When choosing an engagement ring, it’s often the choice to have a larger center stone as the focal point. In this sense, gemstones and diamonds are standout choices to make. But there are certain distinctions between the two that can help inform your choice beyond your preferences.
When considering your non-diamond engagement ring options versus a diamond engagement ring, cost will be the most apparent difference. Generally, every precious or semi-precious gemstone will cost less per carat than a diamond. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as rough and rustic diamonds or salt and pepper diamonds, but for most other instances, a gemstone will cost less than a similar sized diamond.
Durability is another important difference that is a top concern for an engagement ring. As a piece of jewelry likely to be worn everyday and expected to last a lifetime, the strength of the center stone is critical to understand. All gemstones are measured for their strength according to the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamonds sit at the top as the hardest with a measurement of 10.
Sapphires and rubies follow close behind diamonds with a rating of 9. From there, emeralds and aquamarines rate at a 7.5-8 in hardness, and another popular choice for non-diamond engagement rings, a pearl, rates at 2.5-4.5. As the number gets lower on the scale, the stone is referred to as being softer. That means it can be more prone to scratches, chips, and breaking.
Inclusions are also an area to understand particularly as they concern the popular choices of sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Inclusions provide a benefit to these stones in the sense that they often enhance the color and give them their unique look. However, larger inclusions or pockets of inclusions can pose a threat to the integrity of the stone over time. Durability and inclusions are some considerations; learn more about the pros and cons of using non-diamond gemstones in your engagement ring.
None of this information should sway you from your dream stone for your engagement ring. It is best to be prepared and knowledgeable of the extra care a choice of a gemstone may require. But as with all jewelry pieces, proper care and professional servicing can ensure they will last a lifetime.
Choosing and designing your non-diamond engagement ring can be a journey of incredible meaning and significance. These are some of our favorite rings to design as they carry such specific, special and shared meaning for the couple. It’s truly a beautiful way to symbolize the start of your lifetime spent together.