Diamonds vs. Gemstones Engagement Rings: What to Know and How to Choose

halo engagement ring

Are you and your partner searching for the perfect engagement ring or wedding band? Rosie Ray offers a vast collection of innovative and unique designs for women. There are so many gorgeous choices that it can almost be overwhelming. However, as you browse, you might see the word “gemstone” thrown around a lot. But what is a gemstone and how do diamonds stand apart? Furthermore, diamonds vs. gemstones: which do you choose? 

In this guide, we explain the difference between diamonds and gemstones and talk about why you might want to wear one over the other for women’s wedding bands, engagement rings or special pieces of jewelry. Then, you can find the perfect stone for your ring!

Why Gemstones are Taking Over the Engagement Ring Industry

Diamond engagement rings have long been sought after for their downright glitz and glimmer. They’re the traditional thing to receive when being proposed to but what’s all this talk about gemstones lately?! We get it. You wanna be cool and not break the bank for your honey so maybe they are a good option. Wait - I get to have a colored center stone, like my favorite color maybe?! How cool is that!!

Gemstones come in a myriad of different colors, especially Sapphires and Garnets. There are some recognizable blue Sapphire engagement ring designs or entirely unique and different engagement rings. Picture a pink sapphire engagement ring or a green engagement ring - OR a cluster ring with several colors. When you add color, the possibilities are endless and oftentimes the price tag is drastically lower. 

Gemstone engagement rings are the newest craze in the engagement ring industry. Why? Because they say “she’s not like anyone else so why should her ring look like everyone else’s?” But you might then ask - “but it won’t be as durable as a diamond, right?” Not necessarily! Sapphires, Garnets, and some other gemstones are almost as hard as diamonds and can take daily wear the same way a diamond engagement ring can. Check out the Mohs hardness scale and try to stick to stones with a 7.5 or higher to make sure they won’t chip or knick when you’re doing the dishes or weeding in the garden. 

A Diamond Is a Clear Gemstone

platinum diamonds womens ring

While there are actually about 200 types of gemstones, including all kinds of mineral crystals (topaz), rocks (opal) and organic materials (pearls), when you hear the word “gemstone,” vibrant colors are probably the first thing to come to mind. While gemstones like rubies, emeralds and sapphires offer bold, vibrant colors, gemstone hues can go a lot lighter. You can find gemstones such as soft peridot green, pastel-violet amethysts and even yellow citrines, though because of their softness, many jewelers dont carry them. But gemstones are found in an even lighter color than that: the clear diamond.

Technically speaking, yes, a diamond is a gemstone. Comparing carats to carats, they are also the most valuable gemstone. This is what makes all other gemstones besides diamonds often referred to as “semi-precious.” That being said, one of our most popular and unique diamonds is the natural salt and pepper diamond, which offers a whole mood. 

One of the biggest misconceptions about diamond rings is that they need to be treated with kid gloves. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone known to man and can endure pretty much everything that life throws at them, which is why they are the typical choice for engagement rings. That doesn’t mean they are the ONLY choice. Let the choice be yours.

Diamonds vs. Gemstones: How to Choose

gold emerald engagement ring

So now that you know diamonds are indeed gemstones, how do you choose one for your engagement ring or wedding band? Glad you asked. We’ve listed the advantages of both diamonds and gemstones below to help guide you in your decision. 

Diamonds Are Stronger

As mentioned, diamonds are the strongest gemstone, coming in at 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. The highest durability level of 10 makes diamonds one of the hardest substances on earth. The Mohs scale also indicates how well a gemstone can hold up to scratches, chipping or breaking. This is why they are used for engagement rings and wedding bands that you’ll wear forever. 

Still, you can find some exceptionally hard semi-precious gemstones that come pretty close to a diamond’s 10 level on the Moh scale. Coming in close at 9 Moh, sapphires and rubies are the second hardest gem and make a fantastic ring alternative. 

Semi-Precious Gemstone Rings Are Affordable

Since diamonds are the most precious and rare of all gemstones, they also come with a higher price point per carat. As a whole, semi-precious gemstones are the most budget-friendly for brides looking for a wonderful alternative to the traditional diamond ring.

However, if you still love the look of a classic diamond ring, Rosie Ray also offers lab-grown diamonds that are more affordable, too. Traditional and lab-grown diamonds are both natural, sustainable diamonds. You just get more bang for your buck with a lab-grown diamond. 

Semi-Precious Gemstones Are Unique

Speaking of tradition, let’s talk a bit about that! Diamond engagement rings and wedding bands have been the choice of many couples since De Beers introduced the idea in 1947 that “a diamond is forever.” However, around 2020, a new trend emerged — couples wanted a more unique aesthetic, choosing colorful gemstones instead of the classic diamond. Not that there’s anything wrong with a classic, but some simply prefer to stand out from the crowd, too. Gemstone colors can also symbolize special milestones or events in your life. They can also simply represent who you are as an individual.

Certain stones also offer different shapes since they don’t need to be cut so precisely to obtain a diamond-like sparkle. Many couples choose gemstones simply because they prefer a more modern, edgy shape. 

gemstone engagement ring on hand

Diamonds and Gemstones Make Gorgeous Rings

So if you’ve always dreamt of having a diamond engagement ring, then by all means go for it. Diamonds are gorgeous, durable, and incredibly beautiful. But if that’s just not you, be sure to explore other options. In the end, he honestly just wants to get you something you’ll love, so explore both and see where you land.

Whether you prefer a bespoke salt and pepper natural diamond, a color-enhanced black diamond or a bright green Tsavorite gemstone, Rosie Ray offers a variety of styles and shapes to fit your taste and budget so you can find the ring of your dreams.

Shop Our Collections of Diamond and Gemstone Engagement Rings