Choosing a coloured stone
There is a large array of coloured stones to choose from and they are all so individual and amazing, however the hardness of a coloured stone must be considered when choosing your stone for a piece of jewellery, especially an engagement ring.
Traditionally Sapphire or Ruby (corundum family, aluminium oxide AL2O3) were the engagement ring stones, there is good reason for that, they are the next hardest stone after diamond, therefore perfect for everyday wear. Luckily sapphire comes in many colours, see the colour chart below.
It is exciting and enjoyable working with colour, and it is often the stone that leads the design. In my opinion colour enhances diamonds and the accompaniment of diamonds with colour makes the colour really stand out.
I have used tourmaline and aquamarine a couple of times in rings, which is unusual as the hardness is 7 and 7.5 respectively on Moh’s scale of hardness (http://www.gemologyonline.com/mohs.html ). I believe that this is ok, as long as you are aware that they can crack more easily than sapphire or diamond. Having said that, I have not had any such problem with any of the rings that I’ve made.
Emerald is from the same family as Aquamarine (Beryl family, beryllium aluminium silicate Be3Al2Sio6 – another amazing family with endless colours to it), and although Beryl is 7.5 on Moh’s scale, Emerald is slightly different, due to its environment and crystal structure, Emerald is brittle, so this unfortunately makes it much easier to chip a corner or if dropped it is easier to crack. Hence the shape emerald cut (see above in diamond shapes), which is the rectangle with the corners cut off. They cut the corners off to minimise the stone being chipped. Again, having said this, many people choose Emerald as their engagement ring stone for its rarity and beauty, and have successfully kept them in one piece! It is a stunning stone with colour like no other.
Opal is very popular in dress rings, as it is our national gemstone and a treasure trove of unique beauty all to itself. Opal is a porous gemstone and is only 5 on Moh’s scale, so as you may be starting to guess, there are hardly any rules in jewellery making, do what you want, just heed the advice and know your gemstone!
Below is a picture of Jules and Simon. Simon worked with me to create the most stunning of engagement rings for his now wife without her knowledge (what a man!) and did a great job of surprising her with a tourmaline and diamond white gold stunner. Teal green is one of Jules’ favourite colours and he picked a pear shaped stone of that exact shade. Jules admits to being pretty hard on her ring, and has never had any issues with it being a 7 hardness. I am proud to say that she is still getting compliments on the uniqueness and beauty of her ring.
So as you can see, we could talk forever (or I could!) about colour and the different choices you have when considering your piece of jewellery. I have merely touched on about 1% of the subject! So have a look through the gallery page to get some ideas about colour and google your heart away, I am always happy to talk choices through with you with regard to diamonds and colour, email me any time.
PS…below is a pic of my rings