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What are moissanites? How they differ from diamonds

Updated on: Mar 29, 2022

There is a lot to talk about gemstones but diamonds probably come among the very first stones we all love. Close to diamonds is moissanite, another stone that continues to grow in popularity. According to MoissaniteCo, this stone is a close alternative to diamonds. Many people confuse the two because they almost look similar. It will take a knowledgeable person to understand the laid out differences.

So, what are moissanites? Well, a better understanding of these precious stones stems from their history. This gem is Silicon Carbide (SiC). Henri Moissan, a French chemist discovered it in 1893 and the stone has since become popular among jewelers. The rising popularity of moissanite since its discovery is its close resemblance to diamonds. However, these two stones are not the same.

Moissanite – Diamond Differences

Despite the close resemblance and use, these two stones are not of the same material composition. Diamond mainly comprises carbon whereas moissanite is Silicon Carbide. Their differences start here. However, here are several other features and characteristics that make the two stones even more different:

  • Sourcing for use

One of the reasons that make diamonds scarce is due to the sourcing process involved. Up to date, we only get diamond by mining them from the earth’s crust. This has created ethical concerns through conflict in the mining areas and the unfriendly nature of the processes to the environment.

For moissanite, growing happens in the laboratory. After discovering the chemical composition, dealers make the gem by subjecting the substances to intense heat and pressure. The processes are a simulation of what happens under the earth’s crust during the formation of such stones.

  • Refractive Index and Shine

Gemstones’ fire and brilliance are key in defining their quality and use. A stone that shines more is more valuable than one that does not. The refractive index rating for gems determines their quality of shine. In this case, moissanite shines better than diamond because it has a higher refractive index.

Both stones have a good shine. However, moissanite shines brighter than diamond.

  • Gemstone cut properties

Diamond is among the hardest substances on earth. Therefore, it is hard to cut and resize. This only happens with the use of sophisticated tools and machinery. For that reason, diamond comes in limited shapes and sizes when compared to moissanite.

Lab-grown moissanite gives room for growing different sizes and shapes and stones. Therefore, the stone makes a perfect choice for making complex jewelry designs and styles. It is a good option for those looking for variety in how they want their jewelry to look.

  • Value and Affordability

Gemstones vary in their value. This depends on several factors including their mineral composition, purity, shine and color among others. Diamond remains scarce because we can only obtain it through mining. For moissanite, manufacturers make it in the lab hence boosting its availability. Both stones remain valuable for use. However, moissanite price is a fraction of the cost of diamonds. 

  • Durability and Scratch resistance

From lab tests, moissanite has proved more durable than diamonds. Improved manufacturing processes have produced moissanite of more superior qualities than diamond. As a result, it is a close alternative due to its value available at an affordable price.

Moissanite’s scratch resistance properties make it a durable substance for use compared to diamonds. While it is good to take good care of your stone, you will hardly damage moissanite through slight abrasions and rough incidences.

  • Cleaning and maintenance

Moissanite is easy to clean and maintain. It does not collect dirt easily. To clean it, you probably need warm water, soap and a soft cloth. However, diamond may require special cleaning agents. Another good quality of moissanite is that it resists chemical abrasion better than most stones in the market. Therefore, it does not show adverse effects during and after cleaning and maintenance procedures.

Final Thoughts

Diamonds have dominated the jewelry industry for a long time. However, moissanite has been a close alternative, especially on grounds of value vis-à-vis price. Many people do not get to differentiate these two stones owing to their close resemblance. All the same, we now know that they are different. Manufacturers control the making of moissanite in the lab and therefore, they can make it what they want it to be.

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Published on March 29, 2022
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