray is the usual saturation modifier. With warm colored sapphires, such as yellow, red, and orange , the saturation modifier is brown. No matter the color of the sapphire, higher levels of saturation are preferred, meaning their color is not diluted by the modifiers.
Sapphires do not only come in blue, they are also available in padparadscha, pink and purple, orange and yellow, green, and colorless and black.
Trilogy Or Three Stone Sapphire Engagement Rings
As the name suggests, a trilogy or trinity sapphire engagement ring has three stones. A three stone sapphire engagement ring can have either the middle stone as the sapphire with two smaller diamonds on either side, or two smaller sapphires on the sides.
Or you can have a diamond as the main stone with smaller sapphires on either side of the diamond.
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 Sapphire With Shoulder Stones Engagement Rings
A sapphire with shoulder stones consists of a central solitaire sapphire (usually round but can be other shapes) with extra smaller stones along the shoulders of the ring. The shoulder of a sapphire engagement ring marks the point between the shank or band of the ring and the setting which holds the stone.
The shoulder stones can be diamonds or sapphires or a combination of both. 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 sapphire ring with shoulder stones can be incorporated with other styles such as the halo design, with a circle of small diamonds surrounding the central sapphire. Depending on the size of the diamonds used on the shoulders, this design is also known as pavé or micro-pavé.
Sapphire Bridal Sets
A bridal set consists of an engagement ring and a wedding ring which matches that is purchased all in one go. Although used to mean the same thing, a wedding set is slightly different and contains an engagement ring and wedding ring for the bride as well as a wedding ring for the groom.
Choosing a matching wedding and engagement ring from the beginning avoids a lot of problems you can stumble upon when trying to match an engagement ring to a wedding ring:
- Proportion – a bigger wedding band could overwhelm your engagement ring and make the sapphire 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 sapphire such as the 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 Sapphire Engagement Rings
What is a Sapphire Halo ring? A halo ring consists of a central sapphire encircled by round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds. The advantage of a halo ring is that it makes your sapphire look much bigger than it is – giving you much more bling for your buck!
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.
You can combine the halo design with shoulder diamonds with pavé diamonds covering part of the shank of the ring.
Halo rings do not have to be based just around a solitaire, this design also works with oval, pear, emerald and marquise diamonds.
To increase the bling even further, you can add another circle of pavé diamonds for a double halo… or perhaps even triple halo!
Third Finger Left Hand
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.
An engagement ring is a ring, 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.