Moissanite and Diamonds have so many similar characteristics that many experts even get confused between the two. If there is any true alternative to Diamond, that title goes to Moissanite easily.
Most of the time moissanite results as a diamond with a diamond tester. This is because its chemical composure has the presence of Carbon in it. This makes them almost indistinguishable from each other.
What is a Diamond?
Diamonds are traditional luxurious gems which are very white and sparkly, also one of the toughest material on earth. They were formed because of the heat and compression of coals and other minerals over hundreds and hundreds of years.
Because of this lengthy amount of time taken for their creation and their rarity, diamonds are very expensive. It is not easy for a gem to be formed just under any kind of compression and heat. There are many properties that a diamond has that cannot be faked or duplicated easily, or not completely 100% even if it was done.
What is a Moissanite?
Some people may confuse Moissanite as a real diamond, but no they are not Diamond. It is a silicon carbide crystal of various crystalline polymorphs. They are nearly colorless and as glistening as diamond. When you look at them, they will look just like a diamond. Their chemical formula is SiC.
Moissanite can create a multi-color pattern when light reflects on it. It is a rare naturally occurring mineral. Natural moissanite was almost impossible to use in jewelry, so nowadays they are made in a laboratory to be used in pieces of jewelry.
History of Moissanite
Moissanite was discovered by a French Scientist Henri Moissan in 1893. Henri Moissan went to Canyon Diablo, Arizona to test some rock samples that formed from a meteor crater. He mistakenly thought it was diamond. It was in 1904 that moissanite was declared as silicon carbide.
Then later on this stone was named after Henri Moissan, in honor of his discovery. Moissanite as ‘Moissan’. Two years before Henri Moissan’s discovery, a man named Edward G. Acheson also discovered this crystal. But this discovery was on a different way, not in an expedition. He artificially synthesized silicon carbide in a lab. That is what has been put into jewelry nowadays.
Scientists developed a thermal growing process later, which was able to create silicon carbide crystals. Due to this, it was possible to shape the moissanite into gemstones.
Difference Between Moissanite and Diamond
Diamond is naturally formed from carbon, by pressure from thousands of years. On the other hand, moissanite was created in the lab. It has a lot of similarities with diamonds. Moissanite has a high refractive index which causes them to give off multiple colors and sparkles when in light.
As earlier mentioned moissanite originated from stars, in fragments of small pieces in a meteorite. They were almost impossible to cut into gemstones from the meteorite fragments. Then it was possible to put it into jewelry, because of the artificial synthesizing process.
Diamonds are white gems that are considered as the highest value among stones, on top of the list of luxurious gems. This is because of their rarity, beauty, endurance, and the way they are formed. Diamonds are formed in such a natural way that they cannot be duplicated in a replica, not completely even if it is close.
Although they are a lot alike and hard to distinguish between them, moissanite and diamonds have a lot of things that differ slightly. Even if the difference is very little and almost untraceable to naked eyes, the difference is still there.
There are many things that can be pointed out as their difference. At first glance, they may look similar but they still differ a lot when it comes to their properties such as ways they react to fire, the colors they give off to light, Hardness, brilliance, clarity, and mostly, price!
Here is the head to head comparison between Diamond and Moissanite based on many factors that are important for consideration:
In Terms of Price
When compared to a diamond, a Moissanite is a lot cheaper. Diamond adds a value of luxuriousness and can be passed down from generation to generation. They will still retain their value even after generations, the same cannot be said for moissanite. The price of these stones depends on carat weights.
If you are looking for a gem that is very sparkly and almost as good as diamond, then moissanite is a good choice. They may add little worth in long term, but they are almost as good as diamonds when it comes to many qualities. You can buy a larger stone with less money comparing to a diamond but looks as much the same to the naked eye.
Many people would think that diamonds are colorless, but that is not entirely true. For Moissanite and Diamond, color can differ among them. In a diamond’s case, its grades are assessed on its color. For labeling diamond colors, they are labeled from D-Z.
On a scale of D-Z, D graded diamonds are completely colorless. The colors can vary from white, yellow, and greenish tints. As you go down with grading for diamond from D to below, it starts to take little colors. From label G-J it is nearly colorless, but not completely. Then as you go down, it starts taking color from faint yellow to light yellow.
When it comes to moissanite, the smaller they are the more colorless they will appear. Apparently, Moissanite is not colorless. Depending on the lighting, moissanite will give off a green or grey tint. Comparing to diamonds, moissanite stones have a color near the J-M category. They can also be colorless if intended to design that way, as they can come in a variety of ranges from manufacturers.
This means in general moissanites are in the faint color scale in contrast to diamond, not completely colorless by nature. For diamonds, if they are clear and colorless, then more valuable they will be. Some diamonds can even give of brownish tint when in light.
Before you judge the clarity of these two stones, keep in mind that one is natural and another is lab-created. Some people will cherish the natural and some people will choose the clean gem with imperfection, even if it is man-made.
If you take a close look at a diamond, you will find a lot of internal imperfection. Moissanites have high clarity over diamonds because they were made in labs, while diamonds are formed naturally. As natural minerals come, diamond has blemishes and imperfections.
Cut of the gemstone
The stones were cut into shape because they catch the light differently in different shapes sometimes so that they will look pretty. Moissanite has a variety of shapes it can be cut. Such a variety of cuts includes Moissanite emerald cut, Cushion cut, Asscher cut, Heart & arrow cut, Princess cut, Pear cut, Round cut, and Oval cut.
These varieties have a lot of significance with a style of diamond cuts which are usually in pear, oval, or round shape. These cuts provide luminescence due to the shape it has been fashioned. They shine a little bit differently with each cut when they interact with light.
You will find many forms of diamond cut such as Round Brilliant, Princess, Marquise, Emerald, and Asscher.
Cutting a rough-edged stone to proper shape not only makes it look beautiful but also increases its value. The stone will be upgraded to its looks drastically after it has been given a round cut.
This cut is very popular for jewelries. After the gem is shaped into a princess cut, it will just look like an upside-down pyramid. Etching rough stones into this shape bring a lot to the table for the fellow jewelers.
A marquise cut is not always the most recommendable cut by the jewelers. Sometimes it has been pointed out that this cut has been found with a flaw, referred to as ‘’bow-tie’’. This is because there are dark shadows coming on from both sides with this particular cut and somehow resembles a bow tie.
The emerald cut will give your gem a very elegant look. When cut in this shape, the diamond looks like a smooth rectangle. When you gaze at it after the diamond is cut in this manner, it gives an unflinching shine.
They also have rectangular cut but, they will give off a more octagonal look when you view them. This is because of the way the angles are etched. The way it reflects the light is very intriguing. Because of the angles and corners, the stone plays with the lights in an interesting way.
These few examples are enough to show you that diamonds have a lot more fancy way to the varieties they can be put into jewelry. This is what makes a diamond more prestigious to be elected as the more luxurious for wedding rings. The battle will be won by diamond if you compare them with a moissanite, in terms of prestigious ways they can be shaped into.
Moissanite is very hard if you compare it to other stones that are used as gems in jewelry. Moissanite is only second to diamond when it comes to hardness. It surpassed ruby, sapphire, and emeralds in terms of the hardness of gems.
Diamond is the hardest material that occurred naturally in the ground. Moissanite is maybe higher than other stones in terms of hardness, but definitely lower than diamond. Even if their hardness is close in scale but it does differ. Moissanite is reliable to expect it can take day-to-day use with good endurance. The only way you can put a scratch on moissanite at once is to gouge them against diamond.
Moh is the scale for hardness which is measured for gemstones. Diamond has the highest scale than anyone else, with a score of 10. It is the most resistant to scratching and abrasion.
On a scale of 1-10, moissanite earned a second place of hardness with a score of 9.25. Do not underestimate them because of this. Even though the score is slightly less than diamond, it is still very hard with high withstanding power against wearing out.
Both moissanite and Diamond have a high tolerance against heat, which makes them very durable. Withstanding high temperature and chemical exposure comes from their position in the higher scale of hardness among gemstones.
Brilliance is referred to the ability of a gemstone to how it reflects the light after capturing it. Simply put in other words, it is how they bend the light to make it sparkle. This depends on how the gem is cut. Moissanite refracts in a different way than diamond. This is because moissanite has a different facete than that of a diamond.
If the refractive index of a gem is high, then the jewel is supposed to have more brilliance. Moissanite’s refractive index is 2.65, which is higher than a diamond. This refers that moissanite has more spark than a diamond.
A diamond has a refractive index of 2.42, which keeps moissanite higher than it in this ranking of brilliance. Moissanite produces a more colorful and stronger sparkle of light than diamond. Moissanite flashes multiple colors that of a rainbow, more intense than that of a diamond.
This can be compared if both the gemstones, diamond, and moissanite. Put them side by side and then put lights over them. Put the stones on the flat upper surface face down. The ray of light should be hitting on the bottom of the angled segment. The light should be refracted through from the conical bottom edge to the upper surface faced on the table, to reveal its brilliance.
The stones will produce bling due to their respective kind of facete. The brilliance depends on the angles on the surface of the gems. Because of the diamond’s natural creation of facete, you will get bright white or yellowish light. People who have a knack for old-school style or classiness, would prefer this rather than a rainbow spray of colors from their gem.
Environment and Social Friendliness
Diamonds are formed naturally and moissanite is made in the lab. The fragments of moissanite were found in a meteor, though later it was processed in laboratories to be fit for jewelries. Diamonds are needed to be mined, while that is not necessary for moissanite.
Some would say mining is not eco-friendly in the long term, and some would say moissanite may be responsible for releasing chemicals into the air due to the process of their lab-grown creation. Nowadays people are more conscious about the environment. Thus, if a product has an impact on the environment, people take it into account.
Difference Between Diamond and Moissanite?
Let us get down to a short briefing again about the difference between a diamond and moissanite. To give things a clear walk-through again, we will point out some key things about these two stones.
A moissanite is mostly 15% lighter when compared to the same size as a diamond. You may even be able to tell their difference by lifting them with your both hands.
A moissanite will have multi-colored light coming off it when a ray is put upon it. A diamond will give off a white light, not glimmering rainbow-colored lights like moissanite. This is how you will know a great difference.
Moissanites are lab-grown stones and very clear if you take a closer look at them. Making them artificially gave them this edge over clearness, while diamonds are imperfect. They do not possess pure clarity.
Moissanite usually gives out a lot of colors, unlike a diamond. They may be yellow, green, or gray tint when under a light. Take a diamond under the light, you won’t find this much color reflecting from it. This is another major difference between them, making it obvious for you to tell.
A moissanite’s price is much lower if compared to a diamond. With the price which can get you a large stone of moissanite, that will cost a lot higher when you go for a diamond that same size. Diamond is much pricier than moissanite or any other stones out there.
Advantages of Moissanite
Let us take a look at the advantages we can have with a Moissanite. Moissanite has a lower price than diamond, and the gap between their price is huge. Average people won’t be able to tell the difference between them, so if it is for looks then you can have moissanite with a much much lower price.
Moissanite has the upper hand over diamond when it comes to clarity. This is a much important feature for some people. Diamond has flaws and imperfections, which moissanite does not have. They are lab-made. Thus, they have this advantage over diamonds, as they occur naturally.
Sometimes at some period, diamonds have controversy around their source. Some would say they are being extracted in an unethical way. There were stories with diamond miners that may create some negative ideas behind the mining of natural diamonds.
Also, some people are very conscious about the geographical impact mining will have on the environment in long term, due to this mining. Some people believe these finite resources underneath our ground should not be disturbed.
Moissanite is lab-grown, so many people feel comfortable with its consumption without having to worry about environmental disasters. A lot of miners in Africa are underpaid, who are living miserable life. The way they lead their painful lifestyle has sometimes created a built toward some purchaser to acquire such jewelry. Many people want to avoid something that may exploit laborers in any way.
Advantages of Diamond
Diamonds took millions of years to form. The natural process that took place to make that happen is really fascinating. No matter what you do, it will be never replicated as well as that. That is something that adds status. A lab-made synthesized stone cannot really achieve that in true meaning.
Moissanite can only be lab-grown, to make it fit inside a jewel. It would not be possible to do other than this way. The fragments of moissanite that have been found in the meteor, it is not possible to shape them into a gem.
When it comes to brilliance, moissanite has the ability to give off multi-colored light emanating from it but that is not something many people would want. Diamond has an elegance that cannot be lab-made. The white-colored light that emits from a diamond when under light, is preferred by the ‘classy’ people from a segment of the society.
Diamonds have more cuts than a Moissanite. If you are specifically looking for this feature is a gem, then diamond easily tops this one.
Diamonds are the hardest stone in the world according to the hardness Moh scale. Its durability and hardness are greater than anyone’s when compared. Both moissanite and diamond may be very hard, but diamond is tougher without a doubt.
Diamonds are almost scratch-proof and very durable. They can be passed down to many generations. This is something that cannot be said toward all other stones.
Can a Moissanite be Considered as Diamond?
Moissanite and diamond are different. A diamond is formed naturally underground, due to heat and compression over million years. While moissanite is lab-grown, so, no. They are not the same.
Although moissanite is the closest thing to diamond, which is man-made. Some would say, moissanite is the only thing considered a perfect replica of a diamond. Calling moissanite a replica might be undermining its value because they are not a replica. They are look-alike stones made in the lab, with less value than the diamond itself.
Can moissanite be a pass for a diamond? The answer is, absolutely. It would take the very sharp eyes of an expert to tell them apart from one another with just a naked eye. It is shiny and looks a lot like a diamond, very hard to tell apart. And only a few folks would be able to differentiate between them if they lack experience and knowledge about stones.
Moissanite serves as a nice substitute for diamond. If you cannot afford a diamond, moissanite is a very good option to go for. It is almost as good as a diamond, as far as replicas go. You do not have to waste tons of money over a stone if you do not want to.
But there are things that cannot be removed from originality. Diamond has an eloquence that cannot be replicated because it has millions of years spent behind it by mother nature, That alone adds the value on it that it deserves.
If you really want to get a diamond, that is fine if you can afford one. But moissanite is a very good substitute if you ask me.
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