Moissanite vs Diamond: What's the Difference?
Here, we explore moissanite stones, how they compare to real diamonds and why lab grown diamonds are better.
Imitation Diamonds like moissanite stone offer jewellery buyers a chance to get their hands on jewel-encrusted pieces at a fraction of the price. But are they as good as the real deal? Here, we explore moissanite stones, how they compare to real diamonds and why lab grown diamonds are better.
What is a moissanite diamond?
While they visually appear the same at a glance, moissanite stones and diamonds are different gemstones. They have major differences with the first being their chemical makeup. Moissanite is a gemstone that is made from a rare naturally-occurring mineral known as pure silicon carbide whilst diamonds are made from carbon.
They are also quite literally out of this world. It was originally discovered by french scientist Henri Moissan when investigating samples of a meteor crater found in Arizona in the 19th century. This rarity has led to its manufacture in laboratories today as the use of natural moissanite in jewellery is virtually impossible today.
What is the difference between moissanite and diamond?
Apart from their chemical composition, diamond and moissanite differ in regards to their brilliance, clarity, colour and value. All making their added expense of real diamonds worthwhile.
How to tell a diamond from moissanite
Brilliance concerns the amount of light that a gemstone is able to reflect in order to create sparkle. Moissanite does this particularly well and produces more sparkle than diamonds. However, the same isn’t true for the quality of the sparkle as diamonds disperse more light, offering more “life” with clearer and vibrant reflected beams. This clearer, colourless sparkle is much preferred over the strong flashes of colour given off the fake diamond.
Diamond clarity refers to the flaws and blemishes of gemstones which can be both internal and external. Generally, finding a flawless moissanite is easier than finding the same level of clarity in a mined, real diamond as they are lab created and do not form naturally. However, moissanite stones are less preferred due to their other characteristics that are more visible to the naked eye such as sparkle and colour.
Unlike diamonds, moissanite are not colourless. For this reason they cannot be graded based on their colour while a scale of D to Z is used to assess diamond colour with D being 100% colourless and the highest in value. On this scale, Moissanite would fall under K with recent developed versions meeting the criteria for E and H. These stones appear neither coloured or colourless with faint tints of yellow, green or grey which make it easy to tell them apart from real diamonds.
With a score of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, diamonds are the world’s hardest naturally-occurring substance. This is similar to the marginally softer Moissanite which scored 9.25 - higher than any other gemstone found in jewellery.
In comparison to real diamonds, moissanite are much cheaper, meaning that you can buy a larger stone for your budget. However, this also means that less value is passed on long term and as with all lab grown gemstones, a depreciation in value as supply grows. While rather more expensive, natural diamonds offer value that will grow when passed down from generation to generation.
Why buy moissanite?
Moissanite rings are typically purchased for their price point which is significantly lower than that of naturally mined diamonds and their ethics as lab growth makes them conflict-free. While a good choice, there are clear disparities in the quality of the stones visible in colour, brilliance in how they reflect light and their sentiment.
Natural diamonds were created millions, if not billions of years ago, making them the perfect symbol for everlasting love - the reason why they are so popular amongst wedding rings and engagement rings.
If you’re on a more restrictive budget however, lab-created diamonds offer a chance to purchase real diamonds at 50-60% of the price of natural diamonds. A better choice offering greater value for money opposed to a tell-tell moissanite. Their lab growth makes them a great ethical choice and environmentally friendly diamonds that you can cherish with the same physical properties as those mined. To find out more about man made diamonds and diamond growing visit our recent blog.
Discover our range of diamond jewellery and design your own lab grown engagement ring for a beautiful, budget friendly way to celebrate your love with Diamond Heaven.