One thing is for certain, moissanite (the new gemstone on everyone’s mind) has definitely taken off and is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional diamond engagement rings. Over the past year or so we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of clients lining up to get their hands on our moissanite engagement rings. They make for a great diamond alternative as they, like diamonds are white gems, they have an unsurpassed sparkle, they also come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Let’s look into some of the main questions people are asking when it comes to comparing moissanite to diamonds and making that all important purchase decision.
Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 in a crater. When Henri Moissan, French scientist and Nobel Prize winner, discovered it in Arizona after a meteorite collided with the earth, he initially thought that he had stumbled upon particles of diamonds. He later discovered that the crystal structures were made up of silicon carbide. The mineral form of silicon carbide was named moissanite in honor of Moissan in his later life.
Is Moissanite natural?
The answer to this is both yes and no. Moissanite came from the stars and was then discovered on earth in a very small quantity. And then, after years of scientific research, the process of synthesizing Moissanite was refined and perfected. Although originally a naturally formed gemstone, all Moissanite on the market is in fact currently created in a laboratory.
Is Moissanite a Cubic Zirconia or a fake diamond?
The answer to this is simply no. Moissanite is neither cubic zirconia, nor a fake diamond. Moissanite is a gemstone, just like any other, (eg. ruby, emerald, sapphire, morganite). Moissanite originated from space and was brought to earth as fragments of a meteorite.
Which is more expensive, a diamond or a moissanite?
Moissanites are significantly cheaper than diamonds! This is one of the major factors that have contributed to its ever growing popularity. Our clients are able to purchase a much bigger and whiter gemstone at a fraction of the price of a Diamond.
What shapes do moissanites come in?
Like Diamonds, moissanite is available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Unlike diamonds, shapes, size and color of moissanites are a lot easier to source. This is because they are created in a laboratory to the exact size and spec quality is assured. Diamonds (with the exception of lab grown diamonds) are mined, so you are limited to stock availability due to the natural process. This becomes more challenging when sourcing bigger and higher graded Diamonds.
Is Moissanite Durable?
Most definitely! Moissanite is the second hardest gemstone known to man. It is practically as hard as a diamond and is an incredible 9.25 on the Mohs scale of Hardness. It actually falls between diamond at 10 on the Mohs scale and Sapphire at 9. It won’t scratch, chip or change colour.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Durability
Most definitely! Moissanite is the second hardest gemstone known to man. It is practically as hard as a diamond and is an incredible 9.25 on the Mohs scale of Hardness. It actually falls between diamond at 10 on the Mohs scale and Sapphire at 9. It won’t scratch, chip or change colour. On the Mohs scale, moissanite scores a significant 9.25, making it one of the hardest substances on earth, and suitable for everyday wear as an engagement or dress ring. Diamonds are the hardest known mineral on earth scoring a whopping 10 on the Mohs Scale. With the top score in this class, diamonds are extremely durable and ideal for everyday wear. In addition to their beauty, durability has contributed to its popularity for engagement rings.
Moissanite has a refractive index from 2.65 – 2.69, which is notably higher than a diamond. They exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as their faceting pattern is different. The fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanites are striking as its heightened brilliance can create a “disco ball” effect, especially in sunlight. The bigger the moissanite, the more apparent this difference becomes. Diamonds reflect light in three different ways. The white light reflected back is referred to as ‘brilliance’, while the rainbow of colors refracted through the diamond is referred to as ‘dispersion’. The third type of diamond reflected light is the surface sparkle known as ‘scintillation’. The combination of these give diamonds their famous sparkle.
Even though moissanites are labeled as “colorless”, they can still refract slight yellow or grayish hues in certain lights. As most Moissanites produced are of a high quality this should not be seen as a negative attribute but more of a characteristic. Most Diamonds on the market are not colourless and contain slight hues of yellow and brown (amongst other colors). A colorless diamond, whether natural or lab created, has a natural body color that contains no traces of yellow, brown, or grey, resulting in a stunning, bright white appearance.
As mentioned above, this is one of moissanites most appealing qualities. For the same size, Moissanite is vastly lower in price compared to diamonds of the same size. Moissanites typically vary in price only based on size and whether the stone is Premium or Super Premium. Natural and lab grown diamond prices vary based on shape, carat, cut, color, and clarity (“the Four C’s”). Lab created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds but can still attract a large price tag.
Due to the fact that moissanites are lab created, they are an appealing option for those seeking an eco and/or socially-conscious alternative as they require no mining.
So which one should I choose?
Is there a specific look you are seeking, but cannot afford that rock you had in mind, or would you rather have something more rare like a natural diamond? The decision lies in your hands and is based on your preferences. Both of these stones have their own unique qualities but one is no less spectacular than the other. Whether you decide on moissanite or a diamond, we will ensure that your piece is an absolute showstopper!