Some things simply stand the test of time. Think of a champagne toast, the perfect red lipstick, and that little black dress you wear again and again. If you also said the brilliant shine of a diamond, you’re certainly not alone. Still, there’s one diamond alternative that may also stand out in style history: the Swarovski crystal.
Swarovski crystals might appeal to you if you like the look of a diamond, but want something on a more affordable scale. But diamonds have their own advantages—including a lifespan that outlasts Swarovski crystal jewelry and a value that appreciates over time.
To make an informed choice, it can help to compare these two stones side by side. With an understanding of the attributes each stone can offer, you’ll be able to choose the perfect option to add some sparkle to your wardrobe.
What Are Swarovski Crystals?
From wedding dresses to bedazzled cars, these man-made crystals seem to appear everywhere these days. To understand their origins, however, we need to look beyond modern trends.
Swarovski crystals were created in 1895 by jeweler Daniel Swarovski. At the time of their creation, Swarovski wanted to create a more affordable stone that didn’t involve mining. However, the crystals themselves are not actual crystals. They’re hand-crafted glass, created using extreme pressure and high temperatures.
To understand the attributes of a Swarovski crystal, let’s examine a few different categories:
- Color – Because they’re man-made, you can easily and affordably purchase Swarovski crystals in a multitude of colors. Rather than occurring naturally, however, the color of a Swarovski crystal is determined by a chemical coating.
- Sparkle – A stone’s sparkle refers to its ability to glimmer and shine when you move it beneath a source of light. Thanks to a machine that cuts Swarovski crystals with high precision, they can outshine most other types of crystals. However, they still display less sparkle than some diamonds.
- Hardness – The durability of gemstones is measured by the Mohs Hardness Test. On the Mohs scale, which measures from 1 to 10, Swarovski crystals fall between 6 and 7.
- Clarity – The clarity of a stone refers to its level of visual perfection as seen through a high-powered magnifying glass. Since they’re handcrafted, most Swarovski crystals have an excellent level of clarity.
- Price – Many Swarovski pieces retail for around $150 or less, making them an appealing option for those hoping to save on cost.
Pros and Cons of Swarovski Crystals
When debating whether a Swarovski crystal is the right choice over a genuine diamond, weighing its advantages and disadvantages can help determine if this crystal meets your needs.
Here are a few elements to keep in mind:
- Pro – Compared to mined diamonds, Swarovski crystals can be a significantly more affordable option. If you’re shopping for a jewelry gift on a tight budget, you can usually find a Swarovski ring, earrings, necklace, or bracelet for under $100.
- Con – If you decide to wear a Swarovski crystal as an everyday accessory, you may eventually notice scratch marks. This is because its surface isn’t hard enough to consistently withstand everyday wear and occasional scuffs.
- Pro – Among the more affordable gemstones, Swarovski crystals provide an impressive level of brilliance and clarity.
- Con – Although they do glimmer beautifully upon purchase, they may eventually lose some of their original sparkle. While you might still enjoy wearing your Swarovski twenty years from now, your crystal may not retain the same glimmer it once had.
What Are Diamonds?
Whether you inherit an heirloom diamond from a relative or acquire your own, the diamond’s prevalence in our style and culture makes it a truly perennial gem. But where do these sparkling stones come from?
Diamonds form when carbon atoms undergo extreme heat and pressure. The diamonds found in the earth can take billions of years to form and must be extracted through mining. Thanks to some modern innovations, however, you can now find lab grown diamonds that serve as a much more ethical and earth-friendly option, but with all the same stunning features.
The attributes of both a mined and a lab grown diamond include:
- Color – A diamond’s complete lack of color is one of its quintessential characteristics. Some lower-grade diamonds may have a slight yellow “cast,” while the highest-quality diamonds have no color at all.
- Sparkle – Most diamonds display an excellent level of sparkle, but the cut of a diamond can make a difference. If the sparkle factor is important to you, a round brilliant cut diamond might be an ideal choice. This cut’s 58 facets reflect more light than any other shape.
- Hardness – On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamonds have a rating of 10—a higher rating than any other gem. Because a diamond’s surface is so hard, they’re nearly impossible to damage and can be expected to last a lifetime.
- Clarity – The fewer internal and external blemishes, the better the clarity a diamond has. Both mined diamonds and lab diamonds can have varying levels of clarity, but not all are visible to the naked eye.
- Price – Diamonds mined from the earth can have a much bigger price tag than a Swarovski crystal, with the price for a one-carat diamond starting around $1,800. However, lab grown diamonds, such as those offered by 12FIFTEEN, can cost nearly 50% less, offering significantly better value for this durable stone.
Pros and Cons of Diamonds
With such impressive durability and the potential to last for decades, a diamond comes with plenty of beguiling qualities. Much like Swarovski crystals, however, diamonds have their own pros and cons to consider before deciding which stone will delight you the most.
As you browse for an ideal diamond, consider these points:
- Con – Due to their uniqueness and longevity, diamonds may come with a more expensive price tag. However, their durability means that your investment will stand the test of time.
- Pro – Because diamonds are the hardest mineral, they won’t scratch or tarnish. This means a diamond ring will appear as sparkly and scratch-free on your 35th anniversary as it did the day you said, “I do.”
- Con – If you shop for a mined diamond, it can come with some environmental impacts, such as deforestation and damage to ecosystems.
- Pro – These days, you can find plenty of equally stunning and ethically made lab grown diamonds. A diamond simulant offers the same eye-catching characteristics as a mined real diamond but is much better for the environment (and more affordable, too).
Swarovski Crystal and Diamond Products
Now that you know more about each, let’s look at genuine diamond vs Swarovski crystal jewelry or products. Whichever way you’re leaning, you’ll be happy to know that you can find Swarovski crystals and diamonds in a wide variety of products. Whether you’re searching for the perfect ring to propose with or a captivating gift for your mother’s birthday, you’re sure to find a stone that will charm and enchant.
The availability and price of these stones can affect the products you find. Because of their higher price point, you’re more likely to find diamonds in classic jewelry pieces, such as:
Meanwhile, the affordability of Swarovski crystals lends them to a more versatile range of products. Aside from jewelry, these may include:
- Home decor
- Picture frames
Of course, these categories can overlap quite a bit. If you’re ready to invest in a gorgeous pair of diamond-studded eyeglasses or dream of a Swarovski crystal bracelet, chances are you can find these options, too.
How to Know Which Stone is Right for You
Ultimately, both diamonds and Swarovski crystals can offer plenty of pleasing characteristics. When comparing each of these splendid stones, however, how do you know which is the best choice?
Your budget and the products you’re seeking can have an impact, but it also depends on how you plan to wear them.
For example, you can find rings made with both diamonds and Swarovski crystals. Because of their durability, however, diamonds might make a better choice for an engagement ring, since they’re designed to be worn throughout your life.
Meanwhile, if you prefer a bedazzled watch, a Swarovski crystal option might be more economical. You also can’t go wrong with Swarovski jewelry worn on occasions. Again, however, a diamond-studded watch will stand up better to wear and tear, especially if you sport it every day.
No matter what kind of accessory you’re seeking, the most important factor to consider is how your investment will stand up to the test of time. From there, you’re sure to find an option that brightens your day for years to come.
Find the Perfect Diamond to Dazzle with 12FIFTEEN Diamonds
Choosing the right stone for your next piece of jewelry can be a puzzle. But what if there was an option with all the durability of a precious stone like a mined diamond and the affordability of a Swarovski crystal?
At 12FIFTEEN, our lab diamonds have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as mined diamonds. But they also come with a few sizable differences.
To start with, they’re up to 50% less expensive. Because our diamonds aren’t mined from the earth, they’re also a much more ethical choice. When you choose a lab grown diamond, you can feel confident in your diamond’s durability and its environmental impact.
For a diamond that makes both your jewelry and your eyes sparkle, shop with 12FIFTEEN.
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Crystal Findings. How Do Swarovski Stones Differ from Rhinestones? https://www.crystalfindings.com/how-do-swarovski-stones-differ-from-rhinestones/
Geology. Mohs Hardness Scale: Testing the Resistance to Being Scratched. https://geology.com/minerals/mohs-hardness-scale.shtml
Smithsonian Magazine. Diamonds Unearthed. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/diamonds-unearthed-141629226/
Something Borrowed Jewelry. 12 Different Cuts of Diamond Rings. https://somethingborrowedpdx.com/different-cuts-of-diamond-rings/.com/different-cuts-of-diamond-rings/
International Gem Society. Is Growing Diamonds a Sustainable Alternative to Diamond Mining? https://www.gemsociety.org/article/sustainable-alternative-to-diamond-mining/