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Are pearl engagement rings a good idea?

yellow gold pearl engagement ring

Everyone is buzzing about pearl engagement rings ever since Emma Stone received a gorgeous pearl engagement ring from her fiancé, Dave McCary. Pearls symbolize loyalty, integrity, generosity, and purity, making them a fitting choice for your engagement. They’re an elegant and unique choice for an engagement ring. They’re also much more affordable than diamonds. But are pearl engagement rings a good idea? 

On the Moh’s scale, pearls have a hardness of 2.5-3, meaning they can easily be scratched. (For reference, diamonds are the hardest and rank at 10 on the Moh’s scale – only diamonds can scratch other diamonds.) Because your hands come into contact with so many different things throughout the day, it would be very easy for a pearl to become scratched. They’re not suitable for everyday wear. A pearl’s toughness (a stone’s resistance to chipping and breaking) is good but can become weakened due to aging and dehydration over time. Pearls are also porous and can become damaged from chemicals and acids such as hair spray, perfume, or household cleaners. 

pearl ring


Most engagement rings have prong-set center stones, meaning the stone is secured by tiny pieces of metal. Pearl engagement rings are different – many are not prong set and use a strong adhesive to secure the stone to the band of the ring. Unfortunately, these adhesives can weaken over time. Without prongs to hold onto the stone, a pearl can easily fall off of the ring and become lost.

The Bottom Line

If your heart is set on a pearl engagement ring, be prepared to replace the pearl at some point down the line. Pearls can quickly become damaged or lost. Make sure to remove your pearl ring when washing your hands, swimming, cleaning, or during any physical activity to preserve the stone. If you love pearls, you can still get a pearl fashion ring to wear for special occasions. 

You may want to consider other unique gemstones for your engagement ring instead that are more durable. Sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are a beautiful choice and are much harder than pearls. 

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