Moissanite is a lab created diamond simulant. It sparkles and gives off more fire and colors than diamond due a higher refractive index.
Moissanite has a yellow tinge but is eye clean and nearly as hard as diamond.
Moissanite is much cheaper than diamond.
What could possibly replace a diamond? Well, moissanite, perhaps.
Moissanite is a very rare gem that is sparkly and thought of as a replacement for diamonds, perhaps similar to the way that cubic zirconium is. Well, get ready for a very thorough exploration of the ins and outs of this mysterious gem, and how it compares to diamonds.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Who Is Henri Moissan And What Is Moissanite
Thousands of years ago, a meteorite struck desert land in Arizona, in the Southwest of the U.S. Well, something like that is going to attract some bigtime scientists, since fragments of stars are going to carry a heap of minerals.
One learned fellow, Henri Moissan, found some tiny particles of what we now know as moissanite. This rare mineral is generally colorless, but can sometimes have a green or yellow tint. It is a single crystal of silicon carbide—like a little snowflake, and just as glistening.
This stone reflects light in a way that creates spectacular multi-color patterns. It is also very hard, and these are some of the reasons that the gem can be thought of as a stand-in for good old diamonds.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Color
Here’s where there’s a pretty big difference. Now, contrary to what some may think, diamonds aren’t always completely colorless. However, the more without color they are, the more valuable. Colorless diamonds are, in turn, most clear, and this is very valuable.
But, as we say, they do have color, with white and yellow tints, and are graded on a scale of D-Z. At the beginning of the range, D diamonds are perfectly colorless, and as they get toward Z they are increasingly yellow. In fact some diamonds can have a brownish tint.
Well, originally, moissanite stones usually fell near J-M, yellowish brown. But they’ve figured out how to manufacture them in a broad range: yellow or yellow-green tinted, but they can also be nearly colorless.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Clarity
Here we get into the difference between something that is all natural and something that is man-made. A lot of people cherish the natural, and they will then have a fondness for imperfections that are often found in diamonds (mined diamonds, not lab created diamonds).
However, there are a lot of people who go for an “eye clean” or closer-to-perfect diamond. It’s not easy to even find one, much less one that is truly affordable.
Thus, the edge might go to moissanite in this category. As a lab-created stone (lab grown), moissanite with always be “eye clean,” without imperfections. Every once in a while, you’ll find one that doesn’t have a high clarity grade, but this is rare.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Cut
A gem’s cut is the proportion of the stone rated by the GIA, Gemological Institute of America. The purpose of a cut is to catch light the best so that the stone is prettiest, so it goes best with the band, etc.
First, let’s look at the cuts of Moissanite.
Moissanite can be created in a wide variety of cuts just like diamond jewelry. Here’s the list:
Moissanite Emerald cut
Moissanite Cushion cut
Moissanite Asscher cut
Heart & arrow cut
Moissanite Princess cut
Moissanite Pear cut
Moissanite Round cut
Moissanite Oval cut
The significance of this is that the ones that compete best with diamonds are the round, pear, and oval. Because of the shapes of these cuts and the way they interact with light, these cuts with have the most shine and luminescence.
Now let’s look at the cuts of diamonds.
You’re most likely to find diamonds in these cuts:
The Cadillac of these is the round, the most coveted and well-known. Cutting a rough stone into a round shape is a good way to both make it more beautiful and to increase its value.
Princess cuts are basically upside-down pyramids, and jewelers get a lot of yield from rough stones by going with this cut.
As for the Marquise cut, the (American) football-shaped cut elongates and flatters fingers. Sometimes diamonds that are cut this way have a flaw called a “bow-tie,” which means dark shadows coming across from either side toward the long ends of the stone—which resemble bow ties. Try to avoid these.
Emerald cut diamonds are in a neat little rectangle, and are often thought of as elegant. What they give up, though, is an audacious shine.
Asscher cuts are a rectangle but they have angled edges and corners to make them look a bit more octagonal. These are stones that have many facets to throw light off in interesting ways.
As you can see, diamonds are cut in a lot of fancy ways to create prestigious engagement rings. When you put moissanite and diamonds side by side, you see that diamonds win the battle in terms of cut.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Hardness
Now, our readers are definitely sophisticated fashion jewelry buyers, so you definitely know about the hardness of diamonds. If you’re guessing they are the hardest substance on Earth, you are right. Spot on!
Now, when we talk about the Mohs Scale of hardness, you already know that it measures the resistance to scratching that a stone has, on a scale of 1-10. And that diamonds score a perfect 10.
As for moissanite, it’s no slouch, coming in close with a 9. The only way to scratch a moissanite would be to gouge it with a diamond, and why would you do that? Some strange battle of rocks? You wouldn’t do that. Would you?
Best Moissanite Engagement Rings
When we go head to head, moissanite vs. diamond, it’s often to try to find an excellent engagement ring, since that’s so often when diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Here are some nice, affordable substitutes using our new friend, Moissanite:
Solitaire round 6-prong- This lovely engagement ring can compete with a round-cut diamond, because it has a robust round 8-mm stone. Its special feature is little prongs of moissanite that make it look less simple.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Brilliance
When a gorgeous urbanite like yourself enjoys a diamond’s sparkle, it’s made possible by the gem’s ability to refract—bend—rays of light. As these rays hit the angled surfaces on the bottom segment of the diamond, they are refracted through the diamond’s table, the top, flat surface, to your urban eye. The degree to which this happens is called brilliance.
If you’re really obsessed, you can break this down into three categories, brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation, but if you talk about these to some lovely creature at a party, they’ll think you’re coming on to them and things might get out of control. So let’s just stick with brilliance.
So, to compare moissanite and diamond side-by-side, mano a mano, we can be sure that moissanite has mad, phat brilliance too. It’s just different. It’s a brilliance that comes from the particular type of faceting that moissanites have. Whatever angles there are on the surface of a gem, that’s the sort of bling it will produce.
While the diamond is known for that white or yellow, near-clear sparkle that is cool and natural, the kind of brilliance you get from moissanite is different. Based on the way it deals with light, moissanite creates a rainbow spray of colors. This is a nice thing to shoot someone in the face with, using your knuckle as a laser gun.
But some people think it’s a bit too colorful and not klass-ay enough. You can make this determination for yourself.
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Advantages Of Moissanite
You’re probably way ahead of us here—obviously the biggest advantage of going to moissanite over diamonds is price. The difference is huge, and if a casual person can’t tell the difference between the stones, that’s a heck of a bargain. Those two facts really speak for themselves, right?
We’ve already touched another big advantage to Moissanite, and that’s clarity. As no know, the 4 C’s of rating diamonds includes clarity, meaning that this trait is super valuable. As outlined above in our moissanite vs. diamond comparison, as natural products, diamonds do have flaws and imperfections, as opposed to full clarity.
Now, a lot of fashionistas like the imperfections in diamonds because of the spontaneous and nature-reflecting quality of them, yet it’s hard to argue with a pretty, clear stone. Because moissanite is lab grown, it will always have perfect clarity.
A further advantage of moissanite dovetails from this same thing—that they’re lab grown. Huh? What am I talkin’ ‘bout? Well, diamonds are mined, and there are controversies surrounding that. One common form of mining is called alluvial mining. This is mining done in places like river or creek beds, and some of it is done by small, non-union companies—this is dubbed artisanal alluvial mining.
A lot of this kind of mining is done in African countries. The problem with this is that the workers who mine these expensive stones get paid well under a dollar a day, living a painful, awful lifestyle even though the fulltime work they do is difficult and tiring.
Some people try to stay away from diamonds mined in this way for ethical reasons. Some diamonds are mined in Canada or Russia in better conditions, and some are done by companies with high ethical standards. If one doesn’t know their diamonds are coming from these places, moissanite is a good way to go. Nothing is more fashionable than not exploiting laborers!
Moissanite Vs Diamond: Disadvantages Of Moissanite
A lot of people are concerned about authenticity. If you have a certain thing, and there’s another thing that’s considered an imitation of that thing, the imitation can be a tough sell. It’s not just about labels or status, either. Diamonds were formed millions of years ago. The process of their formation is really quite awesome and nothing to take for granted.
There’s something to be said for what is natural. The bottom line is that moissanite is and can only be lab grown. There’s a reason it is less expensive.
In terms of the actual substance of the stones, one issue can be the brilliance. You either like the multi-colored fire emanating from moissanite or you don’t. If you’re looking for a clearer, single-hue brilliance, you have to go with diamonds.
Diamonds tend to come in more cuts, and if you’re looking for a cut only available in diamond, that’s a disadvantage of moissanite.
In terms of durability and hardness, recall that diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth on Mohs Scale of hardness. However, it might be a stretch to say that the difference in the stones is really that big a deal. Both of them are really hard to scratch and very durable. You probably don’t need to worry about this particular point.