Unity Collection

 Composite and Cluster Rings

Composite and Cluster Rings are rings made up of several diamonds fused to create a more massive diamond cluster. They are different from solitaire diamond rings, which are made up of only one crystal. Composite diamond rings can be made up of two diamonds called doublets or three diamonds called triplets.

Are composite diamond rings genuine diamonds?

Composite diamond rings can also be made of glass, cubic zirconia, moissanite, or strontium titanate, all simulant, or imitation diamonds. They do not have the same physical properties as a real diamond but still provide a shiny, brilliant look as an accessory. They can also be sold at a lower price point to consumers.

What are the benefits of Composite and Cluster diamond rings?

The benefit of a composite diamond ring is a more substantial looking diamond at a lower cost. This allows consumers to customize their ring, enhance the look, or create an enlarged gem without breaking the bank.

Composite diamond rings can also be a great addition to casual wear. They can also cater to young consumers with less disposable income looking to adorn in fun and sparkly accessories.

Why are Composite and Cluster cheaper?

Composite diamond rings are cheaper than solitaire diamond rings because they are made up of smaller diamonds lower in carat weight. One carat is 200 mg, so lower carat weight is one of the factors to lowered price. A diamond's cost is dependent on quality, which is defined by the 4Cs – color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

What are composite diamond rings made of?

Composite diamond rings can be made up of tiny low-carat diamonds. But, since the 1970s, imitation diamonds have become prevalent in the marketplace. This allows consumers to enjoy diamond-like rings without the hefty price point. One notable type of simulant diamonds is strontium titanates, which were prevalent in the 1950s to 1970s as a diamond substitute.

Unfortunately, the limitations with strontium titanates are the visible wear and tear, chips, and dullness that appear over time. They have a hardness of 5.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness compared to diamonds that stand at a 10, so genuine diamonds are universally known to be the hardest matter on Earth.

Composite diamonds are made up of smaller carat diamonds doubled or tripled in a cluster to form a more extensive and enhanced look without a solitary diamond's price tag. Other materials can make up a composite diamond, such as strontium titanates, glass, and moissanite. Composite diamonds are an economical choice for consumers on a lower budget.

Care should be taken when seeking for a genuine diamond versus simulant diamonds within the composite diamond category.

What is Strontium Titanate and Composite and Cluster?

Strontium Titanate is a human-made material with a chemical composition of SrTiO3. It grabbed public attention in the early 1950s as a diamond simulant. This material has an appearance that is very much like a diamond but has a different composition and crystal structure.

When cut and polished like a diamond, strontium titanate has a very similar luster, brilliance, and scintillation. However, strontium titanate has a "fire" that dramatically exceeds the fire of a diamond. "Fire" is a gem's ability to act as a prism and separates light passing through it into a rainbow of colors. The fire of strontium titanate is so intense that it immediately surprises the observer.

A demonstration of dispersion: White light is separated into its component colors while passing through a prism. The "fire" of faceted stones like diamond and strontium titanate is produced by dispersion. NASA Image.

Composite and Cluster Rings    

Composite and Cluster Rings are rings made up of several diamonds fused to create a more massive diamond cluster. They are different from solitaire diamond rings, which are made up of only one crystal. Composite diamond rings can be made up of two diamonds called doublets or three diamonds called triplets.

The Rise and Decline of Strontium Titanate

The intense fire of strontium titanate made the stone a rapid success in the jewelry trade. People loved the fierce light and the lower price compared to diamonds, and many purchased strontium titanate instead of the ring. Many people bought it just because they liked its appearance.

Savvy merchants invented exotic trade names for strontium titanate, such as "Fabulite," "Diagram," "Marvelite," "Dynagem," and "Jewelite." The name "strontium titanate" was hard to remember and resembled a "chemical." The trade names inspired a vision of beautiful stones and were easy for consumers to remember.

 Between the early 1950s and the early 1970s, Fabulite, Diagram, and the other strontium titanate brands were popular sellers. Then, many people who purchased strontium titanate jewelry and wore it regularly began to notice that their stones were showing signs of wear. The facet faces were often scratched, and facet edges were often nicked and chipped. A material with a Mohs hardness of 5.5 does not stand up to wear like a diamond with a hardness of 10, or ruby and sapphire with a 9.

Strontium titanate does not have the hardness and toughness of diamonds, and that was a problem. It has a hardness of 5.5 -- low enough that contact with many everyday objects could result in a scratch or a damaged facet edge. This deficiency allowed newly developed simulants a place in the market.

Starting in the 1970s, stimulants such as YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet), GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet), and cubic zirconia (CZ) quickly took market share away from strontium titanate. In many consumers' eyes, these simulants had an appearance that was similar to diamond and durability that was superior to strontium titanate.

In the 1990s, synthetic moissanite began to replace YAG, GGG, and CZ in many of their uses. Its appearance is very similar to diamond, but it has a hardness and fire superior to all of these simulants from the 1970s. Cubic zirconia remains a prominent diamond simulant because its price is much lower than synthetic moissanite.

Today, strontium titanate is seldom seen in jeweler; however, it still has a more intense fire than any natural or lab-created gemstone that is frequently seen in jewelry. It remains an attractive and satisfactory stone for earrings, pendants, and brooches that will encounter little abrasion or impact.