Surprisingly diamond's have not always been the first port of call when it comes to engagement rings. The idea that diamond's are an essential feature of any engagement ring wasn't established until the 1930s. De Beer's hugely successful 'a diamond is forever' campaign was launched and the idea blossomed. Due to the campaigns success other glittering gemstone alternatives that were previously celebrated amongst engagement ring designers weren't as widely considered. The colourful gemstones were favoured for their bright and exotic colours and opals, emeralds and sapphires were chosen as excellent stones to give as a gesture of love. Welcomingly though, this idea is making a substantial comeback.
Amongst these new fashionable gemstones is the Ruby, a brilliant alternative to the diamond. The vibrant red colouration of the gemstone have given it a worldwide symbol of love and romance, making it ideal gift for any betrothal, recommended by any engagement ring designer. The Ruby has long been considered a sign of inspiration prosperity and generosity and was worn during battle by warriors as a good luck charm. In Asian culture rubies were often laid with the foundation stones of many houses to produce a long standing and prosperous household.
Often overshadowed by the popularity of diamonds other gemstones aren't as well known about and therefore it can be difficult to know what to look for when buying them. The established 'Four C's' (clarity, cut, carat and colour) are still applicable to gemstones like the Ruby. Colour for example is controlled by the amount of chronium that resides in the gemstone allowing a wide range of tones and shades from a pinkish hue to a deep blood red. When it comes to rubies the important thing to remember is that the deeper the colour the better quality stone, it rises in value and price. A common popular choice is an opulent shade that provides a deep warm glowing red that rubies are famed for.
Most engagement ring designers stick to five popular ruby cuts, the first a marquise cut is shaped like an eye and is often used with larger gemstones. The shield cut is another popular option and is shaped, as its name suggests, like a shield you would find on a coat of arms. Another widely used option for a ruby cut is the pear where the stone is shaped like the curvy fruit. A ruby shaped with eight sides is an octagon cut and has two longer sides of the same length, two short sides and four other that define the corners of the gemstone. The last and most romantic choice is of course the heart cut. The heart cut shapes the gem like a heart and perhaps most best reflects the symbolism being the choice of a ruby.