Engagement Rings

Color Theory: Personalizing the Ring with Gemstones

Sponsored by Gemvara

When people hear the words “engagement ring,” they probably picture the classic six prong solitaire: one diamond set high on a white gold band. The reality of engagement rings is a lot more complex, with a multitude of options, and an even larger range of tastes.

More and more people are electing to add accent stones to the ring, either in a halo or adorning the shank. These accent stones can be small diamonds–or, if you want to add some color–non-diamond gemstones. Companies like Gemvara can help you find the the right gemstones to go with your center stone and metal color.

We’ve broken down some of the best options below, taking into account not only the aesthetic effects of each gem, but categories like birthstone and symbolism. 

Red Garnets

Birthstone for: January

Name:

The word garnet comes from the Latin word “granatus” meaning pomegranate. That’s because the fruit’s seeds are about the same size and color of red garnet stones.

Properties:

Often called the “stone of love,” garnet is said to have properties that deepen romantic connections and incite passion and desire. Hello.

Works with…

Red Garnet shines brightest with a platinum band and halo setting. 

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Amethyst

Birthstone for: February

Name:

According to Greek mythology, amethyst was created when Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry, dyed a clear crystal purple with his tears.

Properties:

The gemstone is believed to prevent intoxication and encourage clear, sober thinking. Not bad attributes to have when you’re making one of the most important and exciting decisions of your life.

Works with…

Amethyst’s purple tone looks brilliant in a platinum setting.

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Aquamarine

Birthstone for: March

Name:

Named after the latin word for seawater.

Properties:

Roman legend claims this gemstone absorbs young lovers’ energy and increases couples’ happiness, providing tranquility, calm nerves and a safe passage through turbulent times. Sounds like it was created by someone who knows a thing or two about marriage.

Works with…

Aquamarine’s light blue color looks radiant in both platinum and rose gold bands.

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Black Diamonds

Birthstone for: April (sort of)

Name:

Unlike colorless diamonds which are formed deep within the earth, black diamonds contain high levels of hydrogen, similar to rocks created in a cosmic environment–leading some scientists to believe that black diamonds ultimately come from outer space.

Properties:

Diamonds are associated with clarity and balance, and black traditionally stands for power and authority. So if you’re into that type of thing (or she is), a black diamond is formidable. If you promised your girlfriend the moon and the stars (what is this, the 1800’s?) black diamond accent stones will deliver.

Works with…

As the most classic neutral color, black pairs well with every metal. We think the platinum/black combo is particularly choice.

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Emeralds

Birthstone for: May

Name:

According to Indian mythology, the name emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as “marakata,” meaning “the green of growing things.”

Properties:

In ancient Egypt emeralds symbolized eternal life. Greek mythology associates the gemstone with Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, and claims it promotes unconditional love and guards against infidelity. Green also symbolizes spring and rebirth, which is kind of appropriate at the start of your marriage.

Works with…

Pair the emerald with a yellow gold band for an engagement ring that’s beautiful and timeless.

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Alexandrite

Birthstone for: June

Name:

Alexandrite is one of the world’s rarest gemstones, and is prized for its ability to change colors from red to green, depending on the lighting.

Properties:

Believed to bring luck in love and finances. Nice.

Works with…

Because of alexandrite’s iridescent hue, the stone looks best with a platinum band.

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Rubies

Birthstone for: July

Name:

Comes from “ruber,” Latin for red.

Properties:

One of the world’s top four most precious stones, rubies symbolize love, power and passion.

Works with…

A rose gold band’s blush undertones will nicely complement the bright red color of the gem.

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Peridot

Birthstone for: August

Name:

Of uncertain origin. Some trace it back to a French word for gold, “peritot,” while others suggest a derivation from “feridat,” an Arabic word for gem.

Properties:

Peridot is thought to conjure courage and confidence and protect against jealous thoughts, especially during times of transition.  

Works with…

This light, olive-green gemstone shines brightest in a platinum band.

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Blue Sapphires

Birthstone for: September

Name:

From the Latin sapphirus, and the Greek sáppheiros

Properties:

Blue sapphires equal royalty and wisdom. Hebrew tradition claims that the sage, King Solomon wore garments decorated with the stone. In modern times, a lot of blue sapphires found their way into The British Crown Jewels (as well as Princess Diana’s engagement ring, which Prince William then gave to Kate Middleton).

Works with…

The September birthstone looks modern in a platinum band but takes on a more regal air nestled in a diamond halo with yellow gold.

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White Sapphires

Birthstone for: September

Name:

From the Latin sapphirus, and the Greek sáppheiros

Properties:

Like their blue sister stone, white sapphires are known to bring wisdom. They’re also credited with calming properties that promote clear thinking.

Works with…

This colorless stone looks best set into a yellow or rose gold band. While a blue sapphire is more widely preferred, a white sapphire can also be used to represent September’s birthstone.  

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Pink Tourmaline

Birthstone for: October

Name:

From the Sinhalese “tóramalli”

Properties:

Pink Tourmaline radiates unconditional love. In addition to this spiritual and emotional component, it’s said that pink tourmaline also has the power to soothe physical alignments pertaining to the heart.

Works with…

This gemstone sparkles best in a tonal rose gold band.

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Citrine

Birthstone for: November

Name:

Citrine comes from the French word for “lemon,” because of its golden tones.

Properties:

This autumnal yellow stone is believed to attract wealth and success and protect against evil.

Works with…

Set Citrine in a yellow gold band to showcase it’s true brilliance.

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London Blue Topaz

Birthstone for: November

Name:

From Old French word topace.

Properties:

The darkest variation is said to aid in verbal communication and promote calming energies.

Works with…

Blue topaz is classified into three different shades – light sky blue, Swiss blue and deep London blue. All these shades pair well with most metals, but for the most dynamic ring, choose a platinum or silver band with cool undertones.

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Tanzanite

Birthstone for: December

(The purply blue gem grew in demand so rapidly that the American Gem Trade Association declared it December’s official birthstone in 2002.)

Name:

Named after Tanzania, the country in which it was first discovered, in 1967.

Properties:

Because its discovery was so recent, Tanzanite has no folklore or historical associations. That hasn’t stopped it from becoming hugely popular. After the “big four” (diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds), tanzanite is the most sought after gemstone.

Works with…

For a ring she can’t deny, set tanzanite in a platinum band with a white diamond halo.

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