Diamonds are a girl's best friend for their eternal sparkle lends sophisticated glamour to the simplest jewellery and understated elegance to a minimalist's wardrobe. However, as precious and glamorous as they are, they come at a very high price point. Everyone who has once lost an earring might want to opt for another, equally sparkly but less expensive option for their everyday touch of jewel luxury.
Synthetic, lab grown or cultured diamonds are man-made stones that are chemically identical and almost indistinguishable from diamonds. They have the same degree of hardness, dispersion, gravity, and refraction than mined diamonds at their highest quality. Due to the fact that they can only be differentiated from natural diamonds by the use of spectroscopy or infrared, ultraviolet, or X-ray wavelengths, synthetic diamonds, too, come at a very high price point. A simple, but high quality pair of 0.5 ct. brilliant cut synthetic diamond stud earrings, for example, may exceed the ten thousand US dollar mark by far.
Fortunately, there are other options to add a little bling to your jewellery box without emptying your savings account. Loved by red carpet starlets, Royals and fashion conscious working women alike, high quality diamond simulants offer carefree glamour imbedded in precious metals such as rhodium plated white or yellow gold.
Diamond simulants have a different chemical composition than natural or cultured diamonds. There are mainly three types: Cubic zirconia, highly leaded glass - such as Swarovski crystals - and moissanite.
Made from zirconium dioxide, high quality cubic zirconia (CZ) comes closer than any other simulant to the characteristics of a real diamond. CZ is not as hard as a diamond and it sparkles slightly less. However, it displays more prismatic fire. It is a pure, clear gem. A diamond with the same purity and clarity is very rare and extremely pricey.
Moissanite is a rare natural occuring silicon carbide, though moissanite gems used in jewellery are artificially made. Its hardness comes close to the hardness of diamonds. It is however slightly lighter in weight and has noticeably more sparkle and prismatic fire than a diamond. Like diamonds, moissanite can have inclusions. Moissanite created by Charles & Colvard is marketed as the "World's most Brilliant Gem" and is considered the top of the notch of affordable luxury stones.
Last, but not least, there are the well known Swarovski crystals. Worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, these stones have gained a lot of popularity. Technically, Swarovski crystals aren't crystals at all. They are a type of glass melted at high temperatures together with lead in a process patented by Swarovski. The lead contents increase the stones' refraction. Swarovski crystals are precision cut and polished and often further enhanced by an Aurora Borealis coating that gives the stones' surface a rainbow like effect, simulating a diamond's dispersion.
There's nothing quite like a diamond. However, sellers of the highest quality of diamond simulant jewellery are building a bridge between affordable fashion pieces and fine jewellery. In our next post we'll tell you where to find the most stunning, red-carpet worthy stones that are pretty much as diamond-like as possible.
What a minimalist wants are multi-purpose products, as they usually save money, time and cupboard space. On The Muted Glamourist, we tell you which products are ideal for a minimalist approach to beauty.
This post is not sponsored! All our opinions are our own.
Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base could be considered a must-have for a minimalist's cosmetic case by design only: It comes in a plain, no-nonsense milky glass bottle, conveying both functionality and understated luxury typical for Chanel cosmetics. A single pump delivers enough of this luxurious, silky-white base for the face and décolleté together.
Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base contains silica and mica powders, as well as liquorice extract that allow for an extraordinarily smooth application and a stunningly even, radiant, mattified complexion. Witch hazel helps to minimize pores.
Its oil-free, yet hydrating composition makes it an equally great make-up base for dry, normal and oily skin. Your foundation will glide on to your skin and stay fresh longer.
Use this illuminating base all over your face as a foundation primer or alone, for a radiant and even-toned complexion at the pool or gym. You can use it as a highlighter under your foundation or dab it onto your make-up. Apply under your eyes and on your cheek-bones to freshen up after a long, tiring flight or to (re)create the healthy glow of rested skin for your after-work party. Mix it with your foundation for a lighter, radiant coverage.
We found that Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base is a truly unique, multi-tasking product. It does what it says it does in a revolutionary way.
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Under-statement is a chic denied to over-
Jen is a life artist, writer and biochemistry engineer on a cabin crew adventure. She loves mixing cocktails and being an advocate for timeless, personal style, striving for a simpler, more intentional life without compromising quality and glamour.
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