With the huge diversity of gorgeous gemstones available, finding the right one for your engagement ring can be challenging. One way to make your decision is to consider the durability, hardness, and longevity of the stone. The Mohs hardness scale measures the hardness of stones, giving each stone a number between 1 and 10. The harder the stone, the higher the hardness rating.
Simply put, the harder the stone, the less likely it will be at risk of chipping and everyday wear and tear. As beautiful as a stone may look, it is always worth considering its hardness ratio in order to decide whether you want to take a chance that your ring may require repairs, polishing or even replacement at some point down the line. To give you a better idea of how stones compare, we have put together a list of the best and worst gems for your engagement ring.
Choosing Engagement Ring Stones
While hardness should not be the only factor you consider, it is always worth thinking carefully about whether or not your engagement ring will last forever. Some of the best and worst stones for your ring include the following:
The strongest gemstones include…
- Diamonds. With a hardness ratio of 10, diamonds are the strongest, hardest, toughest stones on earth. Your diamond will very likely last you for the rest of your life with little to no chance of chipping and damage unless it is physically damaged. This is where the saying, “diamonds are forever” comes from… because diamonds truly do last forever.
- Rubies. Closely following diamonds, rubies have a hardness ratio of 9, which is almost as strong as diamonds. This means that your ruby will have a very good chance of looking just as stunning as it does no in 10, 20 or even 50 years down the line.
- Sapphires. Sapphires also have a hardness rating of 9, making them just as hard and durable as rubies. There are a surprising number of colours to be found with this stone, from the classic deep blue all the way to deeper and lighter shades of blue.
The weakest gemstones include…
- Pearl. Pearls have a hardness ratio that is between 2.5 and 4.5, making them the weakest of all gemstones. If you do choose to include a pearl in your ring, make sure that you always remove your ring when washing dishes, bathing, gardening, playing sports, going to the gym, doing any home DIY or cleaning, or any other activity that may put your ring at risk. If you store your ring carefully and wear it on special occasions, it will last.
- Opal. Known for their endlessly varied colours and designs, opals have become popular once again in recent years. These fascinating stones have a hardness ratio between 5.5 and 6.5. Although a bit harder than pearls, they will still require special care and storage. Be extra careful not to wear your ring when you are doing any activity that could cause damage.
- Emerald. Although they are resistant to scratches, emeralds contain a number of tiny inclusions and cavities within the gemstone that make them susceptible to cracking and chipping. Needless to say, this is the last thing you want in a ring you plan to wear for the rest of your life. As classic as they are, these stones have a hardness ratio between 8 and 7.5, making them not the hardest stones to use for this type of ring.
If you would like expert advice on how to choose a gemstone for your custom engagement ring, be sure to contact Cape Diamonds today.