(BPT/JLNJ staff) Diamonds are extolled in movies and songs for good reason—their romance, allure and durability make them a symbol of love and fidelity. Diamonds are in demand by purists and romantics alike who want to indulge in the most coveted of gemstones.
Diamonds are as individual as the people who choose them. There are several categories of diamonds to choose from, according to your taste, style and budget.
1) Mined diamonds. The standard for engagement and wedding rings, but also heirloom quality fashion jewelry, is the traditional mined diamond. These gems are formed deep below the Earth’s surface over millions of years, making them rare, unique and intrinsically highly valuable. Jay Scharf, owner of J. Scharf Jewelers, said diamonds are graded and certified according to quality: D is the highest grade and anything below a K is not certified. Cut also affects the look of a diamond. “Two diamonds could both be two carats but one could be cut better and be more brilliant,” noted Scharf. The variety of designs, cuts and settings available using traditional diamonds make them the ultimate complement to any wardrobe choice.
2) Lab-grown diamonds. An increasingly popular gemstone is a lab-grown diamond. These are actual diamonds, with the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds, but are produced in a laboratory. The complex, highly technical process of growing diamonds in a lab creates these treasured gemstones that are cut, faceted and polished in the same way as mined diamonds. Innovative lab-grown diamonds are a great choice to show you’ve found a beautiful, authentic diamond at a great value.
3) Moissanite. Originally discovered in 1893 in a crater created by a meteorite, natural moissanite is composed of carbon and silicon, making it one of the hardest known minerals on Earth, second only to diamonds. It is extremely resistant to scratching and chipping. Natural moissanite for jewelry is incredibly rare, but moissanite has now been synthesized in a laboratory, making it more affordable and accessible. It offers a brilliant, sophisticated appearance for everyday wear and glamorous evening looks, with a wide selection of styles and price points available.
4) Strontium titanate. This man-made diamond simulant, which is an oxide of strontium and titanium, also has a significantly higher dispersion value than diamonds. While it appears similar to a diamond, it has a different composition. Fabulite Strontium Titanate offers a kaleidoscope of colorful fire and sparkle to make any wearer stand out. It’s a showstopper.
5) Cubic zirconia. Possibly the best-known man-made diamond simulant, cubic zirconia is an affordable alternative for adding bling to your everyday wear or for a statement look. To ensure the highest level of craftsmanship and quality, look for a reputable brand such as Bella Luce. Cubic zirconia jewelry enables the wearer to be playful and creative with their style and experiment with different looks, due to the versatility and affordability of this popular gem.