5 Sustainable Alternatives to Traditional Diamonds

Posted on

Diamonds are valuable, durable, and above all, beautiful. Yet most of the diamonds in circulation around the world in the past, were not ethically or sustainably mined. Although great strides have been made to rectify this in modern times, you may be hesitant about purchasing a diamond without knowing its history.

But there are other options, and many of them are just as stunning. So if you want to enjoy the dazzling beauty of a superbly faceted gemstone without guilt, consider these 5 sustainable alternatives to traditional diamonds.


Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds are becoming increasingly popular as an ethical and sustainable alternative to traditional mined diamonds. Best of all, they are still every bit as real as natural, mined diamonds. They’re also just as beautiful, and just as sparkly.

Lab diamonds have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as their mined counterparts! The only difference is that they are created in a lab. These beautiful stones are replicated under strictly controlled conditions, mimicking natural diamonds’ growth and formation.

But by cutting out the middle-man, or should we say the middle-mine, they are ethical, sustainable, and, of course, more affordable. That’s a lot of reasons to choose a lab-grown diamond as an alternative to a traditional diamond.


White Topaz

Looking for an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional diamonds for your budget-friendly fashion makeover? Consider a white topaz. This is a silicate gemstone made of aluminum and fluorine.

The topaz is available in many colors, depending on the presence of other minerals. This is true for most other gemstones too, including diamonds. But the ‘white’ topaz will either have a slightly milky-white hue or even be completely colorless. Indeed, when pure and color-free, it most resembles a diamond.

When compared to a traditional diamond, the white topaz fares very well. It’s almost as sparkly, and it’s extremely affordable. It’s also very durable, not quite as much as a diamond though. On Moh’s hardness scale, diamonds rank 10 out of 10, whereas white topaz scores an 8.



If you’re looking for a good alternative to the shine of a traditional diamond, moissanite is an excellent choice. It offers brilliance and luster, without the hefty price tag. Moissanite has an icy appearance and, like a diamond, will treat you to a rainbow of glistening colors when properly faceted.

It outshines the diamond – pun intended. That said, it does not look exactly like a diamond, and it’s not quite as hard as one. But it’s a very close alternative that is becoming a popular alternative to traditional diamonds for engagement rings.

Moissanite is a naturally occurring silicon carbide. It is one of the more rare choices on this list. However, it is easily the favorite alternative to traditional diamonds. There are several reasons for this. Its refractive index is higher than diamonds, it is visually very similar, and it’s much more affordable.


White Sapphires

There’s nothing as stylish as an all-white ensemble, is there? Especially when you add that sparkly diamond pendant or earrings to the mix. But there are many high-style sustainable alternatives to traditional diamonds. One that stands out from the crowd is the white sapphire.

A type of corundum, the white sapphire is perhaps not as widely known as its cousin the blue sapphire, but that is changing. While the blue sapphire gets its attractive hue from the presence of traces of iron and titanium, the white sapphire has no such elements. Thus, they are not actually ‘white’, but colorless.

They are rare in nature but are often lab-created. This makes them an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional diamonds. However, they do not sparkle like diamonds do, because they do not reflect light in the same way.


Recycled Diamonds

More and more industries worldwide are making the move to sustainability by recycling their products and offering them to a discerning, eco-aware public. It’s all a part of embracing the circular economy model, which seeks to reduce industrial and commercial waste.

Can this eco-friendly and sustainable initiative include traditionally mined diamonds? Surprisingly, yes, it can, when those diamonds are recycled. This is your best choice if only a traditional diamond will do, but you want to make a responsible choice for the environment.

Never heard of recycled diamonds before? You’ve probably heard of them, referred to as repurposed or reclaimed diamonds. These stones are real, pre-owned diamonds that have been re-introduced into the supply chain.

Because they don’t necessitate further environmental degradation through mining, they are a responsible, sustainable, and ethical choice. Thanks to eliminating the need for mining and cutting these pre-owned stones, they are also the most affordable choice.

That’s why recycled diamonds are the ultimate sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional diamonds.


Avatar photo

Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *