Diamond Alternatives For an Engagement Ring

If you are looking for traditional engagement rings, but worry about buying what is called a conflict or “blood diamond” from Africa, you might want to consider various alternative diamonds that are available on the market to use as the center piece for your engagement ring.


Natural Gemstones


An engagement ring does not have to have a diamond as its center pieces. Other natural gemstones have been used for jewelry and engagement rings for many years. Besides natural diamonds, two gemstones that are appropriate for use for engagement rings Sydney include white or colorless sapphires and white or colorless topaz. Sapphire and Topaz come in various colors in nature. Colorless sapphires and colorless topaz are rare in nature and natural grey to light yellow colored stones are often treated to make them colorless. Generally, sapphires and topaz are less expensive than natural diamonds.


Sapphires make good diamond stand-ins because their radiance and brilliance and hardness are close to that of natural stones. Sapphire prices range from a few dollars per carat to thousands of dollars per carat. The price of a sapphire can also be determined by its four C’s: color, clarity, cut, and carat. Topaz is the third hardest natural mineral behind diamonds and sapphires but lack their brilliance and fire. But the stone’s hardness allows it to take a dazzling polish that makes up for some of the lack luster.


Man-Made Diamonds


Man-made diamonds, also called synthetic, lab-created, manufactured, lab-grown, or cultured diamonds, are true diamonds. They have the same chemical, physical and optical qualities of natural gem, except that they are made by man, in a laboratory. Man-made stones can almost be distinguished from natural. Synthetics sold in jewelry stores should have some marking, such as laser etching, to identify it as being laboratory grown. Man-made diamonds are becoming more popular but are still not as common real stones or fake stones and only have a small share of the market.


Much like the natural stones, colored lab-grown diamonds are more common than colorless stones. In general man-made stones are less expensive than natural ones. However, because of their rarity and the higher demand for them, some man-made diamonds are actually more expensive than the real things. Most of the lab-grown stones produced today are still one carat or smaller and used in industrial applications.


Some companies that make synthetic diamonds are Apollo Diamond, Gemesis, Chatham, Tairus, and Adia Diamonds.


Diamond Simulates


Not to be confused with man-made or laboratory-grown diamonds, simulated or imitations diamonds are not diamonds at all. Simulates are made of other materials such as zirconium oxide (cubic zirconia) or silicon carbide (moissanite), and not carbon based, like real or man-made diamonds.


The best known and the least expensive example of a simulated diamond is cubic zirconia (CZ), which has been around since 1976. Other simulates include Russian Brilliants and Diamond Nexus, which are cubic zirconium based stones, albeit at a higher quality. Moissanite is a lab-created mineral that is a very good simulant. The stones are actually more brilliant than real diamonds and almost as hard. Moissanite is gaining a fan base despite the fact that it is quite expensive compared to natural diamonds


Visually, CZ and the other simulates are so similar to real diamonds that even an experienced jeweler or gemologist can not always tell the difference. However, tests using appropriate equipment will be able to pick out a CZ from real diamonds. White topaz and white sapphires when used as a diamond stand-in in an engagement ring or other jewelry are considered diamond simulates.


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