10 Things You Need to Know About Gemstone Engagement Rings

10 Things You Need to Know About Gemstone Engagement Rings | Color Change Sapphire Ring by Hunt Country Jewelers

  1. They’re Awesome.

    Rarer than diamonds, colored gemstones have been used as articles of adornment and affection for millennia. A gemstone engagement ring pretty much guarantees your ring won’t be anything like your sister’s, or your neighbor’s, or your mom’s ring because each stone is inherently uniquely colored and formed to be one of a kind.

  2. Get to Know MOH.

    Gemstones aren’t as durable as diamonds, but there are several varieties that are plenty durable to wear every day as your engagement ring. The MOHs Scale of hardness helps identify which gemstones are excellent engagement contenders: Diamond is the hardest at 10, Corundum (Sapphire and Ruby) is a 9, Chrysoberyl an 8.5, Spinel an 8. Gemstones rated 7 and above can be safely worn with care on a regular basis, but we like to stay about 8 for engagement rings because they get so much daily wear! This hot pink spinel is a little known type of gemstone that is an excellent choice for an engagement ring!

    10 Things You Need to Know About Gemstone Engagement Rings | Black Opal and Pink Tourmaline rings by Hunt Country Jewelers

  3. Taste the Rainbow.

    All the colors of the world are open and available in gemstones, even if you stay within the MOH rated 8 and above varieties, there are thousands of color options. Did you know Sapphire comes in every color? And not just ROYGBIV, but thousands of variations on tone and saturation of color: hot pink, baby pink, purple pink, barely pink, bubblegum pink, reddish pink.  And then, of course, the stars!

    10 Things You Need to Know About Gemstone Engagement Rings | Tsavorite Garnet, Merelani Mint Garnet, Tourmaline, and Diamond rings by Hunt Country Jewelers

  4. Show me the Money!

    There are colored gemstones that will run you upwards of diamonds- but they don’t have to. Choosing color is a great way to get more size, more punch, more stones, more bang for your buck than a diamond engagement ring. Most gemstones will be less than their size-equivalent diamond counterparts, some significantly so!

  5. Yin and Yang.

    You don’t have to forgo diamonds to add color! Diamonds and colored gemstones have been used together since forever and for good reason- it’s a stunning combination! So add some diamond side stones to your ruby center stone or use a halo of blue sapphires to highlight the icy whiteness of your diamond.

    10 Things You Need to Know About Gemstone Engagement Rings | Ruby and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring in 18K yellow gold by Hunt Country Jewelers | Photo by Lelia Marie Photography

  6. Yang and Yin.

    Want the unique personality of a colored gemstones, but don’t want to forgo the brilliance and durability of diamond? Try a colored diamond! Diamonds also come in every color, but some are very rare and very expensive, like purple or orange. Yellows, silvers, champagnes, and irradiated blue-greens, however can be comparable to white diamonds and can be beautiful statement pieces that mix tradition with a pop of modernity.

  7. Color is King.

    Gemstones are not graded the same way diamonds are; color is first and foremost what determines the value of a gemstone, but the most important thing about color is that YOU like it. The jewelry industry may say that medium royal blue sapphires are the ideal, but they aren’t ideal for YOU if you love the lighter hint of purple in a cornflower blue sapphire. Gemstones are all about your personality!

  8. Cut is Queen.

    Cut is important in all gemstones, but especially in colored gemstones. A well cut stone will show even color throughout without a lighter center (a ‘window’); this helps the stone perform to the best of it’s ability. Diamonds are known for being super sparkly, but a well cut gemstone can also be full of sparkle. Some varieties of gemstones can even throw rainbows (technically called spectral color) like their diamond cousins. But poorly cut gemstones will leak light out the window in the middle and this seriously inhibits the sparkle potential.

    10 Things You Need to Know About Gemstone Engagement Rings | Blue Sapphire Engagement Rings by Hunt Country Jewelers

  9. Gemstones are Special.

    Not just because they are all so unique, but because they do need a bit of special treatment when being set and handled. If you are purchasing a gemstone engagement ring or having one custom made for you, especially, choose a jeweler who works with color on a regular basis. There are special considerations when setting and working on gemstone jewelry about pressure and heat that don’t necessarily apply to diamonds, so choose your jeweler wisely and it will serve you well over the lifetime of the ring!

  10. Easy Peasy.

    Some gemstones, like opals and emeralds, are delicate and need special attention to clean and maintain them, but most are as simple to care for as diamonds! They can be cleaned in an ultrasonic by your jeweler or by you at home with mostly water and some dish soap and a clean toothbrush. Cleaning often is recommended- clean jewelry is prettier and lasts longer!


And now you know the 10 most important things about gemstone engagement rings!

Handmade Custom Jewelry + Trends

Where Does Handmade Custom Jewelry fit into Jewelry Trends?

Here’s the short answer: everywhere.  Yes, by definition, trends come and go, they are ephemeral and hard to predict.  Some last a season and some a decade.  But some things never go out of style and handmade custom jewelry is one of them.  I’ve started a series here on the blog about some trends we are seeing in color, like The Return of Yellow Gold, but I wanted to take a moment and clarify my thoughts on trends in general.

And here is the crux of the matter: Fine handmade custom jewelry, like what we make at Hunt Country, is simply too much of an investment for us, or you, to worry too much about what’s ‘on trend’.  And when I say investment, I do mean financially.  Unless you have an unlimited disposable income (which, let’s be real, very few of us are lucky enough to have) a piece of fine jewelry is something you usually plan for, save for, dream about.  It is not something you can just do because So-and-So wore one of the red carpet last night.

But even more than financially, the jewelry we make here at Hunt Country Jewelers is too much of an emotional investment to worry about it being on trend or not.  We build jewelry that holds memories; that celebrates milestones and people and love.  Jewelry that is built to be passed down to your children and their children.  The ring that has your grandmother’s and mother’s diamonds in it is always in style and it’s always perfectly on trend because it was built with care and skill by us for you so you can always hold those memories and the warmth of their love close.  The combination of the love we have for what we do and the love you have when you wear it makes these pieces special.  Specialer than trends.  So you may see more yellow gold in magazines this year- and that’s great!- but it means absolutely nothing about your platinum pendant, as long as you love it.  Because that’s what really never goes out of style: LOVE.  So when your jewelry was made with love to celebrate love, you don’t have to worry about trends.


Handmade Yellow Gold Jewelry

Color Trends: Yellow Gold

I have a theory: I think that metal colors come and go in fashion because no one wants to wear what their own mother wears, which then means we go back to wearing what our grandmothers wore.  Our 1980’s brides were all about the yellow gold; the mid 90’s to 2010 brides were all about the white.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Yellow is back, baby! And we love handmade yellow gold jewelry!

18K yellow gold and diamond wedding jewelry by Hunt Country Jewelers | Wedding dress by Soliloquy Bridal | Image by LynzzLou Photography

We’ve always worked in all colors of gold: yellow, white, and rose (even green- did you know there was green gold?  It’s not super popular for good reason).  But we are color specialists and some gemstones just scream for yellow, so it’s never gone out of our design vocabulary.  Now we are seeing so much more demand for yellow gold, both for gemstones and diamonds.  Brides, and jewelry wearers in general, are looking for that bold pop of warmth, the contrast of the soft gold against the white diamonds, and the history of the color that has been coveted since the dawn of time.

18K yellow gold Gold In Quartz pendant by Hunt Country Jewelers


Gold works in so many styles from delicate chains and charms to chunky and bold statement pieces.  We perennially favor a few extra grams of gold for comfort and longevity and I particularly like going big in yellow gold.  White gold is great for blending all the sparkle together, yellow gold makes all those stones and details stand out- might as well go big on the details and let the naturally attention-grabbing yellow gold work to it’s max advantage for you!

Detail of 18K yellow gold bas relief wedding band by Hunt Country Jewelers

We like to work with 18K gold for our custom handmade jewelry.  18K is 75% pure gold, so it’s got a higher pure gold content than the 14K gold that is available in most commercial jewelry.  That extra density serves you very well over the life of the ring and the higher the gold content the richer and brighter the gold color is too.  We also work in 22k if a particularly bright and high shine gold is called for.

18K yellow gold and blue spinel pendant by Hunt Country Jewelers

How do you feel about the return of yellow gold?  One of the greatest things about working with us for custom handmade jewelry is that the options are unlimited!  We are thrilled yellow is making it’s comeback because it offers the opportunity to truly think about the stones you are using and how you’d like to frame them!