If you’re shopping for an engagement ring, you’re likely considering which gemstone is best for you. More than likely, it’s come down to moissanite vs diamond! Which one is best for you? And how different from each other are they anyway?
Both moissanite and diamonds are beautiful, brilliant stones that make a great addition to any jewelry collection, but they each have unique features that set them apart. Some people may not see a visual difference, but trust us when we say there is a big difference! Luckily for you, we’ve got everything you need to know right here. So, let’s dive in!
Moissanite vs Diamond: Side-by-Side
Before we get into the specifics of each gem’s characteristics, let’s look at a side-by-side to compare the two:
|Origin||Lab-generated||Rare earth mineral|
|Durability||Scores a 9.25 on the Mohs Scale||Scores a 10 on the Mohs Scale|
|Color||Typically has a yellow or green hue||Color may vary|
|Brilliance||Higher light refraction||Lower light refraction|
|Weight||About 15% less than a diamond of the same size||200 mg per carat|
|Price||Based on size and premium rating||Based on the 4C’s (carat, cut, color, and clarity)|
|How to Clean||A solution of soap and water||A solution of soap and water|
What is the Difference Between Moissanite vs. Diamond?
Although moissanite and diamond may look similar at first glance, there are actually some significant differences between the two materials, and it’s important to understand these differences when comparing them. Now that we’ve gone over the basic differences, we can get into more detail.
The composition of both gems is actually very similar, but while diamond is pure carbon, moissanite is a crystal made from silicon carbide, which is a natural, but rare mineral.
Natural diamonds are created by heating and pressurizing carbon particles deep within the Earth’s crust. Carbon particles crystallize during this process over a period of many years to form the diamond gems that we know and love.
Moissanite, on the other hand, is composed of silicon carbide, but the process in creating the gem is very similar to that of a diamond. Moissanite also goes through a process of heat and pressure. However, today this process is achieved over a period of hours in a lab.
Diamonds are natural to Earth, meaning most diamonds on the market today were mined and then formed into their desired shape. Some can be lab-created, but the creation process will generally use a natural diamond base to start.
Many people love the diamond for its natural and unique properties, and as a finite material, it has the appeal of originality to add to its popularity.
Moissanite was originally discovered within a meteorite that landed on Earth in 1893, but any source of moissanite that was found was not nearly enough to use in pieces of jewelry. Because of this, today’s moissanite is grown in labs and mass-produced to replicate the exact material delivered from space.
The Mohs Scale of Hardness is rated out of 10, with the hardest mineral currently known – the diamond – being a 10 on the scale.
Moissanite, while still relatively tough, rates slightly lower than a diamond at a 9.25. It should be said, however, that moissanite is one of the most durable materials known, rating higher than any other mineral other than diamond.
Naturally-mined diamonds come in a range of colors such as white, yellow, and pink. However, the most common and most desirable diamond is the white, or clear, diamond, typically used in engagement rings for its beauty and prestige.
Given that moissanite used in jewelry is lab-generated, the color stays pretty consistent. Moissanite are clear for the most part, however, due to their composition, they tend to give off a slight green or yellow hue.
Brilliance and radiance are factors that are very important when considering gemstones, especially for diamond and moissanite. Brilliance is a term used to describe how well a gem can reflect light.
While both diamond and moissanite have high-refraction levels, moissanite actually reflects light better than a diamond.
Moissanite has twice the rate of refraction than diamonds do, and because of its structure it is less likely to attract grease and dirt. This means that moissanite appears brighter, giving off a sort of rainbow effect, where diamond reflects more white light.
While you might not feel the difference between each gem, moissanite is approximately 15% lighter than a diamond of the same size – this means that a 1-carat moissanite would be larger than a 1-carat diamond, which may or may not affect how you decide on your next piece of jewelry.
Although moissanite and diamonds seem very similar in a lot of aspects, the value of each gem is drastically different. As some of you probably know, the price of a diamond is based on the 4C’s: Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity. Moissanite is based on size and premium rating, only.
Moissanite gems are sold at a fraction of the price of diamonds, and there are a couple of reasons for this:
- Demand: The demand for diamonds is significantly higher than that of moissanite because people still prefer them for engagement rings and other similar pieces. This makes diamonds more expensive on the market
- Status: Many people hold moissanite in lesser regard than diamond because it’s lab-generated. The status of a finite item will always be higher than something that can be mass-produced, making moissanite less desirable and less expensive.
Both moissanite and diamond gems resist dirt and grease, but if you find them looking a little cloudy, you can clean them using the same soap and water method.
All you need is a bowl filled with warm water and a few drops of gentle dish soap. Soak the gems and rub away any dirt using a soft cloth, rinse with clean water and dry. Behold your newly sparkling gem!
💡 Cleaning, Not Showering: Although they can be cleaned using soap and water, avoid showering with diamonds or moissanite. They can become damaged over time by exposure to soaps, body oils, and grime from showering.
Moissanite vs Lab Diamond
For many people, moissanite and lab diamonds are indistinguishable. Both are excellent choices for engagement rings and other jewelry, and each has unique benefits. However, there are some key differences between these two stones.
Moissanite is a type of silicon carbide that was first discovered in a meteor crater. It is extremely hard and durable, making it ideal for use in jewelry. Although moissanite is already significantly cheaper than diamonds, it is also cheaper than lab diamonds, which are created in a laboratory during a process to pressurize carbon atoms.
Lab diamonds are made from carbon, just like natural diamonds, and have the same physical properties. But, because they’re created in a controlled environment, the impurities that show up in natural diamonds aren’t present, and the mass-production of lab diamonds adds to a more affordable price than natural diamonds.
💡 Key Tip: The main thing to understand when comparing moissanite and lab diamonds is that lab diamonds are exactly the same as any natural diamond – the only difference being that they are less expensive and purer.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Which Should You Choose?
Now that we’ve outlined some of the main differences between moissanite and diamond, the next step is to decide which gem is best for you. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a short list about the pros and cons of each gem.
- Moissanite is less likely to attract dirt and grease because of its crystal structure.
- It is more affordable than both lab diamonds and natural diamonds.
- Moissanite is an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to natural diamonds.
- Moissanite gemstones are incredibly heat resistant, even more so than diamond.
- Since they are not as high in demand, moissanite gems are less common and don’t have as much variety on the market.
- The overall composition of moissanite may fall short in comparison to the prestige of a diamond, with some believing it to be a false alternative.
- Diamond gems are the toughest and most durable known mineral, scoring higher than any other mineral on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
- Diamonds come in various shapes and colors, letting you choose between a number of different pieces.
- A natural diamond holds prestige in society, symbolizing commitment and romance, and maintaining higher status than most other gems in the married community.
- A natural diamond, unlike moissanite, will continue to hold long-term value because of its finite nature and worth as an heirloom.
- There are a lot of ethical concerns regarding the mining process of natural diamonds and their place of origin.
- Natural diamond gems are costly. And while some might see owning a diamond as an investment, it might not be what you’re looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions
You might have a lot of questions regarding moissanite and diamond, even after reading through everything we’ve highlighted in this post. Here, we will answer some of the more commonly asked questions.
Can you tell the difference between diamond and moissanite?
There are a few ways to pinpoint the differences between a diamond and a moissanite gem. Some of the key differences are highlighted in our section Moissanite vs. Diamond: Side-by-Side, but these might not always be easily detected at face value.
The simplest way to tell the difference between these two gems is by using a loupe. A loupe is a magnifying device used by jewelers to distinguish between types of gems. Moissanite will exhibit blurred lines when using a loupe to look through the jewel’s crown. These blurred lines indicate double refraction, which is a major difference when comparing moissanite to diamond.
Is moissanite worth buying?
Moissanite are tough, high-quality gems that can last a lifetime. They’re also much more affordable than diamonds. Whether or not you choose to purchase moissanite depends on what you want from a gem.
Moissanite is not as prestigious or valuable as diamond, and its color variety is limited. So if these are important factors when deciding, it might not be entirely worth it to you.
Can you pass off moissanite as a diamond?
Yes, due to its similarity in color and light refraction, moissanite is the only other gem that can pass as a diamond in diamond testing. However, keep in mind the key differences we mentioned. While they are very similar, there are ways of distinguishing between the two.
Why are moissanite so cheap?
The value of moissanite corresponds to the jewelry and engagement ring industry’s supply and demand. Because diamonds are still such a popular choice for engagement rings, they are significantly more expensive than moissanite.
Moissanite, as well, is lab-grown and mass-produced – this means that they hold less value and prominence than a finite gem such as diamond.
Do moissanite rings get cloudy?
Given the structure and stability of moissanite, the gem will never become cloudy or tarnished. Like all jewelry, the gem may look dull after long-time use, but this is generally just dirt or grease build-up that can be removed with a simple cleaning.
Depending on the make and structure of the ring itself, an assortment of cleaning methods can and should be used to remove potential dirt, stains, or tarnish.
Whatever Sparkles Brightest for You
Whether you appreciate the brilliance and affordability of moissanite or prefer the elegance and prestige of a diamond, the choice is up to you! Both gems are a beautiful addition to any piece of jewelry, and whichever one you decide will last you more than a lifetime.
If you love diamond and moissanite and are in the market for more diamond alternatives, see our full list of options in this post.
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