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What You Must Know Before Buying A Moissanite Ring

Moissanite is a gemstone that has become increasingly popular as a diamond alternative. It is known for its brilliance, durability, affordability and ethical appeal. If you are new to moissanite, it can be quite overwhelming to choose and buy the right moissanite for yourself. We hope this guide will provide you with the information you need to make this decision.

Is Moissanite The Same As A Lab-Grown Diamond Or Real Diamond?

No, moissanite is not the same as a real diamond. While both moissanite and lab-grown diamonds are both created in the lab, moissanite is also not a lab-grown diamond.

Although moissanite and diamonds can look similar to the untrained eye and share some properties, they have notable differences.

They are different in their composition, physical properties, optical qualities, cost, and value. Moissanite offers an ethical, less expensive alternative to diamonds, with its own unique set of characteristics and appeal.

Is Moissanite A Diamond Simulant?

A diamond simulant, also known as a diamond imitation or faux diamond, is a stone that visually resembles a diamond but has different chemical and physical properties. These simulants are designed to mimic the appearance of real diamonds. By this definition, moissanite can be called a diamond simulant (Learn more about diamond simulants).

However, moissanite is often classified as both a diamond simulant and a diamond alternative and it is more accurately described as a diamond alternative.

Moissanite also considered a diamond alternative because it has its own unique properties and qualities.

  • Unlike typical simulants like cubic zirconia, moissanite has a high hardness level (9.25 on the Mohs scale), close to that of diamonds (10 on the Mohs scale). This makes it durable and suitable for everyday wear.

  • Additionally, moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds, giving it more fire (the dispersion of light into rainbow colors).

  • Moissanite’s lab-created nature makes it an ethical and environmentally friendly alternative, avoiding the often controversial aspects of diamond mining. This ethical sourcing contributes to its growing popularity as a sustainable jewelry choice.

Why Are Some Moissanite More Expensive Than Others?

The price variation in moissanite is influenced by several factors, some of which are similar to diamonds (based on the 4Cs of diamond). Here is an overview of why some moissanite stones are cheaper than others:

  • Quality of the Cut: The cut of a moissanite stone significantly impacts its brilliance and fire. A well-cut moissanite will display more fire (the dispersion of light into colors) and brilliance (the white light reflection). A poorly cut moissanite will appear dull and flat, meaning it doesn’t sparkle. Superior cutting techniques lead to a higher-priced stone.

  • Color: Moissanite is graded for color using a scale similar to diamonds, from colorless to near-colorless and with varying shades. Completely colorless moissanite, which closely resembles a high-grade diamond, is typically more expensive than those with slight yellow or green tints.

  • Clarity: While moissanite generally has fewer visible inclusions than diamonds, the clarity can still vary. Stones with fewer or no visible inclusions will be priced higher.

  • Carat Size: Larger moissanite stones are more expensive, as they require more raw material and greater precision in cutting. However, the price per carat for moissanite doesn’t escalate as steeply with size as it does for diamonds.

  • Brand: Branded moissanite stones, especially from well-known companies, often come with a higher price tag due to their guaranteed quality, marketing, and the brand’s reputation. Non-branded moissanite can be less expensive but might vary more in quality.

So How Do I Pick A Good Quality Moissanite?

Selecting a high-quality moissanite involves understanding and examining several key attributes that determine its overall appearance and value.

  1. Understand the Grading of Moissanite:
    • Color: Moissanite is graded for color similarly to diamonds. The scale ranges from colorless to near-colorless with varying shades. The highest quality is completely colorless (equivalent to D, E, or F in diamond grading), which is the most desirable and looks most similar to a high-grade diamond.

    • Clarity: Like diamonds, moissanite can have inclusions. Look for stones that are eye-clean, meaning no visible inclusions can be seen with the naked eye.

    • Cut: The cut of moissanite affects its brilliance and fire (the dispersion of light into colors). A well-cut moissanite will display a high level of brilliance and fire. Ideal or excellent cuts are preferable for a high-quality appearance.

  2. Choose the Right Shape and Size:
    • Moissanite comes in various shapes such as round, oval, cushion, pear, and more. The choice of shape is largely a matter of personal preference.
    • Size is measured in millimeters (mm) and sometimes referenced in “diamond equivalent weight” (DEW). Larger stones are more expensive but also display moissanite’s unique properties more prominently.

  3. Examine the Stone Under Different Lighting Conditions:
    • Moissanite can exhibit a “disco-ball” effect under certain lighting, especially in larger sizes. It’s essential to view the stone under different lights (natural daylight, indoor lighting) to ensure you’re happy with its appearance.

  4. Consider the Brand and Manufacturer:
    • Opt for reputable brands or manufacturers known for quality moissanite. Established brands often offer guarantees or certifications of quality.

  5. Check for Certification and Warranty:
    • A certificate of authenticity and a warranty can assure the stone’s quality and protect your purchase.

Why Is Moissanite Cheaper Than Diamonds?

Moissanite is cheaper than diamonds for several key reasons related to its origin and market perception.

  1. Lab-Created Nature: Moissanite available in the market today is lab-created. The process of creating moissanite in a controlled environment is less costly than the extensive mining operations required to extract natural diamonds from the earth. Additionally, lab creation allows for more predictable and consistent production, reducing costs associated with rarity and extraction.

  2. Rarity in Nature: Natural diamonds are rare, especially high-quality ones, and their pricing reflects this scarcity. In contrast, since moissanite is synthesized in a lab, it is not subject to the same rarity constraints, making it more affordable.

  3. Market Demand and Perception: Diamonds have been deeply ingrained in culture and marketed as symbols of luxury, status, and romance, particularly in the context of engagement rings. This longstanding market perception and demand contribute to their higher prices. Moissanite, being a newer entrant in the market, doesn’t carry the same historical or cultural weight, which influences its lower pricing.

  4. Physical Properties: While moissanite closely resembles diamonds in appearance and has excellent durability, its chemical composition is still different. Diamonds are the hardest known mineral and have unique properties that moissanite does not possess. These intrinsic properties of diamonds contribute to their higher valuation.

  5. Resale Value and Investment: Diamonds, particularly rare or large ones, can hold or even increase in value over time and are often considered investments. Moissanite, primarily valued for its aesthetic appeal and not as an investment, does not typically maintain its value in the resale market to the same extent as diamonds.

Can I Pass Off Moissanite As A Diamond?

If you are comparing a moissanite and a diamond of the same size side-by-side using only your eyes, it can be almost impossible to tell the difference. Even for an expert.

While challenging, it is technically still possible to tell them apart if you are really well-trained. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, which means it displays more brilliance (sparkle) and fire (rainbow-colored light dispersion) as compared to diamonds.

Moissanite’s fire is especially noticeable in larger-sized stones or under sunlight or bright lights, where it may exhibit more colorful flashes than a diamond.

However, most people are highly unlikely to be able to tell for certain whether a stone is a moissanite or a diamond unless they have the help of a specialized testing tool.


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