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White Diamond Alternatives

Non-Traditional Stone Alternatives for Engagement Rings


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.
Tree of Life with Roots Engagement Ring with White Sapphire
White sapphire in a Krikawa solitaire
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 (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!

The ring on the left was created at the client's insistence with a white sapphire center stone. Within one month she returned and changed it to Moissanite. Honestly, white sapphire just does not sparkle unless perfectly clean and dry and in the right lighting. Otherwise, it's really not that attractive, when you compare it with the rainbow sparkles and fire that you can see in diamond and Moissanite.

White Topaz is another naturally occurring colorless stone that you can commonly find in more affordable engagement rings. Like white sapphire, white topaz also does not have any fire and scintillation, and the white sparkle quickly dies with the buildup of dirt and oils, or even one simple hand washing. Unlike sapphire, topaz has a hardness of 8, so additionally will become abraided (scratched) over time.  Is this really what you want for your forever ring, that represents your love?
Lab-created diamond is actually 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 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 (depending on color, clarity, etc.). 

Like natural earth-grown diamonds, lab diamonds sparkle even after they are dirty, unlike white sapphire. Lab-created diamonds are available in many of the standard diamond shapes.

 Learn more >
Art Deco Bridal Set with Moissanite
Krikawa bridal set with moissanites
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 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. Read more >
Bridal Set with Raw Diamond
Krikawa bridal set with raw diamond
Rose Cut and Raw Diamond come in a variety of natural, fancy colors and shapes. They have been used in jewelry throughout history, and are also a great choice for men's rings. The most popular of the rustic diamonds and raw diamonds are the rose cut, opaque fancy colored diamonds. These can be set just like a cabochon, either with prongs or a full bezel. Read more >
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.

What Gem Will Sparkle in Her Eyes?


See a variety of colored diamonds here
Learn different stone setting types to customize your ring
Make your alternate diamond selections in this Engagement Ring Quiz 
or Meet Your Ring Design Consultants
and prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime.

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