What’s the Best Diamond Alternative

whats-the-best-diamond-alternativeUsing diamonds in your jewellery making certainly adds brilliance to your designs, not to mention the prestige that comes with setting one of the most valuable natural materials available in your jewellery.

But have you ever considered an alternative?

With more and more consumers breaking away from the traditional diamond engagement ring and recognising the beauty in other gemstones, it pays to learn a little more about diamond alternatives.

So, if you’re tempted to break tradition and use gemstones that look like diamonds without the cost, read on to discover five of the best diamond alternatives available on the market.

Alternatives to diamond

1. Moissanite

We talk about moissanite a lot, but that’s because of its desirability and closeness to the real diamond. According to statistics from GuruFocus, the “global moissanite market is set for a rapid growth and expected to reach CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of universally 6.9% by 2028” (GuruFocus, 2019).

moissanite stone

If you’re wondering what the best diamond alternative is, you can expect to find moissanite up there at the top. Its hardness scores 9.5 on the Mohs scale, rivalling all gemstones other than the diamond. Its brilliance refractive index score means it will stay sparkling for longer between cleans, as it doesn’t get greasy and dirty as quickly as other gemstones do.

To find out more about the correlations between moissanite and diamonds, read our article “Moissanite vs. Diamond: What’s The Difference?”.

2. Swarovski® Zirconia

If you want to add unrivalled brilliance to your designs without using diamonds, Swarovski® Zirconia should certainly be added to your list.

One of the most popular alternative diamond stones, Swarovski® Zirconia’s Pure Brilliance Cut makes it a mirror for the brilliance of a diamond, identical to the heralded Tolkowsky ideal cut. In terms of hardness, it scores slightly lower than moissanite as one of the best diamond alternatives, with a score of 8.5 on the Mohs scale.

Learn more about Swarovski® Zirconia in our article “What Is Swarovski® Zirconia?”.

3. Sapphire

Is sapphire one of the best diamond alternatives? While they are recognised for their brilliant blue colouring, sapphires can also be sourced in hues such as yellow, pink, green and white. Priced lower than diamonds, many consumers opt for sapphire engagement rings because of the availability of larger sizes at a much lower cost.

The sapphire’s hardness also makes it one if the best alternative wedding ring stones. At 9 on the Mohs scale, it comes in at third place after moissanite and diamonds.  

4. Topaz

A popular choice in alternative diamond jewellery, topaz gemstones are perfect for adding a quirky touch to rings, necklaces and bracelets. They are primarily colourless, but the stones’ imperfections can create illusions of blues, pinks, greens and other hues, making them an unusual but beautiful choice for alternative wedding stones.

sky blue topaz

If you compare the hardness of topaz to the diamond, topaz comes in at 8 on the Mohs scale. This durability makes topaz an ideal diamond alternative gemstone to use in your next creative project.

5. Opal

Because no two opals are the same, they can be a popular diamond alternative. While they were once thought of as old-fashioned and outdated in the jewellery making community, opals are now an archaic treasure rediscovered in occasion jewellery and the like.


Scoring between 5.5 and 6.5 on the Mohs scale, opals can’t compete with the hardness of diamonds. But what they can compete with is brilliance. Opals can be sourced in crystal, black or white, and depending on vibrancy can reflect every colour of the rainbow as they catch the light, making them a great diamond alternative.

So, what’s the best alternative to a diamond?

When it comes to the best diamond alternative, we recommend considering the above five examples. Not only do most of them compete with the diamond in hardness, but their own individual brilliance and colour reflections make them contenders in the alternative wedding stones space, too.

Discover our selection of diamond alternative gemstones and buy yours online with Cooksongold today.

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