Diamonds are a part of the ‘big four’, alongside sapphires, rubies and emeralds. These four precious gemstones make up a vast majority of the world’s fine jewelry.Natural diamonds are prized gemstones that are relatively rare. In addition to its rarity, market demand has made this gemstone expensive, adding to its value. In this blog, we will share with you a few clear gemstones that resemble diamonds and are often used as natural alternatives and replacements of white diamonds.
The primary differences between Diamonds and other Clear Gemstones
Primarily, diamonds and their clear gemstone alternatives come from different mineral groups.Some of these clear gemstones include white sapphire(colorless corundum), white beryl(Goshenite), moissanite, white topaz and clear quartz or Herikimer’s diamond. Some of these are the colorless variety of precious gemstones such as sapphires and emeralds, while white topaz and clear quartz are semi-precious gemstones. While moissanite are able to mimic diamonds in terms of strength and durability, their composition and physical properties are quite different.
White sapphires are actually the mineral corundum. In its true form, corundum is colorless but when colored with traces of chromium, it becomes a ruby and when colored with traces of iron, titanium, vanadium and chromium, it becomes blue sapphire and other fancy colored varieties of sapphires. The appearance of white sapphires is not the only resemblance they have with diamonds. In fact, they are one of the hardest gemstones with a Mohs scale rating of 9, only one step below a diamond’s rating of 10.
Goshenite is the colorless to near-colorless variety of beryl. They were named after a town named Goshen in Massachusetts in the USA where its first reserves were found. Beryls are generally known for its green and blue varieties known as Emeralds and Aquamarines, but this variety has its own charm for being comparable in appearance to diamonds. Technically, goshenites have a lower Mohs scale rating as compared to diamonds, standing at a rating of 8, however it makes up for its low durability with its exceptional clarity.
While Topaz is best known for its blue and golden varieties, but much like white sapphire and white beryl, it has a colorless variety known as white topaz. White topaz is relatively softer and less durable in comparison to diamonds with a Mohs scale hardness of 8, it is an affordable alternative to diamonds being a semi-precious gemstone. It also has a good lustre that makes it prone to being mistaken for a diamond.
Perhaps one of the most popular alternatives to diamonds among clear gemstones is Moissanite. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide and is the closest among these clear gemstones to diamonds in terms of durability. It boasts a Mohs scale rating of 9.5, only slightly lower than a diamond’s rating. However, natural Moissanite is extremely rare and is more often than not replaced with lab-made moissanite which is used as a diamond imitation rather than natural alternative. Moissanites actually have a greater brilliance as compared to diamonds, adding to its popularity.
Clear Quartz(Herkimer’s Diamond)
While Quartz itself is a broad mineral group with many different varieties, white quartz is perhaps the most underrated one. Clear quartz is also known as Herkimer’s Diamonds due to being mined in the location of Herkimer County, New York. This type of clear quartz consists of naturally occurring facets and is also known as double-terminated quartz due to this reason. Despite their low Mohs scale rating of 7, their beautiful shape as well as their clarity and affordability makes them a viable diamond alternative.
While these clear gemstones are good alternatives to diamonds in terms of appearance, some of them are equally expensive and fetch a high price for a good specimen. In other cases, particularly in case of the clear semi-precious gemstones, they are not as durable compared to diamonds. Regardless, these beautiful clear gemstones are popular and used in the jewelry industry all over the globe. We stock diamonds and fancy colored diamonds as part of our loose diamonds catalogue. We also offer customised services where you can pick a gem of your liking and have us create personalized jewelry according to your requirements. For more details visit https://galtandbro.com/personalized-creations/