Moissanite vs Diamond

Choosing an Engagement Ring Stone

When buyers are considering how to choose an engagement rings, the engagement ring cost is usually one of the biggest factors in deciding which style, metal, and gemstone the buyer will pick. Many may believe the difference between moissanite, cubic zirconium, and diamond is minimal, but in actuality, each stone provides the buyer with a completely different effect whenever engagement rings are concerned.

Shop Engagement Rings

What is Moissanite

Unlike most other stones, moissanite is out of this world-literally. It was discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan, who found microscopic particles of what is now known as moissanite in a crater created from a meteorite which landed in Arizona. At first glance, Moissan believed he found diamonds, but upon further examination, he discovered that the particles were made up of silicon carbide instead of carbon. Naturally-found moissanite is rare, and therefore, most gems are now made artificially. Although moissanite is created to mimic a diamond, there are a few distinct differences which can be seen past first glance.

Moissanite vs Diamond Side by Side

Compared to diamonds, moissanite is rated lower on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Although it receives a strong 9.25 (making it still a very durable stone), its competition, the diamond, receives a perfect 10. The difference of only .75 is not enough to discount the high durability of the moissanite. Both stones are suitable for everyday use as an engagement ring, but to be certain of hardness, a buyer cannot go wrong with a diamond.

As far as brilliance goes, moissanite has a distinctly different effect than that of a diamond. It has a different faceted pattern which creates a rainbow-like effect. While some buyers absolutely adore this splash of color, others say that the stone resembles a disco ball more than a diamond. This effect is only heightened when the size of the moissanite increases. Diamonds, in comparison, simply display their famous sparkle.

While colorless diamonds project a white appearance, the so-called “colorless” moissanites may still appear yellowish or grayish in hue. Where a moissanite lacks in hardness, brilliance, and color, it makes up for it in price. Moissanite engagement rings are significantly cheaper than a comparable style of a diamond ring. Although they are still more expensive than moissanite, lab-made diamonds are cheaper than naturally found diamonds.

Cubic Zirconium Origins

Cubic zirconium engagement rings are also common alternatives to diamond engagement rings. This stone is completely manufactured in a lab, but is designed to match the sparkle of a natural diamond. It gets its name from a cubic crystal symmetry and its chemical composition of zirconium oxide. Cubic zirconia is treasured because it is easy to care for, but still reminds the buyer of a diamond. Unlike moissanite, cubic zirconia can be made completely colorless, making this stone on par with a diamond in terms of color.

German mineralogists discovered naturally occurring cubic zirconia, but the actual manufacturing of a single-crystal cubic zirconia began in France in the 1960s. However, the Soviets were the ones who eventually perfected the method of creating cubic zirconia. It is important to note that although lab-made diamonds and cubic zirconia were both manufactured artificially, there is a distinct difference. Lab-made diamonds are still made up from carbon atoms, whereas cubic zirconia are simply manufactured to look like diamonds.

Diamonds vs Cubic Zirconium

Compared to diamonds, cubic zirconia is significantly cheaper. Therefore, for any buyer wanting a particular setting, style, or ring, cubic zirconia might be an inexpensive choice. Additionally, the wait times are typically much shorter when dealing with cubic zirconia over diamonds.

Although cubic zirconia is still durable, it does not compare to the hardness of a diamond with a rating of 8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. However, because of its artificial creation in a lab, cubic zirconia is inherently flawless. Diamond, on the other hand, is very rarely (and nearly impossible) flawless.

For a stone that shines, a diamond is the best bet; cubic zirconia has a much lower refractive index than a diamond, making it capture light in a much different manner, and therefore, shining much less than its diamond counterpart.

All in all, every stone has pros and cons, but a diamond is almost always the preferred gem for an engagement ring. Rated a perfect 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, a diamond is incredibly durable and suitable for everyday wear. Additionally, the color is pure and without tints of yellow or gray. In terms of sparkle and shine, no other diamond substitute will compare. Diamonds capture light in a particular manner to make an unmatched brilliance. Price, of course, is always higher for a diamond; however, the value is also higher. The buyer will receive a much more durable and brilliant stone, making a diamond engagement ring a treat to show off to family and friends.