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Everything You Need to Know About Color Gemstones

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but color gemstones are certainly a close second. 

Color gemstones can be bold and vibrant or soft and subtle with just a whisper of color; they can stand proud and independent as the center stone of a solitaire engagement ring or add dimension and allure as the side stones of a three-stone engagement ring

Color gemstones are as fascinating as they are beautiful. We have the skinny on all things color gemstones including a diamond vs. color gemstone showdown, a brief history of color gemstones, and the origin of birthstones. Plus we showcase popular Lauren B styles featuring stunning color gemstones for major inspiration. 

Let’s get colorful!

Diamonds vs. Color Gemstones

Just how different are diamonds and color gemstones? 

Diamonds are pure carbon in solid form. They are unique from other mineral gemstones in that they are composed of pure carbon with (generally) less than 0.05% of any other elements. That said, trace elements can seep into the diamond during its formation and influence the diamond’s color, thus producing fancy color diamonds.

The formation process of a gemstone determines its likeness. Pressure, temperature, space, and time are the key factors required for mineral crystallization. Variation in these factors determines the resulting mineral. The presence of trace elements influences the hue of the mineral, which is how we popularly identify color gemstones. 

For example, both sapphires and rubies are variations of the mineral corundum. If we regard all corundum the same, rubies would be called “sapphires.” Rubies contain trace elements of chromium, which places them in their own category of color gemstones. The same goes for morganite, emeralds, and aquamarine, all of the mineral beryl variations, though their hues are vastly different from stone to stone. 

A Brief History of Gemstones

A great deal of time, energy, and sheer luck are involved in natural gemstone creation. We know more than we ever have as a result of cutting-edge technology and extensive research. 

While we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips today, ancient societies viewed these colorful gemstones with awe and wonder, assigning characteristics and often mythical powers to each stone according to cultural customs. 

Sometime around the first century, various gemstones were assigned to each month of the year and, furthermore, their zodiac sign. The wealthy would collect each gemstone and wear only a gemstone in its designated month, during which time it was considered to have abundant power. 

The tradition of birthstones, as we understand it today, originated sometime around the 16th century. The contemporary list of birthstones was not made official until 1912 when the National Association of Jewelers officially assigned gemstones to each month. 

The National Association of Jewelers list of birthstones is as follows:

January is garnet

February is amethyst

March is aquamarine

April is diamond

May is emerald

June is pearl

July is ruby

August is peridot

September is sapphire

October is tourmaline

November is golden topaz or citrine

December is blue topaz or tanzanite

While color gemstones are often worn as birthstones, these dazzling color (and colorless) gems are also incorporated into engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry styles. 

Popular Color Gemstones at Lauren B

Color gemstones are popular among our clients, particularly sapphire, morganite, ruby, emerald, aquamarine, and amethyst. 

Whether you are in search of a unique engagement ring center stone or a sentimental piece of jewelry for your partner or a loved one, these eye-catching gemstones are guaranteed to please the intended recipient. 


Sapphires include any color variety of corundum except for red, which is classified as a ruby. 

The most popular sapphire shade is a deeply saturated royal blue, as seen on the fingers of both the late Princess Diana and the effortlessly sophisticated Kate Middleton. Sure enough, sapphires are believed to attract abundance and blessings and have historically been associated with royalty. 

'Princess Diana Sapphire and Diamond 14k White Gold Ring


Oval Sapphire and Round Diamond Wedding Band


Sapphire and Diamond Evil Eye Bracelet



Morganite is a blush color gemstone ranging from pink to orange-pink or “salmon” color. Morganite gains its peach color from trace amounts of manganese and is a variety of beryl, alongside emeralds and aquamarine gemstones. 

Morganite is believed to be strongly connected to both the heart and soul, promoting heart healing and self-love. 

Round Morganite Two-Tone Signature Wrap Ring


Oval Morganite and Cushion Moissanite Duo Ring



Rubies are a variety of corundum, which as we mentioned, includes sapphires as well. Rubies are a deep, blood-red color caused by trace chromium and are considered the most valuable as far as color gemstones are concerned. 

Rubies were held in high regard throughout history and were often associated with wealth and prosperity. In some societies, rubies were considered the stone of soldiers, providing protection to the wearer and bestowing invincibility. 

Cushion Ruby and Oval Diamond Duo Ring


Ruby and Diamond 18k White Gold Pendant


Ruby and Diamond 18k White Gold Flower Ring



Emeralds are a variety of beryl that reveal a bluish-green to deep green color caused by the presence of chromium, vanadium, and iron. Emeralds are most often cut using step-cut facets, otherwise referred to as the “emerald cut” when used on other gemstones. 

Emeralds have long been regarded as the gemstone of truth and love. In ancient Rome, the emerald was assigned the gemstone of the goddess Venus, who was believed to be the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. 

10.32ct Emerald and Diamond Platinum Ring


Graduated Diamond and Emerald Wrap Ring



Aquamarine is another variation of the mineral beryl with a greenish-blue to light blue shade from trace iron. The light color of this gemstone places more importance on cut quality than darker color gemstones; when cut well, aquamarine can be exceptionally brilliant. 

Aquamarine gemstones are associated with tranquility and calm as a result of the striking ocean hue. 

Aquamarine and Diamond Pear Shape Ring


Diamond and Aquamarine Tiara Band



Amethyst is the highest valued variety of the mineral quartz. Trace iron influences the color of this gemstone creating a reddish-purple to purple hue fit for royalty. 

Amethyst is heavily connected to spirituality and divinity and provides serenity and understanding to the wearer. Interestingly, in ancient Greece, amethyst is believed to have prevented intoxication and overconsumption; some Greeks carved drinking vessels out of Amethyst to prevent overindulgence. 

Amethyst Pear and Diamond Yellow Gold Ring


Amethyst Oval Rose Gold Solitaire Ring

Dream in Color

Color gemstones are visually stunning, abundantly sentimental, and a stunning option for engagement ring center stones or side stones, wedding band accents, or fine jewelry accouterment. 

If you have your heart set on a color gemstone engagement ring and a specific style in mind, you can speak with one of our design consultants to discuss a custom engagement ring design. Or, you can browse our assortment of in-stock engagement rings ready for immediate purchase. 

For general questions or inquiries regarding color gemstones or non-related inquiries, you can email [email protected].