Engagement Rings 101

Diamond Alternatives: A Guide to the Best Diamond Look Alike Options

The popular notion is that there is rarely a woman who does not like diamonds. But maybe your wife-to-be has certain qualms against diamonds, or perhaps you just want something even more brilliant than a diamond – for a fraction of the price.

Truth is, a huge part of the appeal to the diamond is its sparkle factor, but there are some gemstones that have even more sparkle than diamonds while still having a near-comparable hardness, making it difficult for them to be scratched or damaged.

If you’re not set on having an actual diamond, here are some alternatives that you might want to check out!

Diamond Alternative #1. Moissanite

Moissanite is more brilliant than a diamond and has the added cool factor of being found in meteorites! The stone is composed of a hexgonal crystal system which gives it is unique brilliance and ranks at 9.25 on the mineral hardness scale (diamonds are ranked at 10) so they’re resistance to scratches and other forms of destruction are comparable to diamonds.

What is certainly not comparable to diamonds, though, is Moissanite’s price. These are really affordable stones – you can get a half-carat for around $250.00, compared to around $1,000 for a half-carat diamond.

Diamond Alternative #2. White Sapphire

Sapphires are mostly known for their brilliant blue hues, but they actually come in a range of colors, of which white is one. White sapphires are a great diamond alternative as they are generally crystal clear and rank at a 9 on the mineral hardness scale, making them quite destruction-resistant and good for everyday wear.

The only drawback to white sapphires as compared to diamonds is the brilliance factor. Diamonds are prized for their ability to reflect light, giving off that dazzling sparkle and flashes of fire. White sapphires are shiny, but they don’t have the high refractive index that diamonds do.What they do have, though, is a very sweet price tag – you can score one of these gems for anywhere between $300 to $1,500 (depending on the size of them gemstone).

Diamond Alternative #3. Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is probably the best known diamond alternative. Like diamonds, cubic zirconia stones are pretty damn hard (ranking at an 8 – 8.5 on the mineral hardness scale), clear, and highly refractive (almost as much as a diamond).

How close to a diamond is cubic zirconia? Well, to the untrained eye, a CZ can easily pass for a diamond. The main difference between the two gemstones lie in weight – a CZ stone can weigh almost twice as much as a comparably sized diamond.

Also, the lower refractive index gives the CZ a different type of sparkle than a diamond. If the sparkle factor is a concern, you’ll be able to find cubic zirconia covered with a thin coat of powered diamond. Covered stones will have a more diamond-like appearance (as well as a more diamond-like price).

Diamond Alternative #4. White Topaz

White topaz, much like the sapphire above, is naturally found in several different colors. Also like the sapphire, the topaz is not as brilliant as a diamond – its refractive index is only about half that of a diamond.

However, it ranks at 8 on the mineral hardness scale, making it quite durable. The white topaz is also surprisingly affordable, costing a few hundred dollars for a one-carat stone.

Diamond Alternative #5. Goshenite (White Beryl)

What’s a “beryl,” you ask? Well, it’s a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicat – it’s usually colorless (white, colorless beryl is named “Goshenite”) but they can also be green (what you know as an “Emerald”), pink, red, and gold.

Goshenite has the same refractive index (1.6) and the same hardness as topaz (8). These stones can easily be purchased loose and custom set in a ring setting of your choice, just like diamonds.

The best thing about Goshenite? Its price – a stone won’t cost you more than $100.

Diamond Alternative #6. Titania

Titania has been used as a diamond alternative since the ’50s and is composed of titanium dioxide. The best thing about Titania is that it has the highest light refraction of any gemstone. If brilliance is a big factor in your gemstone choice – Titania is for you.

The two drawbacks to this gemstone is that it has a much lower hardness (ranking at 6 on the mineral hardness scale) and is not as resistant to damage as the above diamond alternatives. Also, it’s rare to find pure, clear Titania gemstones, which isn’t necessarily a drawback, especially if you like a hint of red or yellow.

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