Post # 1
A male cousin of mine asked me about what gemstone/lab creation could stand in for a diamond on engagement ring. The object of his affections would definitely understand him proposing and telling her they could replace the center stone in a year. (Both are grad students and she’s well aware he’s not sitting on a trust fund anywhere!) He’s found a rather intricate setting he loves, so a real diamond isn’t in the cards at the moment.
The only real advice I had him was not to get a HUGE stone because A) It’ll be easier to tell it’s not a real diamond and B) It’ll be super expensive to replace in a year!
As far as *what* to get, what are the good options? Given her sentimental nature, I would imagine whatever he puts in that spot now will end up in a necklace or something later, so something that stands up would be good. What about a white sapphire? Or is it best to do like asha or moissanite? (Don’t jump on me.. I know not everyone considers these diamond stand-ins) The setting is diamond, so only the center stone would need replacing.
Just any thoughts on this would be great.
Post # 3
Does it have to be a clear stone? I love the idea of gemstones in erings, like a birthstone or the stone of the month they started dating/became engaged. The nice this about that is that when they do upgrade to the diamond, it doesn’t have to be “quiet” (if they aren’t planning on telling everyone that the stone isn’t a diamond).
If they want a clear stone, moissy or white sapphire would hold up better/have a longer life span. White sapphires are really pretty stones, I love them. Natural ones can be costly, but lab created are very, very affordable and uper pretty. Moissanite is a good option, but it’s a little pricy (IMO) for a temporary stone.
Post # 4
@mrsmay07: I agree, I like the idea of getting a gemstone now and replacing it with a diamond later…that way the original engagement stone can be put in another piece of jewelry when a diamond is purchased.
A good quality CZ like Asha or Wink CZ is what I would go for if I wanted to the switch to be unnoticable to others.
Post # 5
He only mentioned diamond alternatives, but maybe I should ask if he’s considered other stones. I don’t know her well enough to know if she’d want a more traditional ring (something diamond-like). I’ll bring that up.
Post # 6
I would go with a CZ if it’ll be swapped out in a year.
Moissanite doesn’t behave quite like diamond, and is rather expensive to get rid of after only a year IMO.
Post # 7
A sapphire could be a great stand-in.
They are beautiful, and natural sapphires, which I prefer, cost less than diamonds. They are a 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which is rather important for a ring that will likely be worn often. A diamond is a 10 on the Mohs scale.
Based on price and hardness, a sapphire is a very good choice.
Post # 8
@stuckinwonderland: Sounds like he is interested in something that appears diamond-like?
If so, first choice would be an actual gemstone such as a natural white/cl sapphire or even a lab created sapphire.
If his fiance is ok with man made simulants–I would probably go with either a cz or moissanite. Moissanite costs more than cz but it will last in the event it takes longer to save for a diamond. Cz’s become cloudy and worn but are whiter than moissanites. Some say cz’s are too white. Moissanites, even the treated ones sometimes throw a yellow/green hue in different lights. In the end though, if it’s in an ering on the left hand–most people will think it’s a diamond unless it’s very large.
If a clear diamond-like stone is not a necessity, would probably go with a colored gemstone like a pink morganite or topaz. Although they are softer stones, the reality is that nothing comes closes in hardness to a diamond. Moh’s is not linear and doesn’t accurately represent the true picture of genuine gemstones (or simulants)in relation to a diamond. A diamond is 3+times harder than sapphire or synthetic silicon carbide (aka Moissanite).
Post # 9
@gemgirl6: Great information.
Just to be clear, I mentioned the Mohs scale just to give a general idea of how hard sapphire is. It’s not nearly as hard as a diamond, but it’s hard enough to be durable and would work well as a diamond stand-in.
Post # 10
He should check with his jeweler to see how easy it will be to swap out a stone. Most rings are built specifically for the exact size of the stone that goes in them to begin with. I think it’s easier with round stones (as opposed to square or rectangular stones where dimensions can be quite different), but it’s usually recommended to buy the center stone first and the setting second so you can be sure that they’ll have a perfect fit.
I would tell him to take his budget and start a thread on the Pricescope RockyTalky forums. I’ve seen the experts there find some amazing rings lately on really tight budgets. They might be able to find him the same/a similar setting as the one he’s looking at now and put it in his price range to be able to put a diamond in from the start.