Many people believe that diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, and their endurance is one reason people choose them for engagement rings. The thought is that only diamonds can stand up to the wear and tear of daily use. However, there is another stone out there with a 9.25 Mohs hardness rating that is almost as strong as diamonds but is free of many of the issues that can make diamond buying a difficult ethical and financial choice. It’s important to understand Engagement-ring shopping: What you need to know before you buy that rock.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is both a naturally occurring and a lab-created substance. It is a silicon carbide substance that does not naturally occur on Earth under normal conditions. However, it was created on Earth when a meteorite crashed into Arizona, leaving the crystals. These crystals were discovered by Henri Moissan when he examined rock samples from the crater located in Canyon Diablo. Similar crystals have been found in other meteor crash locations, but can also be created in laboratory conditions. To find out more about moissanite's origin story read here.
The 4 Cs
When looking for a traditional diamond engagement ring, people refer to the four Cs. They are often described as the key to successful engagement ring shopping and include what you need to know before you buy that rock. They refer to cut, color, clarity, and carat.
The cut refers to the shape of the stone, the color to the color of the stone, the clarity to the number of inclusions or flaws in the stone, and the carat to the weight of the stone. Moissanites can be cut in the same shapes as diamonds.
Clarity refers to whether flaws are present in the stone. Because they are lab-grown, these stones usually have fewer flaws or inclusions. If they do have flaws, they are often microscopic. This means moissanites often look like flawless diamond stones.
In terms of color, moissanite may be more yellow than a perfect diamond, but the difference may not be enough to cause a visual difference. Perfectly colorless diamonds have a D rating, but diamonds to J rating are considered near-colorless. Traditional moissanite had a color similar to K colored diamonds with a faint yellow or green-yellow hue, but growers have been able to increase clarity and modern stones can replicate the color of an E rated diamond.
According to RealtimeCampaign.Com, there is no direct comparison of carat weight for diamonds and moissanite because the stones have different weights. However, most moissanite retailers like Gema & Co can provide the diamond equivalent of the stone. Therefore, it is possible to purchase the diamond equivalent of certain carat weight when buying moissanite.
One area where diamonds and moissanite cannot compare is reflectivity. That is because the internal structure of the moissanite crystal is more reflective than the internal structure of a diamond. This means that in a side-by-side comparison of otherwise identical moissanite and diamond gemstones, in terms of size, cut, color, and clarity, the moissanite piece would have more sparkle.
Is Moissanite the Right Choice?
People choose moissanite as an engagement ring stone for several reasons. It is almost as hard as a diamond and certainly durable enough for everyday wear. It looks very similar to a fine diamond. Because it is lab-created, it is much more affordable than a diamond and is also free from conflict issues or questionable mining practices. People also love the origin story of a gemstone that was created in the stars.