When people think "engagement rings," they tend to think of the one ring presented to the female partner with the giant diamond on it. Oddly enough, this wasn't the go-to stone eighty years ago. In fact, prior to diamonds becoming the engagement stone, engagement rings and wedding rings, more often than not contained "the three big gemstones." Here is what those three big gemstones are and why you want them as part of your engagement ring/wedding ring ensemble.
The beautiful red stone with a slightly pinkish hue was once the embodiment of romance. When you wanted your sweetheart to know that your love was true, you bought her rubies. If you draped her in dripping rubies, she was the envy of all women who saw her. The same four C's of deciding the value of diamonds decide the value of rubies as well. Rubies have long been the stone of choice for the crowns of kings and queens, which is why the "common man" has always desired them. There is not a piece of royal jewelry in the world that does not contain at least one ruby, unless it contains one of the other "big three" gemstones.
Sapphires, which are actually harder than diamonds, carry with them the deep, beautiful blue hues that make you think of other romantic things like the ocean or the night sky. Natural variations in a sapphire can even create actual star-like reflections, and a raw sapphire cut just the right way twinkles more brilliantly than a diamond. The engagement ring, as well as a tiara that she wore often, were Princess Diana's greatest possessions and both contained sapphires.
The last, and certainly not the least, of the big three gemstones is the emerald. Prized for its vibrant green color and sought after heavily by Irish kings and queens, it certainly takes its place of honor nestled in with sapphires, rubies, and diamonds. More rare than any diamond in the world, naturally occurring emeralds should be part of an engagement ring as a sign that your love is as precious, rare, and priceless as the green stone itself.
Take a look at some of the largest crowns of the British Empire and you will see that those crowns are encrusted with the three big gemstones that only extreme wealth was able to afford at one time. Give your fiancee a ring that dazzles but also a ring with brilliant color.