The Honest Truth about Birthstone Engagement Rings
Choosing an engagement ring for your future bride-to-be could be challenging. Not only do you want it to be an heirloom that she will forever treasure, but also you want the design to reflect her personality.
So why not opt for a birthstone engagement ring that she will truly connect with?
Non-diamond bespoke jewellery pieces are increasingly gaining popularity. In fact, a growing number of soon-to-be grooms have opted for these birthstone engagement rings. This allows them to introduce colour. Take for example the classic September blue sapphire or the dreamily March azure aquamarine.
But before getting all excited, read on to determine which gemstones you need to avoid if you want a longer-lasting ring for your bride.
Since there are months with competing gemstones, you may have to make a tough call if your bride-to-be happens to be born into one of these months. For example, December has 4 competing gemstones—blue zircon, tanzanite, turquoise and blue topaz. These colourful stones are competing for the life-changing answer of those born in the last month of the year.
However, neither zircon, tanzanite nor turquoise are hard-wearing enough to withstand everyday wear and tear—an important factor when choosing for the perfect engagement ring that will last a lifetime.
Although the world of gemstones offers endless possibilities, there is one factor that needs to be critically considered when shopping for birthstone engagement rings. Diamonds—the most sought-after stone for engagement rings—are chosen for their durability and hardness.
On the other hand, other gemstones are not as tough. Should your significant other be born in either October or May, their birthstones would be opal or emerald, both of which are fragile. Meanwhile, June boasts 2 unusual gemstone choices—alexandrite and pearl. Pearls, however, are not highly recommended for engagement rings since they are easily damaged.
TIP: To avoid any costly mistake when shopping for the ideal birthstone, talk to an expert jeweller to help you determine whether the chosen birthstone will fit both your budget and your bride-to-be’s lifestyle.
Moh’s scale is a “qualitative ordinal scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material.” In other words, this measure will help you determine if a particular gemstone is suitable for an engagement ring.
There are also other factors that need to be considered when it comes to the stone’s overall durability, such as cut, stability and toughness.
Rule of Thumb: Anything above a scale of 7.5 is relatively good. Equally, you should avoid anything below 7.5, like pearl (2.5), turquoise (5–6), tanzanite (6.5–7) and emerald (7.5).
Birthstone Engagement Ring Guide: A Glimpse
Topping the list is of course diamond with a rating of 10/10, one of the hardest substances on the planet, while at the bottom of the list is pearl with a 2.5 rating.
So if you’re considering a birthstone for not only an engagement ring but also any bespoke jewellery, always check whether the stone is hard enough to withstand everyday wear and tear.
TIP: If the rating is below 7.5, find an alternative.
January: Garnet (6.5–7.5). Not recommended.
February: Amethyst (7.0). Not recommended.
March: Aquamarine (7.5–8.0). Although not the hardest of gemstones, but worth considering.
April: Diamond (10). Highly recommended.
May: Emerald (7.5–8.0). However, the presence of inclusions in emeralds makes them more fragile than what their rating suggests. Hence, consider an alternative.
June: Moonstone (6.0–6.5), Pearl (2.5), and Alexandrite (8.5). We’ve already established that pearls are not ideal for engagement rings, so are moonstones. This leaves the colour-shifting alexandrite as the recommended birthstone for June.
July: Ruby (9.0). Perfectly suitable for an engagement ring.
August: Sardonyx (7.0), Peridot (7.0), and Spinel (8.0). Both sardonyx and peridot are a type of onyx and have the same rating on Mohs’ scale, making them not suitable for engagement rings, leaving spinel as the ideal birthstone.
September: Sapphire (9.0). Perfectly suitable.
October: Tourmaline (7.0–7.5) and Opal (5.5–6.5). Find other alternatives.
November: Topaz (8.0) and Citrine (7.0). Topaz is highly recommended.
December: Blue Zircon (7.5), Tanzanite (6.5–7.0), blue topaz (8.0) and Turquoise (5.0–6.0). Although December babies are spoilt with choices for birthstones, the only ones worth considering are blue topaz and blue Zircon (yet this one is still debatable).
If diamonds are not your cup of tea for either an engagement ring or any bespoke jewellery, then these birthstones are great alternatives for that very special moment in your life. However, avoid making a very costly mistake by always checking the stones durability, whether it can withstand daily wear.