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Moissanite vs. Diamond: Introduction to their Properties

In recent years the topic of moissanite vs. diamond has gained increasing traction with the public. Discovered in 1893 by Henry Moissan, moissanite diamonds are classified as diamond simulants.

This alone attracted a load of negative publicity for these brilliant stones. However, many who have come across a moissanite diamond will tell you that without prior knowledge of the stone’s properties, there is little that sets it apart from real diamonds.

In the absence of specialized tests and certificates of origin, jewelers and not only cannot readily tell the difference between the two. Let’s see why diamond vs. moissanite is a relevant topic and which the properties of each stone are.

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Moissanite: a Diamond Simulant

Moissanite was first discovered by Henri Moissan, the Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, back in 1893. The first crystal particles that drew the scientist’s attention where collected from a meteorite crater in Arizona.

Initially, Moissan believed that the brilliant crystals were diamonds. However, upon closer analysis, he determined that unlike diamonds, the particles he had discovered were in fact silicon carbide. The new gem has since been known as moissanite, a diamond simulant.

1. Moissanite Origin

Moissanites that aren’t created under laboratory conditions are incredibly rare. The particles first discovered by Henri Moissan have served as the blueprint for generations of scientists trying to recreate them in controlled laboratory environments.

Nowadays, the technology allowing the silicon carbide particles to be synthesized has advanced so much that moissanites are some of the most scintillating gems in the world. One of the most important characteristic of moissanites that needs to be pointed out in the moissanite vs. diamonds debate is that these beautiful stones are neither lab-created diamonds, nor fake diamonds.

The correct terms to refer to moissanites are moissanite diamonds or diamond simulants. That is because moissanites are created to simulate diamonds in all their brilliance, yet they are compositionally different. Moreover, a moissanite offers a different visual effect than a real diamond.

2.      Moissanite Durability

In the diamonds vs. moissanite debate, the durability of the two stones is one of the first to be factored in as an argument. We already know that gemstones are conventionally measured for hardness according to the Mohs Scale of Hardness.

Diamonds are known to be the hardest substances on earth, which makes them a favorite to be mounted in the world’s most expensive jewelry pieces. However, moissanites don’t fare too bad either. In fact, they’re quite close to diamonds on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, being assessed at 9.25 hardness.

As such, moissanite diamond rings are just as suitable for everyday wear as traditional diamond rings. Moissanite diamonds can withstand surface scratching or other wear signs just as well as diamonds.

3. Moissanite Brilliance

If you’re undecided between moissanite or diamond, perhaps a few considerations of the former’s brilliance can help you make up your mind. Moissanites have a different brilliance than diamonds. However, the brilliance of these stones is widely acclaimed. Compared to diamonds, moissanites exhibit a heightened and more luxurious brilliance.

Their rainbow flashes are largely appreciated and certainly stand out. A moissanite with the same color, cut and clarity of a similarly sized diamond is more brilliant, exhibit a mesmerizing fiery spectrum under any source of light.

Unlike diamonds, moissanites feature a property that is known as double refraction. This means that when you look at a moissanite diamond ring for instance, the facets of the stone should appear doubled. Another point of interest in the moissanite versus diamond debate is the moissanite’s fire.

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Fire is another term jewelers and gemologists use for dispersion. When moissanite is exposed to light, the stone breaks it down into spectral colors in a more intense way than a diamond. Thus, the sparkle of moissanites is more appreciated than that of diamonds.

This dazzling lab-created stone may be a diamond simulant. Yet as far as brilliance and fire are concerned, many see it as superior to diamonds, whether natural or lab-created.

4. Moissanite Color

Just as lab-created diamonds, moissanites may display more than one color. Even the coveted colorless or white moissanites often mounted in exquisite moissanite diamond rings can project gray or yellow hues under certain light conditions.

While the color factor is an indicator that you may be looking at a diamond simulant instead of a diamond, very few can tell just with the naked eye.

Moissanite vs. Diamond

Moissanites aren’t as famous as diamonds are. The diamond simulants gained more ground and traction only in recent years. With more couples looking for affordable yet luxurious engagement rings or wedding bands, moissanites shaped up to be an ideal choice.

The moissanite vs. diamond debate continues to shape public opinion about the diamond simulants. The telltale signs suggest that the future is bright for moissanites. Here is why.

  • Moissanites, just like lab-created diamonds do not fuel devastating conflicts. Moissanite vs. diamond is understood in a positive light from this perspective. Moissanite diamonds are grown in controlled laboratory environments. Thus, they require no mining, being produced not only in a socially conscious manner, but also in an environmentally friendly fashion.
  • Building upon the previous point, moissanites have reduced carbon footprints. Most natural gemstones, including natural diamonds require mining and extraction, complex process that add up to be devastating for the environment.
  • The brilliance, dispersion and scintillation of moissanite diamonds surpass those of natural or lab-created diamonds. The renowned sparkle of diamonds, the one that has gained the most precious stones in the world their fame and glory, is more reserved than that of moissanite. Moissanite vs. diamond becomes a matter of preferences.
  • A clear-cut point that may tilt the balance in favor of the diamond simulants in the moissanite vs. diamond debate is pricing. For a gemstone that exhibits a superior brilliance to that of diamonds, that is designed for the socially and environmentally conscious consumer and has a very similar appearance and durability to diamonds, a moissanite diamond typically sells for 15% less than a diamond.

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Couples looking for gorgeous moissanite diamond engagement rings have plenty of exquisite choices on the market. Before taking the plunge and investing in moissanite jewelry, remember to check the certificate of origin that should come with the stones.

Moissanite diamonds are the ideal choice for those of you looking for the elegance and sparkle of diamonds and the uniquely affordable price tags of the diamond simulants. While moissante vs. diamond continues to be a relevant topic leading to deeper insight on the two brilliant gemstones, the final choice boils down to individual preferences.

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