Moissanite vs Diamond: What are the differences?
Great sparkle, great brilliance, and great durability. The same can be said for both moissanite and diamond but one is priced significantly lower than the other. Have you ever wondered why?
So, which is the right stone for you? Without further ado, let’s explore this duo of lovely stones & help you determine which is the right one for you!
What are Moissanite and Diamond?
Almost all moissanite that we see in jewellery today are lab-grown gemstones formed by applying immense heat and pressure to silicon and carbon over two to three months, forming crystals that are structurally identical to natural moissanite. Moissanites that are found in nature are very rarely large enough to be cut into gemstones for jewellery.
Diamonds on the other hand are pure carbon and can be both natural or lab-grown. Natural diamonds form deep beneath the earth’s surface under extreme pressure and heat, gradually transforming from carbon atoms into a diamond over the course of at least 1 billion years.
Lab grown diamonds are also created by applying extreme pressure and heat via two distinct methods, albeit requiring much less time than natural diamonds to form, between a couple of weeks to a few months.
What are the differences between Moissanite and Diamond?
Even though moissanite and diamond look greatly alike to the untrained eye, there are some differences in properties between the two which might help you to tell them apart on your next jewellery spree.
Durability: Measured from 1 to 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which represents a gemstone’s resistance to scratching.
With a perfect score of 10, diamond is undoubtedly the hardest gemstone in existence which makes it suitable for daily wear as it is impossible to scratch it doing day to day activities. Similarly, moissanite has a hardness of 9.25 to 9.5 which means that it can only be scratched by diamond. Unless you are planning on putting your moissanite jewellery into your pocket that’s filled with diamonds, it’s safe to say that moissanite is suitable for daily wear too!
Brilliance: Refers to the amount of white light that a cut gemstone reflects from within back to the viewer.
You might be surprised by this, but moissanite is more brilliant than diamond! With a higher refractive index of 2.65 compared to diamond’s 2.42, moissanite reflects more white light than a diamond effectively making it sparkle more.
Dispersion (Fire): Refers to the amount of white light that enters a cut gemstone, separates into a spectrum of colours, and reflects back to the viewer as coloured light.
Probably the biggest tell-tale sign that the gemstone you’re looking at is moissanite instead of diamond would be if its sparkle is too colourful. This would indicate that the dispersion or fire is high. In fact, the dispersion of moissanite at 0.104 is more than double of diamond’s 0.044 making moissanite’s sparkle much more colourful when compared side by side. Between having a colourful sparkle from a moissanite or a cleaner white sparkle from a diamond, it is up to personal preference in deciding which is ‘better’ for you.
Sustainability / Ethicality
When it comes to buying gemstones, ensuring that they are sustainably and ethically sourced is a major deciding factor for many. A sustainable gemstone is one that is extracted with minimal environmental impact. An ethical gemstone is one whereby its miners are not exploited, and its profits are not used to fund conflicts.
Moissanite, being a lab-grown gemstone guarantees that it is both sustainable and ethical.
As for diamonds, you may choose to either go for lab-grown diamonds which are guaranteed to be sustainable and ethical or to only purchase natural mined diamonds from reputable companies.
For the same size of gemstone from the top, moissanite is a fraction of the price of a natural diamond.