It doesn’t happen that often, but every now and then I have ladies asking me about wearing a gemstone as their engagement ring.
Now some women are only thinking about using gemstones as the side stones, but there are others who actually want to use a gemstone as the center stone.
Center stone gem?
Their engagement ring would be a beautiful colored stone ring (see picture… Guys are usually happy with this, because they don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get engaged).
But the real question is:
Do gems make great engagement rings?
Is there any reason why you have to get a diamond?
Diamonds are the norm and last forever, so they have always been the go-to when it comes to wedding rings. Diamonds are extremely durable and stand for eternity, purity and love. They are the perfect stone for any engagement ring (they make a strong case). But then…
What about gemstones?
Won’t gems work as well?
Maybe… You see, gemstones are not as durable as most would think. Some gems are better than others, like sapphires and rubies, and some are not, like emeralds and tanzanites. So when one considers a gemstone as a solitaire or engagement ring, durability is at the top of the list (among other things).
If the gemstone isn’t durable, it’ll chip, crack, dull up, and show scratches. The edges of that stone will round off and lose its beautiful, crisp clean, knife-edges. The girdles will chip and crack. The stone may even bust totally out of the mounting.
Gems also lose their color:
Many gemstones have been heat-treated to enhance their color. Stones like this will fade over time. Plus, it may be hard to clean it as well because some gemstones can’t even be put in ultrasonic cleaner. That’s something to think about…
I’ve even had people inquire about softer gemstones like amethyst, citrine and aquamarine.
Here’s my advice:
Don’t do it! Gemstones are weak and over the course of a lifetime, they just won’t last.
Sapphire and rubies, sure…
If you simply must have a gemstone instead of a diamond, then there are only two gemstones that I would recommend: sapphire or ruby.
Sapphire and ruby are the next most durable gemstones underneath a diamond. They are a 9 on the Moh’s scale of hardness. Diamond is a 10, but it’s actually 40 times more durable than ruby or sapphire. That’s quite a difference.
Rubies and sapphires are precious stones that are stunning, and more than likely, will last you a lifetime. Granted, they will show signs of wear and tear like I described earlier… (everything other than a diamond will), but just not as quickly as the rest of the gemstone bunch.
Diamonds on the other hand, will look brand new forever (P.S. diamonds are also a gemstone. Some people tend to forget that fact).
I’ve seen some folks put a sapphire in an engagement ring as the center stone, and I’ll have to admit, it looked awesome. The lady then added diamonds in the wedding band and it created a wonderful gemstone and diamond wedding set.
Do what you like:
If you really want to put a gemstone in, then do it. Who cares what tradition says? Who says you can’t wear a gemstone as your solitaire? I say wear it and be proud of it. As long as you know, that it’s not as durable as a diamond, and it may chip or crack (but so can diamonds), and you may have to replace it at some point in your life… If that’s that you want, go for it.
Gemstones add drama, color and pizzazz to any ring. The only downfall is the fact that they’re vulnerable. It would be a sad day to bust your emerald and have to buy a new one. Which brings me to my next great point…
Make sure you get it insured!
If it breaks, you’re covered.
Granted, it’s still a much better decision to get a diamond as the center, and get your lovely little gemstones as the side stones, but it’s your ring. Just give it a lot of thought before you leap.
Gemstones add the color and impact that a lot of people desire. If it was me, I’d desire peace of mind that it would last a lifetime. But it’s your choice. If you choose watermelon tourmaline as your center gemstone, then cherish and enjoy it… It may not last long.
A great alternative:
And… If you truly want a colorful gemstone that will last… You might want to look at fancy diamonds. Fancy diamonds are colored diamonds like green, yellow, brown, red, purple, blue and orange. Those are permanent colors, will add personality and variety to your ring and will certainly be one-of-a-kind.