Unless you work in the diamond or crystal industries, you may be asking the question, “What’s the difference?” Quite surprisingly, the majority of the population is uneducated on the subject due to the extreme visual similarities seen by the untrained eye. However, when making the decision between crystal or diamond jewelry, there are many factors to take into account, including the significant price difference.
Daniel Swarovski I invented a machine that revolutionized the process of crystal cutting and for the first time, made it possible to cut crystal to perfection. It was the invention and patenting of Swarovski’s innovative electric glass-cutting machine, which started the company. In order for Swarovski to achieve the look of their crystals, the crystals are actually cut using the same precision-cutting process in which diamonds are cut.
Authentic Swarovski crystals are made only in Austria and do not occur naturally in the earth. Chemical coatings are used to create the many different colors of the crystals. Swarovski is renowned worldwide for manufacturing their crystal products in different forms, sizes, and shapes, presenting the best in the world in cutting, clarity, and brilliance. When purchasing Swarovski crystal there is nothing to think about, it is guaranteed you are purchasing the highest quality crystal every time. In terms of their operations, Swarovski employs over 20,000 people, with factories in Austria and hundreds of retail stores around the world.
Crystals are commonly referred to as a diamond simulant or imitation. Simulants may look similar to a diamond, but do not possess the same properties. Diamonds are made out of the element carbon. Natural diamonds are made very deep in the Earth about 180 km below the surface where high temperatures and pressure exist naturally. Logically, this is the reasoning behind the higher value and pricing compared to crystals.
When looking to purchase a diamond it is important to know the 4 C’s of diamonds, which is cut, color, clarity, and carat. Diamond certification is an important factor when it comes to buying diamonds and it is sometimes referred to as the 5th C. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a diamond that comes with a report, because you may never know the value and worth of your stone if you don’t.
In terms of their operations, the search for diamonds is not exactly easy. Many miners and diamond diggers in sub-Saharan Africa travel great distances to find work and submit to gruelingly long hours for low wages, or sometimes no wages. Children have often been exploited to do excavation work because they are small enough to be lowered into small, narrow pits by ropes to dig out sacks of dirt, which is in turn washed by other children in search of diamonds.
Also, even though the development of the diamond industry is seen as key to the economic recovery of war-torn countries, massive environmental degradation is also a byproduct of the rush for riches. Land is often cleared and vegetated areas dug up to create open pit mines, leaving them unsuitable for other farming activities. The salt, heavy minerals and chemical products from mining equipment can run off into rivers and pollute vital water sources for mining communities and people living downstream.
It is ironic how two very visually similar objects can have so many significant differences. However, the few mentioned in this article are important to consider when making your purchase. It is a much more complex circumstance to buy a diamond however, the decision to buy either one of these products depends on each individual’s financial situation and reasoning for purchasing.