Why wouldn’t you want a stone that was more beautiful than a diamond? The common reason is that cubic zirconia is cheap. Give someone an engagement ring of cubic zirconia and you are not demonstrating your willingness to be extravagant for your love. Diamonds are valued because of their cost.
Can a stone be coated with a diamond veneer? Does this veneer make a better looking cubic zirconia or faux diamond?
There are many misconceptions regarding various stones that are coated with a veneer from a genuine diamond. In order to set the story straight, the International School of Gemology studied these stones. Here is their report, and needless to say, we are not surprised!
Quality of Cubic Zirconia:
The earliest diamonds were found in India in 4th century BC, although the youngest of these deposits were formed 900 million years ago. A majority of these early stones were transported along the network of trade routes that connected India and China, commonly known as the Silk Road. At the time of their discovery, diamonds were valued because of their strength and brilliance, and for their ability to refract light and engrave metal. Diamonds were worn as adornments, used as cutting tools, served as a talisman to ward off evil, and were believed to provide protection in battle. In the Dark Ages, diamonds were also used as a medical aid and were thought to cure illness and heal wounds when ingested.
Until the 18th century, India was thought to be the only source of diamonds. When the Indian diamond mines were depleted, the quest for alternate sources began. Although a small deposit was found in Brazil in 1725, the supply was not enough to meet world demands. ( Source: brilliance.com)
The story of the modern diamond market really begins on the African continent, with the 1866 discovery of diamonds in Kimberley, South Africa. Entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes established De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited 22 years later, in 1888. By 1900, De Beers, controlled an estimated 90 percent of the world’s production of rough diamonds.
A diamond has to go through a lot before it reaches the jeweler’s display case.
Surprisingly, diamonds share some common characteristics with coal. Both are composed of the most common substance on earth: carbon. What makes diamonds different from coal is the way the carbon atoms are arranged and how the carbon is formed. Diamonds are created when carbon is subjected to the extremely high pressures and temperatures found at the earth’s lithosphere, which lies approximately 90-240 miles below the earth’s surface.
Gem diamonds are commonly judged by the four C’s: Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut.
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Proposing Without an Engagement Ring
Proposing without an engagement ring may seem like a tremendous faux pas, but for many couples it is a better alternative than potentially choosing the wrong ring or focusing more on a piece of jewelry than on the romance and commitment it is supposed to represent. Believe it or not, it is possible to create a wonderful proposal and worry about getting the perfect ring later. There are many creative ways to propose minus a ring.
Why Couples Propose Without an Engagement Ring
There are many reasons to consider proposing without an engagement ring, including financial, emotional, or personal concerns. Some situations that justify a proposal without a ring include:
Many couples prefer to spend money on their wedding or other financial obligations instead of paying the high cost of an engagement ring. Budget constraints and financial concerns are among the most common reasons that many get engaged without a ring. For many, a ring may come later and be presented at an anniversary or on a special date that is significant to the couple. If a couple is concerned about finances, this should be discussed before planning an engagement or wedding. Make sure you both are on the same page so that there are no surprises or hurt feelings.
If finances are a concern, you could use a family heirloom ring, even though it won’t be the official engagement ring. This shows that the bride-to-be is welcome in the family at the same time.
Let Her Choose the Ring
Some men are not certain about the bride-to-be’s tastes in rings, and prefer to allow her to choose her own ring after the proposal. If this is the case, then you can call local jewelers and set up personal appointments for you both to go and look at rings.
You can use an empty ring box from the recipient’s favorite jewelry store and promise to let her fill it with whatever ring she desires. Just be sure to present the empty box after the question has been answered to avoid confusion or the appearance of a practical joke.
Designing the Rings Together
Another reason for proposing without a ring is that you want to design a custom ring that cannot be found at a traditional jeweler. Both the man and woman may want to give their input on the custom design and have it created to their personal tastes and preferences. After the initial proposal, you can both sit down to design the ring of your dreams.
Another situation in which a proposal might occur without a ring is if a woman is proposing to a man who may not want an engagement ring. There is no set rule that the man has to be the one to propose marriage. Many women prefer to ask the question and simply forgo a ring since some men may not feel comfortable wearing one. After the proposal, some men may wish to give their bride-to-be a ring as a symbol of his commitment to her.
A woman who wears little or no jewelry may only want a simple wedding ring rather than a set. She may not want to wear a formal engagement ring and would rather wait to wear a wedding ring. If this is the case, you can both look at wedding rings in advance and pick out one for the special day.
If the woman does not like to wear a ring, you can propose using another type of jewelry such as earrings or a necklace if you prefer. Many other pieces of jewelry can be just as stunning and meaningful as engagement rings.
Significance Behind the Proposal
Regardless of the reasons for proposing without an engagement ring, the couple must realize that the most important aspect of any marriage proposal is the couple’s relationship. If the acceptance of that proposal is dependent on a piece of jewelry, the couple may be better off working out their relationship on a deeper level before making that commitment. For some couples, following a tradition of giving a ring is not important at all; the proposal and commitment to the relationship are all they want and need.
Engagement Ring Alternatives
The most awkward part of proposing without an engagement ring is deciding what to do instead. The classic proposal typically uses the ring as the focal point, and when that is lacking the moment may be more awkward than romantic. Manycreative proposal ideas offer alternatives to focusing on a ring. Consider:
- A unique venue: Consider using a billboard or scoreboard or asking the question in a unique venue.
- Focusing on one another: If you propose without a ring, you can simply hold hands and gaze into one another’s eyes instead of into a diamond’s sparkle. Seeing the love and joy in each other’s eyes more than makes up for the lack of a gem.
- A floral proposal: When asking the big question, you could also give a single rose or a bouquet of flowers as a special gesture.
- Presenting a celebrity ring: To add some fun to the proposal, consider using a celebrity ring replica as part of a fun, imaginative proposal. Choosing the recipient’s favorite celebrity engagement ring is also meaningful, but do not try to pass such a ring off as authentic.
Tips for Proposing Without a Ring
The most important thing to remember when there is no ring with the proposal is to focus on the question itself rather than the tangible symbol of that commitment. Some tips to keep in mind when proposing without a ring include:
- Do not draw attention to the fact that the ring is absent, but rather demonstrate that even without a piece of jewelry, it is important for the couple to be together with love and respect.
- Do not try to explain why the ring is missing. For a couple truly in love, that explanation is unnecessary and irrelevant.
- At the same time, do not belittle the proposal simply because the engagement ring will come later.
With or without a sparkling diamond, the question should be asked with sincerity, honesty, and love.
Proposing without an engagement ring can be a difficult situation for many couples, regardless of what reason they may have for not presenting a ring as they ask and answer that important question. Many couples choose alternatives and opt to shop for the engagement ring after the event, but as long as the engagement is respected and honored by both parties, it will lead to a respectful and loving relationship.
Buyer Beware; Stone Coatings – A hoax?
Some manufacturers try to improve the quality of inferior stones by coating the stone with a “film of diamond-like carbon known as DLC”. In fact, what this does according to Wikipedia is “… quench down the fire of Cubic Zirconia…” Fire in layman’s terms is sparkle. According to Wikipedia “its refractive index is high at 2.15–2.18 (compared to 2.42 for diamonds)” and “its dispersion is very high at 0.058–0.066, exceeding that of diamond (0.044)”. Without getting more technical, Cubic Zirconia has more sparkle than mined diamonds! I certainly don’t want to tone that down.
Some jewelers will claim they coat their synthetic or simulated stones with a very thin layer of diamond. No matter what they call it this is known generically as “amorphous diamond”. This results in “an upper layer that is both simulant and man made diamond”. This does nothing for the quality of the stone’s clarity, cut or hardness. Simply stated, put a new coat of paint on an old jalopy car and it will still dent and not run well. Coatings don’t help the beauty of the core stone. In fact, it is not even a coating because the process results in a layer that is both the original stone and a vapor of man made material. Some inspections by industry watch-dogs state it was “…an unidentifiable coating.”
Diamond-like carbon (DLC), in mineralogy known as Amorphous Carbon, is the name used for coal, soot and other impure forms of the element carbon that are neither graphite or diamond. The coating places or only mixes particles with the top layer of the Simulant Diamond Molecules that are less than one fifth of a human hair end. This is only enough to diffuse light.
In fact it prevents light from shining into the diamond by reflecting light from the outside. Diamonds get their brilliance, sparkle and fire from light penetrating into the stone and bouncing off theinterior facets. It is like placing a chrome tint over your car windows, thus preventing light from entering the stone.
The claim that coatings add hardness to the stone are confusing at best. If it is a complete coating then it may extend some resistance to abrasive wear. But since it usually is an infusion of diamond like carbon and does not completely coat the surface, abrasion will still readily occur. While some small degree of scratch resistance may be detectible with scientific equipment, on a practical level of day to day wear, it is my professional opinion that no genuine resistance to abrasion is achieved.
Finally, DLC or Amorphous carbon is not designed to strengthen for impact. So if you bump your stone against something it has no more “hardness” or protection against breakage than an untreated stone. No practical measure of protection is achieved. All stones can chip even Mined Diamonds.
A discussion about diamond coatings would be incomplete if it did not address the coloring of stones. Some stones are coated with a color (yellow, pink, black, etc.). The coating can be used to hide imperfections and impurities in the stone. Be careful since colored stones with colored coatings can hide cloudy stones and stones with poor fire and sparkle.
My advice is to just buy a great quality Synthetic or Simulated Diamond, without any gimmicks, from a jeweler you trust.
Originally Shared Suzan Flamm MJSA