There is no one diamond alternative that I prefer for engagement rings, so we should discuss the options to find one that is right for you.
The most common diamond alternative for engagement rings is natural blue sapphire. Blue sapphire is the second most popular stone for engagement rings, and the deep blue of sapphire is not difficult to match with clothing. Sapphires come in many other colors for those who prefer. Natural sapphire is still expensive, but cost much less than diamond does.
Ruby, emerald, and alexandrite are three more excellent natural stones that my clients have set into engagement rings.
Lab-created gemstones are the ideal diamond alternative for the eco-friendly and budget conscious customer. Lab-created stones offer very high quality for the price as compared to natural stones.
Moissanite is an extremely durable lab-created gemstone that has almost as good a look as diamond at a much lower price. Moissanite is silicon carbide in a molecular structure only found in meteorites.
Lab created diamonds are eco-friendly and conflict free, but unfortunately don't offer significant cost savings over natural diamond. Also, they're not a true diamond alternative, since they are diamonds.
Not-so-great diamond alternatives:
The main characteristics one wants to look for in a diamond alternative are beauty and durability. There are a few diamond alternatives that are not very durable, or not so pretty.
Since engagement rings are worn almost every day, you want a stone that will not chip or scratch easily. Anything with a moh's hardness of 9 or higher is good. Some softer stones are ok, like emerald or alexandrite, but your lady will have to be more careful with it. I usually don't recommend stones that are 7 or softer, like Aquamarine, Amethyst, Peridot, Pearl, Opal.
Finally, watch out for stones that aren't pretty. White sapphires look like diamond to someone who knows nothing about diamonds, but they don't scintillate like diamonds do. I don't usually recommend white sapphire.
Many companies sell synthetic diamond simulants as lab-created diamonds. If the price is too good to be true, you're probably buying very expensive Cubic Zirconia.
If you have questions regarding diamond alternatives, contact us here.