We’ve talked a lot about alternative engagement rings on this blog. Ruby, morganite and amethyst are some of the most popular stones chosen currently by couples to pop the big question, and with good reason. Coloured gemstones can offer an extra special personal touch to your proposal. However, if you have been doing your research you might have noticed that when recommending stones for engagement rings, a few are left unmentioned. The truth is many gems are just not hardwearing enough to be used in engagement rings. As, hopefully, you’d want to wear your ring all the time, these gemstones can be easily damaged and in the end, are more trouble than they’re worth in the eyes of many. If you prefer being cautious we present you with 5 stones to avoid in an engagement ring.
Gemstones are categorized for their hardness based on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness from 1 to 10. Stones below a 7 on the scale are not recommended to be used in everyday jewellery as they can be easily damaged or chipped. To give you more of an idea of how the scale functions, diamonds, which are seen as the hardest substance on Earth are classed as a 10. On the other hand, talc, known as the softest mineral, is a 1. The gemstones are ranked depending on whether they can be scratched by the materials before or after them. As diamonds can’t be damaged by any other mineral they are at the very top.
Opals are undeniably beautiful. The gem comes in several different colours, with its black variety being amongst the world’s rarest stones. While on one side opals might be a tempting choice due to their unique looks, on the other side, they are very fragile. Opals are about as hard as glass, measuring between 5.5 and 6.5 on the Mohs scale. This means long-term everyday wear can do quite a lot of damage to them. Though they’re nicely in the middle of the Mohs scale, opal engagement rings come with additional difficulties as well. Opals have high water content and if not cared for properly will dehydrate, lose their shine and unique multi-coloured specks.
Instead of a ring, why not gift opals in the form of earrings. Earrings go through a lot less on a daily basis than rings do. To showcase the beauty of this one-of-a-kind gem, we suggest these earrings by Elements Gold. Their simple design not only spotlights the stunning opals but also allows for them to be worn often. The backing of the studs is made of 9-carat yellow gold.
Moonstone is a gorgeous gem with a milky white almost translucent colour. It is part of the feldspar group and has an opalescent lustre. Though it’s been used in jewellery for centuries moonstone does not make the best engagement ring stone. With its hardness of 6 to 6.5, it’s still harder than most other gems on this list, however, that doesn’t mean that it’s resistant to scratches and chipping.
Moonstone is associated with good luck, hope and new beginnings. If you want to relay the meaning of this gemstone but you’re not sure how we suggest this ChloBo bracelet. Moonstone, amazonite and silver beads decorate the bracelet. A sliding clasp secures it. The chain is made of sterling silver.
Not a lot of people would consider a pearl engagement ring. If you love pearls, however, and you’re considering one, we have to warn you against it. Pearls are still considered a mineral even though they are created within the soft tissue of a living creature. Amongst minerals, however, pearls are considered very soft. With a hardness of only 2.5 to 4.5 pearls shouldn’t be worn on rings as they can scratch easily. Due to their high water content, pearls can also crack if they’re not taken care of properly. Temperature and the way they are stored also affect them.
On the other hand, pearls are great for necklaces as they tend to come into contact with other objects a lot less during daily wear. This minimises the possibility of scratching or cracking. This Elements Gold pearl necklace highlights the delicate pearlescence of the stone. A pearl is featured in the centre of the 9-carat gold pendant. Surrounding it is a halo of diamonds.
Similarly to pearls, turquoise doesn’t seem to be a very common choice for engagement rings. This might be due to the softness of the mineral. Turquoise is a bewitching gemstone and no one should be discouraged to wear it on other jewellery pieces apart from rings. The gem has a vibrant robin egg blue colour and can beautifully complement any skin tone.
This Thomas Sabo necklace is a great addition to any wardrobe. Its design allows for it to be worn on its own or layered with other pieces. A small round turquoise gemstone is featured at the centre of the necklace. On either side of the turquoise are featured 3 cubic zirconia gemstones. The pendant is connected to the silver chain of the necklace.
Quartz engagement rings are great. We often even use amethyst or smokey quartz as examples for alternatives to diamonds in engagement rings. We can’t deny though that when you choose a quartz gem for your engagement ring you need to be a little extra careful, and this is why we’ve included quartz in the 5 stones to avoid in an engagement ring. Though quartz stones have a general hardness of about 7 on the Mohs scale, they can still be fairly delicate and more easily chipped than other coloured gemstones, such as sapphire or ruby. So if you work a lot with your hands or you love getting busy around the house with DIY projects maybe think twice about getting an engagement ring with a quartz stone.
If you, however, have taken all these points into consideration a quartz gemstone can make a beautiful centre stone for an engagement ring. This ring features an emerald-cut gemstone quality amethyst set in the centre of a diamond halo. The 9-carat white gold band is also set with diamonds. This ring is perfect for those who love a bit of glitz and glamour yet still want to show off their individuality.
Would you ever wear one of the gemstones we’ve mentioned above? Do you agree with our choice for 5 stones to avoid in an engagement ring? Let us know in the comments below.