Gemstones are truly a wonder of nature. Formed over time by the forces of earth, every gemstone is a unique rarity worthy of celebration. When you find the perfect piece of gemstone jewelry, it’s something you want to wear and enjoy for a lifetime and even pass down to someone special in your life. 

We believe finding the right piece for you is about more than just aesthetic appeal. It’s about living your fullest life while knowing the jewelry that means something special to you suits your lifestyle as well as it does your fashion sense. Let’s dive deep below the surface of gemstones to give you some new ideas about what might be the perfect gemstones for you.

Purple gemstone jewelry rings and necklace are shown in 14K yellow gold with a purple background.

Beyond Style: The Hard Facts About Gemstones

Durability is something to keep in mind when you’re looking at gemstone jewelry. Knowing how hard your gemstone is will help you determine how and when you want to wear your gemstones and the best way to care for them. 

The industry measures gemstone hardness using the Mohs scale. Gemstones are rated on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. The industry also uses ratings to measure stability, which includes resistance to heat, light and exposure to chemicals.

Knowing where your favorite gemstones lie on the Mohs scale is a great way to determine if an everyday piece you’re looking at will work for your lifestyle. A diamond is the hardest with a rating of ten, corundum (ruby and sapphire) is rated at 9, followed by topaz at 8 and quartz at 7. These hard, durable gemstones are great options for everyday wear and can be found in an array of gorgeous colors. 

Turquoise and opal are two popular gemstones that can fall between 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale while pearls and amber are ranked at 2.5 on the scale. 

Pearl earrings, necklace and bracelet displayed in 14k yellow gold with an off-white background.

The Right Jewelry for the Right Gemstone 

Just because a gemstone is on the softer side, it doesn’t always mean you can’t wear it every day. For instance, opal and tanzanite are lower on the Mohs scale than a diamond or ruby. Choosing a bezel or v-shaped prong setting for the softer gemstones will add a layer of protection. Bezel settings wrap around the entire edge of a gemstone, offering protection from chipping around the edges if you accidently knock your jewelry against a hard surface. 

Softer gemstones are also great options for a necklace or earrings, which are less likely to suffer accidental blows throughout the course of the day. 

How and where you store your gemstone jewelry will also help keep your gemstones in great shape for longer. You don’t want harder gemstones to come in contact with softer ones. Only a diamond can scratch a diamond, but that diamond can scratch any gemstone with a lower hardness rating. 

Exposure to the Elements 

Our lifestyles expose us to varying elements on a daily basis, some of which can have an impact of your gemstones. Did you know stones like amethyst, citrine and topaz can actually fade over time as a result of their exposure to light? Storing these gemstones in a dark place when you’re not wearing them can help preserve the color. 

Going camping or spending a few days out in the sun? It’s not a bad idea to keep these more light-sensitive gemstones stored away safely at home. 

Heat exposure can also have an impact on gemstones over time. High temperatures can damage amber and pearls, so it’s a good idea to remove jewelry with those gemstones before cooking. A combination of heat exposure and spattering oils is not something you want to expose your beautifully-colored gemstones to regularly. 

Regularly used chemicals like bleach and chlorine can also have an impact on your gemstones, potentially impacting the color and durability. Even your favorite perfume could damage porous gemstones like pearls, opal or amber – so you may want to put those on after you apply cologne or perfume.

A variety of green gemstone jewelry is shown in 14k yellow gold with a green background.

Our Favorite Gemstones for Everyday Wear 

If you’re looking to live life to the fullest while worrying as little as possible about the impact on your favorite jewelry, we have some recommendations! 

Diamonds top the list for their hardness and reliability. That’s what makes this gemstone the primary choice for engagement rings. You can also find diamonds in an array of beautiful colors, from more commonly found brown diamonds to rare and sought-after pink diamonds. Rubies and topaz are also great choices for wearing every day. 

You can wear and enjoy any beautiful gemstone in a broad spectrum of colors and styles. Hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of which ones are perfect for your lifestyle and which stones you’ll want to reserve for those special occasions. 

Of course, to keep your jewelry looking amazing for a lifetime, you’ll want to keep your jewelry clean. The Personal Jewelers at your local Ben Bridge store will share expert tips and tricks and offer care packages along with complimentary cleanings so your new jewelry will keep looking incredible for years to come. In the meantime, browse some of our favorites today and get inspired. 

If you’re looking for more helpful information, check out our jewelry education guide