People who have spent any time shopping for affordable diamond jewelry have probably come across both “moissanite” and “lab diamonds.” This can create a lot of confusion, as the average shopper may not know the difference between different diamond and gemstone products. Moreover, there is a tendency to assume that anything other than a diamond mined from the ground is fake. Fortunately, this is not the case.
However, this still doesn’t help you understand how to compare lab-grown diamonds vs. moissanite. So, what is moissanite? Is it a real type of diamond? And what is a lab diamond? How does it differ from a diamond found in nature? Most importantly, when looking at a lab-created diamond vs. moissanite, which one is better? Which gemstone is the best for your tastes and budget? In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more. So, let’s get started!
What Is Moissanite?
If you’re unfamiliar with moissanite, you are definitely not alone. Consumers often shy away from moissanite pieces despite their low prices. Why? Because moissanite is not a real diamond. Instead, it is what is known as a “diamond simulant.” This means that it is made to look exactly like a real diamond — to “simulate” a diamond — even though it does not contain the same basic properties.
Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, while real diamonds are 99.9% carbon. And though moissanite is still a very rare chemical compound found in nature, it does not have the same value or allure as diamonds. Moissanite is indistinguishable from real diamonds and requires a lab test to determine its composition.
For this reason, less reputable jewelers may try to pass off moissanite as a diamond and sell it at a higher price. This unseemly practice has stigmatized moissanite stones and simply made them “fake” diamonds in the public eye. Nonetheless, moissanite is a beautiful stone in its own right.
What Is A Lab Diamond?
A lab diamond is a real diamond that is not mined or otherwise found in nature. Instead, it is created in a laboratory using methods that replicate the processes that create natural diamonds. Natural diamonds take billions of years to form from carbon exposed to high temperatures and pressure. To create lab diamonds, scientists use controlled environments to create the same temperatures and degrees of pressure. However, a lab diamond can be created in a matter of weeks, making lab diamonds far less scarce, but just as real as naturally-occurring diamonds.
Pros Of Lab Diamonds Vs Moissanite
When comparing lab diamonds vs. moissanite, it is easy to simply look at them as “real vs. fake.” However, it is important to understand that moissanite is a valuable stone that is still just as beautiful as a diamond and should be appreciated as a distinct gemstone. That said, there are a few distinct advantages associated with lab diamonds:
- Real diamonds - If you want real diamonds, lab-made diamonds are some of the best options on the market. Not only do you get the benefit of having real diamonds, but you can almost always acquire them at far more affordable rates than naturally-occurring diamonds. This is because lab diamonds are not scarce and do not require the same risks and labor costs associated with mined diamonds. Either way, lab diamonds give you the benefit of getting real diamonds — something that cannot be said of moissanite.
- Value - Lab diamonds are far more valuable than moissanite. Not only do they sell for more, but they are also more sought after by consumers. So, if you want to buy a piece of jewelry that will stay with you (or your family) for decades, lab diamonds are typically the preferred option.
- Hardness - Though hardness may not seem like a major issue, it is another way to measure the quality and composition of a gemstone. Using the standard Mohs Scale, lab diamonds have a hardness rating of 10, while moissanite has a hardness rating of 9.25. Therefore, while both stones are extremely hard and durable, all diamonds are “stronger” than moissanite.
- Popularity - When it comes down to it, lab diamonds are more popular than moissanite because diamonds of all kinds are seen as one of the most valuable stones to use with jewelry. This means that lab diamonds are more desirable and reputable than moissanite.
Pros of Moissanite Vs Lab Diamonds
It is easy to say that there is little competition with moissanite vs. lab-grown diamonds, but moissanite is not without its own advantages. So, if you’re still considering moissanite for your next piece of jewelry, here are a few advantages to picking the stone over lab diamonds:
- Price - Most people want to get the most bang for their buck when shopping for jewelry. If you’re shopping on a budget, moissanite is a gemstone that is hard to resist. While it is still a beautiful, dazzling stone that is every bit as beautiful as a diamond, moissanite often costs roughly 5x less than a comparable lab diamond. This means you could get a 4-carat moissanite piece for about $1,000 dollars and a 4-carat lab diamond piece for about $5,000.
- Appearance - Moissanite is indistinguishable from diamonds. In other words, you can expect the same color, clarity, and brilliance from moissanite as you could from either natural or lab-made diamonds. When you factor in the lower price, this makes moissanite a very tempting alternative to lab diamond jewelry.
- Rarity - Naturally-occurring moissanite is still a very rare gemstone in nature. While moissanite can also be made in a lab, the combination of its natural scarcity and likeness to diamonds makes it a popular choice for consumers who want quality on a budget.
- Durability - While moissanite is not quite as hard as a diamond, it is still one of the hardest and most durable gemstones in existence. If you’re afraid of accidentally chipping or breaking your stone, you don’t need to worry with moissanite jewelry. You can rest assured that your moissanite stone will look just as bright and perfectly shaped 10, 20, or 50 years from now.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, both moissanite and lab diamonds are excellent gemstones for jewelry, particularly engagement rings. And though both stones are popular, diamonds are the clear winner in the court of public opinion. This is especially true of lab diamonds, as they are more affordable than naturally-occurring diamonds and more ethically sourced.
Still, you shouldn’t completely discount moissanite as a legitimate option. The gemstone is still rare and can be ethically sourced when made in a lab. Plus, if you want to keep costs low, moissanite is a far cheaper alternative that is just as bright and beautiful as a real diamond. The only real drawback to getting moissanite jewelry is that it is not a real diamond, and could therefore be labeled as a “fake.” Either way, just make sure to get a piece of diamond or moissanite jewelry that looks great and suits your tastes!
We hope you found this guide on moissanite vs lab diamonds both useful and informative! Are you in the market for moissanite or lab-diamond jewelry? Do you want beautiful, certified lab diamond rings at competitive prices? If so, be sure to check out the luxurious products available at Liori Diamonds today!