Diamonds are a girls’ best friend and the birthstone for April babies! Beautiful, classic and timeless, we all love this most precious of gemstones. And while we all adore diamonds, we don’t always have a diamond-sized budget. Thankfully, there are plenty of affordable diamond alternatives!
The most popular diamond alternative, Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. While they come in a variety of colours, CZs are usually colourless, which categorizes them as a ‘diamond stimulant’. Optically flawless, CZs register 8-8.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Natural CZ was discovered in 1892 and the synthetic version has been used in jewelry design since 1976.
Moissanite was discovered in Arizona in 1983. Its chemical makeup is silicon carbide and registers a 9.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Natural Moissanite is extremely rare, which is why almost all modern applications of the stone use synthetic man-made Moissanite. It is considered a ‘diamond stimulant’ because it is a clear stone made to look like a diamond.
Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine, typically found in mountainous regions around the world. Impurities in Topaz give this gemstone its beautiful colour variations, such as yellow, pink, green, blue and many more. Pure Topaz, Topaz without impurities, is known as White Topaz & is colourless and registers an 8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Named after the county in NY where they were discovered in the 19th century, Herkimer Diamonds are double-terminated quartz crystals which are mined from dolostone. They typically have 18 facets, varying levels of clarity and occlusions and register 7.5 on the Mohs Hardness scale. The unique ratio of carbon to silicon gives the Herkimer Diamond exceptional clarity when compared to other quartz crystals.
Sapphire is an aluminum oxide mineral called corundum and is found all over the world. The colour variation in sapphires is due to the amount and type of trace element or impurity in the particular sample. Colours range from the well-known dark blue to green, pink and more. White Sapphire is pure, with no trace elements or impurities and registers 9.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.