Diamond Alternatives

Everyone's heard that diamonds are a girl's best friend. Sometimes a diamond isn't the right option; you might prefer a stone with some color. Or, you might not be able to afford a diamond immediately but still want something special and sparkly. So, what to do when you want something that looks like a diamond, but without the cost? Here's some information about some of the more popular diamond alternatives out there!

Cubic Zirconia, or CZ, is a good option if you want a fairly inexpensive stone with some sparkle. The base color is more grey than white and while the Refractive Index (RI), or brilliance, isn't as high as that of a diamond (CZ: 2.177), the dispersion, or fire, is higher than diamond (0.065). CZ has a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and can become scratched and cloudy over time. If you're looking for a stone that doesn't require a lot of care, CZ might not be the best option for you.

White topaz has a whiter color than CZ, but at an 8 rates lower on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Of the diamond alternatives being discussed in this post, it also has the lowest Refractive Index (1.664) and lowest dispersion (0.014). White topaz also shows wear fairly easily.

If you want a stone with a good, solid white base and a decent amount of sparkle, a laboratory grown white sapphire is an excellent option. With a Mohs rating of 9, white sapphires are fairly durable and the lab grown options lack the inclusions and flaws that can be present in their natural counterparts. The RI (1.77) and dispersion (0.018) are both lower than that of a diamond and will eventually show wear over time.
One option with a lot of sparkle is moissanite. The best known lab created moissanite is from Charles and Colvard and they include a limited lifetime warranty with their stones. Moissanite has a very white color and the RI (2.691) and dispersion (.104) are both higher than a diamond, which means it has more sparkle! Moissanite also has a high Mohs rating (9.25) and is a fairly durable stone choice.

As a further point of comparison, diamond is rated at 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making it the hardest known mineral, and has a Refractive Index of 2.417 and dispersion of 0.044. If you're really interested in a diamond, there are plenty of excellent options available in a variety of qualities!

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