With a surge in demand for coloured gemstones as an alternative to very expensive fancy coloured diamonds, it seems some consumers are on the hunt for something different as a choice, away from the traditional white diamond engagement ring. Brides to be are getting more demanding while grooms to be are getting more confused.

With a huge variety of colour, shapes and sizes on offer, it may be difficult to choose the perfect shape and colour and it comes down to personal preferences and a match between product and budget. Historically, precious gemstones were classified as emeralds, rubies and sapphires, the rest of coloured gemstones being classed as semi-precious although these days, some of these fall under the precious stone category due to their rarity like Alexandrite.

The first thing to look for is that the actual colour is 100% natural and the stone is not heated or colour treated in any way. Also to check for are treatments like diffusion in sapphires and glass filling in rubies. Ask for approved gemstone certificates from reputed retailers.

Most retailers will advice consumers that all precious sapphires and rubies are heated or colour enhanced or treated in some way. This statement is true to an extent and the trade accepts heat treatment in coloured gemstones like sapphires and rubies, and oil treatment in emeralds. What retailers will not mention is that there is not a vast price difference between natural and heated gemstones of average quality and price, although natural stones are very difficult to find as most polishers automatically enhance the colour of the natural stone as a matter of course, unless a company like ours specifically instruct our polishers not to heat our gemstones.

Other forms of treatment can be found in semi-precious stones like Topaz, Citrine and all other semi-precious stones. These usually accompany silver jewellery and are relatively cheaper than precious gemstones.

At Marlow’s, our advice is very simple. First choose the colour you prefer, then the gemstone, then the shape and finally the size. To find an exact match to your specification is next to impossible as each gemstone is different but we will do our best to come as near as possible to your expectations. In our experience, precious sapphires are the most versatile as they come in numerous different colours varying from deep to light pink, blues, green and even colour changing tinges. Most natural sapphires can fit average engagement ring budgets and a good investment for future. Some brides prefer red, so ruby would be our second choice of gemstone as an engagement ring and finally emeralds, which if natural, could be the most expensive of all gemstones. We do not recommend purchase of semi-precious stones as they do not retain much value in the long term although we can supply these if consumers have a particular choice of colour. Most of our precious stones over one carat come with gemstone certificates for peace of mind and we are the exception wherein we aim to predominantly supply unheated, untreated gemstones matching our quality of fine diamonds.
Contact us for further clarity of mind.