Buying diamond jewelry can be incredibly expensive. However, the jewelry industry has luckily introduced numerous beautiful diamond look-alike alternatives, that you can choose if you want to save money. Diamond alternatives are also great if you want to ensure that the gem is conflict-free, or that originates from a lab rather than a questionable, illegal source. Either way, we’re here to introduce you to the best diamond substitutes, so let’s get started!

Note: Before we get started, we always advise you to consult with an actual expert when it comes to diamond alternatives, An expert will know the exact information you need, and will make the best recommendations that are in line with your preferences and the budget!

Why Choose A Diamond Alternative In the First Place?

  • Mined-diamonds are expensive; average prices go from $2,000 to $6,000 for 1.15 to the 1.7-carat weight of round, oval, emerald, pear, and radiant diamond cuts. Prices for more carats can go up to $100,000.
  • Mined-diamonds are generally mined in large-scale diamond mines in South Africa. Miners and diamond dealers in Africa make gross margins, so diamond mining as a business is not so great, and often is taking advantage of poorly paid miners and workers.
  • Mined-diamonds are not an eco-friendly choice; the mining business has destroyed thousands of acres of land, and the rarer the diamonds get, the more land is being mined and destroyed.
  • Because of the aforementioned reasons, mined-diamonds are not the right choice for ethical jewelry or ethical engagement rings.

The Best White Lab-Made Diamond Alternatives

Lab Diamonds

Lab Diamonds
Image: Ada Diamonds

First of all, lab-made diamonds are identical to the natural, mined-diamonds. They have the same chemical, physical, and optical structure and appearance. That is why they’ve become one of the best and most in-demand diamond alternatives.

  • Lab diamonds are also hard to differentiate from the natural ones, but with a magnifying glass, you can see the difference. For example, lab-made diamonds will have inscriptions that identify them as lab-made. The inscriptions are usually placed on the girdle (this is a part of the diamond that creates an outline and separates the crown of the diamond from other diamond parts, like the pavilion or the bottom).
  • Lab-made diamonds are eco-friendly diamond alternatives, and they don’t require mining and land destroying. Lab-grown diamonds are grown by scientists and experts in the field, so there aren’t cases of workers exploitation and the diamond conflict issues.
  • Lab-grown diamonds are the most expensive diamond alternative, mostly because they are the best look-alikes. For example, a 1 carat of the natural, mined diamond can cost $6,000, while a lab-grown alternative of the same diamond would cost $4,200.

We recommend you check out:

  • Ada Diamonds – here you can buy lab-grown diamonds and all sorts of jewelry made with these wonderful stones. You can choose from bridal jewelry, like engagement rings, to fine jewelry where lab-grown diamonds are combined with ethically sourced gold and platinum.
  • LightBox Jewelry – here you can buy jewelry made with lab-grown diamonds, for exceptional prices. Each diamond is high-quality, and the prices reflect the size. The prices start at $800 per carat and go up or down based on size and the type of jewelry. LightBox also offers lab-made diamonds that come in different colors, like red or blue.

Note: ‘Conflict diamonds’ is a term used to describe diamonds that come from the enslavement of locals in Africa, who then have to mine for diamonds, which are then sold to finance rebels and terrorist organizations. Conflict diamonds are often referred to as ‘blood diamonds’ because they are often mined in war zones and fund violent insurrection in 3rd world countries.

Synthetic Moissanite

Synthetic Moissanite
Image: Doodle Doo

Synthetic or lab-made moissanite is a form of crystalline silicon carbide created in laboratories. Lab-made moissanite is one of the best and most convincing diamond alternatives. To tell the difference between the real diamond, and synthetic moissanite, one would need to pay a visit to a jewelry expert, who will use a moissanite tester to conduct a close visual inspection of the stone.

  • The color of moissanite can change, depending on the lighting. That is why it may not always appear as perfectly colorless as a real diamond. Some varieties of moissanite may appear to have a yellowish hue, while others may even have a green hue. Nevertheless, moissanite has perfect clarity, which is usually the main difference when compared to natural diamonds, which often have visible imperfections.
  • Moissanite has an almost identical beauty when compared to natural diamonds. The moissanite stones have also the same durability as diamonds, and the difference between these two is hard to spot. Unless you’re a jewelry expert, you would never know that you’re wearing a moissanite stone instead of a diamond.
  • Lab-grown moissanite usually contains some silicon. That is why it is less likely to become dirty or attract grease. This is also what makes it sometimes sparkle more than the natural diamonds, especially in between cleanings.
  • Moissanite stone is significantly cheaper than the natural diamond. For example, a 1-carat natural, mined diamond can cost $6,000, while a 1-carat moissanite can cost between $269 (for classic moissanite), and $599 (for Forever One colorless moissanite).

We recommend you check out:

  • Charles & Colvard – here you can buy jewelry made from lab-grown moissanite. You can choose from a variety of wonderful engagement rings, wedding bands to even jewelry intended for Breast Cancer Research Foundation donation. Charles & Colvard sell jewelry made with Forever One Moissanite, which is the best moissanite variety and one of the most brilliant gems.
  • Moissanite Co. – here you can buy a variety of moissanite jewelry; from earrings, bracelets, pendants, to wedding bands and engagement rings. The company sells whitened or enhanced moissanite gems, which are cut and faceted using the latest technology, lasers ad robots. That is why each stone is cut in an out-of-this-world precision.

Artisanal Glass

Artisanal Glass
Image: Dillard’s

Artisanal glass is used as an alternative to natural diamonds. The glass is cut and polished to resemble a gemstone. Even though artisanal glass breaks easily and even regular household dust can scratch it, it is still high in demand because of its beautiful appearance.

  • The artisanal glass used to make jewelry and engagement rings is incredibly soft, so it may not be the ideal choice for jewelry pieces or ring stone.
  • The most popular artisanal glass gems are the Swarowski glass gems. These gems are not only used to make jewelry and ring stones, but they have become incredibly popular in the fashion industry. Swarovski gems are being used to cover dresses, bags, shoes, and even toys and gadgets.
  • Artisanal glass gem slike Swarowski crystals can cost between $875 (for round crystal beads), and $7,887 (for authentic Swarowski crystals).

We recommend you check out:

  • Swarowski – here you can buy high-end glass gem jewelry. Swarowski is a global renown brand and the best maker of glass jewelry. Their glass stones are of the highest quality and are used not only on the jewelry but also on watches, accessories, and decorations. The prices vary but are mostly on the more expensive side.

The Best White Natural Diamond Alternatives

White Sapphire

White Sapphire
Image: Who What Wear

When it comes to sapphire, the color is the most important element in regards to the value and price. Sapphire is generally blue but varies in saturation. However, blue isn’t the only color of sapphire; it can also be white. White sapphire is one of the best natural diamond alternatives and is also a much cheaper one. Some sapphires are colorless and have a blueish white appearance, while others can have a more greyish hue.

Nevertheless, even though white sapphire looks beautiful and has great durability, it cannot be truly compared to a diamond. It doesn’t have the same spark and compared to a diamond, it has a softer and more toned down appearance. But, some people tend to like this toned-down appearance and prefer it more over the spark and extravagance of diamonds.

  • White sapphire is significantly cheaper than the natural diamond; for example, a 1-carat white sapphire can cost up to $730. The higher the carat weight, the more expensive the gem. The prices can reach several thousand dollars.

We recommend you check out:

  • Gemvara – here you can choose from a variety of wonderful jewelry made with the white sapphire. Gemvara sells flawless stones, and each stone is handcrafted with trained precision. Each piece of jewelry they make is completely customizable and made to order, every time. At the company, there are experts and jewelry consultants,

who ensure each piece of jewelry is perfect.

White Topaz

White Topaz
Image: Kaelyn Weber

Just like sapphire, topaz is generally associated with a blue color. However, topaz can be found in a variety of other colors, from yellow, red, to white. White topaz is considered to be the colorless variation that has become a popular diamond alternative.

Nevertheless, white topaz is completely different from a diamond. It does have a beautiful brilliance, and fire (as many describe the sparkling of a gem), but it surely isn’t as clear and sparkly as a diamond, and its dispersion is far from the diamond’s.

Moreover, white topaz can be easily damaged, over time, due to daily wear. The most noticeable damage appears on the edges of the gem, while it also may start to chip over time. But, unlike diamonds, white topaz is very affordable and the stones can be easily replaced and cleaned. White topaz looks the best against a darker halo on a ring, so it is often paired with black settings.

  • As mentioned, white topaz is affordable and very easy to find and buy. The prices can vary from $20 to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the size and carat weight, as well as the seller.

We recommend you check out:

  • Kohl’s – here you can buy affordable white topaz jewelry. The white topaz used for the jewelry is lab-made and high-quality. There is currently a sale of white topaz jewelry at Kohl’s, so make sure to check it out. You can be sure to find a nice piece of jewelry without spending thousands of dollars.

We Also Recommend You Consider These Alternatives

  • Cubic Zirconia – lab-made cubic zirconia is similar to the moissanite. It is made from a cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. Because it is scarce, this gem is nowadays made in laboratories and is a fairly inexpensive alternative for natural diamonds. Depending on the size and the carat weight, cubic zirconia gems can cost between $30 and $200.
Cubic Zirconia
Image: David’s Bridal
  • Quartz – this is one of the most common gemstones. Quartz is surely not as beautiful as a natural diamond, but it serves as an affordable substitute. This gemstone is usually polished to get its nice appearance, and it looks great on rings and earrings. We have to mention that quartz is susceptible to scratches and damages over time.
Image: Stone Forge Studios
  • Goshenite – also known as white beryl, goshenite is a near-colorless variety of beryl. However, even though the stone has almost no impurities, it is still hard to compare to a diamond. Goshenite doesn’t spark or show brilliance, so it won’t work as a believable diamond alternative, but more as an affordable one. Nevertheless, the stone does look nice and it is after all a natural, durable, and affordable stone.
Image: Resa Wilkinson Jewelry

Final Words

There are numerous types of diamond alternatives, and each option carries a great deal. Some stones are more durable than the other, while others have a better spark and are more diamond look-alike. Either way, there is something for everyone, from expensive to cheap options, you can be sure to find something that you’ll like. And also, you can be sure that the stones you choose are eco-friendly and ethical.

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