When you’re shopping for the perfect engagement ring, you should always be on the lookout for good deals. Naturally, you’ll want to give your future spouse a beautiful diamond ring, but you don’t have to spend a fortune just to get a ring they will love. In fact, you don’t even have to get a diamond ring at all. Many couples looking for an affordable alternative to diamond rings choose moissanite engagement rings instead.
But what are the differences between a moissanite stone and a diamond? Is moissanite as good as a diamond? Can you tell the difference between moissanite and diamonds? Is moissanite the same as cubic zirconia? How much do moissanite engagement rings cost? Finally, where can you find high-quality moissanite engagement rings at affordable prices?
In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s examine the composition of moissanite and how it is made:
What Is Moissanite?
Moissanite (pronounced moy-suh-nite) is a mineral made of carborundum (also known as silicon carbide) and other crystalline structures. Originally discovered by Henri Moissan in 1893, moissanite is a rare stone that is commonly used for its hardness, conductivity, and — perhaps most importantly — its visual similarity to diamonds. Though Moissan was a French chemist, he extracted the first piece of moissanite from the site of a meteor crash in Arizona. Even Moissan initially believed that he had found diamonds, only to correctly identify the silicon carbide crystals after years of research.
It is important to note that this was the first discovery of naturally-occurring moissanite. Though moissanite would eventually be named after Henri Moissan, the mineral had already been artificially produced in a lab prior to Moissan’s research. It would take years before more naturally-occurring samples of moissanite would be discovered. Consequently, natural moissanite is considered quite rare, to the point that some experts refuted the existence of the mineral for decades.
Despite being used in various commercial and industrial applications for nearly a century, moissanite would not be put in jewelry until the 1990s. In 1998, Charles & Colvard acquired patents to market lab-grown moissanite gemstones. Over the years, dozens of other major manufacturers and retailers have added moissanite rings to their collections. Today, moissanite jewelry is one of the most popular alternatives to diamond jewelry.
How Is Moissanite Made?
In nature, moissanite is created when silicon and carbon are exposed to high degrees of pressure and heat. Scientists mimic these same processes to create moissanite in laboratories all over the world. However, this is an oversimplification of the process. In truth, it takes a great deal of effort and resources to create moissanite in a lab.
In most cases, silicon carbide crystals must be procured and then cut into smaller pieces. These pieces are known as preforms and are used as a model for creating lab-grown minerals. Standard cutting processes are then used to cut, polish, and shape moissanite stones for placement in jewelry.
Does Moissanite Pass A Diamond Tester?
A diamond tester is a portable device used to test stones based on thermal and electrical conductivity. These unique properties will show if a stone is genuine. It gets its name from its most common use, which is testing to see if a diamond is real or counterfeit.
However, a portable diamond tester is not 100% accurate. In fact, moissanite stones can actually appear as real diamonds when using a diamond tester. Moissanite shares many optical properties with diamonds, as well as high thermal conductivity. However, moissanite can show higher electrical conductivity than diamonds, which means that it may or may not pass as a diamond when tested. Consequently, a diamond tester is not the most reliable way to determine if a stone is a diamond, moissanite, or something else entirely.
Moissanite Vs Diamond
As previously mentioned, portable testing will not always be able to tell the difference between moissanite and lab or natural diamonds. In addition to sharing optical and thermal conductivity properties, these two gemstones both have high ratings on the Mohs hardness scale. Moissanite has a mineral hardness rating of 9.25, while diamonds have a hardness rating of 10.
However, there are various ways to tell the difference between moissanite and diamonds, even if you’re just basing it on appearances. Diamonds tend to create a white light reflection, while moissanite stones create a rainbow light reflection. But this doesn’t mean that the light reflection of diamonds is inherently superior to the reflection of moissanite stones. In fact, most moissanite gemstones are more brilliant and reflect more light than diamonds. This is actually one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between moissanite and a real diamond. If it appears extremely “shiny” and glitters a lot in the light, it is probably moissanite.
The natural colors of the two stones vary as well. Diamonds are designated on a color scale from D (colorless) to Z (dark yellow or brown). Alternatively, moissanite uses a smaller version of the same scale, with moissanite ratings from D (colorless) to K (light yellow).
Lastly, diamonds are far more expensive than moissanite stones, largely because there is greater demand for diamond jewelry. This is one reason why so many people choose to get moissanite as an affordable alternative to diamonds. While the two stones appear quite similar, you could save thousands of dollars by choosing moissanite stones over natural diamonds. You could also save by choosing lab-grown diamonds, though lab diamonds are still more expensive than most moissanite pieces (depending on the size, cut, and clarity of the stones).
Moissanite Vs Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia is often used as a very cheap alternative to moissanite or diamonds. In fact, some sellers may even attempt to sell fake moissanite or diamond jewelry by using cubic zirconia. However, there are some very important differences between these stones that can help you know what you’re buying in advance.
When comparing moissanite to cubic zirconia, the former is much harder and more durable than the latter. This means that moissanite is far less likely to chip or break. Cubic zirconia is also much more susceptible to becoming cloudy over time. This cloudiness doesn’t happen to moissanite or diamonds. Since moissanite is considered a much rarer and higher-quality stone, it is often 10x more expensive than cubic zirconia, though moissanite is still far more affordable than most precious gemstones.
Buying Moissanite Engagement Rings
Since moissanite is often confused with diamonds and even cubic zirconia, it is important to know exactly what you are buying. For this reason, you should only shop for moissanite jewelry at a reputable jeweler. This is especially important if you want to buy a high-quality engagement ring with a moissanite stone.
Fortunately, you can find great moissanite jewelry at Liori Diamonds. Whether you’re looking for a 2-carat moissanite ring, a 3-carat moissanite ring, or something even bigger, we have dozens of beautiful pieces in our collection. We also offer moissanite engagement rings with a wide variety of cuts, including the highly popular Emerald Cut.
We hope you found this guide on moissanite engagement rings both useful and informative! Are you in the market for an engagement ring? Do you want beautiful, certified moissanite engagement rings at competitive prices? If so, be sure to check out the luxurious products available at Liori Diamonds today!