- 8 years ago
- Wedding: May 2014
Unless you are going to buy a lab grown alexandrite you might want to take it off your list considering that natural alexandrite costs MORE than the equivalent quality diamond. If you can get past the cost though natural alexandrite is a strong, durable and gorgeous stone…although I may be biased considering I have one. 😉
Diamonds are targeted only because they are entirely a luxury good. Coltan, which is used in most electronic devices and primarily mined in Africa, is basically the new conflict diamond in terms of violence committed over the mines, etc. But virtually no one knows, and those who know never care. While I’ve heard of many people going without diamonds because of the conflict association, I’ve never heard of a single person tossing their phone, computer, tv, etc, because they regard those things as more necessary.
Colored stones have many ethical issues too. But there are also ethical issues in buying a manmade stone, because you’re giving money to wealthy first-world companies and denying it to third-world economies that need it more, and which could quite possible be ethical (depending on where you buy from). As well, by simply getting a ring, you’re reinforcing the notion that one is necessary, which indirectly bolsters all of these trades. The only way to dodge the ethical issue entirely is to not get a ring.
So basically, my opinion is to pick the stone you want based on how it looks, buy used if you can, and find some nice charities to donate to or get involved with politics or nonprofits, because those are great ways to make an impact on the ethical issues.
As for price inflation, DeBeers doesn’t do that as much as in the past – they only have like a 20% market share now, as opposed to the 90+% they used to have, so their power to fix prices is greatly diminished. Unfortunately, much of the rising cost of diamonds comes from increased buying in places like China and India, so reduced supply elsewhere.
I know I know I’m hijacking the thread now too but seriously your repeated posts telling someone else off for hijacking the thread (for responding to your critisism of everything they posted) … are hijacking the thread. Gemgirl adores diamonds, she’s quite vocal in her personal distaste for man made stones but you seemed to attack her for supporting them. I’m perplexed for sure.
Anyway OP. Canadian Diamonds are your best bet for an ethical diamond, I wouldn’t trust the kimberly process as far as I could throw it 😉
@alaha: To OP, I apologize again on behalf of the other posters who feel that arguing with me and trying to get validation for their choice of stone is more important than answering your initial question. I really don’t understand why they feel the need to continue that…I’ve been trying to end the discussion and move on, but some people just don’t let things go.
That said, I wanted to add something to your original point. I ran your question by my fiance (who, as I mentioned, works with a lot of these stones, and who knows all about their strength and durability) and he suggested the following (bear in mind, his comments are from a scientific perspective):
If you want a diamond, there’s NOTHING else out there like one, chemically and physically. However, there are conflict free mines in Canada, and lab-created stones. Those would probably be your best real diamond bets.
However, if you do not want a diamond, your best bet for value and hardness is a white sapphire. Sapphires are extremely durable. They also have lab-created sapphires in abundance (he uses large cyllindrical sheet sapphires as lenses for satellite telescopes–so they have to hold up through launches and the conditions once in either low earth orbit or space), and they are a much more affordable, conflict-free option (cheaper than moissanite). While they don’t have as much fire as diamonds or moissanite, they do sparkle a lot and they do NOT do the double-vision effect that moissanite does. This was his #1 recommendation for affordable non-diamond gemstones.
He also said that moissanites are a good option, if you like them. However, he did compare them to drill bits, as that’s where they are most commonly used because they are strong and less expensive than diamond. However, he also seconded that they are usually grey, green or yellow tinted. He also pointed out the double-vision effect might be something to think about–since a lot of people don’t like that. He looked into these a lot when choosing my stone, but decided against it.
Anyway…that’s advice from an aerospace engineer who handles those materials all the time and knows a great deal about their strength, and durability.
Adding to that–you should consider what cut you would like. If you like step cuts (Asscher or Emerald cuts), for example, you’d want to go with a sapphire. Moissanites aren’t available in step cuts. If you wanted a radiant cut, a moissanite would probably sparkle quite a bit more. Just depends on what you’re looking for.
Wow. Girls, you are way out of line. That PP CelticBride was clearly just trying to give an alternate suggestion to OP. I get that you disagreed with her, but there was no need to get defensive and hijacked the thread from OP. Even after CelticBride clearly tried to redirect it, you still kept going. Let it go! So what if she disagrees with you? Does it matter? NO. Why do you feel the need to keep arguing? All of you took some very polite comments far more seriously and personally than you needed to. Nothing that bee said at all warranted your nasty responses! She didn’t attack anyone. Frankly, I applaud her restraint. I would not have been so polite in my responses to you ladies.
@alaha: TO OP: I voted white sapphire. They are stunning…and they can be very sparkly, if cut properly. Also–they’re super affordable and, as PPs said, there are many lab-created and thus conflict-free sapphire options out there. I have one–and I LOVE it. Wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING.
I don’t want a diamond, and I agree that clever marketing schemes have convinced most that the prices are reasonable (I feel they aren’t due to the sheer magnitude of diamonds available for purchase), but diamonds are far from worthless. Diamonds are necessary for manufacturing (diamond bit drills, sanding disks etc) and for creating technology (they’re excellent conductors and there’s diamond in phones, tablets, computers, and electronics in general).
OP, I just read a previous thread of yours and you had said that you always dreamed of a big 4+ carat diamond. I’m curious whether you’ll still be looking for something in the same size range, because that might seriously affect some of your options. For instance, lab grown diamonds are very limited by current technology to around 1 carat or slightly more, so you wouldn’t be able to find anything as big as 4 carats. Moissanite in that size range is far more affordable than ruby or sapphire (which will probably cost you around 10-15k at least), but it will also appear much more yellow than smaller moissanite stones. Topaz, on the other hand, is commonly available in larger cuts, and I find large blue topaz stones (swiss blue or london blue) to be stunningly gorgeous.
@alaha: TO OP, I found this video that might help you. This video includes a side-by-side comparison of cubic zirconia, white sapphire, moissanite and diamond. Yes, it’s by a jeweler, but they clearly tried to include an honest comparison, and state that it’s YOUR personal preference that matters. I just wanted to share it so you could see the stones side-by-side. It really shows how much a white sapphire can sparkle, and the color comparisons between each stone. Plus, they list pros and cons of each, so it’s informative that way as well.
So to move this thread back on track, OP @alaha: are you looking for a clear/white stone or a color stone?
Sapphires are wonderful like my post mentioned but white sapphires do fall flat compared to anything with a brilliance similar to a diamond. Heck, to me the sparkle of any sapphire with color outshines its white sapphire counterpart.
I just finding the jeweler you want to work with and taking a look at different stones. Of course keep in mind their hardness and your personal lifestyle. When I say lifestyle I mean if you work with your hands, if you are clumsy (like me), and if you are OK removing your ring(s) while doing messy or abrasive task.
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