Jewelry Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know

Jewelry Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know

When you invest in diamond jewelry, you want to ensure that your investment is protected. Whether you just got engaged or finally gifted yourself a beautiful pair of gold earrings, keeping your jewelry safe is so important. The question is, do you have jewelry insurance? Or do you really need it? We’re answering all your questions and giving you all there is to know about jewelry insurance. 

We often insure the most expensive items we own, such as our cars or homes. But in many cases, we don’t think about our jewelry? Your jewelry is something that holds more than just sentimental value as it can be a symbol of love or legacy, and these pieces are often irreplaceable. Read on to find all the answers to some of the most common questions about jewelry insurance.

What Is Jewelry Insurance?

Jewelry insurance is, unfortunately, an unknown concept to most people, but protecting your jewelry by having insurance is a very smart move. 

Jewelry insurance works just like any other insurance. It is an important guarantee that will give you the peace of mind you need in case of any unfortunate event. However, this insurance specifically covers your precious pieces including, diamond necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, or any other valuable jewelry. Insurance is defined as a form of risk management that protects you from financial repercussions in the event that your jewelry is damaged, stolen, or lost. These policies normally cover all jewelry items submitted for coverage and result in either replacement, repair, or reimbursement of costs. 

14K White Gold Twisted Pavé Halo Engagement Ring

How Does Jewelry Insurance Work?

In terms of coverage, most jewelry insurance policies will cover the full spectrum. When items are stolen, damaged, or lost, your policy takes effect. Most of the time, jewelry insurance is more comprehensive than your regular homeowner’s policy. And while the majority of those do cover jewelry, it tends to be a smaller amount and only if the piece of jewelry is stolen. 

When To Get Jewelry Insurance

Fortunately, anyone can get jewelry insurance at any time for new or existing items. For example, if you and your partner are about to purchase wedding rings, you can insure them from day one. However, if you’ve built up a collection of diamond jewelry over time and are only thinking about insurance now, don’t worry, the option is available for you too. If this is the case, you will most likely need to show proof of purchase or get a valuation done if you lost those documents.

The same applies to heirloom jewelry pieces. While it would be impossible to truly replace a diamond bracelet that once belonged to your great-grandmother,  you can have the item appraised so that a policy could be purchased for it.

How To Get Insurance On Jewelry? 

Most basic homeowners or renters insurance policies provide some coverage for your valuables such as jewelry. For the most part, it will only cover your jewelry up to a certain amount of dollars. A standard policy commonly has a coverage limit which is generally around $1,500. This means that your insurance company won’t pay more than this amount as reimbursement if your jewelry is stolen 
It is important to note that selecting a company that specializes in jewelry insurance will most likely give you more comprehensive coverage.

How Much Does Jewelry Insurance Cost

Just like with all types of policies, jewelry insurance costs are based on the value of each item, how often you wear the piece, and the amount of coverage you wish to have. Experts claim that typically between 1 – 3% of the item’s overall value is paid each year. Basically, if your diamond engagement ring costs $10, 000, you will end up paying $100 to $300 in annual insurance premiums.

You can avoid paying too much for your jewelry if you know exactly how much it costs. For example, overestimating its value could result in paying more than you need to. Alternatively, if you underestimate it, you might lose out financially in the event of a claim.

It’s also important to note that rates vary depending on where you live. You can get a quick and simple estimate of what you can expect to pay in your state on Jewelers Mutual’s homepage by using their free estimate tool. 

18K Yellow Gold East-West Knife Edge Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
18K Yellow Gold East-West Knife Edge Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

How Can I Keep The Cost of My Jewelry Insurance Low?

When shopping around for insurance or buying a standalone jewelry insurance policy, it’s important to compare prices to find the best policy for you. Additionally, there are several different things that can easily help keep the cost of your jewelry insurance low. 

It may be possible to reduce your premiums if you have security measures such as a burglar alarm and quality locks. Or, you could consider purchasing a safe to keep your jewelry in when not in use. Even if you don’t show off your stunning jewels, you can never be sure they will be safe at home. In fact, jewelry is one of the most commonly stolen items out of homes. 

What Is Engagement Ring Insurance?

From the very moment you say “yes,” and begin rocking your new, dazzling addition on your hand, the thought of getting engagement ring insurance may be the furthest thing from your mind. But as they say, with great rings come great responsibilities. And, fortunately, during such a happy time, jewelry insurance can provide the peace of mind you need for less than you think. 

An engagement ring is among one of the most expensive things you will buy or own in your lifetime. So why not insure it? 

Engagement rings are also highly susceptible to damage or loss. Think about it, it is typically worn every day which increases the likelihood that it will be lost, damaged, or stolen.

Does JamesAllen.com Insure Jewelry?

Although we provide you with an insurance appraisal that you can use to obtain coverage, we do not provide jewelry insurance.

We know that jewelry mishaps are way too common but luckily we at JamesAllen.com have partnered with Jewelers Mutual (JM) Insurance Company. Together we provide you with warranties against damage AND comprehensive jewelry insurance – so you can be protected against wear-and-tear, loss, theft, or extensive damage. 

Insuring your jewelry with Jewelers Mutual® Jewelry Insurance is quick and easy, and leaves you with a feeling of emotional and financial security. Learn more and get your free quote today. 

Jewelers Mutual® Jewelry Insurance Advantages:

  • Comprehensive worldwide coverage that extends beyond ordinary homeowners insurance;
  • Protection against theft, damage, accidental loss, and mysterious disappearance;
  • Flexibility to choose your own jeweler;
  • Repair of damaged jewelry with the same level of quality as the original;
  • Replacement of lost jewelry with the same brand and type;
  • Graduate Gemologists (GIA) with a passion for jewelry on staff.
18K Yellow Gold Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

Ask The Right Questions

Being adequately informed is super important when deciding which insurance option or provider is best suited to your needs. Here are some great questions to ask while researching diamond jewelry insurance policies:

  • Is there a deductible or discount if you have a home security system?
  • If you’re insured for replacement (instead of a cash payout), where can you purchase a new ring?
  • Are you covered for the full replacement cost of the diamond jewelry and will you receive a cash settlement or a replacement item?
  • What happens if a suitable replacement cannot be found?
  • How will you need to prove the piece of jewelry was stolen if you make a claim?
  • Are there any circumstances that aren’t covered?
  • In the event of a damaged or lost item overseas, does the policy cover you fully?
  • Are you covered for damage or just loss and theft?
  • Will the policy adjust according to inflation?
  • What types of repairs contribute to the deductible?
  • How often do you have to provide appraisal reports to the insurance company, and which ones do they accept?
FAQs about jewelry insurance

Tips on Insuring Your Jewelry?

  • Make sure you compare insurance companies online or by phone before you choose one.
  • Read all the details of the policy carefully before you pay for extra insurance.
  • Make sure you understand the rules of the particular insurance company you choose.
  • To avoid any nasty surprises should you need to make a claim, you should read the terms and conditions of your jewelry or contents insurance policy carefully.
  • Check whether your jewelry is covered for the total replacement cost and if you can receive a cash settlement instead of a replacement item.
  • It’s important to know that your insurance company may require periodic appraisals.
  • Find out if you are eligible for a discount if you have a security system, such as an alarm.

FAQs About Jewelry Insurance

  1. Does JamesAllen.com provide insurance appraisals?

Yes. Every finished engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry valued at $1,000 or higher will be accompanied by a full insurance evaluation.

  1. Does JamesAllen.com offer additional insurance coverage?

We have collaborated with the Jewelers Mutual (JM) Group to provide an upgraded 3-year or lifetime protection plan that protects your jewelry against even more of life’s surprises. You can purchase either one of these plans during checkout or at any time afterward. Click here to see what’s covered and learn how to upgrade your warranty.

  1. What Is Covered Under Jewelry Insurance?

Generally, it differs between insurance policies, but rings (including wedding and engagement rings), earrings, bracelets, necklaces, loose diamonds, and watches are typically covered by jewelry insurance. We recommend looking for an insurance company that provides the exact coverage you need. 

14K Yellow Gold Two Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet
14K Yellow Gold Floral Halo Engagement Ring

The bottom line is that you never know what the future holds, right? So better to be sparkly and safe than sorry! 

Have any further questions? Feel free to contact our customer service team.

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

Interested in improving your diamond and jewelry knowledge? Check out the articles below!

Tarryn Snoyman

Tarryn is a content writer by day and a criminology enthusiast by night.

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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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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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Wedding Ring Engraving Ideas

Make your day unforgettable with a free wedding ring engraving.

Ring engraving ideas

Amidst the hectic, public extravaganza that is your wedding, a meaningful wedding ring engraving gives the person you love a little extra attention. And DYK? You can engrave your wedding ring for free at checkout.

WEDDING RING ENGRAVINGS: WRITTEN IN THE STARS

But out of everything you could say, what’s the right inscription for you? Take a look below at our customers’ words for some amazing wedding ring engraving ideas!

Why engrave your wedding ring?

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s personal
  3. You can match it to your partner’s 
  4. Suits the ceremony

RING ENGRAVING IDEAS: A ROMANTIC PHRASE

Angled Common Prong Diamond

14K White Gold Ladies 1.00CTW.* Angled Common Prong Diamond Eternity Ring

“LOVE IS A VERB”

Matching Filigree

Platinum Matching Wedding Band

“I KNEW I’D MARRY YOU”

Three Stone Sunburst

Platinum Three Stone Sunburst Wedding Ring

“I CHOOSE YOU

Satin Finish Channel Diamond

Platinum 8mm Satin Finish Channel Set Diamond Band

“TBH, I LOVE YOU”

More Ideas:

  • For a lifetime
  • Dreams Do Come True
  • Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
  • With You Always
  • Joined for Life
  • Yours Forever
  • You & Only You
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply
  • “ALWAYS & FOREVER”
  • “TO MY WIFE”

RING ENGRAVING IDEAS: YOUR SPECIAL DATE

This is your biggest day! Incorporate your wedding date into your ring engraving as a way to emphasize the importance of your special day.

Matching Pavé

14K Yellow Gold Matching Pavé Wedding Band

“I FOUND LOVE 3-14-19”

Sapphire & Diamond

Platinum Blue Sapphire And Diamond Arrow Shape Wedding Ring

“1.30.19 S&H”

Hammered Comfort Fit

14K Yellow Gold 6mm Hammered Comfort Fit Wedding Band

“I Take Thee” 9-5-22

Slightly Curved Round Diamond

14K Rose Gold Slightly Curved Round Diamond Wedding Ring

“Of Course” 2.26.2021

RING ENGRAVING IDEAS: GET GOOFY

Why hide it? You’re adorable.

Cushion Outline

“MY CATLADY2”

Round And Marquise Diamond 

14K White Gold Round And Marquise Diamond Wedding Ring

“DO NOT REMOVE”

Low Dome Wedding Band

14K Yellow Gold 6.0mm Low Dome Wedding Ring

“BETTER THAN AVOCADO”

Pavé Knife Edge Cathedral

14K Rose Gold Pavé Knife Edge Cathedral Diamond Wedding Ring

“LOVE YOU, DORK”

More ideas:

  • DIGGIN’ YOU
  • WOOT WOOT!
  • YOU’RE HOT
  • NO TAKE BACKS

Multilingual Engravings

 Traditional Slightly Curved

14K Rose Gold 6mm Traditional Slightly Curved Wedding Ring

Amor Vincit Omnia (Latin: Love Conquers All)

Channel Set Diamond

L’amour De Ma Vie (French: Love of my life)

More ideas: 

  • In Omnia Paratus (Latin: Ready For Anything)
  • Ma Raison D’être (French: My Reason For Being)
  • עם כל ליבי (Hebrew: With All My Heart)
  • Mi Tesoro (Spanish: My Treasure)

RING ENGRAVING IDEAS: SONG LYRICS

Engraving song lyrics is a wonderful way to honor you and your partner’s favorite song or to memorialize the lyrics of the first song you’ll dance to as a married couple! Warning: be ready to cry!

Perfectly Matched Pavé Bypass

Platinum Perfectly Matched Pavé Bypass Wedding Ring

“COME AWAY WITH ME”

Round Shaped Diamond

Platinum Round Shaped Diamond Wedding Ring (.50 CTW.)

“AMORE MIO”

Etched Comfort Fit

Platinum 6mm Etched Comfort Fit Wedding Band

“I Am The Luckiest”

“The Luckiest,” Ben Folds

 Women’s Knife Edge

14K Yellow Gold 2.5mm Knife Edge Women's Wedding Ring

“Love You Forever And Forever”

“I Will,” The Beatles

More ideas

  • ” Fly Me to the Moon,” Frank Sinatra.
  • ” You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne
  • “It Had to Be You,” Dooley Wilson 
  •  it’s always better when we’re together” “Better Together,” Jack Johnson

Bible Verses

By inscribing a bible verse in your rings, you can say a LOT in just a few characters. These ancient texts hold rich messages that have been beloved for thousands of years. Imbue your bands with an additional special meaning by connecting it to the verse that most resonates with you.

Flat Comfort Fit

Platinum 6mm Flat Comfort Fit Wedding Ring

Song of Solomon 2:16 (I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.)

Bezel Set Diamond

14K White Gold 3mm Bezel Set Diamond Wedding Ring

Ruth 1:16
(Where You Go I Will Go)

More ideas

  • Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
  • I thank my God every time I think of you. Philippians 1:3
  • Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9
  • God has poured out his love into our hearts. Romans 5:5
  • I have found the one whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4

Love Writ Large (and small)

How will you and your partner engrave your rings? This is an excellent chance for you both to eloquently personalize them in a way that honors the nuances of your specific relationship.

Whether you follow in the footsteps of the greats or you break with tradition, choosing your wedding ring engravings wisely will not only add another layer of excitement to your big day, but it will also help you start your marriage off on an extra-special note.

Searching for more wedding ring engraving ideas? Read more below!

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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How To Figure Out Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are all the rage, but what exactly are they? Are they real? Are they like regular diamonds? And just how do they get their color? Read on to get all the answers and some inspo too!

Fancy Diamonds

In 2021, a new record was set. The largest, most valuable blue diamond was discovered in South Africa. It is larger, has deeper color, than the previous record holder, and this gem is flawless, with the highest color rating available by the GIA. A prize offered to less than 1% of blue diamonds.

The stone took over a year to polish and facet into the 15.10-carat step-cut diamond it is today and now The De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond is valued at $48 million USD.

The De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond

While THIS fancy colored diamond is out of reach for most of us here on the ground, getting your own fancy colored diamond is easier than ever. James Allen carries a variety of sizes and colors to choose from.

So get on board with the trend that is here to stay! From engagement rings to fine jewelry, fancy colored diamonds give that unique, personal edge to your bling. So get ready to sparkle, because embracing color has never been more in style.

What Exactly Are Fancy Colored Diamonds?

Essentially fancy colored diamonds are diamonds that feature a variety of colors. Diamonds normally come in an assortment of colorless options. Meaning that diamonds are either completely colorless all the way to a variety of light yellow.

How Do Fancy Color Diamonds Get Their Color?

While in traditional diamonds color is not desired, in fancy colored diamonds, color is EXACTLY what you want! From dark to light, color is what you are after. So how do they get their color?

These highly prized diamonds, similar to their traditional counterparts, get their color when they are formed. Intense heat and pressure during the diamond’s formation create trace elements that present themselves in a way to create either no color, or for fancy colored diamonds, brilliant color.

The strength of the color depends on the interaction of the trace elements. Whether you prefer a lighter pink or a brighter blue, it’s all about the carbon atoms.

Colored diamonds

The Colors Of The Rainbow

Fancy colored diamonds are available in every color you can think of: pink, blue, purple, green, orange, brown, black, and even red or gray. While traditional diamonds lose value as they gain color, fancy colored diamonds do the opposite.

The stronger the color, the higher the value. Similar to traditional diamonds, fancy colored diamonds gain value the larger the size. The most common colors are in the yellow family, which is great because they are often the most economical choice of fancy colored diamonds.

Fancy colored diamonds

Hue, Saturation, and Tone

Hue, saturation, and tone: what are they and what do they mean? Hue is the main or strongest color of the fancy colored diamond. Fancy colored diamonds can be one color but the hue is the strongest, followed by secondary colors and tints.

Saturation is just how strong the color, or hue, of the fancy colored diamond is. As in, how saturated is the color of the fancy colored diamond. A fancy colored diamond’s saturation can go from “light” to “intense,” all the way to “vivid.”

And finally there is tone. Tone is how light or dark the fancy colored diamond appears and is decided by the amount of brown, black, gray, or white color.

Hue, saturation, and tone all come together to determine a fancy colored diamond’s grade (light, fancy, fancy light, fancy intense, vivid, fancy dark, and fancy deep). Similar to their traditional diamond counterparts, fancy colored diamonds’ value and fit are not determined solely on their grade.

Different strokes for different folks, different grades for different fancy colored diamonds, for different engagement rings.

Engaging Color, Exclusive Style

Fancy colored diamonds are just as real as traditional diamonds and can be used in just as many ways. Fancy colored diamonds are a popular choice, especially for engagement rings and wedding rings. So how do you know which fancy colored diamond is right for you?

Fancy Pink Diamonds

Let’s start with fancy pink diamonds. Fancy pink diamonds have long been a favorite for those who love a burst of color. As part of the rarest of diamond colors, earth created pink (and red) fancy colored diamonds are an extraordinary find, with reports of only approximately 30 being in existence.

Get your very own fancy pink diamond engagement ring with James Allen!

Split Prong Cathedral Engagement Ring

Pink diamond
14K White Gold Split Prong Cathedral Engagement Ring

Fancy Blue Diamonds

Love of color is not specific to pink. Fancy blue diamonds make a beautiful, calming choice. Another rarity, fancy blue colored diamonds are thought to represent spirituality, eternity, truth, and devotion. Getting their hue from boron, with their resemblance of a clear spring sky or a sparkling ocean, it is no wonder fancy blue diamonds are so popular.

Check out this example of a Fancy Blue Diamond Engagement Ring!

Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Blue diamond
Lab-Created 1.37 Carat D-VVS2 Ideal Cut Round Diamond Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Fancy Black Diamonds

Or maybe you wanna go dark like the black diamond ring? Fancy black diamonds have a strong color intensity and sparkle with a metallic shine. These exotic diamonds are a darling of the fashion world.

Found only in a few locations, fancy black diamonds are thought to symbolize love and eternity, making them a fabulously unique way to adorn your finger. Get your own version from James Allen and start showing off!

Petite Pave Engagement Ring

Black diamond
14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring

Fancy Green Diamonds

Representing life, renewal, and growth, green is a great color for a fancy diamond. Fancy green diamonds are extremely rare, as they are created due to exposure to radiation. The radiation can come from groundwater or radioactive rocks near the earth’s surface.

Often pricier than their counterparts due to their rarity, green diamonds are a lively colorful choice for an engagement ring. And don’t worry, while the stone may get its color from radiation, it is totally safe!

Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

Green diamond
14K White Gold Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

Looking for another color of the rainbow to make your engagement ring stand out? Check out the many colors of fancy diamonds that James Allen has to offer!

Pros of Fancy Colored DiamondsPros of Traditional Diamonds
Showcase Unique StylePlentiful Choices in Clarity and Cut
Great InvestmentNumerous Affordable Options
More RareClassic Choice

Real Diamonds, Real Fancy

Fancy colored diamonds are not to be confused with gemstones (which also go great with diamonds). Fancy colored diamonds are just as much diamonds as their traditional counterparts.

The advantage is that you can express your personal style in a particularly unique way using color. Check out these examples below or create your own!

And let’s not forget fancy colored brown diamonds, better known as chocolate diamonds.

Bead Accent Pavé Trio Diamond Engagement Ring

In addition to their rarity and value, fancy colored diamonds are extremely popular. At once elegant and trendy, fancy colored diamonds allow you to add an extra level of personal expression. But don’t be fooled by the name, fancy colored diamonds are also good to wear everyday!

Pair with white gold, yellow gold, or platinum, James Allen as a variety of fancy colored diamonds to create the perfect engagement ring. Start shopping today!

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Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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The Best Engagement Ring For Each Diamond Shape

Have your eye set on a particular diamond shape and you are looking for the best mounting to make it shine? Read on for the best engagement ring setting for any diamond shape.

Engagement rings with diamonds

Over time, popularity shifts between which diamond shapes are going to offer the most finger space coverage and sparkle. No matter your preference, there’s a unique diamond for everyone and yearly engagement ring trends to help sway you.

You can choose one of two ways to design your custom engagement ring at James Allen: 1) you can start with a setting and then choose a diamond to match, or 2) you can start with a diamond and then choose a complementary setting. 

If you’re the latter, this is your how-to guide. Each diamond shape has its own unique qualities and it’s crucial to know how to best show them off. 

Deciding Your Diamond Shape

If you’re looking for an elongated shaped diamond for your favorite engagement ring setting, it’s sure to provide two elegant optical illusions.

Because these shapes look larger than they really are, they are quite easy on your wallet. You can definitely spend less and still get a sizable diamond to flaunt. In fact, a 1-carat oval diamond has 10% more facets than a 1-carat round brilliant diamond. And the more facets your diamond boasts, the more it glitters.

  1. These diamonds look larger than their carat weight.
  2. They seem to lengthen the wearer’s finger.

How should you complement the length of a marquise, pear, or oval shape in your ring setting? Tapering.

Ring shanks that widen and taper into the diamond, whether via split bands or side stones, provide an elegant transition that also emphasizes the stone’s breadth. 

Marquise Cut

The pointiest diamond shape of them all isn’t for the faint-hearted. This boat-shaped diamond is bold and growing in popularity as a must-have for 2022. Marquise cut diamonds are known for their historical heritage and go back centuries — once being modeled by royalty.

This cut is not only perfect for most diamond engagement rings but compliments other gems like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.

Our recommendation: Marquise cut diamonds shine their brightest when centered in a bypass shank pavé setting.

Bypass Pavé Kite-Set Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Bypass Pavé Kite-Set Engagement Ring

“if the value of the ring was measured in beauty alone it was worth every penny” -Adam S.

Pear Cut

Go asymmetrical! This shape combines the best of two worlds: round brilliant and marquise. The curve of a round diamond gradually leads into the pointed elegance of a marquise. A pear cut diamond can offer more finger coverage and give the added illusion of a larger diamond than a round cut diamond with the same carat weight.

Our recommendation: Pear cut diamonds are best set in a north-south orientation and receive that “wow” factor when complemented by side-stone ring settings.

Laurel Leaves Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring

“I am really happy with how my ring turned out. This band is dainty and classic looking. It pairs perfectly with my pear diamond.” -Elvia D.

Oval Cut

Oval cut diamonds are a popular shape with many advantages. 

  1. They have no sharp corners, meaning they’re less prone to catching on clothes. 
  2. They have all the beauty of the classic round diamond with the perks of a lengthened shape.
  3. Each diamond has a unique length-to-width ratio, meaning you can find a unique shape that suits your style.

Ovals that are longer are considered more elegant, while wider shapes display less of a bow-tie effect. Generally, the appearance of a bow-tie shadow in an elongated shape is considered less desirable, but it’s really up to the personal taste of the wearer. Finally, this diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping.

Our recommendation: 2022 has deemed oval cut diamond solitaire engagement rings a fan favorite. Hop on this growing trend and slip on a classic in yellow or rose gold.

Classic Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

“This ring is comfortable, the band is thin and petite just how I wanted it. The diamond is SOOOOO SHINEY!!!! Of course the pictures cannot do it justice. Pure perfection here.” – Kylee B.

Square Shaped Diamonds For Engagement Rings

Squarish shapes are some of the oldest diamond shapes, and they still hold that classic charm. The following four shapes benefit from angular settings that mirror their straight edges.

Lines, squarish side stones, and edged bands all enhance their angular facets.

Princess Cut

Princess cut diamonds, like round cuts, typically contain 58 facets that function to maximize light dispersion for optimal fire and brilliance. All of these facets pack a massive amount of light into a neat little square.

Our recommendation: Princess cut diamonds are for the bold and royalty needs a strong entourage— so the only setting worthy of this firey brilliance is a side-stone setting with stunning diamond accents.

Blossom Tree Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Blossom Tree Diamond Engagement Ring

“The rose gold blossom band is wonderful and with the diamond they all glitter and sparkle together so much, that it can’t help but draw everyone’s attention!” -Stephen L.

Emerald Cut

An emerald cut diamond’s limited facets tend to reveal inclusions, making it the perfect cut for flaunting a diamond’s clarity. Aim for an emerald cut stone with minimal inclusions. Emerald cut diamonds also reveal color more easily than other shapes do, so choose a high color grade if you’re setting your diamond in white metal.

However, setting a “warmer” diamond in yellow or rose gold will make the diamond appear more colorless; you can opt for a lower color grade and invest your money in clarity.

Even though an emerald cut diamond is squared, it’s also elongated. This means that its length creates the optical illusion of elegantly “lengthening” the wearer’s fingers.

Our recommendation: Emerald cut diamonds make a statement on their own and so we say keep it simple with a small twist. Set your emerald diamond at an east-west orientation in a timeless solitaire setting.

East-West Knife Edge Engagement Ring  

14K Yellow Gold East-West Knife Edge Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

“Would highly recommend this unique east-west setting. I love it!” -Julia W.

Radiant Cut

Made up of a staggering 70 facets on their pavilion and crown, radiant cut diamonds can disperse more light than other square and rectangular-shaped stones. Practically, this translates into way more brilliance and fire than is found in traditional step cut diamonds.

Radiant diamonds tolerate a good amount of inclusions; in fact, when it comes to clarity they’re pretty much the opposite of emerald cut diamonds. If you’re thinking about purchasing a radiant diamond, save money on clarity and invest in the most colorless diamond you can.

Our recommendation: Radiant cut diamonds have a softer side than most square-shaped diamonds. You can make sure your diamond is the center of attention by having it set in an unforgettable channel setting.

Bow-Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring

“It was one thing to be impressed enough on the online shop with how the ring would look, but when it arrived and I saw it with my own eyes I was lost for words!” -Baxter W.

Asscher Cut

The Asscher cut is the even-sided cousin of the emerald cut. It’s all the beauty of an oblong emerald cut, concentrated into a squared shape. The many, close-set concentric facets give off a “hall of mirrors” effect which is undeniably eye-catching.

These stunning diamonds are clear and bright, often sparkling the way they do because of their centralized facets. 

They won’t give the same finger coverage as a pear or oval shape, but their unique pattern is enchanting for anyone looking to wear vintage glamor. 

Our recommendation: Asscher cut diamonds are the embodiment of art deco making their ideal ring setting a vintage design or a channel setting for the minimalist wearer.

Thin Channel Set Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Thin Channel Set Round Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

“I don’t know what I can say. The product in my hand is way better-looking than the model picture.” -Mattias R.

Round Shaped Diamonds For Engagement Rings

Rounded diamonds are some of the most agreeable shapes in that they suit nearly every setting. Their soft edges work well in a range of styles, but they’re the best set off in settings that hug their curves. Go for halos and other settings that surround your main diamond with accent stones.

Cushion Cut

A squarish shape with rounded corners, the cushion cut diamond has been beloved for over a century! It’s a descendent of one of the first widely popular cuts from the 18th century, the old mine cut.

However, cushion cut diamonds contain more delicate facets and a lower crown. This shape is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as couples throwback to the classics.

Their soft pillow-like appearance is a pleasant contrast from our other favorite fancy shaped diamonds, which sport sharper edges. We highly recommend this shape if you’re looking for a delicate temperament diamond.

Our recommendation: Cushion cut diamonds look exceptional in halo settings which will, without doubt, create an enchanting display of glittering brilliance.

Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

18K White Gold Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

“The cushion frame, the diamonds on the top and around its edge, really gives it originality and intriguing appeal. It showcased my diamond’s brilliance while adding a lot of pop to my fiancé’s finger.” -Ryan L.

Heart Cut

This romantic shape isn’t for the faint of heart. Heart shaped diamonds put a modern twist on the classic round brilliant cut. With a round diamond’s beloved facet pattern, and a cheeky heart shape, these stones are made for ring shoppers who have no problem progressing tradition.

Our recommendation: There’s no denying that a heart cut diamond makes a statement no matter the chosen ring setting. However, a halo setting is the only way to truly amplify this unique diamond shape.

Shared Prong Marquise Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Shared Prong Marquise Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

“Amazing shopping experience and a beautiful selection. My fiancé loves her ring!” – Joseph L.

Round Cut

Boasting 58 glittering facets and in a perfectly symmetrical cut, the round brilliant diamond is, by far, the best-selling diamond shape on the market. After all, how do you improve on perfection? Its peerless charm suits every ring setting.

There’s a reason it’s the most popular center stone for engagement ring buyers. You will never go wrong with a timeless round cut diamond in any ring setting you choose because it shines just as bright in a simple solitaire setting as it would be surrounded by side stones or adorned in a pavé halo.

Our recommendation: If you choose to go with a round center stone, you’ll give yourself the best opportunity to pick any ring setting that truly speaks to your unique persoanlity and style.

Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

“Simple elegance. My now fiancée wanted something that was not just a ring, but that would not overtake her finger!” -Adolfo L.

Need a hand to find the perfect diamond shape to go with your ideal ring setting? Inspect the diamond of your choice in 360° HD and 40x zoom with the guidance of a professional gemologist!

Our Real-Time Diamond Inspection is a game-changer for online ring shoppers.

Make The Most Of Your Diamond Shape:

  1. Your GIA Certification, Explained
  2. How To Fully Customize Your Ring 
  3. Earth-Created vs. Lab-Created Diamonds: A Guide
  4. Why Carat Weight Matters Less Than You Think

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

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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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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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
14K Rose Gold Bypass Marquise Array Diamond Engagement Ring
  1. Tension

Looking for a setting that can be admired from a mile away? That’d be a tension setting. This setting uses compressions to hold the center diamond in place, giving the appearance that the diamond is suspended in midair. The setting is usually made from a thick metal band and is sure to stand out in a crowd. 

14K Two-Tone White And Yellow Gold Pear Shaped Swirl Tension Setting
14K White Gold Contoured Twist Tension Set Engagement Ring
  1. Halo 

The halo setting is one that typically encircles the center stone with round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds. The small accent stones can make the center stone appear larger. A halo setting can take on the same or a different shape than the center stone. 

14K Yellow Gold Scalloped Cathedral Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Pavé Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center)
  1. Bezel

A bezel setting uses no prongs and instead is designed with a rim of metal holding the center stone. The surrounding metal only leaves the upper portion of the diamond or gemstone visible. This setting is perfectly designed to keep the center stone safe and secure.

14K White Gold Comfort Fit Bezel Set Solitaire Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Pavé Bypass Bezel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Prongs 

The prongs on a ring’s head are small metal projections or claws, either rounded, pointed, or v-shaped. Prongs extend up the ring’s basket and are used to secure the center stone in place and hold it there. There are various types of prong settings, the most popular for engagement rings being four or six prongs – enough to leave the diamond visible and able to reflect light and sparkle. 

Side Or Accent Stones

Side or accent stones are the stones that flank the sides of the center stone and are attached to the shoulders or the shank of the setting. Accent or side stone can encircle the entire ring in an eternity style or just decorate a small position of the ring. These accents aren’t limited to diamonds but can be tiny gems, too, of any fancy shape.

Shoulder 

Naturally, the shoulder helps to keep the head of the ring up. It’s the area where the shank and the ring setting meet and can be adorned with small diamond or gem accents. 

Shank 

Shank is more commonly known as the circular metal band that goes around the entire finger. A ring’s shank can take on many unique designs, from, twisted, curved, flat, and even split shank. As with most of a ring’s anatomy, the shank can also feature small diamond or gemstone accents. When choosing a ring it’s important the shank is comfortable and amplifies the appearance of the ring itself. 

An infographic explaining what the shank, side stones, prongs, and shoulder are in a ring

Build Your Engagement Ring

At JamesAllen.com, we give you the ultimate custom-design experience in our very own ring studio. Watch your engagement ring change to your specifications in real-time. Now that you’ve got a clearer idea about ring anatomy, the only limit is your imagination. 

Design engagement ring online

Let’s Sum It Up

We hope this lesson on ring anatomy helps you on your journey to finding the perfect engagement ring. And if you’re planning to design it yourself, take everything we’ve just taught you and give our ring studio a try for the ultimate ring custom designing experience.

Still got questions? Feel free to visit us at James Allen and chat with one of our diamond and jewelry experts, available to you 24/7. 

Need some engagement ring inspiration? Check out these helpful posts:

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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 February Birthstone: Amazing Amethyst

Don royal purple with the February birthstone: amethyst! This unusually-hued gemstone will make any wearer into an instant queen.

 

February Birthstone

Amethyst jewelry is the go-to purchase for February birthdays and Valentine’s gifts. The February birthstone is stunning yet graceful, rewarding those bold enough to wear it with plenty of turned heads!

What is the Birthstone for February?

It’s amethyst! Amethyst is a violet type of quartz, the crystalline mineral silicon dioxide. This is a great jewelry gemstone, as it’s not only gorgeous, but also sufficiently resilient to withstand day-to-day wear. It rates a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, indicating that it’s pretty difficult to scratch. Amethyst is a jewel that’s ready to keep up with your active lifestyle.

The History of Amethyst

Amethyst isn’t only good in the form of birthstone jewelry. This gemstone takes its name from the ancient Greek belief that it could protect its bearer from poison and drunkenness: a- (not) + methysko (intoxicating). Not only was amethyst worn as talismanic jewelry, but it was also carved into cups to prevent over-tipsiness.

With all due respect to the ancient Greeks, we disagree. Amethyst is positively intoxicating!

Amethyst February Birthstone

How to Style Amethyst

Purple can be a tricky color to style, and a trickier one to style well. When it comes to amethyst, it looks best when paired with certain colors of clothes.

  • similar shades of purple
  • neutral shades: black, white, gray, silver or gold.

As for who can wear amethyst, everyone’s in luck. Amethystian purple hedges both cool and warm tones, and as such it complements any complexion. Jewelry-wearers of the world, rejoice! This is your sign to rock amethyst jewelry.

Who Wears Amethyst?

Perhaps because of its royal connotations, but most certainly because of its beauty, amethyst is a solid favorite among red carpet celebrities. And as you can see, stars like Diane Kruger and Zoe Saldana are also fans of pairing their jewels with purple fabrics. 

Diane Kruger- Amethyst February Birthstone
Zoe Saldana - Amethyst February Birthstone

The Value of Amethyst Birthstone

Amethyst is valued primarily by the quality of its color rather than its carat weight. Meaning that you can score a heftily-sized gemstone for a much more reasonable price than other jewels. 

Amethyst Stone Meaning

The February gemstone is also rife with meaning. In the past, Tibetan Buddhist monks considered it holy and carved prayer beads from it and English royalty reserved it for themselves due to its sacred properties. And amethyst became the February birthstone thanks to the legendary St. Valentine, who donned an amethyst ring as he performed illicit marriages; this eventually led to the modern-day practice of gifting amethyst jewelry on Valentine’s Day. Modern-day lore claims that it is a powerful protective stone with cognitive and emotional stimulating properties.

Amethyst Rings

Deck your digits with a purple ring or two (or three), so you can punctuate every gesture with lavender. Choose a small stone for everyday wearing and stacking, or pump up the purple and go crazy with an oversized amethyst cocktail ring.

Petite Amethyst
Birthstone Ring

“Perfect in every way. I chose this for my 9 year old daughter, and she was beyond bedazzled with it. The metal and the gemstone are beautiful.”
– Johanna T.

Doubled Amethyst
and Diamond Ring

“A beautifully designed ring! The few diamonds on the ring next to the amethyst are a subtle compliment overall.”
-Marcin B.

Amethyst Earrings

Frame your face with two delicate purple gemstones. Amethyst earrings look particularly lovely on wearers with blue and brown eyes. And of course, they’re absolutely plum-colored stunning on those with violet-colored irises!

Cultured Pearl
and Amethyst Earrings

“The earrings were well made and delicate. My wife loved it as a birthday gift.”
– Felipe S.

Oval-Cut Amethyst
Stud Earrings

“This was a gift for my daughter-in-law and she was very happy.”
– Josette B.

Amethyst Necklaces

A single amethyst worn around the neck is known to protect its wearer from boring jewelry choices. Flaunt your unique personal style with a unique purple gemstone, set in precious metal.

Amethyst Birthstone
Necklace

“The birthstone necklace was stunning; the perfect birthday gift for my wife; she was mesmerized by it.” – Jonathan O.

Victorian Diamond
and Amethyst Necklace

“I bought this to celebrate the birth of our daughter and my wife loves it!” -Jason K.

The February Birthstone: Purple Reign

If you’re a February baby, or you’re looking for the perfect February gift, you are in luck! Amethyst is strong, affordable, and complements every complexion. Take your pick of any of the amethyst fan favorites listed above. 

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.

Read up on more birthstone beauties

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds: Everything You Need To Know

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to a traditional diamond, you’ve come to the right place. We’re explaining the pros and cons of real diamonds and diamond simulants, so you can choose the right stone for you.

Pair of tweezers and various fancy shaped diamonds

Note: At James Allen, we sell only U.S. Federal Trade Commission-certified true diamonds, which include both lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds.

What’s A “Real Diamond”?

The term “diamond” refers to a very specific stone: the crystalline form of carbon. While other forms of carbon exist, what makes a diamond special is its particular atomic configuration.

A carbon atom can bond with a maximum of 4 other atoms – and in diamond, all the available spots are taken by…other carbon atoms! That’s right, it’s carbon all the way. And this results in an extremely stable, super hard, super sparkling stone. 

Real Diamonds

Lab Created Diamonds

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-made diamond that differs from an earth-created 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.

Lab-grown diamonds and earth-created diamonds are optically and chemically identical, the only difference being their relative origins. And this difference in origin leads lab grown diamonds to flaunt a much lower price point.

Lab Created Diamonds

Simulants, however, are not diamonds. They’re different minerals that bear a resemblance to diamonds. We’ll dig into two of the most popular diamond simulants: cubic zirconia and moissanite.

Diamond Simulants: Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite

Diamond simulants are various types of man-made stones that are synthesized for the purpose of being diamond lookalikes. These clear, sparkling stones mimic the beauty of a diamond, but at a much lower cost. However, they do display marked differences to both lab-created and earth-mined diamonds in non-visual traits.

Why does this matter? It’s important to remember that clarity is only one characteristic of jewelry stones. Color, resilience, and sparkle vary between these different stones; stones’ specific characteristics can greatly affect how you wear them in jewelry, and their lifetime cost to you.

Cubic Zirconia

What is cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is arguably the most popular diamond simulant. It’s a man-made, crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. 

How is cubic zirconia made?

In a laboratory, zirconium oxide powder is melted into various stabilizing agents at a super-high temperature of nearly 5,000 degrees F. When left to cool, this mineral mixture forms crystals, which can then be cut and polished into jewelry-grade stones.

Moissanite

What is moissanite?

Moissanite is a form of silicon carbide crystal that’s synthesized in a lab. The result is a clear stone that, on the surface, bears a striking resemblance to real diamonds

How is moissanite made?

Moissanite occurs naturally, but it’s incredibly rare. Thus, all the affordable moissanite on the market today is created in a lab. 

How to distinguish between a real diamond and a simulant diamond:

Durability

The standard measurement to determine a stone’s strength is the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It describes a mineral’s resistance to being scratched and is measured from 0 (maximum softness) to 10 (maximum hardness).

Lab created diamonds and earth created diamonds:

Diamonds are the toughest stones out there. They score a maximum of 10 on the Mohs scale, meaning they can withstand absolutely anything you throw at them in your daily life. This durability is one of the reasons diamonds are the go-to stone for engagement rings, which are worn daily for decades at a time.

Because diamonds’ structure never changes, they can be passed on as family heirlooms. Both lab-grown diamonds and earth-created diamonds will last for, well, forever. 

Moissanite

While moissanite isn’t the hardest mineral out there, it’s close. It scores a 9.25 on the Mohs scale. It’s more susceptible to scratching than diamonds are, but it still holds up extremely well to daily wear-and-tear.

Cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia is moderately hard. At an 8 on the Mohs scale, its resilience is comparable to that of other jewelry stones like emerald, beryl, and amethyst. Because it’s scratch-resistant, but not scratch-proof, cubic zirconia (particularly much-worn stones like those in engagement rings) often acquires many tiny scratches that cloud its appearance. When this occurs, a professional jeweler can recut the stone to restore its clarity.

Lifespan

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

How long do diamonds last? Well, you’ll never have to throw one out due to deterioration. As the famous De Beer’s slogan correctly claims, “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 diamond you buy, whether earth-mined or lab-created, can be comfortably passed down through the generations. 

Moissanite

Though not as long-lasting as diamonds, moissanite will comfortably last for decades without any significant degradation in quality. However, since it’s a relatively newly recognized mineral, its exact lifespan is unknown.

Although discovered over a century ago, jewelry-grade moissanite crystals only began to be synthesized in the 1970’s and only became widely available in the 1980’s. Meaning, many couples getting engaged today with moissanite engagement rings were born before moissanite engagement rings became a thing. 

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is made for short-term wear. With daily wear, you can expect them to last less than 5 years. This means cubic zirconia is a great “for the time being” stone; you can wear it as a placeholder until you replace it with your dream diamond.

Be advised that contact with common chemicals will cause cubic zirconia to lose its shine, making it wearable for shorter periods of time. So make sure to remove cubic zirconia jewelry before doing daily tasks like putting on lotion, using cleaning supplies, or using hairspray.

Color

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

Colorless isn’t the only option! Due to trace elements in their composition, diamonds can display a range of colors. Plus, diamonds’ color is permanent. It won’t change at high temperatures or fade over time. 

Moissanite

Moissanite exhibits “thermochromism,” meaning that it is sensitive to a color change at temperatures above 150° F (65 C). These are usually temporary, but these heat-sensitive color changes can sometimes be permanent.

Cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia doesn’t change color when exposed to heat, but under UV radiation it can turn color, albeit temporarily. Most commonly, it turns yellowish, light green, or white. Indoors your stone will remain clear, but if you go outside on a sunny day it may change hue.

Sparkle

A diamond’s sparkle is largely thanks to two qualities: brilliance and fire.

“Brilliance” is a specific term describing a gemstone’s ability to return white light. It’s measured by the refractive index; a higher refractive index indicates a greater amount of white light reflected. The more white light reflected, the brighter the gemstone appears to the human eye.

“Fire” refers to a gemstone’s ability to return colored light, and is measured by the dispersion score. The higher a gemstone’s dispersion, the more it will display a rainbow of colors.

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds 

Diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42 and their faceting pattern returns light remarkably. They’re strikingly bright, but not too much so. Its dispersion is relatively low, at 0.044, so diamonds remain quite bright, with only minimal colorful sparkle. The combination of this brilliance (reflected white light) and fire (refracted color) give diamonds a truly balanced and unparalleled sparkle.

Moissanite

Moissanite actually has a higher refractive index than diamonds, at 2.65, and thus appears incredibly bright under natural light. However, moissanite has crazy high dispersion: 0.104. This is why it reflects back a ton of colored light, leading to a “rainbow effect” that tends to overshadow its brilliance.

The rainbow effect tends to make moissanite look fake to the well-trained eye, and is especially noticeable under natural light and in larger stones. In short, moissanite can often appear “too sparkly” under certain lights.

Cubic zirconia

With a refractive index of 2.15, cubic zirconia is the least brilliant of the bunch. Its lower score means that it reflects less light back to the eye, appearing duller than both diamond and moissanite under identical light.

It has a slightly higher dispersion than diamond, around 0.058, but isn’t very noticeable. Under natural light, it will appear quite white, but it will definitely lack the sparkle of either diamond or moissanite.

Ideal Size

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

Diamonds come in every carat. At James Allen, we sell loose diamonds in a huge range of carat sizes: from petite diamonds in 0.20 carats, all the way to large diamonds that are upwards of a whopping 20 carats. Diamonds’ stunning bright white brilliance and minimal color dispersal look amazing in any carat weight.

Moissanite:

Moissanite’s intense rainbow effect increases as the stone get larger. For this reason, it’s best to avoid large moissanite stones in jewelry. Stick with the smaller sizes; under 1 carat is best. Think: diamond for center stones, and moissanite for accent stones.

Cubic zirconia:

Cubic zirconia comes in as wide a range of carat sizes as diamonds do. While you can find cubic zirconia in as large a carat as you’d like, it’s best to choose an average-sized carat (around 1 carat) both to maximize the amount of light that hits the stone and to avoid the relatively dull shine that becomes obvious in larger stones.

Cost

Earth-created diamonds

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.

Lab created diamonds

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 do, lab-made diamonds cost significantly less than earth-mined diamonds.

Moissanite

This is quite affordable compared to diamond, but it’s the more expensive of the diamond simulants. Moissanite costs about half of what a traditional diamond under 1-carat costs. As a traditional diamond increase in carat weight, comparable moissanites become relatively more affordable. 

Cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia is the most budget-friendly choice. It costs next to nothing compared to a traditional diamond. While a colorless, eye-clean 1-carat diamond could cost thousands of dollars, comparable cubic zirconia will cost only a few dozen dollars.

The Low-Down

Choose a classic earth-created diamond if:

  1. You love diamond’s sparkle
  2. You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
  3. You admire the billions of years of history contained in each stone

Choose a modern lab created diamond if:

  1. You love diamond’s sparkle
  2. You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
  3. You want a large diamond at a lower price

Choose moissanite if:

  1. You’re on a budget
  2. You like small-carat stones
  3. You’ll wear your jewelry intensively

Choose cubic zirconia if:

  1. You’re on a budget
  2. You’ll wear your jewelry carefully and not every day
  3. You’re saving up for a more expensive stone

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.

Keep up on your diamond reading:

  1. Diamonds: The April Birthstone
  2. How To Take Care Of Your Diamond Jewelry
  3. Earth-Created Vs. Lab-Created Diamonds
  4. True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds
  5. Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Moissanite

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

Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Gorgeous Garnets: The January Birthstone

Time to be well-red! Find the perfect jewelry gift with garnet, the January birthstone.

January Birthstone

Start the new year off by shining in garnet red. Garnets get their name due to their resemblance to pomegranate seeds, the name derives from the Latin granatum, meaning seed. While garnet comes in multiple hues, red is the most popular color, and perfect for a January birthday…or any birthday!

What Is The January Birthstone?

Garnets can be found in mines and streams, where the water has worn away the rock and exposed the gem. Garnets can be found in green, yellow, and even colorless, but its vibrant and deep red is the most popular color.

While the garnet we are most familiar with is the gemstone found in fine jewelry, it can also be mined for its industrial abrasive version, which is used to polish glass and metal.

Garnet Birthstone Facts

The sparkle from garnets is so extraordinary it is often described by gemmologists as fire. The best sparkle can be seen in soft, romantic lighting, such as candles.

The hardness of garnets is not as impressive as their sparkle and should be handled with care. Rating between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, out of a maximum of 10, garnets are still quite strong.

Garnet Birthstone Symbolism

Garnets are thought to bring blessings, love, wellness, friendship, and devotion to those lucky enough to be born in January. It certainly worked for Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

Prior to marrying her now-husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Kate was gifted a gorgeous ring with her garnet birthstone, as well as pearls, her now-husband’s birthstone. The ring was a sign of the Prince’s commitment to his now-wife.

Garnets are always a great choice because as the epitome of affordable luxury, they make for a great birthday gift….or anniversary, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or just a day ending in a day!

Kate Middleton isn’t the only celebrity sporting garnet, check out some other famous faces wearing this gorgeous gem! Kristen Bell and Sofía Vergara have both rocked luxurious garnet earrings.