White Diamond Alternatives

Options besides natural diamond for your engagement ring

 

There are some great white stone options on the market today.  Below is a chart of the top four most common white diamond alternatives. 

Natural White Diamond Alternatives:  While there are a couple other natural options besides white sapphire, white sapphire is the only natural option that Krikawa recommends for a white diamond alternative stone.

Lab Created White Diamond Alternatives: There are three major camps in the white lab created stone arena.  Diamond, Moissanite, and Cubic Zirconia.  
 

Stone Type Image Cost for One Carat Hardness Notable
White Sapphire (Natural)
round white sapphire
$400-600 approx Hardness: 9

Excellent choice for ring worn every day
No scintillation (rainbow sparkle)
Quickly appears dull and lifeless when dirty.
Great choice for really large 3 carat plus stones
Lab Created Diamond
round white diamond
$3000-$5000 approx Hardness: 10

Excellent choice for ring worn every day
Cost is still high (natural would be $5000-$7000 approx, H-SI1 color/clarity)
Moissanite (Lab Created)
round moissanite
 $500 approx Hardness: 9.25

Excellent choice for ring worn every day
-Round and cushion shapes look the best

-Princess cut Moissanite is not as pretty (Krikawa opinion).
Cubic Zirconia (Lab Created)
cubic zirconia
$5-20 approx Hardness: 7

Poor choice for ring worn every day
-Will abraid (scratch and chip) fairly quickly, if worn every day.
 

White Sapphire is commonly seen in inexpensive engagement rings on the internet.  However, because of its refractive index, it does not have the scintillation (rainbow sparkles) of a diamond.  What that means is as the stone gets dirty (like within a week or two of showers and hand washings), it will start to appear dull and lifeless.

If you choose white sapphire, be sure to add on an ultrasonic cleaner!

Lab created diamond is actual diamond on a molecular level.  It has all of the optical and chemical properties of natural diamond, making it a synthetic (molecularly identical), not a simulant (made to look like).  You will still pay close to diamond prices for smaller stones (10-20% less on average), but for the larger diamonds, you can pay as much as 40-50% less.  That means instead of the approximate $30k you'd pay for a 2 carat natural, you're down to $15k (of course depending upon color, clarity, etc.).

A diamond continues to sparkle even after it is dirty, unlike white sapphire.

Moissanite is a clear and sparkly stone, with the scintillation (rainbow sparkles) of a natural diamond.   It is the best diamond simulant (made to look like) option on the market today.  Moissanite is not inexpensive, but that same 2 carat diamond look will be in the $1000 range, with smaller stones being much less.  Moissanite is lab created.

Cubic Zirconia is a poor man's simulated diamond, and it is sold on the market today under many brand names (buyer beware).  While it also has scintillation, at a hardness of approximately 7, it is rated Poor for everyday wear in a ring.  After daily wear, the stone will start to scratch, chip and abraid, making it appear soap like on the top surface after a year or two of wear.

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