Congratulations, you’re looking for an engagement ring which must mean you’ve found the person of your dreams and you’re ready to get down on one knee! However, upon entering this whole new world you realise that what you thought would be fairly straight-forward process (aka, comes as standard with a mined diamond, you just need to choose the style), is absolutely not. With the majority of people trying their best to be as environmentally friendly as possible with their clothing choices, food, and travel choices; people are now trying to be eco-friendly with their jewellery too. This means the options are pretty endless and confusing, but don’t worry – we want to help you!
Firstly we just want to remove two options straight away…the first being Cubic Zirconia (CZ). Not because we’re snobs but because the quality is just not there. CZ is typically found in everyday jewellery from high-street retailers, which it is perfect for, but not for a piece of jewellery that is hopefully going to be worn for decades to come. The second? Mined diamonds…if you’re wanting a piece of jewellery set with a mined diamond then you’ve come to the wrong place unfortunately!
So what options are left I hear you ask? Plenty! Moissanite or Lab-Grown Diamonds!
A moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral known as silicone carbide. Originally discovered way back in 1893 by a Henri Moissan (can you guess how moissanite got its name?), moissanite has gone on to become an extremely popular gemstone alternative to a diamond. Our Ethica Diamond is a moissanite but with a diamond like coating which takes it one step further from a standard moissanite.
A lab-grown diamond is quite literally a diamond – just grown in a lab. A lot of people are sceptical about them and question how they can be called a diamond if they haven’t come from the ground, but they 100% are. You don’t just have to take our word for it either, the FTC (Federal Trade of Commission) permitted “a mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallised in the isometric system” to be described as a “diamond,” whether naturally occurring or man-made. In the most basic terms, lab-grown diamonds have the same ‘DNA’ as a mined diamond due to the fact they are grown from the seed of one.
The durability/’scratchability’ of a gemstone is determined using the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale measures a minerals resistance to scratching by scratching another substance of known hardness on the Mohs scale. Right down at the bottom is Talc (1), as in the everyday item Talcom Powder, through to Quartz (7), Topaz (8) and then finally Diamond (10). Diamond is one of the most durable known substances on the planet. To put it bluntly, you’d need a masonry drill bit to do any kind of damage!
Moissanite measures between 9.5 and 9.7 on the Mohs scale so it’s the perfect substitute for a diamond.
It wasn’t until I started this job that I found out diamonds come in different colours – who knew!? Well, I say different colours, I mean different hues. Yes you can get fancy pink or blue diamonds but more commonly you get diamonds ranging from light yellow to colourless. We typically recommend diamonds ranging from colour E-J. If you want to find out more about diamond colours, look here. With a large inventory of lab-grown diamonds, you can choose whether you want colourless, nearly colourless or light yellow.
Our Ethica Diamonds come as standard in a consistent E colour.
Probably the most important factor for many in deciding which to go for is price. If you’ve got a budget of £1900 or below, then our Ethica Diamond is probably the best option. All of these photographed below were set with the Ethica Diamond, and unless you really know what you’re looking for, you can’t tell the difference!
The good thing about getting an Ethica Diamond, besides the look of it, is the fact that you can often go for a bigger carat size than you initially planned due to the price difference. On the flip side, if you were wanting a piece of large carat jewellery than the Ethica Diamond is the way to go! You can get some absolutely showstopper pieces of jewellery for a fraction of the price of a mined diamond.
We recently did a replica of the famous Angelina Jolie ring. What would have cost well over £200,000 set with mined diamonds, or £25,000 with lab-grown diamonds, cost around £12,000 with the Ethica Diamond and how beautiful is it!
The larger you go with a lab-grown diamond, the larger the price gap is between those and the Ethica Diamond. The prices of lab-grown diamonds are tied to the natural diamond pricing structure so there is a more noticeable difference, however to put it into perspective, lab-grown diamonds are currently (as of mid 2022) 30%-50% cheaper than their mined version.
Here are some of our favourite lab-grown diamond pieces we’ve produced:
With lower carat weights, there isn’t a huge price difference between lab-grown diamonds and the Ethica. That’s because, as we said earlier, the Ethica Diamonds is a moissanite but taken one step further with a diamond like coating. Because of the advancement in technology enabling us to do this, it doesn’t carry a low price tag (although it’s still much lower than mined diamonds!). If you’ve got a budget of £2000-£3000 then it is very possible to get a lab-grown diamond of a reasonable size set into a ring.
Many people are of the opinion that moissanite and lab-grown diamonds are ‘less valuable’ and yes to a point, with moissanite, that is true. But, at the end of the day, we think personal value is more important than monetary value. With smaller carat sizes, whether they were mined or not, they wouldn’t have a huge resale value do to their size and availability.
At the end of the day, it’s about what YOU can afford and what feels right to you. Whichever option you go for we are sure your partner will love it. At the end of the day you chose it and that’s all that matters.