As you search for an engagement ring, it can be overwhelming to sort through all of the options available. And as technology advances, so too does the number of choices—as well as the confusion. There’s a budget to set, styles to consider, settings to envision, and—perhaps most important—gemstones to compare.
Although naturally-mined diamonds are still the engagement ring standard, they are not your only option. Many couples wonder how simulant diamonds, especially materials such as moissanite, cubic zirconia, and Asha simulant diamonds, compare to genuine diamonds.
With so many decisions involved in choosing an engagement ring (to say nothing of planning a wedding!), we’d like help clarify some of the differences between a genuine diamond and the diamond simulant moissanite. Additionally, we’d like to share some ideas for lower-cost alternatives to naturally-mined diamonds that might really dazzle you.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan. Originating as a meteorite that fell to earth, natural moissanite is now incredibly rare. Mossanite as we know it now is a laboratory-created mineral composed of the substance silicon carbide. It is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Durability
Gemstones are measured on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which assesses a gem’s ability to withstand surface scratching. On this scale, moissanite scores a 9.25, a very good score, though diamonds are the hardest known mineral and receive a 10. But there are many more factors that influence the look and feel of your diamond, gemstone, or simulant.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Brilliance
Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as the faceting pattern is different. When comparing the two in this category, it can be easy to distinguish a moissanite from a real diamond, since some complain that moissanite’s heightened brilliance can create a more gaudy, disco ball effect, especially in sunlight and as stones increase in size.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Color
Even those moissanites touted as “colorless” can project a yellow or grayish hue in certain lights. A colorless diamond, whether natural or lab-made, has a natural body color that contains no traces of yellow, brown, or grey.
Here again, as the as moissanite increases in size, it becomes easier to identify it as a simulant.
Lower Cost and Appealing Alternatives
If you are considering a moissanite engagement ring because of the lower price point, but have concerns about the color or brilliance, then you may want to consider other diamond and gemstone options. We understand that it can be daunting to try to find an affordable engagement ring, but here are some alternatives for your consideration.
Laboratory created diamonds are entirely distinct from diamond simulants and are slightly more affordable than their naturally-mined diamond counterparts. They are also an appealing option for those seeking an eco-friendly option as they require no mining. What’s more, all of the lab created diamonds at Brilliant Earth are physically, optically, and chemically indistinguishable from our natural diamonds. They exhibit the same properties of sparkle, fire, and scintillation.
Browse our collection of lab created diamonds to see the wide variety of lab created diamond options currently available.
If you like the idea of adding some color to your engagement ring, consider a sapphire—available in all colors of the rainbow—for a lot of look at a smaller price. Brilliant Earth carries a large selection of pre-set sapphire engagement rings that are stunning and unique. To see a broader range of colors, visit our colored gemstone gallery. Here, you would select a loose gem and then set it any way you want.
A gorgeous way to amplify your engagement ring is to select a more detailed setting. Smaller accent diamonds are much more affordable than larger center diamonds, and smaller center gems dazzle with these special settings. Another great option is a halo engagement ring, which features a center gemstone completely encircled by sparking diamond accents that make the center gem seem larger.
Final Thoughts on Mossanite vs. Diamond
If you decide a moissanite engagement ring is for you, then our jewelry specialists are happy to assist you with sourcing a moissanite by special request at 800.691.0952.
With any of these options, you can feel confident in the beauty and authenticity of your ring. At Brilliant Earth, we understand that setting a budget and buying an engagement ring are very personal decisions. With that in mind, we take an incredibly personal approach to the selection and purchasing processes. We delight in sharing our passion, expertise, and creativity with our customers.
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