Popular Natural Diamond Alternatives 

Gemstone engagement and fashion rings featuring non-diamond center stones.

Diamonds of all shapes and sizes are classic choices for fine jewelry, but there are many diamond alternatives that are gaining popularity for engagement rings, earrings, necklaces and virtually any other jewelry style. There are many reasons people look for alternatives to natural diamonds including design preferences and pricing considerations. Gemstones and natural diamond alternatives are finding their way into pieces for special occasions, fashion looks and everything in between.  

If you’re searching for alternatives to diamonds, especially natural diamonds, there are many different gems and designs to choose from. We’re taking a closer look at some of our favorite gemstones that are comparable to diamonds along with colorful gems that bring an entirely different look as diamond alternatives.  

Lab Made Alternatives to Natural Diamonds 

A recent newcomer to the jewelry world, lab grown diamonds offer all the brilliance of this iconic gemstone with a much lower price tag. These natural diamond alternatives are chemically and optically identical to natural diamonds. Their biggest difference is that they’re made here above ground in controlled lab settings rather than forming over millennia beneath the surface of the earth. Many people regard lab diamonds as one of the most sustainable natural diamond alternatives. 

Lab grown diamond jewelry offers an appearance most similar to natural diamonds because lab diamonds are, in fact, actual diamonds. If you’re searching for the most realistic diamond alternative for natural diamonds, lab diamonds are the best fit. Depending on how lab diamonds are made, they can vary in size, color, cut and clarity. Diamonds created in laboratories look the most comparable to a natural diamond, offering the same durability people have come to expect from diamonds. One consideration is the value of these gems, though they’re priced lower than natural diamonds, this alternative gemstone does not have the same rarity as its natural counterparts.  

White Gemstone Alternatives to Diamonds 

White Sapphire

White sapphires are a great option for a diamond-like look in a different kind of gem. Sapphires are incredibly durable gemstones and white sapphires are a great fit for substituting the look of diamonds with a more inexpensive price tag. White sapphires are best in smaller settings, such as these earrings that feature a halo of white sapphires.  

Because sapphires are a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, they’re perfect for direct diamond substitution in all kinds of jewelry including rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. A white sapphire will offer similar durability to a diamond while keeping the white color of diamonds.  


There are many different types of opals and the lighter variations of this gemstone make an engaging diamond alternative. An opal can offer a soft white background with play-of-color that can’t be rivaled by other gems. 

Because opals are much softer than diamonds, they are best for pieces such as earrings or necklaces. Opals are a 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, so though they’re fit for many jewelry styles, opal pieces require extra care to keep the gems at their best.  

Colorful Gemstone Alternatives to Diamonds

While some people in search of the best diamond alternatives are looking for gems that serve as lookalikes, other jewelry lovers are searching for something unique and entirely different from the appearance of a diamond. Many gemstones can replace diamonds, with colorful diamond alternatives adding a new dimension to fine jewelry.  


Rich red rubies are a romantic favorite diamond alternative that’s perfect for any jewelry style. These gems are identified by their iconic red hues and can be found in a variety of cuts, sizes and styles. Men’s and women’s styles shine with rubies that offer a striking rich color that fits perfectly alongside rose, white or yellow gold.  

Rubies are a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them a great fit for pieces worn more frequently. Ruby engagement rings are an increasingly popular style for couples in search of unique styles. Rubies can also be worn in place of diamonds in earrings and necklaces.  


A relative newcomer to the jewelry world, morganite is an excellent diamond alternative. This gem brings a soft pink coloration with a hard-to-find pleochroism in which the gemstone looks either paler pink or deeper blush tones depending on the perspective from which it’s being viewed.  

Morganite is often found in diamond ring alternatives as the feature gem in engagement or cocktail ring styles. You can also find morganite as the main gem in earrings and pendants. It ranks as a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, which allows this gem to shine in virtually any jewelry setting.  

Blue or Pink Sapphire 

Sapphires come in a wide variety of shades, and the more colorful varieties of this sturdy gemstone are popular for sapphire engagement rings. Pink and blue sapphires are common diamond ring alternatives that bring long-lasting sparkle and unique colors fit for daily wear.  

Just as with their more colorless counterparts, pink and blue sapphires are hardy gemstones that rank a 9 on the Mohs scale, making them perfect for wearing frequently.  


Keeping with blue hues, aquamarine is another in-demand diamond alternative that offers soft blues or tranquil teals. It’s especially fitting for aquamarine engagement rings as this gem is believed to bring happiness and peace in marriage.  

This blue alternative to diamonds ranks a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, making it a solid fit for wearing often. Popular jewelry styles for aquamarine include rings and necklaces. It often accompanies tanzanite, white topaz and sapphire in multi-gem designs.  


20 times rarer than diamonds, emeralds are excellent diamond alternatives that bring rarity and beauty to earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings. This gemstone can be faceted into different cuts, with high polishing that enhances the stone’s green color. Emerald is considered one of the best diamond alternatives due to its durability and unique appearance.  

Emerald engagement rings have been favorites of many celebrities over the years. It’s no mystery why! These green diamond alternatives are a hard gemstone fit for frequent wear as a 7.5 on the Mohs scale. 


Vivid violet amethyst gemstones are excellent diamond alternatives, bringing big presence to earrings, rings, necklaces and more. They’re less expensive than diamonds and can be highly faceted, bringing excellent sparkle for their price.  

A 7 on the Mohs scale, this purple gemstone is most at home in necklaces and earrings. There are also amethyst engagement rings available that are designed with this gemstone’s enhanced protection in mind. For the person who loves a lot of rich purple color, amethyst is an exceptional alternative to diamonds.  

Blue Topaz

Blue topaz is another affordable diamond alternative that many people consider to be inexpensive considering the size of many blue topaz gems. Its shades vary from deep turquoise to electric blue, with several different shapes for this gem. It is often found alongside white topaz, sapphire or peridot.  

This gemstone is an 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, making it fit for wearing daily. Blue topaz engagement rings are designed to let this gem’s unique colors shine with large blue-hued diamond alternative gems in the middle of the ring. 


The recently discovered tanzanite gemstone has become a fast feature for diamond ring alternatives. Tanzanite comes in a range of colors including blue and more violet shades. It’s often featured as the main gemstone in earrings, necklaces, fashion rings, bracelets or tanzanite engagement rings. Depending on the design, some tanzanite gems are often encircled in diamonds or white topaz.  

As a 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale, tanzanite is a softer gem among the diamond alternatives. Because of this, it should be worn with extra care to keep the stone in shape.  

Diamond Simulants

When most people think about diamond alternatives, they may be considering diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia or moissanite.  

Cubic zirconia is more frequently used in costume jewelry as it is easily distinguishable from a real diamond. Moissanite is a popular diamond alternative, but it does not have the exact same look that natural diamonds do.  

If you’re searching for a natural diamond alternative that looks comparable to a diamond, lab grown diamonds are the best fit because they behave the same as natural diamonds. In fact, lab diamonds are diamonds, they’re just created above ground in laboratory settings.  

Finding the Right Diamond Alternative

Some people in search of creative, unique or sustainable diamond alternatives are focused on finding gemstones that look exactly like natural diamonds. For these instances, lab grown diamonds are a great fit. White topaz can also echo the appearance of some diamonds in smaller pavé applications.  

For other jewelry fans, diamond alternatives aren’t about mimicking the exact look of a diamond. Instead, these people are focused on choosing a gemstone that stands apart from diamonds. Colorful gemstones such as those found in gemstone engagement rings can bring eye-catching hues to romantic and meaningful jewelry. 

When it comes to finding jewelry that features gemstones besides diamonds, the best fit is the one that matches the wearer’s personal style and the buyer’s budget. The best diamond alternatives are gemstones that bring beauty, durability and uniqueness to jewelry. 

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