Fancy and conventional cut teal sapphires

Most Popular Gemstones Of The Year 2021 For Engagement Rings

Gone are the days when diamonds used to be a girl’s best friend. The new-age brides are all about breaking norms and traditions, they are open to exploring quirky and less conventional gems as their engagement ring options. This is exactly the reason why a jewelry company should add specific colored gemstones to their collection in the current age. Colored gemstones have gained huge popularity in the past few years, and they are certainly changing the trends in the bridal jewelry line. In the day and age of social media, where one strives to stand out and be something different, the vibrant world of gemstones is a perfect example of something out of the ordinary. While diamonds still hold their reputation as the most sought-after gems, colored gemstones are quickly catching on. 

Fancy cut salt and pepper diamonds, perfect for engagement rings.
Fancy cut salt and pepper diamonds, perfect for engagement rings.

Let’s take a look at why colored gemstones are becoming popular:

  • Affordability – Colored gemstones cost much less than diamonds per carat. For example, 0.5 carats of premium quality, brilliant-cut diamonds can cost anywhere between 1600-3000 USD whereas the cost of 0.5-carat sapphire or ruby set in 18K white gold is hardly 600-1000USD.
  • Uniqueness – Gemstones occur in a range of hues, and each stone has its own individual character. Many come with inclusions that give a very natural charm. Many brides consider diamond solitaire to be quite a cliche and prefer something rustic yet mystical. Popularized by Princess Diana as the controversial “commoner’s ring”, and later by Kate Middleton in 2010, gemstones have now been widely accepted as engagement rings and are all the rage nowadays.
  • Hardness: While Diamonds top the charts in hardness, very few gemstones come close to them, making durability a concern. On those terms, salt and pepper diamonds, which are technically a kind of diamond, have the same Moh number as white diamonds, i.e. 10. Sapphires come next in hardness at 9 Moh, which when seen in terms of absolute hardness is at 400, while it is at 1500 for diamonds.
  • Cut: Another concern in deviating from diamonds is that most stones do not have the luster of diamonds. However, with the advent of fine-cutting techniques, it is possible to replicate the brilliance of diamonds in sapphires, which can sustain complicated lapidary cuts. So, in terms of the fire, colored gemstones with a higher hardness number can be cut and shaped to shine brilliantly.

    No 2 Teal Blue-Green Sapphires are alike.
    No 2 Teal Blue-Green Sapphires are alike.
  • Variety – Unlike white diamonds, which really only exist in one variety, gemstones have a lot more to offer. There are several gemstones in the market like sapphires, rubies, topaz, amethyst, etc that can be the perfect center stone for engagement rings. Each gemstone has its own sub-variants which occur in many different colors and characteristics.

The two most popular colored gemstones for engagement rings in 2021, according to us, are:

  • Teal Sapphires
  • Salt & Pepper Diamonds

Diamonds and sapphires are timeless gems that have always been in demand. However, the trend for the year 2021 seems to be about accepting individuality and standing out from the crowd. This is why alternatives like salt and pepper diamonds and teal sapphires are a big hit amongst the younger to-be-weds. 

If you are a jeweler trying to move away from the territory of traditional round brilliant white diamonds and explore more into the world of colored gemstones, this article will provide you with a brief insight into why these alternate stones are the next big thing in the market. 

Teal Sapphires:

Fancy and conventional cut teal sapphires
Fancy and conventional cut teal sapphires

Our market survey, conducted in 2020, suggests that nearly 35% of women would like sapphire as their engagement ring stone, and many consider teal sapphire as a great option. Known for their unique colors that reflect the oceans and the forest, teal sapphires are quite budget-friendly, which is the need of the hour this year. Moreover, sapphires are the hardest stones after the diamonds. They are comparable to diamonds in terms of longevity, making them a durable alternative for diamond rings. 

Teal sapphires – key features

  • Calming colors that represent the nature
  • Affordable compared to other sapphires
  • Durable and resistant to wear
  • Responsibly sourced

Why should you add teal sapphires to your collection? 

With the recent surge in new jewelers in the market, it is important to create your own niche brand. Teal sapphires have a great scope of moving up, and would definitely be the next big thing in the market that’s already dominated with diamonds and blue sapphires. Over 100,000 jewelers today are promoting teal sapphires and seem to have garnered great response from the customers. 

Most of the teal sapphires are responsibly sourced, which makes them an attractive alternative to the controversial diamonds. Since most of their mining is carried out in Australia, the regulations regarding their mining are strictly followed due to government rules. This is definitely a good selling point when catering to today’s eco-conscious generation. 


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In the past two years, the wedding industry has seen a drop in its budget due to the economic lull. Many couples these days are looking for cheaper alternatives while selecting their engagement rings. This works out great for teal sapphires as they cost less than the other varieties. A carat of teal sapphire barely costs 100-300USD, which is far lesser than Padparadscha sapphires that can cost almost up to 1000 dollars. 

Salt & Pepper Diamonds

Salt and Pepper Diamonds in vintage rose cuts.
Salt and Pepper Diamonds in vintage rose cuts.

These unique gems, which are essentially diamonds with inclusions are quite the rage nowadays. Many couples love these speckled stones for their wild, earthy charm and their raw, organic nature. Some even consider their black and white inclusions to be an accurate representation of their love, as something beautiful, despite all the “flaws”. A brief overview of these diamonds is tabulated below:

Salt and Pepper Diamonds – characteristics

  • Black and White inclusions: Defects in crystal structures; inclusion of graphite/sulphite
  • Clarity: Varies from clear to opaque
  • Color: Ranges from colorless to smoky black or dark grey
  • Cut: Versatile; works well with different cuts. Rose-cut, most popular
  • Carat: Doesn’t affect price or value

Why are they big in the market right now?

Loose salt and pepper diamonds are quickly gaining popularity and have been in high demand this year. Certain aspects that have led to their popularity are their uniqueness, ethical mining practices, and lower prices. As explained above, their inclusions are considered to be “perfect imperfections” by many to-be-weds, who simply love these gems for their uniqueness. 

Another reason to invest in these gems is their clean mining practices. The mining of salt and pepper diamonds poses a lesser threat to the environment as they require fewer resources to mine. As they are collected with their inclusions, they are available in abundance, compared to white diamonds. Apart from being eco-conscious, the mining practices are also quite ethical. According to research, the purchasing pattern of gemstones is also shifting towards ethically sourced stones, and nearly 6-10% of couples considered it an important factor while selecting their engagement rings. 

Coming to the prices, salt and pepper diamonds are very easy on the pocket. They cost almost 20% of regular white diamonds. The difference in the prices is because salt and pepper diamonds, although highly valuable, are not nearly as rare as white diamonds. The price for these speckled gems is market-driven and depends solely on their demand. 

Other Colored Diamond Alternatives:



Spinels are the classic example of Historic Underdogs, Modern Day Marvels. From the Hope Stone to the Timur Ruby, spinels have been unknowingly prized for their beauty and today they are being given their due recognition. The main point to their favor as an alternative engagement ring gemstone is that they are natural and are eye-clean. On top of that, they have a high hardness number of 8 Moh which makes them resistant to the wear and tear of daily wear. Just like sapphires (just SO MUCH More affordable!), they are available in a rainbow range of colors, making them one of the most versatile gemstones to grace the market today. 



This pink and peach beryl family derivate, has a durability range of 7.5-8 Moh, making morganites one of the softer alternatives. However, with a protective setting, these gemstones can be made into beautiful designer engagement rings because of their unique color and the property of them being mostly eye-clean.



The USP of this beautiful blue-violet gemstone is that it is exclusively available in just one location in the world, making every piece one of a kind, and the ONLY one! Talk about the perfect wedding ring for your special someone! 


The year 2021 has been about bringing a fresh perspective and making statements. As people gear up for a fresh beginning, the jewelry industry is also gearing up for a change in trends. Unusual-colored gemstones with their quirky colors and earthy essence are now gaining popularity. Two such stones that have immensely picked up steam are teal sapphires and salt and pepper diamonds. With their distinctive features and affordable prices, they might be the gemstones to watch out for this year. 

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