Really Diamonds? Other Beautiful Clear White Stone Alternatives

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend.  Yet they are usually expensive.  Why?  Because they are regulated and controlled stones, not because they are rare.  Diamonds as the hardest gemstone on the MOHS scale at 10.  If you love the look of diamonds but want an affordable alternative your could consider a good simulant.  However if you want a real gemstone, there are clear alternatives to white diamonds that can give as much sparkle or a bigger look for less.  The easiest to find include diamond-cut versions of clear quartz, white topaz, or white zircon.  Other more rare (than diamonds for sure) diamond substitute stones include Danburite, Goshenite, Petalite, as well as white Sapphire or Spinel.

Diamond simulants might be Cubic Zirconia (CZ with a MOHS of 8-8.5)  called by various brand names to either signify a higher quality product or to confuse consumers into thinking they are getting real diamonds.  Some of higher quality CZ brands are sold on many shopping channels.  These include shopping channels brands of: Absolute (sold on HSN), Bella Luce (sold by JTV), Brilliante  (sold on Evine), and Diamonique (sold on QVC).  The most well-known non-CZ diamond-simulant for brilliance, hardness (MOHS 9.5), and refraction is Moissanite (sold on all major shopping channels and ins some department stores) jewelry by designers Charles & Colvard,   Strotium Titatnate (aka Fabulite) is an older and more rare simulant because it is a softer  MOHS of 5.5, however it may be found on a few shopping channels.

Clear quartz is the least expensive "real" gemstone that may be used instead of diamonds.  These can be found in small to really large settings, as well as in bead forms.  Of course no one will believe the really big quartz stones are the same as real diamonds, but it you like great bling - who cares what others may think.  It is a relatively hard stone with MOHS of 7. Herkimer is a popular brand for "diamond' quartz but it is not real diamonds.  This brand is known for making jewelry that looks like it is rough-cut diamonds.

White topaz is often used as accent stones in other gemstone jewelry, although most clear topaz is color-treated as most people want it in birthstone colors or blue or gold.  This has been a practice for years to provide the idea of diamonds around or with colored gemstones.  Typically this colorless topaz is used for accent.  However it can be cloudy or turn grayish if not cleaned often - so it obviously may not look like diamonds to the trained eye.  However, higher-quality clear-white topaz is used when it is the primary stone so that it has more sparkle like a diamond.  A reputable jeweler should be able to help you compare whether a diamond or topaz is best for you.   Ouro Preto "diamond" topaz done in a multi-facet diamond cut is an excellent choice, if the stone is not too large.  Topaz is not as refractive as diamonds and has a MOHS of 8, so it may scratch if stored with diamonds.

White zircon is relatively new as accents stones for colored gemstones.  It is seldom used as a diamond solitaire type ring, but it can be found if you look.  White zircon is rarer than diamonds but not nearly as expensive!  It has ever more sparkle than a diamond, which is why it is growing in popularity although it has a lower MOHS around 7.  This is the actual gemstone that inspired CZs, but zircon is a real stone and cubic is a simulated version.

Other genuine gemstones stones to look for include Petalite (aka castorite), Goshenite (white beryl), colorless DanburiteWhite Sapphire and White Spinel.  The rarest and most beautiful of these would be Petalite, but it is easily scratched at a MOS of 6-6.5. Goshenite may be the next rarest sometimes it will look blue in sunlight as it is related to aquamarine.  Goshenite was used as a diamond substitute before creation of CZs and has a MOHS hardness of 7.5-8.  Danburite may be the hardest to find,  its MOHS falls between Petalite and Goshenite at 7.  The white sapphire is a lovely diamond replacement option and comes close to the diamond hardness, since sapphire have a MOHS of 9.  In most jewelry stores, their white sapphire will be lab-grown rather than naturally occurring.  Spinel is growing in popularity at a MOHS of 8, but the white spinel variety is the rarest find.  Jewelry stores may not sell most of these rare gemstones, so check shopping channels for them if interested in pricing and purchasing.

This list is not all the clear, white facet-able gemstones that exist. .There are others that are even more rare which were not included as they will be very hard to find set into jewelry.  Anyone that wants to recommend another diamond-like gemstone may add it by putting a comment on this post.  Thanks.

No comments: