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.