• Ethical Diamond Engagement Ring Alternatives

    White Sapphire Alternative Engagement Ring Vancouver

    Ethical engagement ring alternatives featuring Canadian diamonds, moissanite, white sapphires and synthetic diamonds

    Every week at Era Design we have people looking for ethical stones for engagement rings. In this article, we have focused on white or pale coloured stones, but there are other colour options out there. We source the provenance of our stones carefully and have some tips for people starting the process of buying a ring.

    Canadian Diamond

    A great ethical choice! Canadian diamonds are known throughout the world for their quality and beauty. They are mined with environmental controls and workers at the mines are paid fair wages. Canadian diamonds are not part of the political conflicts that created the term "conflict diamond.” Canada is part of the Kimberly process, and there is a tracking program through CanadaMark. You can feel good about wearing a Canadian diamond!

    Vintage Diamonds

    Do you have a family heirloom you would like reset? Perfect! We can redesign it for you. Once your stones are cleaned and reset into a new ring, the results are stunning. Please let us examine your jewellery to ensure it can be reused. Era also has a small selection of loose vintage diamonds that are old European cuts and transitional cut diamonds. These diamonds are repurposed from old estates and range in age from the 1850s to the 1950s. If you are eco-minded, a “recycled” diamond could be the stone for you. Please note: We do not accept stones bought off the internet due to the unknown provenance - see our Ethics page for more detail.

    Pale or White Sapphires

    Sapphires have long been a popular choice for engagement rings. Most people automatically think of blue and other deep jewel tones, but they can also occur colourless and produce a stunning white gemstone. Sapphire is a nine on the Mohs hardness scale making it more durable than most other gemstones. With stones available from Montana and Australia, they are an excellent ethical choice!

    Synthetic Diamonds

    Synthetic Diamonds are man-made in a laboratory and are interesting from an environmental standpoint. Synthetic diamonds can be created using a few different methods. The properties, especially hardness of the diamond, can vary depending on the method used. How the diamond was created may not always be disclosed by the manufacturer. This means buyers may not know how hard your diamond is. Durability is one of the key properties that makes natural diamonds valuable. Lab-made diamonds have an obvious body colour of brown or yellow, however recently there have been commercially available white synthetic diamonds. These newer stones have been treated with a high-pressure high-temperature process (HPHT) which anneals and bleaches the stone. Technically, this means, the resulting diamond is 'colourless to near colourless.' As with any stone, provenance is important, there are reports of some synthetic diamonds created in Asia that yellow over time. Expect the prices on these stones to be 30% less expensive than comparable quality natural mined diamonds.


    Moissanite is another synthetic gemstone that is an excellent engagement ring stone. It's quite hard at 9.25 on the hardness scale. It has very high refraction and strong spectral colours (think sparkly rainbow!) When we first saw Moissanite a few years ago we weren't very impressed, the greenish-yellow colour of the stone was too strong. Recently we have found that Moissanites have vastly improved, not only the quality of the cut and sparkle but also the whiteness of the body colour. These stones have been bleached with the HPHT process and are colourless to near colourless. Moissanites are far less expensive than synthetic diamonds and are about 80% less costly than comparable quality, mined diamonds. Moissanite gives you a lot of dazzle for your dollar! 

    There are simply no rules about what stone an engagement ring should be set with. You and your partner should choose what is right for your lifestyle and budget. Luckily, right now there are more beautiful choices than ever before.
    If you're confused by all the options, then here's our latest 80's inspired recommendation. Just remember FAZZ is fun!

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