Moissanite vs Diamond: The Differences and Similarities

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Moissanite and diamond are two of the most popular gemstones used for jewelry. While they may have a similar appearance, their differences make each unique. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between these two glistening stones.

First discovered by Henri Moissan in 1893, moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral. However, it is now mainly lab-created as natural moissanite is extremely rare. Lab-created moissanite has properties similar to those of the natural stone but with some differences. Diamond, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for thousands of years as a precious stone for jewelry.

One of the most fundamental distinctions between moissanite and diamond is their chemical composition. Moissanite is made from silicon carbide while a diamond is made up of pure carbon. This difference in composition influences their physical and optical characteristics.

Diamonds are renowned for their hardness, which refers to how resistant the gemstone is to scratches. Diamonds are known to be one of the hardest substances, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Moissanite, on the other hand, scores a 9.25 on the Mohs scale which makes it more scratch-resistant than any other gemstones except diamond. In addition, moissanite can withstand higher temperatures than diamonds, making it a better option for a variety of settings that require high heat endurance.

Moissanite and diamond differ in their brilliance as well. Brilliance refers to the amount of light returned from the stone to the observer. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, meaning it bends light more easily and returns more of it back to the eye. As a result, moissanites may exhibit more brilliance than diamonds. This is what gives them their famous “disco ball” effect that is beloved by many people.

When it comes to color, both gems come in a range of hues. While diamonds are graded on a colorless to yellow or brown scale, moissanites tend to have a slight yellow or green tint. However, you can also find moissanites that possess no discernible color or are different shades of pink, blue, or gray.

Many people might choose diamond over moissanite because of its clarity. While moissanite is generally free from inclusions (cracks or bubbles within the stone), it has a higher double refraction than diamond. This double refraction means that moissanite can present with two images instead of one. Although this characteristic does not affect its visual attraction, some people may find it less desirable.

Another key difference between moissanite and diamonds is the price tag. Moissanite is much more affordable than diamonds. As a result, it is an excellent alternative for those who desire the brilliance and durability of a diamond but don’t want to break the bank.

In addition, moissanite jewelry comes in a broader range of styles, shapes, and sizes than diamond jewelry. You can get moissanite stones in various shapes such as round brilliant cut, cushion, pear-shaped, princess cut, oval, emerald cut, and radiant cut. In contrast, diamonds usually only come in round, cushion, princess, or emerald cuts.

While diamonds continue to reign supreme when it comes to engagement rings, moissanite is becoming increasingly popular. Most couples prefer the aesthetics of diamond while others opt for moissanite because it’s a cruelty-free option that isn’t mined from the earth like diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are another contemporary option that provides the best of both worlds. Since they are chemically similar to mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds offer equivalent physical properties and optical characteristics at a fraction of the cost.

In conclusion, there are distinct differences between moissanite and diamonds. Their chemical composition, physical properties, optical characteristics, and price are all important considerations when choosing between the two stones. While diamonds hold a more iconic status in the world of jewelry, moissanite is a rising star that appeals to thrifty couples who want to keep their elegance and value without spending as much. Ultimately, which one to choose comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and budget. However, both stones offer exquisite charm and shine that can make any special occasion unforgettable.