We may tout a lot of colored gemstones around these parts, but we know a lot of you are totally down for that classic diamond look. And these days, you really don't have to feel guilty about snagging a real diamond from ring designers who source ethical and conflict-free diamonds. But there are other options you might want to know about which are created without any impact to the earth AND are more budget-friendly.
We trawled some of our fave indie jewelers to get the scoop on diamond alternatives such as lab created diamonds and moissanite engagement rings. It was illuminating and awesome — you can avoid hurting the environment and still get a truly unique and gorgeous ring…
Moissanite engagement rings
Moissanite was first discovered in Arizona inside a meteor crater! It's a natural gemstone but nearly all of it is now created in a lab, so there is no environmental disruption in the creation of the gem.
The biggest difference between diamonds and moissanite (besides being two different gemstone families entirely) is that moissanite gems have about twice the amount of fire that a diamond has. A gemstone's sparkle is made up of two parts: fire and brilliance. Brilliance is the white light, while fire is the colored rainbow light. Jewelers can tell the difference between moissanite and diamond because of the fire, but most people cannot see the difference. Mainly, more color comes out of moissanite than out of a diamond's sparkle. It's like traditional meets just the tiniest bit of offbeat!
The Mohs hardness scale score is 9.25 for moissanite, which is between diamond (10) and sapphire (9). When something lives on your hand, you definitely want to make sure it's durable.
Moissanite is much more affordable than diamond, meaning you can get bigger stones at more affordable prices.
Other lab-created diamonds
In the creation process of a lab-created diamond, there is also no environmental impact because they are literally created in a lab. They are optically, chemically, and physically identical to natural diamonds. Why is that good? Lab-created diamonds tend to be 20-30% more affordable than natural diamonds, so you can get a bigger size or higher grade for the same price.
The environmental impact of earth-mined diamonds is still big. No matter what, you can feel good about using them for their sourcing practices. And for both moissanite and lab grown diamonds, they work with the best and most established vendors in the industry. Breathe easy, y'all!
Now that you know what's up with these types of diamond alternatives, you probably want to see some examples, right? I've got you…
Moissanite engagement rings
Lab created diamond rings
The beauty of custom jewelry is that every piece is individually crafted, so you can choose the specific metals, gemstones, engraving, details, dragon heads, sword imagery… etc. etc. etc. that will go into your ring. You have the power to create a truly epic ring that is completely YOU. And it can absolutely include a diamond alternative.