Do Rhinestones Make Good Engagement Rings?

River Rhine
Sunset on the river Rhine

Do you remember playing games when you were a kid that revolved around finding buried treasure and magic stones? If you ever spent time at the waters edge of a river or lake, perhaps you were enchanted by the gem-like quality of wet pebbles and shiny rocks.

My imagination used to run wild whenever I found small rocks in shades of green, red or blue. To me, they were Emeralds, Rubies and Sapphires.

Sadly, as soon as they dried off, the luster and magic were gone. They were, after all, just pebbles that looked pretty when wet. However, the discovery of one particular river rock created a whole new world of diamond alternative options.

The History Of  The Rhinestone

So many people think that Rhinestones are polished glass. They were indeed a natural substance created by nature just like any other gemstone. They were rock crystals that were discovered on the Rhine River, hence the name; Rhinestones. In researching the origin and history of the Rhinestone, I discovered this highly informative blog post by Rhinestones Unlimited for anyone who wants to learn more about them:

What Is A Rhinestone? A True Fairy Tale.

Although it is a bit sad that our natural supplies were depleted, we can be thankful that today’s technology allows the brilliance and beauty to be recreated so people can still experience the luster of wearing Rhinestone jewelry.

Modern Rhinestone Quality Has Come A Long Way

Pointed Crystals
© Rhinestones Unlimited-by permission

When I was young, I remember digging through my Grandmother’s costume jewelry box and playing with all her beads, bangles and rings.  There were plenty of “pretend” diamonds in that box. Over the years, some of them would get cloudy and scratched from wear and tear.  At that time, the stones were softer and would, indeed, end up looking like dry sea glass.

If you visit sites like Etsy.com or Pinterest.com and search Vintage Rhinestone Rings, you may notice that the stones are nowhere as brilliant as what we can get today.

Today, Rhinestone creation continues to advance in quality and strength. Look at how pretty the stones are pictured here. Are you surprised?

Many of us picture Rhinestones as those flat-backed crystals that only work as glue-on embellishments for garments. These are perfect for mounting onto ring settings.

There Is A Still A Market For The Rhinestone Ring

Rhinestone engagement ringIf you want to see how pretty a Rhinestone ring can be, take a look at this design on the right. Although the stones are purple, the band setting and the stone placements make it look just like a traditional engagement ring.

Here is an interesting scenario I found from several customer reviews on Amazon.com for Rhinestone wedding bands:

  • Wife loses her wedding band ( oh dear!) and is very upset.
  • Husband wants wife to be happy again, so buys a temporary Rhinestone replacement ring for her.
  • Husband leaves feedback stating that wife is thrilled with her Rhinestone ring.

This is so symbolic of what bridal rings really represent; diamonds or not. They are tokens of love and commitment whatever they are made from.

A Brilliant Loose Rhinestone Is A Wonderful Fake Diamond Option

Considering the advanced techniques that are used to make Rhinestones as brilliant and durable as possible, there is no reason why they wouldn’t make beautiful engagement rings. If you want to see a wide range of options and learn all about these interesting stones, I highly recommend visiting Rhinestones Unlimited.

This company does a great job explaining the Rhinestone-Swarovski-Crystal relationship so people can make an educated buying decision.

However, if you want to go straight to the gorgeous goodies that would make a fabulous custom ring, the loose gems on their Fancy Stones page are incredibly stunning.

 

 

 

Image Credits: Sunset on the River Rhine By Jens Wahnes (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, Loose Rhinestones by Rhinestones Unlimited-by permission, Purple Rhinestone Ring by Yazilind, Amazon.com

Do Swarovski Crystals Make Good Engagement Rings?

Swarovski CrystalWhen it comes to sparkly stones for jewelry items, some gems make more believable engagement ring designs than others. One that I never hear too much about amongst family and friends that have a big ring collection are Swarovski crystals.

Many people think that this man-made stone is only appropriate for embellishing ballet costumes, tiaras and beauty pageant gowns. I say that anything this gorgeous would make a wonderfully unique choice as a wedding ring set or an engagement ring. Just look at the heart-melting shimmer of this crystal as displayed in The Swarovski Museum; stunning.

Don’t Underestimate The Brilliant Beauty Of Swarovski Crystal Rings

Swa Austrian Crystal Wedding RingI have a small solitaire ring made with this crystal that I purchased on eBay last year. Although it cost less than $10 dollars, people always notice it and give me compliments. The setting quality is questionable, but the little crystal really shines; especially under restaurant lighting in the evenings.

A Top-Quality Setting Makes A Real Difference

What makes a ring breathtakingly beautiful is the design and layout of the stones. What makes it last and protect the stones are the setting materials.

Real gold or silver always makes a fake look less so. I find that having a real gold band and setting is insurance just in case the stones need to be replaced. You have a solid item that jewelers can work with and you don’t end up with green Leprechaun fingers.

Are There Any Downsides To A Crystal Ring Design?

As gorgeous as crystals are, wearing them in a ring design has pros and cons. There are a lot of cons to consider:

  • Genuine Swarovski crystal rings that are suitable to wear as an engagement ring are really hard to find. Besides the official Swarovski company, there are only a smidgen of online jewelers that offer a few styles in this category.
  • Your taste has to be avante garde because these designs are very far from the traditional concept of an engagement ring style.
  • Crystals are high-maintenance.  They don’t have the hardness to handle daily roughhousing and can become scratched and cloudy in no time at all.
  • If you are looking for a lifetime ring that you never want to take off, a crystal wont be able to handle it without losing its sparkle.

There are some positive aspects about them or people wouldn’t buy them at all. Here are the positives:

  • Affordable, cheap, inexpensive. This is very true when it comes to the Austrian crystal engagement rings for sale on Amazon. You can find a pretty ring for less than $10 dollars.
  • A crystal engagement ring is perfect as a starter ring for young couples on a super-tight budget who plan to upgrade to a more durable design in the future.
  • They make great little conversation starters. People will ask you what it is because it has its own unique way of refracting light.


Swarovski Versus Austrian Crystals-What’s The Difference?

Both crystal types originate from Austria. Swarovski is simply a brand name for a company that has developed a top-notch cutting method for making Austrian crystals produce maximum brilliance. You can either go for the brand name, or find a much larger selection of standard Austrian crystal jewelry companies online.

A Very Popular Austrian Crystal Ring Option On Amazon.com

18k Rose Gold Plated Use Austrian Crystal Engagement Spark RingThe more you research ring styles and materials, the more you realize how many options are out there. Crystals make pretty rings for many occasions, not only marriage. Rose gold or rose gold plating is another setting option to consider.

18k Rose Gold Plated Use Austrian Crystal Engagement Spark Ring

I always considered Rose Gold a rare choice and not that mainstream popular. I was wrong. I was surprised to see that one of the most popular Austrian crystal rings on Amazon is this bold and dramatic Spark Ring. With over 100 reviews and a fantastic low price, it looks like a wonderful item for people who like that shade of gold.

Do Swarovski Crystals Make Good Engagement Rings?

I am going to give you my honest opinion. I think that crystal rings are perfect as fashion costume jewelry, friendship rings, gifts for special people in your life and as a temporary option for those who are getting married and need to save as much money as possible.

As a long-term investment, they wouldn’t last as long as a Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite or diamond. However, the word investment might not make sense for these budget-friendly rings.  Because they are so affordable and fun to wear, crystals should be in every woman’s jewelry collection. I love my little crystal ring.

 

 

Image Credits: Flickr.com, Swarovski Museum by Shadowgate, no modifications, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, SWA Austrian Crystal Wedding-Engagement Ring, Austrian Crystal Spark Ring courtesy of Amazon.com

 

Why Are Moissanite Engagement Rings So Expensive?

If you are a brilliant gemstone lover, you may enjoy checking out all the tempting images out there on the Internet. There are so many wonderful websites to visit where you can get your daily fix of bling things. From birthstones to royal jewels to magnificent fakes, I myself can spend hours looking at rings, earrings and bracelets online. If I dare log in to Pinterest, I am doomed to spend hours drooling over estate diamonds, fiery CZ rings and anything else that sparkles.

So Many Diamond Alternatives, So Little Time

Have you noticed just how many types of stones there are that make for beautiful rings? I have a cute Swarovski crystal solitaire ring that shines in the sun like a more expensive stone. I own Rhinestone cluster rings, Aurora Borealis rings, genuine diamonds and a few pretty Cubic Zirconia designs. The one gemstone that I don’t have is a Moissanite.

Naturally, you cant have a website like this without doing a bit of research on diamond alternatives. When window shopping for a engagement ring designed using a real-looking gemstone substitute, you can’t help but notice Moissanite as an option.

What Is Moissanite And Where Does It Come From?

Henri Moissan
Henri Moissan

Although the word Moissanite has that ring of “synthetic chemical” or man-made gems from a lab, it wasn’t originally.  The original gem is named after the man who discovered it, Henri Moissan.

Mr. Moissan was digging around on an Indian reservation at the meteor crater named Canyon Diablo in Arizona way back in the late 1800’s.

He was taking rock samples when he stumbled upon what he thought were diamonds. What he found was the mineral silicon carbide.

After careful inspection and many scientific tests later, the mineral/gems were discovered to be close to diamonds in hardness, but were unique to diamonds in their own right. The Moissanite gemstone name was born.

Unfortunately, there is not enough naturally-occurring silicon carbide mineral deposits to supply the worldwide demand for its use. The good news is that Moisssanite is now  created in labs to supply the world with these brilliant diamond alternatives.

Comparing The Cost Of A Moissanite Versus A Real Diamond

Because Moissanite is considered an extremely top-quality replica of a diamond when it comes to clarity, color and hardness, it can cost much more than a Cubic Zirconia or other synthetic diamond product.

I went to Amazon.com to compare a 1 carat Moissanite solitaire in 14K white gold versus a 1 carat Diamond solitaire in 14K white gold and here is what I found:

Moissanite 1 Carat Solitaire-14K White Gold
Moissanite 1 Carat Solitaire-14K White Gold Price Range: $ 599.00 to $650.00
14K White Gold 1 Carat Diamond Solitaire
Diamond 1 Carat Solitaire, 14K White Gold
Price Range: $1250.00 to $1450.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like everything else we buy, things can seem expensive or budget-friendly depending on what we are comparing them to. Compared to the price of a 1 Carat CZ solitaire on a real gold band, Moissanite is much more expensive. However, when we compare Moissanite with a real diamond, we can see that it costs hundreds less. What’s amazing is how similar the two rings look in the above photos.

Cloudy Cheap Diamonds, Clear Brilliant Cubic Zirconia

Engagement Ring
Clouds belong in the sky, not inside your engagement ring.

If you had your choice between a tiny, flawless Cubic Zirconia ring or a huge, inexpensive low-grade diamond with lots of inclusions, which would you prefer? Decades ago, I made that decision. During my engagement, my fiance took me to the jewelry store to look at diamond engagement rings.

There were tiny, flawless ones and huge flawless ones that were out of the budget at the time. In my haste and greed, I ended up choosing a 2 carat marquise cut solitaire design. It was affordable because it was a low-grade diamond. Instead of going for a small perfect stone, I wanted a big one.

That decision cost me dearly. As soon as we left the bright lights of the jewelry store, my ring lost its sparkle. It was the dullest, most un-brilliant diamond I have ever worn. If I cleaned it like crazy and wore it next to candlelight, it barely shimmered. I should have chosen a small, but 100% flawless stone with captivating fiery brilliance. Today’s quality of  Cubic Zirconia gems beat my dull, lifeless diamond solitaire by a mile.

Why Are Moissanite Engagement Rings Popular?

 

  • Moissanite is an attractive diamond alternative because of the hardness of the stone.Moissanite Ring
  • They are designed with as much as finesse and attention to detail as diamonds costing thousands more.
  • They are growing in popularity and make a nice middle-ground choice financially between a real diamond and a Cubic Zirconia
  • They do cost hundreds more than a CZ ring of the same design, but much less than a diamond.
  • They are sparkly, brilliant and fabulous; what’s not to love?

 

Image Credits:

Henri Moissan HiRes by sv:Generalstabens litografiska anstalt – Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1966. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org

Moissanite and Diamond solitaire engagement rings courtesy of Amazon.com

Engagement ring on finger, capl@washjeff.edu, no modifications, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

Moissanite ring by Angela – Own work (Own photo). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org

 

How To Choose A Good Quality Fake Diamond Ring

sterling-cz-wedding-setMarilyn Monroe may have taught you that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but she never said they had to be real. The truth is, unless you’re a trained gemologist, you probably can’t tell the difference between a real diamond and a good quality fake. So instead of splurging on a million-year old rock, why not get the same glittering jewel for a fraction of the price? Choosing the right faux diamond can be tricky, but not impossible.

Guilt Free Gemstones
Diamonds have always ensnared the minds of whoever catches sight of them. But many diamonds have also driven people to kill, pillage, and plunder. You certainly must have heard of blood diamonds, stones mined in areas of war and conflict; sold to fund insurgencies, war, and rebellion. Though banned by the UN, one can never be sure that their diamonds are conflict-free. To avoid perpetuating these vicious activities, many people avoid real diamonds altogether. They stick to the fabulous fakes that only symbolize eternal love and beauty.

Love without Materialism
In addition to taking the moral high ground, you will be saving money that could be better used. When starting a new life with someone, you want to give them everything you possibly can; but instead of spending the proverbial two month’s salary on a ring, buy them an equally beautiful and much less costly ring, and use the extra money to embark on your married life. You also don’t need to insure the ring, and need not feel devastated if you ever lose or misplace it. Don’t fall into the trap created by large gemstone companies; you can ask for your lady’s love with a gorgeous fake diamond ring.

Popular Fashion Statement
If you love the way diamonds catch the sunlight and sparkle every time you move your hand, but you can’t, or aren’t willing to drop thousands of dollars for one; then you can absolutely get that feeling of glamor and luxury for a fraction of the price. Opt for faux diamonds when trying to make a fashion statement without spending too much. So go ahead and spoil yourself, we all know you deserve it.

The Types of Stones to Choose From
Cubic Zirconia – With a flawless exterior and close resemblance to a diamond, cubic Zirconia is the biggest competitor in the market of faux diamonds. Because of its strength and durability, this would be your best option.

Swarovski Crystals – Created by Bohemian visionary, Daniel Swarovski in 1895, Swarovski crystals have become synonymous with quality gemstones. They are a great substitute for diamonds and are absolutely stunning.

Spinel – Spinel is a jewel in its own right, and must not simply be seen as an alternative to diamonds. Spinel is multi-faceted like a diamond, usually colorless, but can be found in various other shades as well.

Rhinestones – Rhinestones, also known as diamante, are very popular in costume jewelry because they are sparkly and very cheap. Quality can vary, depending on the manufacturer, but a well-made rhinestone will have the same iridescent effect of a diamond.

Diamonique by QVC – Similar to a diamond in cut, clarity, and weight; Diamonique is a good option for beautiful synthetic diamond jewelry. Manufactured by the popular and famous QVC, Diamonique promises quality.

Russian Ice on Fire – This is a grade of cubic Zirconia which is so brilliant and vibrant, the light catches its many faces and produces an effect similar to dancing flames, giving the stone its fiery name.

Cheap Glass – You will find lots of cheap glass rings on eBay and online Chinese markets which will cost you very little as compared to other diamond stimulants. These are not as durable and high quality as other materials, but they can be just as beautiful.

Fake diamond rings can be just as beautiful as real diamonds, and at times, more meaningful than a real diamond that comes with a shady past. Go ahead and buy yourself or your significant other a stunning ring, regardless of the cost of the stone. At the end of the day, it’s just a rock.