Birthstone Engagement Rings - All You Need to Know
Birthstones are not only personal, but they’re a great and unique choice for engagement rings. A birthstone engagement ring brings together the symbolism of a union between two people, and the special month a person was born, into one.
With a birthstone engagement ring, you still get all the variety you would get with a diamond. They can be adapted to fit different settings, cuts, and styles. So, no matter what your preference, you have as much reign as any other diamond engagement ring would offer you to ensure your ring is right for you or your partner.
It is also wise to take into consideration the Mohs hardness scale when considering a birthstone engagement ring. The Mohs hardness scale was devised in 1812 by Friedrish Mohs and measures the resistance of a surface to scratching or abrasion. The scale is composed of 10 levels that represent hardness, and any mineral or gem can be ranked along this scale. For example, diamonds rank at the top of the Mohs scale with a rating of 10, making them the hardest and therefore most durable gem to use in jewellery. However, each increment of the scale does not represent a proportional increase in hardness, and so it cannot be used as a comparison scale. Nevertheless, it is a great piece of information to be armed with when choosing an engagement ring.
So, if you are looking for the perfect birthstone engagement ring for yourself or your partner? Here’s what you need to know…
January - Garnet engagement rings
January is the month of Garnet. Garnet gets its name from the Latin word granatus, which means pomegranate. In ancient times, the pomegranate was eaten at the start of a new year, hence the association the garnet has with the month of January.
The stone is most widely recognised for its deep red colour, however they are mined in a range of different colours. So if red isn’t your thing, you can find garnets in vivid green, fiery orange, or even tantalising pink. Whatever suits you.
Garnet ranks a 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning that it is slightly more susceptible to scratching than a diamond, however, you can consider featuring garnet into your ring in smaller quantities, such as on either side of a main stone, or even in the bezel setting. This way you can still enjoy your symbolic stone without having to worry about damaging it.
The garnet is said to bring love, luck, health and loyalty to people, and it even has ties to marriage. Traditionally, married couples give their partners a garnet gem on their second and eighteenth wedding anniversary, making a perfect feature in your engagement ring.
February - Amethyst engagement rings
Amethyst is the stone for those born in February. An amethyst stone is immediately recognisable for its deep, captivating purple colour. Its name originates from the Greek amethystos, which meant to ‘not intoxicate,’ as it was believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness. What’s more, the amethyst has its own ties to love and romance as it is associated with Valentine’s day, as it is said that St. Valentine always wore the gem. Therefore making it a great symbol of love.
Purple is a most unusual colour for an engagement ring, often associated with royalty, so if you like to stand out, an amethyst is a great way to mark your individual style and make a regal statement. Its beautiful purple hue can be easily cut into many different shapes and sizes so you can choose to adapt it to your ring style of choice. For example, this amethyst and diamond ring, which features an oval cut amethyst centre stone on a 9ct yellow gold ring with diamond set shoulders to accentuate the deep purple gemstone.
The amethyst is ranked as a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning it is susceptible to scratching if not taken care of properly. For this reason, a great option would be to feature the amethyst in your engagement ring, rather than having it be the centre stone. For example, at the side of your main stone, or in a bezel setting.
March - Aquamarine engagement rings
If you’re born in March, then Aquamarine is your birthstone. Aquamarine derives from Latin and means ‘water of the sea.’ It is certainly one of the most graceful stones for its light hue and pastel tone. It is ideal for women that appreciate modern and effortless style and also the traditional bride-to-be, as it can be your ‘something blue’ at your wedding.
In ancient times, aquamarine was believed to protect seafarers and help them remember the loved ones they’d left behind. Not only that, the aquamarine is said to promote creativity, hope, self-expression and courage. Its beautiful pale-blue also symbolises long-lasting love and fidelity, which is why brides will feature the colour in their wedding day look.
Aquamarine ranks a 7.5-8 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning it can be a great centre stone for your engagement ring, or you could use it in smaller quantities and have it as a feature around a different centre stone. Aquamarine pairs perfectly with a silver setting and diamonds to really emphasise its elegant and modern style, like this aquamarine, sapphire and diamond halo three stone ring.
April - Diamond engagement rings
Diamond is the birthstone for April. They signify courage, love, and harmony. They are also thought to provide the wearer with a prosperous relationship and an increase in balance, clarity and abundance. So not only are they beautiful, but their symbolism is a great way to mark the beginning of a marriage.
Of course, diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings and give great shine and sparkle to your jewellery. They are the epitome of marriage and for years, they have symbolised eternal love. Their versatility means they can be cut and set in many ways, and they come available in a rainbow of colours to suit each wearer.
Diamond ranks a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, which is why their reputation precedes them. As Frances Gerety famously wrote in 1947, ‘a diamond is forever.’ Interestingly, their popularity only came about after this famous slogan, however, they hold great significance today with marriage. A classic engagement ring style would be a white gold ring with a claw set, round brilliant cut solitaire diamond.
May - Emerald engagement rings
Emeralds are the birthstone associated with the month of May. They are great symbols of love and are popular amongst those who aren’t even born in April. A vivid, green emerald engagement ring has great glamorous and vintage appeal for women with their own sense of style, and are also said to promote fertility and fidelity within a marriage.
If you can source a fine emerald, you’ll be pleased to know that they can be up to three times more valuable than a diamond. For this reason, having a symbolic tie to emeralds might make others green with envy as this stone is greatly sought after.
The emerald rates a 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs hardness scale meaning although susceptible to scratching, they make great centre stones for engagement rings. With this, keep in mind the emerald is known for inclusions that can make them fragile, so opting for a smaller emerald may help keep your stone in the best condition possible. Such as this emerald and diamond cluster ring, where the emerald is emphasised by a cluster of brilliant white diamonds that help accentuate the centre emerald.
June - Pearl engagement rings
For June, you get the pearl. Pearl is often considered Mother Nature’s most beautiful stone. Unlike other precious stones that have to be mined, the pearl is made organically by living shellfish. They are found in either freshwater or saltwater oyster beds and have long been associated with humility and innocence.
The pearl also has rather fitting ties to marriage as they were traditionally given as wedding gifts as it is said to bless new life beginnings. They are available in a variety of colours and so make great features in jewellery as they ooze sophistication and timeless elegance thanks to their exquisite white lustre.
However, pearls are relatively delicate and fragile and rank a 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale and so it is not recommended that they be used as a centre stone for an engagement ring. Rather, it is suggested that you feature the pearl by using smaller quantities and setting them alongside a hardier gemstone.
July - Ruby engagement rings
If you are lucky enough to be born in July, then the ruby is your birthstone. They are renowned for their extravagance and royal ties, and have been a symbol of wealth for years. Ruby engagement rings are also the ultimate symbol of love and raw emotion due to their sensuous red colour which oozes passion.
The ruby gets its name from the Latin word, ruber, which means red, and many ancient crowns have been decorated with the coveted gem because of its supposed ability to represent good fortune and courage. Long ago, humans also believed that rubies contained drops of Mother earth’s blood because of their deep-red colour.
They work fantastically as an engagement ring, ranking a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, so they can withstand the rigours of everyday life with great ease if cared for properly. They also pair beautifully with either silver or gold, and so can fit many different styles and settings. For example, this ruby cluster engagement ring looks great with an oval cut centre and round brilliant cut diamonds.
August - Spinel engagement rings
August is one of the few months that has three birthstones. Alongside sardonyx and peridot, is spinel. The spinel stone ranges in colour and comes available in blue, pink, red and more, therefore it is a great birthstone to represent all the different women born in this summer month.
If you are born in August and have been jealous of those with ruby or sapphire as their birthstones, you will certainly be taken by spinel. Spinel is often mistaken for both ruby and sapphire and many famous rubies have turned out to be spinel. It is the birthstone that represents hope, revitalisation and feeling the joy of being alive.
Each spinel gemstone pairs perfectly on a silver or gold ring, and is ranked an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, therefore making it an ideal choice for engagement rings.
September - Sapphire engagement rings
For September, the birthstone is sapphire. They are iconic for their brilliant blue colour that is strikingly beautiful and regal. However, sapphires can be found in a variety of colours, from yellow, to green to blue. Some sapphires even have the ability to show more than one colour, these are known as parti sapphires.
The sapphire is said to symbolise innocence, longevity and good health - a great stone to carry throughout your marriage, and have royal ties because of their iconic relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales, and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
The sapphire is ranked a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning they make a perfect engagement ring. An iconic blue stone looks stunning when paired with a silver ring, for a classically royal and chic look, like this oval sapphire and diamond three stone ring.
October - Tourmaline engagement rings
Tourmaline is the birthstone associated with October. The tourmaline is available in pink, green, orange and blue, and so can suit the preference of any bride born in October. The gemstone gets its name from the Sinhalese word toramalli, which means ‘stone with mixed colours.’ This is because one stone often has multiple colours, meaning very few gems are able to match the tourmaline’s captivating array of colours. Like this favero pink tourmaline ring, which is hard to match in its unique colour.
The rare gemstone is said to have received its colour from passing over a rainbow as it made its journey from the earth’s centre. The stone is believed to be a tool for energising and balancing chakras, as well as understanding others. Furthermore, the tourmaline is representative of feminine energy and so can be a great symbol for same-sex marriages.
The tourmaline ranks a 7-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning it is susceptible to scratching, however can still be used in smaller quantities on a ring, such as with a bezel setting.
November - Topaz engagement rings
Topaz is the birthstone of November and is synonymous with love, affection and fire. It gets its fire reference from the fact that a lot of topaz is heat treated to take on its stunning blue shades. However, the topaz can also appear in orange, yellow, pink, red and much more.
Within marriage, topaz is said to calm anger, and balance strong emotions, as well as bring longevity and wisdom to couples. It has a rating of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making a perfect centre stone for your engagement ring. Its variation of available colours also means it can suit the preference of any wearer and also pair perfectly with any ring metal of choice.
December - Tanzanite engagement rings
Tanzanite is the birthstone associated with the month of December. This exotic and rare gemstone was discovered in 1969 by Tiffany and Co. making it a widely coveted gemstone due to its limited availability.
The tanzanite gemstone is said to break down negative energy by turning attention to positivity. It is also the gem to represent a couple's twenty-fourth wedding anniversary, and so has prominence in marriage. It is often described as velvety because of its deep and saturated green-blue colour which pairs beautifully with a silver or white gold ring, like this tanzanite ring.
The gemstone ranks a 6.5-7 on the Mohs hardness scale, so is best used in smaller quantities as a feature on an engagement ring, or as a smaller centre stone.
For more ideas or advice on a birthstone engagement ring, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts at Rocks.