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Diamond rings might be the go-to choice for brides around the world, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose the traditional stone. Give the classic engagement ring a little bit of an update by opting for a pink sapphire, which is the perfect unique piece for a bridal look. Additionally, thanks to their strength and durability, pink sapphire rings are an excellent pick for something you’ll likely wear every day.
What Is a Pink Sapphire?
A pink sapphire is a precious colored stone. “[They] are really interesting stones because they’re part of the same gem family as rubies, and when a pink sapphire’s saturation and color turns into a deeper pink/red, the stone is classified as a ruby,” explains jeweler Jillian Sassone.
What’s more, Sassone notes that pink sapphires range in color from a light pale pink to a pink so deep it almost looks purple or red. They are a beautiful and unique option for an engagement ring, and align well with brides-to-be who appreciates bold but pared-back aesthetics.
Meet the Expert
- Jillian Sassone is a jeweler and owner of Marrow Fine, a brand that creates new—and works with heirloom—jewelry pieces.
- Easter Ahn-Lee is the founder of Easter Ahn Design and a Graduate Gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). She has been in the jewelry industry since 2007.
Interested in learning more? Below is everything you need to know about pink sapphire engagement rings before you commit to buying one.
History of Pink Sapphires
Pink sapphires actually have a glamorous history behind them. “Throughout history, pink sapphires symbolize love and were associated with royalty,” says jeweler and designer Easter Ahn-Lee. “Royalty would adorn themselves with sapphires not only as a sign of wealth, but to protect the wearer from envy and harm.
She also notes that pink sapphires are supposed to have the power to bring harmony between lovers, peace between enemies, and to bring blessings. Another popular belief is that sapphires have healing properties to increase strength and health, and to ward off illnesses and poisons.
Pros and Cons of a Pink Sapphire Engagement Ring
An essential advantage to owning a pink sapphire engagement ring is that these stones are almost as hard as diamonds. “They have a rating of nine on the Mohs scale (which rates a material’s hardness on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the hardest),” says Ahn-Lee. “This makes it the hardest mineral after a diamond, which has a rating of 10.” Since you’ll likely wear your engagement ring every day, it’s advantageous to have something as hard as possible to put up with the daily wear and tear.
If you want a piece that’s unique, these stones can also vary widely in color, giving them a one-of-a-kind feel. “Pink sapphires range in color from red to purple in light tones, with weak to vivid saturation,” Ahn-Lee says. Lastly, and most importantly, pink sapphires are a more affordable option compared to a diamond.
As for the downsides? “I don’t really see any cons of a pink sapphire engagement ring unless you don’t like the color pink,” Ahn-Lee shares. Since they’re so hard and durable, they really come down to personal preference in terms of pros and cons.
What to Look for in a Pink Sapphire Engagement Ring
Look for a pink sapphire that doesn’t have many inclusions (material that is trapped in the mineral). “Inclusions are a natural part of sapphires (it’s actually what determines that they aren’t synthetic!), but sourcing a sapphire with minimal inclusions is ideal so that they don’t detract from the beauty of the stone,” Sassone says. She recommends purchasing from a reputable jeweler to find the best quality you can.
- What metals and cuts pair well with pink sapphires? Choosing a metal to go with your pink sapphire all comes down to personal preference. “I think it looks great in a yellow gold setting,” Ahn-Lee says. The cut is also about preference, although Ahn-Lee notes that she loves these gemstones in a cushion or oval shape.
- How can you tell if a pink sapphire is high quality? According to Ahn-Lee, a high-quality stone will be bright with vivid saturation and very good luster. It should come with a certification of authenticity that describes the stone’s quality, carat weight, and shape. She also recommends buying a natural untreated stone. “Many sapphires can be treated to transform inexpensive corundum into bright vivid fancy colors that people desire, which are lower in value,” she says.
- How much do pink sapphires generally cost? While the cost ultimately depends on the cut and carat, you can expect these stones to generally be less expensive than diamonds. “Fine quality pink sapphires ranging from one to two carat usually cost between $500 and $800 per carat, and a two to three carat pink sapphire usually costs $1-$5,000 per carat,” Ahn-Lee says. “Highly saturated pinks, especially from Sri Lanka and Myanmar, are rare and highly sought after and command top prices per carat.”
How to Care for a Pink Sapphire Engagement Ring
Pink sapphires are durable, but they still require regular maintenance and care to help maintain their beauty. Ahn-Lee recommends cleaning your ring with warm water, mild dish soap (no detergents), and a soft brush. “A pulsed-water dental cleaning appliance and a soft, lint-free cloth can also be used,” she says.
As with any other gemstone, Sassone recommends just treating it with general care. “Make sure you’re taking off your jewelry for any intense activities, like weight lifting, or any activities where chemicals might come into contact with the jewelry, like swimming in a chlorine pool.” Both jewelers recommend taking the ring to a local trusted jeweler once a year to ensure it’s in good condition and the stone is secure.
Below is a collection of pink sapphires you’ll want to look at if you’re thinking of buying one.