Sapphire vs Ruby Engagement Rings: Which is Best?

Undoubtedly, diamonds are the most popular stones for use in engagement rings. However, for those looking for something a little out of the ordinary, sapphires and rubies are also common choices. Both sapphires and rubies are types of precious gemstones, and sit with diamonds and emeralds as the most commonly used in fine jewellery design. Therefore, a sapphire or ruby engagement ring can be just as valuable and meaningful as a diamond ring. So, if you’ve made the choice of taking an alternative route for your engagement ring style, you may find yourself wondering which option is best - sapphire or ruby? Well, we’re here to help you make the right choice, by explaining all there is to know about the two stones.

Sapphire vs Ruby Engagement Rings: Which is Best?

Sapphire vs ruby engagement rings; Side by side comparison

Before we delve deeper into the details, here’s a quick overview of the similarities and differences between each type of engagement ring…

 

Sapphire engagement rings

Ruby engagement rings 

Formation

Gem-quality corundum formed deep within earth’s crust 

Gem-quality corundum formed deep within earth’s crust 

Colour 

Available in a range of colours and hues including blue, pink, yellow, orange, purple and white

Available in different shades of red

Hardness

9 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness 

9 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness

Value 

Depends on various factors, including carat, cut and colour. Vibrant royal blue sapphires tend to be the most valuable

More valuable than sapphires as they are rarer. Price depends on carat, cut and colour. Pigeon blood shade rubies are the most valuable  

Meaning 

Fidelity, wisdom and trust 

Love, romance and passion 

Birthstone 

September 

July 

Formation 

Interestingly, rubies and sapphires are formed in the exact same way. They form deep within the earth’s crust, in intense and extreme conditions of high temperature and high pressure. 

 

Both types of precious stone are gem-quality corundum, whereby crystals have formed as the rock begins to cool. These are then pushed to the earth’s surface through natural movements and shifts, and then mined. 

Colour 

Colour is where the only distinct difference lies between sapphires and rubies. Although the most common colour of a sapphire is blue, they do come in a wide range of other colours and shades, including pink, yellow, orange, purple, white and more. Rubies on the other hand are only available in red tones. However, there is a whole spectrum of ruby shades to choose from, ranging from pinkish to ‘pigeon blood’. 

 

The gems get their colour during the formation process, where other minerals and elements interfere with the rock. For instance, the presence of titanium is what turns sapphires blue, while chromium is the trace element that creates the red shade of a ruby. 

 

Therefore, determining which stone is best is all dependent upon personal preference. The decision ultimately comes down to the colour you wish to be present on your ring - if it’s the romantic red shade then rubies are the way to go, whereas if you have an eye for any other hue, we recommend looking at a sapphire engagement ring. 

Hardness 

An engagement ring, with any kind of centre stone, is a lifetime investment. Naturally, you will want a design that will stand the test of time, in both style and durability. Therefore, the hardness of the gemstone you choose is an important consideration. 

 

As rubies and sapphires share the same composition for the most part, they are equally as hardy, with both ranking at an impressive nine on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This is surpassed by only diamonds and moissanite, which are both ranked at 10.

 

As a result, both types of stone are suitable for a long lasting engagement ring. Only a material with a higher hardness ranking can scratch a sapphire or ruby, meaning unless your engagement ring is carelessly stored with diamond or moissanite jewellery, it will remain scratch-free. 

 

No matter the style of ring you choose, it is always recommended that you have it professionally cleaned and serviced twice a year. This way, you can be sure that any scratches are cared for and stones remain secure in the ring’s setting. This will also help your ring to continue looking brand new for the many years to come. 

Price 

Price is another important consideration when shopping for an engagement ring. Most couples set aside a budget first, and then begin the search for the perfect ring within their price range. And with diamond rings being the most expensive, sapphire and ruby options often offer a better quality and bigger size for a fraction of the cost. 

 

Although less expensive, rubies and sapphires are both valuable precious gemstones. Due to their natural formation process, no two stones are the same, with each possessing its own unique characteristics which can impact quality, and ultimately, value. Therefore, rather than basing your decision on price alone, it’s important to assess the quality of the stone in order to determine whether you are getting the best value. 

 

The cost of a sapphire and ruby is based on each stone’s colour, cut, carat and clarity. Unlike diamonds, inclusions are common in these gemstones, and have much less impact on the cost. However, a stone with few inclusions is still preferred.

 

Colour tends to have the most impact on the value of a ruby or sapphire. This is because certain colours and shades are rarer or more sought after than others. For instance, the deepest shade of pigeon blood is the most desirable for a ruby, and therefore stones of this shade are priced higher. Similarly, the most valuable sapphires are a vibrant royal blue shade. 

 

The cut of ruby or sapphire is important as it will ensure the stone’s colour is showcased in the best possible way. Therefore, the cut can also impact the cost of an engagement ring. 

 

But of the two precious stones, rubies tend to be priced higher. Therefore, if you are driven by price alone, there is a clear winner. However, both ruby and sapphire engagement rings are available at a range of different price points. For example, you can find designs in solitaire settings, or with a diamond cluster as well as options in various carats and qualities to suit different budgets. 

Meaning

Regardless of the stone that sits at the heart of your engagement ring, we are sure it will hold a great deal of sentimental value and meaning to you. However, if you are looking for a way to add greater meaning to your engagement, there are a number of reasons why a ruby or sapphire might be the better option for you. 

 

Sapphire engagement ring meaning 

One of the most widely accepted meanings for sapphire is as the birthstone for September. Therefore, they are an obvious choice for brides-to-be who celebrate a birthday during the month. 

 

As sapphires are available in a whole spectrum of colours and shades, couples have the freedom of choosing one that best resonates with them and their love story. For instance, the deep blue shade typically associated with a sapphire can represent wisdom, fidelity and commitment. Or, the cool tone could offer a reminder of calmness and relaxation. 

 

Alternatively, a pink sapphire may represent femininity, while a green one could be gifted as a symbol of growth, sustainable love and eternity. Clearly, there are endless possibilities for the meaning of a sapphire, particularly when it comes down to what its colour represents. 

 

Ruby engagement ring meaning 

Similarly, ruby engagement rings hold their own meaning and symbolism, which may better resonate with certain couples. For instance, the striking red shade of a ruby is an accepted embodiment of love, romance and passion - all things which fit perfectly with the symbolic meaning of an engagement ring. 

 

Additionally, the gem is the birthstone for the month of July, making it the ideal choice for an individual with a birthday during the summer month. 

 

However, when it comes to meaning, the best type of engagement ring is an entirely subjective choice. 

 

Undeniably, both sapphires and rubies are great choices for engagement rings, with many similarities as well as their own unique characteristics, meanings and values. Therefore, we cannot possibly settle the debate with one clear winner, but we hope one has come out on top for you, and that this will help you make the all-important decision. 

 

Whether that’s rubies or sapphires, you can browse our beautiful collections of both and find yourself one step closer to finding your dream engagement ring.

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