Have you heard of moissanites? Moissanites are precious gemstones that look remarkably like diamonds— yet cost far less. Moissanite is also extremely durable, making it great for everyday wear, and it’s very environmentally friendly. Let’s take a closer look at how moissanites compare to diamonds and whether or not moissanite may be right for you.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite, the “Space Diamond,” shines brilliantly in this glamorous yet chic engagement ring.
First, let’s talk a little 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 French scientist, who found what he thought were diamond particles in a meteorite crater. 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 one carat diamond vs. a one carat moissanite. Can you spot the difference?
Let’s break down the differences between moissanites and diamonds. The main differences are in brilliance, durability, color, price, 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 a diamond. This is a big plus to many who love this mesmerizing rainbow effect. However, for those who prefer the more varied, and often more “white,” light of a diamond (which can have three kinds of light reflection: brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation), they may see this as a drawback.
Durability: Diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth, earning a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Moissanite is slightly less hard, coming in at a 9.25, but 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, is labeled as colorless but can have a very slight yellow or grey look in certain lights. This effect is maximized in larger moissanites.
Price: Moissanites are much more affordable than diamonds, especially natural diamonds. On average, a moissanite will cost 90% less than a diamond of similar size and quality.
Creation: Diamonds can be either lab created or naturally created, though natural diamonds are generally more popular for jewelry. Moissanite, on the other hand, can be naturally created but natural moissanite is so rare that almost all the moissanite available today is lab created. Not only does this make moissanite more affordable than natural diamonds, it also makes it more eco friendly. Lab created gemstones have a much smaller impact on the environment than natural ones.
Buying Moissanites Vs. Buying Diamonds
The stunning Coral engagement ring features a large center 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 the right moissanite. First, moissanites aren’t graded in the same way as diamonds. While diamonds are graded on the 4Cs (color, cut, clarity, and carat), 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 diamond), near colorless (equivalent to a G, H, or I diamond), or with faint hues of color (equivalent to a J or K diamond).
So, color is the main thing to look for when buying moissanite. There is a commonly asked question we see about moissanite, however, that we wanted to address in this section. Many people wonder if moissanite looks good with diamond band settings. And the answer is yes! Moissanite looks beautiful when paired with diamond side stone bands and diamond halo settings. Moissanites and diamonds, while different, look gorgeous when paired together.