What Is Moissanite? (Moissanite vs. Diamonds)

Curious to learn about moissanite? Wondering whether a diamond or moissanite ring is right for you? Is moissanite the same as diamonds? Where did it come from? If you've ever asked yourself one of these questions, then you're in the right place! 

Moissanite on the Rise

If you're in the market for a new piece of fine jewelry, you’ve likely heard of the term “moissanite” with growing frequency. Moissanite is a beautiful and affordable alternative to natural diamonds and has become increasingly popular in recent years. Its appearance is dazzling, brilliant, and fiery… but what exactly is it? Join us as we uncover moissanite’s history, how it compares to natural diamonds, and which option is best for you.

1.73ct moissanite ring
1.73ct Round Mossaninte Ring in 14K Yellow Gold 6-Prong Lotus Setting by Anueva Jewelry

What Is Moissanite?

Moissanite is a mineral that is made up of silicon and carbon (SiC). Although it is a naturally occurring mineral, moissanite is synthesized in a lab using a process called chemical vapor deposition, which involves heating a gas containing silicon and carbon until it forms into moissanite crystals. Like diamonds, it is incredibly hard, scoring a 9.25 on the Mohs Harness Scale.

Mohs Hardness Scale


The Discovery and Creation of Moissanite

Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral that was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan. Using a high-temperature furnace to study rock samples from a meteorite crater in Canyon Diablo, Arizona, Moissan observed a spark that resembled that of a diamond. After further investigation, he identified the “spark” as silicon carbide, a mineral that had never been found in nature before. Moissan spent the next several years attempting to synthesize the material and finally succeeded. Today, moissanite — named in honor of Henri Moissan — is now widely used as a diamond alternative in jewelry, thanks to its exceptional hardness, brilliance, and fire.

Meteor Crater Natural Landmark

Meteor crater studied by Henri Moissan in Arizona. Source: Visit Arizona

The Sustainability of Moissanite

As people search for more economical alternatives to diamonds, many vendors and jewelers have fully embraced moissanite. Lab-grown gemstones, such as moissanite, are faster to produce making them a more affordable option. Moissanite is also perceived to be a sustainable stone, making it favorable among buyers.

That being said, be it natural or lab-grown gemstones, there are some environmental implications to be considered. While lab-grown gemstones like moissanite are often touted as a more ethical and environmentally-friendly alternative to mined gemstones, they are not without their own environmental impacts.

The Environmental Impacts of Moissanite

Are moissanite stones eco-friendly? The production of moissanite requires significant amounts of energy as the process involves extreme temperatures and pressure. This energy consumption can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. To counteract this, some factories purchase emission offset credits or use solar or hydropower. Overall, it is important to consider the environmental impacts of any gemstone, whether it is mined or lab-grown. While lab-grown gemstones like moissanite may have some advantages over mined gemstones in terms of ethical and social responsibility, they still require energy and resources to produce and can contribute to waste and pollution if not properly managed. Anueva Jewelry cares very deeply about our environmental footprint and strives to work with like-minded partners. Our main motivation behind offering moissanite jewelry to our customers is to afford everyone the opportunity to purchase their dream item.

Two Moissanite rings

Moissanite vs. Diamond

When it comes down to it, most people simply want to compare and contrast moissanite and diamonds. While moissanite and diamond share many similar physical properties, they are not the same gemstone. Natural diamonds are always mined from the earth and moissanite is created in a lab (although its main components — silicon and carbon — are naturally occurring).

Ultimately, many people are swayed to purchase moissanite over diamonds because they are more affordable. Whether your budget is a contributing factor or not, another reason to consider a moissanite ring or piece of jewelry is the fact that it is actually sparklier than diamonds! The refractive index of moissanite is higher than that of a diamond, which means that it disperses light more effectively and creates a rainbow-like effect known as "fire." If you’re after an eye-clean, jaw-dropping sparkling piece of jewelry, you’ll definitely want to consider moissanite. In the end, we don’t believe one is “better” than the other — just different! 

Moissanite vs. Diamond: Pros and Cons

How to Choose Moissanite

Are you thinking about taking the moissanite plunge? Great! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin to shop. Just as you would a diamond, you’ll want to consider the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The cut of a stone, arguably the most important 'C,' maximizes its brilliance. As far as color goes, moissanite comes in different grades of color, with "near-colorless" being the most popular; however we love to work with all colors! It's rarer for the crystals grow in natural colors like green and grey. As colors are more difficult to reproduce, if you see a colored moissanite that you like, it's best to snag it! Going back to our 4Cs, clarity refers to the presence of inclusions or blemishes (or beauty marks as we lovingly call them). A higher clarity grade means a more flawless stone. Finally, the carat weight denotes the weight of the stone (not the size!). Read our 4Cs Guide for the full breakdown!

Moissanite Color Variation

Does Moissanite Make a Good Engagement Ring?

The simple answer is: if you like it, then yes! But, of course, the full answer is more nuanced than that! Moissanite has many qualities that make it a great choice for an engagement ring. It is a durable gemstone that has a high hardness rating, which means that it is resistant to scratches and other forms of damage. Due to its higher refractive index, it reflects more light and has a more brilliant sparkle. Moissanite is more affordable than diamonds, which means that you can get a larger stone for your budget. All of these factors make moissanite an excellent pick for engagement ring. Moissante rings are a stunning alternative to diamonds that are sure to be cherished for years to come.

At the end of the day, the most important thing when it comes to choosing an engagement ring or any piece of jewelry is that you are happy with your choice. Whether you choose a classic diamond or a stunning moissanite, what matters most is that the ring represents your love and your personality!

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