There is a Diamond alternative in the market today called Moissanite. It is a man made gemstone that has great brilliance and is becoming very popular. There is a large increase in environmentally aware consumers picking gemstones that are lab created because of the reduced environmental impact. Lets take a look at the difference between these two gems.
Natural moissanite is a very rare mineral composed of silicon carbide. Because of its rarity, nearly all of the moissanite available today was created in a lab. With a 9.25 score on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, it is not as hard as a diamond (with a score of 10) but is very durable and strong enough for everyday use.
Since it is created and not mined, it is considered an eco-friendly gem and less expensive per carat than similar gemstones.
Possibly only noticeable to gemstone aficionados and experts, moissanite casts a “disco ball” reflection which is different from that of a diamond. The “colorless” moissanites tend to project a yellow or gray hue in certain lighting conditions.
Not only eco-friendly, moissanite is budget friendly as well, with prices significantly lower than other gemstones, including the diamond against which it is often compared.
Diamonds are the most sought after mineral for reasons of hardness (10.0 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness), brilliance (the ability of the stone to reflect white light) and color. From engagement rings to industrial purposes, they have multiple uses and are extremely valuable.
Unlike moissanite, diamonds are mined and can also be created in a laboratory.
Pricing of diamonds varies depending on its quality and characteristics and the price really has no ceiling.
Moissanite vs. Diamonds
From an environmentally friendly perspective, moissanite has an edge of diamonds in that no mining is required since nearly all of the moissanite on the market is created instead of mined.
To the discerning eye, moissanite reflects light differently in both color and pattern than a diamond. The average person may not be able to notice the difference but experts will be able to spot a moissanite against a diamond fairly easily. Although “colorless” moissanite may give off a hue in certain lighting conditions, it’s brilliance is greater than that of a diamond.
In terms of durability, the diamond has the edge scoring higher on the MOHS Scale of Hardness, however, moissanite is a very durable gemstone and is also more resistant to grease and grime which means its brilliance will last longer between cleanings.
How To Tell Them Apart
Moissanite is a very good Diamond replica because it is one of the few gems that shows dispersion. That is the rainbow colors you see when light is reflected. Jewelers and the general public are often confused so here are a few tips to remember when trying to figure out which stone you are looking at.
1. Double Refraction
Diamonds have single refraction while Moissanite is doubly refractive. What this means is that when you look through the top of the Diamond you will always see a single line of the bottom facets. With a Moissanite however you will be able to see a doubling effect.
2. Dispersion or Fire
Moissanite has much greater dispersion than Diamond. If you are able to place the two gems next to each other you will be able to notice the significant difference in fire. Once you get to know how much fire each gemstone has the easier it will be to identify them.
3. Weight and Size
Moissanite is lighter than Diamond and so for the same dimension stone the Moissanite will weigh less.
4. Diamonds Testers
Diamond testers that are designed to be used to detect Moissanite are the best tools to use if you can’t get the stone to a gemologist. These tools are very accurate and will give you a clear indication of what gemstone you have.
With the cost of moissanite a small fraction compared to diamonds, it is an ideal alternative to Diamonds. However there are those that dream of owning a natural gemstone that was created by mother nature and this is where nothing will ever replace a Diamond or natural colored gemstone.