What is the best option for a Center Stone on an Engagement Ring?
How do I choose a center stone for my engagement ring?
Shopping for an engagement ring is among the most memorable of life events. There are many considerations such as ring style (vintage, classic, modern, art deco etc) type of gold (white, rose or yellow) (14k, 18k or Platinum) the size and shape of the center stone (round, oval, cushion, princes, marquise etc.) solitaire or a halo setting, also should you Include accent stones on the shank or leave it clean? These are some of the common questions many people in the market for an engagement ring consider. Since the center stone is often the majority of the cost, possibly the most difficult choice is whether to go with a natural earth mined diamond, a lab grown diamond (real diamond made in a laboratory), or a Moissanite (simulant, not a real diamond).
If you aren’t sure, don’t feel bad, you are not alone; many people aren’t fully clear on the differences between these center stone options but this page can help and so can I.
As a jeweler and designer, I’m happy to suggest any of these options without any personal preference, what matters is what is important to you and your beloved!. Not all jewelers or retailers are neutral in suggest a center stone, each will point out a number of reasons why their option is best depending in what they are trying to sell.
Are earth mined diamonds better options?Due to a variety of reasons, many traditional retail diamond stores will tell you that a natural earth-mined diamond is better because of resale values compared to lab grown diamonds or Moissanites (perhaps in part due to larger retail values sometimes translating to higher sales commissions). I would like to think all of my customers get engaged with the intention of it being a lifelong commitment, so the resale value is not a big factor in my opinion. But if resale value matters to you, yes, add points toward considering a natural, GIA certified diamond.
Understand that you will never get back the sum of money you pay on retail for your diamond. When re selling you will take a loss on the transaction.
Is a lab grown diamond a good option for engagement rings?The lab grown diamond (man made diamond) industry will tell you that their diamonds are more ethical and ecological than natural diamonds and prettier than Moissanites and that by purchasing one you are saving money and saving the planet. These are all valid points for you to consider in your decision but the truth is that they are not more ethical than natural diamond. You will save a lot of Money and they are real diamonds making them look just like earth mined diamonds. The re sale value is very low but if you are looking to keep it forever it is a great option. Almost all lab grown diamonds come with a certificate of authenticity from IGI LAB.
Is a Moissanites a good option for an engagement ring?
Moissanites on the other hand tend to offer the lowest prices and lowest resale values of the three main options and producers claim that during reflection tests their stones are brighter than natural diamonds. Moissanites are strong as a sapphires (9 in the scale of Mohs) making them durable and resistant to scratches also, that they are not only ethical but much cheaper than diamonds. This one has the lowest resale value of the three stones but considering the savings on purchasing you can use the extra savings money for the wedding or your honey moon. The prefered moissanites in the market are the Forever One by Charles & Colvard. They come certified with life time warranty.
The three primary industries/options above each have valid pros and cons. I personally don’t think one stone is better than the other because of their retail value. Each of the three types of stones make beautiful rings. I’ve seen them in my rings and they all look gorgeous and have made couples equally happy with their own attributes.
What I recommend to my customers is to do a little research on each type of stone. Find out what their special person, their beloved would like, set a budget and see which of the three choices might best fit the budget, criteria and values.
Price comparison between diamond, lab grown diamond and moissanites.
For example, let’s take a simple 14kt gold 1 carat solitaire engagement ring to compare the prices of each type of stone. In this case, let’s assume a medium high quality G color SI1 quality using early to mid 2018 market value estimates.
- GIA Certified diamond G-SI1 Approximate Market Value $5,000 - $6,500
- CVD Lab Grown (man made) Certified Diamond G-SI1 Approximate Market Value $2,800 - $3,500
- Moissanite Forever One C&C Certified DEF Approximate Market Value $750
The rings would look similar to the naked eye with slight differences in sparkle with Moissanites but at the end the customer has to decide what fits their values and budget. After you learn some of the fundamentals, I am happy to help you with your decision.
Color Gems as an option for engagement ringYet another option for engagement ring center stones are colored gemstones. For more information on growing trends to break from tradition and add color to engagement rings, please click here to read my article on colored gemstones. For the topic on this page though, let's focus on the most common options for engagement ring center stones: earth mined diamonds, lab grown diamonds and moissanites.
To see some samples of colored gem stones view my COLORED GEMS samples.