Choosing the right engagement ring can be a difficult decision, especially when considering the differences between moissanite and diamond. These two gemstones share a remarkable visual similarity, making them difficult to distinguish at first glance.
For many jewellery lovers, recognising the distinguishing characteristics between these beautiful gemstones is tricky, so it is crucial to understand their differences. In this in-depth guide, we’ll take a closer look at the disparities between moissanite and diamond, taking a detailed look at each.
What is moissanite?
Moissanite is a gemstone that was discovered in 1893 by French scientist Henri Moissan, who found it in a meteorite crater. Initially, he thought he had discovered diamonds, but it was later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.
Moissanite is produced in controlled laboratories, as it is extremely rare in its natural form. Through years of research and development, scientists were able to synthesise it, making it one of the most brilliant, resistant and elegant gems in modern jewellery. Moissanite is designed to reflect maximum brilliance and surpasses diamond in this property.
Is it a diamond?
No. Moissanite and diamond are two different gemstones. While they look similar, there are ways to tell them apart. The biggest differences between moissanite and diamond are the amount of sparkle, their price and reflection.
Differences between diamond and moissanite
To the naked eye, diamonds and moissanites may appear very similar, but on closer inspection, differences can be noticed. A quick way to tell them apart is by the colour differences in their brilliance. While the diamond shines with a white light, the moissanite shows a rainbow of colours due to the mirror ball effect. Some people prefer this characteristic of moissanite.
Both diamonds and moissanites offer brilliance, but in different ways. Diamonds have a particular sparkle due to their facets and cut, which is what makes them so famous. On the other hand, moissanite has a higher refractive index, which allows it to offer a rainbow of hues and stand out visually.
Diamonds are traditionally colourless, although fancy coloured diamonds are gaining popularity. On the other hand, moissanites can have a hint of colour, such as a greyish or yellowish tinge similar to K-grade diamonds. There are different types of moissanites, divided into 5 levels: colourless, almost colourless, light, medium and strong. The less colour it has, the purer it is.
In terms of purity, diamonds may have inclusions or imperfections that may be imperceptible without magnification or specialised knowledge. On the other hand, lab-created moissanites typically have very few inclusions, ranking at the “VS” (Very Small Inclusions) level on the GIA purity scale for diamonds.
Diamonds are the hardest stones on Earth, with a rating of 10 on the Mohs Scale. This makes them an ideal choice for everyday use, as they are resistant to scratches and knocks. Moissanite has a hardness rating of 9.25 on the Mohs Scale, which also makes it very hard and tough.
How to distinguish a Moissanite from a Diamond?
Because moissanite has very similar optical properties to diamond, it can be difficult to tell them apart with the naked eye. However, there are some characteristics that can help distinguish them. Comparing the stones side by side can reveal the additional brilliance and reflection of moissanite, which surpasses that of diamond. Also, by viewing the jewel at an angle through a magnifying glass, the double refraction characteristic of moissanite can be noted.
Differences in value between Moissanites and Diamonds
Moissanite offers a significant price advantage over diamonds. Typically, moissanite gemstones are traded at a fraction of the price of diamonds, and this difference is mainly influenced by the size of the stone.
It is possible to acquire a moissanite of similar size and quality at a price that represents only 10-15% of the value of a comparable diamond. This disparity in price makes moissanite an attractive option for those seeking a more affordable brilliant gemstone without compromising on brilliance.
In what kind of jewellery is moissanite used?
Moissanite can be used in the manufacture of almost any type of jewellery, but is especially popular in engagement rings. While diamonds are common in engagement rings, moissanite stands out as a more affordable alternative.
In Ideal Joyeros we work with brands such as Chaumet, Chopard, Messika or Pomellato where you will find jewellery materials such as diamonds or 18kts gold. You can visit our catalogue of fine jewellery online or by visiting one of our boutiques.