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When you ask the average person which gemstones are best for engagement rings, most are going to lean toward diamonds. But did you know that there are many other stones that require less maintenance and can provide added beauty? Here are some suggestions to help you select the right gemstones for your engagement ring.

According to The Zoe Report, one of the most popular engagement ring trends in the modern bridal jewelry market is the use of colorful gemstones and other diamond substitutes. The likes of Ariana Grande, who wore a diamond and pearl Toi et Moi-style ring, and Megan Fox, who wore a diamond and emerald Toi et Moi-style ring, are likely responsible for most of this. Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring, now worn by Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, is another famous example of a gemstone engagement ring.

Gemstones are both beautiful and durable, making them a lovely choice for an engagement ring. When talking to brides about using gemstones in their engagement ring, be sure to educate them on durability and recommend a few gemstones that will be as lasting as their love.

Gemstones and Their Durability

The gemstone’s durability and resistance to wear and tear are just as important as the stone’s aesthetics. A gemstone’s durability can be evaluated by learning about its hardness, toughness, and stability.


When we talk about a gem’s hardness, we are referring to its ability to withstand scratching. Diamonds are the hardest gemstone and are highly resistant to scratching. Other gemstones on the higher end of the hardness scale include moissanite, sapphire, and ruby. Gemstones like amethyst and emerald are softer and should be treated carefully to avoid damage.


Toughness, as opposed to hardness, is the measure of a gemstone’s resistance to breakage and chipping. When compared to diamonds, the hardness ratings of sapphire and ruby are higher, making them less prone to breakage and chipping. Diamonds do not scratch readily but can be damaged if struck at the correct angle. Gemstones like tanzanite and opal, which are more fragile, require special care to prevent them from breaking during handling.


The stability of a gemstone is measured by its resistance to damage from factors including heat, light, and chemicals. Diamonds and moissanite, two popular gemstones, are unaffected by prolonged exposure to light, heat, and most chemicals. Gemstones like pearl, amethyst, and opal, on the other hand, might lose their color or even crack if subjected to the same conditions.

While gemstones vary in their durability, it is important for you and your customers to understand that each gem can be maintained with proper care.

Top Five Gemstones to Use in Engagement Rings

Do you need a quick reference for the best alternatives to diamonds in engagement rings? We’ve selected the most popular choices based on durability, visual appeal, and popularity. Share this list with your brides-to-be!



Moissanite is quickly becoming the most popular diamond alternative in bridal and fine jewelry. It boasts a refraction index twice that of diamonds, which means it sparkles twice as much. In addition to the wide array of colorless options, there are also several types of colored Moissanite. This durable gemstone is perfect for everyday wear.


While the traditional sapphire color is a rich blue, newer variations of the gemstone in pink, teal, and orange are gaining popularity. Sapphire is becoming increasingly popular, not only as a center stone but also as an accent stone. Engagement rings set with sapphire are a great choice because of the stone’s durability and the fact that it has long been associated with love.


If you’re looking for a well-known gemstone, ruby’s reputation has stood the test of time. Ruby is a beautiful choice for an engagement ring due to its brilliant red color and the warm glow it emits when exposed to sunlight. Because ruby is a member of the same mineral family as sapphire, it shares this gemstone’s hardness and durability characteristics.



Spinel is often mistaken for ruby, but it can also have a stunning cobalt blue color as well as vivid pinks and oranges. Spinel’s color range and visual quality are comparable to sapphire or ruby, but the best part is its price point—ideal for an affordable, show-stopping colored center stone.


If you’re looking for a gemstone for an engagement ring, tourmaline may not be the most durable option, but its wide variety of color options more than make up for its lack of durability. Pink and green tourmaline are the most sought-after colors, but the stone can be found in nearly any color and intensity. There are also options where multiple colors blend into each other in an ombre pattern.

How to Care for Soft and Fragile Gemstones

While some gemstones are better options than others for engagement rings, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accommodate other requests. Emerald, aquamarine, morganite, amethyst, and pearl, all of which are delicate gemstones, are currently at the height of their popularity. To ensure the customer’s gemstones are protected while being worn, you should discuss the following with them:

  • Setting
    It’s best to have more metal to make a barrier that keeps the gemstone safe. For example, if your customer wants an emerald center stone, you could suggest a bezel setting to not only hold the stone in place but also absorb the force of anything that hits the ring.
  • Maintenance
    Strongly suggest that your customers come into your store so that you can clean and check on the ring. This will help you keep track of how safe the setting is and how good the stone is as time goes on. Tell them how they should clean the ring at home and what precautions they should take. Some gems should never go in an ultrasonic cleaner or come in contact with certain chemicals. Education is crucial!
  • Caution
    At the end of the day, being careful is one of the best ways for your customer to protect soft or fragile gemstones. You could suggest that they do not wear their rings while doing things like working out or cleaning the house. Being careful can go a long way toward keeping a gemstone in good shape.

Exploring the World of Colors

There is no limit to the variety of unique engagement rings that may be designed when colored gemstones and other diamond substitutes are used. The use of rare and stunning jewels in engagement rings is proving to be a lucrative business strategy for jewelers all over the world. With some direction and imagination, you can make a meaningful token of affection for every couple.