When it comes to choosing the right engagement ring to propose with or to get your better half to propose to you with, we all know the diamond as the traditional go-to.
There are many different types of diamonds out there that are designed to dazzle and take your breath away.
However, there is another type of gemstone that you might want to consider before you set your sights on a diamond: moissanite.
Moissanite joins a growing trend of alternative options to diamonds that have the same effect but are more affordable.
Based on market predictions, moissanite is set to become one of the most popular diamond alternatives in the future, and North America is where the majority of the demand will be.
So, how does it stack up when you compare a moissanite ring to a diamond ring?
In the article below we are going to talk about moissanite vs. diamond so that you can compare the two and get a good idea of what you might be looking for when it comes to your engagement ring.
What’s the Demand for Diamond Alternatives?
Diamonds are still incredibly popular as an engagement ring choice, but at the same time, people have been thinking about alternatives for a while.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- Price: Generally speaking, gemstones and other alternatives to diamonds tend to be more affordable. Especially among the younger generation who already have to spend a lot of money on the wedding, the thought of not having to shell out as much for a beautiful engagement ring is appealing. The average price of a wedding in America is more than $30,000, which means that you’ve got to cut costs somewhere.
- Style: More people out there are looking for something original and unique when thinking about their engagement ring. Some gemstones rings will also feature diamonds, but even something that can appear similar like a moissanite can offer a slightly different look that breaks tradition.
- Lifestyle: When thinking about how your diamond is sourced, there are questions about the ethics of it. Gemstones like moissanites offer you an option that is more ethical and environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require any mining as such. Mining for diamonds has been a source of contention over the last few decades, so finding an alternative that isn’t going to hurt the earth is appealing for many.
Are Couples Really Spending Less on Their Engagment Rings?
Yes, couples are choosing to cut back on wedding costs in general, and a big part of this is the engagement ring. This is why alternatives to diamonds are becoming really popular.
Despite the old adage that says you should spend a few month’s salary on your engagement ring, there are many younger couples out there that beg to differ.
A survey found that just 18% of Generation Z thought that they should be spending more than $2500 on an engagement ring, and when it came to millennials, the number was 32%.
Is Looking for a Diamond Alternative Just a Trend?
You could argue that it’s not just a trend that people are looking for diamond alternatives. Online shopping and Pinterest has resulted in an increase in interest in diamond alternatives, as your engagement ring is a fashionable way to express your individuality.
With more options online now than ever, it’s easy to see why people are drawn to alternatives to the traditional.
Are Diamonds Going Out of Fashion?
At the same time though, we don’t think that diamonds will be going out of fashion anytime soon. Diamonds are still super popular, with more than 65% of people still favoring diamonds for their engagement ring.
Moissanite rings are still an attractive option, but it’s going to be hard to convince the majority that diamonds aren’t still a girl’s best friend.
The good news is that many people are turning towards the trend of combining the two, and adding gemstones to their otherwise traditional diamond ring to mix it up a little bit and create something that is unique to them.
With this in mind, we think that both diamonds and alternatives to diamonds are staying strong, and infiltrating the market in a relatively predictable way.
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Gemstone?
When trying to decide between a moissanite and a diamond, there are a number of things that you need to consider. The first is that a gemstone isn’t going to be the right choice for everyone.
Depending on your lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences, you can choose a ring that has a degree of diversity.
For every choice that you make there are pros and cons. However, there is a list of criteria to consider when trying to figure out what you’re going to enjoy looking at for the rest of your life.
Let’s dive in.
Synthetic vs. Natural
- Synthetic: These are gemstones that have been grown in lab, and as a result they can cost a lot less than natural gemstones. They have the exact same composition as gemstones that are naturally occurring, but they are just grown under circumstances that we control. This means that their color will be a bit more consistent, and they have the potential to be more saturated.
- Natural: Natural, as you have probably guessed, is more expensive because it is naturally occurring. These types of gemstones and diamonds are mined.
- Simulant: This is the third option, and it’s less desirable because while they are meant to appear like a diamond or other gemstone, their composition is completely different. They are definitely going to be more affordable, but this means that they are going to be less valuable as well.
Affordability and Price
Of course, how much you should be spending on your engagement ring is completely subjective, but you always need to make sure that it is relative to your salary, and how much you plan on spending on the wedding in general, as well as any other expenses beyond the wedding like the honeymoon.
There are a lot of people out there that recommend that you don’t spend more than a month’s salary on your engagement ring.
It’s also important to remember that there are lots of options when it comes to different gemstones, so it all comes down to what you are wanting, and the type of carat that you’re going to be able to afford.
If you are trying to save money on a diamond ring, then there are options out there, including buying a slightly different carat number.
The color of a gemstone matters a lot, and the qualities within the color include tone, saturation, and hue.
For a number of gemstones out there they can be many different colors. Hue is the general color that you are going to see when you first look at the stone.
The tone is how dark or light the color is, while the saturation is the intensity of the color. All of these come down to personal preference.
This is another important factor to consider. The hardness of a gemstone is going to determine how well it can withstand certain conditions.
Jewelers use the Mohs scale to determine the hardness of a gemstone, and it ranges from one to ten, with ten being the hardest.
This is going to tell you how resistant it is to scratching. Anything that is rated below seven is going to scratch.
One of the larger mistakes that people make when they are choosing a gemstone is thinking that toughness and hardness are the same thing.
However, toughness is actually the molecule composition of the gem, and it is rated on a fracture toughness scale. This measures how likely it is that the gem is going to chip at some point.
Any gem that is more than 200,000 is considered tough, while less tough gemstones will just be a few hundred points.
Stability and Environmental Resistance
Changes to the circumstances and environment play a part in what a gemstone looks like and how valuable it is.
- Heat Resistance: Of course, this is telling of how much the gem can withstand heat. What’s interesting though is that it isn’t always whether the gem can withstand heat, but whether it can withstand changes to the temperate.
- Humidity Resistance: This is another issue, especially if you are located somewhere that gets humid. For some gems, humidity can affect it and cause cracks to form.
- Chemical Exposure: This is more common than you might think, including everyday chemicals that we use to clean the house. The main issue is the gem losing its hue and tone.
- Light Resistance: This is telling of how durable the gem is going to be. This is another issue around whether the gem loses its color or not. There are some gems that don’t do well under light at all.
- Fire Dispersion: this refers to how much the gem sparkles and shines. It refers to how light is reflected off the gem.
Of course, the idea of how available a gem is is pretty straightforward, and this aspect is going to determine the variety and price. There are now a wide variety of gems available out there.
What are the Biggest Differences Between a Moissanite and Diamond?
Natural vs. Synthetic
- Diamonds can be mined naturally or grown in a lab. Lab-grown diamonds are more affordable, and they are available readily, and a bit more consistent when it comes to brilliance, hue and other factors.
- Man-made diamonds are just as valuable as natural diamonds, and could be a more affordable option.
- Moissanite is actually a diamond simulant. It is silicon carbide, and it has a number of valuable properties.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Price
When thinking about how expensive a gem is, this is going to be generalized. However, diamonds are thought to be pretty expensive, with the average cost being $4000 per carat.
Moissanite gems can be up to 90% less expensive, depending on things like classification. You can purchase a classic moissanite for $300.
Moissanite vs. Diamond: Color
When it comes to color, this is more a matter of preference. Diamond are generally clear, but there are also diamonds that are fancy. This means that you can get them in shades of white, purple, black, brown, yellow, orange – the list goes on.
Colored diamonds are rarer, and red diamonds are rarer than almost all the rest. However, pure diamonds are clear. Some colored diamonds are expensive, but the biggest demand is for clear diamonds.
Moissanite are also clear but come in fancy colors. However, they are not graded by their color, which means that it is more difficult to achieve consistency here. Moissanite comes in a number of different hues and colors.
Diamonds achieve their colors from imperfections that are naturally forming, but with moissanite, you get their colors from chemical vapor deposition. This is a synthetic process where the bottom of the stone is coated, and then the color is applied.
This means that just a portion of the stone is colored, but it looks like the rest of it is colored as well. Moissanite gems come in gray, pink, purple, yellow, brown, blue, and black.
What About Hardness?
This is where you can begin to see a bit of a difference. Diamonds are rated incredibly hard, at ten on the Mohs scale, while moissanite falls behind at 9 and a ¼.
However, this still means that it is a really hard gem, just not as hard as a diamond. Emeralds, for the sake of comparison, are around a seven.
What About Chipping?
Diamonds and high-quality moissanites rate high on the toughness scale, which means that neither is prone to chipping when compared to other gemstones.
This is why you need to be wary of anyone selling a moissanite that says to worry about chipping. It means that they are probably selling a lower-quality version.
What About Environmental Changes?
A diamond is known for being exceptionally hardy when it comes to wear and tear and environmental changes.
How does it compare with moissanite?
- Heat: Diamonds will only burn at an exceedingly high temperature, and they are prone to fracture based on thermal shock. Moissanite is also known for being able to handle hot temperatures, but what’s interesting is that moissanite is knowing for handling higher temperatures than diamonds.
- Light and chemical exposure: chemicals and light are two elements that we are going to encounter on a daily basis. Diamonds are good at withstanding almost all chemicals, especially those that you might find in your home. Moissanite gems are also considered extremely durable when it comes to light and chemical exposure.
This means that bot moissanite and diamonds are extremely durable.
- Fire Dispersion: Moissanite gems are known for their brilliance, which is why they are a popular alternative to a diamond. Diamonds can be brilliant as well, but there is a wide range when it comes to defining brilliance. The biggest difference is the color of their shine.
Availability of Moissanites and Diamonds
When talking about availability, you don’t have a lot to be concerned about. Both moissanite and diamonds are available widely, especially because both are able to be grown in a lab.
This means that you can find both with a wide range of color, carat, clarity, price and cut.
What’s Preferable for an Engagement Ring?
The bottom line is that both moissanite and diamonds are great choices for your engagement ring.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both:
- Have a higher hardness rating
- Have a classic scintillation
- Can withstand lower temperatures
- Are valuable
- Every so slightly softer
- Can withstand a higher level of temperature
- Offers multicolored scintillation
- Aren’t as valuable
Where Can I Purchase a Moissanite or Diamond Ring Online?
The good news is that whether you prefer a moissanite or diamond engagement ring, you can buy both online.
Whether you choose to go for a diamond ring or a moissanite ring, your engagement ring is going to turn out beautiful, and be something that you will be able to look at and treasure for the rest of your life.