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Picking the Perfect Stone

Before the 1930s, diamonds weren’t the go-to stone for wedding and engagement rings. Rubies, sapphires, even opals and turquoise were actually the favorites! I’ve gotten questions in the past by nervous ring-buyers about the stone they should use for that all important ring. Does it have to be a diamond? What if I like this other one better? This stone fits my partner better, is it okay to use?

Well, hopefully I can answer some of your questions today!

Mohs Scale

The Mohs scale is a scale for mineral hardness that was developed in 1812 by German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. It’s one of several definitions of hardness used to determine the toughness of a material. It helps with the identification of minerals in field work. 

I use for the first rough determination of whether a stone can be used for a certain type of design. It can inform me if a stone is easily scratched or not, or if they’re easily cracked or chipped. If you’ve ever ordered a custom piece from Gardens of the Sun, you know that we’ll tell you if a stone can be used in a certain way or not. The Mohs scale is one way I can figure out a stone’s durability as a jewelry piece.

How does this affect stone choice for The Ring?

The stone in this Custom Spinel Ring hits an 8 on the Mohs scale!

Presumably, wedding and engagement rings are worn daily. They need to be tough enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Brushing against things, staying on your hands as you wash up, those kinds of things. You want something that will look as great in a year as it will in 20 years. 

Cleaning and polishing your jewelry is always important. But having the right stone hardness in the first place will help you in the long run. Ideally, your chosen stone should at least hit an 8 or a 7.5 on the Mohs scale. This is why a lot of jewelers would recommend diamonds, which are a 10 on the scale, or sapphires that hit 9 on the scale.

This topaz from this our Build Your Own Ring collection is another stone which is an 8 on the Mohs scale.

Psst, in the Moh hardness of the stones in this article are as follows; sapphire are a 9, spinel and topaz are 8s, peridot and amethyst and 7s, tourmaline is between 7 - 7.5, garnets is between 6.5 - 7.5, and opals are 5.5 - 6.5. I’ll of course explain why they’re still on this list!


Some people pick neutral stones for fuss-free coordination with their wardrobe. Others look for bright, eye catching colors, because a wedding or an engagement ring should be seen. There are no right or wrong answers! There are only answers that feel right. You could even delve into some color psychology to see which colors represent the messages that you want to convey.


Doesn’t this just make you want to Build Your Own Peridot Ring?

Squiggly lines of hope in the snow, green is growth. An evolving relationship where change is not disregarded and ignored is important. A lovely token of what you want to see in your relationship. 


The sparkles on our Custom Ceylon Sapphire Rings make my heart beat just that little bit faster.

Purple represents a lot of things, but when we talk about love and fidelity specifically, it speaks of sensuality, depth of feeling, and wisdom. To be connected physically and spiritually is the dream, isn’t it? And wisdom is always needed to keep a level-head in a relationship! 


That special merging of colors is so pronounced in this Custom Watermelon Tourmaline Ring.

Red for love and passion, combined with green for growth? Well, that sounds like the firm foundation you would need in a promise for forever! Bicolored stones are perfect for multiple hopeful messages!

Personalized Picks 

I mentioned that opals, rubies, sapphires and turquoise were at one point popular picks for engagement rings. It shows you how trends come and go. Don't rely on such fickle things when you’re looking for something that should last a lifetime. Why not have a look at all the great options that are available. Pick something that feels personal to you and your partner.

You can understand why opals were so popular as engagement or wedding rings. We still get a fair amount of requests for Custom Opal Rings that we know are for that one special day!

Opals are porous in nature, so a little more care will is important in maintaining an opal ring. But much like relationships, the extra effort is well worth the explosion of color it brings into your life. A spectacular burst of welcomed chaos.

Check out the lovely warm hues of this garnet and spinel combination from our Build Your Own Garnet Ring collection.

There’s something sumptuous about garnets. They’re such lush stones, their colors run deep and they run true. They run a little to the more dramatic side, so a strong personality is needed to balance its bold look.

Pick your own favorite color and cut from our Build Your Own Amethyst Ring page.

Amethysts have always had this reputation for being quite the spiritual stone. They would make a great stepping off point for any relationship. They represent such a lovely wish for wisdom and peace.


More and more, I’ve found that our clients are asking about the ethics behind our ring stories. Are the stones ethically sourced? Can you request to upgrade a gold ring to use the gold we get from our artisanal, indigenous miners? And these questions bring a smile to my face. The ethics behind a ring that kickstarts a phase in your life is a very good question to ask!

Since our Sustainability Manager joined our team, the jewelry in Gardens of the Sun is largely traceable and ethically sourced. There are stones from our old stock that don’t come with a certificate – but I’ve always tried to make sure that nothing comes from places where the stones are at risk of funding wars and conflict.

The possibilities for that special center stone are endless. I’m of the opinion that you should absolutely pick a stone that fits your personality or relationship best. If you contact our customer service rockstars for help to design a wedding or engagement ring – diamonds won’t be our one and only recommendation.

As for our gold, you might have noticed that there are new drop-down options to upgrade to ecogold. Yes, they are our ethically mined gold from our indigenous miners!

I love the stories that come with wedding and engagement rings. I’ve even featured a few stories that you lovely people have allowed me to share.

What stone would be front and center on your dream wedding or engagement ring? What would be your version of #myethicaldreamring? (Yes, we’re making that a Thing, capital T!)

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