Post # 1
as far as I can think back, I was always obsessed with diamonds… However, this article really makes me reconsider wanting a diamond engagement ring…
It basically states how “brutal corruption, brilliant ad campaigns, and the slick corporate maneuverings of one of the world’s most deplorable cartels” worked the diamond business… Not to mention that diamonds are actually “clear, worthless stones that conquered the world”. I have heard of this, but I have never really dug into the topic. After having read a few more articles on the diamond industry, I am really upset with the world…
Anyway, I need alternatives, hence the poll. What do you think are good alternatives to diamonds?
I am clumsy, VERY clumsy and tend to break thinks… Hence, I need a stone which is hard, the harder the better… The colour of the stone does not matter, I guess a lot of them come in different colours anyway. The ones listed in the the poll are more than 8 in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness… Have I forgotten some?
Also, diamonds have the C’s… What about gemstones?
Thank you very much for your help!
Post # 3
I think if you really still want a diamond you can get a conflict free one. I don’t really like the line about them being worthless. How is that determined? I know they are fairly common but wouldn’t that make other common stones/gems worthless as well?
Post # 4
if diamonds are worthless can you imagine how worthless other less expensive stones are? I don’t agree that diamonds are worthless. I would research lab made stones because other stones can be mined as well, thus the same issue. D.nea sells lab created diamonds you may want to look into those
Post # 5
I think they are all beautiful stones, so it comes down to what you want for a look. If you want something more diamond-looking then Moisannite or CZ (you may need to replace the CZ sometimes but they are cheap). Maybe white Sapphire. If you don’t want something diamond-looking (which if you’re feeling like you definitely don’t want a diamond due to political/social reasons seems likely) then the colored stones are very pretty and I think it’d come down to what color you like best.
I think Sapphires are pretty durable, come in many colors, and also reasonable to get for natural mined stones. Emeralds and rubies are more difficult/expensive if you want not-lab grown, or non-treated stones, and Alexandrite is pretty much only lab created unless you’ve got huge bucks. You may think lab-created is fine – in which case you can do emerald, ruby, alexandrite as you wish. I have a lovely inherited alexandrite that if it were “real” would be worth a quarter of a million (it is huge!). Alas it is most likely created. But only a jeweler would know (and my jeweler said he’d have to un-mount the stone from the ring to know for certain).
If you are looking for durability, though, diamond is the hardest. While I’ll agree that the diamond market is super manipulated and there are and have been a lot of bad elements to it, there are many diamonds mined ethically. If you get a stone that is certified and stuff, they check for that.
Post # 6
I thought all retailers now only sell ethical diamonds sourced through the Kimberley Process, etc.
If you want a diamond, you can always get a Canadian diamond – e.g. http://www.bluenile.com/uk/canadian-diamonds?track=NavDiaCan
Post # 7
@MrsBeck: I think she’s quoting something.
Unfortunately, the Kimberly process is incredibly flawed, however a Canadian diamond is a good conflict free alternative if one wants a diamond. Lab created diamond is also another alternative.
To OP, if you are genuinely concerned about how ethical your ring is, I suggest looking into a recycled metal for your ring. Precious metals is an equally appalling , but less publicly known, mining industry. I personally have a moissanite (lab created) set in recycled white gold. I’ve had it for over 2 years, and I haven’t had any issues with it.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
Without going into the ethical debate I more so wanted to comment about the clumsiness! I have the same issue and for me what mattered just as much as stone hardness was the setting. Fellow clumsy women told me over and over again I would not regret getting the setting I chose since it is low profile (and I also went with a smaller stone). Many of them even having diamonds lost their stones out of the rings by hitting them on something etc…one woman I work with no longer wears her diamond rings but got a inexpensive CZ set that she won’t have to worry about. Just something to keep in mind while ring shopping! Yes, the hardness will be important but also think about the setting. I think however, some lab created diamonds, moissy, etc..are beautiful alternatives if you want something other than a diamond.
Post # 9
I’m no expert, but I dont think its even as simple as how hard they are. I really love emerald, buit was told that although they are ‘hard’ they are suseptable to cracking if you give them a knock so was advised against it as an every day ring. I think ruby’s are the same. I dont know much about lab created stones, they dont seem to be very common in the uk. Sapphire I was always told was the most hard wearing of the gemstones. But i have never had one.
Post # 10
@housebee: Yeah, I think she is quoting the article that she posted. I just think it’s a silly line though. Especially when it’s pulled out of an article with no other background.
Post # 11
@LilLis: You are right about a stone’s hardness (how easily it scratches) versus its toughness (how easily it chips). Typically, emeralds are a bit on the softer side for a stone that you’ll wear every day, but they are very brittle due to their included nature.
Rubies, along with sapphires, are among the hardest earth-mined stones on the market after diamonds, but they are tougher than diamonds due to their structure. Even though rubies and sapphires are both forms of corundum, you have a point about rubies being more easily chipped than sapphires, since rubies are usually more included than the average sapphire.
OP, I will agree that it does sound like you want a diamond, despite those articles. There are ways to get ethical diamonds, and honestly, there can be ethical problems with a ring’s setting, as well.
Post # 12
@alaha: Welcome to the world of diamond alternatives! I love my moissanite and wouldn’t switch it for a diamond for anything. What is the style of ring you’re looking for? I’d start here. http://www.moissaniteco.com
Post # 13
@MrsBeck: & @prettyinpink11:
I was quoting, yet I have to admit that it seems a bit out of context when one has not read the article. What bugs me is that until recently I have never even considered any other stones for an engagement ring than a diamond. With that quote I mean to imply that diamonds have the world dominion even though they are not that rare (in comparison) and there are more expensive gemstones around. Of course I am not saying that diamonds are worthless! It just took me by surprise that their pricing is kept high by companies and that they keep holding back diamonds to inflate their value.
I didn’t know there were white sapphires! I am torn about the colouring… A white colour usually goes with everything while e.g. a blue sapphire might be restricting sometimes (who knows, it might not!). Your alexandrite sounds amazing, I love the fact that they change colours… I will definately look into lab created ones. 🙂
I have thought about that (Canadian conflict free diamonds), but then there would be still the pricing issue; that a moissy is nearly as hard and not as “price inflated” as a diamond for example. I have looked at BrilliantEarth, they also sell Canadian diamonds… Are there any other conflict free diamonds apart from Candian diamonds by the way?
I am aware of the ethical issues stemming from gold exploration and it bugs me too. Hence, I have been thinking about getting something pre-owned anyway (be it diamond, sapphire, etc.). I would not “feed” the industry by recycling, so to speak…
Thank you for pointing that out!! I totally didnt think of that even though I should have as my mum once lost a pearl of her ring setting (it’s probably really difficult to have pearls set properly). I could totally see me losing a stone as well…
That sounds like really good advice, I remember reading that emeralds tend to be brittle and crack… I have heard of diamonds “crack” too but that’s probably due to them have inclusions (“feathers” etc.) which make them more prone to it?
Post # 14
@Luvdisc: Ahhh! 🙂 I totally didnt understand that before… I guess then I need a really TOUGH stone! So the key to a non-chipped gemstone would be to look out for one with little inclusions, I guess?
Thank you! That website is a great starting point… 🙂 I always dreamed of an art deco style engagement ring… Something with a vintage feel and look. But I do like the some very sleek bezel settings.
Post # 15
Depends on what you want! Do you want a clear stone to “go with everything”? Check out moissanite. Or are you more of a colored gemstone kind of girl? Sapphires are great and come in a wide range of colors.
Post # 16
@alaha: Pretty much. Inclusions do make stones more likely to chip, but you can’t ignore hardness, either.
Still, whether you decide to go for a diamond, sapphire, or ruby, you should keep inclusions in mind. I’d say that’s especially important in the sapphires and rubies, since odds are they have been treated to enhance color or clarity, and that makes the stone more brittle.
Or if you’re open to a moissanite, you could bypass all of the flaws altogether. I would make sure you see a stone in person before deciding on moissy, though; some diamond lovers have been disappointed by moissanite’s different properties. This goes for other lab grown stones, too. 🙂