An engagement ring is arguably one of the most emotionally charged pieces of jewellery a person will ever wear. Understandably, most of our clients are keen to instil theirs, in some way, with a touch of ‘self’. This could manifest in the form of a hand-engraved message, a one-of-a-kind bespoke design, or – a nuance we love here at Lebrusan Studio – the incorporation of a birthstone. Choosing a gemstone that celebrates your partner’s birth month is a sweet gesture of careful consideration and a subtle way to imbue their special jewel with a sense of uniqueness.
Today, we’ll explore the ways in which a symbolic birthstone can be incorporated into an engagement ring.
The durability of precious gemstones is ranked using the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Some cookies are a little tougher than others, which makes them better equipped to take on the challenge of being worn every single day. For example, the diamond – the toughest natural substance known to man – scores a perfect 10 on the scale, whilst the garnet is ranked at a soft 6.5. Hardy gemstones tend to prove the most popular amongst engagement ring clients, but we can employ some clever techniques to enable some of the softer birthstones to live long and happy lives.
The only beautiful phenomenon that simply doesn’t have the brawn to stand up to everyday wear and tear is the pearl, which scores only a 2.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness and is incredibly easy to scratch and abrade. Luckily for those born in June – the birth month associated with the pearl – moonstone and alexandrite are tougher birthstone options.
JANUARY: Garnet (6.5 – 7.5)
FEBRUARY: Amethyst (7)
MARCH: Aquamarine (7.5 – 8)
APRIL: Diamond (10)
MAY: Emerald (7.5 – 8)
JUNE: Pearl (2.5), moonstone (6 – 6.5) and alexandrite (8.5)
JULY: Ruby (9)
AUGUST: Peridot (6.5 – 7) and spinel (8)
SEPTEMBER: Sapphire (9)
OCTOBER: Opal (5 – 6.5), tourmaline (7 – 7.5)
NOVEMBER: Topaz (8), citrine (7)
DECEMBER: Turquoise (5.5), tanzanite (6 - 6.5), zircon (7.5)
There is arguably no celebration of a gemstone’s natural beauty more successful than a traditional solitaire setting; simple, timeless and effective. Loud and proud, raised claws enable light to enter and leave from every possible angle, ensuring maximum sparkle. This striking setting is best suited to hard-wearing gemstones like the diamond, sapphire and ruby, since it leaves its centrepiece almost completely exposed to the elements.
Softer gemstones like tourmaline or emerald are safest in small carat weights, secured within the embrace of an enclosed rub-over setting.
As far as trilogy settings go, the flanking of a central diamond with two coloured gemstones is a design classic, enabling the wearer to enjoy the romantic timelessness of a sparkling diamond whilst also embracing additional colour and symbolism that’s true to them. This is a wonderful option for those born at any time of the year, whether their birthstone is as soft as an aquamarine or tourmaline – which we wouldn’t recommend as a large central stone – or not.
The halo setting is all about impact. Encircling a central stone – usually a diamond - with a number of pave gemstones (small sparklers secured in a continuous row by tiny metal prongs or beads), it creates an amplified visual impression, enhancing its size and brilliance. Once again, the halo lends itself to softer birthstones that are most resilient when small – as well as to colourless diamonds, whose role in a halo engagement ring is to ensure maximum sparkle.
Though the diamond’s hardness and classic connotations make it the most popular choice of central stone amongst our clients, thanks to the resilience of rubies and sapphires, June and September babies may also encircle their birthstones with a halo of diamonds or other gemstones, too.
Why stop at the ring’s head? Just as our signature hand-engravings demonstrate, the band is equally as fun an opportunity for embellishments. As before, if your partner’s birth month happens to correlate with any gemstone that scores below an 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, this style is a practical means of you incorporating its magic in small volumes.
A secret setting does exactly as it says on the tin; it secures a gemstone into the inside of a ring’s band, tucking it quietly away for only chosen eyes to see. Whether your partner’s birthstone is soft, hard, sparkly or dull, this is a wonderful opportunity to add a romantic and personalised touch without compromising the appearance of classic simplicity that your partner may well be after. What’s more, the small-scale and highly secure nature of the secret setting makes it a trusty option for birthstones soft or hard.