Diamond Alternatives: Sustainable, Ethical....and Gorgeous!

What are the best Diamond Alternatives, often known as Diamond Simulants...and what are the benefits of choosing one over traditionally mined diamonds?  The answer is....there are ALOT of benefits!

Diamond alternatives offer an ethical, sustainable and eco friendly way to enjoy a beautiful piece of jewelry.  They can last a lifetime and offer timeless style, just like a traditionally mined diamond. In fact, depending on the alternative you choose, a jeweler may only be able to distinguish the difference between the alternative and the natural diamond using specialized equipment.

And because these alternatives are crafted in a lab, you can wear your jewelry with peace of mind, knowing you're helping to protect people across the world and the planet.

What are the types of Diamond Alternatives?


Moissanite was discovered in Arizona in 1893 by French chemist and Nobel prize winner Ferdinand Frederick Henri Moissan. Moissan encountered a crater from a meteorite that had fallen to earth. In the crater, he noticed a shiny substance that resembled diamonds. On further inspection, the shiny particles weren't diamonds at all, but a by product of star dust, that we now call Moissanite. And because Moissanite is so rare, it is now created in a lab, which makes it the perfect ethical and sustainable choice for those who want the look of a traditional diamond at a fair price.  

And if you think diamonds are sparkly, imagine a stone created from "star dust"!  Having optical properties similar to or superior to diamonds, moissanite makes a beautiful alternative to a traditional diamond. It is known for its rainbow reflective properties and will light up any piece of jewelry.

Not only is it beautiful, it is strong enough for everyday wear and is easy to clean. 

Cubic Zirconia

Probably more well known than Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia has been a popular alternative since the 1980's.  I'm sure everyone has owned a piece of jewelry that contained Cubic Zirconia at some point in their life. 

And how does Cubic Zirconia differ from mined diamonds? Diamonds can have subtle imperfections that affect their appearance, like their clarity or color.. These imperfections happen because diamonds form in the earth from natural minerals. Cubic Zirconia are created in a controlled environment that leaves them with virtually no imperfections. Cubic Zirconia also have a slightly lower reflective quality than diamonds or moissanitie.

Cubic Zirconia are also not as hard as diamonds or Moissanite so they are prone to scratching and can also be more dificult to clean. 

While slightly less sturdy than its counterpart Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia offers more affordability and can be the centerpiece of any beautiful piece of jewelry.

No mater which alternative you prefer, here are some of the benefits of choosing a diamond alternative.

  • Affordablility

Who doesn't want to wear a beautiful piece of jewelry at a reasonable price? If your concern is the "beauty value" of the piece and not the "monetary value", choosing  a diamond alternative is a win for you... and the planet!


  • Reduced carbon footprint

The diamond industry has created a large carbon footprint. Emissions from mining, processing, and transportation all contrubutte to this. 


  • No mining required

Diamond mining impacts the environment. It destroys natural habitats, impacts the soil, and pollutes surrounding water. 


  • Human Rights Violations

Traditional diamond mining is associated with abuse of workers, including forced labor, child labor, harsh work conditions with little to no pay, mutilation and rape.


  • Conflict-free

The diamond mining industry has a long history and association with war. Often referred to as “blood diamonds”,  diamonds are mined and sold to fund armed conflicts across the globe. You can learn more about conflict free diamonds here.

Water Street Jewelers is committed to offering the highest quality conflict free diamonds and diamond simulants. Whichever option you choose, you can wear your pieces knowing you're making a sustainable, ethical and beautiful choice.

You can shop our selection of Diamond Alternatives here