Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of 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. After many years of trial and error, the particles Moissan discovered were successfully synthesized to produce what is now one of the world’s most scintillating gemstones.
Moissanite is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. The durability, brilliance, and color of the two gems are quite distinct.
Moissanite is lab created with minimal environmental impact.
Moissanite is less expensive per carat than many other gemstones.
Moissanite is a 9.25 on the Moh’s scale, so it is suitable for everyday wear.
|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 everyday wear as an engagement ring.||Diamonds are the hardest known mineral and receive a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Because of this exceptional score, diamonds are very durable and ideal for everyday wear. This contributes to their popularity as engagement rings’ center gemstones.|
|Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as their faceting pattern is different. The fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanites 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.||A different type of brilliance is what makes it possible to distinguish a moissanite from a diamond. Diamonds reflect light in three different ways. The white light reflected back is referred to as brilliance, while the rainbow of colors refracted through the diamond is referred to as dispersion. The surface sparkle of a diamond, known as scintillation, is a third type of diamond light return. The combination of these three gives diamonds their famous sparkle.|
|Moissanites touted as “colorless” can still project a yellow or grayish hue in certain lights. Here again, the larger the moissanite, the more noticeable the color and the easier it is to identify it as a simulant.||A colorless diamond, whether natural or lab created, has a natural body color that contains no traces of yellow, brown, or grey, resulting in a dazzling, bright white appearance.|
Discover the most popular settings to pair with moissanite.
Because they are grown in controlled environments using advanced technology, moissanites require absolutely no mining to produce. Their origins are therefore traceable and entirely eco friendly.
Compared with natural gemstones, synthetic moissanites have a much smaller carbon footprint and result in less environmental impact. Fine jewelry made with moissanites and eco friendly metals meets the very highest environmental standards.
If you are considering a moissanite engagement ring, you’ll find dazzling options in our Moissanite Collection 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, 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 diamonds 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.
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 distinctive look at a smaller price. Sapphires are prized for their stunning colors and durability. Our sapphire engagement rings are stunning and unique, and we offer an even broader range of sapphire colors and shapes in our colored gemstone gallery. We also offer luminous green emeralds, which are treasured for their depth of color and historic place as the gemstone of royalty. Our rubies and semiprecious gemstones are also a distinctive choice in an affordable price range. All of our unique colored gemstones can be purchased individually or set in a Brilliant Earth engagement ring setting.
A vintage ring can be a beautiful and budget-friendly choice. Our collection of vintage engagement rings ranges from bold and geometric Art Deco engagement rings, to delicately detailed Art Nouveau rings, to stunning Retro-era rings that evoke the glamour of golden age Hollywood. Choosing one of our vintage rings is an excellent way to stretch your budget. A vintage ring is also an ethical choice, as it requires no new mining.
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. Another great option is a three stone setting, featuring one smaller gem on each side of the center diamond.