Moissanite vs diamonds: what’s all the fuss about?
If you’ve been on social media lately (who am I kidding, of course you have), you’ve been hearing about moissanite jewelry.
People are specifically talking about how moissanite is a more affordable alternative to diamond engagement rings. It’s cheaper and looks exactly the same.
Basically, moissanite is a type of lab-grown gemstone that looks like a diamond but costs far less.
But before we dive into the price, let’s talk about how they differ in their durability and appearance.
The Mohs scale is a way of measuring the hardness of a mineral by comparing it to known minerals with specific values. The scale ranges from 1-10, with 10 being the hardest and the diamond being a 10.
Moissanite rates at 9.25 on this scale, while diamonds are a perfect 10.
The hardness is a gem affects its overall durability, clarity, and value. Because of tier strength, diamonds are less likely to scratch, fade, or get damaged. This is ideal for jewelry like engagement rings or everyday wear.
The difference in hardness when comparing moissanite vs diamond jewelry is small. The difference is so minuscule, in fact, that the only other mineral that comes in between the two is Boron, a precious metal.
Moissanite is a diamond simulant that has been a part of the jewelry world since its discovery in 1893 by Henri Moissan. He discovered the mineral while working at the Paris Institute of Chemistry in 1893.
Moissanite is actually a rare mineral. It was originally found in meteorites and asteroids.
That’s why, today, moissanite in jewelry is actually man-made.
Moissanite has a high refractive index of 2.65, making it sparkle like diamonds, but this doesn't mean you should mistake it for one!
How can you tell the difference between diamond and moissanite?
The best way to tell if you're looking at moissanite or diamond is by holding your hand up to the stone and tilting your hand slightly toward yourself (about 20 degrees).
If any light reflects away from where you're looking through your fingers, then there's a good chance that what you have isn't moissanite!
The way the light reflects is also a great way to determine a moissanite vs diamond. Moissanite has more of a yellow or green reflection (think of a disco ball). A diamond’s reflection is more gray and white.
A rule of thumb when it comes to the value of a diamond is the less color, the more it’s worth.
Cost of Moissanite vs Diamond
Now, let's talk about the most obvious difference: price.
If you are on a budget and want to buy a diamond ring, moissanite is definitely worth considering. The price of moissanite is much more affordable than the price of a diamond.
A diamond is basically double the price of moissanite. If a two-carat round brilliant cut diamond goes for $20k, then a two-carat round brilliant cut moissanite would cost around $10K.
Moissanite will almost always be cheaper than diamonds of similar quality.
Here’s the catch: a diamond is an investment, and moissanite is not.RELATED: YELLOW GOLD VS WHITE GOLD VS ROSE GOLD
Value of Moissanite vs Diamond
It’s really hard to explain this without first explaining how jewelers determine the value of diamonds.
Naturally, this system has been adopted by jewelers selling moissanite as well. That’s why moissanite and diamonds should really be compared by the 4 C’S.
- Cut: The deeper the cut, the more expensive the moissanite or diamond ring will be.
- Color: The less color they reflect, the more valuable it is because natural diamonds only give off a white or grey sparkle.
- Clarity: The clearer they are, the more value moissanite and diamonds will possess.
- Carat: And finally, the more carats (a.k.a the weight), the more the gem is worth.
When looking at all four of these factors, you’ll notice that the long-term value of a diamond is significantly more than moissanite.
You can take a moissanite ring and a diamond ring with the same cut, clarity, and carat, and the moissanite will always be cheaper. However, moissanite starts to lose its value over its color because it’s a lab-created gem.
And while moissanite sellers are now trying to replicate the colorless look that natural diamonds have, they still don’t (and never will) hold the same value as a pure carbon diamond.
That’s why— in the long run— diamonds have more investment value.
A moissanite ring won’t make a good family heirloom, but it is more affordable and usually looks the same as a diamond from afar.
I know that you may still be unsure of which stone you should choose. But I hope this article has given you some insight into the differences between moissanite and diamond.
The truth is, both are beautiful stones with their own strengths and weaknesses. It's really up to your personal preference as to which one will suit your needs better!