12 Gemstones to Propose With: A Complete Guide



Whether you’re familiar with fine jewelry or entering the industry for the very first time, one thing’s for certain: most engagement rings feature a classic diamond. Famously beloved, this stone’s timeless look and unparalleled durability has made it the leading choice for over 80 years. 

That being said, there are other gemstones to consider for potential ring buyers. And better yet, there are many pros to opting for a different stone: they can be lower in cost, capture a unique look, and may hold special meaning to the wearer.

If you’re in the market for a gemstone ring, there are a few things you should consider. Let’s start with the basics:

A gemstone’s hardness is ranked on the Mohs scale. Introduced in 1822, this scale is a universal method for measuring the hardness of gems and minerals. It indicates the stone’s resistance to scratching or how its surface will respond to a sharp point. 

Still used today, the Mohs scale ranks a gemstone’s durability from 1-10 (10 being the hardest). For example: a diamond, commonly known as the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth, ranks a 10. All other gemstones will rank lower in durability as the scale descends.

The more durable the stone, the longer it lasts over time. As a general rule, stones with a ranking of 7 or above on the Mohs scale are considered suitable for everyday wear. If you opt for a softer stone, be aware that your ring may require special maintenance or you’ll likely have to replace it over time due to scratches or chips.

So before you decide on which gemstone is right for you, research its unique characteristics and general durability.

Here are 15 beautiful gemstones (and their hardness ranking) to consider for your ring: 

Morganite: 7.5 - 8

Morganite ranks between 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs scale. Known for its romantic look, the stone evokes a feminine, light pink hue and glitters beautifully in the light.

Amethyst: 7

A member of the quartz family, Amethyst’s vibrant purple hue is easy to love. Ranging from light lilac to deep purple, this stone was once reserved for royalty and ranks a solid 7 on the Mohs scale.

 Ruby: 9

A proud member of the “Big Four” gemstones, rubies are famous for their deep red hue. They are also one of the most durable gems, ranking a solid 9 on the Mohs scale. It’s important to note that natural ruby is not a budget-friendly stone (generally more expensive than diamonds), but we offer both natural and lab grown options at June. 

Turquoise: 5 - 7

Turquoise is one of the world’s oldest gemstones. Known for its vibrant blue-green hue, the stone comes in various shades. Its 5 - 7 ranking on the Mohs scale makes it a less common choice for engagement rings, but it can be used with proper maintenance.

Emerald: 7.5 - 8

Emeralds are modern and vintage all at once. Part of the “Big Four” gemstones, their famous green composition symbolizes rebirth, renewal, and spring and has a hardness ranking of 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs scale. And being one of the most expensive gemstones, we offer both natural and lab grown options at June. 

Moissanite: 9.25

Moissanite is a popular “diamond imitation” stone. Ranking just behind its twin on the Mohs scale at 9.25, it is incredibly durable and consistently lower in price. It is also known for its radiance (ability to reflect light), so there’s plenty of sparkle to go around.

Sapphire: 9

An accessory of many hues, Sapphires exist in all colors of the rainbow: violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, and more. This “Big Four” gemstone is famously durable, ranking a strong 9 on the Mohs scale. We offer both natural and lab grown sapphires at June. 

Tourmaline: 7 - 7.5

Tourmaline is a beautiful stone with an extremely wide color variety. With a hardness ranking of 7 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale, this gem will last with proper maintenance and has endless pop color potential.

Topaz: 8

Topaz can be found in a variety of colors (including colorless)—blue being the most common, and golden orange-yellow being the most valuable. It ranks a solid 8 on the Mohs scale, making it perfectly suitable for everyday wear.

Onyx: 6 - 7

Color isn’t the only way to make a statement. With a timeless black shade, Onyx evokes a bold, sleek look and ranks a 6 - 7 on the Mohs scale. Incredibly versatile, this gem pairs well with any gold color or gemstone.

Citrine: 7

Another member of the quartz family, citrine is a beautiful yellow-orange stone. Ranking a suitable 7 on the Mohs scale, Its name is derived from the French word, “citron”, which means lemon.

Opal: 5 - 6.5

With a famously angelic look and a 5 - 6.5 Moh’s scale ranking, opals are absolutely magical. This gemstone offers a full spectrum of color, but they can also appear colorless, opaque, translucent or transparent. 




When it comes to engagement rings, there’s no shortage of precious stones to choose from. Discuss with your jeweler which gemstone best suits your setting type, lifestyle, or budget. If you prefer a traditional look with a lower price tag, consider a diamond alternative.


With a dedication to fine jewelry crafted from quality materials, June creates modern heirlooms made to last. Shop our collection or create a custom ring with our design team