Moissanite Vs Diamond: Beauty, Durability, and Price – ThePeachBox
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moissanite and diamonds

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.

moissanite vs diamond: moissanite mineral

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.

But, we need to find out just how similar the two stones are, and in what way they’re different.

Moissanite vs Diamond: Price

One thing about diamonds is that they will vary in price quite dramatically.  This is based on their ratings for color and clarity, plus their size and cut.  Therefore, while they can live up to their reputation as wicked expensive, they can sometimes be more accessible.

Carat weight Moissanite average price (USD) Diamond average price (USD)
0.5 1080 2080
0.75 1155 2180
1 1405 5180
1.5 1730 6980
2 1905 11080
2.5 2480 12180
3 2960 25980

 

By contrast, moissanite stones are made of silicon carbide and don’t vary as much from each other.  The variation is only based on whether it’s a premium or super-premium stone.

One thing to note is that while diamonds are often priced by the carat, moissanite is priced by the millimeter.  Well, for reference, a 5mm diamond might run roughly $1,000 while a moissanite might be $500.

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.

diamond color scale

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:

  • Round brilliant
  • Princess
  • Marquise
  • Emerald
  • Asscher

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:

Moissanite Solitaire round 6-prong engagement ring

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.

 

2.0 carat Princess cut- We talked about the coolness of the princess cut above.  This engagement ring shows it’s not just for diamonds—anymore.  This moissanite engagement ring is crafted by master technicians in Los Angeles.

 

Kobelli Radiant-cut Moissanite Engagement Ring

Kobelli Radiant-cut Moissanite Engagement Ring- The halos around the stone and on the band are natural diamonds, so this is a really nice hybrid.  Don’t let your girlfriends skimp on the credit for having real-ass diamonds, yet still have money left over for, like, shoes.

 

Moissanite DovEggs arrows cut solitaire engagement ring

DovEggs arrows cut solitaire ring- This engagement ring is designed to maximize the beauty of the moissanite.

As you can see, as far as engagement rings with moissanite stones, a lot of the best ones include some natural diamonds too.  So, you see, as we have a faceoff of moissanite vs. diamond, you can also have your cake and eat it too.  How cool is that?

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.

moissanite vs diamond brilliance

(source: charlesandcolvard.com)

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.

Can Moissanite be Considered a Diamond?

Well, it depends on who’s doing the considering and what this “considering” means. Clearly, the two stones are different.  A moissanite is not a type of diamond.  This is particularly true given that they must they are lab grown.

As for how well a moissanite can replace a diamond, that’s probably up to the owner to decide.  At the end of the day, if you insist on a real diamond for the center stone for your engagement ring, promise ring or any other ring, then that is your right.  You can do that.

Conversely, if you just can’t afford a diamond, you can’t.  Be free to be you.

But if you’re asking whether or not a moissanite can pass for a diamond, the answer is yes.  It would take an expert to be able to tell the difference.  Now, some folks a bit below the expert level might be able to tell a moissanite from its multi-colored bling.  But it does look like diamond and it gives off a shine.

As you saw above, a lot of engagement rings with moissanite as their center stone also have small diamonds around the outside.  However, one could go the route of just the moissanite and basically enjoy the basic clear look (clearer and more “eye clean” than many diamonds) of it and not worry about what its name is at all.

Can You Tell the Difference Between Diamond and Moissanite?

But, if you insist on being a buzz-kill and telling the difference between the lab grown wonder, Moissanite, and the natural wonder, diamonds, who are we to stop you? In fact, we’ll walk you through the various factors that will show the difference.

  • Weight- A moissanite stone will be 15% lighter than a diamond of the same size.  Therefore, weighting two in your hands at once will tell the story.
  • Brilliance- As mentioned above, when you see a bunch of thin lines of multi-colored light coming off from a stone, it’s moissanite, not a diamond.  Dead giveaway.
  • Clarity- We know everyone wants to think of the pure clarity of diamonds, but they actually do have imperfections.  Strange though as it may seem, if you’re looking at a stone to tell if it’s moissanite or diamond and you’re looking at a very clear stone, it’s moissanite.  That’s due to moissanite being a lab grown stone.
  • Color- In a lot of ways, the color issue gives you the best way of telling the difference between diamonds and moissanite side by side.  The main thing is that you’re going to get a lot more color out of moissanite.  When you look at moissanite under light, you’ll see yellow, green, or gray tint.
  • Value- As we all know, moissanites aren’t as valuable or expensive as diamonds.  Therefore when you see a large stone that is sold for a suspiciously-low price, you’re probably looking at moissanite.

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.

Other Alternatives to Diamond: What is the Best Fake Diamond?

Those little rings you can make out of a drinking straw.  Oh, what am I saying, everyone uses metal drinking—hey, did I just invent a new kind of diamond engagement ring?  Anyway, there are other alternatives to diamonds. Honey, don’t stress yourself too much over being able to afford something you may not be able to.  Besides getting someone else to get it for you, you can also just be strong in who you are, while wearing jewelry that is perfectly gorgeous.

Cubic Zirconia- Did you know we were going to bring up the old CZ?  Of course.  This gem need not be a dirty word! Cubic Zirconia is absolutely “real”—it’s the synthesized form of zirconium oxide, and they started producing it for fashion jewelry in 1976.  

Like moissanite, CZ gives off that multi-colored fire, and is sometimes thought of as a bit too loud. It’s also clear like moissanite and to some eyes, without the certain subtle elegance that only diamonds can deliver.

Cubic Zirconia is like moissanite in the sense that jewelry made with it is quite a bit less expensive than that made with diamonds.  It suffers from a stigma of being a cheap imitation, and is sometimes even confused with zircon due to the similarities in names.

Lab-created diamonds

Here’s one thing to be aware of.  Moissanite and cubic zirconia  are not the only diamondesque stones created in a lab. Basically, brainy science people use a lab to try to simulate the conditions that created diamonds in the Earth’s crust millions of years ago.

Some of these are available in some serious colors that sure wouldn’t be found in nature.  But like the gems we’ve been talking about all along, they don’t really have resale value. As always, something like this is all about stretching that budget.

Moissanite vs Diamond: Frequently-asked questions

Q. Is a moissanite diamond a real diamond?

Well, no, it’s a real moissanite stone.  A diamond is a diamond.  And forever.  And a girl’s best friend. Moissanite is the stuff from the crater and named after a French guy.  Read the article, sweetie. It’s a stone with its strengths and weaknesses.  It’s a pretty rock that is affordable.  Check it out.

Q. Can I pass of my moissanite as a diamond?

Sheesh, you schemer! Yeah, go ahead.  Just be careful that you’re not caught doing it.  That would be so embarrassing.  These stones kind of look like diamonds to the non-expert, except that you may notice a rainbow fire coming from it. 

Q. Which moissanite is closest to diamond? Can I pass Off my Moissanite as a Diamond?

The cut of moissanite that is closest to diamond are any of the round ones.  The round heart and arrow are the ones that most resemble diamond

Q. Is a moissanite engagement ring tacky?

This depends on a few things, though moissanites don’t have to be tacky at all.

As a general guideline, I’d recommend going with a one-stone diamond engagement ring.  If you look at a white or clear stone, or perhaps one with gray tint, you should have classiness.  Oval or round cuts, particularly without prongs, look best to my eye for engagement rings. However what’s tacky is in the eye of the beholder. So if you find some of the other cuts or settings to look sharp, then go for it.  They aren’t any more tacky” than their diamond counterparts.

Q. Do moissanite rings look fake?

Are you kidding?  Of course not! They’re not fake, and they don’t look fake.  Moissanite stones are lab created, but they come from natural materials.  

Some people say that there’s a certain hard-to-describe charm or elegance to diamonds. It’s something you find in some of the precious metals—they just look a bit different from any imitators that may exist. Anyway, if one wanted to look at the incredible clarity that thes stones have as fake, then you can.  But it’s also quite lovely.

Q. Will moissanite last forever? Does Moissanite Hold Its value?

Sweetie, you won’t last forever.

But this stone will outlive you.  Some of the reason is its hardness.  That’s a big factor in the life of a gemstone.

Another thing to consider is the setting—if you go with a very high-quality metal like platinum or titanium, you’ll be in the best possible position.

Q. Does moissanite get cloudy?

It depends on what one means by this.  There are different kinds of cloudiness.  There’s the natural loss of shine with a cloudiness that just comes from time.  That tends to impact cubic zirconia.

That sort of inevitable cloudiness doesn’t happen to moissanite.  It is true, though, that over time, if it’s exposed to dust and dirt, moissanite will get a bit cloudy.  But this minor cloudiness can be scrubbed away by a soft, damp cloth.  Rest easy!

Conclusion

Moissanite is a fascinating gem that serves as a nice substitute for diamonds.  Moissanite is very clear, very hard, and bright.  It has a shine like a diamond’s except that it gives off an array of light in a way that is different.  The multi-colored fire is something that makes moissanite different from diamonds.

Naturally, this lab-created stone is much less expensive than diamonds.  That is one of the biggest draws for it.  When you have a stone that looks almost exactly like a diamond but that costs less, you have to give it a lot of credit.

In the end, only a diamond is a diamond.  There are folks who won’t settle for less.  Often, a diamond ring is bought for a lover, often as an engagement ring.  But if you’re buying jewelry for yourself, you have a choice.  If only a diamond will do, then do you, boo.   Otherwise, enjoy the beauty of a really good replacement.

February 07, 2021 by Jennifer N.