August 9, 2017

Moissanite vs Diamond: Which One Should You Buy?

Read more about Diamonds

Moissanite is affordable and has incredible brilliance. Is it the right diamond alternative for you? Learn the pros and cons and find out which is better.

Diamonds aren't the only option for an engagement ring. If you want a look-alike, moissanite might be an option. It looks very similar to a diamond, but there are differences.

We suggest you discuss your options with your sweetie. What if she's expecting a diamond and you give her a moissanite? It might be a beautiful ring, but she may feel slighted. Learning about moissanite together can help you make the choice.

Read on to learn about the differences between diamonds and moissanites. This guide will help you decide which is right for you.

What Is Moissanite?

Moissanite is a natural mineral found in space. It was originally discovered in a meteor crater a century ago by Dr. Henri Moissan. The stone was named moissanite after him (also called moissy by fans).

While it's cool to be able to say that you have a space rock, today's moissanites are lab grown. They can be created in a matter of a few weeks. But they are still real gemstones - they're just made from silicon carbide crystals in a lab.

Moissanite is not graded as strictly as diamonds. When you shop for a diamond, you shop for the 4 C's. Cut, color, clarity, and carat all play a role. Here's how moissanite is graded:

  • Cut: Moissanites are cut in such a way to display maximum brilliance and fire. This is different from diamonds, which are often cut to retain the most carat weight.

  • Clarity: Moissanites are not sold unless the clarity grade is VS or above. This means there may be small flaws that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

  • Color: Moissanites are graded as colorless, near colorless, and faint color. Usually moissanites are slightly warmer toned, but Charles & Colvard have created colorless Forever One™ Moisssanites.

Because of how much a moissanite looks like a diamond, it has become the most popular diamond alternative. Read on to see if it's right for you.

Why Both Moissanites and Diamonds Are a Good Choice

Both moissanites and diamonds make beautiful engagement rings. With either option, you'll reap these benefits:

  • Durability: Moissanite rates 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. It is second only to diamonds (which have a rating of 10). They both make suitable choices for everyday wear. They resist scratches and breakage. Since many engagement rings are worn every day, this is crucial.

  • Sparkle: Both diamonds and moissanites emit beautiful sparkles. The type they emit differ, though. Moissanites usually have more of a rainbow sparkle. Diamonds emit a combination of colorless sparkle, rainbow sparkle, and flashes of light (brilliance, fire, and scintillation). Both are beautiful. What you like is your personal choice.

  • Cut: Both diamonds and moissanites are available in a variety of shapes. But round is the most popular for both choices. The round brilliant cut offers the most sparkle.

Why Moissanites Are Superior

You may prefer moissanites to diamonds for the following reasons:

  • A lot cheaper than diamonds: Moissanites cost much less than diamonds. For example, at Brilliant Earth, you can get a 1-carat, colorless moissanite for $600. Even a near-colorless, 1-carat diamond costs around $5,000. The price of moissanite varies based on size and if they were enhanced or not.

  • Extreme brilliance: Moissanites are incredibly brilliant. They have a high refractive index. They also have incredible fire properties. This creates a sparkle greater than that of a diamond. The sparkles are often rainbow colored rather than colorless. In short, you get a very flashy ring.

  • Ethically created: Unlike diamonds, moissanites aren't mined from the Earth. Moissanite is grown in a controlled lab environment. This eliminates the worry of unfair labor practices and warfare. They also have a smaller carbon footprint. Moissanites are an eco-friendly choice for an engagement ring.

How to clean your moissanite ring: Dust and oils from regular wear may dull your moissy ring. Cleaning it is simple. Just soak it in a bowl of mild soap and water and gently scrub the stone with a toothbrush. Rinse and either towel dry or air dry.

Why Diamonds Are Superior

Diamonds are pure carbon crystals. They take millions of years to form. They make up the most durable, natural substance available. Diamonds also provide a colorless sparkle and hold their value.
You may prefer diamonds to moissanites for the following reasons:

  • Diamonds are a girl's best friend: In today's society, we've accepted diamonds as the norm for engagement ring. It's the ultimate symbol of love. Some women may not think that another gemstone is a good enough substitute.

  • White sparkle: Diamonds refract light. This is why you see a beautiful white sparkle. Diamonds with an ideal cut give off the most sparkle. Moissanite, on the other hand, gives off more rainbow sparkles, and some people think it looks "fake."

  • It can be handed down as an heirloom. Diamonds are valuable and moissanite isn't. The diamond ring can be passed down to future generations as a precious piece of jewelry. Moissanite's value is mostly sentimental.

Both Diamonds and Moissanite Have Downsides

We want you to understand the possible downsides of both diamonds and moissanites. Taking the good with the bad, you can make the right decision for you and your loved one.

Moissanite downsides:

  • Moissanite is not a diamond. If your loved one expects a diamond, she might be disappointed. Talking to her beforehand can help prevent a disappointing proposal. Even if she doesn't notice right away, she'll find out at some point during the appraisal or insurance process.

  • Moissanite is not as colorless as diamonds. There are completely colorless diamonds, while moissanite is slightly warmer toned (equivalent to the near-colorless range). So if she wants a very white stone, then only diamonds can achieve that.

    Tip: However, Charles & Colvard's Forever One™ Colorless Moissanites are truly a game-changer. For the first time, colorless moissanites are available.

  • A diamond is forever, but is moissanite? They haven't been around long enough for us to determine their longevity.

Diamond downsides:

  • They are costly. You may only be able to buy a smaller rock because of the cost of diamonds. But you can buy a much larger moissanite for a fraction of the cost of a smaller diamond.

  • They aren't always ethical. Unless you know how to find a conflict-free diamond, your diamond could have bloodshed on it. Even if it doesn't, it could be mined from somewhere with unfair labor practices and an unsafe working environment.

  • You're paying many times the actual value. Diamonds cost so much because the diamond cartel controls the supply and price. But in reality, they're not rare at all. A diamond miner in Africa only makes a few bucks for the several thousand dollar sparkler on her finger. Moissanite, on the other hand, costs closer to the actual value.

  • It's harder to shop for a diamond. There's a lot more to learn. The cut, color, clarity, and carat can get confusing. You can get duped into a lesser quality diamond than you wanted if you don't know how to shop for a diamond.

Where to Buy Moissanite

If you're interested in moissanite because of the price advantage and ethical considerations, here are a few places to purchase it.

  • Charles & Colvard: They are the original creators of moissanite. They're dedicated to creating brilliant gems in an environmentally and socially responsible way. They offer their special Forever One™ Moissanite in colorless and near-colorless grades.

  • Brilliant Earth: Brilliant Earth's principle goes beyond merely conflict-free. All their items are sourced from ethical mines with fair wages and labor practices. They also offer eco-friendly alternatives to diamonds, including moissanite.

Also Keep in Mind

If you love the look of a diamond, you have a couple of other options. Cubic zirconia and white sapphire are two of the most popular choices.

Cubic zirconia looks similar to moissanite in brilliance. It emits the same rainbow sparkles due its fiery properties. CZs are always colorless and perfectly flawless. It's hard to tell the difference from diamonds for the average person. Cubic zirconia is even cheaper than moissanite. You can find a 1-carat CZ for less than $50. One word of caution, however: CZs are not nearly as hard as moissanite or diamonds. If your sweetie will wear it every day, you may want to consider the risk of damage.

White sapphires are another alternative. However, white sapphires tend to have a cloudiness. They also don't emit any fire or scintillation, so they're not nearly as sparkly as a diamond. It'll be easy to tell that it's not a diamond. Women who prefer less sparkle may prefer the white sapphire. As with CZs, though, white sapphires aren't as durable as diamonds or moissanites.

Bottom Line

Should you choose moissanite or diamond? It's truly a personal preference.

If you are on a budget, but want the look of a diamond, moissanite is perhaps the best diamond alternative. It's a beautiful gem in its own right. If you want a real diamond, do your research. You may be able to find a perfectly affordable diamond ring that fits your budget.

We encourage you to take your time and do your homework. Talk to your sweetie and together decide what will bring the most joy to your marriage. In the end, it's about what the two of you want.

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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