Whatever your style and budget, one of these gems could make the perfect engagement ring stone for you. Our list includes very traditional gem choices as well as some lesser known but beautiful stones. Some can be extremely expensive while others are surprisingly affordable.

Taking Care of Your Engagement Ring Stone

All the gems on this list have physical properties that reduce their wearability. For example, a gem’s hardness measures its resistance to scratching. On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamonds famously have the highest score at 10. At the other extreme, you have a material like talc with a hardness of 1. You could scratch it with your fingernail. Typically, any gem with a hardness below 7 (the hardness of quartz as well as household dust) is considered susceptible to scratching from wear.

However, hardness is only one factor in a gem’s wearability. Most gems, even diamonds, have a brittle tenacity, which means they can shatter easily from physical blows. Some gems are more brittle than most, and some also have internal cleavage planes along which they tend to split. This can make them difficult to cut and set.

A few gems are sensitive to changes in…