There are many gemstones that can become a very good alternative to diamonds. Of course, they do not have such qualities as diamonds: fire, hardness, brilliance, but still can beautifully fit to your ring or earrings.
Before buying some other gemstone it is better to consider all pros and cons. So what stones should you think over instead of a diamond?
In this article we will mention transparent or white diamond-like gemstones. There are:
- Lab-Made Diamonds
- White Sapphire
- Cubic Zirconia
- White Topaz
More and more people choose lab-grown diamonds. They are eco-friendly and conflict-free real gemstones. They are also cheaper than diamonds being formed under the ground. But still lab-made diamonds are the most expensive among diamond-alternatives.
Lab-grown diamonds are very identical to natural ones. They have the same atomic structure - both of them are made from pure carbon and sparkle exactly the same. It also gives the stone the same levels of color, fire and scintillation.
When it comes to the price, lab-grown diamonds are half cheaper than natural diamonds, because there is no need to mine them somewhere and transport them to the jeweler. Their journey starts and ends in the lab. Let us take as an example the earth-created diamond (1.01 ct.tw. H | SI1, ideal round cut) for approximately $5,000 and lab-created diamond with the same characteristics (1.00 ct.tw. H | SI1, ideal round cut) which is around $2,000. As a result, lab-made diamonds are the best alternative to mined diamonds.
All of the differences between a diamond and white sapphire we wrote in the previous article: “The Difference Between Sapphire and Diamond”. But still let us consider one more time the white sapphire as a good alternative to diamond.
White Sapphires can be also as natural as lab-created. As it scaled 9 of the Mohs hardness scale, this gem can be perfect for an engagement ring as it is prone to damages too. Brilliance is something that cannot be compared to diamonds. Sapphire has a softer appearance: more cloudy or milky body that can seem dull in front of a diamond. The same is with brilliance. It doesn’t sparkle as the diamonds do.
But the price can be much more attractive compared to diamonds. To tell shortly, you can pay 15 times less for a white sapphire of the same carat weight as a diamond.
For a long time moissanites were considered diamonds because of their hardness rank - 9.5. But later it was discovered that they are composed of silicon carbide. Natural moissanites are very rare and unique, that is why they are usually synthetically made in laboratories.
Moissanites have a great sparkle! Compared to diamonds they have a refractive index of 2.65-2.69, which is higher than a diamond (at 2.4). Moissanites have a very bright array of colors that reminds the effect of the disco ball. What about the color, moissanites are usually colorless but sometimes they have some yellowish or greyish hues. But the color is not as good as diamonds.
The price tag on moissanites will be much cheaper than on diamonds, that makes Moissanite an excellent alternative that out-play a diamond at a price affordable to everyone.
Another diamond alternative that is very popular in the jewelry world is Cubic Zirconia. It is a lab-grown zirconium dioxide that looks like a diamond, but is not so prone to scratches and damages. Cubic Zirconia reflect good brilliance and fire, and have good color, but still it is not so impressive as a diamond. Sometimes it may seem dull.
If you’re OK with replacing the stones every few years, cubic zirconia can be a great, affordable option. They're colorless, free of inclusions and blemishes, sometimes may look whiter as a diamond, but they are enormously different in price from the diamond. For example, an excellent quality round diamond 1.00ct. and CZ with the same characteristics will have a difference of $10,980 money. Isn’t it surprising?
A popular choice for bracelets and earrings among jewelry clients. It meets in a wide range of colors, including colorless white. It is not a good variant for everyday wear as it’s hardness rank is not so good, it is also softer than moissanite and cubic zirconia and can be easily damaged. This gem cannot boost its brilliance level and dispersion. White Topaz has a transparent “glass” look while diamond has a more deep color.
As for the price then White Topaz is very affordable as it is common on the jewelry market. If you compare a 1.00 carat diamond and topaz, the last one will be 110 times cheaper.
So what is the best diamond alternative?
Depends on you! If you want something durable then your choices are limited: lab-grown diamond or moissanite. If the jewelry is not for everyday wear then you can consider other options from the list. Do not forget about other precious colored gemstones that can also serve as a great central stone for your engagement ring.