Guide to Gemstones

Beautiful, sparkling, diamonds remain the gemstone of choice as the centrepiece of almost all vintage engagement ring designs – but other stones are becoming more popular too.

Shimmering, dancing diamond light can be accentuated by the deeper colour of spectacular sapphires, exquisite emeralds, or other precious gemstones. It can also be complemented by a lighter hue such as aquamarine or opal if you prefer a more subtle style.

You can also consider choosing an alternate gemstone in place of a diamond for the centre stone itself, to create a truly stand-out ring.

At Lorimat, we will advise on all the choices available, and we will tailor our advice to what we feel would be perfect for you, based on your unique personality and style. We will also explain the difference between different gemstones in terms of durability and hardness. We use our experience and knowledge to source only the finest coloured gemstones and show our customers the loose stone before having it set.

Some of the most popular gemstones used in ring design are

  1. Sapphires

    Lorimat Ring Design Services - Sapphires

    Sapphires are the second hardest natural mineral (rated 9 on the Mohs scale), being beaten only by diamonds (rated 10). It is their combination of durability and beauty that have long made them a popular choice in precious jewellery. Blue is by far the most popular colour for sapphires, but they can be almost any colour, including yellow, green, white, colourless, pink, orange, brown, and purple.

  2. Rubies

    Lorimat Ring Design Services - Rubies

    Rubies are the red variety of corundum, the mineral that is known as sapphire in every other colour. They too are therefore both hard wearing and beautiful.

  3. Emeralds

    Lorimat Ring Design Services - Emeralds

    Their beautiful deep green colour has been admired since ancient times. Emeralds are brittle stones however, and care should be taken when wearing or cleaning them. They require more regular expert attention than many other gemstones.

  4. Birthstones

    Lorimat Ring Design Services - Birthstones

    The birthstone of the person who will wear the ring is also always a popular and fitting choice.

You can’t cry on a diamond’s shoulder, and diamonds won’t keep you warm at night, but they’re sure fun when the sun shines.

~ Elizabeth Taylor


Here at Lorimat, we also like being different. We suggest that you also consider the following unusual gemstones to make a beautiful engagement ring or eternity ring:

  1. Aquamarines

    Aquamarines shine over an extraordinarily beautiful range of mainly light blue colours. They have good hardness (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale) and a wonderful shine. That hardness makes it very tough and protects it to a large extent from scratches. Some aquamarines have a light, greenish shimmer, but it is a pure, clear blue that continues to epitomise the aquamarine, because it brings out so well the immaculate transparency and magnificent shine of this gemstone.

  2. Morganites

    Morganites are rarer than aquamarines, but not as expensive, as they are not promoted to the same degree. The morganites colour range includes pink, rose, peach, and salmon. Pink and rose tints are more fashionable, and they can bring a wonderfully feminine touch to any vintage ring design. Morganites are often set in rose gold as the two colours complement each other perfectly.

  3. Tsavorites

    If you like emeralds, think tsavorites instead. A deep green tsavorite is so close in colour to an emerald that only an expert eye can tell them apart, and their greater hardness makes them more suitable for everyday wear. Tsavorites are also rarer than emeralds, have greater purity, and added brilliance. They can be more budget-friendly too.

Lorimat Ring Design Services - Aquamarines Morganites Tsavorites


For further expert advice, just call to see us at Kieran Street in Kilkenny anytime, or telephone 056 775 1455 for an appointment.