If you’ve searched Amazon or another online marketplace for diamond jewelry, you’ve probably come across something called moissanite. Some consumers consider it a good alternative to diamonds. Moissanite has a lot of similarities with diamonds and could pass as a diamond to someone who’s not knowledgeable about gemstones.
But is it really a better option than diamonds? Below, we will elaborate on the biggest moissanite pros and cons and its general characteristics to help you decide on what to purchase.
General Characteristics of Moissanite
At the site of a huge meteor strike in Arizona, chemist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered moissanite. As you may have guessed, the mineral got its name from the chemist who found it. Dr. Moissan spent his whole life working to recreate this mineral in the laboratory. In the 90s, a group of scientists finally succeeded in creating moissanite. The man-made moissanite was more durable than diamonds.
Some people mistake moissanite as a diamond substitute due to its similarities with diamonds. But moissanite isn’t a diamond substitute. It has chemical and optical properties that are distinct enough to differentiate it from other gemstones. Similar to diamonds, moissanite has a high level of fire and brilliance.
Fire, also known as dispersion, is the ability of a gemstone to disperse light into spectral colors. Different light wavelengths are refracted by the gemstone’s internal facets. Diamonds are known for having excellent fire. And moissanite happens to have great fire too. It’s dispersion is 0.104, which is higher than diamonds and other popular gemstones like emeralds and rubies.
Brilliance, on the other hand, is how much light reflects back out of the crown. This gemstone characteristic is determined by cut and the gem’s refractive index. Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.65-2.69. A diamond’s refractive index is lower at 2.42.
Moissanite is available in three color grades: colorless, near colorless, and faint hues of color. Colorless grades are represented by D, E, and F. G-H-I is near colorless, and moissanite in the J-K grade are with faint hues of color.
Moissanite Pros and Cons
The list of moissanite pros and cons is long with some of them overlapping. For example, one of the pros of moissanite is it has less noticeable inclusions than some diamonds. However, a con is there are still inclusions visible under 10x magnification. For most consumers, inclusions visible under 10x magnification doesn’t matter. They only care that the gemstone in question doesn’t have inclusions visible to the naked eye.
Some of the top moissanite pros and cons are as follows:
- Budget Friendly. Moissanite is cheaper than diamonds, making it an attractive option for budget shoppers. It has many similarities with diamonds, such as being high in fire and brilliance. To the untrained eye, it looks like a diamond. Some married couples have opted for moissanite wedding rings because it’s less expensive while remaining durable and beautiful.
- Inclusions Aren’t Visible to the Naked Eye. Diamonds in which inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye are usually more expensive than those that don’t have inclusions visible to the naked eye for obvious reasons. When you shop for moissanite, you don’t have to worry about making a choice between a gemstone with inclusions and a gemstone without inclusions. Moissante doesn’t have inclusions visible to the naked eye. This eases the buying process and helps you save money as well.
- Sparkly. Part of a diamond’s appeal is how sparkly it is. Moissanite is also sparkly due to its high level of brilliance. Many people are surprised to find out that moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds. Thus, if sparkle is important to you in the gemstone you want to buy, moissanite is a good option. It rivals the sparkle of diamonds.
- It’s Not a Diamond – The biggest drawback of moissanite has nothing to do with its durability, sparkle, or clarity. It’s that moissanite isn’t a diamond. Many people view a diamond ring as a necessity in marriage. You may have to deal with some ridicule if you and your spouse opt for a moissanite ring instead of a diamond one. Even when it comes to other jewelry, others can be judgmental about someone with moissanite jewelry because they view it as an alternative to diamonds.
- Not As Valuable as a Diamond. If owning valuable or expensive jewelry is important to you, then moissanite might not be a better option than diamonds right now. Although they are stronger than diamonds and have higher fire and brilliance, consumers don’t view them as valuable as diamonds. Due to the rules of supply and demand, diamonds are still more valuable and expensive. People are willing to pay more for a diamond, despite its slightly weaker characteristics.
The Quality of Moissanite vs. Diamonds
Moissanite and diamonds are both high quality gemstones. The choice you make truly comes down to personal preference. Some will argue moissanite is the better quality gem, whereas others defend the diamond. This can come down to a matter of perspect. If you solely look at refractive index and dispersion, then moissanite is of higher quality than diamonds. Moissanite wins in two of these important characteristics of a gemstone.
However, diamonds have that natural appeal. Most moissanite today is created in a laboratory, whereas diamonds come from the earth. In that sense, one can say diamonds are more valuable than moissanite. It’s more difficult to mine diamonds, and there is a finite amount of diamonds in the world. You can’t just create more diamonds whenever you want to.
The Verdict on Moissanite
In conclusion, moissanite is a better option than diamonds for budget shoppers. For those who prefer expensive jewelry, then it may be better for you to choose a diamond.
Moissanite is more durable than diamonds, but diamonds are well-known themselves for one of the highest levels of hardness among gemstones. It was one of the reasons they became a popular, highly valuable gemstone.
Has this list of moissanite pros and cons helped you decide whether it’s a good buy for you? Let us know in the comments and share your own views on moissanite.