Sapphires Vs Diamonds For Engagement Ring – Which To Choose?

Choosing an engagement ring is a big and often expensive decision. With so many different cuts and ring styles out there, the decision can be overwhelming. Due to the growing popularity of sapphire engagement rings over diamonds, there's yet another decision you have to make. We've done the research to help make the decision easier.

Although expensive, diamonds are the traditional engagement ring gemstone due to being both durable and brilliant. However, the beautiful blue hue of a sapphire is just as brilliant and is more durable than other common types of gemstones.

When choosing between a sapphire and diamond engagement ring, is one choice better than the other? Which one is more expensive? In this article, we'll look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of engagement ring and hopefully answer any more questions that you have. Continue reading to learn more.

diamond ring on white gold setting, Sapphires Vs Diamonds For Engagement Ring - Which To Choose

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Sapphire Vs. Diamond Engagement Ring - Things To Consider

When deciding between a sapphire or diamond engagement ring, each has its pros and cons. There are several factors you need to consider before you make your choice. We'll break down these factors for you so that you can make the right choice for yourself.


Because diamonds are colorless, they reflect more light than sapphires do. This makes them seem to sparkle more and appear more brilliant. However, a sapphire is partly made up of an element called corundum. Although it may not sparkle as much as a diamond, corundum helps sapphires to be very vivid in color.


Diamonds are not boring by any means, but they are typically colorless. Sapphires, on the other hand, can come in many different colors. While blue is the most well-known sapphire color due to being reminiscent of royalty, sapphires also come in pink, green, yellow, and white.

True diamonds are made up of only one element: carbon. Sapphires can be made of many different elements, and the main elements determine their color. While titanium and iron give sapphires their blue color, white sapphires are made entirely out of corundum. Some white sapphires look so much like diamonds that it can be hard to tell the difference.


Durability is where diamonds and sapphires differ the most. Diamonds are often favored for engagement rings because they don't scratch easily, if at all. That's a good quality to have, considering that an engagement ring is usually worn all the time.

Sapphires are still pretty durable, but they are more likely to scratch than diamonds are. That means that you may have to have them polished more often or even re-cut. While generally cheaper than diamonds, you may have to pay more to maintain a sapphire engagement ring over time.


A diamond is known for being the hardest known stone, scoring a 10 on the hardness scale. Real diamonds are pretty much impossible to chip or break. Sapphires are also relatively hard, scoring a 9 on the hardness scale. With that being said, hardness should be a minor consideration when deciding between the two.


Diamonds can be cut in many styles, including round, square, oval, cushion, princess, emerald, pear, heart, and marquise. You can also place diamonds into a variety of different settings, but the most popular settings are solitaire, bezel, and halo. The more intricate the setting, the more the ring costs.

Sapphires are typically cut into round, oval, and cushion shapes, with each shape giving off a particular vibe. For example, oval-cut sapphires are considered to be old-fashioned or vintage. Sapphires can also be placed into different settings, usually surrounded by smaller diamonds or white sapphires. Whether you choose a diamond or a sapphire, there are endless styles you can choose from.

See more: "Do Engagement Rings Have To Be Diamond?"

Which Is More Expensive Sapphire Or Diamond?

Diamond engagement ring with various different cut gemstones

The price of each stone depends on several factors; these factors are:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Cut
  • Quality
  • Color

In general, diamonds are more expensive than sapphires when you compare 1 carat of each. But a large sapphire may cost more than a small diamond. Also, a sapphire that is more brilliant in color will cost more than a sapphire that is dull or more cloudy. Blue sapphires are more expensive than other colors as well.

Even though the stone is a large factor regarding the cost of an engagement ring, another factor that determines the cost is what metal the ring itself is made of. White gold, yellow gold, silver, and rose gold are all common types of metals used for rings, and the price of an engagement ring will vary depending on the material.

Finally, the setting also plays a factor in the cost. If the main stone is by itself, then a sapphire will still usually cost less than a diamond. However, if the sapphire is in a setting where it is surrounded by diamonds or another gemstone, the price of the sapphire increases.

1 Carat Sapphire Vs 1 Carat Diamond

A carat is used to measure the mass of a gemstone, not its weight. It is equal to about 200 mg. Now, we've already mentioned that a 1 carat sapphire is cheaper than a 1 carat diamond. But a 1 carat sapphire is also smaller than a 1 carat diamond. 

This is because sapphires are denser than diamonds; therefore, they will have more mass. It takes less of sapphire to make 1 carat than it does a diamond. A round sapphire that is 1 carat will equal about 6 millimeters, while a round 1 carat diamond is about 6.5 millimeters. 

Now that we know that sapphires are usually less expensive and that a 1 carat sapphire is smaller than a 1 carat diamond, let's look at how that relates to the average cost. A blue 1 carat sapphire cost can range from $450 to $1,600, while the cost of a 1 carat diamond can range from $1,800 to $12,000. It's possible that you could get a significantly larger sapphire for the same price as a 1 carat diamond.

Are Sapphire Engagement Rings Tacky?

sapphire gemstone set in a glamorous engagement ring

Sapphire engagement rings aren't tacky at all. In fact, they are a great option for people who want to save money and be unique. While some people will always prefer diamonds, sapphire engagement rings can be equally as beautiful, especially since they have been associated with royalty. The bottom line is that as long as you love the ring, it isn't tacky at all.

See more: "7 Best Gemstones For Engagement Rings."

What Does A Sapphire Engagement Ring Symbolize?

jewelry ring with big blue sapphire on black coal

In the Middle Ages, sapphires were thought to have special healing powers. They were often crushed and taken as medicine to relieve muscle pain and rid the mind of negative thoughts and cowardice. Other cultures thought that sapphires promoted wisdom.

Today, sapphire engagement rings are thought to symbolize a variety of things. Examples include:

  • Faithfulness
  • Sincerity 
  • Truth
  • Wisdom

All of these traits should be present in a good marriage, so a lot of people choose sapphires as a representation of a happy relationship.

What Is The Best Quality Engagement Ring?

The most important factors to consider when choosing a high quality engagement ring are the cut and the color. According to most jewelry experts, the cut should be the first thing that is chosen about a stone. This is because the cut determines how brilliant the stone is. 

Cuts are graded on a scale that ranges from fair to super ideal, but the best cut depends on the particular stone and shape you want. A reputable jeweler can help you determine a high-quality cut versus a low one.

The color is the next determining factor of a good quality diamond. It can be difficult to observe color differences in a diamond, but sapphires are a bit easier.  A jeweler can help you examine different stones in order to pick out the one that is the best quality.

How Many Carats Should An Engagement Ring Be?

The average size for an engagement ring is 2 carats. But, there's no specific rule as to how many carats an engagement ring should be. Remember that the larger the amount of carats, the more expensive the stone is. Ultimately, the size that you go with should be based on what you can reasonably afford.

What Is A Good Quality Diamond For An Engagement Ring?

1.5 Carat Diamond Ring On Red Rose And Green Stem Leaves

The best quality diamonds for engagement rings are typically round diamonds with a cut grade of very good, ideal, or super ideal. The color scale for a diamond ranges from 'D' to 'J.' 'D' is the rarest and most expensive. Typically, good quality diamond rings fall between 'F' and 'H.' These diamonds are usually graded colorless or near-colorless.

Click here to see this diamond engagement ring on Amazon.

In Closing

We hope this guide was helpful in deciding between a sapphire or diamond engagement ring. While diamonds are timeless and classic, sapphires are untraditional and out-of-the-box. They are both beautiful choices. Ultimately you should go with whichever you like best and can afford. Thanks for reading!

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