By Yaĝé Enigmus
Among precious gems, ruby is the stone that many consider to be the most representative of pure passion. This beautiful gemstone has been used as a symbol of deep emotions for millennia, and in recent centuries has become a more frequent participant in the creation of custom engagement rings. A perfect embodiment of fiery romance, rubies make a wonderful choice for the center stone of a bespoke engagement ring, and have been seen adorning the fingers of affianced nobles and stars. Just like the blazing colour of red corundum, ruby engagement rings stand out and can serve to reflect the blazing intensity of one’s most profound sentiments.
A truly unique example of how rubies may be used to send a personal message to a significant other can be seen in the engagement ring given to Princess Margaret by Anthony Armstrong-Jones in October of 1959. The Countess of Snowden’s bespoke engagement ring was crafted with a stunning ruby center stone surrounded by a halo of diamonds set in a stylized manner meant to evoke the image of a rose, in honour of the Countess’ middle name “Rose”. This charming engagement ring still captures the hearts of many today, and was recently recreated as a prop used in the filming of the Netflix series “The Crown”.
The recreation of Princess Margaret’s ruby ring featured in Netflix’s “The Crown”; Image: The Adventurine
Keeping in line with the royal family’s love of precious stones, a gorgeous custom ruby engagement ring was given to Sarah Ferguson when Prince Andrew proposed to her. In March of 1986, the Duchess of York was given a ring featuring a scarlet Burmese ruby surrounded with a halo of diamonds in a gold setting. This ruby engagement ring took advantage of a design similar to that of Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring, bringing out the best elements of the red stone. Ferguson’s ruby ring inspired many jewellers to create their own versions of the jewel so that they could offer this incredible engagement ring to members of the public. Today, Sarah Ferguson’s bespoke ruby engagement ring remains a recognizable token of desire and commitment.
Sarah Ferguson and her ruby engagement ring; Image: Daily Express
Following the engagement of the Duchess of York, another fantastic ruby engagement ring was given by a member of British royalty to their fianceé. Just a few years after Sarah Ferguson received her engagement ring, Earl Charles Spencer proposed to former model Victoria Lockwood with a charming ruby engagement ring in 1989. The highly unusual custom engagement ring featured a pear shaped ruby and a pear shaped diamond set facing the same direction side by side, surrounded with diamonds and topped with a diamond accented crown shaped detail attached opposite to the points of the diamond and ruby.
Victoria Lockwood’s bespoke engagement ring; Image: Spencer Family Unofficial Instagram (@_althorp)
This remarkable ruby engagement ring was designed in the image of a ruby ring once given to Queen Victoria by her half sister Princess Feodora at the time of her marriage to Prince Albert as a wedding gift. Queen Victoria’s original ring featured an overlapping ruby and diamond set in the same style as Lockwood’s ring, but with the placement of additional diamonds limited to the just crown detail. The choice of design for Lockwood’s ring was a powerful display of the Earl’s feelings for her as she was not a member of English nobility, a fact that stirred controversy among other members of the Earl’s class. Nevertheless, the love between Spencer and Lockwood remained as strong as the gemstones exchanged between them, and they went on to have a family that shone like rubies.
Queen Victoria’s original ruby and diamond ring; Image: Madame Guillotine
A ruby engagement ring that grabbed the world’s attention more recently was seen on the finger of Jessica Simpson. Former NFL star Eric Johnson proposed to the American singer in 2010 and gave her a breathtaking ring featuring a rounded cushion shaped five carat ruby center stone accented by two pear shaped diamonds in a timeless three stone yellow gold setting. Simpson’s bespoke engagement ring garnered significant attention due to the use of a ruby as the center stone, breaking from the norms that had been seen in the American entertainment industry during the years prior.
Jessica Simpson and her three stone engagement ring; Image: HELLO! Magazine
Jessica Simpson’s ruby engagement ring is considered by some to have influenced the choices of other American celebrities during the decade that followed, including Eva Longoria’s fianceé, who may have been inclined to mimic elements of the sapphire ring previously owned by Princess Diana seen on Kate Middleton’s finger, but opted to give the actress a halo ring featuring a ruby as the center stone instead of a sapphire when he proposed in December of 2015.
By choosing to give the gift of a ruby engagement ring, the burning passion that these couples felt for their fianceés became even more visible to the world. The stones used in these bespoke engagement rings are ageless representations of the affection in the hearts of those who gave and received them, and will tell the tale of their love for generations to come. When choosing a stone to set in a custom engagement ring, one can display their own message of gleaming love with a glowing red ruby.
Here are some of gorgeous ruby rings from the Skyjems catalog that would make fantastic engagement rings:
© Yaĝé Enigmus