The two gemstones may have a lot in common, but their differences are what matter.
Moissanite vs. Diamonds
Perhaps the biggest advantage of moissanite over diamonds is the price, for moissanite is considerably cheaper than a diamond. A moissanite gem is approximately one-tenth the cost of a mined diamond of equal size and quality. “The value of moissanite is greater with larger carat weights.”
If you want a large carat, white gemstone, but you don’t have the money for a large diamond, moissanite is the way to go. “For many, a colorless diamond with the highest clarity grade is completely unattainable,” O’Connell says. “In my opinion, there is no reason to compromise overall quality with a lesser diamond.” Lower quality, smaller diamond tends to cost more than higher quality, larger moissanite stone.
Diamonds are known for their durability. They are the hardest naturally occurring mineral and can withstand almost any kind of wear and tear.1 That said, they are not unbreakable; though a diamond is extremely hard, it is not the toughest mineral, which means it can still break or chip. Still, they are an ideal choice for everyday wear, especially for an engagement ring. Kim Kanary of JTV explains, “Diamonds do possess a high degree of hardness, so it will be significantly more resistant to abrasions.”
However, moissanite doesn’t fall far behind. “Moissanite is the second hardest to diamonds on the Mohs hardness scale,” O’Connell says. “Based on rankings from one to 10, diamonds are a 10 and moissanite is a 9.25-9.5.”
The most obvious difference between moissanite and diamonds is their brilliance. In general, moissanite may have more brilliance than a diamond. “It has more fire and brilliance than any other gemstone, meaning it has more sparkle,” reveals O’Connell. “Because moissanite is double refractive, it is cut differently than diamonds to enhance the sparkle.”
Kanary adds, “Moissanite has over twice the dispersion value of a diamond, which means that it has a greater fire (or display of spectral colors) that is visible when you rotate the stone.” The result is a rainbow-like effect, while diamonds reflect whiter light.
Both moissanite and diamonds can both be colorless or have some color to them. Moissanite has traditionally carried a yellowish or greenish tint to it. However, manufacturers have been perfecting the creation process over time, and you can now get high-quality moissanite that is colorless.
Diamond color, however, can vary greatly. She explains, “Diamond color is graded on a scale of D-Z, with D being colorless and Z being a light yellow or brown (with those beyond Z being fancy color diamonds). So, diamonds can be everything from colorless to yellow, pink, blue, green, red, or brown.”