Its no secret I am a HUGE fan of jewelry with sapphires and diamonds being my favorites. I love to window shop - though D isn't a fan as it generally leads to purchasing! LOL. It however led me down the path to find one of my favorite independent jewelers. I will introduce you to Tabitha and Tiger Gems in a moment.
In 2006 the movie Blood Diamond (conflict diamonds) brought to the forefront the illegal diamond trade that was still rampant despite the UN Resolution banning the purchase of blood diamonds many of the diamonds of the 1980's are conflict diamonds. Reports estimate that roughly 20% of those sales were conflict diamonds. Consumers become much more aware of the illegal diamond trade. Many searching for an alternative.
Over the years "ethically sourced" diamonds have become a huge deal. Which brings in man made lab created and simulants. Stay with me here man made lab created does NOT mean CZ. Certainly CZ's are created by man but for my purpose here I am not referring to CZ stones. Man Made lab created diamonds are composed to be flawless and cut with the same number of facets as an ideal cut natural diamond to give the stone perfect sparkle and shine. CZ's are typically nothing more than glass or polished crystal.
Actual lab created, man made stones are graded just like a mined diamond. However unlike a mined diamond there are no flaws or imperfections. Man made diamonds have the almost the same hardness of mined diamonds. They shine and sparkle the same. Color is where you may see a difference as they are typically created completely colorless. The hardness, light refraction and density are identical. Grading the man made diamonds came about in 2006 by the Gemological Institute of America the standard 4 C's are used. Only a trained gemologist with special tools can tell the difference from a lab created and a naturally mined diamond.
I wanted to give you some back ground on the growing industry of man made, lab created stones and explain the difference between lab created diamonds and the $10 mall store CZ rings. Lab created is growing by leaps and bounds and are becoming very popular with today's Bride and Grooms. Not only are they more affordable than a mined diamond they are ethically sourced and you get more stone, sparkle and brilliance for your dollar.
I discovered lab created diamonds and Tabitha's Etsy store Tiger Gemstones when I started searching for ideas on resetting my current wedding set. I was on Instagram searching hashtags when her Instagram popped up (and the video below) I was blown away at what she has created. Her work and the quality of the stones she has selected are premium. She sources lab created stones with a D grading (colorless) and a superior cut to refract the most light and provide a ton of sparkle. Tabitha works in 14k yellow and white gold as well sterling silver. She also has a variety of lab created gem stones as well as the lab created diamonds.
I chose her 2.25 halo with the art deco curved bands. My pictures do not do her creation justice. So I included her video of the set below.
Her work is just stunning. She is awesome to work with. Tabitha's customer service is superb and she is as sweet as can be. Head over and take a peek. Tabitha has graciously offered a 15% discount off your purchase with the code: KayLynnblog. Let me know what you choose!