Some diamond substitutes resemble diamonds so well that they can’t be differentiated by the naked eye. Other diamond substitutes have a few giveaways, such as by giving off more rainbow flashes of color in light rather than white.
The best diamond substitute depends on how active you are and what qualities you like most in a diamond. Those who have very active lifestyles should choose a diamond substitute with a hardness of 9, so that it won’t scratch easily. Below we have outlined the top six diamond substitutes with their strengths and weaknesses to help you easily make a decision.
Moissanite is the best diamond substitute for those who want an environmentally friendly gemstone. Modern day moissanite is created in a laboratory. The original moissanite was found in a crater. Because of its scarcity, scientists experimented until they could recreate moissanite in the lab. Moissanite resembles diamonds in appearance. Henri Moissan, the scientist who discovered the gem thought it was diamonds until examination of its chemical composition.
Moissanite is one of the hardest gemstones with a Mohs hardness of 9.25. Like a diamond, it won’t scratch easily. Additional qualities moissanite is known for are clarity and brilliance. This gem usually has a clarity rating of VS and higher. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds, leading to more brilliance. However, moissanite’s brilliance gives it stronger rainbow flashes than a diamond. Some people love it, whereas others don’t.
2. Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia is the best diamond substitute in terms of color. Those who want colorless diamonds will find an abundance of cheap, colorless cubic zirconia options. Another selling point of cubic zirconia is it’s flawless. Unlike mined diamonds, cubic zirconia doesn’t have inclusions. This diamond substitute has comparable refractivity and appearance. It’s difficult to differentiate cubic zirconia from diamond with the naked eye.
Most cubic zirconia jewelry is cheap, but some of the higher quality pieces are expensive for a diamond substitute. This diamond substitute is created in the lab. The clear variety are probably what comes to mind when people think of cubic zirconia, but the stimulant is available in many colors, including purple, pink, blue, amber, and black. It is easy to care for; all you have to do is wash it in warm soapy water. Cubic zirconia jewelry should also be stored separately to prevent scratches.
3. White Sapphire
Just like diamonds, sapphire comes in multiple colors, such as blue, pink, yellow, and white. Some engagement rings are made with white sapphire to provide the traditional clear gem look at a lower price. White sapphires are hard; they have a Mohs rating of 9. Because white sapphires aren’t as well-known as cubic zirconia, some may think they have limited options. However, white sapphire gemstones come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Similar to diamonds, white sapphires are graded based on appearance. The highest grade a white sapphire can receive is AAA. AAA white sapphires are in the top 10%. White sapphire is the best diamond substitute when you’re looking for a gemstone that comes from the Earth instead of being created in a laboratory. Be careful when shopping for natural white sapphire because some gems are created in the lab. Read product descriptions before buying jewelry with white sapphire if a natural gem is important to you. Moreover, lab-created white sapphire isn’t as good as natural white sapphire.
4. White Beryl
White beryl, also known as goshenite, is a natural gemstone that can serve as a diamond substitute. This gemstone has a Mohs hardness rating of 7.5-8. It’s not as durable as diamonds, cubic zirconia, or white sapphire. Despite that, white beryl is still a suitable diamond substitute.
It’s the best diamond substitute for an affordable natural gemstone with good transparency. In all locations where beryl is mined, white beryl can be found. Eyeglass manufacturers in the past created lenses out of white beryl due to it’s excellent transparency. High quality white beryl is often used as gemstones, whereas low quality beryl is typically used for commercial beryllium.
5. White Topaz
White topaz is a colorless, natural stone. In more scientific terms, it’s a type of silicate mineral topaz. As with all natural gemstones, there may be impurities that impact the color of white topaz. There may also be a few internal imperfections. Even the best of diamonds can have internal imperfections that aren’t visible to the naked eye. White topaz is the best diamond substitute for those who like the clear look in gemstones. It tends to have a glassy appearance. However, the color of white topaz can be affected by high temperatures.
Clear white topaz is actually its purest form. Colored varieties of topaz result from impurities. White topaz is one of the top diamond substitutes because of its color and low price. Although white topaz is available in several shapes, you should make sure the cut isn’t too deep. A cut that is too deep causes the gem’s surface to be hidden when mounted.
The gemstone you are least likely to have heard of from this list of best diamond substitutes is titania. This gem comes from titanium raw material (TiO2). Titania can be transparent, pale yellow, red, and bright blue. The bright blue variety is very rare. Colorless titania sometimes has a yellow tinge just as some diamonds do.
One of the biggest downsides to this gemstone is it has a hardness of 6. It cannot be used in a tension setting. However, titania has excellent fire with a dispersion factor of 0.28. It has strong luster as well. Titania is available in sizes of 0.06ct-1.25ct. The gemstone was a popular diamond substitute in the 1940s and 1950s in the United States. Although it’s not as popular anymore, it’s still used as a diamond substitute.
Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring or other type of jewelry, the six stones listed above are your best options in diamond substitutes. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so take them into consideration before coming to a final decision. All of the gemstones on this list are affordable in comparison to diamonds.