Moissanite vs Simulated Diamonds: A Guide to Choosing the Right Gemstone
- by Rokshok
Diamonds have long been cherished as the ultimate symbol of love and luxury. But with the rising popularity of moissanite, a gemstone that looks strikingly similar to diamonds, it has become a topic of debate among jewelry enthusiasts. Is moissanite a genuine alternative to diamonds, or just a simulated version? In this article, we will delve into the differences between genuine moissanite and simulated diamonds to help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing your next piece of jewelry.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a gemstone that was discovered by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893. It is made of silicon carbide, a mineral that is extremely rare in nature. Due to its rarity, moissanite is lab-created, making it more affordable and accessible compared to diamonds. It is known for its brilliance, fire, and durability, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewelry.
What are Simulated Diamonds?
Simulated diamonds, also known as diamond simulants, are gemstones that are made to look like diamonds but are not made of the same materials. There are various types of simulated diamonds in the market, including cubic zirconia, white sapphire, and white topaz. They are often used as a more affordable alternative to diamonds, but they do not possess the same physical and chemical properties as genuine diamonds.
Now that we know what moissanite and simulated diamonds are, let's take a closer look at their differences.
Diamonds are made of pure carbon, while moissanite is made of silicon carbide. This difference in chemical composition results in variations in their physical and optical properties. Diamonds have a higher refractive index, which means they reflect more light and have a higher level of brilliance and sparkle compared to moissanite.
On the other hand, simulated diamonds have a different chemical composition altogether. For example, cubic zirconia is made of zirconium oxide, while white sapphire is made of aluminum oxide. This difference in composition gives them a different appearance and level of brilliance compared to both diamonds and moissanite.
Hardness and Durability
Diamonds are known to be the hardest natural substance on earth, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This makes them extremely durable and suitable for everyday wear. Moissanite, on the other hand, ranks 9.25 on the Mohs scale, making it a close second in terms of durability. This means that moissanite is still a durable gemstone and can withstand daily wear, but it may be more prone to scratches compared to diamonds.
Simulated diamonds, on the other hand, have a much lower ranking on the Mohs scale, making them less durable than both diamonds and moissanite. This means that they may be more susceptible to scratches and damage, making them less suitable for everyday wear.
Price and Value
Diamonds are one of the most valuable gemstones in the world, with a high price tag to match. Genuine diamonds are rare, and their value is determined by the 4Cs – cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. This makes them a significant investment for many people.
Moissanite, on the other hand, is a more affordable alternative to diamonds. While they may still be considered expensive, they are significantly cheaper compared to diamonds of the same size and quality. This makes them more accessible for those who are looking for a diamond-like appearance without the hefty price tag.
Simulated diamonds, on the other hand, are the most affordable option out of the three. They are often used as a budget-friendly alternative for engagement rings and other jewelry, but they do not hold the same value as genuine diamonds or moissanite.
One aspect that is often overlooked when it comes to gemstones is their environmental impact. Diamonds, being a natural resource, require mining to extract them from the earth. This process can have a negative impact on the environment, as it involves digging, blasting, and displacement of soil and vegetation.
On the other hand, moissanite is lab-created, meaning it does not require mining and has a smaller carbon footprint compared to diamonds. This makes it a more environmentally-friendly option for those who are conscious about their impact on the planet.
Simulated diamonds are also lab-created, making them a more environmentally-friendly choice compared to diamonds. However, they may not be as durable as diamonds or moissanite, which means they may need to be replaced more frequently, causing more waste in the long run.
In conclusion, genuine moissanite and simulated diamonds may look similar to diamonds, but they are not the same. Moissanite is a lab-created gemstone that closely resembles diamonds, while simulated diamonds are made of different materials to imitate the appearance of diamonds.
When it comes to choosing between the two, it ultimately depends on personal preference and budget. If you are looking for a gemstone that closely resembles diamonds but is more affordable and environmentally-friendly, then moissanite may be the right choice for you. However, if you are looking for the highest level of durability and value, then diamonds may be the better option.
At the end of the day, both moissanite and simulated diamonds have their own unique qualities and can make beautiful additions to your jewelry collection. Whichever one you choose, make sure it is from a reputable source to ensure the quality and authenticity of the gemstone.