With so many stunning gemstones available, jewelry can be beautiful even without diamonds. Our comprehensive guide explores various diamond substitutes and how you can enrich your jewelry collection with these beautiful, personal and unique pieces.
Alternatives to Diamonds
As diamonds are such a classic jewelry choice, you may be unfamiliar with other beautiful alternatives. Whether you are looking for a stone that is more colorful or unique, or you want the look of a diamond without paying a premium price, you have options.
Stones That Resemble Diamonds
Several alternative gems provide the same clarity and shine associated with diamonds. These can be either naturally occurring or synthetic.
- Moissanite: Moissanite is a radiant stone with a higher brilliance than diamonds. It ranges from 2.65 to 2.69 on the refractive index scale, while diamonds only score 2.4. Not only is this alternative beautiful, but it is also extremely durable.
- White sapphire: Most people think of a blue stone when they envision a sapphire, but sapphires come in many colors, including white or colorless. Sapphires, or corundums, are exceptionally durable. On the Mohs hardness scale, diamonds are the only stone harder than sapphires. However, while white sapphires excel in strength, they lack clarity, as they can be milky or cloudy.
- White topaz: White topaz has beautiful clarity and strongly resembles a diamond. However, one thing to remember about this diamond substitute is it tends to lose its sparkle over time.
If the diamond look isn’t for you, there are plenty of other stones to choose from in various colors. Many of these alternatives are also birthstones, making them great for creating sentimental and personalized jewelry.
Examples of colored diamond substitutes include the following.
- Emerald: Emerald is a classic green stone, usually cut in a rectangular shape. As emeralds have a lower density, a one-carat emerald will appear larger than a similarly sized diamond. Emeralds have lower clarity and durability, but many people are willing to overlook this because the intense green hue makes the stone so well-loved.
- Ruby: Arguably, the boldest diamond substitute is the ruby. The ruby is a deep red color that sunlight can intensify. Compared to other colored stones, rubies have the highest per-carat price. Rubies are also highly durable, but it is rare to find a high-quality ruby bigger than one carat. You may wish to explore other choices if size is a priority for you.
- Blue sapphire: While blue and white sapphires have the same mineral composition and properties, the blue variety gets its distinctive color due to the presence of titanium and iron.
- Morganite: Morganite’s soft pink hue makes it excellent for everyday wear while adding a bit of color. Morganite has a decent durability level, but requires extra care to keep it looking its best.
- Amethyst: With its unique purple color, amethyst is the perfect stone to make a statement. However, amethyst is not ideal for daily wear due to its low durability. It’s better to keep amethyst jewelry as a special-occasion piece.
- Opal: Opal has a beautiful iridescence that reflects various colors, which allows the stone to pair well with almost anything.
Benefits of Choosing a Diamond Alternative
While you may choose to purchase a diamond alternative for various reasons, a few stand out.
- Affordability: Diamond alternatives are budget-friendly, allowing you to buy a bigger stone or spend more on other components, such as the setting. Shopping for pawned sapphire jewelry or another preowned stone can also help you save money while giving a true vintage feel to the piece.
- Uniqueness: Since diamonds are a classic choice, the stone has become somewhat ordinary. Choosing a diamond alternative allows you to wear jewelry that stands out from the crowd.
- Sentimental value: As mentioned earlier, birthstones let you buy or make jewelry with a personal connection. Consider how you could honor a lost loved one by wearing jewelry made of their birthstone or use a birthstone to create a personalized engagement ring.
Silver vs. Gold — Which Is Better With Colored Gemstones?
So, you’ve found a colored diamond alternative, but now you’re unsure which metal to pair it with. We’ve got you covered. Review our list of best metal pairings for different-colored gemstones.
- Morganite: Complementing morganite’s feminine pink color with rose gold metal will enhance the hue even further.
- Emerald: Emerald looks beautiful with silver and gold. So, choose your favorite metal, or consider which looks better with your skin tone.
- Blue sapphire: Silver is the best metal to match with blue sapphire. It highlights the stone’s blue color, making it appear more vibrant.
- Amethyst: Like blue sapphires, amethyst looks best paired with silver. The metal’s cool tones bring out the blue undertones found within the purple gem.
- Ruby: Bring out the warmth of the ruby’s beautiful red color with gold metal. Pairing ruby with gold is ideal for those who love classic or vintage-looking jewelry. If you want a genuine vintage ruby, look online or in a high-end pawn shop for secondhand ruby jewelry.
- Opal: With its white tones, opal is another stone that looks gorgeous with silver and gold. Choose your setting based on whether you want your opal to appear more cool-toned or warm-toned.
What Jewelry Pieces Look Great With Non-Diamond Gemstones?
Non-diamond gemstones can look beautiful with all types of jewelry. It’s entirely up to you how you would like to style and incorporate non-diamond gemstones into the jewelry of your choice.
Some ideas for non-diamond jewelry include the following.
- Necklaces: Pick a loved one’s birthstone and always keep them close to your heart.
- Earrings: Treat yourself to a pair of moissanite earrings, so you always have something classy to elevate your look.
- Bracelets: Channel your inner Cleopatra or Elizabeth Taylor and add beautiful emerald jewelry to your collection.
- Brooches: Visit a high-end pawn shop and see if you can find any vintage or rare brooches with non-diamond gemstones.
If you want to expand your jewelry collection to include non-diamond jewelry, your local pawn shop is a good place to start. Browse their collection of high-quality preowned gemstone jewelry for sale at a fraction of the retail cost.
One of the best pieces of jewelry to add non-diamond gemstones are rings — specifically, engagement rings. Incorporating diamond alternatives allows the ring to be more personal to its wearer.
A nontraditional engagement ring gives the recipient a one-of-a-kind piece. Colored diamond alternatives could represent each partner’s birthstone, the birthstone associated with the wedding month or the recipient’s favorite color.
Choose a non-diamond alternative with a diamond-like finish and use the money saved on the stone to personalize the band. Consider mixing colorful stones into the design for a truly unique ring.
Browse the Collection of Non-Diamond Jewelry at The Vault Jewelry and Loan
Are you ready to buy, sell or pawn preowned jewelry? At The Vault Jewelry and Loan, we’ll offer you a fair deal, so you can leave with cash or your new favorite piece of jewelry.