It’s a common misconception that both lab grown diamonds and Moissanite are fakes. It’s also a misconception that a lab grown diamonds and Moissanite are the same thing. Neither is true. While lab grown diamonds are not formed within the earth naturally, they are still diamonds by industry standards. Meanwhile, Moissanite is an entirely different stone altogether. (Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, is considered a diamond simulant.)
For a number of reasons, naturally mined diamonds are losing a bit of their luster in society. For many, this may be because of the actual monetary cost of a diamond—but human rights issues and the environmental aftermath of mining for these rocks is also a concern. Of course, if you’re a traditionalist, something other than a diamond ring may seem like a foreign concept.
This is why in recent years, couples have started seeking out less pricey and more sustainable options for rings, without straying from the “diamond engagement ring” concept. If this sounds like you, you might consider lab grown diamonds or Moissanite for your engagement ring or wedding band. But before you do, you should know the difference, as they are not the same.
What is a lab grown diamond?
A lab grown diamond is chemically the same thing as a natural diamond. Both are made of pure carbon. The only difference is that it is created in a lab versus mined from the earth. Visually, they are the same. Even an expert won’t be able to tell the difference unless they have professional equipment.
While lab grown diamonds tend to have better clarity (AKA fewer inclusions), they are still prone to them. So, just because it’s manmade doesn’t mean it will be perfect. As previously stated, however, these are still classified as real diamonds so it is possible to find one with a proper certification, if that is important to you. And best of all, these are authentic diamonds that are conflict-free. So, if you’re concerned about environmental or humanitarian issues but still want the real thing, this may be the best choice for you.
What is a Moissanite?
Moissanite can occur naturally, but it is very rare. It was first discovered in 1893 by Dr. Henri Moissan at a meteorite crash site in Arizona. Most Moissanites today are made in a lab. Whereas both mined and lab grown diamonds are made from pure carbon, Moissanite is actually silicon carbide—meaning it’s made from both carbon and silica, making it an entirely different crystal than a diamond. Believe it or not, a Moissanite’s unique composition makes it about twice as radiant and noticeably more colorful than any other diamond.
What is the difference between a lab grown diamond and Moissanite?
If you’re considering a diamond but aren’t keen on the mined version, you might be stuck deciding between a Moissanite or a lab grown diamond. Let’s look at some of the key factors that might help you make a choice.
Budget-conscious couples might find a Moissanite more attractive than a lab grown diamond because the price difference is rather noticeable. Whereas the price for a lab grown diamond ranges around 30-50% more than that of a mined diamond, Moissanite is notably cheaper—as little as 5-10% of a mined diamond. Both have little resale value, but even natural diamonds will likely get you around 50% back from their original cost unless your stone is of a certain significance.
A diamond is rated a 10/10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making it the hardest substance in the world. A Moissanite comes very close, ranging from 9.25/10 to 9.5/10, so it’s safe to say that it deserves second place. At the end of the day, both are equally as durable and suitable for even the most active lifestyle. Both are certain to last a lifetime.
Moissanite naturally comes as colorless or with a slight yellow tint. However, lab made Moissanite can sometimes be coated with a limited range of shades. If a unique color is important to you, you might be better off choosing a lab grown diamond, as they can be made in every color.
Environmental and Social Impact
Couples are becoming increasingly interested in diamond alternatives, especially considering the reputation they get for destructive mining practices, unsafe working conditions, and child and slave labor. For this reason, a Moissanite can be the perfect option if you love the look of a diamond, but are concerned about ethics surrounding them.
Is a Moissanite worth buying over a diamond?
Unless having “the real thing” is important to you, a Moissanite may be a smart purchase. It’s significantly cheaper and, one might argue, equal or even better looking than a diamond itself. Ultimately, an engagement ring is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime purchase so there’s no reason not to splurge on a classic. But we hope the comparison between the two above will help you in making the best decision.
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