Let's Talk about Rocks!

You’ve searched everywhere and finally found a ring design that you LOVE. Congratulations! Your style sense has teamed up with your pledge of devotion in one small but mighty accessory. Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of that design: choosing the stones. When you are working with a custom designer (yours truly), the possibilities are endless. You can choose the scale, the colors of the stones, the quality of the stones, the metals, the shape and size of the band, and so on. Everything about your ring is customizable. This can be daunting, but it helps to know a little bit about the most commonly used stones in my designs. 

White Sapphires

White sapphires are a fantastic option for anyone who wants a natural white stone without the big price tag or connotations of a diamond. Sapphires are durable (it scores a 9 on the Mohs scale), bright, and relatively inexpensive. When comparing to diamonds, they have a different sparkle, reflecting white light as opposed to the rainbow effect of a diamond sparkle. Therefore, I do not advise pairing them beside diamonds in a semi-mount or as the center (the halo is an exception, as I always use diamonds for the halo to give the max sparkle to the entire piece). White sapphires are best used in a ring as a whole, or paired with a colored (non-white) stone like a blue sapphire or black diamond. White sapphires also require cleaning every few weeks to avoid dullness and to maintain their sparkle. 

  • Compare a diamonds/moissanite ring with a white sapphire ring. The first photo is a good still comparison of diamonds and moissanite center (left) with white sapphires (right). In the video with the oval rings, the one on the left is yellow gold with white sapphire and diamond halo, the one on the right is rose gold with all diamonds. In the second video, the white gold Gatsby Petite is all diamonds, the rose gold one is white sapphires with a diamond halo.


Diamonds are the most au courant traditional engagement ring choice, symbolizing an enduring, unbreakable love, strength and stability. A diamond is a no nonsense stone, requiring little maintenance to keep it’s rainbow-like sparkle - it is also much more expensive than it's white stone counterparts. In my designs, the client is the one who chooses the center stone (the most expensive part of the ring) based on their preferences and budget. The quality/color/price of a diamond varies greatly, and each stone is priced according to it’s specific characterizations. I typically give the client several stone options and then match the quality/color of the outside stones to the chosen center. 

  • Helpful Hint: Save money by using a smaller center stone. In this photo, compare a 1 carat size (white sapphire ring) to a .8 carat (all diamonds) center Gatsby ring. Using the slightly smaller center stone saved this client thousands of dollars over a 1 carat diamond ring, without changing the overall look. 


More and more brides are opting for the diamond look without the price tag. Forever Brilliant Moissanite is an excellent stone, appearing just like a diamond - you can even fool a jeweler without a loupe! Read more about the discovery and history of Moissanite here. Because it is a created stone, larger sizes are available for a small fraction of the price of a diamond of the same size. Unfortunately, also because it is a created stone, it is not available in all cuts, particularly not in tapered baguettes which are commonly used in my designs. Therefore, most brides-to-be tend to pair the moissanite in the center (the most expensive part of the ring) with a surrounding diamond semi mount. This way, the center can also be replaced in the future for an all diamond ring. In my designs, I only use Forever Brilliant Moissanite. It has the best color and quality, and it comes with a warranty as well. 

  • All three rings in the video below have diamonds. Only one has a Forever Brilliant Moissanite center. Can you guess which one?
  • Give up? The rose gold Original Gatsby on the bottom has the moissanite center.
  • Another video comparison of an all diamond ring vs. a Forever Brilliant moissanite/diamond ring:
  • One more video comparison below. The rose gold Mid Gatsby is all diamonds, the white gold Mid Gatsby has a Forever Brilliant Moissanite center, diamond halo, with surrounding white sapphires. 

Whatever your preferences, your ring will be a unique, one-of-a-kind piece, hand crafted and specifically chosen for YOU! 

Posted on February 23, 2015 .