Many people are familiar with the dreamy blue sapphire but unfamiliar with its cousin, the white sapphire. This gorgeous gemstone is worth noting, though. It closely resembles a diamond and is more affordable too. But, just like the differences between cubic zirconia and diamond, there are major differences between these two precious stones. So, in this white sapphire vs diamond comparison, we’ll detail the distinctions and discuss some other beautiful alternatives to natural diamonds including the lab grown diamond, should you be on the hunt for a similar stone for your engagement ring.
What Is White Sapphire?
To understand what a white sapphire is, it’s essential to understand how different gemstones are created. For example, a diamond is formed as carbon that exists beneath the earth’s surface where it undergoes intense heat and pressure over the course of millions of years. Colored sapphires, on the other hand, are the product of the mineral corundum, which exists in rocks. As corundum crystalizes, it often interacts with other trace minerals such as titanium, chromium, and vanadium, which give it its color.
Sapphires are typically thought of as blue, but they can come in a variety of hues, which are all dependent upon which trace elements it encounters during crystallization. Without the presence of other minerals, sapphires are completely white or transparent. Thus, a white sapphire is a sapphire in its purest form.
White sapphires are quite rare in nature, but they can be created in a lab. They are, of course, a stunning gemstone in and of themselves, but have gained popularity because of their close resemblance to diamonds and lower cost.
Pros of White Sapphire
White sapphires are beautiful, yes, but there is more to love about them than that. They are also quite durable, a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. For any jewelry worn on a daily basis, engagement rings, in particular, durability is incredibly important to ensure the stone stands the test of time.
Their white or transparent color combined with their affordability make white sapphires an extremely attractive option for all jewelry. Additionally, although rare in nature, the availability of lab-created white sapphires makes even large white sapphires attainable.
White Sapphire vs Diamond
When comparing a white sapphire and a natural diamond, there are some noticeable differences. For one, a diamond reflects light much more than a white sapphire. Visually, a diamond will look sharp and radiant, while a white sapphire will appear soft and give off a much more subtle glow. White sapphires are also prone to appear cloudy or milky and can show inclusions. However, with a simple glance, you will be able to tell whether the stone is transparent and eye-clean enough for your liking.
Beyond looks, natural white sapphire ranks as a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness while diamond ranks as a 10. While a diamond is, in fact, more durable, both stones are incredibly scratch-resistant. Finally, the reason most people opt for a white sapphire over a diamond is the price difference. White sapphire is much more affordable than diamond, even at large carat sizes.
Other Diamond Alternatives
If you are considering a natural white sapphire or lab created white sapphire as a more affordable alternative to a natural diamond for your engagement ring, you may also want to consider some other gemstones that have a similar, if not identical, appearance to diamonds.
Moissanite is a gemstone made up of silicon carbide that is almost just as hard as a diamond, and even more sparkly. It too is often created in a lab, where creators can achieve near-colorless moissanite gemstones, enhancing this stone’s similarities to a diamond even more. For these reasons, in addition to its affordability, moissanite is an extremely popular diamond alternative for a diamond engagement ring if you are comparing moissanite vs diamond options.
The next closest thing to a diamond is a diamond simulant. Today, there are diamond simulants that mimic the look and feel of diamonds nearly perfectly. While your budget will be spent quickly on a flawless diamond at the smallest size, diamond simulants make flawless, colorless, ideal cut stones attainable at every price point. The chemistry may differ, but the look, fire, and brilliance will not.
Lab Grown Diamond
A lab grown diamond, also referred to as a lab created diamond, is only an alternative to diamonds in terms of price and ethics. Unlike mined diamonds that are formed in the earth, lab diamonds are formed using advanced technology in a lab. The result, however, is the same.
Mined diamonds, however, can cost up to 40% more than comparable lab diamonds. Not only do mined diamonds cost you more, but they also cost the world more. Just a one-carat mined diamond is the product of over 87,000 pounds of displaced earth. Save the earth this detriment and save your wallet by purchasing lab diamonds. When you browse our selection of lab diamonds at 12FIFTEEN diamonds, you’ll see that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics or any of the qualities you love about natural diamonds.