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What Are Gemstones? A Complete Guide 

What is a gemstone? Join us as we explore fun facts about gemstones from their origins, symbolism, rarity, and which ones are used as our favorite birthstones. 

What Are Gemstones?

Gemstones have mesmerized people for centuries. Throughout history, gems had become a sign of wealth and grew even more popular when an entire belief system arose around the energy and symbolic properties of these stunning stones. Of course, we know gemstones are most popular as jewelry, but many civilizations believed they were endowed with mysterious powers.

So, where do these miraculous gems come from? What types of gemstones do we get, and what are birthstones? Join us as we explore the history, origin, colors, and other interesting fun facts about gemstones. 

What Are Gemstones?

Gemstones are minerals, rocks, and other organic materials that are cut and polished to create pieces of jewelry and other attractive accessories for clothing or decorative ornaments. Gems are either considered precious or semi-precious. 

Fun fact #1: Of the more than 2,000 identified natural minerals, fewer than 100 are used as gemstones. 

Gemstones

Types of Gemstones 

There are many different types of gemstones. We’ll look at each category based on how they’re formed. Some are created from minerals, organic materials, inorganic materials, or rocks. 

Mineral Gems

Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and almost all birthstone gems (not opal) are formed from minerals.

Organic Gems

Next, we have organic gems. These gems contain both fossil-based gems like amber and organic-formed gems like pearls. 

Fun fact #2: Amber is the result of resin from fossilized prehistoric trees! It’s considered to be the softest and lightest gemstone on earth.

Inorganic Gems

There are only two other types of inorganic gems, opal, and obsidian. Obsidian is black volcanic glass formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. Opal is a strange material that can act as a solid crystal but sometimes behaves like a liquid. 

Rock Gems

Finally, the rock gems category consists of lapis lazuli, a blue, white, or gold stone, and unakite which is a form of granite. Unakite is a greenish-white stone with pink patches. 

Synthetic Gemstones

There is a particular class of gemstones known as synthetic gemstones. These stones are not naturally occurring, like minerals, or formed from organisms, like pearls, but instead are created through human intervention. Synthetic gems are designed to look like naturally occurring gems but without the hefty price tag caused by the rarity of natural stones. 

PS: Lab created diamonds aren’t synthetic gems, they’re 100% real diamonds. 

The Formation of Diamonds vs. Gemstones

Unlike gemstones, diamonds are the only gem formed by a single element. That element is highly pressurized carbon. Gemstones are usually made up of two or more compounds. 

Gemstone Origins

Ever wondered where gemstones come from? Well, the short answer is 3 to 25 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. That is where most gemstones are formed and are then either mined or brought to the earth’s surface during a natural process. 

Fun fact #3: There are only two gems, diamonds, and peridot, that are formed and found much deeper in the earth. 

What Is The Birthstone For Each Month?

So, what is a birthstone? A birthstone is a gemstone that represents your birth month or zodiac sign. One of the things we love most about birthstones is they make it easy to shop for friends and family birthdays. Don’t know what to gift your loved one? Birthstone jewelry is there to save the day. 

Fun fact #4: Did you know that some months have more than one birthstone? At least five months have multiple birthstones. Let’s find out which ones fall into that category: 

Birthstone jewelry
  1. January’s birthstone is garnet. Garnet is commonly a stunning red gem but can come in all colors of the rainbow and sometimes change color in different lighting. 
  1. Amethyst is the February birthstone. Amethyst comes in shades of lilac to deep purple and was once reserved for royalty and believed to cure addiction. 
  1. March’s birthstone actually includes two gems, aquamarine, and bloodstone. Aquamarine stuns with its oceanic hues, and bloodstone is said to help protect its wearer. 
  1. April’s birthstone is diamond. This gem needs no introduction as it is arguably one of the world’s most popular and sought-after gems. 
  1. May’s birthstone is emerald. Emerald has been loved for millennia and is known for its captivating green colors, and is said to symbolize rebirth and renewal. 
  1. June has three birthstones, pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. Pearl is the most popular of the three, while alexandrite is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world. 
  1. Ruby is the July birthstone most recognized as the stone of love, passion, and wealth, given its rich red colors. 
  1. August also has three unique birthstones, peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. Peridot is the most famous of the three as it only exists in one color- a cosmic green. 
  1. September’s birthstone is sapphire. Sapphires come in many colors but are most famous for their blue variety. Pink sapphires are considered very rare. 
  1. Opal and tourmaline are the birthstones for October. Both gemstones come in a rich array of colors, but opal is more popular as a precious jewel. 
  1. November has two birthstones, citrine and yellow topaz. Both stones are golden in color and symbolize love and affection. 
  1. Turquoise, tanzanite, blue topaz, and zircon make up the birthstones for December. Turquoise is by far the oldest known of the three, while Tanzanite is the most recently discovered. 

What Is A Gemstone For Love & Romance?

There are a few stunning options if you’re looking for gemstone jewelry or a gemstone engagement ring that symbolizes love and romance. Rose quartz, pink sapphire, ruby, pink tourmaline, and amethyst. These stones are believed to encourage romantic and self-love, open one’s heart and promote acceptance and faithfulness. 

Fun fact #5: Pop royalty, Lady Gaga, and real-life royalty Princess Eugenie both received pink engagement rings. 

What Are Gemstones For Good Luck?

Need some extra luck in your life? Peridot, sapphire, and citrine are three of the luckiest gemstones you’ll find. Sapphires are said to attract riches and recover lost wealth. Peridot is also known as the money stone and increases willpower, well-being, and vitality. Finally, the golden stone, citrine, is known to keep bad things away and is a stone of prosperity and protection. 

What Are Gemstones For Healing?

Amber, the stunning organic gem, has a strong connection to nature. It can be electrically charged when rubbed against silk or wool and is said to treat headaches. Another healing stone is the oceanic aquamarine. Some people believe this gemstone brings happiness and luck to its wearers and helps them cope when grieving. 

The last one on our list of healing gemstones is garnet. Garnet is a deep red gem that energizes wearers as they deal with their health issues. This stone is believed to revitalize the body and mind by increasing wearers’ confidence. 

What Are The Gemstones By Color?

Many famous gemstones are known for a specific color, but it should be noted that most of these gemstones come in various colors and hues. For example, two of the most popular gems, diamond, and sapphire, can be found in a rainbow of colors.

White diamonds have their own color grading system, and you might be surprised to know that fancy colored diamonds also exist. At the same time, sapphires exist in every color except for red. 

Here’s a list of the most well-known gemstones by color: 

  • Black gemstones: Black sapphire, onyx, black opal, black pearl, obsidian, black pearl, black tourmaline, and fancy black diamond.
  • White gemstones: Diamond, opal, pearl, white sapphire, moonstone, white jade, and zircon.
  • Gray gemstones: Tahitian pearl, grey sapphire, grey tourmaline, and fancy grey diamond.
  • Pink gemstones: Morganite, pink sapphire, rose quartz, pink garnet, pink pearl, pink tourmaline, pink topaz, and fancy pink diamond.
  • Red gemstones: Ruby, garnet, red tourmaline, carnelian, and fancy red diamond.
  • Brown gemstones: Amber, tiger’s eye, brown tourmaline, citrine, smoky quartz, brown jade, and fancy brown diamond.
  • Orange gemstones: Amber, orange sapphire, sunstone, agate, and fancy orange diamond.
  • Peach gemstones: Morganite, peach sapphire, fancy peach diamond.
  • Yellow gemstones: Citrine, yellow sapphire, amber, yellow topaz, yellow garnet, yellow tourmaline, and fancy yellow diamond.
  • Green gemstones: Emerald, peridot, jade, green tsavorite garnets, green agate, green bloodstone, and fancy green diamond.
  • Blue gemstones: Blue sapphire, aquamarine, lapis lazuli, blue topaz, blue tourmaline, and fancy blue diamond.
  • Purple gemstones: Amethysts, purple sapphire, purple tourmaline, purple garnet, spinel, tanzanite, and fancy purple diamond. 

Fun fact #6: In ancient times, women used to wear opal beads in their hair to maintain the blonde color and keep it from fading. 

Famous Gemstones And Their Meanings

Amethyst Gemstone Meaning

Because of its color, the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with the wine god Dionysus and believed that the gem could prevent drunkenness. In fact, the word amethystos meant “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Amethyst has also been thought to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. 

Amethyst Gemstone

Browse our collection of Amethyst birthstone jewelry here

Aquamarine Gemstone Meaning

Aquamarine is believed to give its wearer courage, mental clarity, and good health. This gem has a long association with water and so aquamarine has been said to keep sailors safe at sea. It’s also been known to purify water and work as an antidote to poison. The stone is also closely tied to mythologies of sirens and mermaids, and some legends say that aquamarines first washed up to shore out of sirens’ treasure chests.

Aquamarine Gemstone

Browse our collection of aquamarine birthstone jewelry here

Citrine Gemstone Meaning

Citrine is the gem that brings happiness, health, good energy, and luck! It is widely known as “healing quartz” because legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy in whomever wears it. The name citrine comes from the Latin root for lemon, and it’s no surprise as the gem shines with different golden hues.

Citrine Gemstone

Browse our collection of citrine birthstone jewelry here

Diamond Gemstone Meaning

Are diamonds tears cried by the gods or remnants from falling stars? Perhaps not, but that is what the ancient Romans and Greeks believed diamonds were. During the Middle Ages, diamonds were thought to be healing stones that could cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness. Nowadays, diamonds are a symbol of strength for relationships and their individual wearers.

Diamond Gemstone

Browse our collection of diamond jewelry or diamond engagement rings

Emerald Gemstone Meaning

In ancient Greece and Rome, emeralds represented Venus, the goddess of love and hope. Emeralds are not only a stone associated with nature, but with intuition and foresight. Legend has it that if you place an emerald under your tongue, it’ll give you the ability to see the future. Emeralds are said to protect their wearers against evil and can cure disease.

Emerald Gemstone

Browse our collection of emerald jewelry and emerald engagement rings

Garnet Gemstone Meaning

Garnets have a mythological association with the goddess Persephone. The ancient Greeks believed these gems came from the pomegranates she ate in the underworld. In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs wore red garnet necklaces and in ancient Rome, rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax on important documents. Garnets are also one of the oldest stones to be used for spiritual protection throughout history.

Browse our collection of garnet birthstone jewelry here

Morganite Gemstone Meaning

Morganite was first discovered in the early 1900s by gemologist George Kunz, who proposed that the stone should be named after American financier and gem enthusiast J.P. Morgan. This pink variety of beryl is believed to bring positive healing energy, inner peace joy, confidence, and unconditional love. It is also supposed to soothe anxiety and stress. 

Morganite Gemstone

Browse our collection of morganite jewelry here.

Opal Gemstone Meaning

Because opals can exhibit so many colors within a single stone, they have long been thought to possess supernatural powers. In ancient Rome, this gem symbolized love and hope. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them against disease. For centuries, Europeans have considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth. 

Opal Gemstone

Browse our collection of opal birthstone jewelry here.

Pearl Gemstone Meaning

The oldest precious gem, pearls, are known for their beautiful shimmering color and delicate beauty. In ancient China, pearls were believed to protect against fire, and in Europe, they were associated with innocence and purity. Pearls maintain their association with innocence today and are popular as bridal jewelry.

Pearl Gemstone

Browse our collection of pearl birthstone jewelry here.

Peridot Gemstone Meaning

Peridots have long been associated with Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians thought peridot protected against nightmares and brought the wearer confidence, good luck, and health. It’s believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridots.

Peridot Gemstone

Browse our collection of peridot birthstone jewelry here.

Ruby Gemstone Meaning

Ancient Hindus believed those who offered rubies to the god Krishna would be emperors in their future life. People in India and Burma have also believed that rubies provided safety and peace, and medieval Europeans thought these gems guaranteed health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.

Ruby Gemstone

Browse our collection of ruby jewelry and ruby engagement rings.

Sapphire Gemstone Meaning

Sapphires are a very lucky stone, believed to attract an abundance of blessings upon their wearers. This gem is said to promote health and spiritual clarity and guard one’s innocence. Sapphires are closely associated with royalty and have been a popular choice as engagement ring center stones. Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring is still the most recognizable engagement ring to this day.

Sapphire Gemstone

Browse our collection of sapphire jewelry and sapphire engagement rings.

Topaz Gemstone Meaning

Topaz symbolizes love and fidelity and is said to give strength and increase cognitive abilities for those who wear it. While topaz comes in various colors, most popularly blue topaz, it’s orange topaz that has been associated with fire in many cultures and eras. Like citrine and yellow sapphire, topaz is thought to bring good fortune and confidence.

Topaz Gemstone

Browse our collection of topaz birthstone jewelry here

We hope you found this helpful! If you’re looking to know more about gemstones, or you’re curious to learn more about a particular birthstone, check out our related blogs below! 

January Garnets * February Amethysts * March Aquamarines * April Diamonds * May Emeralds * June Pearls * July Rubies * August Peridots * September Sapphires * October Opal * November Citrines * December Blue Topaz

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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A Guide To Wedding Rings For Same-Sex Couples

Your wedding ring is the ultimate reflection of the lifelong commitment you’ve made to your special someone. But can it be stylish and unique to your relationship? Of course! Join us as we explore classic and contemporary designs and concepts for same-sex couple wedding bands.

Gay engagement rings

Wedding Rings for Same-Sex Couples 

So you’re finally heading down the aisle, but you need that special ring that says forever and looks great? 

Wedding ring shopping is far less stressful than picking out an engagement ring. Why? Well, this is something you and your partner can do together, there are a ton of classic and non-traditional rings to pick from, and you can make it as sentimental as you want. 

Picking a wedding ring has about as many rules for same-sex couples as it does for any other couple. The beauty of a wedding ring is that your chosen band will always remind you of your partner whenever you catch a glimpse of it. That’s why you can let your imaginations run wild and truly get a wedding ring that you love and that reflects your relationship. 

From matching wedding bands to rings with diamond accents and carved patterns, let us inspire you with our top picks for wedding rings for same-sex partners. 

To Match Or Not To Match

Matching wedding rings are a fun and sentimental choice for couples who want to be connected in a special way- like two halves of a whole. Wedding bands already carry such beautiful symbolism that getting matching bands only adds to your commitment and bond. 

But there are many ways to match that aren’t a direct copy-paste. Here are some of our favorite matching wedding rings with a twist.

Traditional same-sex couple wedding bands

If you and your fiancé prefer the more traditional route, that is, plain precious metal bands, we recommend going for the classic yellow and white gold route or even platinum. 

Classic wedding bands for men are usually a little thicker and also come in a variety of comfort-fit settings that can be domed, curved, or even flat.

14K Yellow Gold 5mm Slightly Domed Comfort Fit Wedding Ring

But certainly, take your lifestyle into account. Do you or your partner work intense jobs where your hands bump into things? Do you work out often and lift weights?

If so, it might be better to invest in a set of matching rings with a stronger, more alternative metal like cobalt chrome. This is a white metal that could easily pass for gold, but it’s highly durable and scratch-resistant. 

Cobalt Chrome 6mm Comfort-Fit High Polished Design Ring

Traditional wedding rings for women are usually thinner gold metal bands that would typically look aesthetically pleasing with their engagement rings. However, in some cases with lesbian couples, both partners may have an engagement ring they’d like to match their wedding band too. 

This could make matching the rings a little problematic unless you’ve both got the same engagement ring metal color and even ring setting style. Alternatively, you could get matching wedding bands and wear them on the opposite hand as your engagement rings. 

If only one of you has an engagement ring, things get a little easier when it comes to picking your matching rings.

14K White Gold 2.0mm Traditional Slightly Curved Wedding Ring

Non-traditional same-sex couple wedding bands

Tradition is not for everyone, especially when your personal style or even beliefs don’t coincide. Now, we always believe that any piece of jewelry you own should reflect your personality or the meaning you hold to it. 

For men, carved wedding rings can add that hint of your personality with an element of modern style. These rings come in a variety of precious and alternative metals and popular two-toned options. Carved wedding rings for men aren’t just perfect for matching with your partner, but they’re also trendy and can elevate your look- from your wedding attire to your everyday outfits. 

14K White And Yellow Gold Smooth Satin Finish Comfort-Fit Band

For our non-traditional ladies, we have a few stunning options up our sleeve. Maybe the best way to match without really matching is by picking the same metal color but having different designs? 

Here, you both have some leeway to add elements of your personal style to your bands but still keep the foundation of your rings the same.

14K Rose Gold Round Diamond Station Cable Ring

Diamond & Gemstone Wedding Rings

While most wedding band styles steer away from flashy diamond or gemstone accents, there really is no rule saying you can’t have them. 

Eternity rings are another top choice as diamond wedding rings for same-sex couples. The romantic symbolism is undeniable and perfectly represents forever, with added sparkle!

14K White Gold 7.5 Mm Satin Finish Channel Set Diamond Ring
White Tungsten Carbide 8MM Black Sapphire Band By TRITON

Eternity and diamond stone rings can also be customized to fit your individual preferences. Let your partner know which diamond shape you prefer and what size suits you best. A dainty diamond band is perfect if it’ll sit alongside an engagement ring, alone, or stacked with your other favorite pieces. Thicker eternity rings are better as standalone pieces. 

If you and your fiancé chose not to get engagement rings then an eternity or diamond ring is a stunning choice as a wedding ring that can still give you dazzling diamond brilliance. 

14K White Gold Low Dome Basket Lab-Created Diamond Eternity Ring

Contemporary Wedding Rings For Same-Sex Couples

Is your or your partner’s style more out there and daring? If one or both of you want a truly unique wedding ring, opt for a patterned design. 

What we love most about rings with imagery, uniquely placed accents, and metal shaping is that they will always feel like they were made just for you. They’re so different and often theme-specific that you will have a deep connection to your ring above and beyond its ceremonial meaning.

14K Yellow Gold 0.25ctw Seven Stone Shared Prong Diamond Anniversary Ring

The best thing about contemporary wedding rings is the fact that they can mirror your interests. If you love nature or nature-inspired jewelry, there are patterned wedding bands that can reflect that.

14K White Gold And Grey Tantalum Faux Mokume Pattern Center 8mm Ring

Wedding Rings For Same-Sex Couples FAQs

  1. Do we need matching wedding rings?

The short answer is no. Matching wedding rings for same-sex partners is no more mandatory than it is for heterosexual couples. Matching rings is a personal choice you and your partner can make together.

  1. Which hand do we wear our rings on?

Same-sex couples have been known to wear their rings in a number of different ways. From the traditional way with the ring worn on the left hand, to both partners wearing their rings on their right hands. In the end, you should decide on the hand that is most comfortable for you.

  1. Should we customize our wedding rings?

Customized wedding rings can add a particularly personal touch to an already significant day. If you and your partner would like to customize your wedding bands, there are plenty of places to do so in-store and online.

  1. Should we shop together for wedding rings?

You can shop together if you’ve both planned the style of your wedding rings or you’d like to be there to choose your own. Of course, if you want it to be a surprise, you can always drop a hint to your partner and hope for the best.

  1. Do we have to buy each other wedding rings?

You and your significant other don’t have to buy wedding rings. Whether you don’t believe in the symbolism or you aren’t jewelry folks, it’s always up to you! There are no right or wrong ways to tie the knot.

  1. Should we engrave our wedding bands?

As a couple, getting your wedding bands engraved is a common and often thoughtful gesture to mark the rest of your lives together. At JamesAllen.com, you can get free engraving at checkout.

What Are You Waiting For?

When it comes to picking the dream wedding ring for you, your partner, or both of you, James Allen has all the tools and convenience you need to find the perfect fit. Visit our site for all you need to know about the different metals, styles, designs, and more!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

More Posts - Website

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Our Top Engagement Rings For Same-Sex Couples

When it comes to popping the question, anything goes. But what about the ring? Something as personal as an engagement ring needs some extra thought, and that’s where we come in. Join us as we explore the perfect engagement ring duos for same-sex couples! 

Engagement Rings For Same-Sex Couples

We’re grateful that love is anyone’s game, and each player gets their own unique story. What better way to express your personal love story and style than with your engagement ring?

But first, the usual questions. Who proposes to who? Are you both jumping on the trend of wearing engagement rings together? If yes, are you going the cute route with matching rings? 

Overwhelmed? Don’t stress. There’s really no right answer on how to propose or what engagement ring to get. All we can do is inspire you. 

Here’s a look at our top engagement rings for same-sex couples. 

Engagement Rings For Same-Sex Couples

Same-Sex Engagement Rings For Women

Now, it’s important to remember that anything goes with your unique proposal and the same should be said about your engagement ring. Here are a few categories we’ve outlined about engagement rings for same-sex partners. 

Traditional

For a classic proposal, one person would have a desire to be proposed to while the other would like to be the one who pops the question. If you and your partner fall into this category you’ll both appreciate the more traditional approach. 

Traditional rings are anything but boring. Classic solitaire engagement rings are a style that will be around forever. What we love about these rings is that you can pair this setting with just about any diamond shape and metal color. You can also opt for different prong settings to suit your individual style.

Solitaire engagement rings with different metal colors and styles

In the past, it was customary for women to wear the engagement ring as men would be the ones who typically proposed. However, for same-sex couples, there are really no hard and fast rules about this.

If you’d like to keep it within the traditional standard then your partner to whom you proposed to will be the one sporting the diamond ring you picked especially for them. Then you will get your wedding band once you’re married. 

Side stone engagement rings

Dual Proposals

In today’s society, it’s super normal to have the marriage talk as a couple and to decide together that it’s time to get engaged. That being said, it’s not completely uncommon for same-sex couples to propose to one another. In fact, it’s a growing trend that both partners will wear an engagement ring and we’re absolutely loving it! 

So what kind of engagement ring should you and your partner choose if you both plan to propose and be proposed to? 

We’ve got two answers. First, you could always do matching rings to make the moment even more memorable. Picking out matching rings is a process the two of you won’t easily forget. Also, knowing your partner has a ring exactly like yours will always remind you of them when you catch a glimpse of your sparkler. 

If you don’t want to match completely, you can always keep them similar by choosing the same type of ring setting and then adding in your preferred center stone of choice. 

Two pavé engagement rings with different styles

Second, you can both buy rings that showcase your significant other’s personal style and preferences. Going with this option means that you both have more options to choose from in terms of ring styles and also customization. Say you love halo engagement rings but you’d prefer a gemstone center stone instead of a traditional diamond- your partner can make that happen by designing your ring online. 

P.S. If you love the idea of creating a customized ring from scratch, try out our ring studio for the ultimate ring designing experience. 

Women's gemstone engagement rings

Same-Sex Engagement Rings For Men

Men’s engagement rings are a little more tricky than womens since they’re only just now becoming increasingly popular. That’s not to say they aren’t a thing yet, because they very much are on the rise. It’s more of a question of their style and what that’s supposed to look like.

Do men’s engagement rings keep up the concept that a diamond or gemstone needs to be involved in the ring’s design, or does anything go? 

We’d like to think it’s up to the individual. And for same-sex couples, the sky is the limit to the type of engagement ring style you wish to present your partner with. If you want to keep it traditional- diamonds really are for everyone! One of the most popular styles are comfort fit rings with added diamond or gemstone accents. 

Men’s Eternity Rings

Diamonds already symbolize love, commitment, and above all, strength. Now when they’re fitted in an eternity ring, your partner will know you’re in it for the long haul!

Eternity rings can be customized to suit your significant other’s personal style, from diamond cut preference to favorite metal color choice. The best part, they’ll be shining from every angle. 

An eternity ring is also the perfect style for matching same-sex couples’ engagement rings as they represent not only the time you’ve already spent together, but the long life you’ll enjoy together as a married couple. 

Men's diamond and gemstone engagement rings

Alternative Metal Men’s Engagement Rings 

Gold may be the most popular metal but alternative metals like tantalum offer a more rich and masculine color which is extraordinarily appealing.

Tantalum rings for same-sex couples offer durability, comfort, and it’s a low-maintenance metal. This metal is also a budget-friendly option as it’s cheaper than platinum and hypoallergenic. As an engagement ring option, they’re perfect for easy customization. 

Tantalum 6mm Channel Set Diamond Comfort Fit Ring
Tantalum 7.5mm Channel Set Diamond Satin Finished Comfort Fit Ring

How Do I Find Out My Partner’s Ring Size?

Getting your partner’s ring size is probably one of the most nerve-wracking exercises before your actual proposal. Lucky for you we have a few easy tips and tricks to help you get it right the first time round. 

How to measure ring size

At JamesAllen.com you can request a free ring sizer from us which we’ll have sent to you to ensure you get the perfect fit! Or you can have a go at our virtual try-on, which should come with disclosure because it’s highly addictive!

Same-Sex Engagement Ring FAQs

  1. Do we need matching engagement rings? 

The short answer is no. Matching engagement rings for same-sex partners is no more mandatory than it is for heterosexual couples. Matching rings is a personal choice you and your partner can make together. 

  1. Which hand do we wear our rings on?

Same-sex couples have been known to wear their rings in a number of different ways. From the traditional way with the ring worn on the left hand, to both partners wearing their rings on their right hands. In the end, you should decide on the hand that is most comfortable for you. 

  1. Should we shop together for engagement rings? 

You can shop together if you’ve both planned the style of your engagement rings or you’d like to be there to choose your own. Of course, if you want it to be a surprise you can always drop a hint to your partner and hope for the best. 

  1. Do we have to buy each other engagement rings?

You and your significant other don’t have to buy engagement rings. Whether you don’t believe in the symbolism or you’re not jewelry folks, it’s always up to you! There are no right or wrong ways to propose, and it can certainly be done without a ring. 

What Are You Waiting For?

When it comes to picking the right engagement ring for you, your partner, or both of you, James Allen has all the tools and convenience you need to find the perfect fit. Visit our site for all you need to know about the different metals, styles, designs, and more!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

More Posts - Website

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Discover The June Birthstone: Pearls 

Happy birthday to all our pearl-loving June babies! You’ve lucked out with this luminescent June birthstone. Gorgeous and affordable, this marine beauty upgrades any personal style. Read on for our favorite pearl birthstone jewelry gifts.

Let’s start off with a fun fact. Only two months out of the year have three birthstones, June and December. That means that June babies, aka Geminis and Cancers, are lucky enough to have some stunning stones to choose from, none better than the classic pearl. In our humble opinion, of course. 

What Is The June Birthstone?

Aside from moonstones and alexandrite, pearls are perhaps the most popular choice as June’s birthstone. Pearls are the only gemstone created from a living animal- the mollusk! They can be found in clams, oysters, and mussels. So, the next time you’re enjoying these shellfish, remember they’re also responsible for one of the world’s oldest gems. 

The June birthstone is extra special because it doesn’t need to be mined like other gems (natural pearls). In fact, it doesn’t need any specific cutting or polishing to look incredible. It just is! 

What Are The Different Types Of Pearls?

South Sea Pearl

Originally exclusive to Australia, South Sea pearls are now cultured in Indonesia, Burma, and the Philippines. Colors range from white pink and silver pink to dark gold. Australian pearls also come in fancy colors, including red gold which is extremely rare and highly regarded. These sizable pearls work well in strands and statement pieces.

14K White Gold South Sea Cultured Pearl And Loop Diamond Earrings
14K White Gold South Sea Cultured Pearl And Diamond Necklace (9.0-10.0mm)

Tahitian Pearl 

Often called black pearls, Tahitian pearls grow in the warm, turquoise lagoons of French Polynesia and other islands in the South Seas. Colors range from gray to black, shimmering with peacock green, gray, and purple overtones. Try these dark devils for an edgier look.

14K White Gold Tahitian Cultured Pearl And Diamond Necklace (10.0-11.0mm)
18K White Gold Tahitian Cultured Pearl And Bezel Set Diamond Trio Bangle Bracelet (11.0-12.0mm)

Akoya Pearl 

Coming from Japan, the most valued Akoya pearl colors are white and white with pink undertones. The most common of the cultured pearls, their roundness, nacre depth, and consistent luster have positioned them as the preferred choice for a timeless statement.

14K Yellow Gold Akoya Cultured Pearl And Textured Brilliance Bead Bangle Bracelet (8.0-8.5mm)
14K Yellow Gold Akoya Cultured Pearl And Textured Brilliance Bead Drop Pendant (7.5-8.0mm)

Freshwater Pearl 

Though originally produced in Japan, 90% of the world’s freshwater pearls now come from China. Supply is abundant and each shell can produce up to 100 pearls simultaneously. While typically irregular in color and shape, freshwater pearls are the most affordable and are widely used in sterling silver jewelry because of their availability.

14K Yellow Gold Open Double Freshwater Cultured Pearl Ring (5.0-8.0mm)
14K Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Pearl And Textured Bead Bracelet (7.5-8.0mm)

How Is A Pearl Created?

There’s a big misconception that natural pearls are formed from a grain of salt when it’s actually the result of a parasite. The parasite lodges itself inside the mollusk, and as a defense, the animal emits a fluid called nacre. The fluid coats the irritant with milky layers of nacre, eventually forming a pearl. 

Given how popular pearls are, especially as bridal jewelry, pearl farmers have learned ways to recreate the natural process of pearl cultivation. These pearls are called ‘cultured pearls’ and come in a variety of hues. Along with the popular cream and white colors, farmers can create pearl jewelry in lilac, grey, and even black. 

Since natural pearls are rare and hard to find, cultured pearls are more common in the jewelry industry. Like lab created diamonds, these pearls are just as real and exhibit the same high quality as natural pearls. 

Pearl Birthstone History

The world’s oldest pearl, the “Abu Dhabi Pearl,” dated back 8,000 years to the Neolithic period and was discovered in 2017 on Marawah Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The oldest known pearl necklace was discovered in the sarcophagus of a Queen who died in 520 BC. 

Pearls, which were known in ancient Greece as the tears of the gods, have been worn and used as adornments for centuries. Only the very rich could afford them as they were extremely rare. As of the early 1900s, pearls have become more accessible because of commercial culturing and are a classic and affordable gemstone for nearly any budget. 

Pearl Birthstone Symbolism

Pearls, given their long history, have racked up a pretty good symbolism portfolio at this point. For some, pearls are symbolic of wisdom- hence the term “pearls of wisdom.” Moreover, they’re said to offer protection along with good luck and wealth. 

And if that weren’t a good enough reason to invest in this little gem, they’re also supposed to be symbolic of the wearer’s purity, kind nature, and generosity.

For those on their wedding day or anniversary, pearls represent the broader idea of seeing love as a treasure. Why? Because pearls were so hard to find and so rare, they became a treasure to anyone who found them. 

Pearl Jewelry Sets For Any Occasion 

Pearl jewelry will always remain in the spotlight. Despite the idea that it’s only worn by the older generation, we’re seeing pearls trend in 2022, for men and women of all ages! 

One piece of pearl jewelry is wow, but a set is next-level elegance. Whether you’re a bride or groom-to-be looking for some milky pearls, or you like things that match your everyday outfits, we recommended our catch of the day. 

Come out of your shell with these top pearl jewelry sets and we guarantee all eyes on you no matter which way you turn. 

14K Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Seed Pearl Open Circle Necklace (2.0mm)
14K Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Seed Pearl Open Circle Earrings (2.0mm)

“The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens.” – Anonymous 

14K Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Pearl Double Strand Bracelet (6.0-7.0mm)
14K Yellow Gold Freshwater Cultured Pearl Fish Clasp 18" Necklace (6.0-7.0mm)

“The rarest things in the world, next to a spirit of discernment, are diamonds and pearls.” – Jean de la Bruyère

14K Rose Gold Freshwater Pearl Crescent Ring
18K Rose Gold South Sea Cultured Pearl And Bezel Set Diamond Trio Bangle Bracelet (11.0-12.0mm)

“Pearls are always appropriate.” – Jackie Kennedy

Why Should You  Buy A Pearl Engagement Ring?

  1. Pearl engagement rings are a unique alternative to classic engagement rings.
  2. Believe it or not, pearl engagement rings are the perfect budget-friendly option.
  3. They’re the June Birthstone, something your June-born partner may appreciate.
  4. They come in a variety of designs, from ring settings to metal, pearl sizes, and colors! 
  5. Pearls go with everything, as will your pearl engagement ring.

FAQs About Pearls & The June Birthstone

  1. What is the true birthstone for June?

People born in June are lucky enough to have three true birthstones. These include pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. June is one of three months, including August and December, that have more than one stunning birthstone. 

  1. Are there multiple birthstones for June?

Yes, June has three beautiful birthstones, pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone.

  1. Why does June have 3 birthstones?

One of the main reasons June has three birthstones is because some ancient gemstones have become too rare and therefore aren’t as easily accessible on the market. 

  1. What color is the birthstone for June?

Pearl birthstone comes in a variety of different colors, from white to black/grey, and even pink. Alexandrite can change colors depending on the light from bluish-green to purplish red. 

  1. Why is June’s birthstone the pearl?

To astrologists, the pearl represents the birthstone for June. They also say that the gem is aligned with the zodiac sign of Gemini.

  1. Is alexandrite more expensive than diamonds?

Alexandrite and diamonds have a similar value and it’s not uncommon to find alexandrite jewelry priced the same as diamonds. This is because alexandrite gemstones are becoming rarer. 

  1. What is the rarest birthstone?

Painite is the rarest gemstone. It’s not just the rarest gemstone, but also the rarest mineral on earth. 

  1. How much is alexandrite worth?

Currently, it’s said that a 1-carat alexandrite gem can go up to $15,000.

Final Thoughts

For more about pearls and other birthstone jewelry, check out our related pearl posts! We’re always happy to help you find the perfect gift whether it’s for yourself or that special person in your life. Visit us at JamesAllen.com today and find out what fine jewelry, engagement rings, and wedding rings are perfect for you!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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16 Facts About Jewelry You Probably Didn’t Know

Ever wondered why your brain remembers useless facts but not the important stuff? We don’t have an answer to that question, but we do have more fun facts about jewelry to fill your head with for your next trivia night!

James Allen's Jewelry

Jewelry is everywhere, but what do we really know about our favorite accessories and their history? We know that men and women have worn jewelry for centuries and we know that gems, gold, and diamonds have played a vital role in human history. 

Whether you simply love jewelry or are a trivia enthusiast, we’re counting down 16 fun facts about jewelry you probably didn’t know! 

#1 What’s In A Name? 

Starting us off is a fun fact about the word jewellery or jewelry. It started with the French word joule (toy), which is derived from the Latin word jocale, which means playing. In late Middle English, around the 17th and 18th centuries, it was spelled “juelrye,” and it later became “jewelry/jewellery,” as we know it today.

#2 The First Engagement Ring 

Maximilian, the Archduke of Austria, started the concept of the diamond engagement ring. Back in 1477, he gave Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, a diamond engagement ring for their wedding. And so the trend began and it’s believed that many other wealthy couples of the era followed suit.  

So what did this ring look like? It was painted as being a yellow gold solitaire engagement ring with a bezel setting which secured the almost pyramid-like diamond center stone.

14K Yellow Gold Petite Solitaire Emerald Cut Diamond Ring

#3 The Largest Diamond Ever Found 

Presently, the largest diamond ever found was unearthed in South Africa in 1905. The famous Cullinan Diamond was recorded at 3,106 carats and weighed 1.3 pounds! Even more interesting is that the diamond was cut into smaller parts and formed part of the British Royal family’s crown jewels. 

#4 The Oldest Jewelry 

Let’s take you back to 100,000 years ago, where archeologists working in Morocco discovered 33 shell beads. These oldest jewelry pieces known to humankind were found in the Bizmoune Caves in the western Moroccan desert. Also known as Nassarius shells, they were assumed to be used for decorative purposes. 

#5 Origins Of Lab Created Diamonds 

The first-ever proven synthetic diamond was created by Howard Tracy Hall in 1954. The project was codenamed “Project Superpressure.” This experiment paved the way for gem quality lab created diamonds and is changing the industry to this day! 

Lab created diamonds

#6 Where Is Gold Really From? 

Believe it or not, gold is extraterrestrial. Nearly all of the gold found on earth was cooked up in space and came from meteorites that crashed into earth 200 million years after the planet formed. 

#7 You’re Made Of Gold, Baby! 

We bet you didn’t know that an average person – weighing roughly 70kg’s – has about 0.22 milligrams of gold in them. Insane, right?? Some scientists have determined that the gold in our bodies does serve a small role in maintaining the health of our joints. 

#8 The Most Unique Gemstone 

Though not as popular as other gemstones, peridot is the only gem that comes in a single color and is formed in the earth’s mantle (the mostly-solid bulk of earth’s interior). So, why is this cool? Well, the only other gem to be formed in the earth’s mantle is the diamond. All other gemstones (except pearls) are formed in the earth’s crust. 

Fun fact: Peridot is the August birthstone and comes in an array of stunning fine jewelry pieces.

Peridot: August birthstone

#9 Amber Is Sap

Amber is actually the result of resin from fossilized prehistoric trees! It’s considered to be the softest and lightest gemstone on earth. This sun-kissed gemstone is so light that it will float in saltwater. 

#10 The First Diamond 

Did you know that the first diamond was discovered in India during the 4th century? Up until the 18th century, people believed that India was the only source of diamonds. That was until a 21-carat diamond was discovered in South Africa! Nowadays, seven countries across five continents dominate the world diamond industry as leading diamond producers. 

#11 Pearls 

It may surprise some of you to learn that pearls are the only gemstone that comes from a living animal- the mollusk! That’s why pearls are known as “organic” gemstones. Nowadays, almost all pearls are cultured, making them readily accessible for commercial use. 

Fun fact: Pearl is one of June’s birthstones and has continued to be a staple trendsetter throughout the centuries.

Pearls: June birthstone

#12 The World’s Most Expensive Engagement Ring 

And the honor goes to none other than Mariah Carey. This legend was given a massive 35-carat diamond ring by ex-fiancé James Packer. The ring cost an astonishing $10 million!!! The style was a bold platinum band with an emerald cut diamond and two tapered baguette diamonds.

#13 Bending 24K Gold 

While gold is a durable metal, did you know you can bend 24K gold with your bare hands? For this reason, no jewelry is made using 24K gold. Instead, jewelers will alloy this gold with other metals to make it hard enough to create jewelry. 

#14 The Most Recognizable Piece of Jewelry 

Princess Diana’s stunning sapphire halo engagement ring is often said to be the most recognizable piece of jewelry of the 20th century. The iconic blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds is now worn by The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

What did this ring look like? We’ve shared our closest and most affordable lookalike below!

14K White Gold Cathedral Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

#15 Leaving Gold To The Fishes 

Unfortunately for us, our next fun fact isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. The ocean we love is filled with close to $150 trillion of gold! And if we could find a way to cultivate it, each person on earth could have 4.5 kilograms of gold. For now, we’ll keep dreaming! 

#16 The Most Expensive & Famous Jewel In The World 

The most expensive and perhaps the most famous jewel in the world is a 45.52 carat blue stone known as the Hope Diamond. It was this diamond that also inspired the “The Heart of the Ocean” necklace featured in the blockbuster favorite, Titanic. 

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts! To learn more about fine jewelry or to see what’s trending this year, give us a visit at JamesAllen.com or check out our Insta page for everyday accessories and rings that’ll make you want to say I Do.

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring 

So you’re ready to pop the big question but you’re not quite sure where to start looking for that special sparkler…let us help you discover the best place to buy an engagement ring!

The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring 

We’re going to try and give you a simple answer to that special question you’ve been asking yourself lately– where is the best place to buy an engagement ring??

If you’re looking to take the next step and begin your engagement ring shopping experience, we absolutely recommend starting online! Whether you’re looking for a classic solitaire engagement ring with no extra bits or bobs, or you’re looking for the perfect halo engagement ring set in your dream fancy shape diamond, we guarantee your preference is bound to be online, and in abundance!

It’s no surprise that online shopping has become a comfortable and convenient alternative to in-person shopping over the past few years. But does it take away anything from the ring shopping experience? 

Let’s walk through the pros and cons of buying your dream ring online, and hopefully, you’ll come to agree that the best place to buy an engagement ring is from the comfort of your own home. 

Engagement Ring Shopping 

Engagement ring shopping is as exciting as it is overwhelming. Not only does it take some research but it’s a huge investment, and one you surely want to get right from the get-go.

Many online jewelry realtors understand the stress and unique needs of diamond engagement ring buyers, and so these same realtors are motivated to make sure your buying experience is incredibly easy and that you have every tool you’d need to make the perfect choice! 

So what questions should you be asking yourself? 

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

Special Services & Technology 

What unique services will an online jewelry store offer you? You want to start by looking at their tech features. Are you able to do a free real-time diamond consultation and learn more about it and also have an up-close look at a particular diamond that has caught your eye? 

When searching for the center stone for your engagement ring, it’s important that you not only have access to the different types of diamonds available to you but also easy-to-understand information about important factors to consider when choosing a diamond for your unique budget and preference. 

Most online jewelry stores will have an education center filled with everything you need to know about choosing a diamond. You’ll likely also have access to expert and diamond jewelry consultants who are readily available to jump online with you to answer all your questions, help you pick out your diamond engagement ring, and allow you to view your diamond choices in 360° HD.

14K White Gold Embellished Gallery Pavé Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Online Engagement Ring Customization

Next, can you customize your engagement ring yourself? The short answer is yes! The best place to customize your engagement ring is online because you have the ability to see your creation form in real-time. You have all the tools available to mix and match different settings, metal colors, diamond shapes, etc. 

Like our very own Ring Studio, online customization is taken to the next level. You are the main designer and creator, as opposed to telling someone in a store what you like and having them create it for you. You don’t need to settle for an engagement ring that doesn’t quite suit your or your partner’s style because you can design one that is the exact representation of what you want down to every minute detail. 

14K Rose Gold Bypass Marquise Array Diamond Engagement Ring

Virtual Engagement Ring Try-On

Worried about being able to try on your ring and get that perfect ring size? To order engagement rings online is a daunting experience- but not one that isn’t without surety. Believe it or not, you’ll be able to do a virtual try-on. And when we say you’ll be trying on rings all day long, we mean it! 

You can see what ring styles look good on you, which metals match best with your skin tone, and what size diamond or shape suits your finger best. 

14K White Gold Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

Online Ring Sizer

Next, you can determine your ring size in so many different ways using helpful tips and tricks. There’s even an app you can use to get an exact measurement. At James Allen, we offer free resizing, done in a timely manner- in case you have a special proposal planned! 

14K Yellow Gold Bow-Tie Channel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Variety & Budget 

When buying an engagement ring online, you’ll find you have a much wider variety of diamond and gemstone center stones available to you. While some people prefer the traditional natural diamond, the perks of investing in lab created diamond alternatives are growing exponentially. 

Lab grown diamonds and earth created diamonds are optically and chemically identical. If you were to have both diamonds professionally inspected, you would find no differences. The only noticeable difference is the incredible price tag. A lab created diamond is by far the more budget-friendly option, allowing you to get the diamond you truly want, for less! 

We can’t stress this enough. In-store operations have gemstone and diamond engagement rings available for you to browse and try on, but online stores really do have so much more to offer you at a personal level. Especially if you’re looking for variety or to customize a specific ring. 

Fun fact: At JamesAllen.com we store hundreds of different ring settings and more than 300,000 natural and lab grown loose diamonds- in every fancy shape and color!

14K White Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring

Shipping & Returns Policies

The best place to buy an engagement ring will certainly be one you can wholeheartedly trust to be fair and deliver on their promises. Most online jewelry stores have thorough shipping and return policies. It’s needed to ensure trust and long-lasting relationships with customers who have moved to purchase their jewelry online. 

Looking at our process and policies, every engagement ring from James Allen is hand-crafted, methodically examined, and checked by diamond and jewelry experts to ensure the quality of a piece before it’s shipped via secure delivery methods. Every order includes Free WorldWide Shipping, and Hassle-Free Returns with 100% Money Back Guarantee within 30 days. 

14K White Gold Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring FAQs

  1. Is it safe to buy an engagement ring online?

The answer is yes. If you’re set on buying your ring online, make sure to do the proper research: choose a trustworthy vendor, verify their certification, read the return policy, and pay attention to the shipping details. 

  1. Can I return an engagement ring that I purchased online?

Usually yes, but it’s your responsibility to read through the vendor’s return policy before making a purchase from them. 

  1. Where should you not buy an engagement ring?

Always make sure you’re working with a reputable jeweler. Don’t buy an engagement ring from any vendor that cannot prove their legitimacy or if you can tell whether their site deals and special offers are too good to be true. 

  1. Is it cheaper to buy an engagement ring online or in-store?

Engagement rings are said to be 30-40% cheaper online than they are in physical jewelry stores. Because of the way diamonds are sold and distributed, diamonds are less expensive for online vendors.

We’re Here To Help

Finding the perfect engagement ring comes with stress, questions, and a lot of second-guessing. At James Allen, we offer you 100% free advice and will assist you in understanding the best diamond quality for your budget and unique preferences. 

Contact our customer service team and chat with non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts 24/7 regarding any questions you have about buying an engagement ring online and the process around it. 

Happy shopping! 

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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What Is The Birthstone For May?

Capture the freshness of spring with emeralds, May’s birthstone, and our favorite vibrant gemstone!

May Birthstone

What Is The May Birthstone?

Emerald, the May birthstone, is one of the rarest gemstones out there. Literally meaning “green” in Greek, emerald mining has existed, as we know it, for well over three thousand years.

Emerald is a form of the mineral beryl, which has been tinged green by trace amounts of chromium and/or vanadium. Ooooh, and how green it can be! From light to deep-colored, emerald’s verdant hues span the green spectrum. The better the emerald gemstone’s cut, the richer its color.

Fun fact: another popular version of the mineral beryl, tinged blue by trace amounts of iron, is aquamarine!

Emerald History & Origin 

Throughout the ages, cultures across the globe have delighted in this green gem: Cleopatra regularly flaunted emeralds and gave them away as diplomatic gifts, Spanish conquerors plundered emeralds from the Incas, and legend has it that an emerald was one of the 4 sacred stones given to King Solomon. Nowadays, nearly half of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia.

Emerald Symbolism & Meaning

Many ancient healers believed that wearing or being near an emerald would promote wellness of the heart. Through time, the emerald has been known as a symbol of truth and love. In ancient Greece and Rome, emerald was said to be the gemstone of the goddess Venus, purveyor of love and hope.

Emeralds, because of their green color, were said to represent vitality, and it’s the perfect gemstone to represent happy new beginnings, love, and an eternal relationship. Emerald can also represent a faithful relationship and a strong natural connection with a partner.

Buying An Emerald Stone 

The emerald cut is one with particularly few facets, and as such doesn’t give a stone’s imperfections anywhere to hide. This is why it suits stones with excellent clarity! Although any stone can be cut into an emerald cut, this particular cut originated with emerald gemstones. It suits them perfectly! 

Two features are most important in an emerald: the hue and the clarity. Emeralds can contain various imperfections, which can be hidden by other multi-faceted cuts. But if you want your emerald to shine incredibly, and its green color to somehow appear brighter, then choose a stone with a high grade of clarity.

Emeralds can be the affordable gemstone choice! A 1-carat emerald actually appears larger than a 1-carat diamond. Why? Emeralds are less dense, and thus take up more space. Plus, at the same carat weight as diamonds, emeralds have much lower price points.

How to Wear Emeralds

  • Emeralds are durable (7.5-8 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale), but they’re not nearly as hard as diamonds (a maximum 10 on the Moh’s Scale). This means that they can be chipped or damaged, particularly if you wear them often. You can prevent this by choosing a sturdy setting for your emerald that properly encases it: strong prongs or an all-around bezel setting.
  • If you’ve got red hair or freckles, emeralds will look particularly fabulous on you! Red and green are complementary colors, so pair them as much as you can. Does it matter what type of jewelry in which you choose to showcase your emerald? No! Go wild, it’ll all look incredible.
  • Blue eyes? Dark green emerald earrings are your thing. The cool hue of the emeralds will complement your icy irises!

Pro tip: Because emeralds can be quite dark in color, it’s best to opt for larger carats, which allow more light to strike the stone and reveal its features.

Emerald Jewelry: May Birthstone Gifts

Shopping for a May birthday? Go emerald. Not only are they beautiful on their own, but emeralds also represent youthful vitality, which makes them meaningful birthday presents. Gift a necklace, bracelet, ring, or earrings with May’s vivid green stone!

Looking for something earthy to add a pop of color to your stacked ring look? Try an emerald ring and you’ll turn heads with the most vibrant stone out there! Not only are gemstone rings versatile for every season, but they make the perfect gift for the special Taurus in your life.

14K Yellow Gold Double Row Pavé Emerald Ring
14K Yellow Gold Alternating Arrow Shape Milgrain Bezel Emerald And Diamond Ring

It’s no surprise that the emerald birthstone gets a lot of attention when worn. Its green aura is so magnificent it’s impossible to miss in a crowd. If you’re looking to have all eyes on you, an emerald pendant or necklace is the right way to go!

18K White Gold Pear Shape Emerald Double Diamond Halo Necklace
18K White Gold Oval Halo Emerald And Diamond Necklace

If you prefer to treat yourself or your loved one to something dainty that can be dressed up or down, we recommend an emerald bracelet. No matter your outfit, a diamond or gemstone bracelet can make you feel amazing at any time on all occasions!

14K White Gold Perpetual Diamond And Emerald Tennis Bracelet
14K Yellow Gold Rainbow Bar Bracelet By Brevani

Looking for simple elegance with your favorite green shade? Why not invest in a pair of emerald birthstone earrings? Whether it be studs or the more trendy earpieces, earrings are one accessory that can be thrown on in a second and instantly transform your face and your look.

18K White Gold Petite Drop Oval Halo Emerald And Diamond Earrings (6.0x4.0mm)
18K White Gold Round Halo Emerald And Diamond Earrings

Emerald Engagement Rings

Did you know that your engagement ring’s center stone doesn’t necessarily need to be a diamond? If you want to feature a stunning emerald instead, your stone of choice can be set in any of our engagement ring designs. This is even more perfect if the ring recipient was born in May.

The May birthstone is the perfect green light to “Will you marry me?” Choose a ring with emerald side stones or a vibrant center stone.

14K White Gold Imperial Emerald And Diamond Ring
14K White Gold Emerald And Diamond Ring

May Birthstone: 6 Fun Facts

  1. Emerald’s vivid green color is said to symbolize fertility and life and was once thought to represent internal youth.
  1. The Romans dedicated the May birthstone to Venus, their Goddess of love.
  1. Emeralds are very rare and are said to sometimes be harder to find than diamonds.
  1. The deeper the green on an emerald birthstone the more valuable it is.
  1. Emeralds are actually larger than diamonds since they have a less dense composition.
  1. Unlike diamonds, an emerald’s imperfections can improve the gem’s value.

FAQs about May Birthstone

  1. What are the two birthstones for May?

There is only one birthstone for May, the emerald.

  1. Which stone is best for May’s birthstone?

The best stone as a gift for someone born in May is the emerald gemstone. This stone comes in a variety of green hues.

  1. What Color Is The May Birthstone?

The May birthstone is green. Emeralds can range in color from deep greens to faint, misty green hues.

  1. What crystal goes with May?

The associated crystal with May or the Taurus zodiac is Jade.

Final Thoughts

Emeralds truly are one of the most versatile gemstones. From engagement rings to pendant necklaces, they can be worn with nearly everything for a rich pop of color. And they’ve got an undeniable glamour – celebs are positively obsessed with them. 

Emeralds are said to bring their wearers foresight and good luck. So, do you see an emerald in your future?

Read More About Trending Gemstones:

  1. Gemstone Jewelry Standouts
  2. April Birthstone: A Guide To Diamond Jewelry
  3. June Pearl Birthstone Jewelry

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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How To Choose The Right Jewelry For Your Skin Tone 

There’s a good reason certain metal types suit you better than others. Read on and find out how to pick the right jewelry color for your skin tone!

Jewelry

What is Skin Tone & Why Does It Matter With Jewelry?

Your skin tone is not the same as your skin color, also known as overtone. Rather, it refers to the subtle undertones of your skin that come through no matter how the environment impacts your skin. 

To get technical, the primary component in someone’s skin tone is their melanin content. We know that melanin also contributes to skin color, with more melanin resulting in darker skin color. However, in the case of skin tone, the more melanin you have the warmer your skin tone. 

So why does skin tone matter when picking your engagement ring metal or other fine jewelry? It matters because different metals either clash or complement different undertones. Since the metal encasing your gemstones or diamond often rests directly in contact with your skin, it can have a major impact on how well your jewelry looks on you.

Most people fall into one of two undertone categories – warm or cool. A few of you may even be part of the neutral skin tone group.

Skin Tone vs Undertone 

Skin Tone

  • Surface color of your natural skin
  • It can change 
  • Categorized as light, medium, dark

Undertone

  • Muted color beneath your skin 
  • Cannot change 
  • Categorized as warm, cold, neutral 

Skin Tone Categories

Light 

Light or fair skin tones tend to come from Northern European countries. People with paler skin are usually more sensitive to the sun and find they burn easily.

14K White Gold Two Hearts In One Layered Diamond Necklace
14K Yellow Gold Plate Cuff Bangle

Medium

Medium complexions are typical of those of Southern Europe and Northern Asian descent. Usually, this skin tone is neutral and can tan well in the sun. Many people under the medium category have an envy-worthy olive skin tone.

14K White Gold Inside Out Round Hoops, 3/4 Inch Diameter (0.25 Ctw.)
14K White Gold Channel Set Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Dark

Dark complexions typically originate from parts of the world that have the most exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as the Middle East, India, and Africa.  

14K Yellow Gold 3.9mm Paper Clip Chain Necklace
14K Yellow Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring

Undertone Categories

Your undertone is like the shadow of your skin that will always be there and never change. Cool, warm, and neutral are used to describe the different shades we find. 

When applying make-up, the undertone of your skin determines what shade of foundation to use on your face, and it also helps us to understand which metal color is perfect to suit your unique skin tone.

  • Cool tone: red, pink, and bluish hues underneath the skin. 
  • Warm tone: yellow and golden hues underneath the skin. 
  • Neutral tone: olive or a balanced mix of the above-mentioned shades. 

How to Determine Your Skin Tone

Here are three ways to tell which skin tone category you fall under. 

  1. Your Veins 

Look at your veins under natural light and check their appearance under your skin. Under natural light, you’ll be looking at your undertones rather than your overtones. Are your veins blue or green? Are you even able to tell? 

Well, if you can’t tell, you may be someone who falls under the neutral skin tone category. If your veins are blue or purplish, then you’re part of the cool tone group. Finally, if your veins are green, you’ll fall under the warm tone category. 

  1. The Silver/Gold Test

If you have some jewelry lying around, try on some silver and yellow gold pieces and see which metal complements your skin better. If the silver looks better, it’s likely you have cool undertones. If you have warm skin tones, yellow gold will stand out as the better option. 

Hint hint: At JamesAllen.com you can use our virtual try-on to see how well your favorite engagement ring looks on your hand AND you can try it on using different metal colors! 

  1. Your Skin’s Reaction to Sun Exposure

When you’re out in the sun, how does your skin react? Do you tan easily or rarely experience sunburn? Or do you find your skin is easily burned and turns red quickly? Those who tan easily likely have a warm skin tone. If you burn easily you’re probably part of the cool tone club. 

Buying The Right Jewelry For Your Skin Tone 

Now that you know how to determine your skin tone and which undertone category you fall under, we can start to figure out which metal type is perfect for you. 

Cool Tone

If you fall in the cool category, white metals complement your skin the best. These include platinum, white gold, and silver. If you’re worried about whether your white gold jewelry will still stand out against paler skin, fear not. White metals shine just as bright as yellow or rose gold.

14K White Gold Channel Set Diamond Wedding Ring (.63 CTW.)
18K White Gold Halo Princess Cut Diamond Necklace

Warm Tone

If your skin tone falls in the warm category, then opt for yellow gold or copper. Earth tones, such as rose gold, bronze, or black metals also look great on warm skin tones. Darker metals can really elevate your look, especially with statement pieces like diamond necklaces or tennis bracelets.

14K Yellow Gold Asscher Cut Diamond Eternity Ring (2 CTW H-I / SI1-SI2)

Neutral Tone 

Finally, if neutral is your tone, then you can choose the metal you like best. Go with what makes you feel beautiful because every metal looks great on your skin!

P.S. Love rose gold? Rose gold is a neutral metal, so it looks great on everyone! 

14K Rose Gold Pavé Chain Diamond Ring
14K Rose Gold Claw Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

Final Thoughts

Just keep in mind, these guidelines are just that – a place to get you started in experimenting with which metals look best against your beautiful skin. At James Allen, we have all the tools and support you need to find and design the engagement ring of your dreams and the wedding rings you and your partner will cherish forever. 

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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Your Guide To Morganite Jewelry & Engagement Rings 

Find out everything you need to know about morganite engagement rings and fine jewelry, from the stone’s history to its romantic symbolism.

Morganite Jewelry

What Is Morganite?

Morganite is a pink semiprecious stone and belongs to the beryl family, along with emerald and aquamarine. This stone is a stunning diamond alternative and comes in hues from orange to coral to salmon to subtle pink, although you’ll notice light peachy pink is the most common. 

This stone is relatively free of inclusions, given its desirable clear appearance. Morganite is essentially colorless, but the presence of magnesium creates its pink effect while the presence of iron impurities gives a slight yellow or orange hue, combining for the iconic peachy color.

Morganite Origin & History 

Morganite was first discovered on the coast of Madagascar in the early 1900s. It is currently mined mainly in Afghanistan, Brazil, and Madagascar. It was first named pink beryl- but later renamed by a famous gemologist, George Frederick Kunz who wanted to honor his patron, John Pierpont Morgan.

Morganite Characteristics

Morganite owes its beautiful salmon pink color to the presence of manganese. Usually, Morganite is eye clean, which means that no inclusions are visible to the naked eye at a distance of about 15 cm. 

Primarily subtle and pale in color, some of the larger specimens demonstrate deeper saturation. Skilled cutters can also elicit richer colors by cutting the stones a little deeper than the norm.

When he first discovered it, George Kunz conducted several different experiments with morganite to examine all of its unique properties. One such characteristic is its intense red fluorescence upon exposure to x-rays. 

Morganite Symbolism 

With its soft pinkish hue, morganite is often associated with innocence, sweetness, romance, and love. In general, morganite is connected to the heart and is attuned to the heart chakra– talk about a perfect engagement ring center stone. Morganite is believed to bring healing, compassion, and promise to those who wear it. 

Morganite is said to open its wearers to unconditional love while dissolving the ego. Though not an actual birthstone, morganite is said to be an excellent stone for fine jewelry and non-traditional engagement rings. 

How Valuable is Morganite Jewelry?

Morganite fine jewelry is often scarce, which is why many avid collectors are on the lookout for high-quality morganite pieces.

A morganite carat can cost between $200 and $400 and remains an affordable option for couples who want this stone as the center of their dream engagement ring.

When shopping for morganite fine jewelry or your morganite engagement ring online, remember that cut, color, carat, and clarity are essential for consideration.

Morganite Necklaces 

A morganite pendant necklace will be a stunning gift for anyone who has a refined sense of style. This gemstone’s peachy radiance is even more captivating when paired with a sparkling halo setting.

Morganite Earrings

Morganite earrings are not something you hear about every day, but it has grown in popularity across the world due to their brilliance and appealing feminine colors. Their durability and affordability also make them great for daily wear. Their beautiful, demure hues offer an excellent centerpiece to anyone’s gem collection.

Morganite Fashion Rings 

Whether the occasion is a birthday or an anniversary, this piece of jewelry will never fail to gain attention or make a unique statement. When crafted in rose gold or yellow gold, a morganite’s elegance magnifies. 

With a variety of options available in shape, setting, and design, you will certainly be able to find something that complements your personality.

Should You Buy a Morganite Engagement Ring?

Morganite has become a popular choice for brides looking for an alternative to the traditional diamond. Of course, the primary allure of morganite is its pink and peachy hues. If you’re attracted to color gemstones, it comes as a refreshing alternative to a colorless diamond or a beautiful and affordable alternative to a pink diamond

Morganite stones offer intense brilliance and sparkle and are low-cost which makes them perfect as budget-friendly engagement ring options. Because the gemstone is fairly soft, it’s important to have your morganite stone set in a four or six-prong setting to avoid unwanted chipping. 

FAQs About Morganite

1) Is morganite a durable gemstone?

Morganite is a fairly durable gemstone having a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale.

2) Morganite vs pink tourmaline, what’s the difference?

Morganite has a peachy-pink hue, whereas pink tourmalines can range from pale pink to bright pink. Also, morganite is a member of the beryl family just like emerald and aquamarine, whereas tourmalines are made of boron silicate minerals.

3) How to clean morganite jewelry?

Like most jewelry, the best way to clean your stone at home is by using lukewarm soapy water and a soft toothbrush.

4) What are the major sources of morganites?

Morganites are mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, Namibia, China, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

5) What does morganite symbolize?

Morganite symbolizes love, passion, romance, and innocence. It is believed that morganites are connected to the heart chakra and can bring unconditional love to couples.

Final Thoughts

Morganite is a stunning vivid center stone and at James Allen, we have all the tools and convenience you need to browse and design your own engagement ring online and find the wedding ring of your dreams. Visit us for all you need to know about diamond options, ring settings, your fine jewelry favorites, and more! 

Read on for more about this year’s top trends:

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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The Best 2022 Oscars Red Carpet Jewelry Lookalikes 

With the 94th annual Academy Awards under wraps, we’re still recovering from all the dazzling diamonds and gemstone accessories that had us swooning. It’s safe to say some of Hollywood’s finest have got us emerald green with envy, and we’d wager that we’re not alone there.

That’s why we’ve got the Oscars hottest jewelry lookalikes of the night all summed up so you too can sparkle like the star you are! 

The Best 2022 Oscars Red Carpet Jewelry Lookalikes 

You don’t need to be a movie star to accessorize like one. Having a love for fine jewelry helps us express our personal style, and budget-friendly alternatives are always available. From lab created diamond tennis bracelets, studs, rings, necklaces, and affordable gemstone jewelry, you can shine just as bright as the best of them. 

So without further ado, here are the nominees for our first category.

Best Diamond Design

Ariana DeBose

A first-timer on the Oscars red carpet, we’ll confidently go ahead and say she crushed it. Dripping in diamonds, the West Side Story star stunned in a red jumpsuit. Our favorite piece of her jewelry ensemble? Her diamond bracelet by De Beers, of course! 

You can always opt for a stunning alternative with a white gold lab grown diamond tennis bracelet

Ariana DeBose posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold Four Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet (2.00 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)

Mila Kunis 

Mila Kunis had all eyes on her with a breathtaking one-shoulder pink silk gown and some staple diamond accessories to let us all know she was there to slay. While her Messika Desert Bloom ring was impossible to miss, we’re obsessed with her glamorous diamond drop earrings. 

Want to jump on the drop earrings trend? Try on a pair of nature-inspired drop earrings and feel glamorous any way you turn. 

Mila Kunis posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold Leaves Cascade Diamond Drop Earrings

Zendaya 

Zendaya rocked flawlessly stacked arms with Serpenti Viper bracelets by Bulgari. Her two-piece outfit was completely chic and put together, with the viper bracelets adding that edge we love to see in all her red carpet looks.  

Get the look with your very own cuffed bracelet, and slip on this staple accessory for everyday wear or a fun night out. 

Zendaya posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold Snake Motif Diamond And Ruby Bracelet

Zoë Kravitz

All we see is old Hollywood glam done right when we look at The Batman actor in her Saint Laurent strapless pink gown. She kept her accessories to a minimum with diamond studs and an oval-shaped necklace from Kwiat. 

2022 is the year for oval cut diamond jewelry. A diamond tennis necklace is a great investment and will never go out of fashion. 

Zoë Kravitz posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold Three Prong Graduating Diamond Tennis Necklace (5.00 CTW - H-I / SI1-SI2)

Lupita Nyong’o

We instantly fell in love with the magical symbolism behind the De Beers jewelry the actor wore, with each fancy colored diamond piece made to represent a stunning South African landscape.

Bring out your own natural elegance with a pair of fancy colored diamond earrings.

Lupita Nyong'o posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold Milgrain Bezel Diamond Stud Earrings (Mounting)

Best Animated Gemstone

We’re adding a little color to our luster for this next category. Warmer weather is soon approaching and what better way to get into that summer vibe than with some gemstone jewelry

Let’s take a look at who’s jumping on the gemstone trend this year.

Jessica Chastain 

Not only did she win the best actress for her role in The Eye of Tammy Faye, but we think she may have won the red carpet overall. Chastain wore a multi-colored Gucci dress and an array of jewelry, including dangling earrings, rings, and a bracelet.

You can get the same lilac look with a stunning Amethyst birthstone ring without the heavy price tag. 

Jessica Chastain posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K Rose Gold Emerald Cut Amethyst And Diamond Halo Cocktail Ring (15.0x6.0mm)

Jennifer Garner

A true lady in red in an elegant Brandon Maxwell dress, Garner kept her color scheme consistent with a pair of drop earrings and a vibrant red bracelet. 

Looking for the same effortless glam? Try on a garnet birthstone bracelet and get that instant confidence with any look. 

Jennifer Garner posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K Yellow Gold Garnet Line Bracelet

Tiffany Haddish

Haddish was nothing but a green goddess from head to toe on the red carpet. Her perfect ensemble was brought together with a La Gioia Green Tourmaline necklace by Pomellato. 

Add to your already natural beauty with a striking double halo emerald necklace. 

Tiffany Haddish posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
18K White Gold Oval Ruby Double Diamond Halo Necklace

Aunjane Ellis

The King Richard star accessorized her orange Versace gown with delicate Irene Neuwirth earrings along with several rings and a bracelet. Orange isn’t for everyone but if you know you can pull off this daring color, we’ve got the perfect ring for you. 

Slip on a citrine birthstone ring, a gem known as the Stone of the Sun for its golden glow. 

Aunjane Ellis posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K Yellow Gold Oval Citrine And Diamond Accent Birthstone Ring

Best Original Gent 

Timothée Chalamet

A shirtless Timothée Chalamet quite literally sparkled his way down the red carpet in what can only be described as rock-star glam in Louis Vuitton. The actor wore several stacked rings on both hands along with a layered necklace set from Cartier. 

Grab a piece of youth and get yourself your very own men’s diamond ring. After all, we all deserve to shine! 

Timothée Chalamet posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold 6mm Channel Set Diamond Wedding Ring

Javier Bardem

The only word that comes to mind when looking at Javier Bardem’s Oscars look– debonair. The Best Actor nominee wore a textured black suit by Zegna, showing us all that adding a pattern here and there can really elevate your style. 

In love with the all-black rugged look? We’ve got just the fashion ring for you– and it’s made from a highly durable alternative metal. 

Javier Bardem posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
Ceramic Comfort-Fit Satin-Finished Round Edge Design Ring

Andrew Garfield

Are those our spidey-senses tingling or are we just about to pass out from all the swooning we’ve done over Andrew Garfield’s two-toned Saint Laurent suit? We love a pop of color and know that different tones are the perfect way to accentuate your personal style. 

Two-toned rings are becoming increasingly popular as wedding and fashion rings for men, so why not give the trend a go? 

Andrew Garfield posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
14K White Gold 7MM Centric Two Tone Brushed Band

Simu Liu

Simu Liu really brought his A-game to his first-ever Oscars. The Marvel actor wore the most daring menswear look of the night, in a red Versace suit with gold buttons and a black bow tie. He showed us all how a little gold can go a long way.

If you’re looking for your ideal gold accessory with timeless appeal, try one of our comfort fit styles with a satin finish. 

Simu Liu posing on the 2022 Oscars red carpet
18K Yellow Gold Satin Finish And Faceted Center Groove Comfort Fit Band

And The Winners Are

Honestly, we can’t pick favorites when we adore all these looks equally. We’ll leave that decision up to you. So, here’s hoping you’ve found the lookalike piece you’ll love forever. 

Want to find out more about what fine jewelry and engagement ring styles are trending this year? Head on over to our Insta page and give us a follow @JamesAllenRings. We’d also love to see you tag us in your new Oscar-worthy jewelry selfies!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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Your Complete Guide To Lab Created Diamonds

Lab created diamonds are fast becoming a growing trend in the industry for diamond buyers. Here’s everything you need to know from their price, environmental footprint, unique brilliance, and more.

A collection of fancy shaped lab created diamonds

What Are Lab Created Diamonds?

Lab grown diamonds are optically and chemically identical to earth created diamonds. The only difference is their origin. A diamond seed is placed in conditions identical to those in underground mines. Then, a carbon coating is added to help the diamond crystallize as it grows.

The crystalline form of carbon we call “diamond” can be attained only through intense heat, constant pressure, and a good amount of time. Nowadays, we can achieve that in a lab in specialized machines that knock a few billion years off the cooking time. The result is a lab grown diamond that differs from a mined diamond in name only.

If you were to look at both types of diamonds through a professional jeweler’s loupe, or if you were to inspect both diamonds on a molecular level, you would see no difference. The same result was achieved through very different processes.

How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

Lab grown diamonds are manufactured using conditions that mimic the natural process that earth-created diamonds are subject to. Carbon is exposed to high temperatures and high pressure in a controlled environment (laboratory) thus creating a diamond. 

Lab created diamonds can be made using two different methods. The first is known as the HPHT method, where a small diamond seed is placed into a piece of carbon. The carbon is pressurized and exposed to high temperatures. Finally, the pressure and heat then melt the carbon allowing a diamond to form around the initial seed. 

The second is the CVD method, which also requires a diamond seed. The seed is placed into a sealed chamber that is heated and filled with carbon-rich gasses. These gasses are ionized into plasma using advanced technology that breaks down the gasses’ molecules and allows pure carbon to stick to the seed, forming a new diamond. 

Fun fact: It typically takes a lab created diamond less than a month to grow. A 1-carat white diamond takes around two weeks to form, whereas fancy color diamonds like yellow and blue diamonds take between 5-10 days to form. 

Are Lab Created Diamonds Real?

Lab created diamonds are 100% real diamonds. 

If you want to get technical, here’s what you need to know. Lab grown diamonds have the exact same optical, physical, and chemical properties as their mined counterparts. The only significant difference is their origin. One comes from a natural and uncontrolled environment, while the other is physically created in a controlled laboratory. 

Even by definition, the two are indistinguishable. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines a diamond as pure crystallized carbon in the isometric cubic system. This means that crystallized carbon is a gemstone known as a diamond regardless of whether a diamond was mined from the earth or grown in a lab. 

Lab Created Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

Lab Created Diamonds

  • Lab grown 
  • Formed in under a month 
  • Made of carbon atom structures 
  • Lower price 
  • No resale value 
  • Mass-produced 
  • Available in various diamond shapes and sizes 
  • Eco-friendly & ethically sourced 
  • Certified 

Earth-Created Diamonds

  • Earth made 
  • Formed over billions of years 
  • Made of carbon atom structures 
  • Higher price value 
  • Resale value from 25%-50% 
  • On-of-a-kind 
  • Available in various diamond shapes and sizes
  • Ecologically unfriendly
  • Certified 
A comparison of lab created diamonds on a blue surface next to earth created diamonds on a pink surface

How to Tell the Difference Between Lab Created Diamonds and Natural Diamonds

You can’t tell the difference between lab created diamonds and natural diamonds without specialized equipment, even if you’re a professional gemologist. The best way to tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds is to look at the grading report.

Suppose a professional gemologist tries to determine if a diamond is mined or lab-grown; they would use magnification to look at the nature of the inclusions. The inclusions in a natural diamond appear slightly different than in a lab created diamond. Sometimes differences appear in how the diamond reflects light compared with a synthetic diamond. 

In general, though, when looking at a lab created diamond next to a natural diamond, you can’t distinguish between the two.

A row of different shaped round cut lab created diamonds

What Are The Benefits of Lab Grown Diamonds?

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Greater brightness & higher purity
  • Easily traceable origins
  • Socially responsible (Ethically sourced)
  • Greater affordability at 30% less than mined diamonds
  • You can have a unique fancy color diamond made

Fun fact: Lab created diamonds are grown through a sustainable process. The CVD manufacturing method uses chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which makes it easier to keep up with demand without sacrificing the diamond’s quality while remaining conflict-free and ethically sourced.

Lab Created Diamond vs. Natural Diamond Price

Traditional diamonds are the most expensive choice. The process of discovering, mining, and shipping earth created diamonds is resource-intensive; the high cost of bringing them to market has helped diamonds achieve their luxe reputation.

A lab created diamond is perfect for when you want a real diamond but want to pay 30% less. Because the process of creating a diamond takes significantly less time and resources than mining a diamond from the earth, lab-made diamonds cost significantly less than earth-mined diamonds.

GIA Certified Lab Created Diamonds

Like all earth-created diamonds, lab grown diamonds also come with their very own birth certificate (GIA Certification). 

Since lab grown diamonds are optically and chemically the same as mined diamonds, they come with their own certification. Today, most lab created diamonds are certified by IGI, International Gemological Institute.

Additionally, these diamonds are being accepted and certified by the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, which has developed sophisticated devices that are used to screen and identify the difference between natural diamonds and lab grown ones. 

A GIA grading certificate

Should You Buy a Lab Created Diamond?

When choosing a stone for your diamond engagement ring, you need to consider your lifestyle, budget, eco-footprint, and more.

You should consider a lab grown diamond if you wear your jewelry often, and it’s important for you to have durable diamonds. It’s also the better option if you’re looking to budget or want a larger diamond at a much lower price.

Lab created diamonds are growing in popularity and are largely recognized as the better option for environmentally and socially conscious consumers.

Finally, if you’re looking for a keepsake, remember, “A diamond is forever.” The oldest diamonds found have existed for nearly 4 billion years, and they’re holding strong. You can rest assured that any loose lab created diamond you buy or set inside your engagement ring or wedding ring can be comfortably passed down from generation to generation.

A selection of lab created diamond engagement rings

Choosing the stone that suits your lifestyle is an important part of designing meaningful jewelry that will last you throughout your life. And if you choose to buy either lab created diamonds or earth-created diamonds, you can choose from 1000’s of beautiful options at James Allen.

Check out our other helpful blogs:

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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Fine Jewelry Trends To Look Out For In 2022

Is 2022 the year to reinvent your personal style? We’re taking a good look at what fine jewelry our favorite stylists, celebs, and customers are rocking with confidence. Some of the new trends may surprise you, while others are a blast from the past. Let’s get inspired!

Different fine jewelry pieces laid out on a white surface

Fashion is forever changing, giving us the chance to explore different avenues of our unique style and allowing us the opportunity to leap out of our comfort zones and try something new. 

So what boundaries will you be pushing in 2022? Well, we’ve kept a close eye on what fine jewelry designs are growing in popularity and what to watch out for this year! From contemporary takes on classic styles to some beloved trends that are making a comeback, we’re going to show you what’s in and how to rock these jewels right.  

Get ready to explore all-new designs in stacking and layering necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. We’re highlighting the end of minimalist style and saying a happy hello to fine jewelry pieces that go together to create the most amazing impressions of your individual style.

Trend 01: Layering Necklaces & Pendants

In 2022, layering your favorite necklaces and pendants is more about adding different styles, metal colors, and a mix of diamonds and gemstones than it is about adding varying chain lengths.

This trend is also about making your look more personalized. Take your favorite medallion, pendant, or themed necklace, and layer it with other items like solid gold chains to complement your main piece. Take your go-to diamond shape and dare to play around with different diamond cuts this year.

Elongated diamond shapes like oval and marquise appear to be the ones to look out for in 2022, and rightly so, they simply look good on everyone. 

A variety of yellow gold lockets
A yellow gold compass medallion paired with a paperclip chain

Style tip: Pairing a diamond or gemstone pendant with a thin gold chain, along with a clustered necklace or simple medallion is one way to achieve a layered look with colorful and textured dimensions.

Sapphire, Emerald, And Ruby pendants and earrings
Three yellow gold chains paired together

Trend 02: Sleek Gold Bracelets

Whether you like yellow gold or not, this traditional metal is here and ready to make your 2022 fine jewelry experience extra golden. Sometimes life can get a little hectic, and keeping your style fresh and playful requires those easy-to-slip-on jewelry pieces. Our recommendation: more is more with a yellow gold layered wrist. 

Choose from a variety of uniquely designed cuffs, paperclips, chains, and tennis bracelets, and pile up your wrist to your heart’s content. Stacked bracelets aren’t for everyone, so take the time to work out where your limits are and which bracelets work best for your comfortability. 

Not loving yellow gold on its own? Don’t be afraid to mix and match your other metals with your chosen yellow gold pieces. Adding different metal colors is a great way to brighten up your look and showcase your unique style. 

Three different shaped yellow gold cuff bracelet
Three different gold infinity cuff bracelets

Style Tip: Combine multiple cuff bracelets with a gemstone tennis bracelet or dainty diamond bracelet on one hand. Balance out the look with a tennis bracelet or unity bracelet on the other hand.

Two loose birthstone tennis bracelets
Three different shaped yellow gold cuff bracelets

Trend 03: Hoops & Earring Stacks

This one is a definite favorite. Whether you’ve got multiple piercings on each ear or single piercings, we’ve got two fun ways to get this year’s ideal stacked ear look. 

If you’re one of the former, play around with drop earrings or some bold hoops and place them in your lowest piercing. From there, you can get creative and either move up the ear with some cute huggie hoops or studs– remember to play around with different sizes and shapes. 

For those of you with single piercings, you can start with hoops or drop earrings and then move up the ear with single cuffs and crawlers.

14K Yellow Gold Three Prong Martini Round Brilliant Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings (0.25 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)


Style Tip: Put pavé or plain metal hoops in your lowest piercing, followed by diamond or gemstone studs in your second piercing. Stack single or even triple cuffs higher up the ear to complete the layered look.

Trend 04: Stackable Rings 

Stacking rings is one trend we see flowing with ease from one year to the next. The exciting part is seeing all the new ring styles, of course. In 2022 we’ve seen chic signet rings grow in popularity and we can see why. These stackable rings aren’t only bold and fun but they’re made to be personal. 

From zodiac signs to customized initials and personal motifs, getting your hands on your very own signet ring is one trend you’ll want to hop on, and soon!

Eternity or infinity bands are also making the rounds this year as a fine jewelry favorite, and why not? Who doesn’t love to shine from every angle? Last but not least, don’t forget to add one or two gemstone rings to your collection for those looks that need just a pop of color. 

With stacked rings, there are two ways to go about the trend. First, you can choose to stack a single finger with different plain metal bands or other rings of your choice. This works particularly well if you want to add a little more sparkle to your engagement ring

Or, you could achieve that stacked look by taking your favorite ring styles and wearing one on every other finger. We suggest wearing your chunkier rings on one hand and having your more dainty rings on the other to create that ideal balance. 

A variety of different gold and diamond signet rings
A stacked pile of fancy-shaped diamond stackable rings

Style Tip: Start with a signet ring on one hand and balance it out with several plain metals or eternity rings on the other. For a single stacked finger, start with a birthstone ring and pair it with plain metal bands or dainty gold rings with diamond accents.

A stacked piled of different gold and diamond stackable rings
A variety of gemstone and diamond stackable rings

We hope you feel inspired and we would love to see your new fresh and fun spring fine jewelry looks. Share your style with us on Instagram by tagging us @JamesAllenRings

Looking for more 2022 trends? Check out these related posts:

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first order!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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Ring Anatomy 101: All You Need To Know

Looking to buy an engagement ring but not sure what all the different bits and bobs of a ring are? Let us walk you through the anatomy of a ring so you can find the one that fits you best!

Various loose parts of engagement ring

The beginning of your engagement ring shopping doesn’t need to feel daunting. Maybe you’ve already got a clear idea of what you want, and you’re just unsure of all the ring terminology. Or, you have no idea which ring style is best for you or your partner and you need some help from the experts. Whatever side of the equation you’re standing on, we’re here to guide you. 

There are many different ring settings to choose from, and each setting has multiple design features. The good news is that once you know what these settings are, the ring buying process will be that much easier and, dare we say, exciting. Knowing the difference between these parts can help you and your partner understand exactly what you want, not to mention, if you’re going to custom design the ring yourself, you’ll need a little lesson in ring anatomy 101. 

Worried you might still be confused? We’ve got plenty of fun infographics to help pinpoint each area of a ring’s anatomy. Let’s get started! 

Engagement ring styles

The Different Parts Of A Ring 

Center Stone

The center stone of the ring refers to the diamond or gemstone that sits at the center of the ring setting. The center stone is usually the largest stone on the ring and traditionally features a round-cut diamond or gemstone. However, each engagement ring can be fitted with the center stone of your choice, not excluding fancy-shaped diamonds or gemstones like oval, pear, emerald, princess, and marquise cuts. 

Basket

A basket is a prong setting that has traditional prongs extending up from the base of the metal band and a horizontal band that connects the prongs to provide enough tension to hold the center stone in place. This creates a basket shape for the diamond or gemstone to sit in. 

Bridge

The bridge of a ring refers to the area underneath the head of the ring that sits on the wearer’s finger. This area typically needs to be comfortable with no sharp edges. It’s hardly seen once the ring is on, however, it can feature a small diamond or gemstone accent, or patterned engraving. 

Gallery

A functional and decorative feature, the gallery of a ring is located between the basket and bridge on the ring’s head. The traditional engagement rings often featured open galleries, allowing the bottom part of the center stone to be visible. However, on three stone rings the gallery might also include these added accents. 

An infographic explaining what a center stone, gallery, bridge, and basket are in a ring

Settings

The setting refers to the entire ring and the way added stones have been set on the ring. You’ll find there are various setting types to suit your unique style. But not all settings are created equal. Some settings are simple while others are more complex. Whichever setting you choose will determine how the final look of your ring, but more importantly, your chosen setting will affect the cost and maintenance of it, too. Let’s dive into the different types of settings. 

  1. Solitaire

Simple and timeless is how we’d describe a solitaire setting. It’s effortless in design, as a plain or two-toned metal band with a single center stone. Solitaire engagement rings can feature a variety of different prong settings and the band itself isn’t limited to a single design either. 

14K White Gold Ten Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring
  1. Pavé

The French word pavé, meaning to pave stones, might help you to remember this ring setting. A pavé setting refers to small stones featured along the line of the band, like cobblestones. It’s a delicate and often favored setting because it offers the ring-wearer some extra sparkle to complement the center stone. 

14K White Gold East-West Pavé Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring
  1. Channel Set

Channel set settings are side diamonds embedded into a grooved channel of the band. Think of it as if the rows of diamonds are cemented between two walls of metal. Light can still reflect off the diamonds but they’re as exposed as side diamonds on pavé settings. 

14K Yellow Gold 0.25ct Channel Set Princess Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Thin Channel Set Round Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
  1. Three Stone 

A three stone setting usually features a center stone with two diamonds or gemstones sitting flush on either side of it. What’s fun about this setting is that the two additional stones don’t necessarily need to be the same diamond shape as the center stone. 

14K Yellow Gold Three Stone Emerald And Pavé Set Diamond Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Three Stone Pear Shaped Emerald Engagement Ring
  1. Side-Stone 

More sparkle for your center stone is how we like to think of side stone settings. A side-stone setting can include any number of additional stones along with the band of the ring. These stones can be cut and placed in any number of beautiful ways and truly bring out the brilliance of the center stone. 

14K Rose Gold Scattered Blooms Undulated Diamond Engagement Ring