Before You Buy an Expensive Engagement Ring Stone
Most of the gems on this list have a Mohs hardness equal to or greater than 7. That’s a good indicator that a stone is suitable for the rigors of daily ring wear. Mohs hardness measures a material’s resistance to scratching. Household dust actually has a hardness of 7, equal to that of quartz, so most of these gems will easily resist scratches from this common hazard.
However, a high hardness, even diamond’s famous 10, doesn’t make a gem indestructible. Most gems, even diamonds, can shatter when struck. Tenacity is a measure of how well a material resists physical blows. All the gems on this list, except jadeite, have a “brittle” tenacity. (Jadeite has an unusually tough tenacity for a gem). Although protective settings are frequently associated with softer, more delicate gem materials like opals, you might consider such a setting for your engagement ring. Protective settings can also help prevent your expensive gemstone from snagging on clothing and possibly coming loose.