Moissanite or Diamond – Which is the right choice for your next jewelry design? Jan 16, 2023Fashion From our earliest nursery rhythms, we’re raised to compare a diamond’s shine to the stars’ twinkle. It’s ironic then that moissanite- a gemstone with many similar properties to diamond- has a real otherworldly origin. Moissanite, a gemstone made from silicon carbide, came to us from the stars. It crash-landed on earth with a fallen meteor, to be discovered by French scientist Henri Moissan (who would give the gemstone its name). Moissan first confused the gem with a diamond but eventually realized he had found something else entirely. On his way to winning a Nobel prize in chemistry, Moissan spent years studying and eventually synthesizing the gem. He was ultimately successful; today, synthetically created moissanite can offer a shine from the heavens to add incredible beauty to jewelry worldwide. Like Moissan, however, many professional jewelry designers may not be initially aware of the differences between moissanite and diamond. Therefore, to help you decide which gemstone will be the best choice for your next design, we’ll be spending some time today reviewing the differences and similarities you’ll need to know between diamond and moissanite to make the decision that’s right for you. Which is the right choice for your next jewelry design? Factor 1: Pricing For many people, price is one of the first questions to come to mind. Unsurprisingly, moissanite can be significantly less expensive than diamond–but there are a few key points to be aware of. The pricing of the diamond can vary substantially, depending on its cut, color, clarity, and carat. Moissanite, being made artificially, has much less variance. Instead, most of the differentiation in the pricing of moissanite comes from the size and whether or not it has been “enhanced” (which affects the coloring of the stone). Overall, however, there is a dramatic difference between diamond and moissanite of comparable size–with moissanite being anywhere from 50-90% less expensive than diamonds (with the gap typically widening with higher carat diamonds vs. comparably sized moissanite). Factor 2: Color From a distance, moissanite and diamond may look fairly similar in color. Up close, though, it’s a different story. Unlike diamond, which is graded by color, moissanite is graded by how “colorless” the stone is. The measurement falls into three sub-categories: Colorless (D-E-F): Grade 1 Near-colourless: (G-H-I): Grade 2 Faint color: (J-K): Grade 3 Unless the moissanite is fully colorless, yellow, green, or greyish, hues can become visible from the stone under certain lighting. These tints can become more pronounced among larger stones. A diamond will lack these hues, often resulting in a brighter, whiter appearance. Factor 3: Clarity Like diamonds, moissanite is judged on its clarity, meaning the degree of inclusions or imperfections seen on the gem. While both stones typically have blemishes (visible under a microscope), since moissanite is produced artificially, the stone’s quality should almost always be nearly flawless. As a minor–but very important–note, be aware that (unlike diamond) the clarity grade awarded to a moissanite gemstone is not typically awarded by a third party entity. For moissanite, any clarity grading you receive will most likely come from the seller or manufacturer of the stone itself. Therefore, always deal with sellers and manufacturers with a proven reputation and a long-standing name in the industry. Factor 4: Brilliance Perhaps surprisingly, moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, meaning that light travels through moissanite faster than diamond, giving it more of a “sparkle.” Moissanite’s BRI (brilliance reflective index) typically ranges from 2.65 – 2.69, while diamond’s BRI is 2.42. However, the BRI only tells part of the story. The sparkle you see when you look at a gem is also influenced by how the light is bounced and refracted through various parts of the stone. When you see a diamond sparkle, you’re experiencing its ability to bend and refract light. As light strikes the pavilions (the angled surfaces on the lower half of the diamond), it bounces and is refracted up through the diamond’s table (the top, flat surface) to your eye. When this occurs, it’s called brilliance—a remarkable quality of diamonds. It’s important to note that the GIA, AGS, or any other impartial gemological lab doesn’t give the clarity grade for moissanite. Instead, the clarity grade (and certificate, if the moissanite is sold with one) is often given with the stone by its manufacturer or seller. Since moissanite stones typically have different cuts and facets than diamonds, the type of sparkle given off by each is influenced as a result. These differences generally give moissanite a more “multicolored” sparkle than diamond. While some prefer the whiter shine of the diamond, others may enjoy the dazzling rainbow sparkle from moissanite. Like all things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Non-Factor: Hardness The good news for those concerned about durability is that there’s virtually no relevant difference in the hardness between diamond and moissanite. While diamond, famous for its hardness, ranks a 10 on the Mohs scale, moissanite ranks an extremely high 9.5–second only to diamond itself. So if you’re concerned about your gemstone’s resistance to bumps and accidents, either choice can have you rest easily. So…when is moissanite the right choice? Now that you know more about moissanite and how it compares to diamond, you can hopefully have an easier time deciding which gem is right for you. For some, the massive difference in price alone can already be a decisive factor, especially given the similarities between the two stones. For others, the quality control that comes with being artificially made can be attractive, guaranteeing outstanding clarity levels. Finally, some may prefer the incredible brilliant shine from moissanite, knowing that they’ve brought a little piece from the stars to share with the person they love. Of course, if you still have more questions related to designs to which gemstone will be the perfect choice for your next jewelry designs or have any other questions you’d like to share with the experts here at Royi Sal, we’d love to hear from you! As your premiere jewelry partners, we’re always eager to help support you in your jewelry manufacturing aspirations.