When looking for engagement rings, chances are high that you will come across the Mohs hardness rating at some point. This can get confusing for those who are not sure what the scale is all about or how the hardness rating of a stone will affect the overall quality and longevity of the ring. To help you better understand how the Mohs scale works, we have put together a simple guide. This will help you be better informed when choosing engagement rings.
Before we get started, where does the Mohs scale idea originate? Named after Friedrich Mohs, a mineralogist who invented a way to measure hardness, the scale is based on how one mineral scratches another. Talc has the lowest rating (0), while diamonds have the highest rating (10). In between, there are many, many stones, each with their own hardness rating. Keep reading to find out more.
Mohs Hardness Rating for Engagement Rings
Simply put, the Mohs scale measures a stone’s hardness by determining whether it can be easily scratched or chipped. For example, diamonds have a hardness rating of 10. This means that they cannot be scratched by any other stone in a ring. This is why diamonds have long been the preferred choice for engagement rings.
Why is this scale important when choosing rings?
There is a very good reason to check the hardness rating of a stone. A stone that has a hardness rating of 7 or higher will be a good choice that will not be prone to damage. A stone with a lower hardness rating of 7 or under will be at risk of chips, scratches and other damages that will affect its quality over time. Choosing stones for their colour or beauty alone is never a good idea. Even if the stone looks good initially, it may not look as good in a few years if it has a low hardness rating.
How do you check the hardness rating?
All you need to do is a quick online search. Once you have an idea of a stone you love, look it up to check its rating. There are many excellent online resources that list various stones along with their hardness rating. You can also speak to your jeweller to get professional advice on the best and worst stones to use in your ring.
Which stones have the highest rating?
As we mentioned above, diamonds have the highest rating of all stones, with a hardness rating of 10. Other stones that have a high rating include sapphires and rubies (9), emeralds, aquamarine and topaz (8), and morganite and amethyst (7).
Which stones have the lowest rating?
Pearl is ranked 2, making it one of the
softest minerals. Other low rating stones include azurite (3.5 – 4), malachite
(3.5 – 4) and turquoise (5 – 6). Softer stones can be used as side stones in
certain designs but should not be used as centre stones.
To learn more about choosing the right stone for your engagement ring, contact a professional jeweller such as Cape Diamonds for a custom-made ring that meets your specifications.