If you're planning to ask your significant other for her hand in marriage soon but are concerned about the labor conditions and other ethical concerns surrounding the modern diamond and gemstone industry, you may be investigating your other options. While there are a number of less expensive stones that can provide the same sparkle and clarity as a diamond, you may be worried that your betrothed will view the purchase of anything other than a diamond as "cheap" or an unflattering reflection of your view of her worth. What are your ethical options if your loved one has her heart set on a clear, sparkling ring that will hold its value for decades to come? Read on to learn more about your natural diamond alternatives.
The "recipe" for the creation of a diamond is fairly simple -- carbon atoms placed under a great deal of pressure. In nature, this process can take thousands (even millions) of years; however, in a laboratory, high-pressure machines can create a flawless diamond in only a matter of hours. These lab-created diamonds are chemically identical to those found in natural mines throughout the world but carry none of the ethical or legal stigmas often associated with mined diamonds.
In addition to the ethical considerations, lab-created diamonds hold several other advantages over natural diamonds. Because of the decreased processing and travel time (and associated expenses), they're often available at a much lower price than natural diamonds, despite being just as valuable on resale. If you're looking for a certain cut or size (for example, to fit an antique or heirloom setting), it can also be much easier to find or even custom-order a lab-created diamond rather than trying to find a loose natural diamond that fits the bill.
Although cubic zirconia (CZ) is the stone most often associated with "fake" diamond rings, moissanite (or silicon carbide) actually poses many more similarities to natural diamonds. Rated a 9.5 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale (only 0.5 below the diamond), moissanite provides high clarity and sparkle at a fraction of the price of a natural or lab-created diamond. While a moissanite engagement ring won't be as valuable as a natural or lab-created diamond ring, it will retain its value well and can be the perfect option for those on limited budgets or who wish to later swap out an artificial stone for a lab-created diamond.
For more information about moissanite rings, contact a jeweler near you, like Vancouver Moissanite.