Diamond Substitute: The Best Alternative

Choosing a diamond substitute for engagement rings and other important jewelry is increasingly popular. The best diamond alternative is one that offers the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond, with benefits a diamond can’t offer: environmentally friendly practices and conflict-free sourcing.

If you’re looking for guilt-free gemstones, here are some stunning diamond alternatives to help you make a beautiful and responsible choice when it comes to your most cherished jewelry.

Why Choose a Diamond Alternative?

When looking at the best alternative to real diamonds, it's critical to understand why a diamond substitute may be a better choice. Diamonds require mining to extract, meaning they aren't sustainable and cause significant damage to the environment. They often come from conflict zones that use diamond sales to finance war efforts, so they aren't ethically sourced, either. Additionally, diamonds are often exorbitantly expensive, making them inaccessible to many. A diamond substitute has none of these drawbacks, making it a wonderful choice. Here are a few of the best diamond replacement options out there:

Lab-Made Diamonds

Lab-made diamonds are the most realistic alternative and are often listed as the best diamond substitute. They have nearly all the same properties as real diamonds but cost less, are ethically sourced, and environmentally friendly.

White Lab-Made Gemstones

The most popular diamond replacement comes in the form of white lab-made gemstones. There are several types of gemstone used, but moissanite is the most common for engagement rings and other jewelry that traditionally uses diamonds.
Between these two options, moissanite will always be the top contender for the best diamond substitute thanks to its quality and price point.

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite is a dazzling diamond substitute with a fascinating backstory. Believe it or not, this gemstone originated in space. It was originally discovered in a meteor crater on earth, but in such small quantities that its supply would never be enough to produce jewelry. However, enterprising scientists eventually managed to grow this rare gemstone in a lab, making it accessible and available for creating jewelry, particularly engagement rings. Let's look at how this diamond substitute gemstone compares to the real thing.

Moissanite vs. Diamond

Most people will never be able to tell the difference between a moissanite and a diamond, because their appearance is virtually identical and their gemstone qualities are very similar. Let’s break it down even further:

Moissanite is Second to Diamond in Terms of Hardness

One of the most prized qualities in diamonds is their exceptional hardness, measured by the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. While diamonds top the scale at 10, moissanites fall only slightly below that at a whopping 9.25 to 9.5. Moissanite is therefore the best diamond replacement, as it not only looks like a diamond, it’s incredibly durable for daily wear.

Moissanite is Environmentally and Socially Responsible

Because this diamond substitute is created in a lab, obtaining it doesn't require harmful mining and doesn’t cause damage to the environment. What's more, it doesn't come from war zones and therefore doesn't fund armed conflict, making it ethically responsible as well.

Moissanite Offers Limitless Options and Styles

Another fantastic benefit of moissanite is that it doesn't have cleavage planes or fractures like diamonds so it can be cut into virtually any shape, giving it limitless jewelry possibilities. As an alternative to diamond earrings, necklaces and rings, it can be worn in traditional styles as well as more modern and innovative looks.

Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia

Moissanite should not be confused with another diamond substitute known as cubic zirconia. Moissanite is more similar to diamonds in hardness, toughness, and composition. Cubic zirconia is generally viewed as cheap and of little value, making moissanite the best diamond substitute.

Moissanite vs. Glass

Sometimes fake diamonds are made out of glass, such as rhinestones or manufactured crystals. In terms of engagement rings and jewelry, the use of glass may be the most economical option but it doesn't compare to the high quality and diamond-likeness of moissanite.

Moissanite vs. White Natural Gemstones

White natural gemstones are sometimes used as a diamond substitute. Here are some of the most common forms:

White Sapphire

White sapphires are natural diamond alternatives, rivaling their pricier counterparts in terms of sparkle and hardness.

White Topaz

White topaz, another natural diamond substitute, is actually clear but gives off a more greyish shine than a brilliant diamond. At 8 on the Mohs scale, it is also relatively durable.

White Zircon

White zircon could be mistaken for a diamond in terms of its exceptional brilliance, but is often confused with lab-created cubic zirconia.

White Quartz

White quartz is often cut with many facets to emit the same kind of flash and sparkle as a real diamond. However, because it’s soft in comparison with diamonds, it’s exceedingly inexpensive as an engagement ring alternative.


Goshenite is a naturally occurring white stone that is less often used in place of diamonds because it doesn't have the same characteristic brilliance, luster and fire.

Find the Right Diamond Alternative at Gema&Co

If you're searching for the best alternative to real diamonds, shop with the experts at Gema&Co. Our moissanite rivals a diamond in its beauty on all levels, and lets you proudly wear an environmentally sustainable and ethically responsible gemstone.
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