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By Prue Bell

Can I Wear A Sapphire In My Engagement Ring?

02 December 2022

The background of the sapphire engagement ring

Can you wear a sapphire in your engagement ring? You most certainly can.

It could be the starring centre stone or you might choose sapphires as accent stones, complementing a centre diamond. Both are terrific possibilities. The sapphire has a long and proud tradition appearing on engagement rings: sapphires and rubies were actually the most typical gemstones seen in engagement rings before the day of the diamond. Some of the most spectacular and famous recent and contemporary engagement rings feature stunning sapphires. Let’s discover more about this special stone and how it can be a fabulous option for your engagement ring. 


Sapphires belong to the family of minerals known as Corundum. Although they are best loved and most admired for their amazing blue colours, they also come a variety of other colours too, such as pink, purple, yellow, green, orange, brown, black, white and more.

Industry expert and sapphire aficionado, Kate Earlam-Charnley, design director at Taylor & Hart, US custom engagement ring and wedding band jewellers, says, “A sapphire is the perfect balance of classical beauty and contemporary expression, allowing you to choose one that reflects you or your partner’s personality.”

Rarity of sapphires

Some sapphires are extremely rare and expensive. The stones with exceptional colour will often fetch more than diamonds of the same carat weight, although generally speaking, sapphires are more affordable than diamonds. The most sought-after colours have exotic-sounding names like Kashmir and Ceylon Blue. The most rare variety of sapphire is called Padparadscha, which is an exquisite blend of orange and pink. The most valuable sapphires are predominantly sourced in Thailand, Sri Lanka and East Africa. 

What should I look for in a sapphire?

You should look for that special colour – in fact look deep into that profound colour which is different and unique to each sapphire.

Whether you are attracted to the classic blue tones or you like the idea of a sapphire with a more unusual colour, it should be the essence of that incredible natural colouration which delights and captivates you. Sapphires are graded according the all the 4C’s, like diamonds, although for a sapphire, the colour and cut components are more consequential to its quality.

The most popular shape for sapphire centre stones is oval. The oval cut tends to bring out the best in sapphires, as Kate Earlam-Charnley explains, “Oval cuts allow the most light to travel through the gemstone, enhancing its colour and making sure the sapphire does not appear flat.”

Wearing a Sapphire engagement ring

Sapphires are exceptionally durable, just like diamonds. On the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphires rate a nine (ten being the hardest). So, sapphires are almost as robust as diamonds, and this is one of the reasons they are a popular choice to go on engagement rings, which tend to be worn every day. A sapphire will do the hard yards. In terms of settings, sapphires go beautifully in vintage style or modern designs. The most typical precious metals to pair with sapphires these days are platinum and white gold, though the warmer looks of yellow or rose gold work wonderfully too. 

Famous Sapphire rings

At least two of the most famous engagement rings of all time have featured glorious sapphires as the main act. Arguably the best known and admired engagement ring in the world is the one given to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 when the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, proposed to her. That ring is now worn by the new Princess of Wales, Catherine. Screen siren and legendary celebrity Elizabeth Taylor amassed a fine collection of engagement rings over the years: the most astonishing was the ring given to her by second husband, English actor Michael Wilding. The dramatic engagement ring featured an enormous pyramid shaped sapphire, surrounded by diamonds, perhaps alluding to the role which would make her one of the most famous actresses on the planet – that of Cleopatra.

Frequently asked questions?

Are the finest sapphires blue?

Blue coloured sapphires are the most popular, but sapphires do come in many colours, the rarer hues are very striking and these stones are often more expensive than high quality diamonds of the same size.

Is a sapphire a good alternative to a diamond for a centre stone on an engagement ring?

Yes, it is an extremely popular coloured gemstone alternative to the classic diamond centre stone. In fact, in former centuries, sapphires and rubies were more commonly worn on engagement rings than were diamonds. 

What is the best shape for sapphires?

Certainly the most often selected with sapphires in the oval cut. Other fancy cuts can look superb as well. Smaller sapphires in square and round shapes make magical accent stones around larger diamonds. Talk to us about custom designing a diamond and sapphire engagement ring.