Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but today's brides are looking for something unique and personal. To do that, a growing number are turning to colored gemstone engagement rings. The most popular? Sapphires.

"These days tradition has been thrown out the window with what qualifies as an engagement ring," says Catherine Thies, co-owner of Filigree Jewelers in Minneapolis, which carries pieces from the Victorian era through modern day. "Brides shopping with us are those who are super confident in their style, and they want something nobody else will have."

Although sapphires come in a rainbow of colors, royal blue remains the most popular. "It's not only magnificent, but almost majestic," says Jessica Gylsen, store manager and gemologist at Wixon Jewelers in Bloomington. Couple the sapphire's bold color with its superior physical properties — it's next to diamonds in terms of hardness — and Gylsen says it's the most suitable of all color gemstones for an engagement ring. But, she says, it all comes down to personal preference.

"An engagement ring is a reflection of the couple themselves," she says. "You want a piece that can be worn and loved and enjoyed for a lifetime."

And if you're not about to get hitched, all of these rings would be perfect on a right hand, too.