Diamond Vs. Moissanite: What's The Difference?
Written By: Vahid Moradi
While most people consider the center gem of an engagement ring to be a natural diamond, there are other choices that can make a ring attractive. If you are looking for something different but remarkably similar to a natural diamond, a moissanite can come in handy. However, it can be challenging to understand how moissanite differs from a mined diamond.
Diamond and moissanite stones have a lot in common, from the physical appearance to specific chemical compositions. Yet, certain features separate these two gemstones, including color, price, durability, brilliance, and hardness.
What Is a Diamond?
Diamond is a native crystalline carbon and the hardest known mineral, preferably for industrial use. The word diamond originates from the Greek word "Adamas," meaning "indestructible," "invincible," or "unbreakable." These gemstones are formed deep within the earth's mantle, where the carbon-bearing minerals are subjected to extremely high pressure and temperature until they crystallize.
Like most gemstones, determining the quality and value of diamonds involves the four standard features of the 4Cs – carat, cut, clarity, and color. Most mined diamond dealers and the jewelry industry often use these characteristics to grade and categorize diamonds to determine their retail value.
What Is a Moissanite?
Moissanite is a near-colorless gemstone and looks similar to a real diamond at first glance, made from pure silicon carbide. However, unlike diamonds, natural moissanite is rare, making it difficult to use along with jewelry. As an alternative, moissanite diamond stones used in the jewelry industry are created in a laboratory and cut depending on the buyers' preferences.
Although natural moissanite gem is not as hard and durable as diamond, it has unique properties that resemble natural diamonds. Besides, it is an exciting stone because of its striking features and qualities comparable to diamonds.
Diamond Vs. Moissanite: What's The Difference?
A real diamond and moissanite may appear similar, but the two gemstones differ considerably. That said, here is a comparison of diamond vs. moissanite based on their characteristics.
Diamond vs. Moissanite: Color
Naturally mined diamonds are available in assorted colors, from an icy-white clear color to a gray or yellow hue. Besides, all mined diamonds come in distinctive color variations due to specific environmental factors where the diamond was mined. Typically, the whiter and clearer the lab diamond is, the more enviable and valuable it is to the consumer.
On the other hand, moissanite often originates from meteorites; hence, it is not naturally occurring. Hence, these gems are lab-created in a controlled and regulated environment to ensure the best production and consistent results. In the market, moissanite is colorless with a color range equivalent to D-I or on the highest tiers on the color scale.
Diamond vs. Moissanite: Hardness
While no gemstone is destructible, some stones are more rigid and durable than others, making them more difficult to scratch and chip. For example, diamonds are the hardest known mineral, scoring 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. On the other hand, Moissanite gemstones have a hardness of 9.5 out of 10, meaning these jewels are as reliable as diamonds.
Since diamond and moissanite are hard stones, they are ideal for jewelry pieces, especially simple engagement rings. In addition, these stones are highly heat-resistant and can be easily repurposed in different settings without damage.
Diamond vs. Moissanite: Price
Perhaps the leading advantage of moissanite gem over diamonds is the cost, as moissanite is relatively cheaper than diamond. In contrast, diamonds are far more valuable and treasured for several centuries than a moissanite stone. Diamonds are also in high demand and popular among wearers around the world, making them more expensive than other gems.
Moissanite, like other lab-grown gemstones, costs significantly less than naturally mined gems because it is infrequent to mine these stones naturally. In addition, lab diamond prices often vary depending on the 4Cs, while a moissanite diamond can have the same price that only fluctuates with the shape and size of the moissanite stone.
Diamond vs. Moissanite: Inclusions
In a nutshell, inclusions – commonly referred to as imperfections – are tiny blemishes found inside a gem's facets. These slight inclusions are different for every stone and make them unique depending on the type of stone. Because moissanite is lab-grown in a regulated environment, these stones usually have microscopic inclusions that do not affect their brilliance and clarity.
However, diamonds are naturally mined below the earth's surface, which is likely to have inclusions. In most cases, a diamond's clarity varies from flawless to imperfect, which can cause cost fluctuations. This is why diamonds undergo processing to remove inclusions, giving them a sparkling feature and maintaining their value.
Diamond vs. Moissanite: Sparkle
Diamond and moissanite are excellent gemstones when it comes to sparkle, since both stones shine brightly with flashes of light. Typically, sparkle is determined by brilliance which involves the gem's refractive index, with moissanite having a slight edge than diamonds. As such, moissanite tends to sparkle more with a refractive index of between 2.65 to 2.69 than diamonds, which have a refractive index of 2.24.
Moissanite has a greater brilliance than most gemstones and includes an exceptionally glaring fire with a rainbow of colors. While grown diamond can sparkle more than other stones, moissanite sparkles more than a grown diamond.
Diamond vs. Moissanite: Durability
Because diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring mineral, they are known to be more durable and indestructible. As a result, these stones can withstand different forms of wear and tear, making them everyday wear – mainly for non traditional engagement rings. In addition, diamonds have a significantly higher hardness degree, which makes them more resistant to abrasions.
On the contrary, based on the Mohs hardness scale, moissanite is the second-hardest gemstone after diamond. Like diamonds, moissanite can withstand various wear and tears, making it a durable option for luxury diamond jewelry because it doesn't scratch or chip easily.
When shopping for a diamond vs. moissanite, there are some things you should consider – similar to other gemstones. However, the most important factor to remember is that you can buy high-quality moissanite at a reasonable price. In contrast, diamonds are valuable and highly-priced depending on clarity, cut, carat, and color. Hence, you can find a small-sized, high-quality diamond stone priced more expensive than a moissanite gemstone.
In addition, look for a high degree of fire when shopping for diamond vs. moissanite, as well as a good polish and a bright luster. Some stones can have scratches or inclusions that can affect their brilliance and eventually reduce their sparkle. Therefore, buying your stone from a trusted retailer is essential to get the most from your money.
Like most gemstones, diamond and moissanite are versatile, making them great for different settings. Besides, they pair perfectly with other gemstones, even when used concurrently to create a piece of jewelry such as a diamond ring or necklace. Therefore, finding the right diamond alternative jewelry that meets your needs should not be difficult.
Why Are Diamonds Preferred Over Moissanites?
Unlike moissanite – which is lab-grown – diamonds are rare, naturally occurring stones cherished for their beauty. Diamonds are also unique since they take millions of years to develop deep within the earth's mantle. In addition, diamonds are considered extra-special germs, making them a symbol of everlasting loved. For this, most people consider using diamonds are center stones for their engagement rings, although moissanite is a great alternative.
Diamond Vs. Moissanite Jewelry Ideas
If you are shopping for diamond vs. moissanite jewelry, CJ Charles has a wide selection of natural diamond options regardless of price, carat, color, and cut. Below are some of our top pick diamond vs. moissanite jewelry, ideal for getting you started.
- Riviere Platinum Oval Diamond Eternity Band Ring: This is a 15 oval brilliant diamond ring with a color range of between G and I. Diamonds have a total weight of 7.37 carats and a clarity range of VS2 to SI2.
- 18 k White Gold Diamond Circle 2 Oval Necklace: This necklace is crafted from 18 karats of white gold, comprising a circle with two oval motifs. It also includes diamonds weighing 1.50 carats.
- 18 kt White Gold 1.05 CTW Pave Diamond Chain Link Bracelet: This elegant bracelet is designed of 18 karats white gold, which is link-shaped. It features 482 round brilliant cut diamonds with G-H color and SI1 clarity with a total weight of 1.05 carat.
- Reviere Platinum 4.03 ct Heart-Shaped Diamond Halo Necklace: This is among the few Riviere collections designed exclusively in-house at CJ Charles. It is an elegant necklace with a 4.03-carat heart-shaped diamond crafted of platinum. The diamond is a J color with SI1 clarity and includes a diamond halo weighing 0.13 carat.
Looking For Fine Jewelry to Buy? CJ Charles Has Got You Covered
At CJ Charles, we have a wide range of jewelry pieces crafted from diamond, gold, and other gemstones. Whether looking for jewelry to add to your collection, an engagement ring, or jewelry to surprise your loved one, visit our website to explore our catalog or contact us to find out more today.
Written By: Vahid Moradi
Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.