Diamond vs Moissanite: What Are the Differences?

Both diamonds and moissanite gemstones are gorgeous but there are some differences between the two. Learn more with our diamond vs moissanite guide!

The brilliance, the shine, the bling. You just love the look of diamonds!

…or is it moissanite? 

Moissanite is a relative newcomer to the jewelry scene, but it’s creating quite a stir. In fact, the revenue of the moissanite industry is expected to go from 29.2 million in 2018 to approximately 57.1 million in 2028!

At first glance, diamonds and moissanite look quite similar. But there are some distinct differences between diamond vs moissanite. Let’s take a look at them.

Durability

Diamonds are commonly lauded as the hardest material on Earth. There are actually some materials that are harder but even so, diamonds hold strong at a perfect 10 on the Moh’s scale of hardness

In order to scratch a mineral, the material you’re using to scratch it must be harder. Since diamonds are the hardest at 10, this means there are no other materials that can scratch it. This is one of the reasons why diamonds are popular in engagement and wedding rings for everyday wear. 

So where does moissanite fall on the scale? Well, it isn’t too far behind at 9.25. This means that moissanite rings are nearly as durable as diamonds. Certainly, they are hard enough to withstand the rigors of normal everyday use.

Color and Brilliance

Durability is great and all, but for many people, what matters is how the stone looks. There’s just something about the way a diamond catches the light and gives off such a beautiful sparkle.

Both moissanite and diamonds are classified as colorless stones. However, when comparing diamond vs moissanite, there is a slight difference. 

Diamonds are actually colorless. They are bright white and naturally contain no traces of brown, gray, yellow or any other colors. 

Moissanite can have some slight green or yellowish undertones in certain lighting. Traces of color will be more noticeable in larger gemstones.

When the purpose is not to create a look-alike diamond, some companies are even capitalizing on these slight color tones. They may use coatings to add traces of pink, yellow, blue, or green to create different looks.

But if white is what you want, look into Charles and Colvard’s “Forever Brilliant” line. This line promises to be 2-3 times whiter than even the original moissanite stones.

Brilliance

Additionally, the incredible sparkle of moissanite can help distract the eye from any color issues. Moissanite actually has a higher refractive index at 2.65 than diamonds do at 2.42. It also has a higher dispersion (creates fire and flashes) at .104 than diamonds at .044. 

What does this mean?

Well, moissanite is “flashier”. Many people love the rainbow flashes given off by moissanite, particularly in sunlight. Others feel that it’s too much. What’s right for you will depend on your personal preference.

Diamonds get their incredibly famous sparkle by reflecting light in three ways. Its brilliance reflects white light directly back. Its dispersion is the rainbow of light refracted through the diamond. And its scintillation, or surface sparkle, tops it off. 

Altogether, the effect is stunning and has been loved for generations.

Clarity

There won’t be any flaws visible to the naked eye on a moissanite stone. To be suitable for sale, moissanite has to receive a VS (very slight) rating or higher. Under magnification, you’ll be able to see marks from the manufacturing process, but who’s looking that closely at your ring?

Blemishes and inclusions in diamonds also can’t be seen with the naked eye. The very highest quality diamonds are rated as flawless. This means there are no inclusions or blemishes visible even under 10x magnification.

There are various classifications of clarity in diamonds, but only the lowest three may have a slight effect on the transparency and brilliance of a diamond to the naked eye.

The bottom line, both moissanite and diamonds have incredible clarity and are beautiful gemstones.

From the Source

Moissanite is out of this world — literally. A French scientist, Henri Moissan discovered traces of the gem in a meteorite that crashed down in Arizona. In fact, he first thought that he had found diamonds, but later realized the gems were made of silicon carbide rather than carbon. 

For this reason, naturally occurring moissanite is extremely rare. But, it was discovered how to create them in a lab. This has made access to these stones easier and more eco-friendly than mining diamonds from the ground.

Another consideration is the concern about ‘blood diamonds’, diamonds that are used to fund wars in Africa. Many companies promote conflict-free diamonds, but you can never be 100% sure where your diamond came from. 

Of course, now there are lab-created diamonds as well. These are a great choice when you’re looking for a more ethical gemstone.

Price

Because of the industry built around diamonds, these stones are very expensive. Consumers have been taught to prize them as an investment, making them feel fabulous for owning such a luxury item. 

But you don’t really need to spend thousands of dollars on a rock to feel and look fabulous. Comparatively, inexpensive moissanite stones prove that.

Weddings are expensive enough as it is. Why not save some of that cash and take a more exotic honeymoon or put it towards a downpayment on a house? 

Diamond vs Moissanite: What’s the Verdict?

So where do you stand on the diamond vs moissanite debate? Some people are die-hard diamond lovers who will always have a special place in their hearts for the brilliant stone.

Others love moissanite just as much or prefer spending considerably less on a piece of jewelry they could potentially lose. What’s right for you will simply depend on your particular preference.

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