Gift Guide: Diamond Alternatives

Gift Guide - Diamond AlternativesDiamonds are sought after in the jewelry world because they are viewed as the ultimate gemstone for engagement rings, wedding rings, and Valentine’s Day presents. Elevating a diamond’s overall worth, appeal, and price tag is the fact that it is a durable possession that rarely occurs in nature. Its appearance is also an attractive characteristic. People are drawn to the shine, sparkle and elegance of a diamond, yet this isn’t the only colorless gemstone that can catch the eye of onlookers. There are a few other colorless, shiny options which are more affordable than a diamond that you may want to consider when shopping for a jewelry gift.

Why Do People Buy Diamond Alternatives?

There are three main reasons that diamonds aren’t always a girl’s best friend, and why some people prefer jewelry made with alternate gemstone or diamond simulants:

piggybanksavemoney* Saves Money Buying a colorless gemstone other than a diamond generally saves money, and also offers a reasonably priced piece of jewelry. This is especially helpful for couples on a budget, and oftentimes makes a popular choice for an engagement ring. Some choose to save diamonds for their wedding bands.

* Social Responsibility Diamonds are abundant in countries that often use unsavory efforts to retrieve such a profitable material. Also known as ‘blood diamonds,’ it’s hard to know whether or not a particular diamond was mined in a war zone, and then sold to finance warlord activities and civil wars. A conflict-free diamond is a diamond that was not mined in a war zone, but if you’ve seen the Leonardo DiCaprio film ‘Blood Diamonds,’ then you know all is not what it seems.

* Eco-Friendly Man-made diamond alternatives that do not come from the earth are also environmentally friendly since they are not mined.

Four diamond alternatives to consider include:


What is It?

Naturally-occurring moissanite is only found in small amounts, and typically surfaces in or near a meteor crater, so there is that factor of gifting something with an astronomical connection. Sometimes, moissanite offers a very faint yellow color with a green tint. Natural moissanite is also difficult to mine, which elevates its overall value. Because of this, the moissanite jewelry you will most likely come in contact with is lab-grown.

Moissinite Gemstones from the Venazia Haute-Couture Collection

Why Buy It?

If you’re looking for a gem that outshines the diamond, moissanite literally fits the bill. A ‘gem’s fire’ is what occurs when white light passes through an inclined surface. It results in a dispersion of colors which gives us the varying colors of a particular gemstone.

Moissanite has twice the dispersion of diamonds, and out of all other mineral-based gemstones, moissanite is the second-hardest option to the diamond. This is why moissanite is often mistaken for the sparkle and shine of a diamond, and is frequently set in white gold or platinum.

To view a site dedicated to moissanite jewelry, you can browse Moissanite.com, which sells loose gems, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, and various collections. Shown above are rings belonging to the Venazia™ Haute-Couture Collection.

Moissanite.com LogoWhite Sapphires

What is It?

WLab Created White Sapphire Rings from Zaleshite sapphires are the colorless, pure form of the corundum mineral (aluminum oxide which generates a crystalline pattern); the colorless diamond alternative does not have the metal oxides that produce color. Most white sapphires are heat treated to reach a desired clarity, as it’s quite rare to find naturally occurring colorless sapphires. Depending on your choice of jewelry gift, a white sapphire may have been chemically treated to enhance the overall quality of the stone.

The white sapphire jewelry pieces shown here are lab-created, and sold at Zales – ranging in price from $99 to $149.

Why Buy It?

White Sapphire and Ruby Ring sold by ZalesWhite sapphires are often used as a sparkly accent to brighten colored gems (especially colored sapphires), which makes a lovely, more affordable option for jewelry gifts representing a birthstone. Just take a look at a ring displaying a large blue sapphire surrounded by white sapphires, and here you have a fabulous September birthday present.

If you are interested in purchasing a loose white sapphire, the Natural Sapphire Company offers single and paired loose gemstones.

White Topaz

What is It?

White Topaz Jewelry sold at Lord and TaylorWhite topaz is a natural gemstone that typically has more of a yellow tint than a diamond. Nearly all of these gemstones (which are mined) are colorless, dull and full of inclusions, which is why they are generally treated in a lab to enhance clarity and color. White topaz is a relatively hard gemstone, but will scratch – unlike diamonds. Since this stone also has less refraction, it tends to lose its sparkle quicker when dirty, which could pose an issue with daily ring wear.

Shown here are white topaz jewelry pieces from Lord & Taylor: Sterling Silver Pearl and White Topaz Ring; 14Kt. White Gold Sky Blue Topaz and White Topaz Earrings; and Sterling Silver Enamel Snake Bangle with White Topaz.

Why Buy It?

Usually, it is the bright blue or golden yellow hue of topaz that gets all the glory, but the less common colorless topaz is a real stunner too. White topaz is a winner when shopping for a silver jewelry gift, as this particular gemstone actually makes the metal shine even brighter. Not as readily available as other options, you will most likely find white topaz jewelry paired with other semiprecious gemstones, such as blue topaz, garnets, citrine, and amethyst.

Cubic Zirconia

What is It?

Frequently referred to as ‘CZ,’ cubic zirconia is the cubic form of zirconium oxide, and it’s a popular choice in jewelry because of its versatility, wide-ranging selection, and affordability. What truly sets this option apart from others is that CZ is not a natural gemstone – it’s basically a diamond simulant specifically created in a laboratory to look like diamonds. It will never come from the earth, which is a plus for eco-minded shoppers.

CZ Jewelry sold by  Fantasy Jewelry Box

Why Buy It?

When you purchase clear CZ jewelry, you’re buying fashion jewelry that mimics the appearance of flawless diamonds more than any other diamond alternative. As one of the most popular selections for fashion jewelry, it is not uncommon to see fine jewelry pieces incorporating cubic zirconia with sapphires, rubies, emeralds and other precious gemstones.

Above you will find a selection of CZ jewelry sold by Fantasy Jewelry Box that includes Valentina’s 18k Gold Plated Princess Cut CZ Tennis Bracelet; Claire’s Fancy Faux CZ Wedding Ring Set; and the Triple Row Sapphire Eternity Band. This company often sells items with a celebrity-recreation flair, with pieces often featured in US Weekly magazine.

Which diamond alternative interests you the most?

About Yona Williams

In addition to being a freelance writer, foodie, art lover and book hoarder, Yona also enjoys researching and sharing the many different ways one can surprise or amaze loved ones with unique and unexpected gift ideas.

26 comments on “Gift Guide: Diamond Alternatives

  1. I love the information you shared. it’s easy to forget that there are alternatives to diamonds and some are of very high quality too..

  2. I might just have to send this list over to my boyrfriend, thanks!

  3. Wow! These are absolutely gorgeous rings! I am a diamond girl all the way (my birthday is in April, so my birthstone is a diamond), but I would not mind having any of these… except the snake one, terrified of snakes! 😛


  4. Honestly didn’t know there were so many other alternatives besides diamonds, but I don’t really like any of these type of things anyways. When I was married, my band was just a normal band, nothing fancy. My ex-husband gave me this crazy engagement ring, but I never wore it, because of the job I had, but I just don’t like girly girl things, I’m all about simple. However the Moissanite is really pretty.

  5. This is such great info! I love the idea of a white sapphire. We were just talking about getting a band for me to wear for our five year anniversary…..and these are great suggestions!

  6. Diamonds are pretty, but so are the alternatives. I don’t wear much jewelry but I did get my daughter a pair of beautiful earrings for her birthday. I’m looking forward to seeing her face when the day comes (she’ll be sweet 16). 😉

  7. I just sent a list of moissanite rings to my hubby. :) Awesome gift idea!

  8. these alternatives are sure economical than real diamonds.

  9. I love the look of the White Sapphire! I think diamond alternatives are a great idea!

  10. Oooo I love bling and it doesn’t matter to me if it’s not diamond – I’d take any of these alternatives!

  11. These are some great alternatives. When I buy my own jewelry I usually don’t buy diamonds because I hardly go anywhere without the kids. However, when I receive jewelry as gifts it is usually diamonds.

  12. These are great alternatives to diamonds. I love the color in Sapphires they are extremely pretty. I had never heard of Moissanite before sounds like an amazing company to buy jewelry from love the look of their pieces

  13. I love the white topaz! I didn’t know about a lot of these!

  14. I’m thinking moissanite or white sapphire would be the alternative I’d go after. But I’d choose a diamond first, just because.

  15. It’s great to know that there are many alternatives to diamonds. I thought that there are also several gems out there that are worth looking at and investing on. I love sapphires because despite that it’s colorless, I can really see the clarity of its elegance. White topaz is also a nice choice.

  16. What great pieces! I think the moissanite is interesting- I’d never heard of it before!

  17. When I got engaged, I got a diamond ring. I wish I had known before he bought it because I would have chose a blue topaz!

  18. Thank you for this! I have been wondering about diamond alternatives. Since diamonds can be so expensive! The hubs and I are looking into getting me a new ring, and I am bookmarking this post for future reference!

  19. Those are some great selection! I think the white sapphire is an elegant style. Diamond alternatives is a great way to accessorize for special occasion. You don’t have to spend too much to wear beautiful pieces of jewelry.

  20. I have heard of a couple of these, but never white sapphires. They are really pretty!

  21. I think those are all really pretty alternatives. I’m more of a colored stone type of girl. I really like the way the white sapphires make the colors of the other stones stand out. I think the moissanite sounds cool!

  22. The jewelry is really beautiful. I should always wear a diamond alternative because the only jewelry I ever lose is diamond. Especially earrings. I’m going to start suggesting diamond alternatives instead because I have a dozen earrings without pairs and can’t stand to throw them away because they are diamonds lol.

  23. Diamond alternatives are great for when you are traveling abroad and you don’t want to take your expensive jewelry or a day at the pool or water park. I love having a back up so I don’t have to risk taking my expensive jewelry. Thanks for the reminder and these beautiful choices.

  24. What beautiful choices!! I’m am not a diamond girl at all, so these other options are beautiful!! As long as there’s Black Hills Gold, I’m pretty much set! :)

  25. My wife’s birthday is coming up….great ideas for a Reverse Wishlist for her birthday. I am going to have to put a few of these on one and let her pick her favorite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: