When considering pink sapphire engagement rings, or ruby ones, it is important to understand the distinction. Many people believe that a pink sapphire and a ruby are two very different gemstones, but it is actually not as straightforward as that. Rubies and sapphires are gemstones that are both members of the corundum family, which is classified as a crystalline form of aluminium oxides. This makes them, chemically speaking, practically identical, and for example, both rate at 9.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Ruby and sapphire stones are primarily distinguished by their colours, as rubies are only red, while all other corundum colour varieties, including pink, blue, yellow and orange, are known as sapphires. A red sapphire is essentially a ruby then sapphire engagement ring.

Oval Sapphire and Diamond Halo Ring in 18k White Gold (8x6mm) | Blue Nile AE

The colour distinction between rubies and sapphires blurs when it comes to pink sapphires and light red rubies as there are no specific rules on what shade of red constitutes a ruby and vice versa with a pink sapphire. It can get even more confusing when in some gem-producing countries, such as Sri Lanka, pink colours have always been considered rubies, while many consuming countries would label these same stones as pink sapphires. In the past, pink corundum stones were termed female rubies while the deeper red ones were male rubies. You should be careful about some of the more unsavoury jewellery establishments that may take advantage of these blurry distinctions and sell pink sapphire engagement rings as ‘light ruby’ engagement rings, instead of as the less expensive sapphires they actually are.

It is not only colour that distinguishes between a ruby and a sapphire, but availability and price also play a role. Real rubies are somewhat more rare than pink sapphires, especially the highly coveted dark blood-red rubies, and thus rubies can usually command the highest price of any coloured gemstones. On the other hand, sapphires are more common than rubies and they are frequently found in carat sizes that exceed the size of most ruby gemstones. The largest ruby ever found weighs 18,696-carats while the world’s largest sapphire, the Millennium Sapphire, is an outstanding 61,500-carats in weight. The differences in the availability between natural rubies and sapphires have a direct impact on the price differences between these two gemstones. As a rule, rubies are valued much higher than sapphire gemstones. So if you’re on a budget, you might want to stick with the pink sapphire engagement rings.

Rubies and sapphires also have completely different meanings, with rubies typically associated with love, intense passion, good luck, protection from misfortune and personal inspiration. Sapphires, on the other hand, are associated with blessings, divine knowledge, sincerity and faithfulness. Both have their own unique appeal and no matter if you prefer ruby engagement rings to pink sapphire engagement rings, both are can be stunning pieces of jewellery.