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Tough Stuff: Choosing a Stone that Can Stand Up to Life

Alt Man placing engagement ring on woman’s finger with a bouquet of red roses in the backgroundCredit: prostooleh via Freepik

Some people may be surprised to find out that not all gemstones are created equal. And there are many stones that, while beautiful, aren’t suitable for daily wear.

Whenever you’re looking for custom jewelry in Canada, it’s crucial to think about when and how you intend to wear that jewelry. If you only plan to wear something for special occasions, you can be a little more flexible in your stone’s hardness.

However, if you’re shopping for something you intend to wear regularly, like an engagement ring, it’s important to factor in the hardness of the stone to make sure it won’t get beat up during your day-to-day life.

When making such a significant purchase, it’s essential to understand how hardness is measured and what lifestyle factors to look at when choosing a stone for your engagement ring or other jewelry.

The Mohs Hardness Scale

When someone refers to the hardness of a stone, what they’re talking about is how resistant it is to being scratched. The Mohs hardness scale ranks gemstones on a scale of 1 to 10 and shows the scratch resistance to other minerals. Talc is the softest, at 1, and diamonds are the toughest, at 10.

Some people tend to think that the scale is linear and that there is equal difference between each number. However, diamonds are four times harder than sapphires, which sit at a 9 on the scale. Comparatively, sapphires are two times harder than topaz, which sits at a 7 on the scale.

For the most part, the dividing line between what is considered a hard and soft stone is a 7 on the hardness scale.

How to Decide

As we mentioned, it can depend on how you intend to use the jewelry. If you are looking for earrings or a necklace, that’s different than what a ring has to withstand. Alternatively, if you are looking for a ring only for special occasions, that’s going to be different than something you intend to wear every day.

If you’re looking for an engagement stone or any other daily jewelry, stones below a 7 on the hardness scale are at extreme risk of damage from regular use, even when you use caution. It’s best to play it safe and stick with 8 or higher though.

Which Stone to Choose

Luckily, there are plenty of stunning gemstone options that sit at an 8 or higher on the Mohs scale. You can choose from diamonds, moissanite and sapphires. Diamonds are the toughest at 10, moissanite at 9.5 and sapphires at 8.

Diamonds are obviously the most popular choice, both for their toughness and their beauty. Moissanite offers a similar look to diamonds, and sapphires come in various colors from blue and green to white and orange. Sapphires in pink or red are actually rubies.

No matter what stone you choose, stick to an 8 or higher on the Mohs scale and take some care and your stone will sit happily on your finer for years to come.

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