Choosing a Gemstone for Your Engagement Ring
Well, I chose my engagement ring based on my birthstone! My birthday is in May and therefore my birthstone is Emerald. I'd love to know why you chose your engagement ring, or did you?
Regardless of the type or size of the gemstone in your engagement ring, important qualities to look for include:
THE COLOUR Gemstones are typically chosen based on their colour, which is their most defining and memorable feature. The more saturated the gemstone, the more valuable it tends to be, unless you are dealing with Sapphires, where the lighter the Sapphire the more value it has. For most people, the decision to buy a gemstone is based on finding one in a colour they love.
The clarity of a gemstone depends on the number of inclusions present. Inclusions are little flaws such as gas bubbles, minerals, and liquid that get trapped in the gemstone during its formation. While "eye-clean" gemstones are generally the most desirable, inclusions can add to the unique appearance of the gemstone and make it more special to the wearer. Examples of a gemstone that has inclusions are Emeralds. Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Because of this, trade members and some consumers understand and accept the presence of inclusions in emeralds. Eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable because they're so rare. The French have a lovely term for these typical inclusions, called a “jardin” or “garden”. Inside the green gem, these inclusions resemble a garden, both being creations of Mother Nature. No two sets of jardins are the same, and they can even be used to identify individual gems.
The cut of a gemstone is critical to its proportion and symmetry. Gemstones are faceted in a way that best highlights their unique features, such as their colour, clarity, or brilliance. Gemstone cuts vary in the number and size of facets carved into the surface, and different cuts bring out different aspects of the stone, such as its colour and brilliance. An example of a gemstone that truly shows off its beauty because of how it is cut is Tanzanite. Depending on how the Lapidarist cuts Tanzanite will determine the colours that show through more.
Diamond, is the hardest of all the gemstones, which is why it is such a popular choice for an engagement ring. However, if like me, you want colour then there are many choices out there. Gemstones are measured by the industry standard Mohs scale. What is the Mohs scale? Below are some of the common precious and semi-precious gemstones ranked by hardness, with diamond being at the top of the standard and acting as a benchmark (10), with precious gemstones like ruby and sapphire being next in line (9), followed by the emerald (7.5 – 8), and most semi-precious gemstones, like amethyst, garnet and peridot, scaling next (6.5-7). While it is still durable enough for everyday wear, it is more prone to scratching and may not be the best choice in an everyday ring (like an engagement ring) for someone who is hard on their jewellery. Pendant and earring wear is fine for everyone. Now we have customers that have 2-3 Tanzanite rings and have never had an issue, and I'll be honest, I've never had an issue with my Tanzanite rings either, so don't let the hardness scare you, but as I mention before, if you are very robust with your jewellery Diamond, Sapphire or Ruby might suit you better!
Amethyst – 7
Aquamarine – 7.5 – 8
Citrine – 7
Diamond – 10
Emerald – 7.5 – 8
Garnet – 6.5 – 7.5
Peridot – 6.5 – 7
Ruby – 9
Sapphire – 9
Tanzanite – 6.5 – 7
Topaz – 8
Next month I'll be focusing on birthstones!