Sometimes you want a little bit of bling but can’t throw down thousands even on affordable diamond retailers.
So what’s a person to do?
Most would look for good alternatives to diamonds. One of those alternatives is a stone called moissanite.
So what exactly is the difference between moissanite and diamonds?
In this article we’ll go over how the two stones differ, how they are similar and some other important stuff you should know before you make a decision to buy.
What is Moissanite?
Some may think that moissanite is a “fake” diamond but in reality it’s a whole other class of precious gemstone. Of course, the stones look similar but there are some distinguishing features we’ll get into later in this article.
So what’s the deal with this “other” gemstone?
Well, it fell from space – literally. It was first discovered in the late 1800s in the crater of a meteorite in the United States. The crystals that were found were composed on silicon carbide, which is different from earth-based diamonds.
Nowadays, however, any moissanite you find will be lab-created. The name comes from the chemist who first discovered the crystals in that cosmic crater – Henri Moissan.
How to Tell the Difference Between Diamonds and Moissanite
There’s no doubt, both gemstones look quite similar in nature. The only way to truly distinguish between the two gems is through an electrical conductivity test.
There are some characteristics, however, you can look out for to try an identify what you’re looking at.
Sparkle & Brilliance
Diamonds and moissanite actually reflect light a bit differently from each other. While real diamonds reflect light in several ways – including the white light that gets reflected back to you (known as brilliance) – moissanite does not.
Because these other stones are cut differently than diamonds, they cannot reflect the white light back. However, moissanite does give off a colorful sparkle. Some may prefer it, while others will not.
The price difference between the two types of gems is quite stark. Pricing of diamonds is determined by the 4 C’s but the price of moissanite is determined by several classification types: premium, super premium, enhanced and unenhanced.
If you look purely at size as a determinant of price, then moissanite is significantly cheaper than diamond. For a similar 1-carat and colorless stone, the price difference can be thousands of dollars.
Of course, this won’t help you determine if someone if trying to put one over on you and sell you what they claim is a diamond, but actually isn’t. It’s still good to know, though.
Diamonds are some of the toughest and most durable gemstones known to man. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a definite 10. And moissanite is right on it’s tail, scoring a 9.25 on the mineral hardness scale.
This is why many choose this stone in place of a diamond, for use in jewelry.
When it comes to color, high quality diamonds are almost like pure ice. Not all diamonds are completely colorless, however. Some can have a slight yellow, brown or grey hint. Fancy diamonds are sometimes colored in brighter colors for a specific effect.
Moissanite, however, isn’t exactly “colorless.” Even if labeled as such, under certain light you would still notice a yellow or grey hue coming from the stone. If you do see a stone that’s clear and white like a diamond, it’s usually because it’s been “enhanced.”
Diamonds are formed from extreme pressure and carbon in the earth’s crust and core. It happens over hundreds or thousands of years.
Although the first ever moissanite discovered arrived on earth from a comet/meteor impact, all of today’s stones are grown in a lab. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about accidentally purchasing “conflict” stones like you would with diamonds.
Final Thoughts on Diamonds vs. Moissanite
As you can tell from the information above, the two gemstones are quite similar in many ways. One of the biggest differences you’ll find between the two is the starkly different price.
Many people have chosen to use the alternative stone in their jewelry and engagement rings. Unless you know what you’re looking for, it can be quite hard to tell that it isn’t an actual diamond.
Another thing about moissanite that’s a positive is that they are all designed to be very clear, meaning you won’t find any blemishes or inclusions in the stone, unlike it’s much more expensive counterpart.