Gemstone Engagement Rings: The CJ Charles Shopping Guide

Written By: Vahid Moradi

In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria reportedly gave his future spouse, Mary of Burgundy, the first diamond engagement ring, establishing a tradition that would span over five centuries. 

However, not all things are set in stone—some are set in gemstone.

For an engagement ring that dazzles, a ring adorned in emeralds, sapphires, or rubies is a stunning and trendy way to say I’ll love you forever. In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about gemstone engagement rings, from cut to color, to help you get down on one knee with the perfect ring in hand.

The Rise of Gemstones

Although the saying “diamonds are forever” is true from a geological perspective, it may not be true in a fashion sense. That’s because more and more couples are discarding diamond engagement rings in favor of glamorous gemstones.

With that being said, let’s take a look at a few reasons why the day of the diamond may be ending, and the reign of the gemstone is just beginning.

1. Diamonds Can Drain the Bank

While the price of diamonds can vary based on the carat, cut, clarity, and color of the precious stone, diamonds will generally set you back a pretty penny. That’s because April birthstone jewelry  is incredibly sought-after and resilient (in fact, they’re some of the oldest and hardest substances on Earth). 

Additionally, a few companies have controlled the diamond supply since the advent of large-scale diamond mining operations. Both of these factors contribute to the sometimes exorbitant price of the precious stone.

For a better understanding of diamond prices, take a look at the average diamond price per carat:1

  • Less than 0.50 carat – $2,254
  • 1.00 to 1.49 carat – $6,590
  • 3.00-3.99 carat – $17,334
  • 5.00 carat or more – $29,620

While some people can afford to spend the equivalent of several months’ paychecks, many others simply cannot. As a result, many would-have-been diamond buyers are flocking to more affordable gemstones. 

Explore luxury necklaces, rings and more. Shop women’s jewelry!

2. Gemstones Can Better Reflect Personality

Diamonds have adorned rings, necklaces, and crowns since the ancient Greeks first immortalized them in poetry. 

The reason? They reflect class, luxury, and sophistication. While there are certainly times when you want to exude these values, you may want to gift your beloved with the “generous green” of an aquamarine emerald or the “cool blue” of a deep sapphire. Sometimes, a diamond’s reservedness just doesn’t feel right—and the “passionate red” of a fiery ruby more accurately displays your feelings toward the one you love most. 

No matter your reasoning, gemstones and their various colors and cuts are powerful jewels of creativity. And as self-expression becomes more valued, so, too, do colored gemstones.

Finding the Right Gemstone

Finding the right gemstone engagement ring is similar to selecting the perfect diamond ring. When deciding on your jewel, it’s important to take the following factors into account:

  • Color – While diamonds can be blue, pink, and red, they’re almost always clear or off-white. Gemstones, however, are praised for their vibrancy, and they reflect all colors of the rainbow. As such, a gemstone’s color is a major draw.

  • Cut – Like a diamond’s cut, a gemstone’s cut helps dictate its appearance and price. For maximum beauty and brightness, go with the best cut you can afford. Popular gemstone cuts include brilliant, step, mixed, round, and halo.

  • Carat – A gemstone’s carat refers to its weight in grams. Like diamonds, gemstones are largely priced according to their carat.

  • Clarity – All gemstones contain some imperfections. However, the most prized gemstones conceal their imperfections like old Victorian houses. The best gemstones have no visible blemishes, are highly transparent, and are uniformly colored.

  • Now that you know what to look for in a gemstone engagement ring, let’s dive into the most popular gemstones for engagement rings.


    As the prized jewel of Cleopatra and birthstone of May, the emerald has long been lauded for its singular greenish hue. Its colored gem reflects spring’s regenerative qualities and fertile promises, and its verdancy symbolizes beautiful things to come.

    As a result, emerald is a very popular choice for gemstone engagement rings in San Diego.

    When selecting the right emerald ring, be sure to note the following:2

  • Color – While emeralds come in many shades of green, the most desirable emeralds are deep green.

  • Cut – Most emeralds have rectangular step cuts. That said, you can also cut emeralds in the shapes of flowers, hearts, and stars.

  • Carat – Emeralds tend to have lower densities than other gemstones. As a result,  emeralds sometimes look larger than other gemstones with the same carat sizes.

  • Clarity – In general, choose highly transparent emeralds. Most emeralds will also have inclusions that collectors label “gardens.”

  • Emerald engagement rings, like the Platinum and 18k Yellow Gold 8.50ct Natural Zambian Emerald Diamond Ring, have the luxury of looking fantastic in many styles. Some of the most popular emerald engagement ring styles include halos, but the solitaire and twisting band styles are also very popular. 

    Although emeralds are stunning, some people may like the cut, but not the color. 

    If you enjoy the emerald cut, but wish to go with a diamond, choose an emerald cut diamond engagement ring like the Platinum 11.92ct Center Emerald Cut Diamond Ring. As miraculous as the first day of May, this piece makes a statement by pairing the precision of a rectangular emerald cut with the sophistication of a diamond. 


    A gemstone that embodies passion, excitement, and sensuality, ruby has been considered one of the top gems for almost as long as we’ve worn jewelry. In fact, ruby roughly translates to “king of gems” in Sanskrit.3

    The power of ruby stems from its fiery color. Burning with intensity, ruby reflects the commitment of marriage and the ferocity of eternal love.

    Take the following into account when choosing a July birthstone jewelry or a ruby engagement ring:3

  • Color – The most desirable rubies are carmine, scarlet red, and blood red.

  • Cut – Rubies are typically cut as mixed cuts. These cuts include crown and pavilion styles. In addition to halo styles, popular ruby engagement ring styles include solitaire styles and three-prong styles. For an even more luxurious style, consider a marquise cut like the one found in the Estate Marquise Cut Ruby Diamond Ring.

  • Carat – Most rubies are one carat and lower. Rubies over one carat are exceedingly rare.

  • Clarity – Look for rubies without inclusions as these can greatly diminish their value.

  • In addition to the solitaire, three-pronged, and marquise cuts, the pear cut is another ruby cut to consider. Organic and reflective of life, the ruby pear cut radiates with brilliance. It also looks stunning as a diamond cut.

    If you want to pair the opulence of a diamond and the sensually-shaped symmetry of a pear cut, look no further than the “Tiffany” Set 5.08ct Pear Diamond Ring. Majestically crafted and regally inspired, this ode to elegance features a 5.08-carat diamond flanked by pear-shaped side stones.


    The birthstone of September, sapphire is known for its connection to royalty. (Royal blue, anyone?) What’s more, sapphire’s blazing blue hue embodies marriage’s purity and faithfulness.

    Treat your future spouse like the king or queen they are by pledging your everlasting love with a sapphire gemstone.

    When searching for a September birthstone jewelry or an engagement ringas splendid as your love, take note of the following:4

  • Color – The most desirable sapphires have deep oceanic blue hues.

  • Cut – Sapphires typically feature brilliant crown cuts and pavilion step cuts. Halo cuts are also popular sapphire cuts.

  • Carat – One of the benefits of sapphires is their size range. Unlike rubies, sapphires come in many carat sizes.

  • Clarity – Sapphires can feature some inclusions, but these inclusions generally look better on sapphires than they do on rubies.

  • While a sapphire with a brilliant-cut pattern can make you feel like a king for a day, a diamond with a brilliant-cut pattern can make you feel like a king for a lifetime.

    For a diamond as brilliant as its cut, check out the Rivière Platinum 7.03ct Old Mine Brilliant Cut Diamond Ring from CJ Charles. Exuding confidence and class, this ring features a breathtaking 7.03-carat brilliant-cut diamond flanked by trapezoid side diamonds and pave diamonds. 

    More Gemstone Cuts to Consider

    Choosing between halo, brilliant, step, and mixed cuts can leave you thinking “am I cut out for this?”

    Fortunately, CJ Charles has a wide range of cuts to satisfy your gemstone engagement ring needs. CJ Charles can even design custom jewelry to match your specific tastes—from the gemstone to the engagement band. 

    While we’ve already covered a few glamorous gemstones and their associated cuts, let’s dive into two more cuts: the round brilliant cut and the cushion cut.

    1. Round Out Brilliance With This Cut 

    The round brilliant cut has long stolen the show when it comes to engagement ring cuts. That’s because the round brilliant cut divides the gemstone into two beautiful halves. What’s more, the cut’s 57 facets make the gem shine with an unparalleled . . . brilliance.

    Although you can apply a rounded brilliant-cut to nearly every gem, diamonds are the perfect gem to illuminate the cut’s elegance. Just ask CJ Charles. 

    A ring of unbridled brilliance, the Rivière Platinum Round Brilliant Cut 2.51ct Diamond Ring is the pinnacle of excellence. Its 2.5-carat center diamond is surrounded by pave diamonds, treating the eye, heart, and soul to a taste of luxury.

    2. Don’t Sleep on the Cushion Cut

    The cushion-cut merges the trendiness of round brilliant cuts with the classiness of old mine cuts. These types of cuts typically feature square-shaped stones with curved edges, giving the stone the appearance of a cushion.

    For the best cushion cut diamonds, look no further than CJ Charles. 

    A sparkling wonder to behold, the Platinum 5ct Cushion Cut Diamond Ring from CJ Charles features a 5.02-carat cushion cut diamond surrounded by round brilliant cut diamonds in a halo setting that redefines excellence.

    Discover Your Next Gemstone Engagement Ring at CJ Charles

    Although diamond rings have long set the standard when it comes to engagement jewelry, gemstone engagement rings have never been more popular. That said, given the many beautiful gemstones, cuts, and women’s wedding bands that fill the market, selecting the gemstone that captures your heart can be difficult.

    Thankfully, CJ Charles has your gemstone needs covered. At CJ Charles, we can help you find the perfect emerald, ruby, sapphire, or diamond that showcases your love and personality.

    We can even make custom jewelry for engagement rings to craft the engagement ring of your dreams. At CJ Charles, we don’t just meet excellence. We exceed it.

    Written By: Vahid Morai

    Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.


    1. DiamondSearchEngine. Diamond Prices Index™.
    2. GIA. Emerald.
    3. GIA. Ruby.
    4. GIA. Sapphire.

    Leave a comment

    All comments are moderated before being published