A diamond ring is a big purchase for a big day. Rings are as unique as the people that buy them which is why there are so many options out there. There are different cuts, colors, sizes, and even a mix of natural and lab grown diamonds on the market. It can be tricky to make the right choice but a little bit of research will make it possible to pick the perfect ring for the big day.
Identifying Quality Diamonds
Experts judge diamonds based on the four C’s: color, clarity, cut, and carat. Colorless diamonds are generally preferable to tinted ones because they offer more of a sparkle in the light. Diamonds of unusual colors are an exception because the color becomes a major attraction. Clarity refers to the absence of bubbles and other blemishes in the diamond. Clear specimens tend to look better than others. The carat is simply a measure of a diamond’s size, with bigger ones usually being more valuable. The diamond’s cut refers to its shape and reflective properties. Good proportions in the cut are the key to a beautiful diamond.
There are plenty of different cuts, but a few of them are more common than others for rings. The basic round cut is probably the most popular. It excels at reflecting light to get a great sparkle. The square princess cut is also popular because the versatile shape looks good on a variety of rings. The cushion cut combines a generally square shape with rounded edges to get a brilliant, pillow-shaped diamond. Other cuts are also popular but tend to be more specialized and work best when paired with a ring that can bring out their best.
Types to Consider
There are three basic types to consider when picking a stone for a ring: natural, simulant, and lab grown. Natural diamonds come out of the ground, whereas lab grown stones come from an artificial environment. Simulants, such as moissanite, are not actually diamonds at all. They are distinct minerals that can pass for the real thing in a casual setting. Some stones are also treated to improve their characteristics. People who want a real diamond ring should avoid the simulants but the choice between natural diamonds and lab grown stones is more complicated.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Not every diamond comes from a mine. It is actually possible to make them in a lab. Natural diamonds grow over time when clumps of carbon experience high temperatures and pressure deep in the earth. Lab grown diamonds come from a much quicker version of the process. A mixture of carbon, heat, and the right laboratory environment will cause a diamond to grow in a matter of days instead of millennia. The similarity of the processes ensures that both natural and lab grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable.
The Benefits and Drawbacks
Lab grown diamonds come with a few unique benefits. First and foremost among them is the cost. They tend to be much cheaper than natural diamonds with similar characteristics. They are also the more sustainable choice because it takes far fewer resources to grow a diamond than it does to mine one, not to mention the local impact of the mines themselves. On the other hand, they aren’t quite as unique as natural stones and some people prefer the natural history that comes with a mined stone.
Which is Best?
The best diamond is the one that appeals to the people who will be treasuring it for years to come. Some people like the uniqueness of natural stones, while others revel in the novelty of the technology that leads to synthetic diamonds. Both of them are perfectly valid choices for the right people. You simply have to consider the unique features that each one has to offer and decide which set has the most appeal to you and your loved one.
Engagement rings are a sign of love and devotion, so they deserve to be perfect. The only way to be sure of making the right choice is to study the options and make an informed choice between lab grown and natural diamonds.
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