10 Incredible Diamond Alternatives For Your Engagement Ring

10 Incredible Diamond Alternatives For Your Engagement Ring

Diamonds are rare; they are not for everyone! Even if they are a woman’s best friend, we can’t all afford them. Being one of the strongest naturally occurring substances on earth, diamonds symbolize eternal love and lifelong commitment. Despite their durability and beauty, owning them is not everyone’s cup of tea. The good news is, that there are tons of alternatives that you can choose for your engagement ring.

Let’s dig deeper. 

What is a Diamond Alternative?

What comes to your mind when you hear of an engagement ring? Most immediately fantasize about a traditional diamond. But hey! There’s an entire universe of sparkling gems out there that could make for a stunning engagement ring. No rule says an engagement ring must have a diamond as the center stone. 

A diamond alternative is any gemstone used in place of a diamond for an engagement ring or other fine jewelry.

Whether you are looking for something truly unique or an inexpensive stone, there are plenty of diamond alternatives that, in a gorgeous ring, will stand out in a crowd.

Before we discuss diamond alternatives, let’s first discuss considerations when choosing a diamond alternative. 

What You Should Know Before Buying a Diamond Alternative? 

When opting for a diamond alternative for your engagement or wedding ring, the most important thing to consider is that not all gemstones are fit for everyday wear. Keep in mind your lifestyle when choosing a diamond alternative. Some gemstones are more delicate and will need more care to be worn to ensure they are not damaged. You can discuss this with your jeweler to ensure the gemstone you buy is durable enough for your day-to-day life. 

Read our detailed guide on How To Choose An Engagement Ring.  

What Are The Best Diamond Alternatives?


The Least Expensive Alternative to a Diamond

Softer gemstones such as amethysts, morganites, and aquamarines are among the most inexpensive diamond alternatives. While these gemstones are extremely beautiful, they are also delicate. One needs to be cautious when wearing them as an engagement ring to prevent daily wear and tear. Unlike diamonds, these gemstones are slightly more prone to damage. In addition, gemstones like morganite and aquamarines can dull as they wear.  Chemicals in lotions, creams, and household soaps may also have an effect on their sparkle. If you can take that extra care and maintenance, these gemstones are gorgeous options for your engagement ring.

bride and groom are engaging

Most Dazzling Alternative to a Diamond

If you want a diamond alternative with similar sparkle and luster, moissanite will be your best bet. With a refractive index from 2.65 – 2.69 (> diamond), moissanite exhibit a rainbow brilliance, which makes for superior sparkle.

Learn more about how moissanite differs from a diamond here: Moissanite vs diamond.

Best Diamond Alternative in Every Way

If you want to go with a diamond alternative for an engagement ring, sapphire or moissanite is what we recommend. These gems are not only beautiful but durable enough for everyday wear. Moreover, you can find a variety of colors, including bright white.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Diamond Alternatives?

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of using diamond substitutes. 

Pros of Diamond Alternatives

The biggest advantage of a non-diamond gemstone is its affordability. As you know, diamonds are expensive and their price tag turns a lot of potential buyers off. With diamond alternatives, you can spend less and get something bigger and brighter. Speaking of which, quality and gemstone species matter a lot here. 

Another pro of a diamond alternative is these gemstones make your ring stand out. Where everybody will expect your engagement ring to have a diamond, an alternative gemstone is sure to catch attention. Yours will be somewhat different from the traditional engagement ring. 

What's more! Your diamond alternative gemstone could just feel like a bit more fun. You can personalize your ring by adding a pop of color. Trust us, this will really wow your friends.

princess cut engagement ring

Cons of Diamond Alternatives

The biggest drawback of a diamond alternative is its durability. While most diamond substitutes are strong, none can beat the durability of a diamond. Some of these options might not even withstand everyday wear and tear. Stones such as pearls and opals are very soft and they’re not ‘fit’ for everyday use. Such stones need more care and maintenance. If you are among those who don’t love non-traditional options but want something more classic, gemstones like moissanite are your best bet.

10 Diamond Alternatives You’ll Love to Wear on Your Engagement


Lab-Grown Diamonds

If you’re die-hard fond of diamonds but your pocket doesn’t allow you to fit one onto your finger, consider lab-grown diamonds. Yes, lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds, but they are artificially manufactured in labs. Both lab-grown and natural diamonds have similar brilliance and look alike.

Do you know the best part? Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than their mined counterparts, which is why these are on our list today. Opting for man-made diamonds gives you the opportunity to have a diamond in your engagement ring without burning a hole in your pocket. So, if you are looking for a fancy-colored diamond with large carat weight, check out your options for lab-created diamonds.

Check our complete guide on Lab diamonds vs Natural Diamonds  

Amethyst

Another stunning diamond alternative, amethysts come in different colors ranging from deep purple to the lightest hues of pastel lavender and pink. The reddish-purple shade is the most valuable shade. Lavender is the most desired hue and looks stunning in engagement rings. 

These gemstones have a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, which makes them a lasting jewelry option. However, they should be handled with care. Most amethyst stones have excellent clarity, with zero visible inclusions. Plus, they are available in a variety of carat weights and cuts. 

Moissanite

Moissanite is one of the best and most popular alternatives for diamonds,  and it's not hard to see why. Moissanite strongly resembles a diamond and can be bought at a fraction of the price. Plus, these stones are super durable being the second hardest gemstone. 

Moissanites are incredibly versatile because of their clear color. Their sparkle is what makes them even better than a diamond. You won’t find their amazing sparkle in even the highest quality diamond. Moissanites can also be lab-created, making them a more sustainable and ethical option to diamonds.

Turquoise

In recent years, turquoise has become a really trendy gemstone with leading alternative jewelry brands like Mociun and Azlee that use them across their collections.

This gemstone is a composition of aluminum and copper and ranges from 5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Turquoise can range from a pure bright blue to a pale shade with flecks of metal Pairing it with tiny diamonds in your ring setting can give a luxe finish. 

Emerald

Who doesn't like the gorgeous green hue of emeralds? These are, undoubtedly, a classic choice in the jewelry closet. Emeralds come in a variety of shapes and are easily customized to fit into your engagement or wedding ring.

These gemstones come in at nearly 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. So, they will need more care when regularly worn. If you decide to go for emeralds, choose a deep green stone with a highly transparent appearance to get that statement look for your dream ring. 

Sapphire 

Another classic and elegant diamond alternative, available in a range of different hues, sapphires are colored stones and one of the hardest alternatives to diamonds. Hence, they are ideal for everyday wear. Sapphires need less upkeep. We recommend working with a trusted jeweler when buying a sapphire. This is because the colored stone market isn't as regulated as the diamond market. At about a third of the price, sapphires make the perfect diamond alternative.

Ruby

Rubies are classic and, at the same time, bold, which makes them an excellent diamond substitute. They are the gemstone of love and they are suitable for everyday wear. Rubies come in a range of hues from deep pink to red, which makes a gorgeous contrast when paired with yellow and white metals.

One thing to note here is that rubies are not as inexpensive as some of the other options. They are priced higher per carat than other colored gems. When shopping for a ruby,  look for the more desirable deep red stones and make sure they are eye-clean.

Aquamarine

If you want something elegant and fresh, light blue aquamarine stones are your best bet. Aquamarines are a part of the same species as morganites and emeralds. They are part of the beryl family. They have a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale and can be scratched by sapphires and diamonds. As such, you would need to store them away from other jewels, You may also need to polish the stone from time to time.  Yet, aquamarine is a fairly durable alternative that you will certainly treasure forever.  Go for a natural aquamarine that is untreated. Though it is a bit expensive, its sparkling beauty makes it worth it.

Morganite

Morganites are feminine pink stones that resemble ultra-luxe pink diamonds. At present, morganite is a trendy non-diamond option. Light-colored morganite stones are versatile and easy to wear. You can choose from a wide range of options.  Morganite belongs to the same family as aquamarine, which makes the two very similar. Both of them have about the same 7.5 hardness range, which means morganite is suitable for everyday wear. It must still receive more delicate treatment when compared to a diamond.

Pearl

The beautiful and iconic pearls are also a woman’s dream stone. Whether they are in a chic modern ring or a luxe antique setting, pearls look stunning.

bride and groom are engaging

The bad news is, pearls are made from calcium carbonate and have a hardness of 2.5 to 4.5. So, they are prone to scratches and tarnishing.  If you are fond of pearls, you should wear your pearl engagement ring occasionally. Alternatively, you could choose smaller pearls set into a surrounding of hardier gemstones. 

Conclusion

So, there you have it!  The best alternative gemstones for your dream engagement ring! Which one of these diamond alternatives is your favorite? Whatever it is, you can find them all in one place, i.e, at Dolphin Galleries. We have a massive collection of engagement rings with diamonds or alternative gemstones. The best part is you can personalize your engagement ring. So, check out our website, explore your options and add to the cart today!

Steve Schlag

Owner of Dolphin Galleries, Art & Jewelry Expert.