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Gemstone Engagement Rings: What You Need To Know

Gemstone Engagement Rings: What You Need To Know

Chloe is one in a million. She always has been. As a baby, she would not let mom spoon feed her: she had to do it on her own. As a child, she didn’t want the training wheels and certainly didn’t want dad hanging on: she wanted to do it herself. And as a teenager, when all her friends where getting in trouble for breaking curfew: she considered it all silliness. She knew who she was and didn’t see the appeal in following the crowd. Now, she’s met her soulmate, her other half, her ride or die. You. And you are searching for the most perfect engagement ring for Chloe. You’ve snooped her Pinterest boards eager for ideas and discovered each and every pin is of gemstone engagement rings. Chloe doesn’t want a traditional diamond. She wants a gemstone to express her unique style and personality. But where to start? Here’s some tips and advice if you want to venture away from a diamond engagement ring & explore gemstones.


Not all gemstones are created equal

Firstly, they are not created at all! Gemstones like ruby, sapphire, morganite and others come from our earth. They are a result of minerals in nature coming together to weave a unique gemstone. Each has it’s inherent characteristics. Let’s discuss a few and their pros and cons. But first, you need to know about the Mohs Scale.


What is the Mohs Scale?

The Mohs Scale is a standard to measure a minerals relative hardness and resistance to scratching. The scale assigns each mineral a value between 10 (being the hardest and most resistant to scratching) and 1 (the least resistant to scratching). You guessed it! A diamond, being the hardest substance from the earth, is a 10 on the Mohs Scale. Each gemstone will have a rating on the Mohs Scale telling you how durable, or fragile, a gemstone is. This will help you determine if a particular gem is good for her lifestyle. As we go through the gems, we’ll give you the Mohs grading and help you understand that particular gems hardness.


Sapphire Engagement Rings

Mohs Scale Rating: 9

Sapphire engagement rings are absolutely dreamy. There’s some royal about the entire combination (thank you Princess Diana and Kate Middleton with your regal blue sapphire ring!) A blue sapphire set into crisp white gold with some accent diamonds is simply stunning. Typically you will see the blue sapphire take center stage as the center stone but blue sapphires can make wonderful accents too.

an oval cut blue sapphire with marquise cut diamonds on the sides

This gorgeous ring by Parade Designs in California boasts a 2.89 carat oval cut blue sapphire, flanked by marquise cut diamonds on a white gold band. It’s dramatic and unforgettable!

a pear cut blue sapphire is bezel set in white gold

This pear cut blue sapphire by Birks is the ultimate everyday ring. The blue sapphire is bezel set, meaning that white gold completely covers the edges of the sapphire, without prongs. This means no prongs to snag on clothing and other textiles. The accompanying round cut diamonds gives a subtle “Moi et Toi” vibe.

But did you know that sapphires come in a whole host of colors? The most common colors are pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, teal sapphire and green sapphire. This allows you to choose between many colors on the spectrum to pick the perfect stone.


Ruby Engagement Rings

Mohs Scale Rating: 9

Ruby is a gemstone from the corundum family. Rubies can range from a deep pink to blood red. Their hardness makes them another great candidate for a gemstone engagement ring that she will wear every day.

rubies are set into a yellow gold eternity band style ring

This absolutely stunning ruby eternity band in yellow gold was chosen as a super unique engagement ring. Round brilliant cut diamonds are pave set on the profile: it is beautiful from every angle. On their wedding day, she paired it with a lab grown diamond eternity band with oval cut diamonds for a very special ring stack.


Morganite Engagement Rings

Mohs Scale Rating: 7.5-8

Morganite is from the beryl family (side note: as is emerald). A morganite would be considered somewhat durable for an engagement ring setting, but should be worn with care and protected from hard knocks.

This soft peachy-pink gem is ultra feminine and pretty. It is especially poppy set into a diamond halo (or with diamonds encircling the morganite. Check out this ring by Noam Carver:

an oval cut morganite is set into a rose gold diamond halo ring setting

This oval cut morganite is 1.16 carat weight and is surrounded by almost .25 carats of diamonds. The diamond halo draws the eye toward that soft peachy-pink. Everything is set into rose gold, which compliments the morganite perfectly. Of all gemstone engagement rings, morganite is one of my personal favorites!


Tanzanite Engagement Rings

Mohs Scale Rating: 6-7

Tanzanite is a colored gemstone that is only mined in Tanzania (hence the name!) It is an absolutely stunning blueish purple color, completely unlike blue sapphire or amethyst.

Did you know? Tiffany & Co. chose the name for Tanzanite. It was originally called “blue zoisite”.

We get the appeal, the color makes Tanzanite a desired center stone for a gemstone engagement ring. But it’s rating on the Mohs Scale should be carefully noted and compared to your lifestyle. If you are going to sleep in, shower in, work in this ring, wear it virtually day in and day out, the tanzanite may soon show scratches, scuffs and signs of wear, causing the gem to look dull. If that happens, the Tanzanite can be recut but:

  1. it has to be removed from your engagement ring to do so and
  2. you will then have a slightly smaller Tanzanite. This means it may or may not fit back into your engagement ring! At that point, discussions would have to be had with your jeweler to determine the best route to go.

It’s with a heavy heart we say that a precious gemstone like Tanzanite may not be the best choice for a gemstone engagement ring as it doesn’t have the hardness or toughness to stand up to daily wear.


Emerald Engagement Rings

Mohs Scale Rating: 7.5-8

Emerald is somewhat durable for every day wear. Even though it has similar hardness to morganite, emeralds are arguably softer and susceptible to scratches and chips if worn too hard. If you absolutely desire an emerald as the center stone on your engagement ring, may we suggest a bezel setting?

an emerald cut emerald is bezel set into yellow gold

This emerald cut emerald was carefully bezel set to protect the edges from undue wear and tear. In soft yellow gold the overall effect was the pop of that gorgeous emerald but more secure for the wearer.

Did you know? Emeralds and aquamarines are both from the beryl family. While emeralds are a medium to deep green in color, aquamarine is a very pale blue. It is the trace elements in each specific gem that allows for variation in color.

Emeralds are cut into a variety of different shapes but an emerald cut emerald would be the most common. Emeralds in general tend to have inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye so choosing one in person with your own eyes is crucial!


Moissanite Engagement Rings

Mohs Scale Rating: 9

Moissanite is a gemstone that looks like a diamond (and even tests as a diamond) but isn’t one. This is wonderful alternative if you want a gem but not necessarily a color. If you want the appearance of a diamond center stone, consider moissanite! With a rating of 9 on the Mohs Scale, this is a fantastic candidate for every day wear. The unique characteristics of a moissanite also make it ultra sparkly, especially in a round brilliant cut.

a round cut moissanite is set into rose gold
This Tacori engagement ring is set with a “2 carat” size moissanite in the baby pink rose gold. We love the simplicity of this ring setting which draws all eyes to that gorgeous moissanite.


Other Gemstones

This article will be 20,000 words if I highlight every single gorgeous gemstone so at the very least, I’m going to list some other options and their Mohs rating for hardness...and you can Google away!

Pink Tourmaline 7-7.5 (Pink Tourmaline is also the birthstone for October)

Peridot 6.5-7 (Peridot is also the birthstone for August)

Moonstone 6-6.5 (Moonstone is a alternate birthstone for September alongside sapphire)

Spinel 7.5-8

Citrine 7 (Citrine is also the birthstone for November along with morganite)

Blue Topaz 8 (Blue Topaz is also the birthstone for December along with Tanzanite)

Garnet 6.5-7.5 (Garnet is also the birthstone for January)


If you considering a gemstone ring, here’s a few other notes, tips and general information:

  • Precious gemstones would include blue sapphire, ruby, emeralds and to some extent tanzanite. Many of the other others would be considered “semi-precious”.

  • Unlike diamonds, the majority of gemstones have not been sent to GIA to be graded and certified by gemologists.

  • If your perfect ring includes gemstones, just keep in the back of your mind that they need to be worn with lots of love and protected from hard knocks and harsh chemicals.

The Process of Buying A gemstone engagement ring at Perrara

While shopping for a diamond engagement ring and gemstone engagement ring is similar, there are also key differences. This is to give you heads up of what to expect!

  • The specific gemstone you desire and the ring style will be chosen separately. We have local gemstone dealers who carry a vast selection of gems, giving us accessibility to far more than just what is in the showcase. Together we will determine what gemstone you want, shape and carat size. Then we will bring in a carefully curated selection of gems for you to choose from.

  • Next, we will go through the hundreds of ring styles that are available to you. The ring setting will be made to accommodate whatever gem you have chosen. This means you have complete freedom to choose your ring style! Solitaire, three stone, diamond halo...the sky is the limit!

  • Choosing the diamond and the ring setting and then having them put together allows for far more freedom and selection than what a jeweler might have in the showcase. You are able to control budget and select what is right for you in terms of how much you want to spend. And best of all, this engagement ring will be completely unique, bespoke and one of a kind because you choose the components! How dreamy.

  • Given that the ring is going to be crafted especially for you, attempt to arm yourself on her finger size before you order the ring. And set the expectation of 4-8 weeks to have the ring crafted (dependent on the designer). Don’t worry, it will be worth the wait.


In Summary:

Shopping for the perfect ring with a stunning gemstone center stone can be a rewarding and super fun experience. At Perrara, we aim to give you lots of personalized selection, attention and guidance to help you make an educated decision. Are you ready to get started?

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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