How to Choose a Gemstone That Is Right for Me? (2023)

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read



A gemstone can be a colorful, distinctive accent to your jewelry style, but which gemstone is best? There are many factors to consider when selecting your “signature” gemstone. From the perennially popular ruby, sapphire, and emerald to less well known but just as lovely options like tourmaline, garnet, aquamarine, and moonstone, it can be overwhelming to commit to a single stone.



In this guide, we will explain the following:

  • Choosing Your Best Gemstone
  • Color
  • Skin Tone
  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Availability
  • Timelessness
  • Meaning
  • Cost
  • Top 15 Gemstones
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Emerald
  • Aquamarine
  • Opal
  • Topaz
  • Citrine
  • Turquoise
  • Peridot
  • Garnet
  • Moonstone
  • Amethyst
  • Tourmaline
  • Pearl
  • Zircon
  • The Most Important Factor
  • Choosing an Engagement Ring with Your Signature Birthstone
  • Why Choose Just One?

Choosing Your Best Gemstone

There are many factors to consider when deciding on one beautiful gemstone to focus on for your personal style. The importance of different factors will vary for different individuals, but you should at least give some thought to each one as you select that perfect gemstone.

ColorWhat color or range of colors is the gemstone available in? Do you like only one particular hue, or would a rainbow of shades best suit your style? You might prefer a vibrant, noticeable shade, or a more subtle, subdued color could best suit your fashionable flair. 

Skin Tone – How will a specific gemstone color look against your skin tone? If your skin tone fluctuates throughout the year, such as becoming tanned or darker in the summer months when you may be outdoors more, consider year-round wear when deciding on a gemstone.

Durability –  If it is your goal to wear the gemstone on a daily basis, choose one with greater hardness to withstand daily tasks. How you will wear the gem – as earrings or a ring, or both – will also impact how durable it should be to be safely worn as your signature stone.

Versatility – If you want to wear the same type of gemstone in many different pieces and for different occasions, you will want to choose a gem that has versatile appeal to coordinate with different clothing, styles, and occasions, from daily wear to special events.

Availability – While very rare gemstones are certainly eye-catching, they can be much more difficult to match in multiple pieces of jewelry. Likewise, you may not want a stone that could be considered too popular and common as it is seen everywhere.

TimelessnessFlashy gems may be very trendy for a moment, such as when a celebrity features one in an engagement ring, but will the gemstone still appeal to you years later? Consider how timeless a stone may be so it will age well as your style changes over time.

Meaning – Many people select a signature gemstone that has meaning to them, either through the symbolism of its color, a significant birthstone, or an association with a particular person, place, or event. A meaningful gem is one you will be happy to wear for years to come.

Cost – Consider the affordability of a gemstone if you plan to select it for many different jewelry pieces. Vintage jewelry may be a more affordable and lovely option, or consider gems that may have undergone treatments to enhance their color or clarity at a lower price point if necessary.

Top 10 Gemstones

• Ruby

While diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings, opting for a ruby sets your ring apart and gives it a unique and distinctive look. It's a bold and eye-catching choice that can showcase your individuality.


• Sapphire

Sapphires are one of the hardest gemstones, second only to diamonds. This makes them an excellent choice for an engagement ring that will endure daily wear and remain beautiful for a lifetime.


• Emerald

Emeralds are renowned for their lush green color, which is both vibrant and elegant. The rich green hue of an emerald is captivating and makes for a unique and eye-catching engagement ring.


• Aquamarine

Aquamarines are known for their stunning blue color, which is reminiscent of the clear blue waters of the ocean. Aquamarines are generally more affordable than diamonds, which can make them an attractive option for those with budget considerations. 


Suzanne was amazing! I utilized the layaway service and it was a breeze. Ring made its way to Texas and was even more gorgeous in person."
 Chloe G verified buyer

• Opal

Opals are known for their mesmerizing play of colors, which can include flashes of red, green, blue, and other vibrant hues. This captivating and ever-changing display of colors can make an opal engagement ring truly enchanting and visually striking.


• Topaz

Topaz is generally more affordable than some other colored gemstones, making it an attractive option for those with budget considerations. You can often get a larger and more impressive topaz stone for your budget compared to other gems.


• Citrine

Citrine is a relatively hard and durable gemstone, suitable for everyday wear in an engagement ring setting. With proper care, it can withstand the rigors of daily life. Some individuals choose citrine for their engagement rings due to a personal connection to the color yellow or a meaningful experience associated with the gemstone.


• Turquoise

Turquoise is known for its vibrant blue-green color, which can range from pale blue to deep greenish-blue. Turquoise rings are known for their Bohemian and Southwestern aesthetics. Choosing turquoise as a part of your jewelry collection or as an engagement ring stone can be a reflection of your personal style and appreciation for its unique beauty.


• Peridot

Peridot has a unique and distinctive appearance that sets it apart from more common engagement ring stones like diamonds. Its color and characteristics make it an eye-catching choice. A vintage peridot ring can become a cherished family heirloom, passed down through generations as a symbol of love and commitment.


• Garnet

Garnets are available in a wide range of colors, including deep red and intense purple. Garnets can offer a unique and distinctive look for your engagement ring. While diamonds are the most common choice, selecting a colored gemstone like garnet sets your ring apart and makes a bold and eye-catching statement.


• Moonstone

Moonstones are known for their dreamy and ethereal appearance. Moonstones have been associated with love and fertility for centuries. In many cultures, they are considered a symbol of passionate love and are believed to enhance emotional connections and promote harmony between partners.


My experience with Vintage Diamond Ring was so excellent I really had to think about it for a while. First their selection of jewelry is profound. The quality is superior.”

 Claude P verified buyer

• Amethyst

Amethysts are known for their beautiful purple color, which can range from pale lavender to deep violet. Amethyst, with its purple hues, tends to complement a wide range of skin tones. It can look particularly striking against fair to medium skin tones. The contrast between the cool, purple tones of amethyst and warm undertones in the skin can create an attractive and harmonious visual effect.


• Tourmaline

Tourmaline is known for its stunning array of colors, making it one of the most colorful gemstones available. It comes in a variety of hues, including pink, green, blue, red, and more. This wide range of colors allows you to select a tourmaline that matches your favorite color or holds special significance.


• Pearl

Pearls have been treasured for centuries for their timeless and classic beauty. They have a natural luster and iridescence that exudes understated elegance and sophistication. Pearls are often associated with purity, innocence, and new beginnings, making them a meaningful choice for an engagement ring that represents the start of a lifelong journey together.



I've purchased two vintage rings from Suzanne over the past decade and my wife has loved both. Great service, communication and speedy delivery.”

 Lee S verified buyer


• Zircon

Zircon comes in a variety of colors, including blue, white, yellow, green, and more. Blue zircon, in particular, is a popular choice for engagement rings due to its captivating hue. Zircon's color range allows you to select a stone that matches your personal preferences.


The Most Important Factor

One single factor is most important when choosing the right gemstone for you, and that is the joy you get from wearing it. If you love the color, meaning, style, and other features of the stone, you will happily wear it regularly or choose many pieces featuring the same elegance, and it will come to be a central feature of your individual jewelry style.

Choosing an Engagement Ring With Your Signature Gemstone

Once you have chosen what you believe to be the right gemstone for you, each engagement ring must still be carefully selected to showcase that gem to its best advantage. Take the time to try on different pieces of various carat weights, cuts, and shapes to determine what you like best and what type of jewelry best complements your features. Also consider the type of metal the stone may be mounted in, the impact of any accent stones, and how different settings can change the look of a stone. Not every piece may look as appealing to you or suit you, even if it is your favorite gemstone.

Why Choose Just One?

After doing a great deal of research on the “right” gemstone for you, it may still be difficult to narrow down the selection to just one type of stone. Depending on the meaning of different stones, how different gems may coordinate with your various looks, or what types of jewelry you like to wear on different occasions, you may prefer to select more than one gemstone.

Other options might include choosing a color family – blue gemstones, for example – and enjoying several stones that share similar hues. You may even find that other traits, such as a particular stone cut or shape, appeal to you more than simply the same gemstone. As you narrow down your jewelry preferences, you will discover what works best for you.

You may even find that certain jewelry eras, such as Art Deco, Victorian, or Edwardian jewelry appeal to you most, rather than a single gem or gemstone trait. Whatever you choose as your “right” gemstone, taking the time to find which pieces and stones work best for you will help you feel more confident and fashionable with every jewelry piece you wear.


Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions or contact us here.

Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:

No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.

Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:

Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of promise rings today!


Suzanne Sachs

Suzanne has always believed vintage rings can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. She ultimately started in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.


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