As you search for an engagement ring,
It can be overwhelming to sort through all of the options available. And as technology advances, so too does the number of choices—as well as the confusion. There’s a budget to set, styles to consider, settings to envision, and—perhaps most fun—gemstones to compare.
Although naturally-mined diamonds are still the engagement ring standard, they are not your only option. Many couples wonder how simulant diamonds, especially materials such as moissanite, cubic zirconia, and simulant diamonds, compare to genuine diamonds.
With so many decisions involved in choosing an engagement ring (to say nothing of planning a wedding!), let’s clarify some of the differences between a genuine diamond and the diamond simulant moissanite.
What is Moissanite? Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide. Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so moissanite available today is laboratory-created. It is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Durability Gemstones are measured on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which assesses a gem’s ability to withstand surface scratching. On this scale, moissanite scores a 9.25, a very good score that makes it one of the hardest substances on earth, and very suitable for every day wear as an engagement ring. However diamonds are the hardest known mineral and receive a 10, while sapphires score a 9 on the hardness scale.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Brilliance Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as the faceting pattern is different. The fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanite are beloved by some, but others complain that moissanite’s heightened brilliance can create a “disco ball” effect, especially in sunlight. The bigger the moissanite, the more likely it is that the difference will be noticeable. This different type of brilliance is what makes it possible to distinguish a moissanite from a real diamond.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Color Even moissanites touted as “colorless” can project a yellow or grayish hue in certain lights. A colorless diamond, whether natural or lab-made, has a natural body color that contains no traces of yellow, brown, or grey, resulting in a dazzling, bright white appearance. Here again, the larger the moissanite, the more noticeable the color and the easier it is to identify it as a simulant.
Appealing, Affordable Alternatives If you’re attracted to the lower price point of Moissanite, but have concerns about the color or brilliance, then you may want to consider other diamond and gemstone options. Here are some beautiful options:
Lab-created DiamondsLab-created diamonds are more affordable than their naturally-mined diamond counterparts. Typically you’ll save about 30% for a diamond of similar size and quality. Unlike moissanite, all of the lab created diamonds are physically, optically, and chemically indistinguishable from our natural diamonds. They exhibit the same properties of sparkle, fire, and scintillation. What’s more, they are an appealing option for those seeking an eco-friendly gemstone as they require no mining. Click here for lots more information about lab-created diamonds.
Sapphires If you like the idea of adding some color to your engagement ring, consider a sapphire—available in all colors of the rainbow—for a lot of look at a smaller price. White Sapphires are a much less expensive option if you're looking for size in natural white gemstone. Sapphires are a 9 on the hardness scale, a very durable center stone option.
Dazzling Settings A gorgeous way to find an engagement ring within your budget is to select a smaller center diamond and amplify its visual impact with a more detailed setting. Smaller accent diamonds are much more affordable than larger center diamonds, so surrounding your smaller center diamond with accent diamonds creates a dazzling look for less. One great option is a halo engagement ring, which features a center gemstone completely encircled by sparkling diamond accents that make the center gem appear larger.
Do you have more questions about Moissanite, diamonds or alternatives? Get in touch anytime and I'll be happy to personally answer all your questions.