Beautiful gemstones take the center stage in most of my designs. They come in a wide range of colors and shapes to suite your taste.
If you are choosing a gemstone for your engagement ring, keep in mind that many colored gemstones don't have the durability to stand up to the daily wear and tear of engagement rings, without sustaining significant wear and damage over a long period of time. Sapphires and rubies are excellent choices when it comes to colored gemstones for engagement and wedding rings. But even those may show signs of abrasion after many years of daily wear. Alexandrites (lab created or naturals) are also a good option with just being slightly softer than sapphires. Softer gemstones like aquamarines, garnets, emeralds and topaz will abrade more quickly. Moissanites are a great sustainable alternative to the far more expensive classical diamond in an engagement ring, but still not as hard as a diamond. Diamonds are by far still the hardest material and will not get scratched or abraded over time.
Besides a gemstone's hardness, as measured on a Moh's scale, the toughness rating should also be considered when choosing the right gemstone for a ring. Hardness relates to scratch resistance, a materials ability to stand up to abrasion. Toughness is a measure of the ability of a mineral to absorb energy, and it measures of how likely a material is to chip or break.
Even though diamond is the hardest mineral, it can chip and fracture in normal day to day wear and tear if accidentally hit in the right spot. Included diamonds are more prone to chipping than those with a great clarity. Sapphires, Rubies and Alexandrites have an excellent toughness in addition to being very hard. Diamonds and moissanites rate as good to excellent on the toughness scale. Topaz and also Emeralds, while being quite hard, only have a poor toughness and can easily be chipped or cracked if they get accidentally hit just in the right spot.
For gemstones that do not have a good to excellent toughness, I would recommend considering a full bezel setting that protects the gemstones fragile girdle way better than a more exposed semi-bezel or prong setting.
You can find a list of the most common gemstones and their hardness and toughness rating on my jewelry care page.
If you are looking for a white gemstone for your ring see this blog post to learn how white sapphires, moissanites and diamonds compare to each other.
Spinels rings in a beautiful color array.
The gemstones I most often use are (click on the links to get more specific information about each one):