Popular Natural Diamond Alternatives

As for fine jewellery, diamonds come in various shapes and sizes. However, many diamond substitutes are becoming increasingly popular for engagement rings, earrings, necklaces, and almost any other type of jewellery.

Opting for alternatives to natural diamonds can be motivated by various factors, such as budgetary constraints and design preferences. From fashion looks to special occasions, gemstones and natural diamond substitutes appear in jewellery.  

Many alternative gems and designs are available if you're looking for something other than diamonds, particularly natural diamonds. We're looking more closely at some of our favourite gemstones that can be used in place of diamonds and some vibrant gems that give diamond substitutes a completely different appearance. 

Never be afraid to consult a professional when considering a diamond substitute. Consider working with a custom jeweller to create the perfect piece of jewellery. They will help you choose a gem that aligns with your priorities and financial constraints.

Why Look for an Alternative to Mined Diamonds?

Not everyone desires to pay for diamonds that are mined. You might choose an alternative due to their high cost and low investment value, to name just two factors.

Why Look for an Alternative to Mined Diamonds?

Those seeking an ethical or more environmentally friendly engagement ring may also prefer alternative gems. But for those who can afford it, natural diamonds that come from ethical sources are available. See our guide on morally responsible engagement rings.

Artificially Created Substitutes for Real Diamonds

Even though lab-created diamonds are 100% real, many customers value them as substitutes for diamonds extracted from mines. Lab-created diamonds have gained much popularity because they are less conflict diamonds and more environmentally friendly.

In addition to being less costly than diamonds that are mined, lab-created diamonds lack the beauty and lustre of real diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds, a relatively new addition to the jewellery industry, have all the brilliance of this famous gemstone at a far more affordable price. These substitutes for real diamonds are replicas of real diamonds in terms of composition and appearance.

The primary distinction between them is that, instead of developing over millions of years below the earth's surface, they are created above ground in controlled laboratory environments. For many, a lab-created diamond is one of the most sustainable substitutes for natural diamonds.

Since lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, their appearance in jewellery is most like that of natural diamonds. Lab diamonds are the most suitable substitute for real diamonds if you want something more realistic.

Lab diamonds' size, colour, cut, and clarity can all differ depending on the manufacturing process. Lab-created diamonds have the most similar appearance to natural diamonds and have the same level of durability that consumers have come to expect from diamonds.

One thing to consider is the gems' value; even though they cost less than real diamonds, this substitute gemstone is not as rare as its counterparts.

Diamond Substitute White Gemstones

White sapphire

White sapphires are a great alternative if you want a different kind of gem to look like a diamond. White sapphires are a great alternative to diamonds in appearance and cost since they are extremely durable gemstones. Smaller settings are ideal for white sapphires.

Sapphires are an excellent alternative to diamonds in various jewellery pieces, such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings, because they have a Mohs hardness 9. While retaining the white hue of diamonds, a white sapphire will provide durability comparable to a diamond's. 

Sapphires are a durable gemstone that comes in a wide range of colours. The more colourful varieties are particularly popular for use in engagement rings. Common substitutes for diamond rings are pink and blue sapphires, which offer distinctive hues and enduring sparkles appropriate for everyday wear. 

Pink and blue sapphires are durable gemstones with a Mohs rating 9, which makes them ideal for regular wear, just like their more colourless counterparts. 


Opals come in various forms, and their lighter counterparts are a captivating substitute for diamonds. Other gems cannot match the soft white background and colour play that an opal can provide.

Opals are ideal for necklaces or earrings because they are much softer than diamonds. Opals are a 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, so even though they go well with many jewellery designs, they need special maintenance to preserve the gems.

Vibrant Gemstone Substitutes for Diamonds

While some individuals searching for the best alternatives to diamonds are looking for gems that mimic the appearance of a diamond, other jewellery enthusiasts are looking for something completely different. Various gemstones can be used instead of diamonds, with colourful substitutes giving fine jewellery a fresh look.


Rich red rubies are a romantic favourite diamond substitute that goes well with any jewellery style. These gems come in various shapes, sizes, and styles and are distinguished by their red colours. Rubies are a stunning, rich colour that goes well with rose, white, or yellow gold in both men's and women's fashions. 

Since rubies have a Mohs hardness of 9, they are a fantastic choice for jewellery worn more frequently. Ruby engagement rings are becoming a more and more popular choice for couples looking for unusual looks. Rubies can also be used in necklaces and earrings in place of diamonds.   


A great alternative to diamonds is morganite, a relatively new material to the jewellery industry. Because of its rare pleochroism, this gem has a soft pink colouration that shifts to reveal deeper blush tones or paler pink hues depending on the angle at which it is viewed.


Morganite is frequently used as the centre stone in engagement or cocktail ring designs, serving as a substitute for diamonds in rings. Morganite is also used as the focal stone in pendants and earrings. With a Mohs rating of 7.5 to 8, this gem can be showcased in almost any type of jewellery.


Aquamarine is another popular substitute for diamonds that provide mellow blues or peaceful teals in keeping with blue tones. Since aquamarine is a gem that brings happiness and peace to marriage, it fits especially well with aquamarine engagement rings.

With a Mohs rating of 7.5 to 8, this blue substitute for diamonds is suitable for frequent wear. Necklaces and rings are common jewellery designs featuring aquamarine stones. It frequently goes well with sapphire, white topaz, and tanzanite in multi-gem designs.


Due to their 20-fold rarity, emeralds make excellent replacements for diamonds in jewellery like rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. This gemstone has a high polish that brings out the green hue of the stone when it is faceted into various cuts. Due to its longevity and distinctive appearance, emerald is regarded as one of the greatest substitutes for diamonds.

Over the years, many celebrities have preferred emerald engagement rings. It's obvious why! With a Mohs rating of 7.5, these green diamond substitutes are durable gemstones appropriate for regular wear.

The amethyst

Brilliant violet amethyst gemstones make stunning substitutes for diamonds, adding a bold presence to necklaces, rings, earrings, and other jewellery. They can be highly faceted and provide excellent sparkle for their price, making them less expensive than diamonds.

The purple gemstone, which has a Mohs rating 7, looks best in necklaces and earrings. Amethyst engagement rings can also be found that are made with the enhanced protection of this gemstone in mind. Amethyst is a superb substitute for diamonds for someone who enjoys deep purple hues.

Blue topaz

Given the size of many blue topaz gems, blue topaz is another inexpensive alternative to diamonds that many consider affordable. This gem has multiple forms and a range of shades, from electric blue to deep turquoise. It frequently occurs with peridot, sapphire, and white topaz.

According to the Mohs scale, this gemstone has an 8 out of 10, which is suitable for daily wear. Large blue-hued diamond substitute gems are set in the centre of blue topaz engagement rings to showcase the gem's distinctive colours.


Tanzanite, a newly discovered gemstone, is quickly gaining popularity as an alternative to diamond rings. There are many hues of tanzanite, including blue and deeper violet tones. It is frequently used as the focal stone in bracelets, fashion rings, earrings, necklaces, and tanzanite engagement rings. Certain tanzanite gems are frequently surrounded by diamonds or white topaz, depending on the design.

Simulants of Diamonds

When considering alternatives to real diamonds, most people may consider diamond simulants like moissanite or cubic zirconia.

Since cubic zirconia can be easily distinguished from real diamonds, it is more commonly used in costume jewellery. Although it is a well-liked substitute for diamonds, moissanite does not have precisely the same appearance as real diamonds.

Simulants of Diamond

Lab-grown diamonds are the best option if you're looking for a natural diamond substitute that has a similar appearance to a diamond because they behave similarly to natural diamonds. Lab diamonds are real diamonds; they're just made above ground in lab environments.

Purchasing Diamond-Replica Items

Both natural and artificial white gems come in a wide variety of forms. You have to do your homework before purchasing because these can differ greatly in price, durability, and appearance.

You realise that you're searching for a gemstone that resembles a diamond but isn't one if you're considering a substitute for a diamond.

Simulants are acceptable as long as you know what you're getting and vendors are truthful about what they're offering. On the other hand, avoid doing business with someone who presents a fake diamond as real. It must be evident that a gem is not a diamond, even though it may "look like" one.

Simulants can be artificial, created in a lab, or natural, extracted gems. For instance, white sapphires that are synthesised or mined can be sold as diamond substitutes, but they aren't real. Despite having a diamond-like appearance, they differ in optical and physical characteristics.

Finding gemstones that precisely resemble natural diamonds is the goal of some individuals looking for inventive, or sustainable diamond substitutes. Diamonds grown in a lab are ideal in these situations. In smaller pavé applications, white topaz can also mimic the appearance of some diamonds.

For some jewellery enthusiasts, diamond substitutes don't have to replicate a diamond's appearance. These individuals are more concerned with selecting a gemstone that differs from diamonds. Like those found in gemstone engagement rings, vibrant gemstones can add striking colours to sentimental and romantic jewellery.

Finding jewellery with gemstones other than diamonds that fit both the buyer's budget and the wearer's style is the best option. The finest substitutes for diamonds are gems that enhance jewellery's beauty, toughness, and individuality.