When it comes to choosing an engagement ring or other fine jewelry, diamonds are often the first gemstone that comes to mind. However, there’s another gemstone that’s been gaining popularity in recent years: moissanite. If you’re not familiar with moissanite, you may be wondering what it is and how it differs from diamonds. In this blog, we’ll explore everything you need to know about moissanite and how it compares to diamonds, so you can make an informed decision when choosing your next piece of jewelry.
Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral that was first discovered by French scientist Henri Moissan in 1893. While moissanite is extremely rare in nature, it can now be synthesized in a lab to create gem-quality stones that are nearly identical to natural moissanite. The main difference between moissanite and diamonds is their chemical composition. Diamonds are made up entirely of carbon, while moissanite is made up of silicon carbide.
One of the most noticeable differences between moissanite and diamonds is their appearance. While diamonds are prized for their brilliance and fire, moissanite has even more brilliance and fire due to its high refractive index. In fact, moissanite is known to have a “rainbow effect” where it can display spectral colors in certain lighting conditions. Additionally, moissanite has a unique “crushed ice” look, with more of a scattered pattern of light return compared to diamonds which typically have more defined facets.
Another difference between moissanite and diamonds is their hardness. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth, ranking a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Moissanite, while still quite durable, ranks 9.25 on the same scale. This means that while moissanite is quite resistant to scratches and wear, it may be more prone to chipping or breaking compared to diamonds.
One of the biggest differences between moissanite and diamonds, however, is the price. While diamonds are one of the most expensive gemstones, moissanite is much more affordable, with prices typically 10-15% of the cost of a diamond of the same size and quality. This makes moissanite an attractive option for those who want the look of a diamond without the high price tag.
In terms of ethical and environmental considerations, moissanite is a more eco-friendly and ethical choice compared to diamonds. Because moissanite is synthesized in a lab, there is no mining involved, and the production process has a much lower impact on the environment. Additionally, moissanite is typically conflict-free, meaning it doesn’t come from countries where diamonds are often associated with human rights abuses and conflict.
In conclusion, moissanite and diamonds have some notable differences in terms of their composition, appearance, hardness, and price. While diamonds are still the most popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry, moissanite offers a more affordable and eco-friendly alternative that can still provide the same amount of sparkle and shine. Whether you choose moissanite or diamonds, the most important thing is to choose a piece of jewelry that reflects your personal style and values.