Unsurpassed Brilliance & Fire
All About Moissanite & How It Compares To Diamonds
An engagement ring is a lasting symbol of your love for your partner, not to mention something you’ll most likely wear every day for the rest of your life. And, with such a significant decision, there are numerous factors to consider during the selection process, ranging from durability and price to the style that best suits you. You’ve probably heard of man-made stones but aren’t sure how they differ from their natural counterparts. If you’re looking for a diamond substitute, consider moissanite, a mineral that stands out for its superior brilliance, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability. Read on to learn more about this lesser-known gem before you or your partner pop the question.
What Is Moissanite?
Moissanite is an exceptionally beautiful and extremely rare mineral, which occurs naturally in the form of silicon carbide. Almost 2.5 times more brilliant than a diamond, this near-colorless gem has its own distinctive properties and splendor that make it truly one-of-a-kind.
Moissanite was named after French chemist Henri Moissan, who discovered it in the year 1893. During the examination of rock samples from a meteor crater located in Canyon Diablo, Arizona, he spotted this crystal and mistook it for a diamond. It was only after 11 years that he was able to identify it as silicon carbide.
The rarity of this gem also led scientists to find a way to synthetically create it using particles of naturally occurring moissanites.
Moissanite has a refractive index that is higher than that of a diamond and other popular gems such as sapphire and ruby. This particular property determines the brilliance of a gem, and with a refractive index of 2.65 to 2.69, a moissanite certainly outshines every other stone.
The same can be said about its dispersion (fire), which refers to the spectral (rainbow) colors that reflect back when light enters a non-opaque object. Moissanite has a dispersion of 0.104, which exceeds all other gemstones
Read Through Some Of The Most Common Questions & Beliefs About Moissanite
Traditional mined diamonds are formed by the compression of coal and minerals over hundreds of years, whereas the precious stone moissanite was discovered in minute meteorite fragments. While they were initially thought to be diamonds, scientists later discovered they were made of silicon carbide.
Moissanite is naturally more brilliant and has more fire than diamonds, so not only does the gem look eerily similar, but it also out-sparkles diamonds. Furthermore, during the lab-creation process, specialists examine each individual stone to determine where its natural cuts are and use special cutting techniques to enhance its distinct fire. Moissanite is available in two colour grades: colourless and near-colourless (which has a slight icy blue tint), and it is available in all of the same cuts, settings, and configurations as diamonds.
The short answer is yes! On the hardness scale, moissanite is second only to diamonds, indicating that it is nearly as durable and scratch-resistant as its counterpart. Furthermore, it is more heat-resistant than a diamond, so the stone is unlikely to be damaged during routine jewellery repair. Moissanite can be cleaned in the same way that other fine jewellery is: with a non-acid based jewellery cleaner or mild soap and water and a toothbrush.
One way moissanite outperforms natural diamonds is that it is ethical, sustainable, and has a low environmental impact. This is not to say that other stones aren’t sustainable; it’s just that diamonds have come under scrutiny in recent decades due to unethical industry practices.
With the release of films such as Blood Diamond, which depicts the dark underbelly of the diamond industry, many couples are opting for more ethical alternatives. If you are concerned about purchasing a conflict diamond or the massive environmental devastation caused by diamond mining, a moissanite may be a better option for you.
While moissanite is frequently chosen as an alternative to diamonds, don’t expect it to be as inexpensive as cubic zirconia. While moissanite is a relatively inexpensive gemstone, high-quality moissanite can command exorbitant prices. Moissanite is created through a laborious, resource-intensive process, and it is not cheap.
Moissanite prices vary depending on brand and quality, but a 1 carat colourless stone costs around R10,000 on average.
Moissanite’s resale value is unknown at this time, and because it is still a relatively new gemstone for jewellery, with the technology used to create it constantly advancing and expanding, estimating the resale value is difficult. However, reselling moissanite will typically net you about half of what you paid for it, which is comparable to diamonds.
This gemstone has numerous advantages, making it a near-ideal choice for your jewellery. The main issue with this gemstone may be societal perceptions of it.
To some, moissanite will always be a “fake” diamond, lacking the class and prestige of precious gemstones. While you may be fascinated by the stone’s science, there may be people who dismiss your moissanite jewellery. Others may be concerned that moissanite, unlike a sapphire or diamond, will never be an heirloom.
Is this a real problem?
That is something we will leave up to you to decide.
Another issue is that it is widely assumed that diamonds are a good investment while moissanites are not, implying that the money spent on a moissanite is essentially wasted.
But is this correct?
Diamonds, it is widely agreed, are overpriced and lose more than half their value as soon as they are purchased. In fact, as this article explains, a diamond ring is listed as the purchase that loses the most value.
Because a moissanite is often only about 10% the price of a diamond, you save 90% of what you would have spent on a diamond. You’ve just saved a lot of money. Also, keep in mind that you can resell your moissanite for roughly half of what you paid for it.
If you ask your local jeweller about moissanite, you may receive a variety of answers. Some may be truthful and tell you the truth, whereas others may claim that moissanites aren’t long-lasting, that their colours change and fade, or that they just look bad in general. You should take this type of information with a grain of salt.
Most jewellers’ bread and butter are diamonds, and it is in their best interests to keep this industry alive. Some may even go so far as to show you ‘bad-looking moissanite next to a diamond to demonstrate why moissanites aren’t a good idea.
One client complained that her local jeweller refused to resize her moissanite ring because the process was different with moissanite. If this isn’t a complete lie, I don’t know what is.
This is not to say that all jewellers are like this. Do your own research, and if you’re going to look at moissanite in person, go to a reputable moissanite dealer who shows you high-quality moissanite. This way, you can make an informed decision based on facts rather than the jeweller’s opinions.