Red Engagement Rings
Hi there! It looks like you are looking into a red engagement ring. Adding a pop of red is a fantastic way to wear something more unique than the traditional white diamond. There are a lot of options you can consider, however, and a lot of ways to incorporate red into an engagement ring.
Since you are already looking for something non-traditional, why not consider custom designing the perfect, red engagement ring? Red gemstones and diamonds have a lot of different benefits, but not all of your options are good for the constant wear and tear we put onto our engagement rings. Custom design allows you to have the most flexibility when choosing how you want to incorporate red into your engagement ring and your custom jeweler can help you navigate the nuances of these stunning stones.
Let’s go over some of your options and look at examples of custom red engagement rings that can be loved for generations:
For those of you that want a pure, vibrant red, rubies are probably your best choice. No other gemstone seems to be able to achieve the red “glow” a stunning ruby can possess. At a nine on the Moh’s scale, rubies are also incredibly hard stones and can withstand the daily wear and tear of an engagement ring. Rubies can be found to fit almost any budget, depending on the quality or how they were created. You can choose from:
Natural rubies are mined all over the world, but the top three most important producers are Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, and Mozambique. The lowest quality stones are heavily included and can even look opaque. They can also have hints of purple or orange. These stones can cost as little as $10/ct. The higher quality stones will have few to no inclusions, will be transparent, and sparkle brightly. They will be a vibrant red color and typically have a nicer cut. Stones like these can cost thousands per carat.
The nice thing about natural rubies is you can typically find a stone for every budget. It is important, however, to buy from a trusted jeweler or gemologist as there are a lot of treatments done to these stones that can greatly affect the price.
Natural rubies will typically have some inclusions and less calibrated cutting styles.
Here are some examples of natural ruby engagement ring designs and their prices:
This ring, set with a 5mm round, good quality ruby, two 2mm round diamonds, and made from 14K white and yellow gold, would cost roughly $2500 – $3500
Natural rubies are cut into a variety of sizes. You can use them as focal stones, accent stones, or both.
This design is set with almost a two carat, high quality, natural ruby, 1.8mm round brilliant diamonds, and 1mm round rubies. In platinum, this ring would cost around $11,000 – $13,000.
Lab Grown Rubies
Lab grown rubies are identical to natural rubies in every way except for the fact that they were grown by a machine in a laboratory and not earth mined. Their atomic structure, hardness, and look are all exactly the same. Typically, these stones are a beautiful, bright red and inclusion-free. They will come in all shapes and sizes, and you can use them as your center stone or as accent stones. Since they have the same hardness as natural rubies, they will also withstand daily wear and tear. Lab grown rubies are a great option for those of you who want the look of a high-quality ruby for a fraction of the cost. A 1ct, faceted, lab grown ruby can cost anywhere from $75 – $500.
Lab Grown Rubies will typically have few to no inclusions and more precise, calibrated faceting.
Here are some examples of lab grown ruby engagement rings and their prices:
This design is set with almost a five carat oval lab grown ruby and two 1.2mm accent diamonds. In 14K yellow and white gold, this ring could cost around $3000.
You can also use lab grown rubies as accent stones. They are cut in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
This red engagement ring can be made from 14K yellow gold and set with one 8 x 6mm lab grown ruby and two trapezoid cut lab grown rubies. The cost of this ring would be between $2500 – $3500.
Red spinel is a lesser-known option when it comes to red engagement rings. While its color is very similar to ruby, it doesn’t command the same high prices. This can make it a more economical option, especially if you are looking for a higher quality stone.
Spinel is an eight on the Moh’s hardness scale. While it’s not as hard as diamond or ruby, it is still a durable option for everyday wear. I would recommend; however, a spinel engagement ring be worn with more caution than a diamond or ruby ring. While it is still hard, it will chip and scratch more easily than other options.
Spinel is found in many places all over the world, but significant deposits are usually located in Southern Asia. It is not typically treated, but occasionally it will be heated to improve the clarity. A one carat red spinel can cost anywhere from $300 – $1000 depending on the quality. Another note, red spinel is rarely cut into rounds. Typically, they will be cut into oval or cushion shapes to maximize their bright red color.
Fun fact for those of you who like a little history. Spinel was often mistaken for ruby due to its similar, bright red color. Because of this, it was used in many important pieces of historical jewelry, including the Black Prince’s Crown from the Crown Jewels. It wasn’t until recent history that gemologists discovered that the famous gem in this particular crown was a spinel and not actually a ruby.
Red Spinel can come in a variety of shades, including this bright orangy-red. They are usually cut into ovals or cushions to maximize the natural color
Here are some examples of red spinel engagement rings and their price ranges:
High quality red spinel can have an identical look to high quality ruby. High quality spinel, however, can be less expensive.
This ring is set with a one carat, high quality, cushion cut red spinel. Made from 14K white and yellow gold, this ring could cost $4000 to $4500.
Red spinel is often cut into oval or cushion cuts. These shapes tend to maximize the red color in the faceted stone.
Diamonds make excellent choices for engagement rings and for a good reason. Not only do they sparkle more brightly than most other gemstones, but they are the hardest gemstone available by a significant margin. At a ten on the Moh’s hardness scale, diamonds can easily withstand daily wear for even the most active women and men.
There are two ways you can use a red diamond in your engagement ring:
Natural Red Diamonds
Let’s talk about one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, natural red diamonds. They are so rare, in fact, that GIA (the Gemology Institute of America) has never graded a diamond with “red” as the sole color descriptor. All known red diamonds are tinted with purple and orange hues. Further adding to their mystique is the fact that scientists still don’t quite know what causes the reddish coloring in a natural diamond. Defects in the atomic structure of the stone is the most prevalent theory, but nothing has been definitively proven.
While these stones are still stunning and come with an exceptional pedigree, your budget will need to be rather extensive to purchase an engagement ring set with a natural red diamond. In 2022, a 1.21ct, round brilliant cut, orangy-red diamond sold at auction for $1.8 million. There are other options on the market at significantly less expensive prices, but they are typically smaller in size and can look more purple/pink or orange than pure red.
This 1.21ct fancy orange red diamond sold for 1.8 million at a Heritage Auction jewelry event.
Treated Red Diamonds
Diamonds that have been treated to make them red are an excellent option for those of us with more common budget ranges. These red diamonds are natural (“earth mined”) and have been treated with high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) to turn the white stone, red. This treatment is permanent and cannot be scratched or chipped off. It can be worn just like a non-treated diamond in every capacity without risk to the color.
While it is still difficult to achieve that pure, fire-engine red, these stones are stunning and make excellent choices for an engagement ring. You can purchase large stones, or you can accent your ring with treated red diamonds cut as small as 0.80mm in diameter. Prices for these stones will be similar to natural, untreated white diamond depending on their size and clarity. A 1ct round brilliant cut, treated red diamond engagement ring could easily be in the $5000 – $10,000 range depending on the design you are looking for.
While bright red is attainable in treated red diamonds, they are more often found to be an orangey-red or a reddish-orange.
Here are some examples of treated red diamond engagement rings and their price ranges:
This ring is set with a one carat, round brilliant cut, treated red diamond. Made from 18K yellow gold, this ring could cost $7000 – $8000.00
Treated red diamonds can come in all shapes and sizes. You can use them as a focal stone or as accent stones in your red engagement ring.
This ring is set with a 3/4 carat, round brilliant cut, treated red diamond. Made from 14K yellow and white gold, this ring could cost $5500 – $6500.00.
Maybe you aren’t a sparkly kind of person. Or maybe you would like something entirely unique. Red jade could be an excellent option! Jade is a translucent to opaque gemstone and is almost always cut with a smooth surface (cabochon) instead of faceted. While jade is not as hard as a diamond or ruby, it has a much higher toughness. Jade can scratch easier than a ruby or a diamond, but it is much harder to chip or fracture.
Red jade is not nearly as rare as a red diamond, but natural, untreated, high quality red jade can be harder to find than your other options. In fact, almost all red jade only comes from one source, Myanmar. This can drive up the cost for a ring set with this orangy-red gemstone. You can easily pay thousands for a one to three carat jade cabochon in this quality. Of course, there are less expensive options. Low quality red jade is going to be more opaque and less vibrant in color or it will most likely be treated in some way (dyed or filled). You can, however, purchase these stones for hundreds instead of thousands.
Again, always buy jade, or any gemstone, from a trusted jeweler. Many people and websites will call red agate “jade” or won’t properly disclose the treatments a stone has undergone. When it comes to gemstones, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Red jade often comes cut into oval or round cabochons. The highest quality red jade can command premium prices.
Photo curtsey of: Gem of Art
Here are some examples of red jade engagement rings and their price ranges:
While it’s not a traditional, pure red, red jade is typically found in a beautiful, orangey-red color.
This ring is set with a 2.5ct, oval cut, top quality red jade and round brilliant accent diamonds. Made from 14K yellow and white gold, this ring could cost $6000 – $7000.00.
Because jade is a translucent to opaque gemstone, it is almost always cut into a cabochon instead of faceted.
How to Make a One-of-A-Kind Red Engagement Ring
Chances are, if you are looking for a red engagement ring, you are not looking for a classic design. Or maybe you are, and the pop of red is your unique feature. Either way, I believe custom designing a red engagement ring is an excellent way to get the one-of-a-kind ring you have been dreaming of.
Here are some ways to create red engagement rings that are entirely unique:
Unique, Red Center Stones
If you choose a red gemstone or diamond for your engagement ring, you are already creating a ring that is non-traditional. To further add to their mystique, though, many of these gems can come in less common cuts and shades of red. In an effort to maximize the color, some of your options will offer one-of-a-kind cutting styles and shapes. Whether you are looking for a faceted stone or a cabochon cut, you can get options you might only see once in a lifetime.
The color of these stones can also vary greatly. Whether you like the pure red, an orangey-red, or a purple-red, there will be many options in a variety of price ranges for you to choose from. Again, you can have the opportunity to find rare gems with incredibly unique colors.
Red Accent Stones
Your center stone does not necessarily have to be red to wear a red engagement ring. The accent stones in your engagement ring can be red, offering a fun contrast to the center stone of your choosing. This is an especially good option for someone who would prefer hints of red in their engagement ring over the bold look of a red center stone.
Red diamonds and ruby can frequently be cut into smaller sizes to accent an engagement ring. Spinel is less common in smaller sizes, but it can be found or specially cut to suit your design preferences. Red jade could be used as an inlay in a very unique design.
If you have a particularly bold style, how amazing could an engagement ring be with a red center stone AND red accent stones?
You can always buy a ring off the internet. Or your through local jewelry chain store. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with either option. If you can find the perfect ring for your loved one that way, then everyone is a winner. But perhaps you want something different, something unique, and something made specifically for her lifestyle and preferences. If you want her to wear something no other woman is wearing, than a custom engagement ring is the best path for you.
A custom jeweler can work with you, one-on-one, to create a design that meets every one of your requirements. In many cases, they can help you find the perfect center stone and accent stones to make beautiful red engagement rings. A custom jeweler can also keep your future fiancé’s hobbies and preferences in mind to build a ring that she can wear for the rest of her life.
Obviously I am giving you a bit of a biased opinion in my love for custom engagement rings. I truly believe that one of most beautiful ways you can ask the love of your life to marry you is with a ring you poured your heart and soul into. We don’t buy many pieces of jewelry that carry so much meaning and I think you miss out on an opportunity to include those special touches that only a custom ring can accomplish. Whether you have a large or small budget, custom, red engagement rings are attainable. I LOVE talking about jewelry and would be very happy to answer any of your questions. Let’s build a beautiful, custom red engagement ring together!