Ethical Jewelry Buyers Guide
The Ice Guide to Buying Ethical Jewelry
A Symbol of Forever
Choosing an engagement ring can be daunting. There are so many options out there from type of stone, type of metals, cuts, sizes and everything in between. Traditionally, natural diamonds have been the choice for the centerpiece of engagement rings and luxury fashion jewelry. They are known to be the hardest stone (10 on the Moh scale) with shine and brilliance that was said to be unmatched. In recent years, other stones and even lab grown have started to make a mark in the jewelry industry. Two that stand out are moissanite and lab-grown diamonds.
A Brilliant Alternative
Moissanite is known as the gemstone of the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 and is known to have similar qualities of a diamond but is visually and compositionally very different. Natural moissanite is incredibly rare so moissanite sold today are lab-grown. Moissanite is used as a diamond simulant much like white sapphire or other colorless stones but have different properties. A properly cut moissanite has the highest refractive index of any other stones which means it displays more fiery brilliance even over a diamond. Like any other stone, whether lab-grown or natural, vary in quality, brilliance and color. Moissanites are graded on the four “C's” (Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight, Color) by the GIA. The most desired or ideal colorless range for moissanites are D-F. With a hardness of a 9.25 on the Moh scale, it’s durable for everyday wear without worry. It’s both eco-friendly, 100% ethically grown and holds great value as they typically cost less than diamonds. All of these reasons make it easy to see why moissanite has become quite popular as an alternative to diamonds.
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Diamonds: The Ultimate Gesture Of Love But At What Cost?
All diamonds whether naturally mined or lab grown, are recognized by the Federal Trade Commission as real diamonds.
Naturally mined diamonds have been the most desired to symbolize love, commitment, glamour, and luxury for decades but have had a history of negative impact on both the environment and human rights. The Kimberely Process was introduced in 2003 to certify diamonds as ‘conflict-free’ but did not address the environmental concerns. Synthetic or lab-grown diamonds, though more environmentally friendly and 100% ethically cultured, were not viewed on the same level in quality, clarity or beauty until now.
A Diamond That Comes With A Clear Conscience
Lab-grown diamonds are exactly how it sounds. They have the same chemical makeup, composition, hardness, and shine of naturally mined diamonds. Instead of being naturally mined, lab grown diamonds are grown in a laboratory. The process to grow one takes a few short weeks from start to finish. Lab-grown diamonds were first introduced in the 1950’s and by the 1990’s were popping up in the jewelry industry. Through years of painstaking trial and error, these producers have come a long way and can now create diamonds that are the same or even better quality in brilliance, clarity, and shine.
The Smart Diamond
In addition to being eco-friendly and always 100% conflict free, and while looking just as exquisite as their natural sister, are typically lower in cost. On average, lab-grown diamonds cost 30% less than their natural sisters as they require less hands in the production process. In other words, they’re of great value, ethically sound and will last just as long.
Interested in seeing some Lab grown diamond pieces? Check it out here
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