What’s the difference between moissanite and lab grown diamonds?
When it comes to a center stone in an engagement ring, there are so.many.choices! It can be overwhelming – that’s for sure. But as we always say, knowledge is power, so here are some of the major differences between moissanite and lab grown diamonds.
What exactly is a moissanite? And are moissanite diamonds real?
While most people consider moissanite a synthetic or man made material, some moissanite does occur naturally and very rarely, in very tiny crystals. But moissanite that is commonly used in jewelry is most likely man-made moissanite. This is a form of crystalline silicon carbide created in laboratories. It is a white-ish, hard stone and commonly called a diamond simulant.
Moissanite became popular in recent years as a lower cost alternative to diamonds in jewelry.
And what is a lab grown diamond?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, lab grown diamonds are carbon crystalized in the isometric system with a hardness of 10 on the mohs scale, with a specific gravity of 3.52 and a refractive index of 2.42. Which means they are exactly the same chemically, optically and physically as diamonds mined from the earth.
Lab grown diamonds have been around for many years, but were mainly use for industrial tools. About five years ago, lab grown diamond manufacturers perfected their processes and were able to make bigger, whiter diamond crystals that were pretty and could be cut and used for jewelry.
Can you tell the difference between moissanite and lab grown diamonds
At first glance, both moissanite and lab grown diamonds look like white stones.
But, in sizes over 1/2 carat, moissanite will start to look different. The color is more yellow/brownish, although it is possible to find a more “colorless” stone. Also, moissanite will often look blue-ish in certain lights, and they don’t give off the classic diamond flashes.
Lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, range in color just like mined diamonds. From colorless (D-E) to black! And lab grown diamonds have the same fire and flash as mined diamonds. A well cut stone will look like fireworks when you look at it!
Which is more durable: lab grown diamonds or moissanite stone?
Nothing is more durable than a diamond (except your granite countertop – those babies will chip all of your jewelry, but I digress).
Moissanite comes in second. It is a very hard simulant. One of the main differences though, is in “how” it breaks.
When a moissanite is hit hard, it doesn’t just chip, it breaks off in long shards, or may even shatter. If that happens, there’s no way to re-cut or repair the stone. It has to do with the way the crystals are formed. Because of this, Scott’s doesn’t sell or set moissanite. The risk of it breaking off in these dager-like pieces is too high.
Lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, behave just like mined diamonds. It takes a lot of effort to break them! And, if they do sustain a crunch, they tend to break off a small chip which can be filed smooth or even re-cut, saving your investment.
So why did moissanite become popular
Moissanite became popular in the 1990s mainly because of price. You could get a big look, for not a lot of money. And moissanite looked better than a cubic zirconia (which scratched very easy).
At that time, people began choosing moissanite because of it’s eco-friendly and conflict free status. When the mined diamond industry came under fire for possible human and environmental rights violations (in the early 60s and 70s – it’s since been heavily regulated), people started to chose these stones.
And now lab grown diamonds are the popular child?
Yep! Lab grown diamonds have become so popular recently because they are cost-effective, conflict-free, and eco friendly. Generally speaking, lab grown diamonds cost 30-50% less than mined diamonds! And because they are so durable (they ARE diamonds), they’re perfect for everyday wear.
As people have become more environmentally conscious, they’ve turned to lab grown diamonds because they use less natural resources, like water and electricity, to manufacture.
And, most of the diamonds we sell are made here in the United States, by companies that pay fair wages.
Are all lab grown diamonds the same?
A common misunderstanding is that lab grown diamonds are “stamped out” and all look alike. When in fact, the machines actually only create a diamond crystal, which then gets cut into all the shapes, just like diamond crystal mined from the earth.
And not all crystals produce pretty diamonds. Lab grown diamonds vary in color and clarity, just like mined diamonds.
Also, cutting the crystal plays a HUGE part in the prettiness of the diamond. As with mined diamonds, a master diamond cutter knows how to cut the best diamond from the rough crystal. It’s an art!
Why should I chose a lab grown diamond instead of a moissanite?
Both moissanite and lab grown diamonds are environmentally friendly. And both are free from any social-economic conflicts.
But moissanite isn’t “free” or super cheap, like a cubic zirconia. You’ll still have to make an investment when you purchase one. And it does have some major limitations, like color and durability. When they break – it’s over. You can’t re-cut or polish moissanite.
So if price is a concern (and let’s face it – we all love to save money!) then the value and durability of lab grown diamonds make them a better choice for an engagement ring. A typical, pretty 1ct round lab grown diamond costs about $2000, while a similar sized, premium moissanite costs about $700. And $700 is a lot to lose if it breaks!
If you’d like to see the difference between moissanite and lab grown diamonds (and even mined diamonds), give us a call at 614 336-4111. We’d be happy to help you make an informed decision.