Since Diamonds don’t fit every budget, Moissanite is an alternative stone worth investigating as potential alternative.
Is Moissanite a good diamond alternative? Moissanite is almost indistinguishable from diamond for most people—and costs a great deal less. Rating 9.25 on Mohs Scale of hardness, Moissanite is incredibly scratch resistant. Its durability makes it a ‘forever’ stone that can stand up to daily use and last for generations.
Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings are a big commitment because they’re typically so expensive. They need to stand the test of time, and you want your partner to love it! Think Moissanite might be right for you? Keep reading, to find out for sure.
Where Moissanite Come From?
The origins of Moissanite (pronounced moy-san-ite) couldn’t be more intriguing! A Chemist by the name of Henri Moissan was studying rocks from a meteorite in Arizona in 1893 when he came across a crystal that he initially confused for diamond.
It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that he was able to properly identify the crystals as Silicon Carbide, a combination of Silicon and Carbon, which form the extremely hard mineral. The material that Henri found was called Moissanite in his honor. He was also rewarded with a Nobel Prize.
In addition to its official name, “Moissy” is a slang for the material that is beginning to surface and become a little more common.
How rare is natural Moissanite? If only natural Moissanite were used in jewelry, it would be unbelievably expensive, because it’s far more rare than diamonds! In fact, it has mostly only found in small quantities at the site of meteorite strikes, in the outer casing of some rough diamonds.
Silicon Carbide has been synthesized since the late 1800’s. Today, it’s used in many industrial applications that require serious durability, like brakes and clutches for automobiles and ceramic plates for bullet proof vests.
All Moissanite used in jewelry is, of course, also synthetic, but it delivers a really amazing diamond alternative for all those searching for a more cost effective option.
Penny pinchers aren’t the only ones buying Moissanite rings. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for an environmentally and socially responsible alternative to diamonds.
Does Moissanite Sparkle Like a Diamond?
Many people that own both a Moissanite ring and a diamond ring will tell you that the Moissanite has at least as much sparkle as the diamond. Many will report that their Moissanite ring seems to have noticeably more. That’s completely understandable, because Moissanite (2.65) has a higher reflective index than diamonds (2.42).
In all fairness, it’s hard to compare two stones that aren’t the exact same size and cut. The cut of the stone has a big impact on two critical aspects (fire and brilliance) of a beautiful sparkle. When someone says a stone is fiery, they’re referring to the prism effect, where light is broken up into multiple colors that shine back. Brilliance, on the other hand, has to do with the white light that reflects as it hits the ring.
The observation is often made that Moissanite is more “fiery” than diamonds of a similar size and shape. It’s something that many people find especially beautiful and engaging about their Moissanite ring…it comes to life with sparkles in light.
Here’s the simple reality…Moissanite is not a diamond, but when you look at a Moissanite ring, it’s almost impossible for most people to tell. It sparkles brilliantly, and side-by-side with a natural diamond of the same size and cut, you probably won’t be able to tell them apart.
How Can Others Tell That Your Moissanite isn’t a Diamond?
Moissanite jewelry and diamond jewelry are like doppelgangers that come from completely different gene pools, but look almost indistinguishable. Gemologists and jewelers at first glance might not even be able to distinguish a Moissanite from a diamond. There are some telltale signs that professionals can use to distinguish the two, but If they struggle to immediately tell them apart, then your friends and family will have little chance of knowing that your Moissanite ring isn’t a diamond ring.
If the Moissanite on your ring is significantly larger than the diamond you could reasonably afford to buy with cash or common financing, it may cause people to question if your “diamond” is real. If you’re suddenly sporting a 5 carat diamond, for example, people may immediately assume that it isn’t real…regardless of how real it appears to be.
The solution is simple: if you decide to purchase a Moissanite engagement ring, go for a size that’s roughly similar to what you might be able to afford if you were purchasing a diamond. You can go a little larger if you’d like without triggering serious suspicion.
If you ultimately decide to purchase a diamond engagement or wedding ring, you’ll need to be careful. Moissanite is so much cheaper than diamond, and the appearance is so similar, that people are sometimes marking Moissanite rings way up and selling them as diamond rings. Buyers end up with beautiful rings, but they seriously overpay for them. Getting a certificate for your ring is one way to help ensure you’re getting what you expect. Certified diamonds are typically quite a bit more expensive, but again, it’s an option that you can look into and consider.
What’s the Difference in Scratch Resistance?
Mohs Scale of Hardness is a scientific means of classifying the relative hardness of various minerals and materials. It’s a ten point scale, where higher numbers are indicative of harder materials. A diamond is a 10 on the scale.
For the sake of comparison, it might be helpful to know that Cubic Zirconia, another diamond alternative that many frugal ring buyers choose, is rated an 8. Some choose to wear the even harder and more scratch-resistant White Sapphire, with a Mohs rating of 9.
Moissanite surpasses both of those options, and all other gems used in jewelry, scoring a remarkable 9.25. That means that it’s the hardest and most scratch resistant option for those seeking to save money with a diamond alternative.
Will a Moissanite Change Color or get Cloudy as it Ages?
Just like diamonds, Moissanite can fall anywhere along a continuum of having mild color, or being completely colorless. Again, as with diamonds, to get a stone that’s totally colorless, you would have to pay a premium. These stones are generally referred to as “enhanced” Moissanite.
Regardless of the exact shade of Moissanite that you ultimately purchase, it should look exactly the same 50 years from now as it does today. It won’t get cloudy or change color with time. As with Diamonds, and all other rings, you’ll want to carefully and regularly clean your stone and the mounting that holds it in place.
Can a Moissanite Break?
It’s possible for a diamond, Moissanite, or any other gem or substitute material to break, crack, or chip. It’s certainly far less likely with an ultra hard material like Moissanite or diamond. While you’ll always want to be cautious with your ring, they’re certainly a very scratch, chip, and break resistant option.
How long with a Moissanite Ring Last?
Moissanite wedding rings are forever rings. They aren’t like some other diamond alternatives that may be viewed as temporary rings to hold you over until you’re able to get a natural diamond.
There’s no reason that you shouldn’t expect to leave your Moissanite Ring for future generations to keep as a family treasure. You can expect the ring to look equally brilliant and beautiful as those ancestors examine and admire the ring.
Of course the ring will mostly hold sentimental value for them. Some diamond advocates argue that you should buy diamond rings so you can pass something of real value to your children and family members when you pass away.
Think about it, how much value does it actually have? Do you want your kids, or grand kids, to sell your ring? If they sell it, that means that the monetary value outweighs the sentimental value for them.
Why put them through the anguish of that decision about selling it? What you’re really doing, is taking thousands of dollars and locking it up in an item that’s can get damaged, lost, or stolen.
There are better ways to pass money to your children. Maybe you could invest the savings from your ring purchase in bonds or a quality mutual fund. That would allow you to hand down your Moissanite ring with high sentimental value, and a financial instrument that will certainly grow to a more sizable sum by the time your will is executed.
What’s the Best Way to Clean it?
You don’t have to be digging in your flower garden for dirt to effect your ring. Dirt and dust float in the air. Natural skin oils and oil form lotions can collect on the surface of your ring. Those oils can also combine with dirt over time to create gunk that can get lodged in between your your stone and ring itself.
This accumulation of all the dirt and oil can mute the brilliance of your ring, because it limits light’s ability to pass through the stone unrestricted.
The solution is simple, wash your ring regularly in warm water using a mild dish soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. No need to scrub very aggressively, soft but thorough is what we’re going for. When you’re done with swashing, you’ll want to rinse well and dry the ring completely.
Start by gently dabbing it dry with a soft hand towel. Finish by using a blow dryer on its cool setting to ensure that it’s fully dry.
What’s the Cost Difference?
The potential savings of choosing a Moissanite engagement ring are significant! A 1 carat Moissanite will likely cost between $300 and $600, while a 1 carat diamond would cost between $5,000 and $30,000, depending on the seller and the characteristics of the stone chosen.
Using the low end of the scale, you’d save roughly $4,700 on your engagement ring if you decided on Moissanite! Could you put that $4,700 to good use in another area of your life?
Do you have any Student Loans or other debt that you’d like to pay down faster? Would it help to put those savings toward a vehicle, or a down payment on a home? Upgrading your honeymoon, or taking another trip together would lead to memories that you’ll always treasure.
If you buy a diamond instead of a Moissanite, you’ll have thousands of dollars parked on your finger, but your finger really won’t look any better than it would have if you went with the cheaper alternative that’s of similar quality.
Keep in mind, that Moissanite isn’t just a diamond look alike. It’s beautiful and durable gem in it’s own right, that just happens to closely resemble a diamond. No one should feel like they’re picking a second best or sacrificing when purchasing Moissanite. In reality, you’re making the frugal choice. You’re getting much of the beauty, sparkle, and durability that diamonds have to offer for a small fraction of the price. You’re certain to look great, and feel smart, when you wear your Moissanite!
What Kind of Metals Can Moissanite be Paired With?
A Moissanite can be mounted on, or in, anything that a diamond can be paired with. For example, brides-to-be that love the thought of a gold, or platinum, wedding ring could splurge on the precious metal band, but save with a glimmering Moissanite stone, and still end up with a very affordable ring that they’re proud to wear. Those looking for an even lower cost option, could mount their Moissanite on ring made of Silver, Titanium, Tungsten Carbide, or even Stainless Steel.
A More Socially and Environmentally Responsible Ring?
For many of the brides and grooms that settle on Moissanite, it’s not about the money. Many of them can easily afford to purchase a diamond. They choose this alternative because they don’t feel good about buying a diamond in light of the environmental impact of mining, and the social impact of the, often brutal, diamond trade. It’s a very conscious and deliberate decision.
In 2006, the movie Blood Diamonds, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, hit screens around the world. It opened the eyes of many to ethical and humanitarian issues surrounding the diamond trade.
Mining is categorically destructive to the environment, but it’s also unsafe for the laborers (often children) break their backs for minuscule wages. They forego education to barely achieve survival at the risk of their health.
Slave labor is also used to mine diamonds, preserving additional profits for the war lords and processing companies that bring these diamonds to jewelers near you. People have been slaughtered for diamonds, and with the profits obtained through mining.
Gorilla groups gain control of mines, force slave labor, and then sell the diamonds that they collect to buy weapons that they use to kill other tribes or challenge governments. Many men, women, and children have been victims of these groups and their hunger for diamonds to fuel war and carnage.
Particularly post 2006 as awareness of these problems spread, new laws were enacted to block the sale of blood diamonds (which are also referred to as “Conflict Diamonds”), however, international groups, including the United Nations, has found that those measures have been largely ineffective.
It’s essentially impossible to know, for certain, whether a particular diamond, purchased to commemorate love, came to the market through acts of hate and violence. That uncertainty has driven many people that have plenty of money for natural diamonds to turn to alternatives to like Moissanite for their engagement rings and other jewelry.
Because all Moissanite that’s commercially available is lab created, it’s a much more socially and environmentally responsible choice.
Is Moissanite the Best Fake Diamond?
Moissanite really is a close match for diamond in terms of hardness, durability, and appearance. It probably shouldn’t be thought of a “fake diamond” though. It’s an incredibly cool stone in its own right. It has some unique qualities that even surpass the limits and abilities of diamonds in certain areas. You really shouldn’t feel any shame about about wearing Moissanite. It’s an amazing stone, with an interesting history, that just so happens to look, and act, an awful lot like a diamond.
Can fire damage Moissanite ?
Moissanite is incredibly heat resistant. It can withstand temperatures up to 2,000°F. Diamonds, on the other hand, burn at about 1562°F. The average house fire is about 1,100°F, but can certainly get hotter on pockets depending on the contents of the home that are burning.
Which Other Options are Common Alternatives to Mined Diamonds?
In addition to Moissanite, other popular options include Cubic Zirconia, White Sapphire, White Topaz, colorless Garnet, Rutile, and Spinel. Some of those options are much harder and scratch resistant than others.
Man-made diamonds are another excellent option that gives you the most identical match for a natural diamond possible. Made of pure Carbon, the only difference, is that man made diamonds are lab created. The fact that they’re lab created, means there’s no need to worry that they might be blood diamonds. They’re cheaper than natural diamonds, but more expensive than excellent alternatives like Moissanite.