News

3 Conflict-free & Ethical Alternatives to Black and Salt & Pepper Diamonds October 17 2017

We love black diamonds, raw diamonds, and salt and pepper diamonds as much as the next person looking for a unique, alternative engagement ring. But unfortunately, the majority of those diamonds aren’t truly conflict-free (because at Aide-mémoire Jewelry, we know that relying on the Kimberly Process alone does not actually mean that a diamond is conflict-free)—so what’s a person to do? Well, we’ve tracked down a few great ethical, eco-friendly and conflict-free alternatives.

Black Spinel

.50ct Solitaire Octagon Engagement Ring with Black Diamond Alternative Ethical Black Spinel

Our 5mm Octagon Engagement Ring in matte 14k yellow gold, with a fair trade black spinel center stone.

We're excited to be able to offer black spinel as an ethical gemstone alternative to black diamonds! Black spinels look similar to a black diamonds, but are much less expensive. They are a deep, opaque black color, and are an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. These black spinel are a fair trade level one, meaning that they can be traced back to the mine in Tasmania Australia, where our fair trade stone supplier have a significant impact on the mining itself. Black spinel is softer than a sapphire, but generally wears well and is more durable than topaz. 

Grey​ ​Moissanite

5mm Gray Salt & Pepper Moissanite Rustic Solitaire Engagement Ring in Rose Gold

Our 5mm Rustic Solitaire Engagement Ring, pictured in matte 14k rose gold with a grey moissanite.

Looking for an ethical and eco-friendly option for salt & pepper diamonds? Grey moissanite has a similar speckled appearance, making them a great (and ethical) alternative. Moissanite is about a 9.25 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which makes them well suited for daily wear. These grey moissanites were part of a limited edition run by Charles & Colvard. We have several in stock in a range of sizes/shapes/colors. However, because they were limited edition, once they're gone, they’re gone.

For more information on moissanite, check out our blog posts here and here.

Dark​ ​Blue​ ​Australian ​Sapphires

Blue Black Sapphire Crown Solitaire Engagement Ring in Palladium

Our classic 5mm Crown Solitaire in matte 950 palladium, with a deep blue Australian sapphire center stone.

These deep blue/black Australian sapphires are a unique alternative to black diamonds. They have a fascinating depth to them, appearing mostly black, but flash with subtle hints of blue under direct light. Sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, so are suited for daily wear, and we have a limited number of these beautiful stones in stock in 5mm round.

Send us a message to get started customizing your engagement ring with one of these gorgeous stones!


Fair Trade Montana and Australian Sapphires April 19 2017

While diamonds and moissanite remain popular choices for a more traditional engagement ring, a lot of customers are interested in the array of fair trade sapphires we have to offer. From light sky blues to deep blue greens (and just about everything in between—honestly!), we have the have the perfect stone with which to customize your engagement ring.

Sapphires are considered one of the most durable colored gemstones and are great for everyday wear, making them well-suited for engagement rings. Our fair trade sapphires are closely tracked from mine to market following strict protocols—including environmental protection, fair labor practices, and health and safety standards—which makes them the perfect choice for an ethical engagement ring. 

5mm Teal Blue Montana Sapphire

Above: 5mm Teal Blue Montana Sapphire

5mm Rustic Classic Engagement Ring, 14k White, Teal Blue Sapphire Square Solitaire crown solitaire

Left to right: 5mm Classic Engagement Ring with Rustic Texture, 14k White Gold, Teal Blue Montana SapphireSquare Solitaire Engagement Ring, 950 Palladium, Denim Blue Australian Sapphire5mm Crown Solitaire with diamond side stones, 14k White Gold, Light Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

3mm Australian Sapphire, Princess Cut 

Left to right: 3mm Princess Cut Denim Blue Australian Sapphire; 3mm Princess Cut Green Australian Sapphires

5mm Crown Solitaire, 950 Palladium, Light Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

Above: 5mm Crown Solitaire, 950 Palladium, Light Denim Blue Montana Sapphire

 

Left to right: 5mm Light Olive Green Montana Sapphire, 5mm Green Montana Sapphire

4mm Rustic Solitaire, 14k White Gold, Light Green Sapphire 6mm Stone Texture Hand-carved Classic Band, 950 Palladium, Flush Set Australian Sapphire Three Stone Ring, 14k White Gold, Australian Sapphires

Left to right: 4mm Rustic Solitaire Engagement Ring, 14k White Gold, Pale Green Australian Sapphire; 6mm Stone Texture Hand-carved Classic Band, 950 Palladium, Australian Blue SapphireThree Stone Engagement Ring, 14k White Gold, Australian Sapphires

Above: 6mm Teal Blue Montana Sapphire

Not sure if our fair trade sapphires are right for you? Still interested in our customized rings? Have a look at some more of our customized items or check out our blog post on Chatham Padparadscha Sapphires and Grey Moissanite! 

**Please note that stone coloring may vary depending on lighting conditions, your own monitor screen, and stone settings. If you'd like to see additional images of any particular stone, please send us a message


Customize Your Ring with Colored Gemstones July 29 2016

You know you want a unique ring and you're pretty sure that you're interested in a colored gemstone--but where do you go from there? What are your ethical options?

We have a wide range of ethical gemstones to select from, with two newly available options!

Chatham Padaradscha Sapphires

Pink stones have been increasing in popularity in recent years, but many available options aren't hard enough to hold up to daily or near daily wear in a ring setting. We have a wide range of Padparadscha sapphires available to us, ranging from light pinks and peachs to more vivid pinks and fiery orange reds, in a wide range of cuts and sizes to fit our Engagement Ring settings.

4mm Chatham Padparadscha Sapphire Crown Solitaire Engagement Ring

Peach Chatham Padparadscha Sapphire Cushion

5mm Rustic Cushion Engagement Ring, 14k Rose, Light Peach Padparadscha Sapphire

padparadscha sapphires

5mm Rustic Cushion Engagement Ring, 14k White, Light Pink Padparadscha Sapphire

chatham padparadscha and chatham morganite

Can you tell the difference?

We get a lot questions asking about creating custom engagement rings with morganite, which has a tendency to chip over the course of its lifetime, making less than ideal for setting in a ring. That's why we had Chatham color match a Padparadscha sapphire for us! The stone on the right is Chatham Morganite and the left is our color-matched Chatham Padparadscha Sapphire! It has the same color and look as the Morganite option, but with a resistance to chip and scratching, so there's no need to worry about damaging your ring!

Don't see the color you're looking for? Our Chatham Sapphires are also available in a wide range of colors, shades, and cuts--send us a message or check out more of our available options here! Looking for a natural, ethical sapphire? Take a look at our Montana and Australia round cut options!

Grey Moissanite

These limited edition stones have a very unique look and color! Because of the way that moissanite is grown, its inclusions present as needle-like, which give the grey moissanite a cloudiness similar to black and raw diamonds, making them a great (and ethical) alternative.

As these are a limited edition product, our supply is also limited. Please contact us for availability or for an estimate.

grey moissanite cushions, 5mm

grey moissanite, 5mm round

Not quite sure what you're looking for, but interested in doing some more research? Read about 4 Ways to Choose an Ethical Diamond and Lab-Grown Gemstones!


Customize Your Ring with Fair Trade Sapphires June 30 2015

We just got in a great selection of fair trade Australian and Montana round sapphires. These sapphires come in a beautiful range of blues, greens, teal, and aqua. They can be used in most of our current ring styles, and are a great custom option for your ring!

Fair trade stones are closely tracked from mine to market following strict protocols – including environmental protection, fair labor practices, and health and safety standards. 

You can view some more of the available stones here, or contact us about customizing one of our engagement rings with one of these ethical and eco-friendly sapphire.