Diamond Facts

Analyzing the Hardness of Popular Gemstones

Radiant Cut Engagement Rings
Interesting Diamond Facts

We have lots of options in engagement rings these days. Be it the settings, styles, or the choice of metal and gemstones for the ring, selections in engagement jewelry is growing more diverse and populous with the hour. The downside is that this often makes actual buying more difficult and confusing, because you have to keep an eye on numerous factors when choosing an engagement ring. Going wrong is not an option, because jewelry represents a very special bond in your life, and is normally a big investment as well.

The durability of your ring is one of key things you need to have considered before buying it. If your ladylove wants to wear the engagement ring everyday for the rest of her life, and be reminded this way of that magical moment when you proposed and the ensuing relationship between you two, you need to get her something that will stand the test of time. The “right” options under sturdy and tough metals for engagement rings are not as expensive or complicated to pin down as the gemstones themselves are. For instance, if your girl prefers a unique appeal to her jewelry and abhors the traditional path, precious gemstones would generally serve better than diamonds. Get and hold a clear understanding of how durable and strong a gemstone is before choosing it as the center stone. To make things simpler, below is detailed look at the hardness level of some of the most popular gemstones today.


The majority of opals seen in the gems and jewelry market come from Australia, and are also found in some regions of Eastern Europe and South America. Most opals feature a “play of color”, which refers to flashes of color which a stone produces when light falls on it. This phenomenon occurs because of the silica trapped inside during formation.

Opal is different from other colored gemstones available in the market today, because it is not technically considered a mineral. That is because opals are made up of around 25% to 30% water. Apparently, they are very delicate because of that much water being present inside the chemical structure, which means that you would need to be extra careful with your engagement ring if it had an opal gemstone.


Rubies have been popular since the ancient times, and many jewelry items flaunted by royal families of the past have featured one as the main gemstone. They are very strong and durable, and relatively affordable when compared to other colored gemstones. However, a rare, pure red ruby can sometimes be even more expensive than a diamond.

Rubies come in various shades of the color red, pigeon blood red being the most desirable one. The gemstone is also heat treated sometimes to enhance its natural color and luster. Typical color treatment is permanent and stable, and mentioned in the grading report as well when the gemstone is being sold on the market.


Emerald is the most precious gemstone in the beryl family, with a natural green color caused by the presence of chrome in its chemical structure, although it can be highly transparent in some cases. Emeralds are usually heavily included and have a lot of flaws in their body, but that is often hidden due to the cloudiness of the inclusions.

Some emeralds may be oil treated to give them more shine and to hide the fractures on their surface; that would be mentioned in its grading report as well. However, oil treatment is not that stable, and might bring the requirement of special care to keep the stone shiny as such. Besides, emeralds are also very soft, which makes them prone to scratches and breakage.


These gemstones are nearly as hard and durable as diamonds are. All the different colors and shades of corundum stones are known as sapphires, except for the red one (as that is called ruby). However, a sapphire is most commonly characterized by blue color found on the inside. Deep blue sapphires are very alluring and highly desirable, but not so rare or expensive as diamonds. Most sapphire stones are heat-treated in order to enhance their color, and this process is stable and permanent. You can see many vintage radiant cut engagement rings featuring sapphires, which was once the most preferred stone in the Georgian and Edwardian eras.


Diamonds are rated at a perfect 10 on the Mohs’ scale of mineral hardness, and are the hardest substance known to man, and suit all types of jewelry. Diamonds come in a wide variety of colors and shades as well, which makes choosing one as per the personality of the wearer a little easier.

The property of this stone which mainly appeals to buyers is its luster and ability to reflect light. However, those depend on how the gem is cut and faceted. While antique stones of today were once cut by hand to give them their unique sparkle, modern laser technologies are used nowadays to get the job done with much higher precision.

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