My boyfriend (soon to be fiancee) and I are looking at getting an Alexandrite as the stone for our engagement ring. We are currently considering both a natural stone or a synthetic one, most likely from Chatham. We are looking at about a $6000 absolute ceiling on the entire ring, and $3000 at the preferred price range. From what we have seen, it looks like for this price we could get no more than a 1/2 carat natural Alexandrite, where as we could get a carat plus synthetic. Does that sound appropriate, or should we be looking in other places (we live in the bay area of California)? What are the things we should consider other than size in deciding between a natural and synthetic stone? Do we have to be careful if we do get a natural stone to ensure that the stone was ethically mined? If we do get a synthetic stone, would it look as good as a natural one?
Thank you for the help!