Moissanite v Diamond : What’s the difference?
Moissanite is a diamond alternative that’s becoming a popular choice for more budget-friendly and ethical engagement rings, but there’s still a lot of misinformation and confusion on this near-identical-looking non-diamond engagement ring option.
In this article, I’ll explain:
- Diamond vs moissanite cost,
- Diamond vs moissanite durability, and
- Diamond vs moissanite visual properties like refractive index, brilliance, and fire (basically sparkle and shine.)
MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND SPARKLE
(One difference between a moissanite and a diamond: Moissanite has a higher refractive index)
If you love sparkle, diamonds and moissanite are both great options. Sparkle is measured by brilliance, which is relative to a stone’s refractive index and moissanite has a slight edge on diamonds with a refractive index ranging from 2.65 to 2.69 vs a diamond’s refractive index at 2.42. Moissanite has a higher brilliance than many stones, and it also has a uniquely dazzling fire creating a rainbow of colors.
Check out the video above of the sparkle on one of our lab-grown moissanites!
MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND DURABILITY
(Hard as a rock? Pretty much. The Amy heirloom diamond ring).
Engagement rings are not indestructible and can suffer from an active or accident-prone lifestyle, especially if the stones in your ring aren’t tough enough for everyday wear. Luckily, both diamond and moissanite are great engagement ring choices because of their extreme durability. Due to the strength of the carbon bonds in silicon carbide, lab-grown moissanite is one of the hardest known substances and has a hardness score of 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only stone that’s harder? Diamonds. Both of these tough gemstones are also highly resistant to heat, so rest assured that your engagement ring will be less likely to get damaged in a jewelry repair or a house fire. Additionally, diamonds are hard enough that can be repurposed into new settings for generations without damage.
Browse all diamond engagement rings
(The Shannon diamond ring).
MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND COLOR
(The James moissanite engagement ring.)
Though lab-grown moissanite is considered a “colorless gemstone,” they are not completely without color. In certain lighting, a projection of colors can be seen. This is a fantastic characteristic that sets them apart from diamonds and we find that our clients love the rainbow of color their custom moissanite engagement ring emits. However, we also have clients that want the more subtle sparkle of a diamond. This one comes down to preference, but if you want more color then…
MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND INCLUSIONS
(The Dina diamond engagement ring.)
Every jewelry-grade gemstone has inclusions; tiny blemishes inside its facets. Though considered imperfections, these tiny inclusions are unique for each individual stone and allow each stone to be one-of-a-kind. Because the vast majority of moissanite is lab-grown in a controlled environment, the inclusions in lab-grown moissanite are usually microscopic and do not affect the clarity or brilliance of the gemstone. Similarly, virtually every diamond has microscopic inclusions. However, a diamond’s clarity can range from flawless to imperfect and can greatly influence cost. This is measured by the diamond clarity chart developed by the Gemology Institute of America (GIA).
Winner: Draw! It depends on the stone.
MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND SUSTAINABILITY AND ETHICS
If you lose sleep over the social, political, and environmental effects of gemstone mining, rest assured that a lab-grown moissanite engagement ring is ethical, eco-friendly, and sustainable. Because these gemstones are created in a lab using silicon and carbon, lab-grown moissanite engagement rings like The Chelsea have no risk of unsustainable gem mining, exploitation of human labor, and indirectly supporting conflict. At Abby Sparks Jewelry, we strive to source the most ethical and conflict-free diamonds on the market. We implement the requirement of the Kimberley Process which works to reduce the flow of blood diamonds [read more information on diamonds we use]. Though this is the standard for conflict-free diamonds, there can be loopholes in the system. For a conflict-free mined diamond, Canada is one of the few regions that goes above and beyond these guidelines. Creating a Canadian diamond engagement ring like The Kimi is your best bet for an ethically mined diamond. If you still want a diamond but need to go a step further to ensure 100% conflict free stone, a lab-grown diamond like the gorgeous 1.11 carat lab-grown diamond used in The Ashley, a braided diamond engagement ring, (above) is the way to go, or you can explore other options for ethical engagement rings.
Winner: Moissanite or lab created diamonds are both big winners
MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND PRICE
(Similar look, different price tag. The Jess . pear diamond engagement ring, The Chelsea moissanite engagement ring, The Kimi bohemian diamond engagement ring, The Lindsay oval lab-grown diamond engagement ring).
Lab-grown moissanite costs significantly less than many other stones, diamonds included. This makes moissanite a much more budget-friendly option for popping the question. Since we make one-of-a-kind, custom engagement rings, the exact savings using a lab-grown moissanite center stone varies depending on engagement ring metals, accent stones, and other design options, and custom engagement ring cost can greatly vary. Our custom engagement ring gallery showcases a wide range of price points and designs options to give you some ideas.
Is Moissanite as Good as a Diamond?
(Your dream engagement ring is waiting for you. The Shannon emerald cut floating halo engagement ring, The Kati rough gray diamond halo engagement ring, and The Leah three stone double band diamond engagement ring all made exclusively by Abby Sparks Jewelry).
It’s pretty common for moissanite to be compared to or confused with diamonds, and on the surface, these dazzling stones are very similar, even when side by side. Both stones have a high refractive index, are highly durable, have a high scale of hardness, and lots of brilliance and fire. And then there’s the difference in cost.
Diamonds have been the most common stone for engagement rings and wedding jewelry for generations but this may very well change in the future. The jewelry industry, particularly with engagement rings, has seen a steady increase in lab-grown moissanite sales each year, convincing those in the industry that lab-grown moissanite is here to stay.
At Abby Sparks Jewelry, we love to help our clients find exactly what they want, and if you’re weighing the differences between diamond and moissanite, we’re here to answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and budget.