Diamonds are undoubtedly a girl's best friends and till recently, this precious stone was not exposed to any kind of competition as far as its value, romantic implications, and importance in specific occasions are concerned. However, along came competition in the form of moissanite and its various gemological characteristics loomed large over the future of original diamonds. Before we embark upon uncovering the similarities and differences between these mineral based gemstones, let's get to know each of these contenders a little more closely. Before we proceed, let me disclose one interesting fact about moissanite - most of them that we get today are synthetic as they are artificially synthesized in laboratories, owing to the extreme rarity of its naturally occurring mother mineral.
Moissanite is also known as silicon carbide, as the former is a synthesized form of the latter. Silicon carbide was first artificially synthesized in the laboratory by Jons Jacob Berzelius, to produce this gemstone. The naturally occurring, extremely rare mineral moissanite, was first discovered by Henri Moissan, after which it is named. It is one of the hardest known substance. It was first produced as a substitute and was meant to replace diamond as an abrasive agent and a cutting material. Its crystalline characteristics are also similar to the latter, as the covalent bonds that hold it together are surprisingly similar.
Diamond, as the majority of us know, is a carbon allotrope, which is the hardest known substance on Earth, and is mostly used in the jewelry as a precious stone and is industrially used as an excellent abrasive and cutting agent. Its most unique quality as a gemstone is its fire which enhances its ornamental appeal and is attributed to its heightened ability to disperse light rays. Moving on to moissanite vs diamond, let's see if the former can really substitute the latter in terms of aesthetic appeal, industrial utility and - the biggest point of concern - cost.
|Points of Distinction||Moissanite||Diamond|
|Strength||Ranks 9.25 on Mohs scale for hardness||Ranks 10 on Mohs scale for hardness|
|Brilliance||Between a refractive index range of 2.65-2.69||refractive index of 2.42.|
|Fire/ Ability to Disperse Light||Dispersion of 0.104||Dispersion of 0.04333|
|Color/ Mineral Purity||Absolutely pure white moissanite does not occur, neither can be created.||Although rare, but pure white diamonds do occur.|
|Girdle (edge surrounding a cut stone's crown)||Always polished||Usually not polished|
All this means that although moissanite is more brilliant and has more fire, though diamond is still the hardest substance of all and it still occurs in the pure, white form which indicates an absolute absence of metallic impurities. Now, as far as the cost difference between is concerned, a moissanite jewelry set would cost you only about 10% of what an identical set of diamond jewelry would cost you. Although, they are as beautiful as the latter. Unless you are a qualified gemologist or a veteran jeweler, you will never be able to make out the difference between the two!
Making the Right Choice
Well, that depends upon a lot of things - your budget, your taste, the occasion. If you want to dazzle at that oncoming social gathering, but are not comfortable spending a fortune for it, then moissanite jewelry is just the thing for you. Unless you tell anyone, no one's gonna guess that those aren't diamonds that you are wearing, as it does not contain many of the evident flaws carried by most synthetic stones. However, and this is my personal opinion, if you're shopping for a rock to wear on a very personal (read intimate) occasion, such as your engagement or wedding, nothing equals the romance of a diamond! It's more than the rock itself, it's about all those romantic and passionate associations that it comes with, which makes it so special during these events.
So, that concludes the various aspects of the debate on their difference. Being cheap substitutes and having a strikingly similar appearance (though packing more brilliance), moissanites are swiftly garnering a lot of popularity. However, that doesn't threaten the popularity or preference for diamonds in any way, as there are those moments in our lives which never seem to be complete, unless they get reflected upon the facets of a well cut diamond.