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Moissanite vs. Diamond

Moissanite vs. Diamond

 
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 fun—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, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide. Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so moissanite available today is laboratory-created. 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 that makes it one of the hardest substances on earth, and very suitable for every day wear as an engagement ring. However diamonds are the hardest known mineral and receive a 10, while sapphires score a 9 on the hardness scale.
 
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Brilliance
Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as the faceting pattern is different. The fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanite are beloved by some, but others complain that moissanite’s heightened brilliance can create a “disco ball” effect, especially in sunlight. The bigger the moissanite, the more likely it is that the difference will be noticeable. This different type of brilliance is what makes it possible to distinguish a moissanite from a real diamond.
 
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, resulting in a dazzling, bright white appearance. Here again, the larger the moissanite, the more noticeable the color and the easier it is to identify it as a simulant.
 
Appealing, Affordable Alternatives
If you are considering a moissanite engagement ring you’ll find a collection of loose moissanites in our Unique Gemstones Gallery that can be set in your favorite Brilliant Earth engagement ring settings. If you’re attracted to the lower price point in comparison to diamonds 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 beautiful options:
 
Lab-created Diamonds
diamond simulants and are more affordable than their naturally-mined diamond counterparts—typically you’ll save about 30% for a diamond of similar size and quality.  Unlike moissanite, 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. What’s more, they are an appealing option for those seeking an eco-friendly gemstone as they require no mining.

Browse our collection of lab created diamonds to see the wide variety of lab created diamond options currently available.
 
Sapphires
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, and you’ll find an even broader range of sapphire colors and shapes in our colored gemstone gallery. All of our unique colored gemstones can be purchased individually or set in a Brilliant Earth engagement ring setting.
 
Dazzling Settings
A gorgeous way to find an engagement ring within your budget is to select a smaller center diamond and amplify its visual impact with a more detailed setting. Smaller accent diamonds are much more affordable than larger center diamonds, so surrounding your smaller center diamond with accent diamonds creates a dazzling look for less. One great option is a halo engagement ring, which features a center gemstone completely encircled by sparkling diamond accents that make the center gem appear 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 and finding the perfect setting. Just contact us 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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Comments:

Dan Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I find lots if info on moissonite and some on lab created diamonds. Are they the same?


B. Earth Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 10:07 am

Hi Dan, Good question! Moissanite and lab created diamonds are not the same. Lab created diamonds are physically, optically, and chemically indistinguishable from natural diamonds, while moissanite is composed of silicon carbide and compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. Our jewelry specialists would be happy to explain the differences in more detail at 800.691.0952. Thanks for your interest!


Luke Says:
August 19th, 2013 at 6:43 am

Do you sell moissonite? can they be placed in your settings?


Dailen Says:
October 24th, 2013 at 10:18 am

Rather interesting way to skew the article: “some complain that moissanite’s heightened brilliance can create a more gaudy, disco ball effect, especially in sunlight and as stones increase in size”.

Having worked in the jewelry industry I find the spin on that to be peculiar because I never knew anyone to complain about this effect but rather it giving off more brilliance was a plus.

Another way of wording it might be “moissanite’s heightened brilliance is shown in how it refracts twice as much light, therefore sparkling and glistening twice as much especially in sunlight and as stones increase in size”.


B. Earth Says:
October 25th, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hi Dailen, That’s a great point! I guess it just depends on how much you love sparkle!


Erin Says:
November 3rd, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I recently got an moissanite engagement ring. I would completely disagree with the term “gaudy” for how it sparkles. There needs to be a description on how it sparkles. I love the rainbows that my stone makes compared to the white flashes of a diamond. I would suggest having a video on this page that can exhibit the differences between the two. I spent many hours watching videos of moissanites and diamonds side by side to decide if a moissanite was the way that I wanted to go and the longer I have the happy I get with me and fiancé’s choice.


sean Says:
November 18th, 2013 at 7:36 am

Moissanite is a fine gemstone and I just had an 80mm placed in a tension setting. It looks fantastic. It refracts beautifully and its a princess cut to boot. Its a matter of choice and the only way to make that choice is to physically see the difference in outside lighting not under store lighting or on a web page. Be informed and you won’t be disappointed either way.


Catherine Says:
November 24th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

What a completely biased article. Moissanite is not a “diamond simulant”, it is its entirely own gemstone. Anybody that knew anything about jewelry would know that moissanite is its own unique gemstone with its own unique properties – and there really is no comparison to diamond except the fact that they are both “colorless” stones.

If someone is looking for a less expensive diamond alternative, honestly, CZ is a much better choice. Anybody looking for a stone to match the visual properties of diamond will be sorely disappointed with moissanite.


Nora Says:
January 15th, 2014 at 9:41 pm

My ring fell off my finger and hit ceramic tile flooring. It chipped the large center stone and now there’s a black disfigurement in the large center stone. I am very saddened by this. I would like to know if there is any replacement the seller can offer? We were sold on the brilliance of the stones which, we were very pleased with. The hardness of the stone was also a selling point vs. a diamond.
Any information or feedback is appreciated. I love my ring!!


B. Earth Says:
January 16th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Hi Nora,we’re so sorry to hear about your ring! Did you purchase your ring from Brilliant Earth? If so, our jewelry specialists would be more than happy to assist you. You can reach them here: http://www.brilliantearth.com/contact/ or by calling 800-691-0952.


Jenny Says:
February 2nd, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Hi! My fiance surprised me with a lovely 1.5 ct moissy in a simple 14K prong setting. I’d love to have the stone reset into a different ring — is this something Brilliant Earth’s artisans can do?


B. Earth Says:
February 3rd, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Hi Jenny, congratulations on your engagement! Unfortunately as a company policy we can’t set outside stones. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our expert jewelry specialists. You can contact them via email (http://www.brilliantearth.com/contact/) or by calling 800-691-0952. Thank you for your interest!


Nicole Says:
February 26th, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Do you sell loose colorless moissanite ‘Forever Brilliant’ diamonds? And do the Forever Brilliant still have more fire, or do they flash more of a white light? Thank you.


B. Earth Says:
February 27th, 2014 at 11:32 am

Hi Nicole, Forever Brilliant Moissanites are a trademark, so we do not carry them. However,our jewelry specialists would be happy to help you find a loose moissanite or diamond that matches them in brilliance and color. You can reach them via email (http://www.brilliantearth.com/contact/) or by calling 800-691-0952. Thank you for your interest!


Michelle Says:
April 13th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Your “lab created diamonds” are pretty expensive. Where do they lie on the Mohs hardness scale?


B. Earth Says:
April 14th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hi Michelle, good question! All of our lab created diamonds are physically, optically, and chemically indistinguishable from our natural diamonds. So, like natural diamonds, our lab created diamonds are at the top of the Mohs hardness scale. You can learn more about lab created diamonds here: http://www.brilliantearth.com/lab-created-diamonds/.


Joy Says:
June 7th, 2014 at 1:44 am

I have a diamond engagement ring but I’m looking at a moissanite wedding ring, would there be a big noticeable difference when they are together on my finger? Thanks


B. Earth Says:
June 11th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Hi Joy, we do not typically recommend mixing the two. Depending on the size of the moissanites used in the wedding band, you may be able to clearly see a difference. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, which means that they can often look even brighter than your center diamond. Being that the wedding band should compliment and not compete with your engagement ring, we would exercise caution in pairing the two.


Suresh Kumawat Says:
June 19th, 2014 at 10:54 pm

It was a good read about moissanite stone. As moissanite is very cheap and almost similar to the Diamond in look n feel so now I am thinking for a moissanite bling. Thanks


Henrietta Says:
July 19th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Hi, I want to get a real diamond band for my fiancy for our upcoming wedding, I am scared of falling a victim buying a lab diamond, I live in chicago and I want to know if u have representative or a store in chicago to make my choice of ring..


B. Earth Says:
July 22nd, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Hi Henrietta, at this time our only showroom is located in San Francisco, CA. However, our jewelry specialists would be more than happy to assist you with any questions on the phone at 1.800.691.0952 or via email (http://www.brilliantearth.com/contact/). All of the diamond accents featured in our wedding bands are mined, natural diamonds. You can learn more about our diamond accent origins here: http://www.brilliantearth.com/diamond-accents-origin/. Thank you for your interest!


Amanda Says:
August 24th, 2014 at 6:30 am

Uggggg I’m so frustrated! My bf bought me the most beautiful virago engagement ring. Just so happens the diomond in the middle is over a carat and extremely expensive! We have been looking at the moisanite diamonds. I see that they tend to have a disco ball affect. I don’t know what to do. And reading the comment that when the one lad dropped hers on the floor the whole center of the diomond popped out. I truly don’t know what to so


Cheryl Says:
October 13th, 2014 at 10:53 pm

i have all three diamonds, moissanite, and lab created pieces and nothing compares to my moissanite pieces that I just love love love. I must admit that the bigger the moissanite the greater the sparkle in an array of refractive colors. The lab created diamonds are colorless and beautiful, however since they are so perfect in color it looks fake so I purchase them if they are in a pave setting. In my opinion the moissanite has more fire, brilliance, and looks more like a natural diamond compared to a diamond stimulant, or lab created. I do agree not to mix moissanite with a real diamonds because moissanites will outshine the diamond any day. When I wear my 2 carat moissanite ring I get a lot of compliments, and no one knows it’s not a diamond, they think it’s an absolutely fabulous diamond ring.


tanya Says:
November 3rd, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I really didn’t care for this piece. I looked up moissonite on Brilliant Earth because I like your company and your designs. I want moissonite because I love the look … I personally think that the optical properties of moissonite exceed those of diamonds, so its just a no-brainer for me. I was planning to ask for one of your designs in this stone. However, this article is obviously trying to get the reader to go for a ‘real diamond’ instead. You’re positioning moissonite as classless, gaudy, and fake, and diamond as an elite status symbol. This is the DeBeers trick. Please respect consumer preferences enough not to disparage them so openly.


iola Says:
November 16th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

hello, I had the choice of diamond or moissanite. I jumped at the beautiful colors of moissanite! I have several diamonds but wear the colors, of moissanite! People love my ring, I wear it 24/7 handling horses the rings sparkle is beautiful! I have warn my ring and had no problems with chipping dulling. I love this ring! Ola


Kira Says:
December 2nd, 2014 at 8:29 pm

I am disappointed in the biased tone of the article as well. I have long respected Brilliant Earth for your eco-friendly mission and trustworthy reputation, yet I find it amusing that the same company that will rave about the brilliance, fire, and scintillation of a diamond will refer to the same reflective and refractive qualities in another stone as “gaudy” and “disco ball”-like. It is unfortunate that the desire to advertise your product has clearly outweighed the desire to present neutrality here. There are upsides and downsides to all stone choices, and, if your products are of a high quality, then it should not be necessary to slight other choices. For what it’s worth, I own a diamond.


Krista Says:
December 17th, 2014 at 12:10 am

This is an extremely biased article.

I was set on getting a massive, diamond ring when I get engaged. Then I discovered moissanite.

They’re gorgeous! I don’t think they’re “gaudy” at all. The sparkle is what makes them pretty.

I love how brilliant they are. The diamond is pale in comparison.

The 9.25 on the hardness scale should not be off putting either.
Because moissanite is lab created it doesn’t have natural flaws that a diamond would, making it comparable as far as damage is concerned.

I also love that they were from a meteorite! And lab created means they’re ethical!

& 1-10th of the price!

I don’t understand why anyone even buys diamond rings anymore.

Moissanite has won me over. (& that’s saying something! I am (or was?) a diamond girl!)


Mendy Manzanera Says:
December 30th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I think the moissanite look pretty real. I just bought mine and even though I bought both solitaire and wedding band, the wedding band came in first and when I paired it with my real diamond engagement ring, it looked fine. However, the moissanite solitaire has since come in and I have now paired both moissanites. They look beautiful. I AM concerned with the lady who said hers cracked. I did buy a 3 year warranty though, so hopefully this will not be the case with my rings. My real diamond engagement ring was only about 1/3 carat and I always wanted a larger stone, so I went with the moissanite.


Mendy Manzanera Says:
December 30th, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I am happy with the moissanites.


Michael Says:
January 1st, 2015 at 1:03 am

Well, everyone certainly has their own opinion and are absolutely entitled to it. After reading through the comments here, I felt compelled to leave my own. I recently purchased an engagement ring, well, in reality, two engagement rings. The first with a moissanite center stone, the other with a diamond:
Moissanite – graded as “forever brilliant,” looked absolutely fabulous, flawless even, in the store, at home in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the car under the overheard lighting, the garage at night…what’s missing here? Sunlight. My opinion of the stone did a 180º when I took the ring into direct sunlight; it looked cloudy, greyish, but the pave stones (diamond) looked amazing. I really could not believe the difference I saw between the stones when taken into direct sunlight.
Diamond – GIA grading; color G, clarity VS2, cut Excellent. WOW, exquisite, direct sunlight, candlelight, flashlight, moonlight, pale light, pink light, red light, green light…ok, you get it.
Now, my search started out with completely shunning diamonds. I was on a mission, totally determined to go against the decades long, entrenched “DeBeers marketing scam” I had grown to despise. I don’t need to pay these outrageously, over-inflated prices for a measily little stone to put in a ring around the love of my life’s finger! Our love is enough, right?! Right! And she agrees, death to the socially-accepted-through-marketing diamond engagement ring!! Well, I tried, let me tell you, I tried. What I came up with in the end, what is on my fiance’s finger, is a diamond. Not because anyone said that it should be, but because that is what I decided on after eight months of searching and comparing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I certainly paid for it, and not everyone has that luxury. I’m not trying to say what is good for me and mine is good for you and your’s. However, what I do want to convey, ALL I want to convey, is that there are very distinct differences in every stone, be it diamond-to-diamond, diamond-to-moissanite, lab created-to-diamond, saphire-to-cubic zirconia, etc, etc, etc…YOU just need to determine what YOU are willing to spend for what YOU like, and it doesn’t matter the size, the make, or the model. Make your search for the perfect ring and stone not about “gaudy” or “biased” or “socially accepted,” but about you and your love, because those two people are the ONLY ones that REALLY matter.


Tanya Says:
January 2nd, 2015 at 11:27 am

I appreciate your attitude, Michael. It should be about personal preferences and relationships; we don’t need the emotional loading and judgmental attitudes pervading the market.


Teresa Says:
January 27th, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Michael, after reading many other comments, I was seriously considering looking at moissanite. Then….pow! Your comment about taking it into direct sunlight. And the fact that you wanted to avoid the DeBeers hype, yet still chose diamond. That’s a powerful testimony. The one thing missing in jewelry showrooms is direct sunlight. Thanks for pointing out that “brilliant” (pun intended) observation.


Teresa Says:
January 27th, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Thanks to everyone who commented. It was very helpful as I begin my comparison journey.


Michelle Says:
January 28th, 2015 at 5:33 pm

I used to sell Moissanite and have loads of it set in both silver and gold. The color of the stone changes a bit in different light, sometimes showing off more colors, sometimes less. I wish I could post a photo because I have photos of large Moissanites that look beautiful in the sunlight. I disagree with the previous gentleman. Moissanites look best in the sunlight. You will get more color ranges on stones larger than 7mm in width, so if you like a ring with three-stones, it is the perfect choice. I have a ring in gold that has three round 6 and 5mm stones and it sparkles like there’s no tomorrow. It looks EXACTLY like diamonds, but better, and my friends mostly wear big diamonds, and they RAVE about this ring. It was only $1,300 and it would cost $13,000 (Moissanite costs about 10% of equal quality diamonds.) in diamonds. Don’t get sucked into the idea that you have to wear diamonds. This ring looks as stunning as my $40,000 ring.


Sue Says:
February 28th, 2015 at 4:27 am

I just received my engagement ring and the center stone is a 1.5 ct moissanite. There are also small diamonds around the band. It is stunning. I have no idea why someone would tell you not to mix the two stones. Don’t be afraid to go with moissanite. They are lovely stones. This is an extremly biased site.


Sallie Davis Says:
March 14th, 2015 at 8:38 am

My diamond fell out of my ring and was lost. Can you place one of your stones in my setting if it was sent to you?


B. Earth Says:
March 17th, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Hi Sallie, if you purchased your ring with Brilliant Earth, our jewelry specialists will be happy to assist you. You can reach them at 1.800.691.0952 or via email (http://www.brilliantearth.com/contact/).


Chris Says:
April 3rd, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Watch out!! Lab made diamonds hold moister, which means if she’s in a hot tub or in cold weather the lab made diamonds will fog up and look horrible. Moissanite won’t do that. This was a fact that was hidden from me when I purchased a lab made diamond, which I then returned for a real diamond.


Emm Says:
April 27th, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Very disappointed in the biased tone of this article. I’m trying to get information on both stones and I feel the piece tries to convince the reader about how they should feel about moissanites vs diamonds before they’re able to decide their personal preference for themselves, based on the language they use to describe each.


Nisha Says:
May 2nd, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Interesting that the original post by Brilliant Earth does not use the word gaudy (unless it was edited). Rather, the commenter used that word and everyone followed suit.


Pedro Says:
May 3rd, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I bought my wife a moissanite engagement ring. She knew it’s heritage, and loved it regardless. She got compliments on it all the time; even our female finacial planner said “I know my diamonds, and THAT’S a nice diamond”. Why spend more for an inferior product (diamonds). Take what you will spend on a diamond product, and go buy the same in moissanite, and then add another piece of moissanite jewelery and you’ll still spend less than the diamond. You won’t regret buying moissanite. (Please note … I “don’t” work for moissanite or jewelery industry.)


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