November 25, 2019

Can You Tell the Difference in Lab Grown Diamonds?

Laboratory grown diamonds have been experiencing a boom in popularity recent years. Many people are drawn to lab grown diamonds because they have the same physical and optical properties as mined diamonds, yet they involve no mining. Then, on top of that, lab grown diamonds are generally more affordable than mined diamonds, so lab grown diamonds have a more attractive price tag.

As lab grown diamonds have become more popular, they’ve also become more well known. But since lab grown diamonds are still relatively new, consumers often have questions about lab grown diamonds. One of the most common questions we get about lab grown diamonds is “can you tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds by looking at them?” So, do lab grown diamonds look different from mined diamonds? In this post, we’re answering this FAQ!

Can You Tell the Difference Between Lab Grown Diamonds and Mined Diamonds By Sight?

So, can you tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds just by looking at them? No, not with the naked eye (and not even with a jewelry loupe). Lab grown diamonds have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as mined diamonds. So lab grown diamonds have the exact same type of beautiful shimmer as mined diamonds (and they’re also just as durable!).

To give you an example of how similar lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds look, let’s take a closer look at a couple of engagement rings. Below, there are two pictures of engagement rings. Both of these beautiful engagement rings feature a round brilliant cut center gemstone. But one of these features a lab grown round brilliant cut diamond and the other features a mined round brilliant cut diamond. Can you guess which has a lab grown diamond? (Don’t scroll too far before making your guess— we’ll reveal the answer at the end of the next paragraph!)

On the top, we have the Aurora Halo Double Band Engagement Ring in yellow gold. On the bottom, we have the Riley Classic Engagement Ring in white gold. At Diamond Wish, both of these engagement rings can be set with either a lab grown diamond or a natural mined diamond. But in this example, the lab grown diamond is in the picture on the right, featured in the Riley Classic Engagement Ring in white gold.

If you couldn’t guess which engagement ring featured a lab grown diamond, don’t worry— you’re not alone! Even expert jewelers can’t tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and naturally mined diamonds by sight. (So if you did guess right, you simply had a lucky guess.)

Wondering why even an expert can’t tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds by looking at them? Lab grown diamonds are created using a process that replicates how mined diamonds form in the earth. The end result is that lab grown diamonds have the same carbon crystal arrangement as mined diamonds, so they look the same (and have the same physical properties) as mined diamonds. It is possible for a gemologist to tell the difference between a lab grown and a mined diamond, but they would need to use specialized testing equipment to do so. So even a gemologist can’t tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds by sight.

It’s important to note that lab grown diamonds aren’t to be confused with diamond simulants, which you can spot just by looking at them (provided you know what to look for). Diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite, may look similar to diamonds, but they don’t share the same properties as diamonds. So, they reflect light differently and they also aren’t as durable as diamonds.

Take for example, the beautiful moissanite engagement ring pictured above. This ring’s 2 carat moissanite is certainly stunning. But it isn’t a diamond. And while it may be hard for most people to tell the difference between a moissanite and a diamond just by looking at it, an expert jeweler could, since moissanite has a different crystal structure that gives it a slightly different type of light reflection. Moissanite will also rank lower on durability than a diamond, since, physically, it’s not quite as hard as a diamond (diamonds are the hardest substance on the planet!). That’s why, though lab grown diamonds and certain diamond simulants may both be made in a lab, lab grown diamonds are considered more valuable than diamond simulants. Lab grown diamonds have the same properties as mined diamonds, while diamond simulants do not, so diamond simulants tend to sell for much less.

Thinking of choosing a lab grown diamond for your jewelry? Shop our full range of beautiful lab grown diamonds!

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May 21, 2019

This Engagement Ring Trend Will Save You Money

Want to save money on your engagement ring? Embrace the trending gemstone of the moment, moissanite.

Have you ever heard of moissanite? It’s a glittering, clear white gemstone that is also called a “space diamond” or “stardust.”

The Scarlett 3 Carat Moissanite Solitaire Engagement Ring

Moissanite gets its celestial nicknames from its origin story. This sparkling gem was first discovered in 1893 by a man named Henri Moissan. Mr. Moissan, a French scientist, investigated a meteorite inside a crater in Arizona and found what he thought were diamonds. However, on closer inspection, he realized that the crystals in the meteor were made of silicon carbide and were a totally new kind of gemstone, which he named Moissanite after himself.

Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so most of the moissanite you see today has been created in a lab. This moissanite looks the same as natural moissanite and has the same chemical composition.

Moissanite has become a trending engagement ring option for a few different reasons. One is that this dazzling gemstone looks very similar to a diamond but has a much nicer price tag.

The Merilyn Halo Moissanite Engagement Ring

When compared to a diamond, moissanite stacks up very well. It’s similarly hard and just as brilliant. However, the shimmer that comes from a moissanite has a different pattern. It’s much more fiery (which means the light it reflects splits up into rainbows).

And, like we said above, the price of moissanite is amazing. For example, a one carat diamond with respectable 4C gradings would likely run you upwards of $4,000. A comparable moissanite, on the other hand, would likely only cost around $600 or less. For something that looks so similar, that’s a steal.

The Athena Vintage Inspired Moissanite Engagement Ring

Think of all the things you could do with all the money you’d save getting a moissanite engagement ring instead of a diamond engagement ring. You could go on an incredible trip or dine at the finest restaurants. Or, you could put that money toward a new car or a down payment on a house. These are just ideas— you could always spend your original budget on a moissanite ring and just get a much larger, flashier ring. The choice is yours.

One last thing in moissanite’s favor? It’s eco friendly. Since most moissanite you’d see today is created in a lab, it creates far less environmental impact than a natural diamond would. So, moissanite is not only a gemstone that will save you money, it’s also one that helps to save the environment. That’s a win-win.

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February 18, 2019

Moissanite Vs. Diamond

Have you heard of moissanite? Moissanite is a precious gemstone that looks remarkably like a diamond, yet costs far less. Moissanite is also extremely durable, making it great for everyday wear. Moissanite is a gorgeous, affordable, and practical diamond alternative that many people are drawn to– but is it right for you? Let’s take a closer look at how moissanites compare to diamonds.

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite, the “Space Diamond,” shines brilliantly in this glamorous and chic engagement ring.

First, let’s talk a bit about what moissanite is. Moissanite is a gemstone that was discovered fairly recently. This colorless, fiery gemstone was first discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan, a Nobel Prize winning French scientist, who found what he thought were diamond particles in a meteorite crater in Arizona. Upon further inspection, however, he realized that he’d found particles of a gemstone made from silicon carbide, an entirely new gemstone that would eventually be called moissanite.

The celestial origin of moissanite has earned it the nicknames “Space Diamond” and “Stardust.” Natural moissanite is extraordinarily rare, so almost all of the moissanite you’ll find today is lab created. Over the course of many years, the lab creation of moissanite has been perfected and scientists are now able to produce spectacularly brilliant and beautiful moissanites.

While moissanites look quite similar to diamonds, these two gemstones do have some visual and compositional differences. Next up, we’ll talk more about the differences between these two dazzling gemstones.

Moissanite Vs. Diamond: Their Differences

A 1 carat diamond vs. a 1 carat moissanite. Can you spot the difference?

Let’s break down the differences between moissanite and diamonds. Below, we’ll look at diamond vs. moissanite in five categories: brilliance, durability, color, price point, and creation.

Brilliance: Moissanite has a different faceting pattern than diamonds do, giving them a unique kind of brilliance. Moissanite has a noticeably more fiery, rainbow-colored light pattern than diamonds do and it also has a higher refractive index, making moissanite more brilliant than diamonds overall. This is a big plus to many who love this highly sparkly, mesmerizing rainbow effect. However, those who prefer the more varied, more white light of a diamond may see this as a drawback.

Durability: Diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth, earning them a 10 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Moissanite is slightly less hard, coming in at a 9.25 on the hardness scale, but it is still extremely durable and is excellent for everyday wear. 

Color: White diamonds range from colorless to faint yellow. Colorless white diamonds are truly colorless and have no trace of yellow, brown, or gray. Moissanite, on the other hand, can be labeled as colorless but may sometimes have a very slight yellow or grey look in certain lights. This effect is maximized in larger moissanites.

Price Point: Moissanites are much more affordable than diamonds, especially natural diamonds. On average, a moissanite costs 90% less than a natural diamond of similar size and quality. This drastic difference in moissanite price vs. diamond price is a main selling point for many people who choose moissanite for their jewelry.

Creation: Diamonds can be either lab created or found naturally, though real diamonds are generally more popular for jewelry. Moissanite, on the other hand, can be found naturally, but natural moissanite is so rare that almost all of the moissanite used by jewelers today is lab created. Not only does this make moissanite more affordable than natural diamonds, it also means that moissanite does not need to be mined, which many consider a major benefit.

Buying Moissanites Vs. Buying Diamonds

The stunning Coral engagement ring features a large round cut moissanite and dazzling round diamond accents.

If you’re drawn to the ultra fiery (and ultra affordable) moissanite, there are few things you might want to know to help you pick a high quality moissanite stone for a moissanite engagement ring, a moissanite wedding ring, or another piece of moissanite jewelry. Most importantly, you should know that moissanites aren’t graded exactly like diamonds. While diamonds are graded on the GIA’s 4Cs (color, cut, clarity, and carat weight), moissanite is only graded on color, as moissanites are all very similar in cut and clarity. Moissanite isn’t graded on the standard diamond color scale, either. Instead, moissanites receive a color grading of either colorless (equivalent to a D, E, or F color diamond), near colorless (equivalent to a G, H, or I color diamond), or with faint hues of color (equivalent to a J or K color diamond).

So, color is the main thing to look for when you’re shopping for moissanite rings and other moissanite jewelry. If you want to be sure you get a colorless moissanite or a near colorless moissanite, be sure to look for that grading on any potential center stone’s grading report. 

To close out this post, we want to answer a frequently asked question about moissanite jewelry. Many people wonder if moissanite looks good with diamonds in jewelry. And the answer is yes! Moissanite looks beautiful when paired with diamond engagement ring settings, diamond halo earring settings, and every type of diamond setting. Moissanites and diamonds, while different, look gorgeous when paired together.

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December 19, 2018

Budget Friendly Engagement Rings

An engagement ring doesn’t have to break the bank to be beautiful. Today, there are many gorgeous and affordable engagement ring options. And, as an added bonus, these more affordable options can give you a much more unique look. Wondering which gorgeous engagement rings can help you save the most? Here are four of our favorite budget friendly engagement rings.

Morganite

Merilyn Engagement Ring With Pear Shaped Morganite

Morganite has been incredibly popular for engagement rings in recent years, thanks to its gorgeous pink hue and excellent price tag. This glimmering, blushing gemstone adds a romantic look to any setting.

While morganite looks lovely with any precious metal, it looks particularly beautiful with rose gold, which echoes the gemstone’s lovely color. The Merilyn ring pictured above is the perfect example of that. In this design, an exquisite pear shaped morganite is surrounded by a shimmering pave diamond halo. Additional pave diamonds run along this ring’s slim yellow gold band, adding beautiful brilliance to this ultra-romantic ring.

Moissanite

Alena Engagement Ring

Moissanites look so similar to diamonds that the scientist who first discovered this beautifully clear white gemstone at initially thought that’s what he had found. Yet, upon further inspection, he realized that he had found an entirely new gemstone.

And because the moissanite found in jewelry today is lab created (natural morganite is incredibly rare), it has a much better price tag than diamonds. On average, a moissanite costs 90% less than a diamond of a similar quality. That’s an enormous price difference for such a similar look.

As you can see in the moissanite ring above, this gemstone pairs beautifully with classic settings like the Alena setting.

Black Diamond

Maya Engagement Ring

If you love a dramatic, mysterious look, a black diamond engagement ring is perfect for you. Black diamonds are genuine colored diamonds, just like yellow, blue, or pink diamonds. But unlike other colored diamonds, which are generally more expensive than white diamonds, black diamonds are very affordable.

And black diamonds look stunning in an engagement ring. Take the Maya ring, pictured above. Here, a gorgeous cushion cut black diamond is surrounded by a luxe halo of pave diamonds. Pave diamonds also run down this ring’s white gold split shank band. In this design, the richness of the black diamond contrasts with the airy, shimmering beauty of the rest of the ring’s materials, which creates a bold and unique look.

Sapphire

Double Halo Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring

Sapphires are known for their deep, rich blue color. While this classic gemstone has long been associated with royalty, it can also help you stay inside your budget if you opt for a sapphire center stone for your engagement ring.

Sapphires are a budget friendly option that look extraordinarily luxurious. The beautiful sapphire and pave diamond ring pictured above is the perfect example of this. Here, a breathtaking blue sapphire has been enclosed in an ultra glamorous double pave diamond halo setting. Pave diamonds continue along this ring’s elegant split shank band, adding even more brilliance to this stunning design.

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September 14, 2018

8 Amazing Facts About Moissanite

Moissanite is a having a major moment. This gorgeous gemstone has been making waves on the engagement ring scene, with more and more style savvy brides choosing this dazzling clear white gemstone. However, many people haven’t heard of moissanite, as it was only discovered a century ago. Want to know more about the hottest gemstone of 2018? Here are eight amazing facts about moissanite.

1. Moissanite Fell From The Stars

Moissanite was discovered around 100 years ago when it fell from the stars. In 1893, the French scientist Henri Moissan was inspecting a meteor crater in Arizona when he found what he thought were diamonds. However, upon closer inspection he realized he had found something completely new, a gorgeous form of silicon carbide that he dubbed moissanite.

2. Moissanite Has Two Enchanting Nicknames

Thanks to its celestial origin story, moissanite has two enchanting nicknames among jewelry enthusiasts: Stardust and the Space Diamond.

3. Moissanites Look Incredibly Similar To Diamonds

When moissanite was first discovered by Henri Moissan, he first thought he had simply found diamonds. That’s because moissanites look incredibly similar to diamonds, with their clear white radiance.

moissanite

4. Moissanites Are Even More Brilliant Than Diamonds

While moissanites look similar to white diamonds, they do have some differences in appearance. One difference is something that many would consider an advantage: moissanite’s higher brilliance. Moissanites have a faceting pattern that allows them to reflect and refract even more light than diamonds, giving them more shimmer and more fire (the rainbow light produced by gemstones).

5. Moissanite is Incredibly Durable

One of the things that makes moissanite such a great choice for an engagement ring is its excellent durability, which makes it perfect for everyday wear. It’s ranks at a 9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it harder than almost every gemstone (the one exception: diamonds, which is slightly higher at a 10). It’s also highly resistant to heat, which means it has less of a chance of getting damaged during jewelry repair (or a house fire, for that matter).

moissanite

6. Moissanites Are Even More Rare Than Diamonds

Naturally occurring moissanites are incredibly rare— even more rare than diamonds. Because of this, most of the moissanites you see in jewelry today have actually been grown in a controlled lab environment.

7. Moissanite is a Bargain

One of the advantages of moissanite being grown in a lab is its very attractive price point. A moissanite usually costs about 90% less than a diamond of comparable quality!

8. Moissanite is Highly Ethical

Another advantage of moissanite being lab created is that it is highly ethical. Moissanites are always conflict-free, with easily traced origins, and they create a much smaller environmental impact than natural gemstones.

Browse Diamond Wish‘s large selection of moissanite engagement rings at great prices.

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