The Big Three Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings

Sapphires, rubies and emeralds will never go out of style. They are the big three gemstones that have long been the gemstones for engagement or betrothal rings, from antiquity to the present day. And while jewelry designers and antique dealers alike are featuring other alternative stones that are awe-inspiring, these three have a place in jewelry’s history—think Queen Victoria, Jackie Kennedy and Duchess of Windsor for emeralds, Mary Pickford, Jean Harlow and Princess Diana for sapphires and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and the 19th century inspired ring Earl Charles Spencer proposed to former model Victoria Lockwood in 1989 for rubies.

Here are different time periods and styles of antique and vintage rings from which to choose:

A La Vieille Russie’s Art Deco Sapphire and Diamond Ring, mounted in platinum. English, circa 1925.

Lang Antiques’ no heat Sri Lanka (Ceylon) sapphire ring set in an Art Deco platinum and diamond mounting, circa 1930.

The One I Love NYC ‘s Art Deco natural sugarloaf sapphire surrounded by transitional cut diamonds.

Wartski’s richly colored sugar-loaf Colombian emerald encircled by eighteen brilliant cut diamonds with an openwork platinum gallery and setting, circa 1930.

Humphrey Butler’s Victorian Graduated Emerald and Diamond Five-Stone Carved Half-Hoop Ring with alternately set three square-cut emeralds and two old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in all gold with rose cut small diamond accents.

Berganza’s Colombian emerald and diamond coronet cluster ring with hexagon shaped emerald cut center stone, set with thirty round cut diamonds in open back platinum, circa 1920.

S.J. Phillips’ early 20th-century ruby and diamond ‘eye’ cluster ring, French, circa 1910. It has a central cushion cut Burma ruby.

Estate Diamond Jewelry’s antique ruby and diamond two-stone ring from the Edwardian era. The round-cut natural ruby and cushion-cut diamond are prong set in platinum over 18K gold. Rose-cut diamonds are set in a leaf motif along the shoulders. The ring bears French import marks.

S.J. Phillips’ early 20th-century single stone Burma ruby and diamond ring, American circa 1910. The cushion cut ruby is claw set from east to west with tapering shoulders pierced and millegrained set with two lines of graduated diamond leaf clusters mounted in platinum.

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