Ask the Jeweler: What Are the Best Diamond Alternatives?

Q: I’m helping my fiance design my engagement ring, and I’ve decided against a diamond. I love the sparkle of a diamond, but I’d prefer something more socially responsible. I’m considering a white sapphire. What do you recommend?

Moissanite Engagement Ring
Moissanite Cushion and Snowflake
Engagement Ring
with Round Moissanite
I love when customers ask me this question because I’m constantly researching and trying out the latest diamond alternatives. And I can see why you’re tempted to go with a white sapphire: It’s a 9 on the hardness scale (diamonds are a 10), won’t cost your fiance an arm and a leg, and it sounds beautiful. But here’s the big drawback:  White sapphires lack the fire of a diamond. Sure, they may sparkle the first day you wear them, but soon enough, oil, dirt and dust will gather underneath the stone and dull its shine. (Also, a sapphire isn’t always the more socially responsible choice.)

Instead, I suggest using Moissanite. Though an opaque green in nature, this mineral is crystal-clear when created in a lab. It has a refractive index similar to a diamond’s and, at 9.25 on the hardness scale, it’s harder than a sapphire. Moissanite is excellent for everyday wear and the stone will keep its sparkle and fire as well as the real thing.  

Moissanite Engagement Rings
Engagement rings with moissanite in a variety of shapes
But just because Moissanite is made in a lab and not the earth doesn’t mean it’s cheap. In fact, while Moissanite is much less expensive than a diamond, Moissanite stones can be fairly close in price to natural white sapphires. So while they’re not cheap, per se, you can get a big, beautiful look without going bankrupt.

A couple of things to keep in mind when considering Moissanite: First, the only real drawback of the stone is that it has a slight tint. It’s difficult to spot with the naked eye, but certain cuts, like a princess cut, will show more color than others. Your best bet is to stick with a round or cushion cut and a stone that’s 2 carats or less.

Second, if you’re shopping online for a synthetic diamond or diamond simulant, do yourself a favor and research the company before you buy. Many are trustworthy, but some will try to pass off a piece of cubic zirconia as the real thing. I’ve seen it happen before, so trust me, it pays to do your homework beforehand.

Krikawa. Where you dream ring comes true.

Comments are closed