Whether you’ve met “the one” and feel ready to pop the question, or have a feeling your partner is making plans to get down on one knee, the first thing that probably comes to mind is buying the perfect ring. But before you start thinking about the investment it takes to get the perfect diamond, it’s worth considering your other options.
If you don’t want to break the bank, is it worth considering a lab-grown diamond for your engagement ring? Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are chemically, aesthetically and physically identical to a natural diamond. The only difference? One is formed over millions of years and mined from the earth, while the other is created in a controlled environment under more sustainable conditions – and there is a new generation of jewellers who are offering a solution that is way better for the planet and your pocket.
Here we spoke to Rebecca Klodinsky, co-founder of Australian fine jewellery brand The Prestwick Place, to find out more about this innovation.
How do you know if a lab-grown diamond is good quality?
Ensuring the diamond has a cut specification, is independently certified, has no blue nuance and is of a VS+ clarity will ensure the stone you are purchasing is on the higher end of the quality spectrum.
Is it different when it comes to reselling?
No. It’s no secret that traditional jewellers of mined diamonds regularly attempt to sway the public, claiming that there is no resale market for lab-grown diamonds. This is false. Just as mined diamonds have some resale value, lab-grown diamonds have a similar resale value as a portion of the original sale price. With that being said – buying a diamond engagement ring or any piece of fine jewellery, whether lab-grown or mined, should be considered a luxury purchase and not an investment.
Quite simply, diamonds are historically not a good place to “park” your money. You should treat your lab diamond for what it is: a beautiful piece of fine jewellery and a representation of your love that will last forever. Typically, if you hold a lab diamond with the following specs, a resale on the stone won’t be difficult. Anything with lesser specs (both mined and lab) will, by default, be harder to resell.
Cut – Excellent or Ideal Rounds
Colour – D, E, F, G (no blue nuance)
Clarity – VS or better
Independent Certification – GIA, IGI, or GCAL certified
Certification Date – 2017 or newer
Think of the above as a guide for purchasing a diamond or a checklist for those that are looking to sell.
More pros & cons
One major way that the moissanite & lab-grown diamond trumps natural, mined diamonds is that they’re ethical and sustainable and have minimal impact on the environment. This isn’t to say that other stones aren’t sustainable, it’s just that natural diamonds have come under fire in recent decades due to unethical practices in the industry.
With the release of movies like Blood Diamond, which shows the dark underbelly of the diamond industry, many couples are moving towards more ethical options. If you’re concerned about buying a conflict diamond or the huge devastation that diamond mining has on the planet, a moissanite or lab-grown diamond might be a more suitable option for you.
Moissanite shares a lot of optical similarities to the diamond although they are chemically and compositionally different. In fact, Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds do (more sparkle).
In addition to this is the hardness of the Moissanite stone (MOHS scale). On this scale, diamonds are a 10 and a Moissanite is a 9.5-9.25. Followed by the Ruby (9), Sapphire (9), Emerald (7.5). This ranking makes Moissanite the second hardest natural stone known to man.
Moissanite is incredibly strong and never changes colour or loses its sparkle. They are also completely traceable, conflict-free and eco-friendly.
The Prestwick stones are so pure and so white that they exceed that of any other gem or diamond. Our stones are unfailingly pure, colourless and in the premium D-E-F range, with extreme hardness.
In general, jewellery and diamonds have incredibly high mark-ups but these mark-ups were due in part to jewellery being hand-made. Traditionally, it was one in-house jeweller creating everything for a brand; cutting stones, setting pave, etc. Sadly, today we see companies outsource to places like China, or purchasing mass-produced styles and using CAD’s—all the while marking up the price multiple times without increasing or inputting any truly skilful craft to the pieces.
As far as the mined diamonds themselves, even with the guarantee of a GIA certificate, 100% traceability of naturally occurring diamonds is seemingly impossible. Diamond mines claim thousands of lives each day and it is likely that each natural diamond on today’s market has some kind of ‘conflict’ associated with it.
The Prestwick stones are artfully crafted in a laboratory from silicon carbide, one of the hardest minerals in the world, and are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
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