Anyone who has seen an intensely hued sapphire knows how mesmerizing the stone’s saturated colors are. Unmistakably vivid, sapphire engagement rings have long been favored by royalty and fashion-forward brides looking for a bold and timeless alternative to diamonds. As we close in on the royal wedding of the summer, we at Abby Sparks Jewelry would like to celebrate the aristocratic sapphire and everything that makes it a classic choice for an engagement ring.

Sapphire Origins

Fit for a queen. The Morgan custom sapphire engagement ring, featuring platinum, diamonds, and a 5.57 carat sapphire. Made exclusively by Abby Sparks Jewelry.

Sapphires have enjoyed a long and well-documented place in history. The word “sapphire” is said to come from the Greek sapheiros meaning blue and can also be roughly translated to “dear to the planet Saturn” in many languages. Sapphired were first discovered in India in the 1800’s and the majority have been mined in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Myanmar, and Australia, though they are found all over the world. Sapphires were found in 1865 in the the state of Montana by early prospectors looking for gold, leading to the nickname “The Treasure State.” Sapphires are formed from the mineral corundum and they get their color when other minerals are present. Different mineral combinations result in different colors of sapphires, with titanium contributing to the famous blue color. How slowly the magma cools during formation is what lends to a sapphires size, and a slow cool paired with a lack of other elements and minerals is extremely rare. The combination of all of these elements are what creates the unique color, size, and inclusions present in each gemstone, meaning no two are alike.

Types of Sapphires

The Kelsey custom sapphire engagement ring, featuring platinum and a 4.7 carat lab grown sapphire. Made exclusively by Abby Sparks Jewelry.

Depending on your budget and your color preference, you have your pick when it comes to sapphire options. Though blue sapphires are by and far the most well known, sapphires are naturally occurring in every color of the rainbow depending on where and how they’re formed. There’s a wide range of sapphire types, ranging from nearly translucent white sapphire, to dark, moody and almost black. Called “fancy sapphires”, they come in yellow, green, pink, purple, orange, gray, brown, and all of the colors in between. Salmon-colored Padparadscha sapphires are some of the most rare and valuable, as are vividly saturated Kashmir blues. One color sapphires aren’t? Red. Little known fact that red conundrum constitutes a ruby, but all other colors fall under the sapphire umbrella. Looking for a more ethereal vibe than the traditional bold hues? Montana sapphires are typically pale and dreamy hues, and there are also color-change and bi-color sapphires that appear different colors depending on the light and angle. Like many gemstones, lab created sapphires are an earth-friendly (non-mined) and budget-friendly option that has the same chemical, physical, and optical properties of their natural counterparts.

Sapphire Engagement Ring Meaning

The Rachael custom diamond and sapphire engagement ring, featuring sapphire accent stones. Made exclusively by Abby Sparks Jewelry.

If you seek meaning in an engagement ring stone, the sapphire’s colorful history doesn’t disappoint. Due to its similarity with the color of the sky, sapphires have been prized since ancient times. Sapphire has had religious significance to catholics and ancient Persians alike, and were worn in talisman in the Middle Ages to protect the wearer from witchcraft. During this time the gemstone was also ground up and taken medicinally as a cure-all for negative thoughts, heart trouble, muscle pain, cowardice, and the ingestion of poison. In 11th century Asian, sorcerers used sapphire to promote wisdom and psychic ability. Because of their fame, beauty and power, sapphires have long been favored by royalty, most famously the center stone in Kate Middleton’s and Princess Diana’s ring. Universal meanings for sapphire include nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness–a meaningful combination for an engagement ring. It’s this type of romantic connotation that has persevered into modern times. Nowadays, opals are said to boost creativity and to symbolize fidelity. As an engagement ring, sapphires are a perfect representation of the loyalty present in your relationship. Their timeless but still somewhat unconventional color is a huge draw for those that want a truly unique ring.

Sapphire Engagement Ring Durability

The Julie custom sapphire engagement ring, featuring 14k yellow gold and a 6.8 carat sapphire.

As far as gemstones go, sapphires are some of the most durable options on the market. Though no other stones compare to diamonds in terms of hardness, sapphires do come pretty close. Gemstone hardness is measured by the Mohs Scale, a universally accepted ranking that ranges from super soft pearls to hardest-material-on-earth, diamonds. Whereas diamonds are a 10 out of 10, sapphires clock in at a 9. It’s important to note that the scale isn’t linear, so though they’re one point away, diamonds are many many times more durable than sapphires. With that being said, they’re your best best for a non-diamond ring (besides moissanite which is 9.5). Like all engagement rings, sapphire rings are not suitable for 24/7 wear (see 3 unexpected times when you shouldn’t wear your engagement ring) but because of the sapphire’s hardness, it’s a great stone for long term wear. If you work with a skilled jewelry designer like Abby Sparks Jewelry, we can make sure that you start off with a high quality stone and set it in an engagement ring design that will help protect the sapphire from everyday mishaps and accidents. If you’re into sapphires, make sure to check out all of our sapphire engagement rings, non-traditional engagement rings, alternative engagement rings, and gemstone engagement rings.