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Can An Engagement Ring Be Something Other Than A Diamond?

For years, diamonds have been so closely associated with engagement rings that the mere thought of replacing them with any other stone sounds absurd. With changing times, however, many couples are now starting to look for a more sustainable alternative. Many prefer colored gemstones as they add a more personal touch and uniqueness to their rings. They also have the added benefit of being pocket-friendly. This has got many jewellers promoting colored gemstones that are similar to a diamond engagement ring, yet distinctive in their own way. There is a wide variety of such gemstones which are great alternatives to diamond engagement rings, some of them are discussed below:

What is a good alternative to a diamond engagement ring?

The three main things to consider while choosing an alternative to diamond are – appearance, durability and price. Any stone that is remotely comparable to a diamond in three aspects can be considered a suitable alternative. There is a wide variety of such colored gemstones in the market, and many fare well in their comparison to diamonds. To help you understand better, we have listed these stones from the finest to the least desirable alternative stones: 

CRITERIA FOR A SUITABLE DIAMOND ALTERNATIVE ENGAGEMENT RINGCRITERIA FOR A SUITABLE DIAMOND ALTERNATIVE ENGAGEMENT RING

Salt and Pepper Diamonds 

These are essentially diamonds with inclusions and hence make the best diamond alternative engagement ring. The black and white inclusions that are distributed throughout these stones give them their characteristic ‘salt and pepper appearance. They come in a variety of colors and appearances from speckled, milky, light gray, or dark gray. They are also available in bigger sizes compared to diamonds and have endless varieties of cuts. Loose salt and pepper diamonds are now widely popular and many customers get them customized to their liking. 

Salt and pepper diamonds
Salt and pepper diamonds

Teal Sapphires

Sapphires are great alternatives to diamond engagement rings. Although the blue variety is the most popular, many other colors of the stone are now sharing the limelight. Teal sapphire is one such substitute that has had a boost in its popularity. Its main attraction is its calming blue and green tones that accurately represent the union of the forests and the oceans, which many couples consider akin to their own bonds. From a technical point of view, teal sapphires offer similar durability as that of diamonds and have a hardness of 9 on the Moh’s scale, which is right below diamonds. 

Teal SapphiresTeal sapphire

White sapphires

White sapphires are popular substitutes to diamond engagement rings, especially since they mimic the colors of a natural diamond. These elegant gems are very durable and come in large sizes. They are also significantly less expensive compared to diamonds. However, naturally occurring white sapphires are quite rare and may be more expensive. Although they lack in brilliance compared to diamonds, they appear quite similar from a distance. 

White SapphiresWhite Sapphires

Peach Sapphires (Padparadscha)

Another gemstone that is reigning the jewelry world is the peach sapphire. Its pastel colors that pair well with almost anything has made it quite popular with brides. Peach sapphires are typically made up of a range of colors like orange, yellow, pink, and gold. Although Padparadschas are grouped with peach sapphires, they exhibit a slightly more saturated peach tone, compared to other peach sapphires. These tinted gems reflect the sun brilliantly and pair well with a lot of metals like yellow gold or rose gold. As they are pale in color, clarity is an important aspect while selecting loose peach sapphires. A stone with many inclusions may impede its clarity and cloudiness may hamper its brilliance.

Padparadscha sapphirePadparadscha sapphire

Blue Sapphires

Popularized by royalty since years, blue sapphires have been “the” alternative for diamond engagement rings, especially for those who don’t wish to stick to traditional norms. There was a resurgence in their popularity in 2010 when Kate Middleton was seen sporting Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring. They are also far more rare compared to diamonds. They come in a range of colors from pale baby blue to velvety blue to violetish blue. These stones are also dichroic, which means that they appear blue-ish violet when viewed from one angle and greenish-blue when viewed from another. 

Pastel Blue sapphire LotPastel Blue sapphire Lot

Morganite

Morganites are another set of diamond substitutes that have recently caught the attention of buyers. Due to their pleochroic nature, they present themselves in hues of pale pink to peach to pink. They come in a variety of sizes and can be faceted in many different cuts, which makes them ideal as center stones in engagement rings. Rose gold morganite sets have been extremely popular of late. Although not as scratch-resistant as diamonds, these stones are still considerably durable and suited for daily wear. 

Peach MorganitePeach Morganite

Aquamarine

These lustrous gemstones, named after seawater, occur in shades of blue to greenish blue. Although they do not sparkle like diamonds, they can be easily cut to enhance their sparkle and brilliance. These stones have a hardness of 7-5-8 on Moh’s scale, which is slightly below that of diamonds. Loose aquamarine stones can be cut in almost any way to improve their clarity and color. With their brilliant properties and alluring undertones, these gems are a great stand-in for diamond engagement rings. 

Pear aquamarine wholesale lotPear aquamarine wholesale lot

Topaz

The purest topaz is colorless and very similar to diamond in its appearance. It exhibits a good amount of brilliance and sparkle. In terms of durability, Topaz is less scratch-resistant than diamonds because of which they become cloudy after only 5+ years. These stones also come with certain inclusions which may hamper their clarity, which is why you should always look for clean topaz. However, they work with all types of jewelry and make an excellent choice for an alternative engagement ring due to the variety of colors they come in. Blue topaz is quite a popular shade of topaz, comparatively.

Rainbow range of topazRainbow range of topaz

Moissanite

Naturally-occurring moissanite is quite rare. They are predominantly synthetic stones created in laboratories with crystalline silicon carbide. They exhibit brilliance and fire similar to that of diamonds, but Moissanite usually shows more fire than diamonds. Classic moissanite stones come with a color of yellow or brown and match well with a variety of metals like yellow and rose gold. They also exhibit excellent scratch resistance because of their hardness (9.25 on Moh’s hardness scale). They also cost significantly less than diamonds. You can purchase a moissanite stone similar to that of 1 Carat diamond within 1000USD. 

Wholesale moissanite lotWholesale moissanite lot

CVD Diamond 

CVD diamonds are lab-made diamonds that are manufactured with Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). They were developed as an alternative to natural diamonds to overcome the environmental and social impact of diamond mining. Although synthetic, their internal structure is similar to that of mined diamonds and can be substituted for a natural diamond alternative engagement ring. They also cost 20-70% less than natural diamonds. 

CVD-Diamonds-courtesy-of-gia.edu
CVD diamonds (Courtesy: gia.edu)

Conclusion

Although nothing really beats diamonds in terms of class, elegance, and durability, colored gemstones are still considered to be great contenders as diamond replacements. There is a reason why alternative stones are gaining popularity, this is because of the budgets and the varieties along with an explanation about the reality of diamonds becoming exposed. Many of these gems exhibit a reasonable value of hardness and durability. Their varied colors also make them an unconventional and quirky choice as engagement ring stones. 

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