When choosing jewelry, consumers often have to decide between moissanite and diamond. These stones have some important differences that can impact your decision. Understanding the distinctions between moissanite and diamond will help you make a well-informed choice and get the best value for your money. In this blog post, we will discuss these differences to help you shop confidently.
What Is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a gemstone made of silicon carbide and is known for its brilliance and fire. It is a lab-created gemstone that is produced through a complex process of growing crystals in a controlled environment. Its exceptional hardness is one of its notable characteristics.
According to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, moissanite ranks at 9.25, making it one of the hardest gemstones available. This makes moissanite a durable option for everyday use due to its resistance to scratches. Additionally, moissanite has a distinct sparkle that is often compared to that of a diamond.
Moissanite reflects light well and produces sparkle due to its high refractive index. It also disperses light into its constituent hues and has a high internal fire, resulting in a beautiful play of color.
The History Of Moissanite
Moissanite was initially found by Henri Moissan in 1893 during his examination of a meteor crater in Arizona. Initially, Moissan believed the crystals to be diamonds, but subsequent analysis revealed them to be a new mineral, which was later named moissanite in his honor.
Moissanite was once rare due to its limited natural supply, but researchers were able to produce it in a lab setting in the latter half of the 20th century. This lab-created moissanite is now easily accessible and has become a popular choice as an alternative to diamonds.
What are the differences between moissanite and diamond?
Composition and Origin
Diamonds are highly valued and desired gems that are formed from carbon under intense pressure and heat within the Earth's mantle. They are often chosen for engagement rings and other high-quality jewelry because of their exceptional hardness and brilliance.
One of the main differences between moissanite and diamond is their origin. Moissanite is lab-created, while diamonds are formed naturally over millions of years. This distinction can affect the price, as natural diamonds are usually more expensive than moissanite.
Hardness and Durability
Another notable distinction between the two is their hardness. Diamonds are considered the hardest substance on Earth, with a ranking of 10 on the Mohs scale. Consequently, they exhibit exceptional resistance to scratching and possess the ability to retain their exquisite radiance and allure indefinitely.
Moissanite has a ranking of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, which is slightly lower than a diamond. Although it is still highly durable, moissanite may be more susceptible to scratching with prolonged use.
There are differences in brilliance, fire, and sparkle.
Both moissanite and diamonds have unique qualities when it comes to sparkle and brilliance. Diamonds are known for their exceptional brilliance due to their high refractive index, which allows them to reflect light well and create a dazzling display of sparkle.
Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds, allowing it to create more sparkle. This is why it is often called a "fire gem" as it disperses light into different colors, creating a beautiful display of color.
Color and Clarity
When grading diamonds based on color, they are placed on a scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The diamonds with the highest value are those that are colorless or nearly colorless.
Moissanite is typically seen as a nearly colorless gemstone, with a slight yellow or green tint. However, the variation in color between a moissanite and a diamond is often quite subtle and may not be readily noticeable to those without expertise in gemstones.
Cost and Value
When deciding between moissanite and diamond, price is an important factor to consider. Moissanite is generally more affordable than diamonds because of their difference in origin. Diamonds are naturally formed and much rarer. However, it's important to note that the price of both moissanite and diamonds can vary based on factors like carat weight, cut, clarity, and color.
Shapes and Sizes
There are various shapes and sizes available for both moissanites and diamonds. In addition to more unique shapes like pear, marquise, and heart, diamonds also come in more traditional shapes like round, princess, and emerald. Similarly, moissanites are available in a range of forms, including the popular round brilliant cut, as well as cushion, oval, and radiant cuts.
Does Moissanite Show Refraction?
Moissanite does show refraction. It has a higher refractive index than diamonds, which means it can separate light into different colors, creating a beautiful display of color. This is why moissanite is often called a "fire gem" and is known for its sparkling appearance. If you want a gemstone with exceptional light refraction, moissanite is definitely a great choice.