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Moissanite vs. Diamonds

Moissanite vs. Diamonds

At a Glance

Moissanite doesn’t have the same status as real diamonds, but it is brighter and casts more light. It also costs a great deal less.

Every so often, companies find a new form of simulated diamond and attempt to market it as being “better than the real thing.” Moissanite is one such stone. It’s hard like a diamond, it’s clear like a diamond, and it certainly costs a lot less than a diamond. Ultimately, the choice is likely to come down to what you can afford. If you’re having difficulty deciding between moissanite vs. diamonds, though, we hope this guide will make your decision easier.

Physical Properties

Moissanite is usually sold as a colorless stone, although green and yellow shades can sometimes be seen upon close examination. Diamonds too are generally colorless, but natural and heat-treated diamonds can take on a variety of different shades including yellow and blue. Diamond ranks 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, being the hardest natural known substance. Moissanite ranks a 9.25 on the scale. Although gem hardness may not be a factor when you purchase jewelry, it may provide some peace of mind to know that moissanite is nearly as unlikely as diamond to chip or crack. Moissanite has a light dispersion factor of .104, while diamonds rank .044 on the same scale. This means that a properly faceted moissanite stone will actually have more “fire” or colorful sparkle than a real diamond.

Pictured at top: 14k Moissanite Ring by Charles Winston

Refractive Properties

Moissanite has a greater refractive brilliance index — another factor determining a stone’s brightness — at 2.6. This makes Moissanite a very bright gem. Diamond comes very close at 2.4. Although the difference is small, it is noticeable when similar moissanite and diamonds are compared side by side.

Availability

Moissanite was found in a rock from outer space that crashed into Earth, the scientist who noticed this gem’s sparkle was able to determine its properties and was able to finally perfect and recreate it in labs. Although it can be found in nature, moissanite is quite rare. The only readily available form of moissanite is created in labs.

If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely considering natural diamonds — those that are mined from the ground and carefully cut and polished into gemstones. If you’re on a budget, though, be aware that lab-created diamonds are also available. These cost significantly less and are indistinguishable from real diamonds to the untrained eye.

Price

Being a lab-created gemstone, moissanite often costs less than a tenth of what an equivalent diamond would.

Here are some estimated price examples you may find when you browse through numerous stores.

  • .5 CT ideal cut diamond, clarity VS1: $1,235
  • .5 CT equivalent moissanite : $95

The difference between the two? A staggering $1,140. Another example:

  • 4 CT ideal cut diamond, clarity VS2: $122,085
  • 4 CT equivalent moissanite: $839

Because large diamonds are rarer than small ones, the price increases exponentially for larger stones. Moissanite, being lab created, doesn’t suffer from the same problem.

Price is certainly a factor in everything we buy, and if you want beautiful jewelry on a budget you should give moissanite serious consideration. While it would be untrue to consider moissanite the same type of status symbol as a real diamond, no one but a jeweler will be able to tell what you’re wearing around your neck. You’ll also have a lot more money left over for the other things that matter to you.