If you are looking for an engagement ring for your partner, most likely you are already browsing articles online and videos showcasing various options. Of course, the classic combination that everyone has on their mind is a gold ring with an elegant diamond in the middle – possibly with diamonds on the sides as well if you are feeling fancy.
In videos that test the authenticity of diamonds, testers often use a special device that they point at the gemstone and it lights up a special scale that shows what the gemstone is. The options on the scale usually include – fake diamond, moissanite and genuine diamond.
Ever wondered what moissanite actually is, and how does it differ from a diamond? This is what we will discuss in this article.
Origins of the Moissanite
Moissanite was actually discovered not too long ago – at the end of the 19th century, by a French chemist called Henri Moissan. At the time, his discovery was at first not considered anything special, as he thought he had stumbled upon a run-of-the-mill diamond, due to the gemstone’s great resemblance to a diamond.
However, a decade later and after some careful testing, Moissan found out that the gemstone he discovered was actually a completely new type of mineral. It was not based on carbon as the diamond, but rather on silicon carbide. Hence the new mineral adopted the name of its discoverer – moissanite.
What is even more interesting is that moissanite does not naturally occur on Earth – with extremely rare exceptions. It is a mineral that came from space rocks, namely meteors crashing on the surface of our planet. Suddenly, that made moissanite much more interesting and rare to come across.
If you think about it, the cosmic origins of moissanite can actually make it more appealing than a diamond. How many people can boast of having a truly stellar ring? Your partner can be one of them; this particular fact can make the moissanite an interesting choice to consider for couples who have an off-the-grid lifestyle or enjoy the mystical and magical. Everyone owns diamonds – why not make a braver, more magical choice of gemstone?
This begs the question:
Moissanite in Stores – Where Does It Come From?
That would be a very good and logical question. The answer is: practically all of the moissanite you see in stores is produced in laboratories, it is man-made.
What are the implications of lab production for gemstone quality? – none. The moissanite produced in laboratories is completely authentic and is in no way inferior to the original that came from space. After all, we are talking about an element that underwent certain chemical processes in order to turn into its current mineral state. Lab production is actually more ethical, green and sustainable than any sort of mining activity.
What Are the Differences?
Of course, the moissanite is not a diamond and despite their numerous similarities, moissanite does differ in some aspects. These aspects include physical properties and the price range.
The first and most obvious difference is the moissanite’s shine. It emits a larger array of colors than the diamond and that actually makes some people consider the moissanite a “fake diamond”. This could not be further from the truth – moissanite is a separate mineral that simply has its own unique characteristics, and light emission is one of those properties. At the end of the day, there is no guidebook that will tell you which is better – the colors emitted by your gemstone are absolutely a matter of personal preference.
Second, the mineral’s toughness. It is common knowledge that the diamond is the toughest mineral on the planet. There is a special scale that ranks minerals based on hardness – the Mohs scale. It goes from 1 to 10, and the diamond scores the full 10 points on it. The moissanite is only slightly lower, with scores between 9.25 and 9.5. The difference is not significant and it is worth pointing out that most other natural gemstones do not even get near 8 on the Mohs scale.
Third – the price. Ah, yes, perhaps the most important factor when choosing an engagement ring – the price of the piece. The difference in price is actually so significant that it may be the sole reason that sways your choice to moissanite. The latter can be up to 10 times cheaper than a regular diamond, and that’s no joke. The reasons for this obviously include the popularity of diamonds and them being the benchmark of gemstones, but also the fact that moissanite is produced in laboratories.
If we only look at naturally mined diamonds (lab grown diamonds also exist), moissanite production does not involve any type of digging, transportation, salaries for hard labor and other costly activities.
Moissanite – the New Diamond?
In conclusion – can moissanite be considered the new diamond in the jewelry industry? Well, while this certainly is a pretty bold statement to make, it definitely does provide grounds for a discussion.
There are no quality differences between the two gemstones and they both look beautiful on engagement rings. There are aesthetic differences that really depend on the buyer, but at the end of the day, both look objectively great.
If the moissanite wants to take over diamonds in the world of engagement rings and jewelry as a whole, it will have to be featured in massive advertisement campaigns. Realistically, this will not happen anytime soon. Diamond is still the most popular and sought-after gemstone in the world.
But why should you answer to the mainstream? Just because everyone around you wants to buy a diamond ring, and that is all you hear about in movies, does not mean you should do it, too. If you are instead open-minded about this, you can take a look at some great moissanite ring options and buy a truly high-quality piece of jewelry that is just as reliable and beautiful as any diamond option. You will save a lot of money while doing so.