Budgeting for an Engagement Ring



According to the TheKnot.com, $5,598.00 was the average amount spent by budding grooms on their engagement ring in 2013. A decent sum of money in anyone’s book. Enough to cover a rail commuters season ticket, or a two week vacation in Acapulco, or perhaps something more practical, like a significant property improvement.

Anyways, it’s a lot of dough!

It was just before the outbreak of World War 2 that De Beers launched their famous advertising campaign suggesting that an engagement ring should consist of a diamond, and should cost the equivalent of two months salary. A very successful campaign as both these maxims are still regularly quoted.

Funnily enough, before De Beers, engagement rings were largely made using sapphires – Because diamonds were considered relatively low-brow and even old-fashioned! Sapphires were not only significantly less expensive compared to diamonds (then, as they are now), but you also got a whole lot of amazingly beautiful colors to choose from. The power of advertising!

I’m still thinking about that $5,598.00. A nice old convertible classic – Keep it in the garage during the week, out for a cruise at the weekend …

Or, let’s see how much engagement ring that much money would get you at The Natural Sapphire Company.

Below is a 2.28ct cushion-cut blue sapphire matched with a 14K white gold multi-stone, pave setting. Pretty sensational I’d say. The classic blue sapphire engagement ring. Price, $5,598.10 (a dime over budget).

Blue Sapphire Ring


(For more similar rings, click here)

Yet for half this amount, $2750.00, how about this?

Yellow Sapphire Ring


(For more similar rings, click here)

A 1.2ct round, vivid, yellow sapphire with a 14K yellow gold pave setting. Again, absolutely beautiful.

You can design your own ring to your specifications and budget on our ‘interactive’ website: I promise you, you’ll be impressed (you’re in control, and it’s fun!).

What’s really important when purchasing an engagement ring is finding a ring that will make your intended happy, and will also suit her personal style. As far as budget goes, you need to be realistic and comfortable with the amount you spend. New couples are likely to have other pressing financial commitments.

Gerri Detweiler’s article in ‘abc news’ suggests three fairly reasonable ways a couple might decide to finance their engagement ring if they haven’t got the readies available there and then.

1. Loan from family

2. In-store financing

3. A personal loan

All forms of credit require you to pay off the advance. If you have a well-heeled, close relative who can help out, why not? And the chances are it would be cheaper than the other two methods.

But make sure you can pay them back!

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Apple replaces Glass with … Sapphire!!



The Oxford English Dictionary defines a sapphires as a transparent precious stone, typically blue, which is a variety of corundum (aluminium oxide). Commonly, sapphires are worn in jewelry.

Well, being used as a gemstone in jewelry is certainly not going to change anytime soon, as we at The Natural Sapphire Company can testify based on the growing demand for sapphire engagement rings. However, a new and intriguing use is being found for this super-tough material.

Incredibly since 2013, Apple (yes, the Apple Corporation) have been experimenting with using sapphire in their smartphone screens.

Because sapphire is over three times stronger than the Gorilla Glass they currently use in their screens, a tougher, more scratch-resistant material was bound to interest designers at this most innovative of companies.

Although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were not born with sapphire screens, due a number of reasons elaborated in the linked article, not least cost (sapphire understandably costing multiple dollars per square inch compared to roughly five cents per square inch for glass!), sapphire will front the upcoming, Apple Watch.


Of course where Apple lead others soon follow. Garmin have recognised the potential durability of this material, and their new rugged Fenix 3 GPS watch, which is geared toward competitive athletes, are among those adding sapphire faces. In Garmin’s case, the sapphire model will command a $100 premium over the $500 base price.
Fear not jewellery lovers, none of these fascinating and astonishing technological  advances will affect our ability to source beautiful natural sapphires of every hue in order to create incredible sapphire engagement rings. We just thought this was a story that might be of interest to lovers of sapphires.

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Kate Middleton and Sapphire rings

Since the Christmas photos of Prince George were released by US Weekly, the media and public have been clamoring to see more of the precious 16-month old royal baby. In these lovely portraits, we can see that little George is showing the same princely charms and decorum as his parents. As he sits on the steps of Kensington palace, he reveals a charming smirk, bright rosy cheeks and is dressed in crisp British attire. Wearing a white oxford shirt and a Cath Kidston vest, the little prince already exudes airs of royalty! With all this buzz surrounding baby George, it’s clear that he’s won the hearts of Britain and abroad— truly, a little celeb in the making!


The royal family and their ecstatic fans are delighted to see how well the Duchess of Cambridge is fulfilling her role. But, with her constant charity work, interviews and paparazzi, and of course, her full time job as a mom, Kate still manages to retain a glowing classic look. In this regard, her elegance truly captures the spirit of Princess Diana, making Kate a household icon for women everywhere.

Yet, as much as we all adore Kate’s legendary sophistication, how can we non-royals of the world embrace her look for ourselves? Well, you don’t need a boundless pocket book to do it; you simply need to understand her key outfits.

Here are some great ways to reference the fashions worn by the royal celeb.

A White Oxford Shirt

The white oxford shirt is always a recurring staple in Kate’s limitless wardrobe. She knows all too well that this piece is a timeless expression of style that should be part of every woman’s closet. It’s lightweight and clean-cut, allowing ladies to feel lovely and lavish all day long.

Stunning Accessories

Webbed Rhinestone Necklace

When it comes to accessorizing, the Duchess certainly knows how to stir the world into a fashion frenzy!  For her red carpet moment at the premier of Mandela, Kate reached for a media-rousing piece: a $35.90 rhinestone necklace from Zara! The gorgeous yet affordable piece shows that Kate doesn’t need to drop a bundle to exhibit great taste!

The Yogo Sapphire Ring

Known as the gemstone chosen to be set in a ring for Lady Diana Spencer, the glorious nine-carat oval yogo sapphire has become one of the most fashionable jewels. Now worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, this royal heirloom will always stand as a chief focal point in her attire. There are various online jewelry boutiques where you can find similar pieces. The Miller’s Jewelry is a longstanding store providing reliable and luxurious pieces with the yogo sapphire. Another option is the Natural Sapphire Company, which specializes in setting pieces with the yogo sapphire.

A Pea Coat

The Peacoat jacket is a classic symbol of status and power. As Kate confidently wears her Burberry white pea coat, she recalls the raw girlish energy of Jacky O. No wonder the princess continues to be a fashion inspiration to women everywhere!
With these stunning fashion staples, you can embrace the spirit of the royal mom. Why not try something new and feel absolutely radiant in the process? You’ll discover how just a few simply touches can really pump up your personal style and bring out your inner princess!

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The Growth of the Market for Colored Stones and Sapphires


This excellent article featured in ForbesLife earlier this month. It points out that the jewelry market’s liking for colored stones, rubies and sapphires, has not waned, but in fact continues to flourish, as a Burmese ruby sold in 2006 for $3.6 million fetched $8.6 million at auction just last month.

It likens the colored stone market to the Wild West; unchartered territory where “buyers can discover rare treasures that are sure to appreciate.”

We are reminded that the great screen actress, Elizabeth Taylor, was given a sapphire engagement ring by her second husband, Michael Wilding, and this led to a lifetime’s predilection for emeralds and sapphires.


The article points out that the not all colored stones are equal. When it comes to assessing and valuing corundums the origin of a particular stone will have a major effect on the price. Sapphires from the mines of Burma, Kashmir and Sri Lanka have historically been prized more for their stones legendary color saturation.


The other main factor connoisseurs should consider is the authenticity of their intended stones. Only 2% of sapphires available on the market today are untreated, or ‘natural’. Which makes a visit to The Natural Sapphire Company website something of a must, as we have thousands of stones for sale that are unaffected by mankind’s alterations.

Our sapphires all come with a gemstone identification report and a scan report, that specify whether a stone has been treated or not, as well as identifying the stone’s origin. Reports accepted by all insurance companies for valuation. The type of assurance we all want.

Interestingly the article also notes that vintage sapphire jewelry is becoming a popular access route into the colored stone market. Edwardian sapphire rings often feature blue sapphires as their centre-stones.


Actress and singer, Mary-Kate Olsen’s engagement ring turned out to be a vintage Cartier sparkler, involving a 4 carat diamond set in a 16 sapphire halo.

Pink sapphires, long recognized for their color intensity and brilliance, have also attracted a lot of attention lately. Again, it is a case of “where can I find unaltered stones?”

The Natural Sapphire Company is an obvious first port of call, I would suggest.

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It’s Sapphire Engagement Ring Season!


The Huffington Post recently reported a front page article about celebrity engagement rings. Elizabeth Hurley was ranked #3 in the top 10 review!

Elizabeth Hurley’s blue sapphire engagement ring is set with two trillion-cut diamonds. A bold statement and a nod to the British tradition–sapphires are the engagement ring of choice among British royalty. The platinum engagement ring that cricket player Shane Warne gave to Hurley is approximately 9 carats.

Other notables in the list are Jennifer Aniston’s large diamond engagement ring, Halle Berry went with a fine Colombian emerald ring and Jessica Simpson’s ruby engagement ring.

When’s the best time to get engaged? When you’re in love of course! But historically during big holiday and seasonal changes is when things pick up here at The Natural Sapphire Company. The month’s of December, January and February are always busy as couples take holiday vacations to beat the winter months, spending holiday/new year bonus funds… and popping the big question!

The full article and list can be seen here.


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Made by Machine, or Made by Nature?



Wow. They can now grow diamonds! Huge ones! in laboratories, and they’re virtually indistinguishable from those that come out of the ground.

This has to be great on so many levels. Beautiful diamond jewellery for all, as no doubt the prices will plummet as the technology gets better (think cinema-size TV screens). And I guess some of that human exploitation associated with diamond mining in some of the world’s poorest nations may decline (to be replaced by … ).

The scarcity of diamonds, one of the very things that has made them so expensive over the years, could be coming to an end. If machinery can churn them out, then there’s no limit! That special, unique stone, unlike any other … Well, actually, how many would you like madam?

And as they become more profligate, as their price and value drop, what are the longer term implications? One of the very central factors as to why the best jewellery commands a good price is that it is ‘Special’. It is something rare, something unique.

Will couples want a machine made diamond ring for their engagement? A ring that, with any luck, she might wear everyday for the rest of her life?  I have my doubts. Not when there are such beautiful, colourful and unique alternatives available. I mean Sapphires. Natural sapphires, those untreated gems that have been solely created by a combination of nature and the skill of the sapphire cutter and polisher. Each stone utterly unique. They’re stock will surely rise as the available market for genuine natural gemstones shrinks. Although, to be fair, untreated sapphires have always been exceptionally rare and have never gone down in market price over recent decades.

Above all else though, they are incredibly beautiful. If you like colour, they come in fabulous blues, pinks, yellows, reds, you name it. And all these delicious naturally coloured sapphires can be matched and complimented by a vast range of ring setting metals (white-gold, platinum, rose-gold, etc.).

Their enduring beauty is guaranteed. It looks like we might soon be able to offer the same guarantee for their value! Beauty and Brains. If love is in the air, it might be an excellent time to consider a natural sapphire engagement ring.



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Natural Sapphire Ring hidden in World War II is found !!!



In World War II many people lost everything, they couldn’t take or keep much of anything when their entire lives were transformed nearly overnight. What many of them did do is try to save their most precious jewelry items. This story of a sapphire ring hidden in a teddy bear is an example of the enduring personal value that fine jewelry can have for a person.

Natural untreated sapphire rings are far more rare than heated sapphire rings and this makes them even more precious and valued.

Check out this story on the sapphire ring which was nearly lost during WWII

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Sapphire Engagement Rings History

Sapphires have been considered a worthy gemstones since 800BC. The Romans were the first to utilize engagement rings to demonstrate the respectable plans of the man of the hour. The custom of engagement rings as we right now know it started in 1215, when Pope Innocent III founded a compulsory time of ”engagement”. Amid this same period, it was said that a sapphire’s shade would change or blur if a sullied or untruthful individual worn it. The loyalty of the wives of the Crusades is said to have been tried with sapphires when their spouses came back from their battles.

Engagement rings became prominent in the fourteenth or fifteenth century among illustrious and rich families. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and precious stones were all utilized as a part of these early engagement rings. Symbolizing sentimental affection, truth and duty; sapphires were most loved option.

Amid the eighteenth and nineteenth century, jewels costs declined when precious stones from Brazil and Africa overflowed the markets. This made sapphires, rubies, and emeralds more important and uncommon than common semi-precious stones. As an issue, engagement rings with rare hued color blue were more alluring. Numerous individuals agree in modern times, hence the popularity of blue sapphire engagement rings being used.

The first influential person to pick a sapphire as an option for an engagement ring was mentioned in Leslie Field’s book, The Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Queen Elizabeth II, that the Royal family has a long history of giving sapphires for engagement rings. The most well known being Prince Charles who gave Lady Diana Spencer an expensive oval sapphire engagement ring. While Rubies are viewed as the King of stones, Sapphires are said to be stones of Kings.

The name sapphire originates from the Latin word “saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros‘, both related to the color blue.



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Finding the Perfect Sapphire Engagement Ring..!!



I’m so sorry, you must think I am a right pain asking so many questions …”.

Not in the least.

What quickly dawned on me after starting as a sales representative at The Natural Sapphire Company, was that my primary role is to help people find the item of jewellery that will make them completely happy – And that usually means a sapphire engagement ring. Basically I am an advice worker, trying to guide people towards finding the right ring for them. The last thing anybody here wants is for a client to purchase a sapphire ring and find they are not happy with it. That would spoil the whole show!

So when I hear a client say the above, I promptly reply “Not at all! This is a hugely important decision. You must be completely happy with the ring you choose. Ask as many questions as you need and never feel under any pressure to make a decision”.

Although in saying all this, some clients don’t ask many, or even any questions. The 3D preview images we provide of their sapphire engagement ring design are often enough to tell someone that this is the ring for them (.. or for their hopefully for their soon to be ‘better half’). Our dedicated 3D design team are producing fabulous images (see example below of renderings) which provide a virtual showroom experience for our clients, where they can inspect their sapphire engagement ring design.

If that wasn’t enough we have recently introduced sensational short video files into our package; 20 seconds of HD video of your unique sapphire ring design. Amazing. Little wonder so many people go straight to the check-out. There’s an example in the link here.

What really makes this job so exciting though, is that we are invariably working with people who are preparing for a special occasions in their lives, and want to celebrate this occasion with a piece of jewelry. A retirement gift perhaps, an anniversary, there are so many important moments worthy of celebration. However the most common reason people approach the Natural Sapphire Company is because they are planning to get engaged – What could be more special?

Imagine how exciting it is to help someone design and then create their perfect sapphire engagement ring. It is so rewarding, and the relationship you develop with the client can even become a friendship. You actually share in their joy.

That’s why this is such an amazing and unique position. Of course sales matter, because if we didn’t make any there would be no business, but the pleasure in helping someone find something so important and special as the engagement ring they will possibly wear every day for the rest of their lives – Well that is something else.


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The Growth of the Colored Stone Market..!!

It’s not daily that the informal “Ruler of Diamonds” purchases the same Ruby at closeout for the second time in succession. That was precisely what happened a month ago when Laurence Graff paid $8.6 million at the closeout in Geneva for a Burmese Ruby. Separated from that, the shaded stone business is a great deal more nuanced when it come to evaluating than the standard set of decides that manage jewel reviewing. The standard “four C’s” precious stone evaluating guide has a tendency to be an unbending appraisal of cut, clarity, color and carat weight. On the other hand, not all sapphires are the same! For a considerable length of time, mines in Kashmir, Sri Lanka and Burma have been well known for delivering stones with profound shade.

At the outset a fantastic stone ought to have three things; a profound color tone, few obvious in-corporations, and symmetrical faceted cut. Continuously believe your eyes, particularly in appreciation to the coloration and cut, yet believing your eye is impossible for going with paperwork like receipts, examinations and so forth. Anyhow fortunately for you, lab assessments by associations like GIA and Gubelin will help you with extra assurance.despite this, as the business becomes, pink sapphires have demonstrated more well known for its brilliance and color intensity.

As it goes to show, vintage adornments is a surefire approach to put resources into quality without trading off style.


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