Marilyn Monroe once sang that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. While that may be true, ladies also like many other gemstones just as much if not more. Some actually prefer to forgo diamonds since many are sourced in an unethical manner.
Whether you’re trying to choose an engagement ring or creating a custom piece of jewelry, the diamond alternatives below are equally beautiful and more affordable.
This is a gemstone that many people have never heard of but may become familiar with soon. Moissanite is often referred to as the gem born from the stars because the stones are naturally found in a meteorite crater in Arizona. Since the discovery in 1893 scientists have discovered methods for creating perfect laboratory-made replicas.
Moissanite is currently used as a diamond alternative since it’s crystal clear and offers just as much brilliance. It may not be as hard as a diamond, but moissanite is almost as durable. Moissanite engagement rings with diamond accents are a modern-day trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Ever since Princess Kate slipped Princess Diana’s blue sapphire on her ring finger, brides-to-be around the world have decided to forgo diamonds. It also doesn’t hurt that blue is the most popular color in the world.
Sapphire is the most valuable blue gemstone in existence. It gets its blue hue from the mineral Corundum, however other sapphire colors do exist. The stones can range from transparent to opaque and have an impressive hardness rating of 9 on the Mohs scale.
Rubies are the red cousins of sapphires. They too are made of up the mineral Corundum, but it’s the red variety instead of blue. The precious stone’s color can be anywhere from pale rose to deep crimson.
For centuries, rubies have been sought after because they are a traditional Cardinal gem that was worn by church leaders that were as powerful and influential as royalty. Because red is so closely associated with love, rubies are a popular pick for lovers that want to show their affection.
People who prefer earth tones will naturally gravitate to emeralds. They are made of the mineral beryl, but the green color of emeralds comes from trace amounts of chromium. To be considered a true emerald, the stone’s color must fall somewhere between bluish green and yellow-green. Together with sapphires and rubies, emeralds round out the “big three” of colored gemstones, selling more than all other colored stones combined.
Emeralds are sourced in small quantities from sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks primarily in Africa and South America. Although emeralds sparkle beautifully, you have to be more careful while wearing them. Emeralds have a hardness rating of just 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.
For many years commoners weren’t allowed to don amethyst jewelry because it was reserved for royalty, religious leaders, and aristocrats. In many cultures, purple is the symbol of royalty so the Amethyst naturally became one of the most popular jewels for kings and queens. Today amethyst is better known for being the February birthstone.
Amethyst is considered a semi-precious stone from the quartz family. It got its name (which translates to not intoxicate) from the ancient Greek belief that amethyst protects the wearer from intoxication. The color of amethyst can be anywhere from light lilac to a rich dark purple. Unlike other gemstones, amethyst is known to grow to huge sizes. It’s the perfect option for a bold, statement-making piece of jewelry.
The crystal morganite is quickly becoming one of the most popular gems in women’s jewelry. This is largely due to the soft feminine colors that range from pale pink to salmon.
Morganite is another gem from the beryl mineral family. However, unlike emeralds, morganite crystals can be found in large sizes. Often the large stones have the best color. A major benefit of morganite is the fact it can be treated to improve the color, clarity, and durability.
Diamonds are in-demand and expensive because they are rare stones. However, there’s one stone that’s rarer but much less expensive. Tanzanite is 1,000 times more rare than diamonds, and their popularity is increasing.
Tanzanite is found and sourced exclusively in Tanzania, hence the name. The crystal was discovered rather recently at a mine owned by Tiffany & Co. The electric blue and bright purple color of tanzanite stones make them stand out even when the gems are small in size.