Looking for a large diamond ring without the hefty price tag? A composite diamond ring could be the answer. These show-stopping engagement rings offer the same sparkle and glamour of a large diamond, usually at a lower cost.
What Are Composite Diamonds?
Composite diamonds are small diamonds that have been carefully placed together to create a larger looking diamond. Composite diamonds may be set in a way that makes them appear as one stone or carefully arranged in a design to maximize their beauty or sparkle.
Jeweler Rahul Sacheti explains that composite diamonds are often set within a ring in just the right way “to convey a larger appearance.” These jewels may also be glued together to form doublets or triplets that are then set the same as a single, larger gemstone would.
Meet the Expert
Rahul Sacheti is an experienced custom jeweler from M.S. International, Inc. and RS1 Jewelry, Ltd. He is a second-generation diamond wholesaler.
Cost of Composite Diamonds
Composite diamonds are usually much more affordable than a full, large diamond as they "allow the execution of complex designs with a lower profile and cheaper upfront cost." But, while composite diamond rings may seem budget-friendly initially, they could become costly long-term, especially when it comes to maintenance and repairs.
"Future repair costs are an important consideration," Sacheti explains. "Rings made of composite diamonds may find the buyer in a costly situation if the item needs repair in the future. Finding the appropriate diamonds to replace a missing stone in a composite ring can be costly and difficult." For example, if your ring involves an invisible setting, you can only repair the piece with notched diamonds, and Sacheti says these are "not kept in big supply by diamond wholesalers."
Additionally, if your original ring uses bluff or glued diamonds (which are cheaper than larger diamonds), the repair will be pricier than a composite diamond ring with another setting technique.
Pros and Cons of Composite Diamonds
The pros of composite diamonds are plentiful, however. Aside from their attractive cost, the design possibilities with composite diamonds are nearly unlimited. Composite diamonds are perfect for creating intricate details. “The clustered designs are always unique and allow for more artistic expression,” Sacheti adds. Still, there are negative aspects to composite diamond rings. First, the potentially high repair costs for a broken composite diamond can negate the savings on the piece and the future value of a composite diamond ring is generally not as clear. Furthermore, the environmental impact on the stones could change the appearance and possibly cause breakage.
Composite Diamond Shopping Tips
When shopping for a composite diamond ring, always consider the future repair costs. Ask your jeweler if the ring incorporates an invisible setting and whether or not the stones in the cluster are notched. You should also ask if there is glass filling in any of the stones. According to Sacheti, when looking at a cluster-style composite diamond ring, it is obvious when the ring is examined with a jeweler’s loupe. The same holds true for bluff stones, however, he says, "Here you are looking for inclusion characteristics rather than metalwork joining the stones. One can see the areas where the stones are glued together.”
“Given the unregulated and emotional nature of the jewelry industry, it is tough to forecast the value of traditional diamonds, let alone composite diamonds," says Sacheti. "Their value retention as compared to traditional diamonds is nowhere close. However, the components and material values still may allow particular pieces to retain more of their value due to demand."
Ahead, scroll through 15 stunning composite diamond rings.
James Allen Platinum Royal Scallop Halo Composite Diamond Ring
This composite diamond engagement ring has a soothing soft look with no hard lines. It has a scallop pavé halo with 16 round diamonds as its centerpiece, and the platinum band catches the eye with its design and beauty.
SHOP NOW: James Allen, $1,927
Morgan Jewelers White Gold Composite Diamond Marquise Ring
There’s a subtly fluid feel to this eye-catching ring with its five milgrain-lined marquise shape-stones that each feature several beautiful diamonds. The white gold ring has a total diamond weight of 0.05 carats.
SHOP NOW: Morgan Jewelers, was $500, now $349.99
Macy’s Composite Diamond White Gold Engagement Ring
Why go for one diamond on an engagement ring when you can enjoy the shimmer of several? The diamond-laden, round centerpiece of the white gold ring is accentuated with diamonds down the sides of the band.
SHOP NOW: Macy’s, was $1,799, now $899.50
JTV White Composite Diamond Yellow Gold Ring
Stellar design and a multitude of shimmering diamonds elevate this affordable ring to something glamorous and special. The ring has a whopping 96 small diamonds that come together to provide some serious sparkle.
SHOP NOW: JTV, $439.99
Le Vian Creme Brulee Nude Diamond Halo Cluster Ring
Le Vian’s round halo cluster of diamonds is the centerpiece for this stunning composite ring. It evokes the feeling of celebration and diamonds line the top half of the golden band.
SHOP NOW: Macy’s, was $3,300.90, now $899.70
JTV White Diamond White Gold Ring
Glitz and glamour abound in the many small diamonds in this ring and the careful round design that maximizes their beauty. The white gold band includes several diamonds set within the sides of the band and its luster helps show off the beauty of the diamonds.
SHOP NOW: JTV, $529.99
Composite Diamond Multi-Row White Gold Chevron Ring
The bling on this ring cannot be denied. The chevron-shaped, composite diamond ring has a white gold band and features row after row of baguette-cut diamonds set in channels in an alternating pattern.
SHOW NOW: Zales, was 4,099, now $2,869.30
James Allen White Gold Oval Halo Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring
The stunning contrast of this composite diamond ring accentuates the shimmer and beauty of combining fancy yellow diamonds and white diamonds. Its focal point is a large yellow gold oval diamond that is surrounded by 24 round yellow diamonds and 28 round white diamonds.
SHOP NOW: James Allen, $2,925
EFFY Composite Diamond Round Promise Ring
This chic and petite composite diamond ring has a thin sterling silver band. A sterling silver circle setting surrounds a pretty cluster of small cut diamonds.
SHOP NOW: Macy’s, $400
Candlelight Diamonds 10K Yellow Gold Dome Ring
This very unique ring has two rows of dark diamonds. Between them, the yellow gold band branches off and twists around three other layers of these special diamonds.
SHOP NOW: JTV, $439.99
La4ve Diamonds White Gold Composite Diamond Bridal Ring Set
This sparkling matching engagement ring and wedding band set from La4ve Diamonds brings on the pizazz in a big way. Composite diamonds are plentiful on these rhodium-plated white gold rings.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $914.99
Composite Diamond Teardrop Rose Gold Ring
The rose gold ring displays a channel-set composite of diamonds in a teardrop design. The rose gold is prominently on display along all the channels and band, and the contrast of rose gold with the diamonds immediately catches attention on first sight.
SHOP NOW: Zales, was 2,999, now 2,099.30
Boston Bay Diamonds Composite Diamond Square Halo Engagement Ring
With a vintage vibe and fine details, this polished white gold ring has a princess-cut composite diamond as its focal point. The top portion of the band separates into a double band that’s lined with diamonds.
SHOP NOW: Kohl’s, was $3,500, now $1,260
Gordon’s Jewelers Composite Diamond Cluster Engagement Ring
There’s nothing subtle or small about this sparkling composite diamond engagement ring. With a white gold band that’s set with baguette-cut diamonds, seven diamonds form the flower design at the center of the ring. Additionally, round accent diamonds add more beauty to the ring and border it at the top and bottom.
SHOP NOW: Gordon’s Jewelers, was $8,129, now $5,690.30
James Allen 18K White Gold Oval Pavé Composite Diamond Ring
With an oval shape that’s “sideways” or arranged east-to-west, this white gold ring has a beautiful array of composite diamonds. The 19 round-cut diamonds are the focus of the ring that balances the bling with a simple, elegant band.
SHOP NOW: James Allen, $1,920