Diamonds have long been the sine non qua of fine jewelry. They’ve enticed miners to plunge deep into the earth to procure the precious gems for our finest adornments. But these days, some high-end jewelers are turning their attention from the diamond mines to the stars.

Meteorite jewelry is fast becoming a new trend in the upscale gem and jewelry world. Luxury designer David Yurman, Swiss-based jewelry firm Coeur de Planete, and other high-end jewelry houses are harnessing the cosmos for fine jewelry pieces that blend elegance, aesthetics, and celestial mystery into ultra-rare pieces that are both beautiful and fascinating.

Meteorite jewelry may be a part of the larger shift toward sustainable and ethical jewelry, but it’d be a mistake to classify meteorites as simply another “diamond alternative.” These rare cosmic fragments are spellbinding in their own right, which may be why they’re entering the fine jewelry space at almost the same speed in which they plummeted to earth from outer space.

A short trip through space and time

In case you need a refresher, meteorites are solid fragments of space debris that withstood the plummet through space and landed intact on the Earth’s surface. A meteorite could begin as a comet, asteroid, or meteor, with origins ranging from Mars to the moon.

Meteorites have long been a source of fascination for humans. The ancient Sumerians and Egyptians are among many cultures throughout the time that adorned their jewelry with meteorites. Some cultures believed them to be divine and incorporated them into worship rituals. Others used them to decorate ceremonial objects and sacred structures.

All of which is to say, meteorites are nothing new. In fact, they’re 4.5 billion years old. They’ve intrigued humankind long before we understood their origins and scientific compositions.

So perhaps this new trend isn’t new at all, but rather a reinvention of a timeless fascination with these beautiful, enchanting artifacts from space.

Fine jewelry from the stars

At the heart of the meteorite, the craze is the Muonionalusta meteorite, believed to have landed roughly a million years ago. The Muonionalusta, which Forbes says is “enjoying rock star status as a luxury jewelry material,” has recently been adopted by high-end jewelry firms such as Coeur de Planete.

The Swiss-based jewelry firm, which launched a line called Meteorite Luxury, boasts cosmos-tinged fine jewelry collections titled “Starry Night, “Aeon,” and “The Fifth Element.” All of these collections feature creative and upscale renderings of meteorites, but the Starry Night collection is easily the most eye-catching.

Starry Night features rings, earrings, and necklaces made of silver and red gold carved into Muonionalusta meteorites, whose visual appeal comes from geometric patterns called Widmanstätten figures. These intricate, nickel-iron matrixes of lines and taenite bands produce awe-inspiring visuals interwoven with fine detail that lends each piece a sense of understated refinement.

The ultra-rare Muonionalusta is both visually stunning and mystifying, making it a great conversation piece as well as a luxury accessory. The Gibeon meteorite, a four-billion-year-old meteorite, is another meteorite finding its way into high fashion.

Gibeon is the centerpiece of high-end jewelry designer David Yurman’s pieces. Yurman’s Meteorite Collection harnesses the Gibeon’s crystalline patterns to create rings, bands, and studs that combine ancient and futuristic motifs. One Yurman piece, the Faceted Signet Ring with Garnet in 18K Gold, sets a Gibeon meteorite inside an 18-karat yellow gold band for a look that’s at once earthy, cosmic, and above all, luxurious.

An alternative that pre-dates the original

The rise in ethical and sustainable jewelry has given us many creative and unique alternatives to traditional stones, which can be found in the best jewelry stores online. Meteorites are unique in that they’ve been the centerpiece of elaborate adornments since ancient times.

Meteorites have provided the world of fine jewelry with a unique and enchanting alternative to gemstones. After billions of years, the cosmic fragments are being paired with golds and silvers and breathing new life into fashion.

Whether you’re looking for an ultra-rare ring or necklace, an ethical alternative to a diamond, or a beautiful accessory that doubles as a conversation piece, meteorites are proving to be a trendy and fashionable new-old star of the fine jewelry world.