Home Aquamarine Is Aquamarine Too Soft for an Engagement Ring?

Is Aquamarine Too Soft for an Engagement Ring?

by Madonna

Aquamarine, with its captivating sea-blue hues and serene charm, has long been cherished as a gemstone of choice for various types of jewelry. Its name, derived from the Latin words “aqua” (water) and “mare” (sea), reflects its ocean-like color, which ranges from pale blue to deep blue-green. This beautiful gemstone, a variety of the mineral beryl, is often associated with tranquility, courage, and clear communication. However, when it comes to using aquamarine in engagement rings—a symbol of enduring love and commitment—questions about its suitability often arise. Specifically, many wonder if aquamarine is too soft for such a significant piece of jewelry. This article delves into the properties of aquamarine, its durability, and its practicality as an engagement ring stone, providing a comprehensive answer to this important question.

Understanding the Hardness and Durability of Aquamarine

To evaluate whether aquamarine is appropriate for an engagement ring, we must first understand its physical properties, particularly its hardness and durability.


Mohs Hardness Scale

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative ordinal scale that characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder materials to scratch softer ones. This scale ranges from 1 (talc) to 10 (diamond). Aquamarine ranks at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, placing it above many common gemstones used in jewelry, such as opal (5.5 to 6.5) and turquoise (5 to 6), but below the more robust sapphire (9) and diamond (10).


While aquamarine’s hardness indicates it can withstand daily wear, it also reveals that it is not invulnerable to scratching. For instance, household dust, which contains quartz (hardness 7), can potentially scratch aquamarine if not carefully handled.


Cleavage and Toughness

Beyond hardness, another critical factor is cleavage, which refers to the tendency of a mineral to break along specific planes of weakness. Aquamarine, like other beryls, exhibits poor cleavage, meaning it does not easily split along flat planes. However, this does not imply it is unbreakable; aquamarine can still chip or fracture upon impact, especially if the stone has inclusions or is subjected to a significant force.

Toughness, a measure of a gemstone’s resistance to breaking or chipping, is where aquamarine shows a reasonable performance. It is considered to have good toughness, meaning it can endure everyday bumps and knocks better than some softer or more brittle stones. Nonetheless, care should still be taken to protect aquamarine from harsh blows or pressure.

Practical Considerations for Aquamarine Engagement Rings

Having established the fundamental physical properties of aquamarine, we can now explore its practicality as an engagement ring stone. Engagement rings are typically worn daily and are exposed to various activities that can impact the gemstone. Therefore, several practical considerations come into play.

Daily Wear and Tear

Engagement rings are subject to continuous wear and tear, making it essential for the gemstone to resist scratches and maintain its appearance over time. While aquamarine’s hardness is sufficient for most daily activities, it is not impervious to damage. Activities such as gardening, cleaning, or exercising could expose the ring to rough surfaces or sharp impacts, risking scratches or chips.

To mitigate this risk, aquamarine engagement rings should be worn with mindfulness. Removing the ring during activities that could cause damage is advisable. Moreover, proper storage in a soft, padded box or pouch can prevent scratches when the ring is not worn.

Setting and Protection

The setting of an engagement ring plays a crucial role in protecting the gemstone. For aquamarine, settings that provide ample protection are highly recommended. Bezel settings, which encase the stone in a metal rim, offer superior protection compared to prong settings, which leave the stone more exposed. A halo setting, where smaller diamonds or gemstones surround the aquamarine, can also add a layer of defense against impacts.

Additionally, the choice of metal for the setting can influence the ring’s durability. Harder metals, such as platinum or 18k gold, can better withstand daily wear and provide robust support for the aquamarine.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance is essential to preserve the beauty and integrity of an aquamarine engagement ring. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water, using a soft brush to gently remove dirt and oils, can keep the stone looking vibrant. Avoiding harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners is important, as they can damage the gemstone or its setting.

Periodic professional inspections are also beneficial. A jeweler can check for any signs of wear or damage, ensuring the ring remains secure and the aquamarine stays in excellent condition.

Comparisons with Other Engagement Ring Gemstones

To further understand the suitability of aquamarine for engagement rings, it is helpful to compare it with other popular gemstones. Each gemstone has unique characteristics that influence its practicality and appeal.


Diamonds, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale, are the hardest natural material known, making them exceptionally resistant to scratches and ideal for daily wear. Their unparalleled brilliance and durability have made them the traditional choice for engagement rings. However, diamonds are significantly more expensive than aquamarine, and some may prefer the distinctive blue hue of aquamarine over the classic clear sparkle of diamonds.


Sapphires, including the popular blue variety, rate 9 on the Mohs scale, making them nearly as hard as diamonds and highly resistant to scratches. Sapphires also come in various colors, providing options for those seeking a unique look. While sapphires are generally more durable than aquamarine, they also tend to be more expensive, and their deep blue color may not appeal to everyone.


Emeralds, another variety of beryl like aquamarine, rank 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale but are known for their inclusions and fractures, which can make them more fragile. Despite their captivating green color, emeralds require careful handling and protective settings, similar to aquamarine. Therefore, from a durability perspective, aquamarine and emerald share similar challenges, though aquamarine may be slightly more robust due to fewer inclusions.

See Also: Emerald For An Engagement Ring

The Emotional and Symbolic Appeal of Aquamarine

Beyond the physical and practical considerations, the emotional and symbolic significance of aquamarine can greatly influence its appeal as an engagement ring stone.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Aquamarine has a rich history and cultural significance that enhances its allure. Ancient Romans believed aquamarine could protect sailors and ensure safe voyages, while medieval healers used it to treat ailments and promote overall well-being. These historical associations with protection, health, and tranquility add depth to the gemstone’s meaning.

Symbolism in Relationships

In the context of relationships, aquamarine is often associated with calmness, clarity, and communication. Its serene blue color evokes a sense of peace and stability, qualities that are highly desirable in a long-term partnership. Choosing aquamarine for an engagement ring can symbolize a commitment to maintaining harmony and open communication in the relationship, making it a meaningful choice for couples.

Case Studies and Real-Life Examples

To provide a well-rounded perspective, it is valuable to examine real-life examples and testimonials from individuals who have chosen aquamarine engagement rings.

Positive Experiences

Many couples who have selected aquamarine for their engagement rings report high levels of satisfaction. They often cite the gemstone’s unique color, affordability, and symbolic significance as key reasons for their choice. Positive experiences frequently highlight the stone’s ability to withstand daily wear when properly cared for and set in protective settings.

For instance, a couple from California shared their story of choosing an aquamarine engagement ring due to its beautiful blue hue, which reminded them of their shared love for the ocean. They opted for a bezel setting in platinum, ensuring the stone was well-protected. After several years of daily wear, the ring remained in excellent condition, requiring only routine cleanings and occasional professional inspections.

Challenges and Considerations

Conversely, there are cases where individuals have encountered challenges with aquamarine engagement rings. Some report minor scratches or chips after engaging in activities that subjected the ring to rough surfaces or impacts. These experiences underscore the importance of mindful wear and proper setting choice.

A woman from New York recounted her experience of chipping her aquamarine ring while moving furniture. She emphasized the lesson learned about removing the ring during such activities and opting for a more protective setting when the ring was repaired.

Is Aquamarine Too Soft for an Engagement Ring?

In conclusion, whether aquamarine is too soft for an engagement ring depends on various factors, including personal preferences, lifestyle, and the measures taken to protect and care for the gemstone.

Pros of Aquamarine Engagement Rings

Unique Aesthetic Appeal: Aquamarine’s distinctive blue color offers a unique and captivating alternative to traditional engagement ring stones.

Affordability: Compared to diamonds and other precious gemstones, aquamarine is more affordable, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious couples.

Symbolic Significance: The stone’s associations with tranquility, courage, and clear communication add emotional depth and meaning to an engagement ring.

Cons of Aquamarine Engagement Rings

Moderate Hardness: While aquamarine is reasonably hard, it is not as scratch-resistant as diamonds or sapphires, requiring mindful wear.

Potential for Damage: The gemstone can chip or fracture upon impact, necessitating protective settings and careful handling.

Maintenance Requirements: Regular cleaning and professional inspections are essential to maintain the stone’s appearance and integrity.
Ultimately, aquamarine can be a suitable and beautiful choice for an engagement ring, provided that prospective wearers are aware of its characteristics and take appropriate steps to care for and protect


You May Also Like


Giacoloredstones is a colored gem portal. The main columns are Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Garnet, Turquoise, Knowledges, News, etc.【Contact us: [email protected]

© 2023 Copyright