Decoding The 4 C’s of Moissanite Grading: Color, Clarity, Cut, & Carat

Decoding The 4 C’s of Moissanite Grading: Color, Clarity, Cut, & Carat

Moissanite, a highly sought-after gemstone, has gained popularity for its striking appearance and affordability compared to natural diamonds. But, how can you ensure that you’re purchasing top-quality moissanite for your jewelry? Understanding the grading system for this gemstone is crucial. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the moissanite grading system and how it compares to diamonds. Discover the factors that affect its quality, cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions when buying moissanite jewelry.




  • Moissanite grading is based on the 4Cs of diamond grading, with some adjustments due to its unique properties (different weight and lab-grown precision)
  • It is graded using the GIA scale for color (from D to Z) and typically has a clarity grade ranging from ‘Very Slightly Included’ (VS).
  • For an engagement ring, ideal moissanite grades are colorless D-F with FL to VS1 clarity and Excellent cut.

The Basics of Moissanite Grading

Moissanite grading is primarily based on the same 4Cs of diamond grading:

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Cut
  4. Carat weight

However, there are some differences due to moissanite’s unique properties.

Moissanite vs. Natural Diamonds

The primary difference between moissanite and natural diamonds lies in their color grading. While diamonds range from colorless to brownish and fancy yellow, moissanite colors span the rainbow. Moreover, moissanite generally displays superior clarity compared to diamonds, a characteristic attributed to its laboratory creation.

Being a lab-grown gemstone, moissanite provides a cost-effective and eco-friendly substitute for natural diamonds. The cut grade chart for moissanite is based on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale, taking into account the proportion, symmetry, and polish of the stone. These factors are essential when looking to create moissanite jewelry with optimal brilliance and fire.


The 4Cs of Diamond Grading Applied to Moissanite

The 4Cs of diamond grading are applied to moissanite, with some adjustments to account for its unique properties. Here is how moissanite is graded:

  1. Color: Although the standard GIA diamond color grading scale does not apply to moissanite, its colors are graded based on a similar scale, with a range of undertones.
  2. Clarity: This refers to the purity of the stone and presence of blemishes visible to the naked eye
  3. Cut: This factor refers to the quality of the diamond's cut, not the shape or size (although these can be interchangeable), and how well the stone is faceted, proportioned, and polished. This also determines how the diamond interacts with light.
  4. Carat weight: Moissanite is measured in carats, just like diamonds, however you have to adjust for a natural difference in weight


Moissanite color grading uses the GIA scale, ranging from D (colorless) to Z (tinted yellow). Colorless (DEF) and near-colorless (GHI) stones are typically the most sought after and therefore valuable. The yellow tint in moissanite becomes increasingly apparent as one moves up the grading scale into the J and K range.



This color to value spectrum works quite interestingly in the world of Diamonds. The ideal diamond is crystal-clear, devoid of any color, making it a rare and highly sought-after gem stone. But there is category of diamonds known as "Fancy Colored Diamonds" which tend to demand even higher prices.

For instance, while Rihanna's adoration for "yellow diamonds in the sky" highlights the beauty of yellow diamonds, it is the blue diamonds that are exceedingly rare. The likelihood of encountering a naturally blue diamond is about one in 200,000. Even among these rare finds, most blue diamonds exhibit a very faint coloration. The rarity escalates exponentially when it comes to finding a diamond with a deep, rich blue hue. Such diamonds, akin to the famous Heart of the Ocean diamond portrayed in the film "Titanic," command exorbitant prices due to their exceptional rarity and stunning appearance.



For those of you trying to avoid a lifetime of savings on a single stone, you’re in luck. Lab-grown moissanite stones can be created in an exciting palette of colors at affordable prices, far beyond what you find in diamonds. For instance, we offer moissanite in vibrant shades such as canary yellow, champagne, dark and light blue, dark green, gray, and even black. And for those seeking an even broader spectrum via other gemstones, we have lab-grown Sapphire available in 17 different colors.


Moissanite clarity grading depends on the quantity and kind of imperfections found within the stone. Internal flaws are termed inclusions, while surface irregularities are referred to as blemishes. A gemologist, equipped with a loupe providing 10x magnification, is crucial for accurately determining the clarity grade. Factors such as the size, nature, number, location, and visibility of inclusions/blemishes contribute to the final grade.

The clarity scale for diamonds ranges from Flawless to Included, with various grades in between, such as VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, and SI2. Stones falling under the slightly included category are classified from "very very slight inclusions" to "slight inclusions," often detectable by the naked eye.

Moissanite’s clarity grade range tends to align with the ‘Very Slightly Included’ (VS) category on the GIA scale, a level of clarity less than 10% of faceted diamonds share. Clarity grading in moissanite is similar to diamonds, with the main difference being that moissanite typically has fewer and less noticeable inclusions due to its lab-created nature.


The cut grading of moissanite hinges on elements like symmetry, polish, and proportions, with the highest sparkle emanating from an excellent cut. The cut grade of moissanite significantly affects its appearance by influencing the manner in which light passes through the stone and produces sparkle.

Moissanite’s cut grade chart ranges from Excellent down to Poor. An Excellent cut moissanite is a stone that has been cut with precision to meet the stringent quality standards of symmetry and depth, ensuring the highest levels of light performance. It exhibits excellent light reflection and refraction properties, thereby producing maximum brilliance and sparkle. The specifications may include a specific number of facets and a specific cut style, such as a round brilliant cut or a princess cut.

A Poorly cut moissanite exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Reduced brilliance, sparkle, and fire
  • Cloudy and dull appearance
  • Lack of desired shine and sparkle
  • Improperly aligned facets, affecting the stone’s ability to reflect light effectively
  • Pointed culet, negatively impacting its overall appearance.

Carat Weight & Size

Moissanite’s carat weight is quantified in millimeters, and its size is compared to natural diamonds using the diamond equivalent weight (DEW) measure. This method is used because moissanite is approximately 15% lighter than a diamond. A 1 carat moissanite would appear larger than a 1 carat diamond.

While diamonds’ price/carat tends to increase substantially as carat size increases, you can often find much larger moissanites at incredibly reasonable prices. This is again because they are lab-grown. Larger diamonds have easier to identify inclusions and color becomes more noticeable, thus high quality large diamonds are much rarer at higher carat weights.

Choosing The Right Moissanite For You

Understanding the moissanite grading system is crucial for making informed decisions when purchasing moissanite jewelry. By considering the 4Cs of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, you can select the ideal moissanite stone for your engagement ring or other jewelry pieces.

For engagement rings, we recommended the following grading:

  • Color grade: D-E-F, which is classified as colorless and has a similar hue to diamonds (or opt for a colored stone like gray or champagne)
  • Clarity grade: FL to VS1
  • Cut: Excellent for maximum sparkle

With its affordability, environmental friendliness, and stunning appearance, moissanite is an excellent choice for those seeking a beautiful and durable alternative to natural diamonds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is moissanite a diamond?

Moissanite is a completely different precious stone than diamond made of silicon carbide, however to the naked eye it is difficult to distinguish from real diamonds. It has more fire and brilliance than any other gemstone, resulting in more sparkle, with greater fire and colored flashes than diamonds. They are nearly as hard as diamond and durable enough to last a lifetime at fractions of the price.

How does moissanite compare to natural diamonds in terms of the 4Cs?

Moissanite is graded according to the same 4Cs as natural diamonds, though it can have subtle tints of yellow, green or brown and generally have higher clarity due to its lab-created nature.

What is the GIA scale for moissanite color grading?

The GIA scale for moissanite color grading ranges from D (colorless moissanite) to Z (tinted moissanite), with D-F being colorless, G-I near-colorless and J-K slightly tinted.

How is moissanite carat weight measured?

Moissanite carat weight is measured in millimeters, rather than grams as with diamonds, and its size is compared to natural diamonds using the Diamond Equivalent Weight (DEW) system to account for its lower density.

What factors affect moissanite cut quality?

Cut quality for moissanite is influenced by the optical properties, shape and design of the gemstone, with the round brilliant cut providing the ideal option to maximize sparkle and fire.

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