In my last post I explained you about the wearability of alternative gemstone engagement rings and which factors to consider. I’ve worked with many stones, and I still have my favorites for special rings. Here’s a list:
My “yes, yes, yes!” list
Ruby and sapphire
The gemstones I most recommend for engagement rings are sapphires and rubies (Mohs hardness of 9). Actually, the two are related – they’re both corundum. Any color of corundum but red is called a sapphire, whereas only the red-hued corundum is called a ruby. In recent years, the market has been flooded by glass-filled rubies and sapphires, which makes them more vulnerable. So you definitely want to ask your jeweler about any treatments.
After corundum, chrysoberyl – which includes the rare gem alexandrite that’s most known for its color change properties – is also a strong stone that will hold up well through the years.
One of my personal favorites is spinel (Mohs hardness of 8), which can withstand plenty of daily wear. Plus, it’s a new August birthstone! It has dazzling brilliance, is rarely treated, and comes in an array of colors. And it looks so sexy too.
Garnet (Mohs hardness of 7.5) is a borderline stone in terms of durability. It may be scratched and facets may become less pronounced over time, but it doesn’t chip easily. You may think of that deep wine red color in your grandma’s jewelry box, but it actually comes in deep orange shades, vibrant yellowish greens and lush forest greens too. There are even color change garnets which are a piece of magic on their own.
My “okay, but…” list:
The emerald is a type of beryl closely related to aquamarine and morganite, and is rated high on the Mohs scale of hardness (7.5 to 8), but it’s actually very brittle. It has fissures and easily breaks or cracks when it’s knocked and banged around.
Many of the women I work with absolutely love opal for its beautiful play of color, but it’s a soft stone with a weak structure, and it’s sensitive to cleaning agents, light and water. It needs to be looked after properly if you want it to last for a lifetime.
Pearls are delicate and scratch easily.
Amethyst scratches easily and the color may fade over time.
White sapphire and white topaz
White sapphire and white topaz may seem like good value for money at first, but they don’t sparkle like a diamond does. They tend to get dirty easily and lose their sparkle, giving your stone a hazy look. To get the same sparkle you might want to opt for a precision cut stone.
Similarly, citrine tends to dirty easily and lose its shine. It also scratches easily. You may need to repolish it over time.
Tanzanite easily cracks and chips.
Now that you’re equipped with all this info, go on then, put a ring on it! But it needs to be said that at the end of the day, if you really love a certain gemstone, just go for it. Like you did with your soon-to-be life partner – when you know, you know.
01 Spinel Alternative Bridal ring set / 02 Danburite and Morganite ring in White Gold / 03 Color change Sapphire and Diamond ring in Rose Gold / Shop the bridal collection / Bespoke jewelry & Custom orders