Bottom Line Recommendations
- Moissanite is a great alternative to buying diamonds especially for people on a budget. They are nearly as hard and offer more brilliance and sparkle than a natural diamond.
- Compared to natural diamonds that are not guaranteed to be conflict-free, moissanite is lab-made and are therefore conflict-free.
- Moissanite is much cheaper compared to natural diamonds and their prices can be up to 80 percent less.
- The moissanite that is sold for jewelry will be eye-clean due to the enhancement processes. Compare this to diamonds in the SI1 clarity scale which have inclusions that can be noticed by the naked eye.
- You may, however, want to buy a diamond due to psychological significance. It is considered the perfect display of timeless love. The fact that they formed under the earth’s surface billions of years ago gives them unmatched value.
- Note that diamonds are not as rare as they sound. If you are not restricted by the budget you can find your ideal diamond from James Allen or Whiteflash. They offer high-quality images and have a large selection of diamonds to choose from. Take a look at this stunning diamond from James Allen here.
There is no doubt that engagement rings made with diamonds and moissanite are simply stunning to look at. There are plenty of benefits why you might want to choose either.
Both have spectacular sparkle. That said, it is possible to tell the difference between a moissanite and a diamond by the sparkle alone. Moissanite has a rainbow sparkle while a diamond will have a combination of a rainbow as well as a colorless sparkle.
You can find moissanite and diamonds in different shapes and the one you choose will be your personal favorite. The round brilliant cut is the most common shape in both diamonds and moissanite as it has the most sparkle.
Moissanite is a favorite of many and is the most popular diamond alternative.
For couples on a budget who may not be able to afford a diamond, there is the option of going for moissanite. It looks so similar to a diamond that many people will not be able to tell the difference between the two.
Moissanite is brighter than a diamond since is at has a higher refractive index. Note however that moissanite can have a yellow tint and undergoes an enhancement process to make it whiter.
Moissanite was first discovered in a crater caused by a meteor. Think of it as a rock from outer space.
The appearance of moissanite is very much like a diamond. Both of them have a glassy look. Even while being a diamond alternative, moissanite is not a fake diamond. It is a gemstone that is on its own. It is these similarities that cause it to be the most popular diamond alternative.
Another reason why moissanite is a popular choice is that no mining is involved and is completely conflict-free.
That said, it is important to note that moissanite is very rare and there is no way the demand can be met by natural stone. Because of this, the majority of the moissanite sold by jewelry stores is earth grown.
Understanding the origins of diamonds and moissanite
Diamonds are formed by geological activities deep in the earth’s crust. Their structure is made up of carbon atoms but can have impurities that get stuck during the formation process. It is the intense heat and pressure that causes the diamonds to form. What’s more, they can take millions and even billions of years to form.
The excessive heat and pressure cause carbon atoms in the earth’s crust to crystallize and the result is diamonds. The diamonds are mostly located around 150 to 200 kilometers in the earth’s crust. The temperatures here are immense and can be between 900 and 1300 degrees Celsius
The pressure at this depth can be over 50,000 times more than the pressure at the surface. The heat and pressure also cause molten lava or kimberlite to expand. As it erupts in volcanic activity, it brings to the surface rocks that contain diamonds.
The magma will find a path that has the least resistance forming a route or a pipe on its way to the surface of the earth. This magma will then cool on these pipes to form kimberlite.
While there are hundreds and thousands of kimberlite pipes on earth only 1 in 200 will contain diamonds that are considered gem quality.
Many people are under the impression that diamonds are rare. The truth, however, is that they are quite plentiful. And they can be found all over the earth.
Moissanite is a stone that comes from outer space. This makes natural moissanite highly rare and the quantity simply cannot supply the demand for jewelry. Because of this fact, most moissanite used for jewelry is created in a lab.
Moissanite was first discovered by Henry Moissan back in 1873 hence its name. He was a renowned scientist of his day and won a noble price in chemistry. The stone was discovered in a crater in Arizona that was formed by a meteorite.
Henry Moissan first thought they were diamonds. However, after conducting a test, he found that the crystals were made up of silicon carbide.
Before moissanite can reach the final buyer, they need to be cut and polished for jewelry. Larger silicon carbide crystals will be cut into smaller pieces. These are known as preforms.
The final moissanite will then be cut to precision and polished to result in a stone that has plenty of fire and brilliance.
A faceting machine is used to cut and polish the moissanite. It spins around similar to an old-fashioned record table. Embedded on the surface are industrial diamond chips. These are used to cut the moissanite. Since diamond is harder than the moissanite, the friction cuts the stone.
The pavilion of the moissanite is cut through grinding. The girdle which is the part between the crown and the pavilion will be cut and polished. The pavilion facets are then also cut and polished.
Why you may prefer moissanite
The cost of moissanite is a lot cheaper than the cost of a diamond, while a one-carat diamond may cost $5000, the same size moissanite may cost $500.
Moissanites are also highly bright. They are brighter than a diamond. This is because of their higher refractive index.
All moissanite sold will not have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. They are referred to as eye-clean. The only moissanite that has a clarity grade of VS and above will be used for jewelry compared to diamonds which can be sold while having visible inclusions.
Unlike natural diamonds that are mined from the earth leaving behind destruction and contributing to carbon emissions, moissanite is grown in a lab under a controlled environment. What’s more, is that moissanite is conflict-free.
Why you might want to buy diamonds
Some of the reasons why you may want to go for a diamond over moissanite include:
Many people believe that a diamond is the best and the ultimate way to show love to your significant other. They will not have the same impression of moissanite.
Even while moissanite will sparkle more and have more brilliance, many people still think of it as fake and don’t match up to the originality and timelessness of a diamond.
Diamonds are the toughest substances known to man. This makes them highly durable and can be owned and passed on for thousands of years. They are also highly valuable which makes them worth being handed down.
The cons of having a moissanite
The bottom line is that moissanite is not the same as a diamond. If your darling wants a diamond, getting them moissanite can end up being disappointing to them. And for an engagement ring, the last thing you want is to disappoint your love.
Moissanites will often have tint. Many will be similar to diamonds in the near-colorless range. If you plan on getting a stone that is one carat or larger, it is best to get enhanced moissanite.
The cons of buying a diamond
Diamonds mining ends up destroying the earth. If you are concerned about environmental degradation, then a diamond may not be the best choice for you.
Some diamonds are not conflict-free and the proceeds from its mining have been used to fund wars. And even while this is not the case, there are areas where diamond miners are subjected to unfair and highly dangerous working conditions.
Differences between a moissanite and a diamond
A diamond is the hardest substance known to man. On the Mohs scale of hardness, it scores a full 10. Moissanite, on the other hand, is not as hard but is still very impressive. It scores a 9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Moissanites may not be as hard as diamonds but they are still very hard and will last you a lifetime. They can handle everyday wear and tear. That said, it is important to choose a setting that can also withstand the test of time.
While the moissanite can resist heat as much as a diamond can, it sparkles even brighter due to a higher refractive index. The sparkle is more rainbow-like while a diamond has both a rainbow and a white sparkle.
Some girls love the appearance of a diamond while others don’t mind saving and will prefer buying moissanite for its sparkle and brilliance. It is all a matter of personal preference.
That said, moissanite is so similar in appearance to a diamond that the only way to tell them apart is to compare them side by side. Even then some people will have a hard time telling them apart. One of the easiest ways to do this is to observe the sparkle.
Moissanite vs natural diamonds – brilliance
Moissanites have a different faceting to diamonds and this is causing them to have a different kind of brilliance. The stone gives of fiery flashes with rainbow patterns which some people simply love. Others simply do not like the highly colored flashes. The refractive index of moissanite is between 2.65 and 2.69.
Diamonds have a different type of brilliance which can be used to distinguish it from moissanite. There are there many ways by which a diamond can reflect light. The brilliance of a diamond is its white light. The rainbow flashes are the diamond’s dispersion. The scintillation is the sparkle of the diamond.
Moissanite vs natural diamonds – color
Most moissanite will be colorless due to enhancements. However, they are also likely to have a yellow or grey hue. The larger the moissanite the more easily you can notice the tint.
A natural colorless diamond, however, will not have any tint in its structure and will have an icy white appearance.
Moissanite vs natural diamond – how to choose
When selecting a diamond, you will use the 4Cs. These are the cut, color, clarity and carat weight. However, when choosing moissanite you will do so solely based on the color. This is because the clarity and the cut quality will be the same across the different qualities.
Many people wonder whether they can use moissanite with diamond accents. The answer is Yes! This can result in an impressive piece of jewelry. If you don’t mind having both moissanite and natural diamond on one piece, then this can be a great idea.
Where to buy your diamonds
The best place to buy diamonds is online. Physical stores have high overhead costs which they pass on to the cost of the diamonds.
Online sellers do not have many overhead costs and this is why their prices are competitive. We recommend buying from Whiteflash and James Allen. Their return policies are favorable and provide high definition videos of their diamonds allowing the shopper to make a great evaluation before placing the order.