Wedding Rings - Understanding the Differences in Your Gem Options
Diamonds are without a doubt the most popular choice for engagement rings and wedding jewelry. Their sparkle, brilliance, and sheer capacity to endure have made them a popular symbol for eternal love and happiness, and most women imagine themselves wearing a diamond on their left hand at some time in their life.
Alternatives For Diamond Wedding Rings
Other Uses for Diamonds
Some people are unaware that diamonds are the hardest substance in the natural world, and because of this, they have uses far beyond engagement and wedding rings. Diamonds are also valuable in industrial settings for their uses in drills, saws, and engraving tools.
Because there are so many important uses for diamonds, people have been prompted to create synthetic substitutes for them. A substitute could make a stone with diamond-like properties more available for industry as well as for people who love the look of shimmering diamonds in their jewels but can't afford the cost of this most valuable gem.
Two synthetic substitutes for diamonds have been created that have attained some degree of success in these areas: cubic zirconia (or CZ) and mossianite. Each of these is less expensive than a diamond, but offer similar appeal in beauty and sparkle. They are not as hard as diamonds, but are often hard enough to be useful in some industrial settings.
Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite
Cubic zirconia has been manufactured since the 1970's and has been a very popular substitute for diamonds in jewelry. CZ's are more reflective than either glass or crystal and sparkle like diamonds, so it is very difficult to tell at first glance whether you are looking at a CZ or a highly polished diamond. They are not as hard as diamonds - no synthetic or natural substances are - but, they are heavier and lend a satisfying weight as well as shine to jewelry. In addition, diamonds have flaws, called inclusions, and are usually slightly yellow-tinted rather than purely clear or white, but CZs can be created flawless and colorless, so they have no inclusions and always look perfect.
Mossianite is a newer synthetic diamond. Its scientific name is silicon carbide and it has only been used as a gemstone since the late 1990's. Mossianites are even more reflective than diamonds, making them shine even more brilliantly, which make this one way to tell the difference between mossianite and true diamonds. They are not as hard as diamonds, but they are even harder than cubic zirconia, which gives them even more uses in the industrial sector. They do have inclusions and sometimes a slightly green tint to them, however, which can limit their uses in jewelry just as diamonds are sometimes limited.
Both of these synthetic gems can be cut in the same shapes as diamonds, but since they are not naturally occurring gems, it is often hard for people to find them in the cuts they prefer. Although both CZ and mossianite shine as brightly as diamonds, when it comes to engagement and wedding jewelry, most people prefer not to settle for substitutes. Diamonds are forever, and they are the real thing.
Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas
Engraving Wedding Rings or BandsA specialty process adapted to a not so new technology, called laser engraving, has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for wedding couples who want to engrave longer inscriptions on their rings.