Best and Worst Stones for Engagement Rings You Should Know About

Best and Worst Stones for Engagement Rings You Should Know About

Do you know that there are stones for engagements rings other than diamonds? In fact, if you look back through the ages, there weren’t even stones on them. An engagement ring then was a mark of ownership, not a symbol of undying love and commitment as it is today.

Best and Worst Stones for Engagement Rings

Engagement rings weren’t always as they are today. They have undergone many changes throughout the centuries, becoming imbued with both sophistication and style.

Engagement Rings History

To get you up to speed here is a short timeline of the evolution of engagement rings:
  • In ancient Egypt, women wore rings made of reed to symbolize marriage. Ancient Egyptians believed that the ring finger had a vein directly connected to the heart.
  • Roman women wore rings of ivory, flint, bone, copper, and iron to “signify a business contract, to affirm ownership.
  • So much later, a couple would break a piece of gold or silver, each keeping half, and cemented it by drinking a glass of wine. While in America, women were given thimbles. When they get married, the top is cut off and the rest is worn as rings.
  • In 850, Pope Nicholas I declared that the engagement ring as a symbol of a man’s intention to marry a woman, with gold being the most popular ring material
  • 1477 – Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed marriage to Mary of Burgundy by giving her a ring with an “M” shaped, long and narrow diamond
  • 1947 – Notable diamond jeweler De Beers launched its advertising campaign, “A diamond is forever” which changed the landscape of engagement rings.
  • Then the Millenials came of age changing it even further. Whereas diamonds dominated the engagement ring business before, now more and more people are opting for colored gemstones.

What Stones Can Be Used for Engagement Rings?

Make no mistake, when it comes to engagement rings, the diamond is still the preferred choice, just like the one in this Natalie Diamonds review. But colored gemstones are gaining entry into its lucrative territory. Nowadays, people have an array of colored gemstones for rings—depending on personal choice.
Engagement rings stones chart
Engagement rings stones chart
But there are good stones and there are bad ones. So let’s start with the…

Best Stones for Engagement Rings

The market is full of stones fit for engagement rings. They all have their unique characteristics, colors, shapes, cuts, and, of course, price.

Shopping for an appropriate engagement ring is not easy. The choices are unlimited and nd fraught with dangers. An unscrupulous dealer can easily cheat you out of your money by selling you low-quality gems or, worse, fakes.

This article cannot help you solve all that. But it can help you cut to the chase by allowing you to focus on the stones that will last a lifetime (with their corresponding engagement ring meaning of stones)


This is one of the most sought-after gemstones because of its reputation of being a stone for royalty—and for you.
Sapphire engagement ring
Sapphire engagement ring
With a hardness of 9 on the Moh’s scale, it is scratch-resistant making it suitable for daily wear. Sapphires come in various hues (except red), and it has pleochroism properties. Some rare types change colors depending on the viewing angle.
Sapphires are known to alleviate depression, build self-confidence and create positive thoughts.


This ‘jewel of kings’ is or was also Cleopatra’s favorite gemstone. Emerald’s gorgeous shades of green—from light to deep dark shade—can make a stunning centerpiece for an engagement ring.
With a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, it is fairly scratch and crack-resistant. Choosing the right one is not easy, though. It has inherent inclusions and fractures that make it sensitive to rough handling.
But this is a minor defect if you are looking for a stone that will strengthen your connection with the divine energies by opening your heart and mind.


For an engagement ring centerpiece, ruby sizzles. It’s attractive and very pleasing to the eyes. This red gemstone will stand out even on a crowded street. It is a bit expensive, though. A small price to pay for a gemstone that has always been associated with love and the heart.
Rubies belong to the same corundum family of gemstones—very much like sapphires. It is as hard and durable, making it perfect for daily wear.
And for a stone that reflects nobility, purity, and passion, you could not go wrong in giving your loved one a ruby engagement ring.


This reddish-purple to purple gemstone is an alternative to diamonds in the engagement ring niche. Its color represents an enduring and a deeper commitment kind of love.
With a hardness of 7, it is fairly scratch-resistant and difficult to crack.
Amethysts belong to the quartz family of gemstones and come in a wide range of colors, from light lavender to deep purple. And this could be the right gemstone in times of distress as it is known to help the mind flow freely in both mental and metaphysical dimensions.


Tourmaline is an exciting stone for engagement rings because of the way it handles colors. For example, the watermelon tourmaline displays two or three color zones.
Tourmaline engagement ring
Tourmaline engagement ring
They all have a vitreous luster (their surfaces look like glass when light hits them). Some varieties change colors under different light sources, while a few display chatoyancy (cat’s eye optical effect).
Like amethyst, it is a quartz with a hardness of 7 and no cleavage (the tendency to break along definite plane surfaces) either.
Its meaning is as varied as its colors. It’s the stone for reconciliation by fostering compassion and cool-headedness. At the same time, it radiates energy that attracts money, healing, and friendship, among others.


Citrines have become one of the popular stones for engagement rings because of their colors. They can range from light, lemony yellow to golden and even champaign brown.
For example, the Madeira Citrine has a rich, orange color with flashes of red. Of course, this also commands a  very stiff price. Like amethyst, citrine is tough and very durable.
The yellow hues of citrine evoke feelings of joy, abundance, and  transmutation


This gemstone belongs to the silicate family and has been used since the Bronze Age as ornaments and abrasives.
Like tourmaline, it comes in different species and color varieties. Although more associated with red, garnets come in a wider range of colors than any gemstone.
Garnets have a hardness that ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 and makes acceptable stones for engagement rings regardless of cut—cushions, hearts, or rounds.
But don’t let its softness deter you. Garnet is known to regulate blood circulation, detoxify the blood, and keep the heart healthy.


Like most gemstones, aquamarine comes in several hues but the light-blue to the blue-green shade brings a dream-like quality to an engagement ring.
Aquamarine, like the emerald, belongs to the beryl family and is very fairly hard at 7.5 to 8, making it not so easy to scratch. It is durable and perfect for daily wear. Unlike the emerald, it doesn’t require as much care and cleaning.
This gemstone evokes the purity of crystalline waters, the exhilaration, and the relaxation of the sea. It is calming, soothing, and inspires truth.


If you want an engagement ring to dazzle you with its unique display of colors, then opal is the engagement ring stone for you.
Opal is the only gemstone with the “play-of-color” characteristic—when light enters an opal, it interacts with its internal structure and leaves in a flash of spectral colors. On top of that, opals also come in many different vibrant body colors, as well as many unusual patterns with imaginative descriptions.
On the downside, opals are soft, at 5.5 to 6.5, making them very susceptible to scratching. And they need a huge amount of care.
However, it is an apt stone for an engagement ring as it is always associated with love and passion; desire and eroticism.
This list of the best stones for engagement rings may draw a quizzical look on your face, knot your eyebrows followed by the question, “what is the best gemstone for an engagement ring? (or cryptically), “which stone is best for ring?”

The answer is, of course, diamonds—colored diamonds for that matter. In fact, it is still so popular that some would even go for raw stone engagement rings (a diamond that has not been faceted and polished the traditional way)

Now let’s go to the flipside.

Worst Stones for Engagement Rings

The headline may be a bit strong. They are not that bad for engagement rings, but jewelers caution potential buyers to avoid them if possible. You see, they all have one fatal flow—hardness. This makes them unable to withstand the rigors engagement rings are subjected to over their life cycle.

Here they are:


Is a beautiful and elegant gemstone. Unfortunately, it is incredibly soft. It easily gets scratched and because of cleavage, easily breaks, too.

Moonstone engagement ring
Moonstone engagement ring

The magical Moonstone is thought to harvest the energy of the moon.


This gemstone is caught between two different worlds—the best and worst gemstone for engagement rings.

While its softness is a liability, jewelers agree that its beauty and unique display of colors are so astounding to totally eliminate it from the list of the best stones.


This gemstone, with its pinkish hues, has gotten popular these days. And because of this, premium-quality grades are hard to come by.

Besides, it is relatively soft and unsuitable for engagement rings.

But would not be bad to get one. Morganite is connected to the soul, heart, Wearing a Morganite engagement ring will bring you healing energy, compassion, joy, and inner peace.


Like the opal, it straddles between the two extremes of what stones for engagement rings are supposed to be – hard enough to last a lifetime.

But if designed well, and taken cared of, amethysts can stand the test of time.


Like its two soft cousins, Opal and Amethyst, aquamarine is both one of the best and worst stones for engagement rings.

And like the two, good design and setting can offset its being a soft gemstone.

That’s the full rundown of the “best” and “worst” stones for engagement rings. But the question remains, “what is a good alternative to diamonds?”

What is a Good Alternative to a Diamond Engagement Ring

To avoid regrets down the line, settle your dilemma of looking for a diamond engagement ring alternative. Is it due to price? Do you want to be different, or you want to wear something more ethical or eco-friendly.

The “price” question is easy to answer. The others, well, remember that synthetics are made by a process and all processes have by-products that may not be eco-friendly.

So let’s get real and settle on the “price” or wanting to be different issues your reasons for looking for diamond alternatives.

In that case, there is no single answer to that. Wherever you look, there are always several (and you should thank High Heavens for that) alternatives to choose from. Here they are.

  • Moissanite
  • Sapphire
  • Aquamarine
  • Morganite
  • Emerald
  • Ruby
  • Amethyst

Notice that five in the list, e.g., sapphire, aquamarine, emerald, ruby, and amethyst belong to the best stones for engagement rings. One, Morganite, belongs to the other side. An unknown stone crashed the party – Moissanite.



Moissanite engagement ring
Moissanite engagement ring

This was first discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan, a French chemist – hence Moissanite. It was in the form of microscopic dust in a meteor-created crater in Arizona. As a natural stone, it is extremely rare. Those in the market are lab-created. Though engineered to look like diamonds, it is compositionally and visually different. That said, it is one of the best alternative stones of engagement rings as you’ll see in this DoveEggs engagement ring.

A potential shoo-in as a diamond engagement ring alternative is Tanzanite engagement rings.


Tanzanite is a word coined by popular jeweler Tiffany and Company to describe the mineral zoisite. The name came from Tanzania, East Africa – the only known source of tanzanite.

The color of the stone ranges from blue to purple and it has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 – too soft for engagement rings. Besides, it is 1000 times rarer than diamonds.

Stones for engagement rings play a very important role in the long and arduous trip from the getting-to-know-you stage, courtship, engagement, and finally marriage – if things work out well before a couple finally ties the knot. . They are, therefore, not to be taken half-heartedly. The right stone must be chosen for the right personality with the end-view of making it last until it becomes an heirloom—if possible.

We hope that you picked up a thing or two in this guide. If you want more options for your engagement ring, check out our article, “Lab-Grown Diamonds: Are They Worth It?“. It will walk you through what these ethically-sourced and low-cost stones have to offer.