Gemstones for Engagement and Commitment Rings

May 24, 2018

Gemstones for Engagement and Commitment Rings


SALT & PEPPER DIAMONDS in unusual cut shapes



Third finger left hand. The “vena amoris” vein is thought to run directly to the heart.

There are many interesting and truly beautiful alternative gemstones and cuts around to consider if you are looking for something a bit different from the traditional white brilliant cut diamond. Interesting coloured Sapphires make a good choice and are popular at the moment. Rough and salt and pepper diamonds. Spinels, Tsavorite and Morganite to name a few.




When choosing a stone for an engagement or wedding ring it’s important to consider is the hardness and durability of the gemstone. The hardest being a diamond which is rated as 10 on the MOHS scale which is universally used when measuring gemstones . Other traditional choices ruby and sapphire are rated 9. Others rated at 7.5 upwards are all good choices for durability and strength of which I have listed a few favourite choices below.


The four Cs are used when valuing a stone: Carat Colour Clarity and Cut.
Carat is the weight of a stone. Colour a good strong colour will add value to your stone. Clarity is a stone with no or few inclusions which add to the rarity and durability . Cut is the expertise and precision of the cutting involved.


An other, and for me important consideration these days is sustainability and Fairtrade awareness of the source of the stones and metals used. It’s hasn’t always been easy to trace where these materials come from. But there is an increasing awareness and clarity of information available from suppliers including the sources of the mines and cutting houses. Avoiding conflict stones in areas where the gemstones mining are used to fund wars.
Cutting of stones in controlled environments with modern equipment and including employment laws aimed at protecting workers. Particularly aimed to eliminate the problems of child labour and exploitation
There are now available gem and diamond suppliers as well as Gold suppliers who deal exclusively in fair trade. I have good suppliers for Fair-trade gemstones, Canadian diamonds and fair-trade gold.

                                             GEMSTONE CHOICES

                                            DIAMONDS 10 hardness

Diamond is a crystal of pure carbon and is the hardest of all substances known to man. Rated the highest score a 10 on the MOHS scale. Often colourless but can be found in other colours including black,brown,yellow,blue,pink,green and orange. The clearer the diamond, with no inclusions the more valuable. Brown,champagne and salt and pepper diamonds are becoming popular and affordable choices for modern couples. As well as unusual shapes and cuts from the traditional Brilliant cut.

Long held in the treasures of kings and queens and said to access divine energies. Diamonds are valued for their magical and protective properties and are said to provide courage,faithfulness,purity and enhanced love. Hence the term ‘a diamond is for ever’.

Today a diamonds monetary value rests on the four C’s carat, clarity, colour and cut. The larger and clearer (flawless with no inclusions) the higher the value.


                Below Champagne Diamond in Hexagonal Halo Setting

Old fashioned Rose Cut style verses modern Brilliant cut.

Rose Cut diamonds have a flat bottom and features 6, 12 or 18 triangular facets on the tipped crown. The name Rose stemmed from its appearance as an opening rose. The cut dates back to the 1500’s and earlier.
Advanced cutting technology replaced the rose cut with the more widely known brilliant cut which enhances the stones ability to sparkle and shine.

There are now available a selection of unusual cut shapes and rough diamonds ( stones with less clarity ). Rough diamonds offering a cheaper and interesting alternative to the traditional diamond experience. Picture below includes a selection of rough champagne,yellow,grey and 'salt and pepper' diamonds all Rose Cut.


Canadian diamonds are mined under strict regulations imposed by the government of North West Territories, and cut and polished according to guidelines established by the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices. They are fully traceable and larger stones are laser inscribed.


AQUAMARINE 7.5 - 8 Hardness

Aquamarine is a a blue or blue-green variety of beryl which contains iron which gives it’s unique pale blue colour. History records its first use in Greece between 300 and 500 B.C. it’s name derives from the Latin meaning ‘water and sea’.

Treasure of mermaids and believed to bring luck, protection and fearlessness to sailors. Said to be a mineral of eternal youth and happiness. The energy of the aquamarine is gentle and emotional enhancing communication and compassion between lovers.

Below images Table Cut Aquamarine & Vintage Marquise Cut Aquamarine


SAPPHIRES 9 hardness

Sapphires are the perfect stone for an engagement ring. Their special unique qualities, hardness, versatility and the beautiful array of rainbow colours make them a preferred choice.

Sapphires are a variety of corundum and aluminium oxide with a hardness of 9. Found in many countries but mainly available here from Sri Lanka,Thailand and Cambodia. Although most people think of sapphires as being blue they come in a variety of colours and are termed ‘Fancy Sapphires’. The colours include many shades of blue, violet, pink, white, green, black, yellow and orange. As well as colour change sapphires which change according to the light.

Other varieties available and highly sought are Padparadscha Sapphires which means ‘Lotus Colour’. Both orange and pink simultaneously.
Also Star Sapphires are extremely rare and prised. They are blue to grey and have a six ray star inside which when moved reflects a star. They are cut smooth in a cabochon style to feature the star inside.

Know historically since 800BC, blue sapphires are known as a royal stone and are associated with the planet Saturn. Highly protective and said to bring wisdom, serenity, truth and justice. In love is said to aid romantic devotion, fidelity faith,hope and joy.

                                             TSAVORITE 7-7.5 hardness

A relatively new stone to emerge on the market and discovered in a mine in Kenya in 1967 and bought to the market by Tiffany’s in 1974. Tsavorite is a rare member of the garnet family and is an amazing traffic light clear green. It’s hardness is 7-7.5 around the same as a emerald and does not have inclusions which makes it very durable. Larger sized stones are very rare and collectible.
A stone said to bring strength and confidence,teaches relaxation and inspires service and cooperation in relationships. Helps clarity, perception and understanding in love.

TOURMALINE 7.5 hardness

Tourmalines are a popular a versatile stone they come in a very wide variety of colours from black through to green,blue to yellows and pinks. Most commonly used for jewellery are greens, pinks and watermelon (pink surrounded by green). The deeper green and green blues make beautiful stones for rings and are 7.5 hardness which gives good durability.
Said to have strong healing and mediative qualities a versatile and spiritual stone. And green and pink representing the colours of the heart.

EMERALD 7.5 - 8 Hardness

The Emerald is a green variety of Beryl. Emeralds have been mined for centuries the earliest known in Egypt perhaps as long ago as 1300 BC. The finest emeralds come from Columbia as well as Brazil, Russia and Africa.
Associated with the goddess Venus and symbolising fertility and love. Revered throughout history for its spiritual and healing properties. Linked with the heart chakra the beautiful pure green ray symbolises ultimate love and compassion and is said heal a broken heart.

SPINELS 7.5-8 hardness

Spinels is from the Greek word ‘spark’ and they do sparkle! Again they come in a variety of colours from black through to lilac to pinks and deep reds. Sometimes mistaken for Ruby’s in the past they have been used in engagement rings and given their hardness and durability and beautiful colours a good and popular alternative to Ruby’s.
emotionally said to be good for stress and aid “letting go” and cleansing of emotional and physical problems and stating afresh.

Below image Lilac Spinel set in Rose Gold


MORGANITE. 7.5 - 8. Hardness

Morganite is a stone from the Beryl family of which includes emeralds and aquamarine. Named after the famous financier JP Morgan’s and recently discovered by gemologist George F. Kunz in 1910.
The stone comes in a pretty peachy pink it has many redeeming qualities including durability, luster, clarity and brilliance. It has recently become a popular choice in engagement rings and is often set in rose gold.
Said to bring healing, compassion, assurance and promise. Promotes abundance prosperity and love.


RUBY 9. Hardness

The Ruby has traditionally always been a favourite gemstone for engagement rings and historically known as a Royal stone. Given the beautiful intense red unsurpassed in the mineral kingdom and the durable hardness of 9. on the MOCH scale makes this stone a winner. 

Ruby’s are a variety of corundum and aluminium oxide. The intense red comes from the chromium component. Some Ruby’s contain inclusions of titanium oxide which cause light diffusion in cabochon cut stones which can appear as a six pointed star, known as Star Ruby’s. 

Ruby’s emanate the pure Red rays a vibrancy said to stimulate life force and vitality and enhance ones passion and fortitude.


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