Moissanite vs. Diamonds: Everything You Should Know

by Lauren Robinson – Writer & Editor

Moissanite vs. Diamonds: Learn The Main Differences

Moissanite and diamonds are pretty similar and to the untrained eye, they look identical.

Both stones are used in fine jewelry and have plenty in common. Diamonds take the cake when it comes to engagement rings, but they look incredibly similar to moissanite.

Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral called silicon carbide, but it is not found in nature large enough to be used in most jewelry. That is why most jewelry containing moissanite is created in a lab.

Let’s take a look at moissanite vs. diamonds and compare which is better.

What Is A Moissanite Promise Ring?

A promise ring is a step up from dating, typically given as a precursor to an engagement ring. A moissanite promise ring is a promise ring that contains moissanite instead of a diamond.

Moissanite is significantly less expensive than a diamond, and you can get a bigger stone for far less than a diamond. Moissanite is not a diamond, it is its own gemstone, but it is less hard than a diamond.

What Is The Difference Between Lab-Grown Diamonds And Moissanite?

Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral called silicon carbide. It was first discovered in 1893 by French scientist Henri Moissan.

He discovered particles of moissanite in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to earth, because of their extra-terrestrial origin, natural moissanite is extremely rare. They are actually their own gemstone and made from silicon carbide where lab-grown diamonds are made from carbon.

Lab-grown diamonds are grown in a lab from carbon dioxide molecules to create extreme pressure and heat. Using this technology replicates the natural diamond growing process and makes man-made diamonds with the same physical and chemical properties of actual diamonds. They are a sustainable and mining free option.

The moissanite we have today is synthesized for production and is now lab-created. Although moissanite and lab-grown diamonds are man-made, they have a different chemical makeup and very specific features when looked at closely.

3 Benefits Of Moissanite Vs Lab-Grown Diamonds

  1. Moissanite scores a 9.25 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making them very strong and suitable for daily wear. Moissanite has a higher refractive index, which gives them a different kind of brilliance than a lab-grown diamond.
  2. You will notice that moissanite sparkles more than a lab-grown diamond and has a sparkle like that of fireworks. In smaller stones, moissanite looks beautiful. Moissanite rings are pretty affordable for most couples compared to lab-grown diamonds.
  3. Moissanite is also doubly refractive, lab-grown diamonds are singly reactive. That means light is refracted through the stone to where it looks doubled, like that of zircon and sapphires. They will hold more of a sparkle than a lab-grown diamond.

How To Tell The Differences Between Natural Diamonds Vs Moissanite?

If you compare both side by side you will notice moissanite has more colors and makes quick flashes of rainbow color when moving the stone around. Moissanite also has more of a “colorful” sparkle, referred to as dispersion by gemologist.

Moissanite vs Real Diamonds: What’s the Price Tag?

While both diamonds and moissanite have similar appearances, they have many key differences. Moissanite weighs 15% lighter than a diamond.

Because of this moissanite is usually sold by the length and width in millimeters, rather than a carat weight like a diamond. Visually a moissanite stone will look the same size as a diamond, but they will not weigh the same.

Moissanite is also sold on a different standard than diamonds. They are sold based on their size and color. Diamonds are priced based on their 4 C’s as well as many other factors.

One of the biggest advantages of moissanite is that it is considerably cheaper than real diamonds. Moissanite can be about $400 to $600 per carat while a one carat diamond can be anywhere between $2,000 to 20,000.

That is a significant price difference that many people will base their choice solely on. Buying a moissanite stone will give you a huge cost savings. Even buying a lower priced diamond, you will have significant compromises in color and clarity.

Moissanite vs. Diamonds Appearance: Brightness, Color & Brilliance

When you look at a diamond and you see a reflective flash that is called brilliance (white flash) and fire (colored flashes).

Moissanite has both of these flashes as well, but tends to have more of the fire flashes of color. With smaller stones, these flashes are harder to see with the naked eye, compared to bigger stones that make it much easier.
When Moissanite gems were first discovered they had a brown/yellow color.

Today, due to moissanite’s rarity, most moissanite gems are lab-grown and have the same color as real diamonds. Moissanite is available in the “Colorless” range and “Near Colorless” range to mimic different diamond styles and looks.

Round moissanite looks very similar to real diamonds. If you were to compare both a round diamond and a round moissanite, the moissanite would give you a brighter appearance. The main difference would be that the round moissanite has more brilliance than the round diamond.

Moissanite can also come in oval and cushion shape. Oval moissanite makes a noticeable difference, it appears “shorter” than oval diamonds.

Cushion moissanite looks just like a true cushion cut diamond, currently cushion moissanite only comes in square cushion shapes. Moissanite does not come in a size small enough for pave.

The Scale of Hardness

The scale that is used to measure the hardness of gems and minerals is called the Mohs scale. It was introduced in 1822, Friedrich Mohs chose ten minerals and assigned numbers to them based on how easy or difficult they could be scratched.

His findings resulted in the Mohs scale, which is still used today. This scale tells how durable a gem or mineral is. The more durable, the more suitable it is for use in frequently worn jewelry.

Almost everyone knows that a diamond is one of the hardest substances on earth. It is ranked as a 10 on the Mohs scale, the highest level of hardness a gem or mineral can score. This means that only a mineral or gem that is the same hardness grade can scratch a diamond.

For example, a sapphire is a 9 on the Mohs scale, only another sapphire or diamond can scratch a sapphire. Diamonds are very well known for their durability making them the most ideal for everyday wear and tear for jewelry.

On the Mohs scale, moissanite gemstones are a 9.25 on the scale for hardness, making them suitable for daily wear. Moissanite is the second hardest to diamond on the Mohs hardness scale. They are a very durable option for an engagement ring stone, mainly because the material doesn’t scratch easily.

Several Moissanite vs Diamonds Comparisons You Should Think About

When comparing moissanite vs. diamonds you should think about how much you are willing to spend and if you want something eco-friendly or naturally occurring.

Moissanite gemstones are significantly cheaper than diamonds, and they are more eco-friendly, whereas diamonds are mined.

Agape Diamonds vs Moissanite

Agape diamonds are man-made single crystals that are manufactured to simulate the appearance of a natural mined diamond. A moissanites brilliance and fire is much greater than an agape diamond. This gives the moissanite gemstone a brighter shine and a slightly yellow hue that is noticeable in indoor lighting.

Moissanite Diamonds vs Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is completely made in a lab, whereas some moissanite is naturally occurring. Cubic zirconia is very easy to care for, but it still reminds the wearer of a diamond. Cubic zirconia can be made completely colorless, making this stone practically the same as diamonds when it comes to color.

Asha Diamonds vs Moissanite

The asha diamond is a colorless gem that has a diamond-like carbon coating bonded to the core of cubic zirconia.

The asha diamond was made to fix the problem that cubic zirconia had, such as changing color and becoming cloudy over time. Asha diamonds have an 8.5 on the Mohs scale, so moissanite would be able to scratch it. Asha diamonds need more care than moissanite.

Moissanite vs Nexus Diamonds

Nexus diamonds are made to resemble diamonds on first-look appearances. They have the same refraction as natural diamonds and have a 9.2 on the Mohs scale.

Both nexus and moissanite are great simulants of naturally occurring diamonds and ethical for environmental concerns. Nexus diamonds are cheaper than moissanite, but nexus diamonds are the closest imitators of mined diamonds.

Where To Buy Moissanite And Diamond Engagement Rings?

Moissanite vs diamonds buying tips

Moissanite and diamond engagement rings

Charles & Colvard

One of the biggest jewelry stores that sells moissanite and diamond engagement rings is Charles & Colvard.

They specialize in premium lab grown diamonds that are hand selected by their certified gemologist. Charles & Colvard also prides themselves in ethically sourced diamonds that are conflict free.

moissanite rings vs diamond rings

Moissanite engagement rings

Forever Moissanite

Forever Moissanite also offers exclusively moissanite rings. They are highly rated on TrustPilot, which is a key consideration to jewelry retailers.

They offer a wide variety of different diamond cuts, but are consistent with their fabulous quality.

How to Choose Moissanite Engagement Rings?

One of the rarest minerals in nature, due to the fact that it was discovered in a meteorite, it is often referred to as a “gemstone born from the stars”.

Moissanite is a very durable gemstone- it is resistant to cracks, chips and scratches, making it a fabulous choice for an engagement ring.

When looking for moissanite engagement rings, a good factor to look for is dispersion- the ability of a gemstone to throw light, also known as fire.

Moissanite has a very high dispersion, almost 2.5 times that of a diamond. A good quality moissanite will sparkle with fire.

High quality moissanite engagement rings have a color almost identical to that of a real diamond. Moissanite engagement rings are very easy to clean with some warm soapy water. You just need to decide on what size, color, and shape moissanite engagement ring you want.

Moissanite vs. Diamonds FAQs

How Much To Spend On Engagement Diamonds Or Moissanite Rings?

For a 1 carat moissanite engagement ring you should expect to pay around $1,500. With a real diamond for 1 carat, they can go for upwards of $5,000.

Will Someone Notice the Difference Between Moissanite And Lab/Natural Diamonds?

No, not unless someone is looking at them professionally. To the naked, untrained eye, moissanite and natural diamonds are nearly identical and hard to tell the difference even up close.

How Long Do Moissanite Rings Last?

At a 9.25/10 moissanite rights are slightly softer than diamonds so they will need some extra care to avoid scratches. However, your moissanite ring stone should easily last for decades or even more if properly cared for.

How To Clean Moissanite Rings?

The best way to clean moissanite rings is by using a mild soap with warm water, and gently brushing the stone. Make sure that you take care by getting into the hard-to-reach areas.

Closing Thoughts

Engagement ring buyers are taking a shine to man-made diamonds. They are nearly almost indistinguishable from natural diamonds.

To an untrained eye it would be almost impossible to tell the difference. But, lab-grown diamonds cost significantly less than natural diamonds and they are conflict-free.

There are many reasons why someone would choose a lab-made diamond, but it mainly comes down to the cost and eco-friendly way these diamonds are made. That being said, there are many differences between moissanite vs. diamonds.

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