Why Alternative engagement rings are popular today?
Even though diamonds are more affordable now than a century and a half ago, not all brides consider them to be "a girl's best friends". Perhaps this statement was true in a time when a sparkling gemstones was a worthy investment, and girls sacrificed personal interests for the good of the family when getting married. Today, young people prefer to create equal partnership marriages, and girls are more willing to invest personal capital in education, travel, or cryptocurrencies.
However, engagement rings, even with the new pace and style of life, are still the most important and romantic jewelry. Their meaning doesn't change, nor does the design. And if you want to get non traditional engagement rings with a colorless white gemstone, there are at least five ways to do it.
In addition, socially responsible consumption is growing in popularity every year. And natural diamonds most often do not fit into this trend. Responsible young people try to replace this stone with a stone grown in a laboratory or a natural colored gemstone. Their beauty and brilliance are not inferior to a natural diamond, while their price can sometimes be several times less.
The high cost and low investment value of diamonds are just two reasons why you might choose an alternative engagement rings. In this article, we will focus on colorless or white minerals, which are excellent substitutes for alternative engagement rings. In some cases, you will hardly be able to tell the difference without an expert.
Moissanite Engagement Rings
In terms of its characteristics, it is a full analog of diamonds, which have the same optical properties (and are just as isotropic) as natural ones. However, moissanite should not be confused with lab-grown diamonds. The latter are formed when carbon is subjected to high temperatures and high pressures in special chambers. Moissanite is made from a different element: silicon carbide.
The formula for producing the synthetic analog was patented by Edward Goodrich Acheson on February 28, 1893. He invented powdered silicon carbide (SiC), and as a result, he not only set up large-scale production of carborundum but also invented the furnace in which the synthetic material is still produced today. The hardness according to the Mohs scale is 9.25, which is close to the benchmark. It is also safe to say that it is impossible to tell moissanite of good quality from a diamond by sight and without special equipment. But that is not the only thing that makes moissanite a great substitute. The low cost is also a temptation to choose Moissanite engagement rings. As a rule, the price depends on the size and color.
Price: One carat of moissanite can cost from $250 to $600.
Lab Diamonds Engagement Rings
Laboratory diamonds are grown using two technologies. The first, CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), creates diamonds of up to seven carats in size. The second - HPHT - recreates the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed in the Earth's interior at a depth of 200 km. The only difference is the duration of the process: a stone weighing 10-20 carats grows in 10-14 days in the laboratory instead of millions of years. The idea to receive gems artificially is not new: they started to produce precious dust for industrial purposes back in the 1950s, but for many reasons, it was not possible to obtain gem-quality stones. In the early 2000s, Japanese experts were able to create a 10-carat diamond. HPHT have a lasting color because they are grown in a stable zone under conditions identical to those of nature, with a pressure of 60,000 atmospheres. In addition, HPHT have high color values - D, E, and F.
* In June 2020, a 116-carat black diamond was obtained through HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) technology. It, as well as another stone weighing 109 carats, has already been certified by the GIA. In addition, one of them is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Largest Synthetic Uncut Diamond.
Price: one carat HPHT diamond of good quality can cost from $4,000
White Sapphires Engagement Rings
Another worthy idea for alternative engagement rings is the white sapphire. It is a transparent variety of corundum with a strong luster and hardness according to the Mohs scale. The name "sapphire" means "blue gemstone," but in fact, they come in all different shades (white, yellow, pink, etc.) except for red. Corundums of this color fall into the ruby category. Colorless transparent minerals also have a second name: leucosapphires. Sapphire was first discovered in Southeast Asia, but now there are deposits in the United States, Australia, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Burma, China and Thailand. The mineral is notable for its high degree of light refraction, around 1.762-1.778, which explains its luster. The sapphire patronizes lovers, as a symbol of fidelity and purity of love. It is the best reason to choose it as the main gemstone for an engagement ring.
* In the 1960s, Steve Meyer, a radiologist from America, found a sapphire weighing over 3,500 carats. The gemstone was found in North Carolina near the town of Canton. The owner of the find did not know for a long time about the value of the stone and used it as a stationery.
Price: one carat from $700
White Topaz Engagement Rings
White topaz is a good choice if you are looking for a clear and pure gemstone for alternative engagement ring. The name "topaz" comes from the name of the island of Topazion, which is located in the Red Sea. It is thought that this mineral was first discovered on this island.
Today its deposits are found in Brazil (Minas Gerais), the United States (Colorado), Ukraine (Volyn region), Sri Lanka (mountainous area of the island) and Madagascar. Its hardness according to the Mohs scale corresponds to 8. In addition, its cost is less than all the options presented in the article. This is the most economical substitute for the natural diamonds, but only if you choose the stone with attention and care.
White topaz is transparent, but it may contain natural impurities that affect its color. If you are looking for a stone to wear as an imitation of a diamond, find a clear version that is completely colorless. Like all other gemstones, topaz can have natural internal flaws (inclusions) such as lines, spots, crystal formations, etc. Stones that have few flaws are more valuable. Look for clear topazes that look as clear as possible to the naked eye.
Price: one carat from $7
White Opal Engagement Rings
White or milky opal cannot be called an exact replacemen, because even their appearance is very different. But for those brides who want to get a ring with a white stone, White Opal engagement rings will be a good choice. In addition, some types of opals contain sparkling flecks that are very decorative to the ring and can be admired for a long time. Opals are made up of particles of silicon dioxide and water. Their water content varies from 0.4% to 32%. Its amount defines the properties of opals and their jewelry quality. For noble stones, the weight ratio of water to other elements is between 6-10%. The more water, the more transparent the opal. The largest deposits are in Australia and Ethiopia.
The most famous opals:
- Virgin Rainbow Opal, today, is considered one of the most perfect opals. When you look at it in the light, you will see its beautiful shimmering, shimmering in all the colors of the rainbow. Experts claim that it took thousands of years to form this beautiful opal, which is why the price of the mineral today is about one million dollars. The Virgin Rainbow was accidentally found in 2003 by the miner John Dunstan in the mines of Coober Pedy, a small town in Australia.
- The second famous opal is Halley's Comet. Its weight is 1982 carats (400 grams). It was found in 1986. It was named after the comet that flew over the Earth that year.
- The fire of Australia weighs 4,990 carats (almost 1 kg). The stone was also found by a miner in 1946 and was passed from hand to hand as a family jewel many years. And in 2017, the family sold their jewel to a museum after all.
Price: one carat from $370 (Australian White Opal)
When it comes to choosing alternative engagement ring, don't hesitate to consult an expert. Our gemologists will find the perfect stone to fit your budget and make the ring the jewelry of your dreams. Our designers and artists will create a unique design and you will receive a truly personal engagement ring with the gemstone of your choice. Creating a custom alternative and unique engagement ring is not as long a process as it may seem at first glance.