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Gemstone Engagement Rings
April 4, 2014 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience with aquamarine engagement rings? If you have experience with aquamarine engagement rings, how do they look? How do they hold up? What do you think? (I understand that aquamarine is beryl, the same material as beryl, which is supposed to be somewhat softer than the sapphire/ruby material, which in turn is very hard but not as hard as diamonds.)

My girlfriend does not want diamond. She is not sold on emerald, sapphire, or ruby, because the colors are fairly bold and not neutral. I'm not sold on white sapphire -- too much like diamond-lite -- although I'm willing to be persuaded. Are there other gemstones I should be thinking about? I'm not especially trying to save money here, although that seems like a likely side effect of this approach.

Bonus question: does anyone have any experience buying online, and if so from where and do you recommend it?
posted by J. Wilson to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total)
 
I have a square-cut aquamarine ring which I adore. I also have an aquamarine set in a classic solitaire ring setting. They are "7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale" so the setting should be such that your girlfriend/fiancee won't have to worry about bumping the ring during her daily activities. Mine were both bought in brickandmortar jewelry stores so I can't help with online info. Aquamarines are gorgeous! Good luck and congratulations!
posted by Lynsey at 12:55 PM on April 4


You also may want to take a look at cornflower blue sapphires; it's what we ended up with for my wife's engagement ring and we're very happy with it. I wanted to stay away from stones softer than sapphires/rubies in light of the everyday wear. The lighter cornflower sapphires may meet your less-bold-but-not-white requirement while still being hard.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:56 PM on April 4


Sadly, I can't directly answer your question, but will note that non-heat-treated sapphires typically have very muted colors. I've seen a couple that are quite pale.
posted by introp at 12:57 PM on April 4


Sapphire comes in a wide range of colors, from white-white (which does look a lot like a diamond, only less so) through pale yellows, pinks, and purples, to muted greens the saturated blue you are probably thinking of. You might like some of the paler shades, they are typically less expensive than the classic deep blue sapphire.

Also, suitability for a ring is not just a question of hardness, but also whether the stone tends to split (cleave) on certain planes. In this regard, garnet & quartz make better ring stones than beryl, even though they are softer on the Mohs scale.
posted by mr vino at 1:06 PM on April 4


I have a blue topaz in my engagement ring. It's an 8 on the Mohs scale, so roughly around the same hardness as aquamarine. I've worn it daily for 6 1/2 years and it's held up really well. He bought it at a Movado store, oddly enough, but I've had decent experience with ordering jewelry from BlueNile in the past.
posted by bedhead at 1:06 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


Sapphires do come in a wide variety of colors, including peach and light blues. You may want to do some searches for gemstone rings in the Pricescope or (admittedly the format is wacky) Weddingbee forums because there are many different reports on styles, companies (especially Etsy sellers like EidelPrecious), and what to look out for. I think whether or not aqua is a good stone for her depends on the style of the ring, the cut, how hard she is on her hands/jewelry, and whether or not you would both be okay with replacing the stone if it gets damaged.

I can say that I have bought pearl jewelry from Blue Nile and it's great and they were very fast in processing and shipping everything safely.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:08 PM on April 4


I don't buy diamonds for political reasons as well as not having the stomach to pay the De Beers premium for no good reason. I do like white/clear stones, though. I would not hesitate to buy a moissanite for a often-worn ring because it's quite hard (9.25 Mohs hardness) and is quite lovely.

Aquamarine will not hold up very well if she wears the ring every day. Over time, as it gets polished to remove scratches and damage, the carat weight will go down and the stone will eventually need to be replaced. If she doesn't plan to wear the ring much after you marry, it should be fine.

Sapphires (9 on Mohs scale) are really the best bet for durability if you don't want a clear stone like moissanite and they come in a wide range of colors - not just blue.
posted by quince at 1:26 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]


I didn't want a diamond and actually thought about a sapphire. What I ended up loving is a rose cut diamond that is kind of a pink light brown color. It doesn't read as diamond because of the color and cut. I got mine from this Etsy shop.
posted by Swisstine at 2:48 PM on April 4


I have a yellow and white sapphire eternity band that I've worn for years. I'm very hard on it, wear it 24/7, and it's held up beautifully.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:01 PM on April 4


I'm a March baby, so my birthstone is aquamarine. I have a ring that my husband got (a right-handed ring, but I wore it every day for a few years) and the problem with aquamarine is it gets cloudy and dirty very easily. I had to clean it or get it cleaned at least once a month. It would just lose it's shine and apparently it's an issue with aquamarine in general.

I would go with a bolder stone, especially since the light blue of aquamarine got really cloudy and really noticeable.

Have you considered hi-quality cubic zirconia? They come in tons of colors and are really sturdy.

I have high quality hand-cut CZs set in white gold for my wedding ring. I found it on Ebay from a jewelry store in CA that makes them to order. They are amazingly brilliant and shine better than most diamonds do.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:39 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


My mother was given an aquamarine 30-ish years ago; it turned cloudy pretty quickly.

Someone more knowledgeable about gemstones can talk about why that happened, but I was given to understand that some stones were dyed, and then the color didn't hold up. So I suppose some research would be in order to make sure that a similar situation didn't happen to you (and skimming that article, it's possible that what she was given was a blue topaz or even a sapphire, though that's not what we were told).
posted by vignettist at 5:05 PM on April 4


Whoops, I didn't preview and missed Crystalinne's comment. Maybe my mom's stone getting cloudy was a natural phenomena.
posted by vignettist at 5:06 PM on April 4


I have a green tourmaline engagement ring, which is about the same hardness as aquamarine. I am a lot more careful with it than I would be with a harder stone. I wear it during the day, but take it off if I'm washing my hands (so I don't accidentally knock it on porcelain), washing dishes, or anything where I feel like my hand could knock against something sharp or metal and scratch the stone. I take it off as soon as I get home. I have knocked it against my wood desk a few times and it was fine. Basically, you have to be a little more aware of situations that could harm it, and be willing to accept that it might get a scratch or two.
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:40 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


I have an aquamarine stone with paladium band. I love it, only had it about 9 months. The color is a pale blue, so it isn't too bold. Just a hint of blue to it. I wear it constantly in shower, sleeping and at work. The only time I take it off is when I am swimming because I don't want to accidentally lose it.
posted by Jaelma24 at 8:06 PM on April 4


Also to add. Mine is from gemvara.com. It is very easy to customize any ring with which ever stone that you decide, assuming they have it. I plan to get my wedding band for me and my fiance from there. We have had no problems and recommend the site!
posted by Jaelma24 at 8:11 PM on April 4


Thanks, all -- lots of helpful thoughts!
posted by J. Wilson at 9:03 AM on April 5


My engagement ring is an aquamarine. I've had it for 10 years, and although I don't wear it every day anymore, I did wear it constantly for several years, where it took a beating (I was an art teacher for some of that time) and never got a scratch. I will second the comment that it gets dirty quickly, though. Aquamarines just aren't as sparkly as some other stones to begin with, so when they get a little dirty it's even more noticeable. It didn't bother me -- I had one of those little jars of jewelry cleaner and I'd just use that every few days to get it shiny again.
posted by ella_minnow at 6:03 PM on April 5


My mother got an aquamarine ring for her 18th birthday and wore it frequently for many years before she gave it to me--no scratches on it yet. In my experience, you have to work pretty diligently to damage a stone that hard.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:31 AM on April 7


I have a blue topaz ring from 3 rexes. It is beautiful and her quality is impeccable - but I've only had it for a few weeks, so I can't speak to the longevity.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:35 AM on April 8


(Also, I believe she will do aquamarine if that is where your fianceƩ definitely wants to go.)
posted by getawaysticks at 7:37 AM on April 8


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