At Louise Jean, we are known for our varied range of stone options, including natural diamonds, cultured diamonds and up until recently, moissanite. As you begin the exciting process of designing your engagement ring, you may be slightly overwhelmed with all of your centre stone options and, more importantly, deciding which is the best centre stone for you. Naturally, many questions may arise about the differences between these three popular stone options. We're here to break down some essential information to consider when making this important decision.
Natural diamonds were formed billion years ago due to a high-pressure, high-temperature environment deep beneath the Earth's surface. These gemstones are brought to the surface through the force of volcanic eruptions, where they lay waiting to be discovered. Once mined and passed through strict operations, a diamond rough is meticulously cut and formally certified by world-renowned certifying laboratories.
The demand and supply of natural diamonds on the market are heavily controlled to ensure the market remains steady, and as a result, these gems will always be the highest-priced option. Diamond value has slowly increased over the years and is likely to keep rising due to this controlled and finite supply.
To learn more about natural diamonds, see here.
A cultured (lab-grown) diamond was first produced in the 1950s for industrial use, and it was only in the last ten years or so that gem-quality diamonds entered the market for use in jewellery. These diamonds are identical to a natural diamond, both in chemical makeup and visual appearance. In fact, cultured diamonds are considered 'real' diamonds and offer the same brilliance, fire, and scintillation as a diamond that has grown over billions of years.
Like a natural diamond, cultured diamonds are graded and priced according to their carat and grading quality (4C's). One of the greatest appeals about these diamonds is their considerably lower price point, priced at an average of 40-70% less than a natural diamond with comparable grading. For some, concerns may arise over the environmental and human labour in the natural diamond mining process. This is not to say that natural diamonds are necessarily unethical; however, some consumers are more inclined in supporting a process that offers a long-term, sustainable practice over the often disruptive processes of diamonds pulled from the Earth.
To learn more about cultured diamonds, see here.
Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral composed of silicon carbide (SiC), first discovered in 1893 by French chemist Henri Moissan at the site of a meteorite. While moissanite can occur naturally, this is exceptionally rare. As a result, it is created under controlled laboratory environments, allowing for consistent, high-quality production with minimal imperfections.
Moissanite had become an increasingly popular and highly regarded stone choice for couples seeking a diamond alternative. It is typically priced around 90% less than natural diamonds, making it one of the most cost-effective centre stone options. However with the popularity of cultured diamonds which have grown to cater to this same need, we have made the difficult choice to discontinue our Astral Moissanite™ collection and to instead focus on our premium inventory of natural and cultured diamonds. Read more about our next chapter.
At the end of the day price tag and origin aside the choice is ultimately down to your individual preferences. Only you can choose the perfect stone that represents your love story. If you would like to learn more about a particular diamond type please see our recommended educational reads below.