back to What is Lab-Grown?

What is Moissanite?

by Clean Origin
Last updated on September 19, 2022

Moissanite is a gemstone of silicon carbide that is very similar to a diamond. It is a naturally occurring gemstone, but very rare. When people talk about moissanite today, they are referring to the lab-created version. Gemologists call them diamond simulants because they currently engineer them in labs for jewelry like engagement rings.

French scientist Henri Moissan discovered moissanite in 1893 in a meteor crater from a massive meteorite strike. This natural gemstone is super rare because silicon carbide is nearly impossible to find in nature. Today, scientists create moissanite stones in labs. Once an intriguing new stone, it is now a common gemstone used in jewelry. Moissanite engagement rings are the second most common behind diamonds.

Properties of Moissanite

Moissanite gems are incredibly durable, with a 9.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamonds are the hardest mineral we know of with a 10 on the Mohs scale. While diamonds boast a superior hardness, gemologists still consider moissanite as one of the toughest known gemstones.

Because of its durability, classic they doesn’t scratch easily. Only diamond and anything harder than moissanite can scratch it. There’s no need to worry about your moissanite ring acquiring scratches or damage. Just like natural diamonds, an engagement ring with this gemstone will last for years.

Both gemstones conduct heat similarly. Sometimes a diamond tester that tests thermal conductivity may not be able to differentiate between moissanite and diamond. It is best to ask a professional for advice if you are unsure of which gemstone you have.

Moissanite Vs Diamond Appearance

Several factors go into how a this gemstone will look. Brilliance is one of the biggest differences between moissanite and diamond. Color plays a role and is largely dependent on the type of moissanite. The cut and clarity of the stones can also be different.

Brilliance

The biggest difference between the two is brilliance which is the stone’s ability to reflect light. The two gemstones have slightly different optical properties which give them a distinct appearance that you can see with the naked eye.

While strikingly similar, you can still tell the difference in color between these two stones. That doesn’t make this gem any less beautiful or suitable for everyday wear. It has a higher refractive index than diamond which means that it will reflect more rainbow light compared to the white sparkle that a diamond gives off.

Jewelers say that the way it reflects light is like a disco ball and some do not prefer this appearance. However, this gemstone will not lose its sparkle over time and will stay looking beautiful for its whole life. Even if you’re looking for a real diamond for an engagement ring, moissanite earrings or necklaces may be a great choice for a gift or to add to your jewelry collection.

The appearance of this gemstone also depends on the type. Newer ones look like a colorless diamond but some of the first variations produced were near-colorless.

Color

This gemstone can have the same color as natural diamonds. Diamond color will vary greatly, but currently, this gemstone can be grown to be colorless or near colorless. You will still find natural diamonds that have lower color grades than them.

Cut

The cut of a diamond depends on the craftsmanship of the jeweler who cuts it. Moissanite is available in the same cuts as diamonds.

Clarity

This gemstone is like lab-created diamonds so they will be of the highest clarity. Most are internally flawless and have no blemishes. Diamonds will have clarity grades based on how they were formed in the Earth. A diamond with a flawless clarity grade will be much more expensive than a lower quality diamond.

Lab-Grown Variations

Because naturally occurring moissanite is extremely rare, most of it available is lab-grown. Lab grown diamonds are an ethical and affordable alternative to natural diamond and natural gemstones.

Forever Classic

There have been several attempts to create moissanite in the lab as a diamond simulant. Forever classic moissanite was the product of the first effort to create them in a lab. Created by Charles & Colvard, it was near-colorless, but still had yellowish hues.

Forever Brilliant

Another effort by Charles & Colvard created the Forever Brilliant. This moissanite was a near-colorless gemstone, but it still had visible color. Some of the Forever Brilliant gems had slight greenish tints but generally, this varies with each stone.

Forever One

Later, in 2015, Charles & Colvard produce a better variation of the gemstone called Forever One moissanite. Forever One has an internally flawless clarity grade and is colorless, unlike the Forever Brilliant moissanite.

Forever One is the highest quality moissanite available on the market today as a diamond simulant and diamond alternative. It is common to see this gemstone in a center stone engagement ring or other pieces of jewelry.

Moissanite Prices

The reasonable price makes these stones a great option for a gift or jewelry for daily wear. Moissanite is priced based on type and size. Diamond pricing can get more complicated because it factors in color grade, clarity grade, cut, and carat weight. One the quality of a diamond is determined, they are priced per carat weights.

These gemstones are much more affordable than natural diamonds because they do not need to be mined. They still have the same appearance as a colorless diamond. If you’re in the market for an engagement ring, a moissanite engagement ring is a great option for people who want to save money and look for ethical alternatives to mined diamonds.

A one carat diamond can cost anywhere from $1000-$4000 while the same size moissanite gem can be $300-$700.

Jewelry Options

This is the perfect gemstone to show off in an engagement ring or other fine jewelry. Moissanite engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular because of the stone’s brilliance and as an affordable alternative to mined diamond. These gemstones look great as the center stone of a necklace or in new earrings.

comparison of mined diamonds, lab grown diamonds, and moissanite may help you decide which gemstone is the best for you. For ethical jewelry options, be sure to consider moissanite gemstones when shopping for jewelry. Clean Origin has a wide selection of ethical jewelry and lab created diamonds that are perfect for your engagement ring.