When you’re purchasing a ring for any special occasion, you’ll find many options on the market. Usually, people go straight for the diamond for apparent reasons, but the price tag can be a bit of a turn-off.
So, while looking for a more affordable option, you stumble upon moissanite. But this begs the question: Can I pass off my moissanite as a diamond?
In short, yes – but there’s a catch. Even though moissanite and diamonds can look pretty similar, there are some distinguishable differences.
This article will show you everything you need to know about this gorgeous gem; let’s dive in!
What Is Moissanite?
Before we even start, let’s take a look at what exactly moissanite is.
In 1893, a French scientist named Henri Moissan discovered microscopic particles of natural silicon carbide that would, later on, bear his name. The site of this discovery was in the desert lands of Arizona, where the meteorite struck thousands of years ago.
But natural moissanite is very rare. So, the moissanite that is available today is mainly created in laboratories: Particles that Moissan discovered were successfully synthesized after many years – and today, we can make one of the world’s shiniest gemstones in labs!
Moissanite is engineered to look similar to diamond. But make no mistake, these two gems are pretty distinct – not only visually but in terms of durability, color, and brilliance, too.
Interestingly enough, diamonds can vary in price significantly. That is because of their ratings for color, clarity, size, and cut. While some diamonds can be wickedly expensive, others can be a bit more accessible.
But how do they compare to moissanite? Let’s take a look at the price comparison between diamond and moissanite.
|Carat Weight||Moissanite Average Price (USD)||Diamond Average Price (USD)|
Moissanite is made out of silicon carbide, and its price doesn’t vary that much. Also, moissanite is priced by the millimeter, unlike diamonds, which are priced by carat. For reference, 5-millimeter moissanite can be sold for $500 – while a diamond of the same size will go for $1000.
When it comes to hardness, if you think diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth, you’re most certainly right. Mohs scale of hardness is used to measure the resistance to scratching that minerals have. So, on a scale from 1 to 10, diamonds score a perfect 10.
And what about moissanite? It might surprise you, but moissanite is a solid 9.25 on this scale. So, the only way to scratch it would be to gouge it with a diamond.
It’s safe to conclude that diamonds and moissanite are pretty close when it comes to hardness.
The purpose of a cut is to make the stone look pretty by catching the light as best as possible – and a gem’s cut is one of the four Cs defined by the Gemological Institute of America used for rating diamonds.
Just like diamond jewelry, moissanite can be crafted into a wide variety of cuts:
- Moissanite Asscher cut
- Moissanite Cushion cut
- Moissanite Emerald cut
- Moissanite Pear cut
- Moissanite Princess cut
- Moissanite Oval cut
- Moissanite Round cut
- Heart and Arrow cut
Cuts that compete for the best against the diamonds are round, oval, and pear. That is because the shapes of these cuts interact with light in a way that gives the most shine and luminescence. Diamonds are most likely crafted in these cuts:
- Princess – These cuts are basically upside down pyramids. Jewelers usually get a lot of yield from stones by going with this cut.
- Marquise – American football-shaped cut.
- Emerald – These cuts are in a neat little rectangle and are usually considered elegant.
- Round Brilliant – A highly coveted and well-known cut; cutting a stone into a rounded shape will make it more beautiful and increase its value.
- Asscher – Rectangle cuts that have angled edges and corners to appear a bit more octagonal.
All of the shapes that diamonds are cut into are meant to look prestigious. And if you were to put diamonds and moissanite side by side, diamonds would probably win in terms of cut.
When it comes to clarity, we need to separate “natural” and “artificial.” Some people like the natural look and are even fond of the imperfections that can sometimes be found in diamonds. But on the other hand, many people go for “eye-clean,” closer-to-perfection looks.
It’s not an easy task finding such diamonds – and it certainly isn’t cheap, either. Moissanite, being a lab-created stone, will always be “eye-clean” without any imperfections. So, moissanite has an edge in this category.
Despite what some people think, diamonds aren’t always completely colorless. But, the more color-free they are, the more valuable they get. So, as you can imagine, colorless diamonds are extremely clear – and, thus, extremely valuable.
However, diamonds have color – usually yellow and white tints – and are graded on a D-to-Z scale. Perfectly colorless diamonds are graded with D, and as they get more towards Z, they get increasingly yellow.
As a matter of fact, some diamonds can even have a brownish tint.
Initially, moissanite fell near J-M; that would be yellowish-brown. However, over time scientists figured out ways to manufacture them in a wider variety of colors. They can also be nearly colorless, much like diamonds.
A gem’s ability to refract rays of light is what makes it sparkle. Rays that hit the angled surfaces on the bottom segment of the gemstone are refracted through the gem’s table – the top, flat surface – to your eye. And brilliance is the degree of this refraction.
Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do. That is because their faceting pattern is different. The rainbow flashes emitted by moissanite are loved by some people – but others might feel that moissanite’s brilliance can create a disco ball effect.
The different types of brilliance is what helps us distinguish a diamond from moissanite.
Diamonds reflect the light in three ways: The white light that is reflected is referred to as brilliance. The surface sparkle of the diamond is called scintillation. And the rainbow of colors that is refracted through the diamond is referred to as dispersion.
Some people find moissanite’s brilliance way too colorful and not as classy as diamond’s.
Can Moissanite Be Considered A Diamond?
As we’ve seen above, these two stones are different. Moissanite most certainly isn’t a type of diamond. That’s particularly true given that moissanite isn’t even a precious stone and is grown in laboratories.
How well moissanite can replace a diamond is up to the owner to decide. If you insist on a real diamond on your ring – or any other piece of jewelry – then yes, a diamond is a better choice.
But if you can’t afford a diamond, that’s perfectly fine, too.
As for whether or not moissanite can pass for a diamond, the answer is – well, in the eyes of the observer. It would take an expert to tell the difference between diamond and moissanite at a glance.
Can You Tell The Difference?
The best way to tell the difference between the two is to have them side by side. So, let us tell you what the things you need to keep an eye on are:
- Weight – Moissanite stone is 15% lighter than a diamond of the same size
- Clarity – Diamonds have imperfections in most cases; if a stone is perfectly clear, it’s moissanite
- Value – Diamonds are way more valuable than moissanite; if you see a large gem being sold for a suspiciously low price, the chances are that’s moissanite
- Color – Color is the best way of telling the difference between moissanite and diamond; moissanite will get you a lot more colors when you look at it under the light
- Brilliance – If you see a lot of multi-colored lights coming off the stone, it’s moissanite
Pros Of Moissanite
The most significant advantage of moissanite over diamond is the price. The price difference is enormous, and yet, your average person couldn’t tell the difference between the stones. These two factors speak for themselves here.
Another significant advantage of moissanite is clarity. Although some people love imperfections found in diamonds, it’s hard to compete with the beauty of a clear stone. Since moissanite is synthetically made, it will always have perfect clarity.
Furthermore, lab growth is also an advantage: You see, diamonds are mined, which means it has an environmental impact. Also, people who mine diamonds are working in harsh conditions and are often underpaid for such demanding and tiring tasks.
There are certain people who will stay away from diamonds due to ethical reasons. What we’d like to add is that, if you don’t know where your diamond is coming from, moissanite is the way to go.
Nobody wants to take part in labor exploitation just for a pretty piece of jewelry, right?
Cons Of Moissanite
On one side, we have diamonds which were formed millions of years ago. And on the other, we have everything else, which is usually considered an “imitation.” It’s not about status or label; imitation is generally a tricky thing to sell.
Moissanite is lab-grown, so there’s a reason why it’s less expensive. Diamonds were formed naturally – and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Another issue can be brilliance. Some people just don’t like the multi-colored flare emanating from moissanite.
Plus, diamonds will usually come in more cuts than moissanite. If you’re looking for a specific cut that can only be found in diamond, that could also be an issue.
When it comes to hardness and durability, it would be a stretch to say that moissanite is less durable than diamond. Most people don’t worry about this particular point when choosing one or the other.
Let’s take a look at alternatives for moissanite and diamonds in general.
Cubic zirconia is a synthesized form of zirconium oxide. The production of this gem for fashion jewelry started in 1976.
Like moissanite, cubic zirconia gives off that multi-colored flare but is sometimes thought of as a bit “too loud.” You’ll also notice that it doesn’t strike you with that subtle elegance that diamonds have.
Cubic zirconia is the same as moissanite when it comes to the pricing of jewelry pieces, as they are way less expensive. Some people will confuse this gem with zircon due to the similarities in names.
Related Read: Moissanite Vs. Cubic Zirconia Vs. White Sapphire
Cubic zirconia and moissanite aren’t the only diamond-like gems made in a lab. Scientists found a way to simulate the conditions that created diamonds millions of years ago.
Yup, lab-made diamonds are a thing. Lab-created diamonds can be found in various colors that can’t be found in natural diamonds. And like other gems we’ve talked about, lab-created diamonds aren’t as expensive as the “real” ones.
Related Read: Lab-created Diamond Vs. Natural Diamond
If you’re still unsure regarding your initial question – can I pass off my moissanite as a diamond? – let us sum it up for you:
Moissanite is an excellent alternative to the diamond. Moissanite is very hard, very clear, and bright. It gives off a shine like a diamond – but in a manner unique to it.
The multi-colored flare is something that differentiates moissanite from diamonds.
For the general public – and everyone else you show off your moissanite ring to – they won’t be able to tell the difference. Most people haven’t heard of moissanite and wouldn’t even think to question if your jewelry piece has diamond or moissanite in it.
The most significant reason for anyone to go with moissanite instead of a diamond is the price. Being synthetically made, moissanite is way less expensive. What’s more, moissanite will have perfect clarity – unlike diamonds, which usually have some imperfections.
In the end, if you’re worried that someone will notice how sparkly your “diamond” is, you may want to have a prepared response such as: Thanks, I love it too!