Updated September 26, 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? See how it compares to a diamond.

Moissanite is the most popular diamond alternative for couples on a budget. The average person cannot easily tell a difference.

But there are still differences that can make or break your decision.

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.

Diamond vs Moissanite Side by Side

DiamondsMoissanite
Brilliance Refractive Index2.422.65 (even more brilliant than a diamond)
Durability (Moh's Hardness Scale)109.25 (suitable for everyday wear)
Cost$5,000 - $6,000 for 1 carat$600 for 1 carat
ColorNear colorless to completely colorlessNear colorless to completely colorless
ClarityFlawed to completely flawlessAlmost flawless

What Is Moissanite?

Moissanite (or moissy to fans) is a natural mineral first discovered in a meteor crater 100 years ago - literally a space rock! But natural moissanite is super rare, way more rare than diamonds. So all the moissanite we have today are lab grown. But make no mistake: they are still very much real gemstones - just made in a lab.

Moissanite looks a lot like a diamond. They're both clear and sparkly. But moissanite is not a fake diamond and shouldn't be thought as one. It's a beautiful gemstone in its own right.

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's second only to diamonds (which have a rating of 10). They're both hard enough for everyday wear, and won't scratch or break easily.

  • Sparkle: Both are beloved for their beautiful sparkles. But some astute observers can tell a difference. Moissanites usually have more of a rainbow sparkle, while diamonds emit a combination of colorless sparkle, rainbow sparkle, and flashes of light. 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 and appears the whitest.

Why You May Prefer Moissanite

You may prefer moissanites to diamonds for the following reasons:

  • A lot cheaper than diamonds: This is the biggest reason couples on a budget go for moissanite. They're just a fraction of the cost as diamonds. For example, 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 depends on size and if they were enhanced or not. Enhanced moissanite means that it has gone through a process to make it whiter. Otherwise, moissanite tends to have a yellower tint.

  • Extreme brilliance: Moissanites are very sparkly. They have a high refractive index. 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.

  • Better clarity: Moissanites are not sold unless the clarity grade is VS or above. This grade means that there are no visible flaws. Diamonds, on the other hand, could have flaws that can be seen with the naked eye.

  • 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. 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 You May Want to Stick to Diamonds

Diamonds are pure carbon crystals. They take millions of years to form. They make up the most durable, natural substance available.

You may prefer diamonds to moissanites for the following reasons:

  • Diamonds are a girl's best friend: Society has taught us that diamonds are the ultimate symbol of love. Some women may not think that another gemstone is a good enough substitute.

  • White sparkle: Diamonds have a beautiful white sparkle. Moissanite, on the other hand, gives off more rainbow sparkles. Some people think it looks "fake" and is the tell-tale sign that the stone isn't a diamond.

    Tip: For a diamond that sparkles the most, buy one with an ideal cut.

  • 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 sweetie expects a diamond, she may be disappointed. If you want to save some money, discuss it with her first. Whatever you do, do not try to pass off a moissanite as a real diamond. She'll find out sooner or later.

  • There may be a tint. Moissanite stones are usually slightly warmer toned (equivalent to near-colorless diamonds). Some people also report seeing a yellow or green cast to their moissys. If you're worried about this, get an enhanced moissanite, especially for stones 1 carat and over.

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

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.

    Did you know? 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.

  • 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.

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.

Other Diamond Alternatives

Are you considering moissanite because you want something that looks like a diamond? There are some other affordable options too.

  • Cubic zirconia: CZs are always colorless and perfectly flawless. It's hard to tell the difference from diamonds for the average person. Like moissanite, they tend to emit more of a rainbow sparkle. CZs are very cheap - you can find a 1-carat CZ for $20. But they're literally cheap fake diamonds, so you and your sweetie must be on the same page about this.

  • White sapphires: Sapphire is a precious gemstone suitable for engagement rings. However, white sapphires tend to look a little cloudy (i.e. not completely clear). They also don't emit any fire or scintillation, so they're not as sparkly as a diamond. But it is quite hard so it can be worn daily. The cost is around $800 a carat.

  • White topaz: If you're on a tiny budget but still want a real gemstone, you can consider white topaz. But beware: it's softer so it scratches more easily. Then it will start to look cloudy and less brilliant. It also doesn't have the kind of sparkle a diamond has. White topaz is very cheap - about the same price as CZs.

Bottom Line

Should you choose moissanite for the engagement ring? It's truly a personal choice. There's no law that says an engagement ring must be a diamond. All that matters is that you like it.

If you are on a budget, but want the look of a diamond, in our opinion, moissanite is the best diamond alternative. Don't think of it as a fake diamond. 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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