A Moissanite is a popular and highly regarded stone choice for couples looking for an alternative to a diamond. Our exclusive range of Moissanites, Astral Moissanite™ offer a budget-friendly, durable and exceptionally beautiful option for our clients. Here we will break down some of the main differences between a Moissanite and Diamond for you to make a more confident and educated decision.
What's the difference?
To many, a Moissanite is considered diamond-like in appearance and often mistaken for one due to their high amount of brilliance and fire. However, there are some distinct visual characteristics and compositional differences between these two stones of choice.
A Moissanite is a gemstone composed of silicon carbide, first discovered at the site of a meteor crater in 1893 by scientist Henri Moissan. Whilst a Moissanite can occur naturally, this is an exceptionally rare occurrence so today all Moissanite gems are produced in controlled laboratories.
Earth-mined diamonds are formed naturally over billions of years deep within the Earth’s crust. Intense heat and pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallise forming diamonds, brought only to the surface through volcanic eruptions. Leading diamond producers are mined predominantly in Russia, Botswana, Canada, Angola, South Africa, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Australia (closing in 2020).
Our range of Moissanites are graded ‘colourless’ (D/E), however, in comparison to a colourless diamond, there are some noticeable differences that can be made more predominant in certain lights. Particularly in larger Moissanites, very soft hues of grey or yellow may be seen which can make the stone appear less vivid. Like a Diamond, the smaller the Moissanite, the whiter it will appear. On the other hand, a colourless graded diamond will be at a significantly higher price point in your desired carat range, whereas a Moissanite will not require a sacrifice in colour to achieve size.
All of our Moissanites are guaranteed eye-clean and have an equivalent diamond clarity grading of VVS2 or better. Majority of diamonds (unless Internally Flawless) will contain some level of inclusions which may be visible to the naked eye or under magnification. For those with lower budgets, finding an eye-clean diamond without sacrificing other C’s (such as carat and colour) may be difficult.
Brilliance refers to a gemstone’s ability to reflect and disperse light. On a physical scale, a moissanite technically has a higher level of brilliance and fire (coloured sparkle) than that of a diamond. When compared side-by-side, you may notice brighter flashes of light and colour from the moissanite, particularly in larger stone sizes. The cut of a diamond can determine how well it sparkles and for this reason, sourcing a beautiful cut is essential. A poorly cut diamond will suffer light leakage, poor reflection and bow-ties (in certain shapes).
When comparing the same size, a moissanite is a fraction of the cost of a diamond. Moissanites have a smaller specific gravity (density) than diamonds, therefore you cannot make a comparison based on carat (weight). The price of a moissanite changes only based on the size of the stone. While a diamond’s price varies based on carat, colour, clarity and other individual factors.
What is the most ethical?:
Sadly, there is a lot of ‘green-washing’ within the jewellery industry. Keywords with great intention such as ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ are overused for the sake of a sale. As there is no legal weight to these terms, there can be misleading information as to what ‘ethical’ actually means and how a brand uses it to support their product.
Intrinsically, fine precious jewellery such as an engagement ring or wedding band is made with the intention to keep forever. From a quality point of view, something that does not require replacement or that will last generations to come is essentially sustainable. From an environmental point of view, sustainability refers to minimising or eradicating harmful impacts on the environment and its natural resources.
Because a Moissanite is lab-created and requires no mining, they are an appealing option for those seeking an eco-conscious gemstone with minimum wastage of resources.
On the contrary, natural diamond mining contributes significantly to the betterment of millions of people on the planet, many of whom have no other means to make a living.
Since 2002, the Kimberley Process (established by the United Nations) has been in place which provides assurance to buyers on the ethical origins of their diamond. This process also works to support the miners and protect those working within the industry, moving towards safety and new opportunities in health care and education.
In summary, a moissanite may be the better choice from an environmental standpoint, however, branding them as an ‘ethical’ alternative only serves to demonise the natural diamond industry.
Ultimately, the most important factor in your decision on a moissanite vs diamond will be simply based on your individual preferences and values.
Both have visually similar characteristics and are both two of the hardest gemstones known to man. Both exude incredible beauty and are excellent options for everyday wear.
Cost is almost always a major factor when choosing an engagement ring. When comparing moissanite vs diamond, moissanite is the clear winner in the price category and is often the preferred choice simply because a desired size or aesthetic is more achievable. Then some people prefer a diamond for tradition or based on appearance alone. The choice isn't 'one-size-fits-all'.
All that matters at the end of the day is that the person who is wearing it loves it.
At Louise Jean Jewellery, we love to help our clients find exactly what they want. If you’re still unsure about the differences between diamond and moissanite, we’re here to answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and budget.