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Photo: By New Africa, YFS Magazine, Adobe Stock

Moissanite is Poised to Disrupt the Diamond Industry – Here’s Why

Diamond alternatives are on the rise. Consumers are discovering the unsurpassed fire and brilliance of Moissanite gemstones.


The $80-billion global diamond industry has been a tradition-bound business reluctant to change and ripe for disruption. With the advent of technology and shifting consumer purchase behavior such as sustainability, socially responsible jewelry purchasing, and steep miner price hikes –– alternatives are on the rise.

Many consumers are now discovering the unsurpassed fire and brilliance of Moissanite gemstones.

Moissanite is a lab-created gemstone with minimal environmental impact. It is less expensive per carat than many other gemstones and a 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, so it is suitable for everyday wear.

It was first discovered in 1893 by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. Henri Moissan, and since its discovery, it has been used primarily as an industrial abrasive. Yet these days, you can find moissanite in watches, rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces.

If you want to learn more about these two gems, read on.

 

What is moissanite?

Moissanite and diamonds are both precious stones that catch the eye of many people. They are both valuable and beautiful, but they differ in their chemical composition.

Moissanites are a gemstone made from silicon carbide. Nobel Prize-winning Henri Moissan discovered them in 1893 while investigating the impact of electricity on coal. It is a very durable stone, and because it falls under the same category as diamonds, it needs to go through an extensive process to be verified.

It had its first introduction to the market in 1998. Moissanite stones come in various colors, and they are almost indistinguishable from diamonds. Moissanite is a lab-grown gemstone that creates an exceptionally bright, almost fiery sparkle. It has the same chemical makeup as a diamond, giving it a brilliant shine and fire than any other gem on earth.

 

How can I tell the difference between a diamond and moissanite gemstone?

There is a simple way to tell the difference. Moissanite doesn’t have any trace of radioactivity, which means it will sparkle more brightly than a diamond. Moissanite engagement rings and diamonds are about the same price. It costs $1,300 for a 1 carat Moissanite and $1,300 for a 1-carat diamond.

One of the most important differences is that moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds. The ideal refractive index for a diamond is 2.42. Moissanite can range from 2.6 to 2.89, which means that moissanite will generally maintain its brilliance longer than a diamond.

While you can easily mistake moissanite for a diamond at first glance, there are many differences between the two gemstones that can help you find how moissanite compares to diamond.

 

Size of the gemstone

Diameters have millimeter measurements for round diamonds and moissanite measures in carats. Diamonds have prices according to their size. The larger the diamond, the more it costs. In contrast, moissanite has prices by carat weight and not by size.

 

Cut of the gemstone

Diamonds have their cuts with a round or square shape. While some diamonds are oval or princess cut, these cuts are relatively uncommon. Moissanite has its cuts in a round shape. Moissanites are also more brittle and sensitive to heat than diamonds.

 

Hardness rating of the gemstone

Moissanite is rated a 9.25 on the Mohs scale, making it slightly more rigid than sapphire. Diamond scores 9.0 – 10 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite is therefore not as hard as a diamond. If you wear your moissanite jewelry with care and treat it as your diamond jewelry, you should experience years of wear.

 

Is a moissanite ring better than a diamond ring?

Moissanite is one of the most remarkable gems in the world. It is a relatively new gem and one of the most common diamond alternatives. Moissanite is a lab-created jewel with more fire and brilliance than a diamond. Due to its durability and hardness, a moissanite’s fiery intensity is more vivid and intense than a diamond. Moissanite holds the ring’s shape longer.

 

Final thoughts

One of the reasons why moissanite is a popular choice is because it is one of the hardest gems on the Mohs Scale, with a 9.25 ranking. It has a lot of similarities to diamond, making it a great substitute. The most significant difference between the two is that moissanite is much cheaper than diamond, making it another great option for those on a budget. Moissanite also can be faceted in many different ways, meaning that it can have any shape.

 

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Photo: By New Africa, YFS Magazine, Adobe Stock
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