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The Best Gemstones for Everyday Wear, and Why

by Elise Jewelry 31 Dec 2023

Caring for your jewelry and ensuring its optimal condition involves several methods. However, a potent way to guarantee its longevity is by choosing a stone that can endure daily wear.

Various factors contribute to a stone's suitability for daily wear, including its color, cuts, shapes, hardness, and vulnerability to damage in different ways.

Understanding the intricacies of what makes a stone suitable or unsuitable for daily wear in jewelry often requires the expertise of a professional jewelry artisan or lapidary. Nonetheless, it's important to note that the majority of stones used in jewelry, especially handmade pieces, are well-suited for daily wear, even those considered more delicate.

While diamonds are a common choice due to their exceptional hardness and durability, there is a plethora of other stones suitable for daily wear. To add a touch of excitement, why not explore the diverse options available?

Indeed, variety adds spice to life!

The Best Natural Stones For Everyday Wear

Given that my expertise lies in crafting handmade jewelry with natural stones, my knowledge is most profound in this domain. Consequently, some of the information I'm about to share may differ slightly if you opt for gem-faceted stones instead of naturally cut ones. However, in most cases, the details will remain consistent across various grades, cuts, and styles of jewelry for these stones.

It's worth noting that the stones I've chosen typically exhibit vibrant colors and exquisite beauty, reflecting my appreciation for the diverse hues found in nature. The ability to celebrate every color and shade in the handmade jewelry I create and offer is a key aspect of my fondness for these stones.

With numerous factors to consider, I won't delve into every intricate detail explaining why a particular stone is suitable for everyday wear. Instead, I'll focus on the crucial aspects, providing you with the necessary information to make informed choices for your everyday jewelry, avoiding excessive technicalities.

By the end of this article, my goal is for you not only to have gained insights into some of your favorite natural stone jewelry but also to have a better understanding of the stones themselves. This knowledge will aid you in making informed decisions when purchasing new jewelry and deciding on your everyday wear.


Amethyst, a type of Quartz, is highly admired for its enchanting purple color, making it one of the most popular and visually appealing stones. Jewelry makers favor these stones not only for their beauty but also for their durability.

These stones are versatile and require minimal special care, making them suitable for various jewelry pieces like bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings. They serve as an excellent choice, especially for those who are still learning the ropes of jewelry care, making them a thoughtful gift.

Moreover, Amethyst holds the distinction of being February's birthstone, adding an extra layer of significance and making it a captivating choice for crafting stunning birthstone jewelry.


Aquamarine, a captivating gemstone, is favored by jewelers, partly due to its durability and the various shades of blue and clear it exhibits. It's particularly fitting that Aquamarine is one of March's birthstones, as its pale blues serve as a perfect reminiscent of crisp March mornings.

In terms of hardness, most Aquamarine falls somewhere between Quartz and Topaz, both known for their durability. However, it's worth noting that some Aquamarine may display visible cracking, rendering it slightly more fragile upon impact. Additionally, certain stones may contain a small amount of liquid water encased within, making them a bit more delicate but fascinating to observe.

Despite these variations, Aquamarine is generally suitable for all styles of jewelry and doesn't require special care or cleaning to maintain its optimal appearance.


Citrine earns its place on this list because it is essentially the same stone as Amethyst, having undergone a second heating process that alters its composition and color. While naturally occurring Citrine tends to have a more subdued pale yellow hue, heat-treated Citrine boasts the same durability and hard-wearing qualities as Amethyst.

Whether naturally occurring or heat-treated, Citrine can showcase the glitter and beautiful banding of the stone, sometimes even more effectively than Amethyst. However, users should exercise caution not to subject the stone to rapid temperature changes. Additionally, prolonged exposure to bright sunlight can cause Citrine to fade and lose some of its color, making it advisable to avoid turning Citrine jewelry into a suncatcher.

Citrine also holds significance as another birthstone, perfect for celebrating the yellow and golden tones of November just before the onset of winter. Birthstone jewelry crafted from Citrine comes in a diverse range of shapes, styles, and hues, spanning from the palest yellow to dazzling, glittering gold-colored stones.


Emeralds rank just behind Rubies and Sapphires in terms of precious gemstone durability. They boast incredible resilience, with numerous examples of Emerald jewelry standing the test of literal centuries while retaining their original beauty.

These stones are celebrated not only for their vibrant green hue but also for their exceptional durability and adaptability in jewelry.

The primary precaution with Emeralds, like with most stones in jewelry, is to avoid steam cleaning or cleaning in an ultrasonic cleaner. Both methods can potentially cause fractures along pre-existing, albeit often invisible, micro-fractures in the stone.

Incidentally, Emeralds are also designated as May's birthstone, adding a brilliant green touch just in time for the arrival of Spring.


Garnets come in several different types, but the reassuring news is that all of them are durable and well-suited for daily wear. Garnets resist easy scratching and generally won't fracture or chip unless subjected to a relatively hard blow.

These exquisite stones display a wide range of colors, with most falling within the scarlet-red to red-orange spectrum. They make excellent gifts for loved ones, particularly suitable for romantic jewelry, and exude a sultry and elegant charm on formal occasions.

Of course, Garnets are also recognized as January's birthstone, making them perfect for creating gorgeous birthstone jewelry in both natural stone and fine jewelry options.

Lapis Lazuli

Taking a deviation from the usual, Lapis Lazuli is a majestic blue stone that has been treasured for millennia, partly due to its durability, allowing it to endure for centuries in decorative frescoes, jewelry, and jeweled inlays.

In natural stone jewelry, Lapis Lazuli stands out with its rich blues adorned with distinctive patterns of white and gold.

These stones are also fairly durable and well-suited for everyday wear. While they can be scratched, it's typically not a significant concern in most jewelry designs.

Lapis Lazuli is also one of December's traditional birthstones, perfectly aligning with the blues, whites, and gold flakes in the stone that mirror the temperature, snow, and rich sentiments of the season.


Peridot's exquisite shades of delicate green make it one of the most beautiful gemstone colors, offering a distinct advantage for everyday jewelry wear.

Being August's birthstone, Peridot lends itself to creating delicate and elegant birthstone jewelry.

Moderately hard and relatively resistant to both scratches and fractures, Peridot withstands normal wear and tear well. However, to prevent damage, it's advisable not to subject the stone to excessive force.

A precaution to note is that it's not recommended to wear Peridot jewelry while cooking. Sulfuric acid, along with several other acids present in onions, tomatoes, and various vegetables, can potentially damage Peridot. Therefore, it's advisable to remove Peridot jewelry before cooking and ensure hands are thoroughly washed before putting it back on.


Rubies, falling within the red color range of Sapphires, rank among the most durable gemstones. They are robust, resistant to scratches and fractures, and excel in all styles of jewelry. Rubies and Sapphires, with almost no cleavage risk, are unlikely to fracture with regular wear and tear.

While Rubies are highly resilient, it's prudent to remove Ruby jewelry when engaging in activities like cooking or doing laundry. Boric acid and most cooking acids can etch the surface of these stones.

The captivating red hue of Rubies is not only visually striking but also holds significance as a birthstone. July babies are fortunate to have a birthstone that endures everyday wear exceptionally well in various types of jewelry.


Sapphires, among my favorite stones, share much of the information applicable to Rubies.

Their durability for everyday wear is remarkable, and Sapphires boast one of the broadest color ranges, excluding only red. Red Sapphires are termed Rubies.

While Blue Sapphires traditionally represent September's birthstone, September babies have the flexibility to choose their favorite color of Sapphire for their birthstone jewelry. After all, the durability of Sapphires allows for versatility in everyday wear, making them a fantastic choice in jewelry of any color.


Last but certainly not least, Tanzanite may be a recent addition to the world of gemstones, but its impact has been significant.

Tanzanite possesses a reasonable hardness, comparable to that of Amethyst or Peridot, both of which also feature on this list. The only exception is that Tanzanite is prone to cleaving or fracturing a bit more easily than most of the stones listed here. It's important to avoid subjecting it to rough conditions or impacts.

Fortunately, for most wearers, everyday situations don't usually pose any problems for Tanzanite, as people generally don't wear jewelry in rough conditions.

Moreover, the blue-violet hues of Tanzanite provide a delightful addition to the standard blue colors of December's other birthstones, resulting in birthstone jewelry that exudes regality and majesty.

Stones That Need A Little More Care

Wearing these stones every day is perfectly fine if you wish to do so; however, a bit more caution is advisable compared to the other stones mentioned in this list.

Moonstone - Prone to Fracturing

Moonstone jewelry requires additional care to prevent accidental impacts or drops, as these stones can relatively easily fracture. It's worth noting that Larvikite, often referred to as Black Moonstone, tends to be more durable.

Ethiopian Opal - Susceptible to Water Damage

Opals form over millions of years as water deposits silicates in an area. While this process results in stunningly colorful Opals, it also means they are soft stones prone to scratching. Some Opals, such as Ethiopian Opals, are hydrophane, meaning they change color when submerged in liquid. It's crucial to avoid immersing them in liquids as they will absorb water and alter their color. Although they may revert back to their original colors after a couple of weeks of drying out, this is not always guaranteed.

Pearl - Easily Scratched, Occasionally Fragile

Depending on the treatment during the polishing and preparation of pearls for jewelry, they can sometimes become fragile and prone to crushing. Even when this doesn't occur (fortunately, fragile pearls are becoming less common), the natural nacre forming the pearl is still susceptible to scratching. It's essential to keep sharp materials away from pearl necklaces and earrings.


Why is the choice of stone important for everyday jewelry wear?

The choice of stone is crucial for everyday jewelry wear because it directly impacts the jewelry's durability and longevity. Factors such as color, cuts, shapes, hardness, and susceptibility to damage play a role in determining a stone's suitability for daily wear.

Do I need to be a professional jewelry artisan to understand stone suitability for daily wear?

While expertise in jewelry crafting can provide in-depth knowledge, it's not essential for the average wearer. This article simplifies the information, making it accessible for individuals seeking to understand the basics of choosing stones for everyday wear.

Why are diamonds commonly chosen for jewelry, and are there alternative options?

Diamonds are often chosen for their exceptional hardness and durability. However, there are various alternative stones, as highlighted in the article, offering diverse colors and styles for those seeking something beyond the conventional.

What is the significance of birthstones, and how do they influence jewelry choices?

Birthstones hold cultural and symbolic significance, often representing a specific month. They can influence jewelry choices, adding personal meaning and significance to the wearer. The article features stones like Amethyst, Aquamarine, Citrine, Emerald, Garnet, Lapis Lazuli, Peridot, Ruby, Sapphire, and Tanzanite, which are associated with specific birth months.

Are there specific precautions for wearing certain stones, like Peridot and Emerald?

Yes, precautions are advised for some stones. For example, Peridot should be kept away from sulfuric acid and other acids found in vegetables during cooking. Emeralds, like many other stones, should avoid steam cleaning or ultrasonic cleaning to prevent potential fractures along micro-fractures.

Can stones like Moonstone, Ethiopian Opal, and Pearls be worn every day?

While these stones can be worn daily, extra caution is needed. Moonstone is prone to fracturing, Ethiopian Opal can be damaged by water, and Pearls are easily scratched and, at times, fragile. Careful handling is recommended to ensure their longevity.

Can Tanzanite be worn in everyday situations?

Yes, Tanzanite can be worn every day, but it requires some caution. It has a reasonable hardness but can cleave or fracture more easily than some other stones. However, everyday situations typically do not pose problems for Tanzanite wearers.

Why is variety emphasized in choosing stones for jewelry?

Variety adds excitement and personalization to jewelry choices. While diamonds are a common choice, exploring diverse options allows individuals to express their unique preferences and celebrate the richness of natural stones.

How can I care for delicate stones like Opals and Pearls to ensure their longevity?

Delicate stones like Opals and Pearls require special care. Avoid submerging Opals in liquids to prevent color changes and handle Pearls with caution, keeping them away from sharp materials. Following these guidelines will help maintain their beauty over time.

What is the significance of birthstone jewelry, and how can it be personalized?

Birthstone jewelry holds personal significance as it represents the wearer's birth month. It can be personalized by choosing stones associated with specific birth months, creating unique and meaningful pieces that reflect individual tastes and preferences.


In the world of jewelry, choosing stones is crucial for both style and everyday durability. Beyond diamonds, a diverse range of natural stones, from Amethyst's purples to Emerald's greens, offers vibrant options. This article highlights that many stones are suitable for daily wear, adding both color and personal flair to jewelry choices. Whether following birthstone traditions or opting for stones requiring extra care, the variety in natural stone jewelry caters to diverse preferences. Ultimately, embracing this variety adds excitement and personalization to the timeless allure of natural stones.

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