Diamonds vs. Gemstones: What to Know

Do you spend hours scrolling Instagram looking at engagement rings? Don’t worry, we totally get it. With rings on your mind, you’re probably wondering how to go about actually choosing the perfect ring for you (and gently nudging your S.O. *wink wink*). The first step is deciding on the perfect stone! While most choose diamonds, plenty of brides love the unique look of gemstones, either as a center stone or to compliment a diamond.  Not sure which is more your vibe? Learn about the differences (and similarities) between gemstones and diamonds, below. Then, browse the exclusive Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry collection and work with a REEDS Diamond Concierge team member to find the perfect ring for you.

Diamonds are technically gemstones.

Most believe that gemstones are colorful stones like rubies, sapphires, opals, and emeralds—but did you know that diamonds are technically gemstones? Diamonds are in fact precious gemstones made of carbon and are the most valuable per carat of all the gemstones. All other gemstones, besides diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, are considered semi-precious because they are more abundant than their precious counterparts.

There are hundreds of kinds of gemstones.

In total, there are about 200 kinds of gemstones. These include mineral crystals like topaz, rocks like opal, as well as organic materials like pearls and amber. Each gemstone is valued for its own beauty and location from which it came.

Color has many different meanings.

Diamonds are usually considered of higher quality the more colorless they are (unless you’re looking for a yellow diamond), while many gemstones are valued based on their color—or hue, tone, and saturation. For instance, sapphires actually come in many colors, but the most valuable are cornflower blue sapphires, with vivid saturation and a balanced tone.

Gemstones are more affordable.

Because diamonds are considered the most precious and rare, all other gemstones are more affordable per carat. Besides their beauty and unique look, gemstones make a great alternative to a diamond engagement ring for those on a budget.

Diamonds are stronger.

According to the Mohs scale of hardness, which rates a stone based on its durability, diamonds are the strongest gemstone. Therefore, diamonds are a great option for an engagement ring as it is not prone to chips when it is knocked and shows almost no signs of wear and tear. If you’re interested in a gemstone, sapphires and rubies are a great alternative as they rate closely behind a diamond in hardness. Talk to your jeweler about your options and setting styles to accommodate a gemstone.

Both diamonds and gemstones make a great option.

Whether you like the classic look of a diamond, the refined look of a sapphire, or the unique look of topaz, emerald or another gemstone, there are many beautiful options out there to create a ring unique to you as the symbol of love you share with your future spouse.


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