There are many diamond alternatives when it comes to colorless stones. We will be going over the 4 most common options: diamond, lab diamond, white sapphire and moissanite. We will sort through all the main points to consider, positive and negative, so you can make a more educated purchase! For visual learners, please watch the video below and for custom engagement inquiries, send us an email at email@example.com
Let’s start with natural diamonds! Today we have a multitude of options readily available for your center stone. Whether it’s colored gemstones or colored diamonds, natural colorless diamonds(in other words white) is still the leading choice.
Diamonds have a hardness of 10 on 10, an excellent choice for durability and long term wear.
How To Buy A Diamond: The Cut
When buying a diamond, the most important thing to consider is the cut. The cut will affect the brilliance of the diamond and the carat weight. If your diamond does not have a high quality cut it will not have that desired sparkle and ultimately the WOW factor you want for an engagement ring. The diamonds we provide for clients are cut within the last 10 years ensuring the highest standard of quality, because technology over the decades is constantly improving. This is why diamonds that where cut even 10 years ago do not live up to todays high standards and will not have the same brilliance. So if you are considering to buy a vintage diamond, please keep this in mind. There is always the possibility of having your diamond re-cut, however it can add an additional cost, anywhere from 200-400$ CAD and can reduce your carat weight.
The cut can also affect the weight because a diamond that does not have an excellent cut can often be seen with very deep underbelly’s and girdles. This means that all the additional carat weight you are paying for, will end up in the thickness and not in the width and length of the diamond. For example we’ve seen cases where 1.2cts where the same size as a 1ct diamonds because of there additional depths.
The Cost Of A 1ct Diamond Engagement Ring
The average cost of a 1ct natural diamond engagement ring can be anywhere from 7500 CAD up to 12K. The prices will fluctuate based on the designer you’re buying from, the quality of the diamond and how many additional carats you have on the ring (for example adding diamonds along the shank).
Today buying a diamond has become easier then ever, however we always suggest asking for our help to find a diamond or to have us review your selection before purchasing. Buying a diamond is very technical. Our team at Fine+Flux have taken diamond grading classes and have trained for many years on how to buy diamonds. So please reach out to us, because we can ensure to get you the biggest bang for your buck!
Lab diamonds are a synthetic alternative to natural diamonds that have become increasingly popular over the last decade. They are synthetically formed in laboratory's using either HPTP method (High pressure-high temperature) or CVD method (chemical vapor deposition).
The Cost Of A 1ct Lab Diamond Engagement Ring
Synthetic diamonds are an option primarily sought after for there alluring prices, often 20-40% less then a natural diamond. You can easily find a 1ct lab diamond engagement ring for prices as low 3500 CAD and up. Laboratory diamonds also claim to be an ethical option. However unfortunately most of these claims are false and we are here to demystify these allegations!
Are Lab Diamonds Really More Ethical & Sustainable?
Before we get started we want to address that we make significantly better margins when selling you lab then natural diamond. We are here as advisors to get you the best fit of gemstone or diamond based on your wants, needs and budget! We simply don’t find it ethical to sell you something we wouldn’t wear ourselves! There is a lot of greenwashing within the jewelry industry. We are an industry that has very little regulation and as a result anyone can make all sorts of claims without any fear of consequences. When buying an “ethical” option, you will be paying a premium, meaning there are higher prices associated. This is why we want to demystify what these ethical labels mean. So you can be sure you are actually receiving what it is that your paying for.
Just to give a little context as to why the rise of "green companies" has drastically increased over the last decade, the age group with the biggest buying power are millennials. Especially in the engagement ring and fine jewelry industry. As a company we know that one of the mane concerns for millennials are the environment and the impact we have on the environment based on our purchases. This is why many companies have built business around these green, sustainable and ethical ideologies. But ultimately it’s to increase sales.
Most lab diamonds are manufactured in India and China. Countries where the main sources of energy are produced by coal. This is important because to grow a diamond takes about 2-4 weeks and is formed by applying over 30 tones of pressure onto the seed (what the diamond grows from). This process takes a huge amount of electricity, which by no means is being fueled by a man pedaling on a bike in the back! It consumes tones of resources! Not only that but the metals used to produce these diamonds, one of them being graphite is mined within the same means as diamond mining.
Lab diamonds are often presented as an ethical option in opposition to the natural diamond which is being presented with insinuations of ties to blood diamonds. However blood diamonds only populate about 2% of diamonds on the market. This means that the likely hood of you ever seeing one is vary rare, especially since Canada has the Kimberly act. The Kimberly act is designed to stop diamonds that contribute to terrorist acts or to fuel wars from entering the country. All diamonds need to have a paper trail to ensure they have clean origins. So clients can stop worrying about blood diamonds. Diamond mining is a hard job, but a job non-the less and should not be viewed as slave labour. It provides millions of jobs for people around the world in contrast with lab diamonds, which are run by machines, giving very few jobs back to the community.
Are Lab Diamonds Valuable?
So we’ve touched on the “ethical” side of lab diamonds, now let’s touch on the investment side. Lab diamonds are 20-40% less then natural diamonds, however they are one of the worst investments you can make. Lab grown diamonds depreciate in value by 25 to 30% annually. Even though you are paying less initially, you will still be paying a good 3-4K and up, depending on carat weight. This means that if you are to buy something that wont be worth anything in a few years, you might as well buy a CZ for 1$. Lab diamonds, have 0 resell value. It is a common joke in the jewelry industry that as soon as you leave the jewelers your ring is worthless.
Be vary aware that the people selling you lab are not wearing lab. They are selling it because they make more margins then selling natural diamonds. If you want to buy a diamond engagement ring but aren’t willing to put down the full amount right away, you can always consider a 2-part project. We offer the opportunity use the "swap method". This is when we make your engagement ring with a white sapphire to start and when you are ready to put the money down for a diamond we can simply unset the prongs, take the sapphire out and replace it with a diamond. It’s easy and can be returned to you within the hour! Sticking to natural gemstones and diamonds is always a much better option and will hold it’s value!
Canadian Diamonds, Ethical Origin
If you are still unsure of buying a natural diamond for it's "ethical" or "unethical" beliefs. We always suggest buying Canadian diamonds before buying lab. They will be about 10% more then other natural diamonds however they will have a clean origin report and a Canadian leaf stamped on the girdle. So you can be sure of it's authenticity. Canadian diamonds are also known for having higher quality stones and strict re-forestation regulations, after the mine is no longer in use.
White Sapphire is an excellent diamond alternative. It has a hardness of 9-9.5 on 10, very durable. Sapphires come in every color of the rainbow however today we will be focusing on colorless sapphires, AKA: white sapphires.
The Cost Of A 1ct White Sapphire Engagement Ring
White sapphires are a fraction of the cost and honestly most people wont be able to tell the difference! A 1ct white sapphire engagement ring can start as low as 1800 CAD. The main contrast between a diamond and white sapphire is that sapphires aren’t as brilliant. This is because they have a lower refraction index then a diamond and have a slightly more grey look then a colorless diamond.
Often times the cut’s for natural gemstones aren’t as precise. Colored gemstones have a tendency of having deeper belly's, thicker girdles and less symmetrical cuts. These lower standards can render your sapphire with However, the fun thing is, is that white sapphire usually range between 250-850 a carat (in Canadian dollars). These reasonable prices make it easier to go for a higher quality gem in terms of clarity, color and cut with ought breaking the bank!
One thing to keep in mind is white sapphire can often have a very slight yellow hint to it. So you want to make sure you have an excellent colorless stone. When setting in yellow gold this is not an issue, but when setting your sapphire in very white metals such as platinum or 18K super white, a yellow undertone will be more noticeable and as a result, visually unpleasing.
For White sapphire engagement rings, a 1ct can start as low as 1800 CAD. Making a very interesting option to consider for younger couples! Send us an email at info@fineandflux if your interested!
Moissanite is a gemstone originally found on a meteorite, however today what we find on the market is synthetic. Moissanite has a hardness of 9 and a refraction index higher then a diamond. Moissanite has a very low point of entry in terms of price. You can easily find 1ct engagement rings within a 1-2K price range, making an alluring option for young couples.
Even though the prices for moissanite are lower then alternative engagement ring options, we still believe you are paying too high. Over the last few years, moissanite has blown up on social media platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram. This craze has sky-rocketed the demand and as a result the prices. However at the end of the day we believe it is a glorified CZ and that you are paying significantly more then you should. Like lab diamond it has 0 re-sell value.
Moissanite is known for having more sparkle then a diamond however do keep in mind they look completely different. For natural diamond, the brilliance looks almost like water, it sparkles beautifully. However moissanite has a very synthetic look. It’s flair shows pop’s of color, rendering it with a synthetic look. If you are looking to buy a moissanite as a diamond substitute, we suggest not going over 1ct. Because the larger you go, the more magnified this synthetic look becomes and the easier it is to tell it’s not a diamond.
As someone who has worked with moissanite, I can tell you that moissanite in natural daylight is slightly grey. When we film this gemstone, it is always in “un-natural” environments. Moissanite sparkles the most under direct spotlights in contrast with slightly dark environments. So on camera we are able to achieve these pops of color and brilliance. However I believe if you do buy moissanite, it will be a little bit disappointing because it wont have the same flair seen online.
Hope you enjoyed this article. If you are looking to create your own custom engagement ring you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more then happy to answer all your questions or provide quotes for you.
Please keep in mind we wrote this article to better inform you on the pros and cons of each colorless gemstone and diamond option, however it is ultimately your choice! You should always choose what you are most comfortable and like the most! Click here to view our engagement ring collection or send us an email to get started on creating a custom ring at email@example.com