Lady Diana, Jackie Kennedy, Halle Berry, and Victoria Beckham. Did you know all of them chose a non-diamond, gemstone engagement ring? Gemstone engagement rings are becoming more popular because of their unique appearance, large size, and lower cost (but keep in mind that some gemstones are more expensive than diamonds). However, each and every gemstone has a different level of hardness, and therefore, not all precious stones make good engagement ring center stones. In other words, it is crucial to know which gems are durable enough to stand the test of time.
What are the risks and benefits of gemstone engagement rings?
The benefits of choosing a non-diamond engagement ring include uniqueness and cost. However, there are some risks to choosing a gemstone over a diamond, and knowing about them will help you take better care of your gemstone engagement ring, as well as feel confident in your choice.
The benefits include:
- A fun, colorful expression
- Lower cost, depending on the type of gemstone you choose
- Bigger size and a variety of shape options
Let’s discuss each of these advantages:
Couples choose gemstone engagement rings for a myriad of reasons. Some prefer to express themselves in color. For example, a red ruby engagement ring exudes passion, while a dark blue sapphire engagement ring emanates loyalty and royalty. Some couples also love orange, yellow, and green gemstones for a refreshing sparkle.
Cost is another reason to choose a gemstone engagement ring. Depending on the stone, size, and color, the monetary value of gemstones is sometimes a fraction of the cost compared to a diamond of the same size. As such, couples selecting a gemstone engagement ring can usually afford a bigger center stone in gemstone than in diamond.
Speaking of size, many gemstones form in large crystals. Therefore, since many precious gems are available in different sizes and shapes, couples can choose larger stones with fancy shapes to be the centerpiece of their engagement ring.
As for the risks, they include:
- Lower hardness
- Difficulty replacing the stone
Although there are many benefits to choosing a gemstone engagement ring, there are also risks to consider before finalizing your purchase. For instance, because gemstones are not as hard or sturdy as diamonds, gemstone engagement rings may chip or scratch easily. However, couples can prevent unwanted damage by choosing a hard gemstone.
One more issue to keep in mind is that the unique colors and shapes of gemstones can be more challenging to replace in the event of breakage or loss. And, because gemstones are often cut in more uncommon shapes than diamonds, couples may experience difficulty in finding the exact measurements of their original gemstone. Lastly, making matters a bit more complicated, since gemstones — even those of the same kind — are available in a broad selection of colors, matching the hue and saturation of your original stone can be tough. Couples can avoid this problem by having a gemologist color grade and appraise their gemstone.
What are the best colored gemstones for engagement rings?
Gemstones with a hardness of 7.5/10 and above make the best engagement ring center stones. Some of the most durable gemstone engagement ring options include:
- Ruby and sapphire engagement rings
Rubies and sapphires are the hardest non-diamond gemstones available with a 9/10 ranking on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Both belonging to the Corundum family, red stones are called rubies, and all of the other rainbow colors are sapphires. As mentioned earlier, a ruby engagement ring signifies passion and love. Meanwhile, a sapphire engagement symbolizes loyalty and royalty.
Rubies and sapphires are Type II gemstones, meaning they have some inclusions, but eye-clean varieties should be sought out. Those with rich medium tones (not too light nor too dark) are the most valuable.
Due to its superior hardness and the selection of colors available, a sapphire engagement ring — such as the one Princess Diana wore and now adorns the hand of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge — is a magnificent gemstone engagement ring choice. On the other, couples on the lookout for something different should consider a romantic ruby engagement ring.
- Emerald engagement rings
No one can resist the beautiful and mystical green shade of emeralds. Boasting a 7.5/10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, emeralds are one of the most durable gemstones available. Symbolizing energy and growth, emeralds come in an array of captivating green shades, from pure green to bluish-green with a light or dark saturation.
Emeralds are Type III gemstones, meaning they have inclusions visible to the naked eye. In other words, do not expect an emerald engagement ring to be flawless. Couples preferring an emerald engagement ring should be careful of inclusions that reach the surface or edges of the gem, as it has a higher risk of chipping over time. Furthermore, ensure to choose an engagement ring setting that protects any inclusions that may put the ring at risk.
- Aquamarine engagement rings
Aquamarine is a 7.5/10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Unlike rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, an aquamarine is a Type I gem, which means it should be quite flawless.
Signifying healing and tranquility, this gemstone comes in light, medium, and darker blue tones. In some cases, aquamarines show a hint of green, almost resembling the sea’s surface. Couples preferring an aquamarine engagement ring should look for an eye-clean stone that shows off its breathtaking blue color. Lastly, keep in mind that lighter blue aquamarines are less valuable than medium or medium-dark varieties.
In conclusion, if you and your partner decide on having a gemstone engagement ring instead of a traditional diamond, then rubies, sapphires, and aquamarine are the best options. Not only are they beautiful, they are also durable and valuable.
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