What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a gemstone made of naturally occurring silicon carbide originally discovered in 1893 in a meteor crater, making it literally a space rock. It was later also discovered in Wyoming, in the Green River Formation. Today, Moissanite for jewelry is exclusively lab-grown. A classic Moissanite gem looks a lot like a diamond, has a faint yellow tinge, and an incredible brilliance. Like a diamond, Moissanite rings are both clear and sparkly. Moissanite is a unique gemstone, and just like a diamond, it’s also very rare in nature. Both stones are available in a variety of shapes, making both a wise choice for an engagement or wedding ring.
What is the Difference Between Moissanite and a Diamond?
Moissanite will not lose its sparkle as time passes. When it comes to brilliance, Moissanite is actually less likely to attract grease or dirt than a diamond, holding its sparkle between cleanings better than a diamond. A Moissanite gem is actually more brilliant than a diamond and has better dispersion; displaying more rainbow flashes from within. The higher refractive index of Moissanite makes it even more sparkly than a diamond and is a big part of the reason it has become so popular.
Moissanite is durable and extremely resistant to scratching and abrasion. Moissanite is harder than all other gemstones except diamonds, with a hardness of 9.25-9.50. Diamonds are the hardest known stone, with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Both gems are hard enough for everyday wear and won’t scratch or break easily.
The clarity and color of a Moissanite gem won’t change through the years. Classic Moissanite has a yellow tint that can sometimes lean toward greenish-yellow. Near-Colorless Moissanite gems, initially called Forever Brilliant (now called Forever One), are beautiful stones with the color of an H color diamond (very faint yellow hue). In 2015, a truly colorless Moissanite gem was developed, known as the Forever One Colorless.
When it comes to cost, Moissanite is a fraction of the cost of a diamond. With diamonds, the price varies based on cut, clarity, and other individual characteristics. The price of a Moissanite gem usually varies only with the size and type of Moissanite; Classic, Near Colorless, or Forever One Colorless Moissanite. You can purchase a round one carat, Moissanite for $360-$730 depending on the color and cut-style. This is a major cost savings considering that one carat round diamonds can range from $4,000-$13,000 or more.
Which One Should I buy – Moissanite or Diamond?
For couples shopping on a budget, Moissanite is the most popular diamond alternative. Most people can’t see the difference between the two stones. Moissanite looks a lot like a diamond, and with a greater brilliance, long-term wearability thanks to its high rating on the hardness scale, and the ability to get a near colorless to completely ice white colorless stone, it can be a tough call. Moissanite is not a “fake diamond” like cubic zirconia; it is a truly beautiful gemstone in its own right. It is more correct to describe Moissanite as a beautiful, viable, cost-effective diamond alternative. In fact, because of all these qualities, it is the most sought after diamond alternative on the market today, allowing many couples just starting out or being budget-conscious to get beautiful engagement and/or wedding Moissanite rings that shine with a sparkle, clarity, and color that rivals any diamond ring set out there.
For those concerned with diamond mining practices and the effect these practices have on the environment and on the people who mine them, a Moissanite gem offers an eco-friendly, conflict-free alternative in an equally beautiful gemstone. Because these gems are now developed in a controlled laboratory environment, there is a smaller carbon footprint, no mining involved whatsoever, and therefore no unfair labor practices or danger of harming our environment to be concerned about. Choosing Moissanite means choosing a truly sustainable, beautiful ring you can wear with pride and cherish for years to come.
No one can tell you which stone – diamond or Moissanite – is the right one for you, but if you are looking for a beautiful, sparkly, breathtaking stone that is not a diamond, Moissanite is a fine alternative.