There’s no doubt about it, diamonds are VERY beautiful. They are an exquisite example of the beauty of gems. Added to that they are practical – I know, not very exciting, but in a ring that you will be wearing for the rest of your life it’s an important consideration. However, is a diamond the only choice for an engagement ring?
As you can see from my gallery, diamonds are not everyone’s cup of tea and there are simply hundreds of gems out there that you can choose instead of a diamond.
Your first consideration is colour. One client wanted blue to match his girlfriend’s ‘beautiful’ blue eyes (so romantic – sorry – I’m hopeless!), another had a specific request from his girlfriend for something yellow, another wanted something pink as they had just had their first child – a girl.
Once you have decided on a colour – the next option is hardness. Unfortunately not all stones are suitable for an engagement ring. Take an emerald for example – very, very beautiful but not so great in a ring as they are delicate flowers! The scale of hardness for stones is called the Mohs Scale. The hardest is a 10 – the diamond is the ten. The next down is sapphire and ruby coming in at 9 and so on down until you get to 1 – talc! Anything below 7.5 on the mohs scale is really too soft, certainly as a main stone in an engagement ring. Now there may be some clever beans out there thinking, “but hang on Zoe, an emerald is 7.5 on the mohs scale”. Indeed it is, but emeralds are often highly included (jargon – sorry). Emeralds have a lot of physical imperfections which makes them more prone to breakage. So, you are looking for a gem higher than 7.5 on the mohs scale and not too included.
So to give you a clue here are some good examples of beauties that fall into the requirements listed above:
Garnets come in a range of gorgeous colours, deep red, vivid green, tender to intense yellow and fiery orange.
Sapphires come in a full spectrum of colours from white through blue to pink and yellow and all hues in between.
Ruby, of course, which can come in a subtle pink through to a lucisous red.
Tourmaline is a lesser known gem but one of my favourite as it comes in some beautiful and more unique colours, earthy reds and browns, greens, even steely grey.
Aquamarine is the classic watery, ocean blue, subtle and gorgeous.
Chrysoberyl is a delicious lemony yellow, good enough to eat!
Padparadscha, which is actually a sapphire but a specific pinky orange colour, and so so lovely.
I could go on (and on and on) but I’m sure you all have things to be doing, so I’ll let you go. Just before I do, now we’re talking colour remember diamonds aren’t always white… but that’s another blog.