The dilemma that is choosing an engagement ring is one that countless couples ponder on daily. Diamond rings are usually the default option, however, they are not always the viable option and many couples turn to moissanite instead.
Moissanite has grown in popularity over the last few decades as it provides couples on a budget with an affordable variant of diamond. Many even see it as the better option, so how does moissanite compare to diamond and which is worth the investment?
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is an extra-terrestrial space rock. Literally! It is extremely rare and was discovered in 1893 by French scientist Henri Moissan. Very identical but different from a normal diamond, moissanite originally came from a meteorite that landed in Arizona.
Due to its extreme rarity, most moissanite on the market today are artificially grown in labs. (Read Also: What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?) They are made to mimic diamonds and due to their unauthenticity, scientists have more control over what the final product will look like, meaning they have become the perfect diamond variant as most people can hardly tell the difference between moissanite and diamond with the naked eye.
For more info on moissanite, see here.
Should I Pick Moissanite or Diamond For My Ring?
The decision between moissanite and diamond comes down to a few factors of which preference is a major one. Your mind might already be made up in favor of one even before you consider the benefits of getting the other.
But if you have no clue or you don’t lean toward either side, the factors for you to consider in choosing your ring are appearance, brilliance & fire, durability, and value.
Moissanite vs Diamonds – Appearance
Moissanite and diamond are eerily similar. Without a doubt, moissanite is one of the most convincing diamond simulants on the market. Even jewelry experts sometimes need moissanite testers to tell the difference.
However, eagle-eyed consumers may notice minor differences between the two stones.
Moissanite vs Diamonds – Brilliance & Fire
Brilliance, which refers to the stone’s ability to reflect white light, is simply a measure of how much ‘sparkle’ your stone will give off. Brilliance is one of the major factors when measuring the quality of diamond as the shine it gives off is a major attraction for potential buyers.
Diamond also gives off “fire”. Where brilliance is the white flashes that diamond gives off, fire is the colored flashes that come from the stone. Moissanite gives off both, but tends to have more fire flashes than diamond which means they often appear slightly more colorful.
The fire flashes of moissanite certainly adds to the stone’s beauty, but while some people love the ‘rainbow effect’ it gives, others find it too much and think it makes the stone look fake.
So it’s down to your preference. Do you prefer the traditional sparkle of diamond or the rainbow sparkle of moissanite? The amount of brilliance and fire both stones give off depends on the size, so be sure to test your options under different sources of light before buying.
Moissanite vs Diamond – Durability
The durability of a gem is measured by its Mohs rating. For a piece of jewelry intended to be worn every day, you want to make sure the surface is immune to scratching or breaking and this is where the durability of the center stone becomes a huge factor.
Diamond is the hardest material known to man, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite isn’t far behind, with an impressive 9.25, making it harder than all other gemstones barring diamond. They are both extremely resistant and durable and will take rough knockings fairly easily.
One slender advantage moissanite has over diamond, however, is that they generally hold up better to heat. Even when subjected to intense heat or flame, moissanite will retain its brilliance and fire a lot better than diamond would. But unless you are a firefighter, this is hardly something to worry about, meaning they cancel each other out for durability.
Moissanite vs Diamond – Value & Cost
The market value of both gems is arguably the single biggest factor in choosing the perfect one for your ring. It goes without saying that moissanite is a fraction of the price of diamond. While the value of diamond varies based on cut, clarity and other factors, moissanite stones are generally the same price and price differences may be based on size alone.
Diamond, although not being as rare as moissanite is way more expensive. A moissanite stone of similar size could cost 85-90% less than the cost of its diamond counterpart. Despite this, many couples still lean toward diamonds despite limited finances due to social pressure.
Moissanite may be 10 times cheaper than diamond but that still doesn’t make it affordable to everyone. They may be mostly artificial but each stone takes an expensive and rigorous process to harness and while it may not have the natural elegance of diamond, it is very much a gem in its own right. It may be a significantly more pocket-friendly option than diamond, but it is still relatively costly.
The final decision on what stone you and your significant other will be wearing has a lot to do with preference. Some couples purchase diamond even without the budget to back it up, simply because it’s what they want.
Both gems have their differences. Some people prefer diamonds for prestige and value, especially those with overflowing pocketbooks. Moissanite, however, is a more subtle option for consumers with financial or ethical constraints.
This is a personal choice with no right or wrong answer. If diamond fits your needs and finances, buy it. If moissanite is a more viable option then it should be your pick.