If Diamonds, Sapphires, Emeralds and Rubies – the ‘BIG FOUR’ – don’t always fit your budget, there are other natural gemstone alternatives!
When deciding which gemstones you like, and fit your budget, taking the hardness of the stone into account is also an important factor. Generally, the higher hardness on the Mohs scale, the more durable it is. The Mohs scale is an international scale measuring scratch resistance, or hardness, of different minerals from 1-10.
DIAMOND – The Sheer Stunner
While diamonds are king, good quality diamonds are pricey. Four natural colourless gemstone alternatives are sapphire, topaz, zircon and quartz. Diamonds are the hardest mineral, at 10 on the Mohs scale. Only a diamond can scratch a diamond. It’s not surprising that the name comes from the ancient Greek “adámas” meaning “unbreakable”.
SAPPHIRE – The Cobalt Charmer
Sapphires are known as the gemstones of wisdom, truth and justice, and follow closely after diamonds on the Mohs scale at 9. Alternate shades of blue gemstones include spinel, tanzanite and tourmaline.
EMERALD – The Rare Gem
While emeralds are the softest of the big four, they symbolize renewal and hope. At 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, good quality emeralds aren’t cheap! Various shades of green alternatives are tsavorite garnet, sapphire and tourmaline.
RUBY – The Love Talisman
Rubies are famous for their deep red colour and vibrant glow. At 9 on the Mohs scale, natural alternatives are hard to find, and can include garnet, spinel and zircon.
Each alternative gemstone offers unique advantages and disadvantages, from colour, sparkle, hardness, longevity, and price. When precious prices of the ‘big four’ are a concern, there are alternatives!