Shopping for an engagement ring is a big deal and couples don’t want to get it wrong when choosing to sign off on the next big decision of their lives. While the traditional engagement ring gemstones, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are the typical go-to options, there is a stone more affordable and looks closely similar to diamond. It is Moissanite.
Of course, as you learn more and more about moissanite and diamond, it becomes a serious debate of which is better, as they match up in several areas. In this article, we will look at what both gems are and identify what makes them unique, and why moissanite has grown to become a popular option for an engagement ring in recent times.
What is a Diamond?
A diamond is a gem formed from carbon and graphite which have been subjected to extreme heat and pressure spanning billions of years. These carbon-containing fluid dissolve other minerals leaving behind dazzling diamonds. A clear and colorless diamond is extremely rare and less than 1 percent of mined diamonds belong to this category. However, elements like boron, nitrogen, and sulfur can add impurities to the crystalline structure and color diamonds from red to pink to blue and different color types.
What is Moissanite?
Known as the gemstone from the stars, Moissanite was first discovered by French scientist and Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Henri Moissan in 1893. Moissan discovered small microscopic particles of the gem in a crater created by a fallen meteorite. He initially believed he had discovered diamonds, but silicon carbide was found in this new crystal variety. The gem would come to be named after him.
It is very rare to find naturally occurring moissanite and most of the moissanite present today are lab created. Through several tests across the years, the crystal particles that Moissan discovered were eventually synthesized and kicked off the production of one of the most intriguing gemstones in the world. Moissanite was engineered to be the diamond simulant - an illusion similar to diamond but different from diamond in composition.
Diamond vs Moissanite: How They Differ
Because of how similar they look, it can be easy to get fooled into buying a Moissanite thinking it is a diamond. So here are some key differences to keep in mind.
- Moissaniteis not as hard as Diamonds
While diamond has the highest score of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, moissanite comes pretty close at 9.25. This means both of these minerals are exceptionally great for daily wear as they can withstand scratching or sudden hits without damage. This is one of the primary reasons why they are both durable stones for engagement rings.
- They Have different Brilliance
Moissanites differ from diamonds greatly here. They have a different faceting pattern to diamonds, which makes them offer a different kind of brilliance. Many people love their rainbow flashes, although a “disco ball” effect can be noticeable in bigger moissanite stones. Diamonds on the other hand reflect light differently. It does this in three ways - brilliance, which involves a reflection of white light, dispersion; the refraction of rainbow colors, and scintillation; its surface sparkle.
- Moissaniteis the More Affordable Gemstone
Being lighter than diamond and priced by size and color, moissanite costs less than diamond, which is priced by the four C’s - carat, clarity, color, and cut. This distinction alone separates moissanite from diamond in the price category and makes moissanite an affordable diamond engagement ring alternative, especially for couples who are on a tight budget but want a stunner.
- They Are Both Colorless but MoissaniteSlightly So
This is also another great way to differentiate moissanite from diamond, but only slightly so. While moissanite are called colorless gems, under certain lights, a yellow or grayish hue can be observed, but this can be difficult to spot in small stones, but more noticeable in larger ones. A colorless diamond, on the other hand, shows no hues of any kind and gives off a dazzling white sparkle.
Is a Moissanite Engagement Ring a Suitable Alternative to Diamond Engagement Ring?
Diamond engagement rings can be a costly choice for any couple, but moissanite rings make a great alternative as well, offering almost similar brilliance that would leave people guessing while costing less. However, the disco ball effect we talked about earlier might be a giveaway if used as everyday wear.
For the eco-conscious and those who want ethically sourced gemstones, moissanite stones are perfect. They are environmentally friendly since they are grown in labs and therefore, are not likely to have a shady past like some diamonds, mined in poorly regulated environments.
In the end, the choice of what is best for you depends on your budget, style, personal preferences, and any other considerations you have.