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Why Some Gemstones Make Terrible Engagement Rings

Some Gems Make Terrible Engagement Rings | Gem Gossip

The above gemstones are all beautiful, but which would make a great engagement ring and which two are bad choices for an everyday wear piece?

Alternative engagement rings have been popular long before Princess Diana (and subsequently Kate Middleton) donned a blue sapphire. In fact, diamonds weren’t commonly used in engagement rings until the early 20th century. Stones were picked based on birthdays, symbolism, and what color was in-vogue at the time.

While it can be exciting to imagine an engagement ring with mystical and trendy stones like opal and moonstone, these gemstones actually make terrible engagement rings. So terrible that you might find yourself sulking over a ruined ring with a stone that has been chipped and gouged beyond repair. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Why Won't Some Gemstones Work?

Even though I don’t recommend wearing your rings ALL the time, most engagement rings are worn nearly every day. Even if you are the gentlest person on the planet, your engagement ring will always be subject to potential damage. Some stones simply shouldn’t take that risk because the gemstone may not be hard enough to handle even the slightest impact.

Every gemstone has a hardness factor, which basically tells us how much bumping and scraping a gem can take before it becomes scratched or damaged. This hardness is ranked between 1-10 on what is known as the Mohs Scale of Hardness. In theory, the higher the number on the Mohs Scale, the harder and more durable the gemstone is. There are exceptions to this rule, but generally, the lower the number, the more you shouldn’t use this stone as an engagement ring.

How Does the Mohs Scale Figure Out Hardness?

The best way I can think to explain this is exactly how I learned it in my Geology 101 class my Freshman year of college. Let’s see if you can follow, and for those of you that already know this, bear with me. The Mohs Scale ranks a gemstone’s hardness by whether or not it can be scratched by other gemstones or materials. If the gemstone being scratched shows a mark or abrasion, it is softer than (or equal to) the material that scratched it. If the hardness is equal, the gemstone that was scratched should also be able to effectively scratch the material that scratched it.

Since diamonds are ranked highest on the Mohs Scale at a 10, they should essentially be able to scratch every other gemstone’s surface.

Why Diamonds are Forever

One reason diamonds are so prized for engagement rings is because of their rank on the Mohs Scale. At a 10, diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. In fact, no other gemstone comes close to this hardness factor. This doesn’t mean diamonds are indestructible (more on this in a future post), but it does mean that it is much more difficult to damage a diamond than say a garnet that ranks between 6.5 - 7.5.

What Stones are the Absolute Worst for Engagement Rings?

Not to dissuade you, but if a gemstone makes this list, you’ll really want to rethink your strategy before using it in an engagement ring. That’s not to say you couldn’t. Some of these stones are significantly less expensive than diamonds, so if they become damaged, they could easily be replaced.

A word of warning though -- take extra care not to get sentimentally attached to the stone itself, since you might be forced to replace it someday. You could also opt to not wear the ring every day. Save it for special occasions and wear your wedding band instead. There are no engagement ring rules stating you have to wear your ring seven days a week, and who says you should only have one!

But, regardless, these gemstones will make the worst non-diamond engagement rings:

  1. Opal: Ranks 5.5 - 6.5 and is very susceptible to crazing and chipping.
  2. Moonstone: Ranks 6 - 6.5 with a polished cab surface that is easy to scratch.
  3. Pearl: Ranks 2.5 - 4.5 and has a nacre coating that can peel away. 
  4. Emerald: Ranks 7.5 - 8 which is hard but this stone is very prone to cracking. 
  5. Garnet: Ranks 6.5 - 7 and will easily show age around facet edges in time. 

Best Engagement Ring Stones Other Than Diamonds:

All hope is not lost if you’re set on using a gemstone other than a diamond for your engagement ring. Even though most of these gemstones aren’t as durable as diamonds, they will stay in great shape for a lifetime as long as you take proper care of your jewelry.

Here are some of my favorite alternative engagement ring stones:

  1. Aquamarine: Ranks 7.5 - 8 and has a gorgeous pale blue color.
  2. Blue Sapphire: Ranks 9 with a classic, timeless appeal.
  3. Ruby: Ranks 9 and is perfect for a more feminine style.
  4. Morganite: Ranks 7.5 - 8, is pale with peach undertones.

There are so many other gemstones not listed here and other factors that affect durability, too. But this guide should at least get you started. Remember to always look up a gemstone’s hardness on the Mohs Scale. If it ranks below a 6, do a little more research and weigh your options. Good luck and happy hunting!

 

 

This post was contributed by:

 

 

 

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

Jewelry Collection Stories: Nathalie of @NathaliesDesk

Nathalies Desk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip NathaliesDesk | Gem Gossip

We are back with this month's Jewelry Collection Story and it comes from Nathalie whom I discovered on Instagram! She has been posting eye-catching and droolworthy images of her personal collection, including her incredible and rare antique ring case collection. It was awesome to see that she found my #JewelryRoadTrip to Ohio alluring enough to buy two of the rings I featured--I love when people are able to connect that way with items that I showcase, it is honestly why I started the #JewelryRoadTrip project in the first place! I had to know more about her and her story, as well as see first-hand her gorgeous collection. Take it away Nathalie:

My journey with jewelry began with a 24K yellow gold bracelet.  It was a Sweet Sixteen birthday gift from my mother, my first jewelry piece from her – and I was disappointed.  At that age, I was hoping for new clothes, new shoes, or the latest coolest CD player.  I thanked my mother and tucked it away because I thought yellow gold was for old ladies.  Every year after that, she continued to bestow yellow gold to me on my birthdays.  They came in the form of more bracelets, necklaces, and pendants.  Each time, I would thank her, put away the pieces, and never wear them.  

On my 21st birthday, after receiving another piece of yellow gold jewelry it finally occurred to me to ask my mother why she chose this as my annual gift over other things.  To this she replied, “When you were 7 months old, your father and I had to escape our mother country (Vietnam) and when we arrived to our new country (France), I had to sell my jewelry in order to get things like food.”  And she kept on talking and sharing.  And I felt shame for being ungrateful, heartbreak for the hardships my parents endured.  I also started to see and love my mother in a whole new light.  She is my Wonder Woman.  And this was also the day I truly fell in love with jewelry and became a collector.

A while back, there was a question floating around in the Instagram world asking “Does jewelry make you a better person?”  To that I say “Yes, it does!”  It can lift your spirits up, it can create a bond between people, it can commemorate the loss of a loved one, or punctuate a special occasion.  Sometimes it is just downright magical.  If you are reading this blog, then I am sure you have chased or currently chasing some unicorn in the form of a ring, bracelet, necklace, or earrings.

I look for treasures in all kinds of places: at my local shops, fairs, and online (eBay, Etsy, Ruby Lane).  Collecting has its ebbs and flows.  I have gone years without buying a single piece, and other times when that is all I can think about!  What attracts me also seems to have its cycles which is why I rarely part with any of my pieces.  I am an equal bling opportunist, but I tend to gravitate towards rings.  I do think I am at a point where I need to par down a bit to make room for some new fabulous pieces.  Discovering the Instagram community truly enriched my knowledge and appreciation for past and current jewelry, in addition to making some lovely connections with others who understand this passion.

When I became a mom two and half years ago, I started daydreaming about what stories I would share with my daughter.  Every time I bring out my jewelry to play she is always by my side asking to play along.  It is so fun to see her light up as I let her try on my pieces.  Little does she know that she is already the owner of something very special.  When she had turned one month old my mother had gifted her the sweetest 24K gold bracelet.  And there will be many more treasures waiting for her.


 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Nathalie --> @NathaliesDesk

30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry into Summertime!

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Summer is next week--can you believe it?!  Are you ready?! One of my most favorite things to do in the summer is to plan activities that I wouldn't normally get to do...this involves taking days off from work, surrounding myself with people I love, and living my best life. I also like making lists or a group of goals to complete over the summer--they can be wishful thinking or very, very serious. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry just in time for summer! 

1. Pick a gemstone, any gemstone, and learn all about it.

2. Find a gem show that is coming to your area and attend!

3. Have a gem or mineral specimen collection? Reorganize it in a cool way.

4. Plan a trip to go gem mining.

5. Do you have a favorite Instagrammer in our jewelry community? Plan a summer meetup.

6. Pick a state that is somewhat close to you, and research the best jewelry store they have to offer. Plan a visit!

7. Make a cool treat on a hot day--these gem ice trays can be filled with any fruity liquid!

8. Find a gemstone print top, bathing suit or towel and wear it to the beach.

9. Reserve a day at the nail salon and go for a gemstone manicure!

10. Buy that jewelry book you've been eyeing and lay by the pool with it!

11. Scout out some amazing flowers in your city, buy them, and take some jewelry photos with them.

12. Find a new way of wearing some of your favorite pieces of jewelry.

13. Take a day to clean your most-worn pieces of jewelry.

14. Plan a SWAP party with friends that also love jewelry.

15. Pick a time period you don't know as much about as your favorite jewelry period, and learn about it!

16. Spend an entire day "hunting" for antique jewelry online--but do it by a pool.

17. Learn about crystal healing and depending on where you live, schedule an appointment with an expert.

18. Throw a gemstone-themed party!

19. Learn about a new designer you've never heard of before.

20. Need a new way to store your jewelry? Splurge on a jewelry cabinet and reconfigure it if necessary.

21. Take a jewelry making class.

22. Decide on creating a charm bracelet or necklace--gather charms, buy some new ones and put it together.

23. Get something very special and sentimental made into a piece of jewelry.

24. Size all of your fingers and keep it written down.

25. Get registered to bid at your favorite auction houses.

26. Put on all your favorite Art Deco jewels and watch a 1920s old movie.

27. Hit up your local estate sales or garage sales.  You never know!

28. Tell someone thank you by gifting them a piece of jewelry.

29. Get lost on Pinterest by searching "antique jewelry" or "jewelry."

30. Pick your favorite medium (water colors, arcryllics, pencil, etc) and try drawing/painting a diamond. 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Search my summer favorites 

Let me know which of these you want to do! --> @gemgossip

 

Obsession: RUIFIER's Newest Eye Spy Chokers

RUIFIER | Gem Gossip RUIFIER | Gem Gossip RUIFIER | Gem Gossip RUIFIER | Gem Gossip RUIFIER | Gem Gossip

I've been keeping tabs on my favorite British jewelry brand RUIFIER and I'm happy to report they've just launched a new collection! Called the Eye Spy Collection, our latest, favorite jewelry trend comes to life the RUIFIER way. It is a collection of chokers; each choker features Italian leather and a signature RUIFIER charm done in 18k gold and gems dangling from the center. The closures are done in 18k gold with an extended chain, so the perfect fit will be found every time!

The collection retails from £755-£1035 in 18k yellow gold and can be pre-ordered on their website. Each choker captures abstract details of facial expressions in contemporary graphic shapes--from jewelled eyes to a hanging chain forming a mouth--this range explores the significance of visual language.  They are fun, trendy and perfect for summer!  Layering necklaces has certainly become very popular this year and one essential element to a necklace stack is a great choker.

If you've been wishing for a choker to add to your jewelry wardrobe, these are what you've been waiting for!  You can shop the collection below--there are four different styles in 18k gold. Click photos to shop!


RUIFIER RUIFIER RUIFIER RUIFIER

This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with RUIFIER.

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Top Five Pieces I Wanted to Take Home With Me at Couture 2017

Couture | Gem Gossip

This year the Couture show opened its doors to hundreds of buyers and press from all over the world, while I walked in a day late of opening day, I was quick and eager to dive into all that it had to offer. Each designer stood beaming behind their booths, creativity on full power and all their blood, sweat and tears front and center under the grappling lights. More on the show in general in a few days, but I wanted to focus in on five pieces, from five different designers that I felt stood out to me. These pieces may not be the flashiest or have the biggest gemstones; they are pieces I would want for my personal collection--items I could see myself wearing and enjoying on a daily basis. There are lots of jewels at Couture that were bold, striking and great for editorial shoots--but translating them into every day wear for an average American didn't quite fit in my eyes. Yes these jewels might be fun to drool over, to take a photo of, or to just simply stare at, but as I stood there thinking to myself, "what if I owned a store in Nashville, what would I buy that would fit my audience?" I realized that sort of changed my entire thinking while browsing. Most of the time when I'm in "Gem Gossip mode" I'm one-sided in my thinking, focusing on what pieces would photograph well, what would my followers want to see, what would get the most "likes." So here are my top five pieces that I surely wanted to take home with me at Couture 2017!

1. Anthony Lent Crescent Moonface bangles: being celestial obsessed must be commemorated somehow and these bangles fit the bill in many ways. First off, they are wearable and go with just about anything, for any occasion. Secondly, they are timeless and can be passed down through generations. Best part is they are each hand-made by Anthony Lent himself in his Philadelphia-based studio.

See the Anthony Lent website here. 

Couture | Gem Gossip

2. Anything in opal from Jacquie Aiche: If you've visited Jacquie Aiche's booth at Couture, you know--every year she outfits her spot in gems and mineral specimens that have you feeling like you've been transported to her world. And once inside, there's no shortage of jewelry--each corner and nook is filled with displays, dripping in jewelry. And that's exactly their mantra--cover yourself in their pieces and style yourself to the max. Every necklace, bracelet, earring, ring and body chain complements one another, and now we know why she has so many devote "tribe" members!

See the Jacquie Aiche website here.

Couture | Gem Gossip

3. Stackable, easy on-and-off chokers from Suzanne Kalan: ok, we all have realized chokers are still going strong in popularity and if you're really wanting to invest in something that is well-constructed, easy to wear, and gorgeous all-around, I suggest these! Suzanne Kalan is known for her baguette diamond wizardry and she follows through again in the choker design department. At the show, the chokers were displayed in large bunches, stacked together and they looked just as good, if not better when worn! There's no clasp or ties, it is flexible, so you can take it on and off SO easily!

See the Suzanne Kalan website here. 

Couture | Gem Gossip

4. Enamel surf boards from Tara Hirshberg: I loved all the charms I was seeing at Couture this year and these enameled surf boards were a definite highlight from the debuting designer. I have never surfed before in my life and honestly am frightened beyond belief of the ocean, but even with those pitted against me, I have never wanted a gold surf board more in my life! haha!  I love the colors used, the size of them and the wearability. Creating surf-related jewels came naturally for LA-based designer Tara and her ocean living and ocean loving life. 

See the Tara Hirshberg website here. 

Couture | Gem Gossip

5. New diamond bow rings from Arik Kastan: I always look forward to seeing the new designs from vintage-inspired Arik Kastan. This year's new bow rings had my head spinning and jaw-dropping.  They are perfect to stack and fit right in with other antique pieces, as seen here stacked with some other fun Arik Kastan rings. Loving all the green agate too! Tough decision though choosing which bow--the top or bottom??

See the Arik Kastan website here. 


Couture 2017

 

Want more? See my top picks from last year's show!