Gemstone engagement rings have been rising in popularity the last few years. Who can forget Kate Middleton’s gorgeous heirloom sapphire engagement ring? But, before you buy your gemstone engagement ring, there are a few things you should know!

Every gemstone has a different hardness factor. Basically the hardness of any stone will tell us how resistant that stone is to scratching. We rank this hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 known as the Mohs Scale.

The term “diamonds are forever” exists. This is because diamonds are much tougher than any other gem. They rank 10 on the Mohs Scale. A diamond can be broken or chipped. But, if you rub a nail on a diamond, it won’t scratch.

When choosing a ring for everyday wear, consider the Mohs Scale. Also, consider factors like how prone the stone is to chipping.

If you want a low-ranked stone, I recommend choosing a very protective setting. Also, take extra care while wearing your ring. This will keep your stone from being scratched or submerged in liquids for a long time.

The Three Worst Choices

  1. Emerald | Mohs Scale: 7.5 – 8 | Emeralds are pretty resistant to scratching. But, they are not good for engagement rings. This is because the inclusions and cavities in the stone make it very likely to crack and chip. Some jewelers are reluctant to set expensive emeralds. They want the customer to sign a waiver due to the risk. 
  2. Opal | Mohs Scale: 5.5 – 6.5 | Opal is one of the most beautiful and magical gemstones, though it has long been known by some to be bad luck. Part of this superstition has to do with how soft these stones are. Surface scratches are often overlooked and hidden because the stone is opaque. But, it’s a poor choice because it tends to chip. 
  3. Pearl | Mohs Scale: 2.5 – 4.5 | Pearl is very soft. But, many people still like the idea of using a pearl or pearls in their engagement ring. A tiny flaw in the nacre or outer layer of the pearl can make the whole coating detach and get damaged. Pearls are also often glued into place. This makes them likely to fall out and be lost. 

The Three Best Choices

1. Ruby

Mohs Scale: 9.0

Natural ruby is a timeless choice for an engagement ring. It’s one of the three precious stones that will look as beautiful as the day you bought it for many years.

2. Sapphire

Mohs Scale: 9.0 

Sapphire has been popular for engagement rings. This was true before diamonds became the top gem. This is likely because it resists scratches incredibly well. Also, it has beautiful navy and cornflower coloring.

Related: The Symbolism and Meaning Behind Blue Sapphires.

3. Aquamarine

Mohs Scale: 7.5 – 8 

Aquamarine will show surface scratches over time if you don’t take care. It may even chip if you’re not careful. However, this stone is very popular because of its unique light aqua color. Some of the lighter types are sometimes confused with similar diamonds. Aquamarine is not quite as hard as blue topaz. But, unlike blue topaz, these gems are usually all natural. They are much rarer and more expensive.

Related: Interesting Aquamarine Facts

Leave A Reply