Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but when it comes to picking an engagement ring, there has been a marked shift towards more colourful stones. "There is an increased bravery to try something new and break away from the crowd, whether that’s with the choice of gemstone or ring design," explains independent fine jewellery specialist, Joanna Hardy. "Princess Eugenie’s fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, for example, chose a Padparadscha orangey-pink sapphire for their engagement ring."
Royalty aside, it seems the rest of us want a slice of the vibrant gem trend. Their popularity, in part, ties into the rise of coloured crystals and the healing powers some claim they hold. Millennials not only want their jewellery to look good but to have meaning, whether it's positivity or protection.
And it’s not just rose quartz and sapphire pendants we’re after, but gemstone engagement rings too. The world-leading supplier of precious stones, Gemfields, has seen coloured gemstones become increasingly desired by a younger audience. "They're often placed in modern settings, using a mix of colours and materials to enhance their preciousness or to make them more fun and wearable. That’s the beauty of them, they cater for all taste at all levels; they match each wearer's individuality with their limitless looks, and they have won the battle with the misconception that they should be worn by our grandmothers," adds Elena Basaglia, expert gemologist for Gemfields.
Moreover, with sustainability high up on our agenda, it’s no wonder Gemfields stones are making waves among millennials. With mines located in Zambia and Mozambique, the brand goes above and beyond to ensure its business serves the interest of the local community. It’s a rarity, given the gemstone industry is still so unregulated. Sadly, many gemstones are smuggled illegally and traded without licence, providing no benefit to national economy or indigenous population. Gemfields has worked tirelessly to ensure workers are recruited locally, wages go above national standards and security teams are trained to international humanitarian standards. The mines are life-changing sources of national income and numerous local partnerships have been set up to establish community livelihood, health and education projects. So as consumers, we no longer have to choose between ethics and aesthetics when it comes to proposal time.
Read on to learn about the meanings behind our favourite coloured gemstones and the engagement ring designs that are guaranteed to get you to say 'I do'.