We regularly get asked about incorporating favourite colours into our bespoke jewellery. There are all sorts of different ways of doing this and it can be as subtle or as obvious as you would like.
If you are looking for a relatively traditional, diamond engagement ring with just a hint of colour then one way of doing this would be to incorporate a small stone in the shoulders of the ring. Most of the stones we use can be cut down as small as 1.5mm in diameter (for a round, facetted stone) and some can be cut even smaller, so it can be a great way to introduce a very subtle twinkle of colour. This works even with really bright colours as it doesn’t take over from the rest of the design and as such the ring can still be worn with other colours.
Several small stones can be used together in the shoulders of the ring if you want something a little less subtle; the colours can be all the same, they can graduate in shade, or they can even be completely different... it all depends on what is right for you.
Alternatively you could go for the main stone in an engagement ring bringing in the colour. This is seen as a little more ‘different’ to usual as people tend to expect an engagement ring to have a diamond in it, but not everyone wants a diamond – and believe it or not it actually doesn’t suit everyone!!
One of the colours we get asked most about is purple. It is considered unusual to go for this in an engagement ring but a lot of people will tell you it’s their favourite colour, so why shouldn’t it be used? Most people associate amethyst with purple and it is a very pretty stone, but there are other purple stones too.
Amethyst can vary in shade from the palest lilac through to the deepest royal purple. When cut as a facetted stone amethyst is very pretty and sparkly with pinkish flashes, although like most coloured gemstones it does benefit from being kept clean. A soft brush and a bit of washing up liquid is all that’s needed to keep that lovely twinkle.
Amethyst is not the hardest wearing of stones, so if we have someone asking for purple who knows they use their hands a lot we will sometimes suggest using a purple sapphire instead. Purple sapphires come in a lot of the same shades as amethyst, but it is harder wearing. It is a little more costly than amethyst but is less likely to get damaged in the long run. It generally has a deeper sparkle than amethyst.
Another popular purple stone is tanzanite. It comes in shades of blue to purple and although it’s not actually a colour change stone sometimes you see elements of both colours depending on how you look at it! You would need to be quite careful about wearing it in an engagement ring, but people often fall in love with its beautiful colour and changeable sparkle and will do anything to own one! It tends to be used as a main stone rather than using it in smaller side stones as it needs to be cut in slightly larger sizes to be able to fully appreciate it.
Iolite is a beautiful indigo colour. It has an inky tone which draws the eye deep into the stone and a more subtle sparkle than the other purples. Iolite is not the hardest of stones and is often cut in a cabochon as it is slightly stronger this way, but when it is cut like this it seems to glow.
Spinel is a rare stone which is more often seen in red colours but also comes in a fabulous deep bluey purple. It has a crisp, fiery sparkle and is harder wearing than some of the other purple stones. One of our stone suppliers operates a mine in Tanzania which he runs under fair trade principles and some beautiful spinel and tanzanite have come out of it recently.