Choosing an engagement ring is a momentous occasion in anyone's life. While diamonds have been the traditional choice for engagement rings, many couples are now exploring alternative gemstones to add a unique and personal touch to this symbol of love. At Meg Lizabet we love it when our clients put their personality and love story into their gemstone choice. But we understand there are several other factors to consider that not everyone is aware of, so we put together this guide to help you choose your perfect gemstone!
Meaning and Symbolism
Before delving into the technical aspects, consider the personal meaning behind each gemstone. Different stones carry distinct symbolism, cultural significance, and historical connections. For example, a sapphire is often associated with loyalty and wisdom, while an emerald is linked to rebirth and love. Choose a gemstone that resonates with your values and the essence of your relationship.
Durability and Hardness
Engagement rings are meant to withstand daily wear, so it's crucial to choose a durable gemstone. The Mohs scale measures a gemstone's hardness; the higher the number, the more resistant the stone is to scratches. While diamonds score a perfect 10, sapphires and rubies are also excellent choices for durability.
Maintenance and care
Depending on the durability of the gemstone you choose, you’ll find different gemstones require varying levels of care. Some may be more prone to scratching or chipping, while others may need special cleaning methods. Discuss maintenance requirements with your jeweler and ensure that the chosen gemstone aligns with the wearers lifestyle.
Gemstones come in a wide array of colors, offering endless possibilities to match personal preferences. Consider your partner's favorite color, birthstone, skin tone or the color that holds sentimental value. Some may opt for traditional hues, while others may seek unique and unconventional shades. It's crucial to choose a color that complements the wearer's style and personality. Stay traditional with a colourless or white gem or get creative with a bi-colour, teal, salt & pepper, champagne or Padparadscha hue.
(Photo by Misfit Diamonds)
Cut and Shape
The cut of a gemstone significantly influences its brilliance and overall appearance. Each gemstone has an ideal cut that enhances its natural beauty. Popular shapes include pear, round, marquise, oval, and emerald cuts. The choice of cut should complement the stone's inherent characteristics and the wearer's style.
Transparency and Clarity
Like diamonds, gemstones exhibit varying degrees of clarity. Inclusions, or internal flaws, may affect the stone's transparency and overall aesthetics as well as price. While some gemstones, such as emeralds, are known for their natural inclusions, others like sapphires may be clearer. Balance your preference for clarity with the unique features of the chosen gemstone. Consider a lower clarity grade if you are searching for a larger, affordable gemstone.
Carat weight refers to the weight of the gemstone, and it plays a role in both appearance and cost. Larger stones may be visually striking but can also be more expensive. Strike a balance between size, quality, and your budget to find the perfect gemstone that meets your expectations.
Setting and Metal
The choice of metal and setting can significantly impact the overall appearance of the engagement ring. We all have metals that we are naturally drawn to for our jewellery, based on personal preference and skin tone. Consider whether the gemstone will be complemented by a classic white gold setting, a warm yellow gold band, or a trendy rose gold design. Consider any metal allergies or sensitivities when choosing your metal. For example. White gold tends to have a high content of Nickle which many people are sensitive to. Consider high karat yellow gold or platinum which are more hypoallergenic. For setting, consider whether you prefer a classic solitaire setting like Rossio, Philippa, Lara, Francisca or a more intricate design with accent stones like Lola, Lisbon, Luzia, Olivia, Jovi or Alina.
Karat is not to be confused with Carat. While Carat refers to the weight of a gemstone, Karat refers to the purity of gold content in the metal. For example, 24karat gold is 99.99% pure gold. While 14karat gold is 14/24 parts pure gold- expressed sometimes as “583”.
With growing awareness about ethical sourcing, many couples are opting for gemstones that adhere to responsible mining practices. Learn more about the options of lab grown or natural diamonds here. It may be important to make sure your purchase aligns with your values.
While alternative gemstones like sapphires can be more affordable than diamonds, their prices can still vary widely. Set a realistic budget and explore gemstone options within that range. You can peruse our Gem Vault for options and get an idea of cost here.
Choosing a gemstone for an engagement ring is an exciting journey that allows couples to express their individuality and commitment in a meaningful way. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can confidently select a gemstone that not only captivates with its beauty but also symbolizes the unique love you share.
Take the time to explore the vast world of gemstones together. Whether you choose a sapphire, diamond, emerald, or a lesser-known gem, we know you can find the one that perfectly captures the essence of your relationship, ensuring that your engagement ring is a cherished symbol for years to come.