Moissanite vs Lab Diamond: Breakdown and Comparison

Last Updated: June 21, 2022
In this blog, we will be analyzing the difference between moissanite and lab diamonds so that you can get the right stone for yourself.
Moissanite vs Lab Diamond
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Jewelry is an incomparable asset in a woman’s life, but we cannot ignore the fact that they are expensive.

Hence, it’s only wise that every woman has a decent amount of knowledge about what kind of jewelry she is purchasing so that she can make an informed decision. 

The jewelry market has been introducing several gemstones, each with its unique appearance and value.

A fine example would be moissanite and lab diamonds or Nexus diamonds, two gemstones that have been gaining a lot of traction among marriage-minded people.

And rightfully so, considering how precious and beautiful they are. 

However, it is often difficult to draw any difference between the two, thanks to the many similarities they share.

Hence, in this blog, we will be analyzing the difference between moissanite and lab diamonds so that you can get the right stone for yourself. 

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite

It is often said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Well, we are sure that every woman has room for another friend: Moissanite.

Much like diamonds, it is a valuable and rare gemstone that is composed of silicon carbide.

Moissanite has managed to find its place alongside diamonds since many people now consider it an alternative to conventional diamond rings and now buy moissanite rings instead.

Since this gemstone was introduced to people, it has gained an edge over diamonds for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, they are much cheaper than diamonds yet they offer a tremendous sparkle that often puts its counterpart to shame. 

Secondly, these gemstones are both ethical and sustainable since they are lab-produced and hence have far less of a carbon imprint or human effect than mining.

For reasons like these, the moissanite gemstone has been swiftly becoming the favorite among many jewelry enthusiasts.  

History Behind It

Moissanite was first found by Henri Moissan (the gemstone was named after the man himself) in a meteorite crater.

Initially thought of as diamonds, he later discovered it was rather composed of silicon carbide and not carbon.

Even though moissanite was discovered in 1893, it wasn’t almost 100 years later that scientists could devise a process to grow the gemstone commercially. 

Since it was found in a meteorite depression in Arizona, it made moissanite a very rare stone to come across, even more so than diamond.

Moissanite even garnered the moniker “space gemstone.” It wasn’t until the 90s that the gemstone was introduced to the market, thanks to a company called Charles & Colvard, who patented the stone. 

Since then, the patents are no longer there and as a result, the gemstone has acquired the opportunity to be marketed by any company.

It is only in recent years that a customer can purchase moissanite from a wide number of companies and not just Charles & Colvard. 

What is a Lab Diamond?

Lab Diamond 553

As it is obvious from the name itself, a lab diamond is a gemstone that is created inside a laboratory and not inside the earth’s crust, like natural diamonds are.

Natural diamonds, on the other hand, were formed ages ago under pressure inside the earth’s crust.

With the aid of volcanoes and earthquakes, they rose to the surface and opened up a whole new realm of minerals for humans. 

The formation of lab diamonds isn’t as grand or glamorous. Small diamonds are put inside machines where they are subjected to pressure and heat, much like natural diamonds were.

This allows them to grow in size and turn into lab diamonds, which are often called “Synthetic Diamond,” or “Man-Made Diamond” as well.  

Even though they are artificially created, lab diamonds do not have any difference when compared to natural diamonds.

They are chemically the same and have the same hardness, appearance, and sparkle.

Yet, they are not as precious as mined diamonds since they can be formed on demand. 

History Behind It

It wasn’t until 1797 that it was found that diamonds are pure carbon. After this discovery, scientists all over the world hurried to create synthetic diamonds.

Several claims surfaced concerning the formation of synthetic diamonds, especially from 1879 to 1928, but almost all of them turned out to be false. 

Although certain forms of man-made diamonds had been doing the rounds since the 1940s, it was in 1954, that General Electric (GE) formed the first batch of lab-grown diamonds.

However, the use of lab diamonds remained stagnant thereafter. The 1970s saw the availability of gem-quality lab stones.

But, lab diamonds began to be marketed commercially in the 1980s. 

The procedures for manufacturing lab-produced diamonds have vastly advanced in the previous decade, allowing these diamonds to be used in jewelry as well as diamond engagement rings.

Moissanite versus Lab Diamond

In this section, we will be discussing both the similarities and differences between moissanite and lab diamonds, so that you can learn to understand which is which and purchase the right stone for yourself. 

Similarities

  1. The duration for the formation of both the gemstones is similar since they take around 6 to 10 weeks to be formed. Moissanite, like mined diamonds, was formed naturally. However, today they are created in labs. 
  2. Both the stones are thermochromic, which means that they can alter colors when subjected to intense heat. 
  3. Both stones are extremely strong and are suitable for everyday use since they can endure the knocks and bangs, chemicals, detergents, and skin secretions that happen to be a normal part of life. Moissanite is simpler to be maintained since it is a kind of silicon, although both gemstones repel chemicals and grime without being affected by them.
  4. One of the most significant advantages of owning moissanite or lab-made diamonds is that they do not have the same human effect as mined diamonds. Unfortunately, because of the structure of natural diamonds, there is frequently a human expense involved, since certain mines hire employees in hazardous situations. Hence, one quality that both the gemstones share is their ethical formation. 
  5. Another significant benefit or similarity is the low environmental effect of lab-generated moissanite or diamonds compared to diamond mining. Mining may significantly reduce biodiversity, induce soil erosion, as well as contaminate freshwater bodies by allowing minerals from excavated rocks to flow into water resources. Hence, both the gemstones are sustainable and do not create environmental damage. 

Differences

Even though lab diamonds and moissanite share a few similarities, their differences are much more noticeable. Let us go through them, one by one. 

Price

The first point of difference that we must mention is the price of the two gemstones. Lab-grown diamonds are much more expensive than moissanites.

Lab diamonds are not easily available whereas moissanites are far simpler to produce. This creates a difference in their prices.

Unlike lab diamonds, moissanites do not require costly chemicals or special equipment in order to be created. 

Another aspect that creates such a huge difference in their price is the fact lab diamonds require heat to be formed, whereas moissanites do not.

The heat treatment is what makes the lab diamonds hard and consequently, more valuable. 

Appearance

When it comes to appearance, most people prefer lab diamonds over moissanites since they are far more popular.

However, in reality, a moissanite gemstone sparkles much more than diamonds.

Moissanites have a greater dispersion than diamonds and this allows them to glow more noticeably and more colorfully. 

Lab diamonds are not as fiery-looking as moissanites. Even though they do give off a lot of sparkles, they aren’t nearly as colorful as moissanites.

They are more tame-looking with no spectral colors to give off. 

Availability

With regards to the availability of both the gemstones, lab diamonds aren’t as easily accessible as moissanites.

Lab diamonds are difficult to produce and demand specific and sophisticated equipment in order to be formed.

On the other hand, moissanites are easily produced and also do not demand heat.  

Durability

Diamonds are the hardest substance on the earth. And since the chemical makeup of natural and artificially grown diamonds is the same, lab diamonds are equally hard and this makes them very durable.

They score 10 on the Mohs scale (The Mohs hardness scale is a test that evaluates a mineral’s scratch resistance).  

On the other hand, moissanites score 9.25 on the Mohs scale, which makes them almost as hard and durable as lab diamonds.

Despite being somewhat lower than a lab diamond, it’s still a very good score, implying that just about any moissanite wedding ring performs brilliantly as a daily item of jewelry.

Color

Lab diamonds are available in a wide range of colors. From being colorless to available in red, blue, and purple, lab diamonds are great for people who desire a bit of color in their jewelry. 

On the other hand, when naturally formed, moissanites are available mostly in the colorless or yellowish-green form.

When artificially formed, they are often coated with blue or green to give them color.

However, in recent years, thanks to emerging technological developments and innovations, cutting-edge experts, such as those at Charles & Colvard, have begun to manufacture new, colorless Moissanite gemstones for us.

Clarity

Essentially, clarity is the presence of imperfections (or the absence of it) in gemstones. Compared to lab diamonds, moissanites have better clarity.

Lab diamonds tend to be more cloudy owing to the imperfections inside them. This is not to say that you do not get lab diamonds with flawless clarity. 

There are different ranges of clarity including flawless, internally flawless, and Very Very Slightly (VVS) flawless. However, with more clarity, lab diamonds rise in price.

The moissanite choice makes it so much smoother to choose a centerpiece stone without needing to sift through selections that do not have any obvious faults to the human eye, which could be a time-consuming as well as a laborious process.

Weight

Moissanite is lighter than diamonds, which makes it more convenient for everyday wear. The weight of lab diamonds varies between 1.2 to 2.0 grams per carat.

Whereas, the weight of a moissanite gemstone is only 0.5 grams per carat. 

Moissanites and diamonds have distinct comparative weights due to their differing compositions. Moissanite is approximately 10 percent lighter compared to diamond.

Because carat is a weight measurement, not a size measurement (as it is sometimes misunderstood), a 1ct perfect round cut diamond measures 6.5mm in diameter, but the very same diameter in a moissanite stone will be 0.88ct.

Quality

When it comes to quality, both the gemstones go hand-in-hand. However, as mentioned, moissanites tend to have better clarity than lab diamonds which somewhat raises their quality.

Choosing the quality for moissanites is easier than lab diamonds. 

Which One Should I Choose?

Although both the gemstones have their fair share of similarities and differences that make them unique in their own right, it often becomes difficult for couples to choose between the two of them.

Hence, below we have narrowed the criteria for both gemstones so that you can make a better choice. 

Who Should Go For Moissanite?

Couples seeking:

  • A center gemstone that is not diamond
  • A very sparkling gemstone that does not resemble a diamond
  • A long-lasting option for their wedding ring
  • To pay a minuscule fraction of the price of a natural diamond

These are the benefits you get when choosing moissanite 

Who Should Go For Lab Diamonds?

Couples seeking:

  • The hardest and long-lasting option for a gemstone for their wedding ring
  • The precise radiance of a natural diamond (nobody will be able to question or understand the difference between the two)
  • A genuine gemstone with reliable accreditation
  • The personal satisfaction and brownie points of possessing a “diamond ring”
  • To save between 50 and 70 percent off the cost of natural diamonds

These are the advantages you can expect if you choose a lab diamond over moissanite. 

Moissanite is an excellent option for a wedding ring for several reasons.

It is a very magnificent gemstone that offers excellent value while also being incredibly durable, ethical, as well as sustainable.

They are a lovely substitute for diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds are another excellent option. Diamonds are a timeless choice for a wedding ring, and they have extraordinary brightness.

Moissanites as well as lab-grown diamonds both make stunning wedding rings, and whatever gemstone you pick, you will be making a wonderful choice. 

Finally, the decision between moissanite and diamonds is yours; perhaps you are thinking of a different stone entirely, such as emerald, sapphire, or ruby!

Whichever you choose, ensure it is a piece of jewelry you adore, since your choice must be the one that provides you the greatest joy.

Final Thoughts: Moissanite vs Lab Diamond

We are lucky to live in a world where we have a plethora of options. So, how you choose to spend your funds is a simple method of expressing your beliefs and ideals.

When determining which gemstones to use in your jewelry, you are no longer confined to natural gems that may be linked to ethical and environmental issues.

There are, thankfully, ethical solutions to purchasing natural diamonds and those include lab diamonds and moissanite.

Yet, it still becomes difficult to distinguish between the two and come to a decision.

For this very reason, we have compiled the many similarities and differences between the two gemstones so that you can make a choice that you won’t regret.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that from me here on EarthWeb.