You walk into a jewelry store and are offered a huge diamond ring at an incredibly low price. Two carats for less than $500? I’ll take two, please!
You CAN buy engagement ring stones on a budget. We’ll tell you how later (hint: it’s lab-grown stones and moissanite). But composite diamond is not, strictly speaking, a stone. It sucks for a number of reasons and is a waste of both time and money.
In this article, we explain why composite diamonds are to be avoided and what your alternative options are.
Composite diamonds are small diamonds placed so close together that they look like a single large diamond. Sometimes, they are arranged to highlight each stone's brilliance.
When two diamonds are fused together, they are known as a “doublet”. Three fused diamonds - a triplet. Many composite diamonds contain more than three stones.
Natural diamonds are sometimes combined with moissanites, glass, or cubic zirconia in composite diamonds.
To naive buyers, composite diamonds look like a good buy. Cheap, real-looking, and big. What’s not to like?
Quite a few things, actually.
When you own a composite diamond ring, stones will fall off and disappear. And when they do, replacing it with a perfect match becomes impossible. When this happens, fixing your composite diamond becomes very expensive… Or the stone is ruined forever.
Composite diamonds are crap at retaining value. This is true for all diamonds - lab-grown, earth-grown, composite - but composite diamonds have especially little market value.
The spaces between small diamonds in a composite attract dirt and grime. Cleaning them with pressure can mean breaking up your composite. It’s a “no” for us.
A composite diamond can’t hold a candle to a real diamond of comparable size. The surface area of individual diamonds in a composite diamond is too small to reflect, refract, and disperse light effectively.
So a composite diamond might have the same sparkle as a plain Swarovski crystal, which is basically made of glass.
GIA and AGS certifications rarely cover diamonds less than one carat. Can you see where this is going? The tiny diamonds in composite diamonds are less than one carat. This makes them cheaper while making it harder to know how much yours is worth.
Jewelry pieces with composite diamonds are usually sold pre-set. You can't buy the diamonds separate from the setting. There’s no way to tell how much of a ring’s cost is due to the setting and how much of it is due to the diamonds.
Say you have set separate budgets for the metal and the stone for your jewelry. With a composite diamond, you’ll have a hard time telling if you’re getting either for a good value.
A 1-carat composite diamond is not the same as a 1-carat diamond. A 1-carat composite diamond is a patchwork of lower-grade stones.
So why do people buy composite diamonds?
Because jewelry stores use some of the oldest tricks in the book to make them attractive.
First of all, the price. Composite diamonds are significantly cheaper than diamonds of the same carat.
That’s because the smaller diamonds used in composite diamonds are not as expensive. Even when their weight in total is the same as one large comparable diamond.
So, for example, a diamond ring of the same carat in total weight can cost $8000 in smaller stones compared to $30,000 for one large diamond.
A tightly-knit composite diamond of a uniform color looks like one large diamond. Especially from a distance.
It is probably why composite diamonds were made in the first place. To deceive people into believing it’s one large stone when it’s not.
At first glance, it can be difficult to notice the patchwork in composite diamonds. But a closer look will always reveal the truth.
So, we’ve looked at all the problems with composite diamonds. But that doesn’t change the fact that you have a budget.
What can you do?
We recommend moissanite as a first-class, lower-cost alternative to diamonds.
They sparkle just as much as a diamond does. In fact, some customers say that the moissanites from Keyzar Jewelry are more brilliant than diamonds.
And so, they prefer moissanites to diamonds.
Moissanites don’t chip or break easily like composite diamonds or other diamond simulants. As moissanites are only second to diamonds in hardness level, they are suitable for everyday wear.
They also cost 10-15% less than a comparable diamond.
Everyone’s taste is different and budget can play a huge part in the types of jewelry we buy. So yeah, go ahead and buy a statement jewelry piece or two made of composite diamond.
But definitely explore other budget-friendly options such as moissanite for jewelry pieces that have significant sentimental value.
No. A halo ring has one large center stone framed by smaller diamonds whereas a composite diamond ring has the smaller stones forming the central unit.
Composite diamonds can be made up of real diamonds or simulants such as moissanite, cubic zirconia, and glass. The way the diamonds are set does not determine if they’re real. BUT, composite diamonds, no matter how well designed, will not exude the supreme qualities of a diamond of the same weight. Even when it’s made of 100% real diamonds.
No. Composite diamond rings are not popular selections for engagement rings.
If you have a limited budget, pick a halo ring with a smaller moissanite center stone surrounded by small diamonds. Halo rings can look very expensive and sparkle brilliantly without costing too much.