The 5 Best Diamond Alternatives for Engagement Rings
There are plenty of reasons to choose a diamond: they’re sparkly, traditional, and timeless. They’re also the hardest stone known to man, which makes them very durable. This durability has come to signify long-lasting undying love. However, in recent times, more and more couples have been choosing to go a different direction.
Colored (or even colorless) gemstones are becoming a popular choice and many couples are choosing the non-traditional route. After decades of diamonds, more people are looking to set themselves apart from the crowd.
So, let’s explore your options!
Not just any gemstone will do as a substitution. The biggest factor to consider is how durable the gemstone is. After all, this is a ring you’ll be wearing every day for the foreseeable future. You’ll want to make sure you don’t choose stones like pearls, opals, or amethysts which are softer more delicate gems that will scratch and damage very easily.
To find out whether the gem you’re interested in is suitable for everyday wear check where it falls on the Mohs scale. This scale measures a gem’s hardness. (Diamonds measure a 10 out of 10 making them the hardest stone.) Anything measuring 7 or below will have to be treated very carefully. Dust measures at a 7 on the Mohs scale so you don’t want anything that dust could scratch. Let alone kitchen counters, refrigerator doors, and car keys. Let’s check out some good options.
These blue stones are sure to make a statement!
Sapphires: The huge benefit of getting a sapphire engagement ring is that they measure 9 on the Mohs scale. They are one of the best gemstone alternatives because they can be worn everyday without much risk of damage. They have been a popular choice for engagement rings for decades. Celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Penelope Cruz, Princess Diana, and Mary-Kate Olsen, all chose to say yes to gorgeous sapphire rings.
And even though we have them in the “something blue” category, sapphires come in a range of beautiful colors. Pink and yellow sapphires can mimic pink or yellow diamonds and are a fraction of the price. However, white sapphire is not a great choice if you are looking to mimic a diamond. They do not have the same rainbow sparkle. They have more of a silver-gray reflective tone. They’re still a lovely choice if you appreciate them for what they are.
Aquamarine: Aquamarines are drop dead gorgeous! They come in a range of blue-green tones. The icy blue tones are especially charming alongside diamonds. Their clarity reminds one of the most beautiful Caribbean seas and they won’t break the bank. The bluer stones look great in white gold or platinum and the greener toned stones look wonderful in yellow gold. There is a catch! Measuring only 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale means you will have to be more careful with your ring than if you had a sapphire or diamond.
These stones “borrow” the look of white and colored diamonds.
Moissanite: Moissanites very closely resemble diamonds. Sometimes it can take a trained jeweler viewing them under a microscope to tell the difference. They make excellent diamond alternatives. Moissanites are not “fake diamonds” they are a natural gemstone. Although, just like diamonds, some are lab created. Lab created gems have the same exact chemical structure as their natural counterparts. Moissanites are more brilliant than diamonds and have an extremely fiery rainbow sparkle. Not only do they have a wonderful sparkle, but they measure a 9 on the Mohs scale making them a great choice for everyday wear.
Start a trend with this unique stone!
Tourmaline: Tourmalines come in a variety of colors like blue, green, yellow, red, and pink. Even within those varieties there are ranges of saturation and color. For instance, green tourmalines can range from a light mint green to a deep emerald green. Red and green tourmalines can mimic more expensive gems like rubies and emeralds. The coolest thing about tourmalines is that some are multi-colored. There could be two or three different hues in a single gem. The rarest color combination is pink, white, and green “watermelon tourmaline” which is a gorgeous and unique stone. The only drawback is that tourmaline only measures 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale so you will have to be more careful with this stone.
Tips for Soft Stones
Soft stones like aquamarine and tourmaline may have to be professionally polished every few years to keep their sparkle.
To shield your stones from excessive damage you may chose a protective setting. Bezel, tension, and channel set stones are more protected than prong settings because more of the stone is covered. The drawback of these settings is that the stone will get less light, and it may decrease sparkle.