Picking engagement rings is never an easy task – from choosing a style you love to ensuring you definitely know your ring size. If you’re easily taken in by the Pride and Prejudice, Regency Era adoration of pearl jewellery, it’s understandable that you’d be interested in pearls for engagement rings. But are pearls a good idea for engagement rings?
Let’s start with the positives.
Pearl Engagement Rings
There are few things more beautiful than an antique engagement ring, specifically those featuring the pearl gemstone. The natural lustre of pearls is eye-catching and unique, something that no other gemstone can quite match. From the traditional single and double-stranded pearl necklaces to the pearl and diamond rings that win our hearts, the beauty of pearl jewellery stands alone against other gemstones.
From the perspective of aesthetics and romanticism, pearls are an excellent choice for engagement rings. Paired with diamonds, their natural glow compliments the glittering sparkle of the diamond, leaving you with an engagement ring that is both individual and traditional.
Now for the more practical side of things.
The Mohs Scale
German mineralogist, Friedrich Mohs, created the Mohs scale of mineral hardness in 1822. Today, the Mohs scale doesn’t see much use outside of field geologists’ work and the jewellery world due to its less than scientifically precise nature. In essence, minerals are used against one another to see which leaves a mark on which. The one without a mark is ‘harder’ than the one with a mark.
As you might expect, gemstones like diamonds are at the top of the Mohs scale, leaving marks on everything beneath them whilst remaining unmarked themselves at the number 10 spot. Pearls rank at a 2.5 on the Mohs scale, leaving a lot to be desired. Pearls are very soft, making them easily scratched and abraded.
For an engagement ring, this is less than ideal. Your engagement ring – if worn daily – is going to be exposed to lots of different surfaces and environments that are highly likely to damage a pearl gemstone. As well as this, chemicals found in everything from perfume to moisturiser are also hazardous to the health of your pearl. The rule with pearl jewellery is ‘last thing on, first thing off’ as you should limit its chances of damage as much as possible.
So, if pearls run such a risk as an engagement ring, what are some good choices for stones that are similar to pears?
Good Engagement Rings
If the main appeal you see in pearls is their almost ethereal colouring and glow, consider moonstone as a replacement. Sitting at 6 – 6.5 on the Mohs scale, moonstone is not the hardest gemstone out there, and as such would likely still not be ideal for everyday wear. It does, however, have a similar shine to it as a pearl, and would be far less likely to face damage.
Another gemstone that offers mystical properties is the opal. Typically a blue base colour with all manner of tones included, there are also white opals. Usually, white opals have a creamy base colour, with flecks of pink, blue, and golden yellow tones within them. Opals are prone to water damage, and so would also not be suitable for everyday wear, although their Mohs scale position ranges from 5.5 – 6.5, so they are not as fragile as pearls.
The last suggestion for a pearl lookalike comes in the form of moissanite. Truth be told, moissanite is a closer replica to diamonds than it is to pearls, but it has a cleanness to it that is reminiscent of pearls. Furthermore, it is a 9.25 on the Mohs scale, making it more than ready to tackle everyday wear and tear. If you want an engagement ring that can handle everything a pearl can’t without the price tag of a diamond, consider moissanite.
The Final Verdict
With all that said, are pearls in fact a good choice for an engagement ring? Yes and no, in all honesty. While it is true that pearls are not suitable for being worn every day, this does not mean they would not make for beautiful engagement rings. You are under no obligation to wear your engagement ring every day, and if your heart sings for a pearl, the reality is that you won’t find anything that quite matches up to its unique beauty.
Any piece of jewellery, no matter how delicate, can last a lifetime if the proper care is taken to maintain it. If your dream is of a pearl engagement ring, don’t let things like the Mohs scale stop you. You could even have a plainer, simple engagement ring for the everyday, and then leave the pearl engagement ring for when you want to show off.
An engagement ring should be something you adore, and if pearls are what you adore, make it known to the world. What do you think of a pearl engagement ring?