Difference Between Moissanite and Diamonds

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

September 5, 2019

Diamonds often get compared to other gemstones and minerals. Most of the time, it's easy to see which stone is the real deal. But while diamonds are always the gemstone of choice, moissanite recently became quite the contender. It is much more difficult to spot the difference between moissanite and diamond than, for example, quartz ad diamond. But are moissanites really all they appear to be? Can they meet the sheer brilliance of a diamond? Keep reading to find out the primary differences between these two precious jewels.

difference between diamond and moissanite and other minerals

What is moissanite?

In 1893, a French scientist named Henri Moissan discovered the first Moissanite in a crater that was from a fallen meteor. Made of silicon carbide, they were extremely rare at that time. However, they are now produced in laboratories. So they are not as special as they once were. It is still possible to find a Moissanite stone that comes from a meteorite. But the chances are slim. Real ones, therefore, cost a pretty penny.

Differences between diamonds and moissanite

Moisannites differ from diamonds in many ways. Below are the main differences between the two popular gemstones.

1. Color

Unlike diamonds, moissanite isn’t color-graded. However, they are not colorless. On the GIA Diamond Scale for color, moissanite is around the K-grade. (The GIA scale ranges from D to Z). Under certain lighting, you can see some yellow and green tints in moissanite. It is much easier to detect these tints on larger stones. The larger the stone, the easier it is to tell the difference between a diamond and moissanite.

cut moissanite in tweezers

Color is the one thing that makes a diamond stands out for its sparkle. A colorless diamond, weighing in from D to J on the GIA scales, shows no traces of gray or yellow tinting. This is one of the many reasons why diamonds far outshine Moissainite when it comes to clarity and beauty.

2. Hardness

The durability, or hardness, of a gemstone, is measured by the Mohs scale. With 10 as the hardest and 1 as the softest rating, a Diamond easily weighs it at a full 10. Moissanite, however, “only” weighs in at 9.25 on the Mohs scale. Pretty good, but it doesn’t meet the diamond. Diamonds are extremely resilient and durable. This makes them perfect for everyday wear. Moissanite is not as sturdy and can’t promise to hold up to everyday wear and tear. Diamonds continue to be the most popular choice when it comes to engagement rings as well as jewelry that part of the everyday wardrobe. Those who prefer to adorn themselves with sparking, flawless gemstones typically purchase demands over moissanite stones.

mohs scale of hardness

3. Brilliance

The brilliance of a diamond is its ability to “sparkle” or rather, to bend and reflect light. The angled surfaces at the bottom of the diamond bounces and refracts the light through the top of the diamond. The brilliance of a diamond is what sets it apart from other gemstones. Moissanite does give off a “sort of” sparkle. But it is much less vibrant and clear than that of a diamond. That’s because moissanite is cut differently so they reflect in another way. Diamonds also emit a rainbow-colored light, otherwise known as fire. Moissanite, on the other hand, does not emit fire, which makes them less desirable than diamonds.

4. Price Point

Moissanite costs less than diamonds. But does that make them a better choice? After all, the cost does not always equate value. The value and price of a diamond are determined by the 4 C’s (Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut). Moissanite is priced according to their material: un-enhanced or enhanced. Keep in mind that the lower the price, the lower the quality as well. Moissanite also weighs less than a diamond. So it is not always a reliable comparison point when you want to see the difference between moissanite and diamonds.

diamond left moissanites right

A diamond (left) sparkles more and has a whiter color than moissanite (right).

Other reasons why diamonds are better than moissanite stones 

  1. Diamonds are passed down from generation to generation: Since they are not nearly as valuable as diamonds, moissanite gems are merely sentimental. If you are looking for a family heirloom that is both valuable and sentimental, diamonds are by far the preferred choice.
  2. Diamonds are a symbol of love: As well, diamonds are a girl’s best friends. For hundreds of years, diamonds are the gemstone of choice when it comes to true love.
  3. The bigger the stone, the more likely you can see the difference: As previously stated, diamonds are far superior when it comes to clarity, color, and brilliance to their moissanite counterpart. You quickly notice flaws on moissanite, so if you prefer a bigger stone, diamonds are definitely the way to go.
  4. Diamonds are older: Diamonds form over millions of years from pure carbon crystals. Moissanite, for the most part, is formed in labs in a much shorter time span. It doesn’t say anything about the quality per se. But if you’re looking for authentic, diamonds are the obvious choice!

But what about the prizes?

Of course, a diamond costs more than a moissanite stone of the same size. But fortunately, we have diamonds for every budget. So you can get a real diamond regardless of how much you want to spend.  Contact a diamond consultant for free to find out which diamond fits within your budget.

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