A recent trend in engagement ring design is to use your birthstone as the center piece.

Check out the chart above. Saved from a cherished issue of Town and Country – my favorite magazines for years. If you are set on your using birthstone please keep in mind, all birthstones are not created equally. You want your ring to last correct?  The key to a long-lasting ring is the hardness of the gem.

The Moh’s Hardness Scale measures the durability of a gemstone on a scale of 1-10. The diamond, with or with color, scores 10 out of 10. At the bottom is the beautiful pearl at 2.5. Easily damaged, pearls are not recommended for an engagement ring.

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If you are considering a birthstone for your engagement ring, first check out whether it is resilient enough to withstand everyday wear. If a gemstone scores less than 7.5 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, think twice about considering it.

January:
Birthstone: Garnet
6.5-7.5 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – not recommended for an engagement ring.

February:
Birthstone: Amethyst
7.0 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – not recommended for an engagement ring.

March:
Birthstone: Aquamarine
7.5-8.0 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – not the hardiest of gems, but worth considering for an engagement ring.

April:
Birthstone: Diamond
10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – top of the list.

May:
Birthstone: Emerald
7.5-8.0 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, but emeralds normally have inclusions – minute cavities trapped inside the gem – which makes them much more fragile than the Moh’s Scale suggests. Avoid for an engagement ring.

June:
Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone and Alexandrite
At 2.5 on the Moh’s Scale, pearls are a definite no-no, as are moonstones, which score 6.0-6-5. Alexandrites score a more robust 8.5, so if you are a June baby, this is only birthstone engagement ring we would recommend.

July:
Birthstone: Ruby
9.0 on the Moh’s Scale – perfectly suited to an engagement ring.

August:
Birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel
Avoid peridot and sardonyx – a type of onyx – which both score 7.0 on the Moh’s scale, while spinel is a more resilient 8.0 and therefore suitable for an engagement ring.

September:
Birthstone: Sapphire
9.0 on the Moh’s Scale – perfectly suited to an engagement ring.

October:
Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline
At 5.5-6.5 on the Moh’s Scale, opals are easily scratchable, while tourmalines (7.0-7.5) don’t quite make the grade either. Avoid both for a birthstone engagement ring.

November:
Birthstones: Citrine and Topaz
7.0 and 8.0 respectively on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, opt for a topaz birthstone engagement ring if you are born in November.

December:
Birthstones: Tanzanite, Blue zircon, Turquoise and Blue topaz
December babies are spoilt for choice with their birthstones, but only one – blue topaz, which scores 8.0 on the Moh’s Scale – is robust enough to consider for an engagement ring. You can probably get away with blue zircon (7.5), but steer clear of tanzanite (6.5-7.0) and turquoise (5.0-6.0).