Discover the jewelry that minimalists are going crazy for to wear alone, stacked, or layered with other fine jewelry pieces that will remain trendy now and for years to come.
Are you a beginner only just discovering the incredible power of jewelry? Or perhaps you already know what jewels you like, and you’re looking to add a more minimalist edge to your style. Whatever category you fit into, we’re here to guide you on your journey of discovery.
Minimalist jewelry is and always will be a fashionable option for just about any event or occasion. We’ve looked at common mistakes made when trying to pull off this look and how we can make it easier for you to rock minimalist jewelry and still look effortlessly stunning.
Here are our top six tips to look out for when purchasing, pairing and wearing minimalist jewelry like a pro.
Play It Cool With The Classics
When it comes to minimalist jewelry, invest in the essentials. Add a few classic pieces to your jewelry box for a chic minimalist style that works every time. Timeless jewelry pieces will always pass the latest trends, whether it’s a pair of diamond stud earrings or a dainty pearl bracelet.
Classic or vintage jewelry can be bought for absolutely any occasion and will stand the test of time. They also make for the best gifts and are perfect for both casual and formal environments.
A simple piece of jewelry with stunning curved features.
Make One Bold Statement
The key to a minimalist style is an outfit that has one showstopping jewelry piece. Whether it be a sleek pair of gemstone earrings or a sparkling diamond ring, a single jewel can keep you looking fashion-forward. Nothing screams minimalist chic more than one impactful piece of jewelry to keep all eyes on you.
You can pair this edgy and elegant design with more stackable rings or let it shine on its own.
Keep Your Jewelry Box Light
Minimalist jewelry can serve you time and time again. Stick to a few versatile pieces that you might wear for both informal and formal occasions with any type of outfit. Here, we suggest starting with precious metals. These metals often appear as clean, sleek lines with smooth satin surfaces.
This type of jewelry is a staple of simple elegance and easy to throw on at a minute’s notice. Take a pair of simple gold earrings, for example, put them on and you’ve gone from casual to polished in an instant. Plus, it’s a long-term investment in quality and style you’ll get to cherish and wear any time you want.
Dare to be bold with these precious metal hooped earrings.
Simple, Yet Sparkling
Just because you’re going with minimalist jewelry doesn’t mean you need to lose your shine. Diamond jewelry is still the perfect choice for a polished and sparkling aesthetic, like diamond pendants or diamond tennis bracelets. Our only advice here will be to stick to one kind of metal if you wear more than one piece of diamond jewelry.
Practical and stylish. You’ll find this diamond bracelet is fit for any occasion.
Spice Up Your Minimalist Jewelry With Gemstones
A pop of color may be just what the fashionistas ordered. If your outfit of choice happens to be a simple white, beige or black ensemble, gemstone jewelry will serve as your ideal accessory.
What we love about gemstones is their ability to look fabulous in whichever fine jewelry piece you prefer. Their color will give you the extra finesse your outfit needs to make a statement; from gemstone rings to a chic gemstone necklace, your options are endless. As a minimalist rule, it’s less complicated to stick to your favorite type of gemstone and avoid unnecessary mixing and matching.
Want to upgrade your look? Trust this chic sparkler to get the job done.
Avoid Complicated Designs
Minimalist jewelry can be fun and explorative, from asymmetric lines for abstract simplicity or perfectly symmetrical pieces that give you a sleek look. Try to avoid designs that are too intricate and move towards more opulent jewelry with clean cuts and smooth surfaces. You don’t want to take away from the curated minimalism that comes with uncomplicated jewelry designs.
Portray effortless elegance with a trendy diamond cut cable chain.
We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we loved writing it. Our archives are brimming with fun and helpful tips about fine jewelry. Learn how to match your personality and style with the jewelry of your dreams. You can find our selection of reads below.
If you have any questions about our products or you’d like to design your own earrings or pendants, visit our website here or get in contact with one of our 24/7 customer service agents here.
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.
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.
The Lab Created Diamond
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.
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.
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.
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.
Distinguishing Between Diamonds and Diamond Simulants
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.
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 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.
Laurel Side-Stone Diamond Engagement Ring
“Love it! I got an oval diamond for my girlfriend and she loves it, so many compliments about the vintage style to the setting. It looks amazing.” – Brian L.
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.
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 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.
Martini Diamond Stud Earrings
“These diamond studs far exceeded any expectations. They truly glisten. Quality is outstanding. So happy with them!” – Anita P.
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 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 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.
Kite-Set Diamond Pendant Necklace
‘My wife loves her new solitaire necklace. The chain is dainty, perfect length and great quality.” – Kylie O.
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 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.
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.
Four Prong Diamond Tennis Bracelet
“My girlfriend absolutely loved this bracelet. It looks amazing. Her eyes shined as bright as the diamonds on this piece when she opened the box. Definitely worth it.” – Isidro O.
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’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 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.
Seven-Stone Domed Diamond Anniversary Ring
“This was an anniversary gift. It’s a beautiful ring. I loved it!” – Pankaj S.
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.
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 does, lab-made diamonds cost significantly less than earth-mined diamonds.
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 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, a comparable cubic zirconia will cost only a few dozen dollars.
Twisted Shank Diamond Engagement Ring
“Stunning diamond & band! Perfect engagement ring, my fiancèe was floored at how beautiful the ring was. It was exactly what she wanted and she cannot stop raving about it. I’m extremely happy with this purchase.” – Christopher R.
You admire the billions of years of history contained in each stone
Choose a modern lab-created diamond if:
You love diamond’s sparkle
You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
You want a large diamond at a lower price
Choose moissanite if:
You’re on a budget
You like small-carat stones
You’ll wear your jewelry intensively
Choose cubic zirconia if:
You’re on a budget
You’ll wear your jewelry carefully and not every day
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.
Sure, the jewelry looks fantastic online…but what do customers really think? Read on to find out! We’ve arranged a lineup of the year’s most-reviewed items: engagement rings, wedding rings, and fine jewelry.
The reviews are in! Which items are James Allen customers totally in love with? The trends are clear: rose gold, pavé, and classic settings are in.
The Petite Pavé is one of our most popular engagement ring styles, and it’s clear that rose gold is rising in popularity. This delicate, feminine ring has just the right amount of sparkle…and it had our customers raving!
A simple solitaire engagement ring – with an edge. The strong lines of this unique solitaire engagement ring draw all eyes to the featured center stone. Affordable, minimalist, and stylish, this engagement ring drew a storm of chatter.
Yellow Gold Solitaire Engagement Ring with Oval Diamond
This yellow gold engagement ring is an utter classic. It’s designed for comfort – not only is it beautiful, but you can wear it all day. And customers loved it! This setting is suitable for mounting with any cut of a diamond – and customers took advantage of this, choosing (for instance) the oval diamond featured below.
With an arching, many-armed backet, this rose gold engagement ring is pure royalty. Its unique halo is slightly almond-shaped, tapering gracefully into the curved pavé-set band. This is a super-sparkler! And thanks to the surrounding small stones, the center stone actually appears larger than it is.
This is a timeless wedding band that adds a good amount of sparkle. The pavé-set diamonds are set perfectly to allow the maximum amount of light to hit their facets. And if that’s not enough, it’s also effortlessly comfortable to wear.
For those who love a solid stack of sparkle, this delicate pavé wedding ring is the perfect choice. Slim enough to accommodate both an engagement ring and an anniversary ring, this adds a graceful line of complementary glitter to any ring compilation.
This platinum wedding ring is set with 10 sparkling diamonds that cover half the band’s length. This wedding ring is gracefully bold. Its stones are larger than that of a pavé and, as such, they capture a good amount of light.
A wedding ring with all the romance of vintage jewels, but made to modern quality standards. The entire length of the rose gold band is set with alternating round and marquise diamonds that give off an uncommonly romantic whimsy.
These diamond studs became many of our customers’ go-to earrings this year! With their sturdy yet vanishing prongs, these yellow gold earrings upgrade your wardrobe for any occasion. You really can’t go wrong with diamond studs, especially these.
Diamond tennis bracelet: the ultimate in shine! This bracelet is straight-up, elegant, in-your-face sparkle. A continuous line of diamonds makes this bracelet shimmer from every angle on your wrist. Sturdy four-prong settings hold 53 brilliant-cut diamonds in a single, beautifully-crafted row.
A minimalist piece with personality! This diamond necklace features a curved row of round-cut diamonds gracefully suspended by a rose gold chain. The delicate line of glitter brightens up the wearer without being too in-your-face, and the rose gold lends this necklace a feminine touch.
This milgrain setting keeps your diamond secure and stylish. Its beading is the perfect mix of modern and vintage jewelry design. The smooth, curved back adds a gorgeous element of movement, ensuring that your pendant will always move slightly to catch the light and your diamond’s facets will sparkle.
Friends, romantics, customers; lend us your ears! 👂
As the first points of sparkle a person sees when they look at you, you’ll want to make sure your lobes are suitably lustrous. And there are no more elegant ear accessories than diamond studs, which make for a dazzling first impression.
Thanks to their ear-hugging design, these earrings appear to float on the earlobe as if weightless in space. Whether you opt for the classic basket or super-trendy martini style setting, you’re bound to be flushed with finesse.
Stud-y up on diamond stud earrings with our essential guide.
Diamond studs come in a choice of fab settings including pavé, martini, and basket, each offering varying degrees of comfort and style, as well as durability. To help you decide between them, let’s take a closer look at two of the more popular setting styles.
BASK IN A BASKET SETTING 🧺
Traditional four or six-prong basket settings afford a reasonably good fit. In these diamond studs, the diamond is set low in the frame, so it sits flat against the earlobe.
Well, well, well. Bezel-set diamond studs are sleek, clean, and oh-so-sturdy. They really are the perfect choice for wearers that lead active lifestyles: the bezel setting won’t snag on any fabric, and it’s arguably the most secure setting. Plus, it’s cute AF.
Gorgeous, elegant, and unique – pear-shaped diamonds are taking over the jewelry scene. These shining droplets stand out from the crowd of more common diamond shapes, especially when poised perfectly on your lobes.
The trendiest diamond shape of the past few years is also one of the most flattering shapes for diamond stud earrings. Its curved edges and elongated form compliment every face shape and every wardrobe.
The emerald cut is an in-your-face shape that shows off your diamond’s crystal clarity. It’s one of the earliest established diamond cuts. As such, these emerald-cut diamond studs boast an undeniable royal feel: bold, elegant, and confident.
MARTINI SETTINGS: SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED 🍸
Named for their conical shape, which resembles a martini glass, martini settings are very in right now due to their super-flush fit. Their narrow bottom means that the diamond can be set even closer to the earlobe than standard basket-style settings. Not only do you get a well-balanced and comfortable fit, but the low profile reveals less metal and more diamond.
The prong setting is a total classic. And the double prongs on these slices of bling add an understated pop of flair to a traditionally beloved setting. The minimalist prongs allow light to hit your diamond’s facets from nearly every angle.