Diamond vs. Moissanite: Why Diamonds Are Worth the Money

By Michael Fried

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Consider the lasting value and beauty of a gemstone before purchase. Diamonds and Moissanites are distinctly different in brilliance, hardness, composition and color. For a high-quality, excellently priced diamond, contact us today for a complementary search and expert advice.

While Moissanite and Diamond have somewhat similar appearances from afar, the two stones differ significantly in several areas like brilliance, fire, durability and value. You can find a Moissanite ring like this on Amazon for a fraction of the cost of a diamond ring, but it’s important to know the main differences—and in this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know.

What is Moissanite?

First discovered by Henri Moissan, a French scientist, Moissanite was originally found in a crater formed by a fallen meteor. Different than a normal diamond, Moissanite is made of silicon carbide. Because the natural Moissanite discovered by Moissan in 1893 is exceptionally rare, the Moissanite sold today is produced by laboratories. Made to seem like diamonds, Moissanite varies from Diamond in both composition and appearance.

Diamond vs. Moissanite: Price

A diamond’s price and value is dependent on its 4 C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat). These elements work together to form the beauty and brilliance of the stone.

On the other hand, most Moissanites tend to cost the same price, except when two stones differ in size and type of Moissanite material—enhanced or unenhanced.

While price differs between Diamond and Moissanite, it’s essential to realize that the features, quality and beauty of Diamonds and Moissanites differ significantly. Just because the price is lower, it does not mean you’re getting a better deal or a better value.

To outline the price difference of Moissanite vs. diamond side by side, we’ve compiled the below chart. Although the prices differ, the lasting value and actual beauty of a Moissanite vs. diamond is incomparable.

Note: Moissanite weighs approximately 15% less than Diamonds. Therefore, an accurate comparison of price is not possible. Instead of using Carat weight, Moissanites are priced on their size in millimeters. We have estimated a close comparison below.

Size (in Carats)Diamond PriceSize (closest equivalent to Carats)Moissanite Price
0.50$1,0605mm$520
0.63$1,5205.5mm$610
0.75$2,2206mm$680
1.0$3,8906.5mm$850

Diamond vs. Moissanite: Color

Diamonds are graded on a GIA Color scale from D to Z, while Moissanites are not categorized by their color. Moissanites are, however, not colorless and resemble the K grade on the GIA Diamond scale.

When under certain lights, yellow and green tints can be seen in Moissanites. The larger the Moissanite, the easier it is to notice yellow, gray or green tints. At large sizes, it’s generally easy to notice the stark difference from a Diamond.

Nearly colorless diamonds, ranging from D to J on the GIA scale, will contain no hints of yellow or gray tinting. Color is one element that make Diamonds sparkling white, and it is hard to mistake a Moissanite for the clear, natural beauty of a Diamond.

Diamond vs. Moissanite: Hardness

The Mohs scale is used to measure a gemstone’s hardness—or in other words, its durability.

Ranging from 1 as the softest to 10 as the hardest, the Mohs scale indicates a distinction between Moissanite and Diamond. On the Mohs scale, a Moissanite measures in at 9.25, while a Diamond reaches the scale maximum at 10.

As the hardest known mineral, Diamonds are incredibly durable and resilient—and perfect for everyday wear and engagement rings.

To gain perspective on mineral hardness, we display the Mohs scale below. As the chart demonstrates, Diamonds are harder than some very durable minerals such as steel and Tungsten carbide.

The Mohs Scale of Hardness

HardnessSubstance or mineral
>10Nanocrystalline diamond (hyperdiamond, ultrahard fullerite)
10Diamond
9.5–10Boron
9–9.5Moissanite
9Tungsten carbide
8.5Chromium
8Cubic zirconia
7.5–8Emerald
7Quartz
6–7Silicon
6Titanium
5.5Glass
5Apatite (tooth enamel)
4–4.5Steel
4Iron
3.5Platinum
3Copper
2.5–3Gold
2–2.5Halite (rock salt)
2Calcium
1.5Lead
1Talc
0.5–0.6Potassium
0.2–0.3Rubidium
Source: Wikipedia

Diamond vs. Moissanite: Brilliance

When you see a diamond sparkle, you’re experiencing its ability to bend and refract light. As light strikes the pavilions (the angled surfaces on the lower half of the diamond), it bounces and is refracted up through the diamond’s table (the top, flat surface) to your eye. When this occurs, it’s called brilliance—a remarkable quality of diamonds.

How Light reflects through a diamond

Moissanites, on the other hand, give off a different type of sparkle. Their facets are cut and formed differently, causing less white light refraction than a diamond. While Moissanites do create sparkle, it is not as clear and vibrant as those of a Diamond.

In addition to diamond’s signature brilliance, the gemstones also emit fire, which is the reflection of colored, or rainbow light. A moissanite also gives off a vibrant colored light reflection. In some cases and under certain light, the moissanite emits extensive color dazzling—which some people don’t prefer.

While relatively noticeable when looking at a moissanite vs. diamond side by side, the difference in brilliance and fire is increasingly obvious with larger sizes.

Can Moissanite Be Considered a Diamond?

By both experts and non-experts, Moissanites should not be considered the same as a Diamond. For many reasons, from substance to brilliance to color, the two are entirely different gemstones.

Diamonds are naturally found, formed of the hardest material, and possess extraordinary beauty and value. Moissanites are almost always lab-created and made from silicon carbide.

While from a distance the Diamond and Moissanite might appear somewhat similar, they are noticeably distinct even to a non-expert’s eye.

Conclusion

Though Moissanites and Diamonds are unmistakably different, the Moissanite is an option for those looking for a gemstone at a lower price point. Because we are Diamond experts and not Moissanite experts, we unfortunately aren’t able to recommend a Moissanite retailer.

If you’d like to consider a high-quality diamond at an excellent price—that will maintain its beauty and value over the long run—contact our experts today. We can begin a complementary search for you and walk you through everything you need to know. We’ll keep your budget, desires and concerns in mind.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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