As the song goes, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, but in 2020, maybe it’s time we started looking for a new friend to hang out with?
That’s right, after more than a century of being the be-all-end-all of precious stones, diamonds are on their way out, with the diamond industry struggling to keep up with the evolving tastes and styles of the current market. And this is a good thing: the diamond industry is built on some really shady and unethical practices (ever see that movie Blood Diamond? Yeah, that’s a real thing), all to market a product that is, ostensibly, not as rare as other precious stones. Sure, some diamonds cost as much as renting out Disneyland for the day, but is it even worth it? While the answer to that may be subjective, for the millennials and the Gen Z consumers (i.e. the real buying power in America at the moment) of today, the answer is a resounding: Nah fam.
Are diamonds gorgeous? Yes, they are, but they’re not the only choice out there. We asked some expert jewelers about their top picks of diamond alternatives. Here’s what they came up with:
Arguably much rarer than diamonds, moisannite is out of this world. Literally, it comes from space via meteorites and other types of space debris. Moissanite is, in fact, one of the most popular diamond alternatives out there, because it behaves just like diamonds: moissanite shines and gleams just like diamonds and they can be cut like diamonds, all for a cheaper price.
Sure, moissanite is maybe 1 or 2 orders below diamonds in terms of hardness, but unless you’re using your diamond to cut through industrial steel, this isn’t even going to make an impact in your everyday life.
One of the traditional ‘four precious stones’ of the jewelry world, emeralds are one of the OG’s of gemstones: they’ve been used since the start of human civilization thanks to its extremely green color.
Word of caution, though: emeralds are much, much softer compared to other precious stones, which means that it requires very specific settings, not to mention extra care if you’re going to be wearing it out in public.
Another member of the 4 precious stones club, rubies have been used since the middle ages to symbolize fiery passion and burning love, thanks to its bright red color.
They’re also much tougher than Emeralds, which means they’re better suited for everyday activities like washing dishes, or bare-knuckle boxing: basically anything that involves your gemstone coming into contact with another surface.
Another gemstone that hearkens back to antiquity, sapphires have been seen by the ancients as a gem that promotes tranquility and is the chosen symbol of faithfulness to your partner (which should be a given, considering it’s an engagement ring!). Sapphires are best-known for their intensely blue color, but they also come in green, yellow, white, and even pink (depending on the coloration of the mineral).
They are so popular that even the Queen of Hearts, Princess Di, wore a 12-carat sapphire ring that she chose from a public jewelry collection in lieu of of a gem-set ring from a royal or noble treasury. And if it’s good enough for that saint, it’s got to be good enough for commoners like us.