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An Introduction to Gemstones: The Best Diamond Alternatives

Lydia McCarthy-Keen

An Introduction to Gemstones: The Best Diamond Alternatives

Have you been thinking about a diamond alternative for your engagement ring? maybe a beautiful coloured gemstone is what your partner is dreaming about?

As a gem expert, I've created an introduction to gemstones for you - it's a great place to start!

Let's begin with something you've likely not considered, which is hardness. It's important to recognise that engagement rings need to be much tougher than other jewellery if they are to last a long time without breaking. 

This means your gemstone choice must be up-to-task. Let's take a quick look at what hardness in gemstones means:

The Mohs Scale 

The Mohs scale of hardness is a system used to measure the relative hardness or scratch resistance of different minerals and gemstones.

It was created by Friedrich Mohs in 1812 and is named after him. Understanding the Mohs scale is essential for men who are looking to buy an engagement ring and want to ensure the durability and longevity of the gemstone they choose.

Let's dive into a comprehensive overview of the Mohs scale:The Mohs scale of hardness is a way to measure the durability and resistance to scratches of different gemstones. It ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.

Here's a simplified description of the Mohs scale:

  1. Diamond (10): Diamond is the hardest gemstone on the Mohs scale, making it extremely durable and resistant to scratches. It is an excellent choice for an engagement ring, as it can withstand everyday wear.

  2. Sapphire and Ruby (9): Both sapphire and ruby rank 9 on the Mohs scale, making them very durable. They are popular gemstones known for their vibrant and broad array of colours (red, blue, pink, purple, yellow, white etc) and are great options for engagement rings.

  3. Emerald (7.5 - 8): Emeralds are beautiful green gemstones, but they rank lower on the Mohs scale compared to diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. With a hardness of 7.5 to 8, emeralds are not particularly durable, and are likely to scratch or break. 

  4. Tanzanite, Amethyst, Opal, Morganite, Citrine, and Topaz (6 - 7): These gemstones have varying hardness levels between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale. While they can be stunning choices for jewellery, they are not as durable as diamonds or gemstones ranking higher on the scale. Therefore, they are not the best options for an engagement ring that will be worn daily.

 

In summary, when selecting a gemstone for an engagement ring, it's important to consider the hardness on the Mohs scale.

Stones with a rating lower than 9 are not as durable, making them more prone to scratches, chipping, and breakage with everyday wear. Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are excellent choices due to their high rank on the scale, while gemstones lower on the scale should be carefully considered for long-lasting durability.

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