5 Reasons To Choose A Sapphire For Your Engagement Ring

5 Reasons To Choose A Sapphire For Your Engagement Ring Cover Photo
7 min read27 April 2024

Sapphires were the original gemstone of choice for an engagement ring before clever marketing campaigns by De Beers and the diamond industry. And at Four Words we are finding that sapphires are making a comeback. With a range of colours and flexibility in design, sapphires at Four Words represent an opportunity to create something classic but unique.

This article will walk you through five reasons why we believe sapphires are the most versatile gemstone if you are looking for something a bit more interesting than a lab grown diamond or moissanite.

#1 Sapphires Come In Almost Any Colour

While sapphires are known to be blue, they come in almost any colour. In fact, a sapphire without any “imperfections” are actually white. The different colours of sapphires come down to their unique chemical composition.

And because sapphires are incredibly versatile, each unique chemical composition results in a different colour. Blue sapphires (which are the most common and desired) are actually “contaminated” with titanium to give it its colour.

The richer and more uniform their colour, the more expensive they will be. Richer tones of colours will be more expensive than those with lighter tones, or multi-toned sapphires. Also, there is a big price difference between a rich blue sapphire and a green sapphire. But regardless of colour, poor quality and cheap sapphires tend to be grey-ish -- too light or too dark.

Even with a certain colour, sapphires can vary drastically (which is a good thing) meaning you can often get the exact colour that you are looking for. Below are just some of the variations outside of the traditional blue sapphire.

Base colour

Typical variations

Teal

Range from green to blue. Also come in different opacity and tones.

Purple

Can come in very light lavender to dark purple. You are also likely to find blue-purple variations.

Pink

Anything from a subtle blush hue to a bubble-gum pink. A common two-tone sapphire is pink-purple.

Padparadscha

Orange-pink hues which typically come in “sunset” colours.

White

White sapphires are definitely more “white” than a diamond. They don’t have the same sparkle effect as diamonds but that isn’t to say its not fashionable.

Yellow

Yellow-green and orange-yellow hues are common.

Green

Huge variation leaning into both teals and yellows.

Below are some examples of different coloured sapphires that we have been lucky enough to help our clients create.

Emerald cut sapphire featuring marquise moissanites on a yellow gold band
Emerald cut sapphire featuring marquise moissanites on a yellow gold band
3 stone engagement ring featuring an Asscher cut sapphire in yellow gold
3 stone engagement ring featuring an Asscher cut sapphire in yellow gold
Asymmetrical teal sapphire engagement ring with accenting stones in 14K yellow gold
Asymmetrical teal sapphire engagement ring with accenting stones in 14K yellow gold

#2 Sapphires Are Suitable For Everyday Wear

Sapphires are strong enough to be either a centre stone or accenting stone in an engagement ring. And yes, you can expect it to last more than a lifetime especially with a bit of care and an annual clean.

Sapphires are rated at 9.25 on the Mohs scale — third only to diamonds (10) and moissanites (9.5).

And if you are interested in going for a sapphire engagement ring, they are also a lot more affordable than a traditional diamond engagement ring (even more so when compared to mined diamonds). For example, a custom bespoke 1 carat equivalent sapphire engagement ring from Four Words starts at NZD3,000. A 1 carat lab grown diamond starts at around NZD4,100.

Sapphire pricing varies a lot in New Zealand. So much so we plotted our prices to compare it to other retailers. We have also written at length on what to look out for when choosing a sapphire engagement ring and how we only work with the best gemstones that the eye can see.

Graph of prices of sapphires in New Zealand
Graph of prices of sapphires in New Zealand

What we love about sapphire engagement rings is that most of our clients come in expecting to spend a lot more. It means that they can get exactly what they want with our custom bespoke process — something not offered by most sapphire retailers.

#3 Sapphires are one of the most sought after gemstones

After diamonds, sapphires are the most sought-after gemstone. Their versatility, and range of colours make them an obvious choice for those that want to get something classic but unique.

Oval sapphire engagement ring with round prongs, hidden halo and in a yellow gold band.
Oval sapphire engagement ring with round prongs, hidden halo and in a yellow gold band.

A sapphire engagement ring is a statement to your unique personal style. And this is also what a sapphire represents — unique, personal.

Sapphires have also been the gemstone of choice for royalty for thousands of years as sapphires also represent good fortune. Several religions from around the world also view sapphire as a gemstone that bridges heaven and Earth.

In ancient Egypt, priests wore sapphire in amulets to ward off evil. And for the Greeks wore it for wisdom at Delphi when seeking answers from the Oracle at Apollo’s shrine.

The Buddhists believed it brought devotion and spiritual alignment — similar to that of the Hindus.

The ancient world was also aware that sapphires came in different colours and each colour represented something slightly different.

#4 Celebrities have chosen sapphire engagement rings too

From the likes of Princess Diana to Mary Kate Olsen, the sapphire engagement oozes class on the red carpet.

Victoria Beckham

Notwithstanding the fact that she has 15 engagement rings, Victoria Beckham fashions an estimated 15 carat equivalent oval solitaire sapphire engagement ring on a platinum band.

Victoria Beckham Sapphire Engagement Ring
Victoria Beckham Sapphire Engagement Ring

Princess Diana and Kate Middleton

Originally worn by Princess Diana, Kate Middleton also wears a sapphire engagement ring. It’s a 12 carat equivalent oval solitaire sapphire engagement ring featuring a diamond halo on a platinum band.

Princess Diana and Kate Middleton Saphire Engagement Ring
Princess Diana and Kate Middleton Saphire Engagement Ring

We have also done a very similar ring (at a much smaller scale (at 2.5 carats) for one of our clients and it looks stunning!

Oval sapphire engagement ring with halo in yellow gold band
Oval sapphire engagement ring with halo in yellow gold band

Mary Kate Olsen

While you may remember the Olsen twins from your childhood as ‘Mary Kate and Ashley’ as a music band, Mary Kate is now a big deal in the quiet luxury space. So when it comes to taste, Mary Kate knows how to speak volumes in whispers.

Her engagement ring on the other hand is anything but understated. While it’s not loud, it is definitely well outside of any conventional expectations.

It features a four carat European cut diamond in full bezel, with 16 sapphires surrounding the bezel, which again is in full bezel. The basket is also held high with “petals” of diamonds all held together with two twisted gold bands.

Mary Kate Olsen Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring
Mary Kate Olsen Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring

#5 Sapphires are incredibly versatile when it comes to design

Because sapphires come in a wide range of colours and are more affordable than coloured diamonds, they can be used to create exactly the engagement ring that you and your partner want at an affordable price.

One of our favourite ways to use a sapphire in an engagement ring is with other diamonds or gemstones.

For example, this stunning toi et moi sapphire and diamond engagement ring oozes class and has been the choice for many couples that see each other bringing balance to their lives.

Toi et moi diamond and blue sapphire engagement ring in 14K yellow gold
Toi et moi diamond and blue sapphire engagement ring in 14K yellow gold

Similarly, this rose red sapphire (also known as a parpardascha) pairs incredibly well with a ruby in a toi et moi setting.

Toi et moi engagement ring in rose gold
Toi et moi engagement ring in rose gold

Sapphires also work well in maximalist designs. For example, this 1.5 carat equivalent marquise cut green sapphire featuring a styled halo in a yellow gold band oozes main character energy vibes.

1.5 carat equivalent marquise cut green sapphire featuring a styled halo in a yellow gold band
1.5 carat equivalent marquise cut green sapphire featuring a styled halo in a yellow gold band

These are just some of the designs that we have done with sapphires to create something classic but unique for our clients.

When you work with Four Words, we will go through a full design process with you. It starts with a consult to better understand you and your partner. You are also welcome to bring in designs that you would love to customise.

From here, we will narrow down on a brief and draw a couple of sketches. Once you are happy with the sketches, we will move to a CAD design where we iron out the finer details of the ring.

When the designs are finalised, we will then send you photos of the gemstones for your approval. We will have done all the hard work in picking the best sapphires that the eye can see.

Sapphire engagement rings also vary substantially in price, so much so we wrote an article on what a good sapphire engagement ring price.

After six to eight weeks, your sapphire engagement ring will be ready to be picked up or couriered. It will also come with an independent valuation for insurance and free international shipping. We can also organise your engagement ring to be GST-free if you are heading overseas from New Zealand.

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