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Stone Selection

Gemstone Education

If diamonds arent for you and you want an alternative gemstone for a center stone we can assist you in finding the perfect stone. If youre looking for an engagement ring center stone, we recommend the following gemstones, as they will hold up well and will not crack in an everyday piece, such as a ring; Sapphires, Rubies, Moissanite, Salt & Pepper Diamonds.  All other stones are too soft for everyday wear, especially as rings, since are hands are constantly moving and tend to bump into things. Porter Lyons is built on the belief that buying gemstones and designing should be an enjoyable experience! Our education guidelines will highlight everything you need to know so that you can feel knowledgeable and assured when making your selection. 



Both Sapphires and Rubies make great center stones for everyday wear.  Their evaluated on three qualities: hue, tone and saturation.  Sapphires come in all the color ways including white, which resembles a diamond for a more cost effective option. Therefore, to understand a sapphire and rubys' qualities, we depend upon the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) globally accepted standard for describing stones, see the 4 Cs of diamond quality here.


Moissaniteoriginally discovered in 1893 in a meteor crater, is a very rare and scarce material as it comes from space.  Therefore, moissanite as we know it is almost exclusively lab grown, meaning itanatomically the same as the real stone, just grown in a laboratoryMoissanite is a great option for a diamond alternative as it is the hardest stone besides a diamond and given great color and cut will shine beautifully.   


Salt and pepper diamonds are all unique in their color and windows which show carbon deposits. They are a great stone in terms of everyday wear and each one is truly one of a kind.