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Both pearl and ruby engagement rings date back decades. However, the trend has seen a spike in popularity over the last few years. In fact, celebrities like Emma Stone and Ariana Grande have been rocking gorgeous pearl engagement rings. Meanwhile, rubies have been worn by kings, queens, and other royal family members for centuries.
“Rubies and pearls were very popular in the Victorian era, which is why they are often found in vintage and antique jewelry, rather than modern,” says gemologist Irina Kharina. On that note, it’s also worth mentioning that antique rings require more effort and care to maintain. “Vintage rings require special attention and care compared to non-vintage rings. If something happens, it’s always harder to fix a vintage piece, especially if it has a lot of intricacies and details,” adds celebrity jeweler George Khalife.
Meet the Expert
- Irina Kharina is a gemologist and a luxury jewelry concierge based in Toronto. She currently runs Tsarina Gems, where she guides bespoke jewelry purchases using ethically sourced gems.
- George Khalife, also known as George the Jeweler, comes from generations of jewelers. His A-list clients include Gigi Hadid, Khloe Kardashian, Jenna Dewan, and Sarah Hyland.
Additionally, whether you opt for an antique ring or a more modern design, there’s no denying how beautiful pearl and ruby engagement rings are. “What makes a great ruby and pearl engagement ring is its uniqueness,” Kharina tells Brides. “The combination of two stones is a beautiful contrast.”
While pearls are incredibly delicate, rubies are super durable. What’s more, if you tend to be a bit hard on your jewelry, you may want to opt for a pearl and ruby engagement ring with a halo and/or one with a ruby center stone. Kharina explains that “you will be less likely to damage smaller pearls compared to a larger pearl that can be accidentally knocked on a table or a door.” Further, to best care for your pearl and ruby engagement ring, Kharina recommends always taking it off when swimming, exercising, baking, gardening, cleaning, and showering.
So, if you’re on the hunt for an engagement ring that’s anything but basic, consider one that combines lustrous pearls with fiery rubies. To help you find your dream pearl and ruby engagement ring, we’ve rounded up 29 of our favorites across an array of styles and price points.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Pearl and Ruby Engagement Ring
According to Kharina, “The main qualities to look out for in a ruby and pearl engagement ring is the colour of the gemstones.”
Khalife tells Brides that rubies range in shades from deep reds to pinkish-purples. However, he explains that the more vivid the color is, the more valuable the stone is. “Bright [red] rubies are the most desirable,” he explains. However, these stones are also the most costly.
Meanwhile, pearls are available in a variety of colors. If your engagement ring features multiple pearls, you’ll want to make sure they’re “fairly similar in color and have a nice shine to them,” Kharina adds.
Texture and Smoothness
According to Khalife, the texture is incredibly important when shopping specifically for pearl jewelry. “You can tell if it’s real by how smooth the surface is,” he says. “If it’s perfectly smooth, it’s probably not real.”
Since pearls are so delicate, you’ll want to make sure your setting is secure. This is especially important when shopping for a vintage pearl and ruby engagement ring. “With time, prongs that hold gemstones together can wear away,” according to Kharina. As a result, this can “make the ring more vulnerable to damage and increase the risk of stones falling out.”
Rubies are available across a range of price points depending on color and quality. However, ruby engagement rings are typically more affordable than traditional diamond engagement rings.
Kharina recommends cleaning your pearl and ruby engagement ring using a mixture of warm water and dish soap. “You can carefully use a soft toothbrush on the rubies and the metal, but avoid the pearls [as] you don’t want to scratch them.”
Rubies are hard, durable stones, making them an excellent option for engagement rings—especially if you plan on wearing yours daily.
Pearls are soft and delicate, which means they require lots of TLC—especially if you plan on wearing yours daily. Khalife tells Brides: “One should avoid all chemicals and be mindful that makeup or perfume can ruin them.”