Wear-ability of Gems

August 6th, 2012

 

As a gemstone dealer who has chosen to inventory a large variety of gemstones, I am often asked about the durability and wear-ability of specific gemstones we carry. I try to answer this question by first asking:

“What piece of jewelry is this gem getting set in?”

Obviously a ring gemstone is a lot more exposed to getting knocked around than a pendant or earrings. If the answer is a ring, then I need to ask if the ring is a cocktail ring worn occasionally or an engagement ring that will be worn every day and will experience a lot more wear and tear.

If it is an engagement stone, I recommend that they not go lower than an 8 on the Mohs’ scale of hardness.

These gem varieties include: Ruby, Sapphire, Spinel, Alexandrite, Chrysoberyl and Topaz. Of course, gemstones with hardness of 6 1/2 and up are still very suitable for wear in rings, but not on an everyday basis. Softer stones than that, I highly recommend be worn in pendants, pins or earrings. Gems softer than a 4 should be cherished more as beautiful specimens to look at but maybe not mounted in jewelry.

Sharing this type of information with your customers will help them make informed gem purchases, suitable for their lifestyle and jewelry use.

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