There’s no doubt that diamonds are the most popular stone choice for engagement rings, but the question you have to ask yourself is: Is diamond the right gem for me?

Both stones have their pros and cons and often the choice simply comes down to personal preference. If you’re debating between the two, this sapphire vs. diamond  showdown has everything you need to know.


The hardness rating of a gemstone measures its resistance to being scratched. Because engagement rings are usually worn every day, the durability of the stone is important. Both diamonds and sapphires can take the heat, though. Diamonds are rated 10 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, while sapphires are rated a 9. Unless you only plan to wear your engagement ring on special occasions only, it’s best to choose a stone on the high end of the Mohs hardness scale to ensure a long lifespan for your ring. Studies have shown that Emeralds {Mohs 7-8,5} one of the "big four gems" have a poor durability when it comes to longevity of gem stone when used as a daily wearer. Thus not every gem stone is a good choice for a wedding/engagement ring! Although diamonds are harder than sapphires, they’re not necessarily as chip resistant. It all has to do with their crystalline structure, therefore diamonds actually chip easier than sapphires. Some say sapphires are tougher, but this is debatable as sapphires do tend to show their wear more than diamonds especially in terms of light scratches. Based on this, Sapphire and Diamond outshine the rest, but which is the best? Sapphire vs. Diamond Hardness Winner: Diamond


Sapphires can be found in only a handful of locations around the world.  At these locations most of the recovered stones are industrial quality that never enter the gem trade, making sapphire (especially gem grade quality sapphire a 10 times more rare than diamond. In terms of a Diamond Alternative "White Sapphire"  White sapphires are completely colorless sapphires. A sapphire receives its color from the trace elements present within the earth when the crystal is forming. White sapphires are completely untouched by trace elements making them extremely rare and an excellent alternative to a classic diamond. Untreated sapphires make up less than 1% of what is available on the market. These stones have significantly more value, and are far more stable in retaining that value over commercially treated sapphires. Sapphire vs. Diamond Rarity Winner: Sapphire


Budget usually plays an important role in the engagement and wedding process. As you may have already guessed, sapphire engagement rings are more affordable than those with diamonds. Of course, diamonds and sapphires both come in a wide range of prices depending on their size, shape, cut, color, quality, and much more. On average, though, a one-carat sapphire will cost a lot less than a one-carat diamond. Blue sapphires are the most expensive color because they’re the most sought after. Likewise, the more brilliant and pure the color is, the more expensive it will be. As with all gemstones, sapphires decline in price as they decline in quality and get smaller, cloudier, or both. Sapphire vs. Diamond Cost Winner: Sapphire


Brilliant, colorless diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings by far, this is largely due to the fact that most individuals do not know that sapphire too comes in a colorless variant. While blue is the most popular sapphire shade, the Gemological Institute of America explains that the stone also comes in “colorless, violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, brown and more.” As for colorless variants, sapphire (outside of a D colored diamond) is almost always more colorless and more appealing in terms of clear view, however a diamond will nearly always sparkle more than a white sapphireWhite sapphires don't refract light as well, meaning they'll have much less brilliance and less of a visual sparkle when exposed to light. In terms of sparkle and brilliance a diamond will outshine a sapphire any day of the week.  White sapphires appearance is slightly saturated (cloudy) giving them a unique distinction from diamonds. Cubics are considered to be the poor mans diamond or the "Fake Diamond", whereas White Sapphire stands on its own, no one could ever tell you its a fake, because its appearance is different to that of a diamond and so much more unique! The only shade that sapphires don’t come in is red. Sapphire is a corundum mineral and red corundum is simply called ruby instead. Sapphire vs. Diamond Color Winner: Sapphire Sapphire vs. Diamond Brilliance Winner: Diamond


Sapphires are a great alternative stone option for brides who prefer to stand out from the crowd because they’re much less common than diamond rings. If you want an engagement ring that’s different from the rest, sapphires may just be the perfect stone for you. Sapphire vs. Diamond Style Winner: Sapphire


In this sapphire vs. diamond showdown, sapphires have just squeaked out ahead. However, both stones come in a wide variety of colors and are hard enough to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life. Comparing sapphire vs. diamond shows a lot of similarities, so the most important factor in choosing between the two is simply personal preference. If you want to stick to tradition, diamonds may be right for you. If you want to save money on your engagement ring and stand out from the crowd, sapphires are a perfect choice. For Diamonds and Moissanite Engagement Rings please visit us at


Alan Ogilvie founder of OgilvieGems, South Africa's premier hand crafter of fine jewelry, founded Sapphire South Africa based on the need for a more affordable range of colorless long lasting durable diamond alternatives. Although Sapphire is known for its exceptional color variation, the greatest need in South Africa was durable affordable Engagement Rings that stood the test of time! By simply choosing the perfect size, shape, and cut of your sapphire,  pairing it with your desired design, you will see your dream become a reality. Once we design the ring to your specifications with our special CAD software, we’ll soon have you confirming the ring of your dreams. After your final approval, we will source your stones and build your custom sapphire engagement ring. When you design a custom engagement ring with Sapphire South Africa you have the freedom to personalize knowing that you not shelf picking any available ring, rather heart and soul have gone into birthing such a unique and special piece.

Contact us today at and lets build that dream ring

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