What is Moissanite? Understanding the Diamond Alternative

What is Moissanite? Understanding the Diamond Alternative

When it comes to choosing a gemstone for your engagement ring or fine jewelry, diamonds have long been the go-to choice. But have you ever considered moissanite? This diamond alternative has been gaining popularity due to its affordability, durability, and unique properties. In this blog post, we'll explore the world of moissanite and dive into its history, composition, and ethical and environmental benefits!

Short Summary

  • Moissanite is a near-colorless gemstone with higher light refraction than diamonds, offering an affordable alternative to traditional engagement rings.

  • Moissanite has superior brilliance and fire, affordability, and resistance to discoloration compared to other diamond alternatives such as cubic zirconia or lab-created diamonds.

  • Caring for moissanite gems requires regular cleaning with mild soap and warm water and removing jewelry before bathing.

Unveiling Moissanite: The Diamond Alternative

Moissanite is a near-colorless gemstone composed of silicon carbide, making it durable and sparkly. Henri Moissan was the scientist who first discovered the natural form of it in a meteor crater. This was an incredible milestone in his scientific career. However, natural moissanite is extremely rare, so the majority of moissanite used for jewelry today is lab-created.

Moissanite is often referred to as a diamond simulant, which means it has a similar visual aesthetic to a diamond but is not a genuine diamond. In terms of appearance, moissanite has a higher light refraction than diamonds, giving it more brilliance and a unique rainbow flash effect. Regarding jewelry, moissanite is a popular choice for engagement rings, as it offers a similar look to diamonds at a more affordable price.

While moissanite is a beautiful gemstone in its own right, it's essential to understand that it has some key differences from diamonds. These differences include variations in clarity, color, price, and sparkle. However, for budget-conscious shoppers, moissanite is a superior alternative that still delivers the fire and brilliance of a diamond without breaking the bank.

History and Discovery of Moissanite

Moissanite's history dates back to its discovery by French scientist Henri Moissan in 1893. Moissan found naturally occurring moissanite in a meteor crater, and due to its rarity, this precious stone is considered one of the rarest natural minerals found in nature. Given its scarcity, natural moissanite is virtually impossible to use for jewelry, leading to the development of lab-created moissanite.

The first laboratory-cultivated moissanite gemstone was produced in the 1980s. The production process involves a proprietary thermal growing process, taking approximately 2-3 months to craft a single moissanite stone.

Today, most moissanite stones used in jewelry are lab-created, offering a more accessible and environmentally friendly alternative to mined diamonds.

Moissanite Qualities: How It Compares to Diamonds

For those considering moissanite as an alternative to diamonds, it's essential to understand how these two gemstones compare in terms of their qualities. In the following sections, we'll delve into moissanite's brilliance, hardness, and durability and see how it stacks up against diamonds.

Moissanite Brilliance

One of the most significant differences between moissanite and diamonds is their brilliance. Moissanite boasts higher light refraction than diamond, giving it more brilliance and making it less prone to collecting dirt over time. Its refractive index is 2.65, while that of diamonds is 2.42. This higher refractive index results in a fiery flash of colors when exposed to sunlight, setting moissanite apart from diamonds in terms of luminosity.

The difference in brilliance and fire between moissanite and diamonds can be noticeable when comparing them side by side, particularly for larger sizes and under certain lighting conditions. That said, many people find the increased sparkle and unique rainbow light reflection of moissanite to be desirable, especially considering the lower price point than diamonds.

For those looking for less brilliance (sometimes called fire), moissanite can be cut in different ways to more closely mimic diamond. For example, step cuts like asscher and emerald have a very subtle sparkle. Step-cut moissanite won’t display much more brilliance and fire than a diamond of the same shape.

Moissanite Hardness

In terms of hardness, moissanite is an impressive contender. With a hardness rating of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, it is nearly as hard as diamonds, which rank a 10 on the scale. This hardness makes moissanite highly durable and resistant to scratching, ensuring its beauty will last for generations with proper care.

Comparing moissanite to other popular gemstones, it has a higher Mohs score than rubies and sapphires (both at 9) and emeralds (at 7). This superior hardness makes moissanite an excellent choice for engagement rings and other jewelry that will experience regular wear.

Moissanite Durability

In addition to its hardness, moissanite is known for its durability. Its crystalline structure makes it less prone to dirt accumulation over time, ensuring it maintains its sparkle and beauty. Furthermore, moissanite is incredibly resistant to breakage and chipping, making it a reliable choice for those seeking a long-lasting gemstone.

While moissanite is an excellent choice for everyday wear, remember it should be cared for. Chemicals and extreme temperatures can still risk your stone's quality. Also, dirt and oil buildup are unavoidable over time, so cleaning your gemstone regularly with mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft toothbrush is a good idea.

Moissanite can endure for generations with proper care, making it an excellent investment for those seeking a beautiful and durable diamond alternative.

Moissanite vs. Other Diamond Alternatives

When it comes to diamond alternatives, moissanite is not the only option. Other popular alternatives include cubic zirconia and lab-created diamonds. However, moissanite stands out for several reasons. Unlike cubic zirconia, moissanite maintains a clean appearance over time and exhibits a higher refractive index, contributing to its superior brilliance and fire.

Lab-created diamonds are another option to consider, and while they share many of the same ethical and environmental benefits as moissanite, they tend to be much more expensive. Ultimately, the choice between moissanite and other diamond alternatives will depend on personal preferences and budget, but moissanite's unique properties and affordability make it a strong contender.

Moissanite Jewelry: Engagement Rings and Beyond

Moissanite's versatility extends beyond engagement rings, making it a popular choice for various types of jewelry. Moissanite can be incorporated into various designs and styles, from earrings and necklaces to bracelets and brooches.

One of the advantages of moissanite is the availability of many unique cuts and shapes, like kite, triangle, old mine, shield, and more, in addition to more traditional cuts. Moissanite can also be made in many different colors and shades like champagne, canary yellow, blues, grays, etc.

moissanite colors

This variety in cuts and colors makes for endless customization options and ensures that there's a moissanite piece for everyone.

Ethical and Environmental Benefits of Moissanite

In addition to its beauty and affordability, moissanite offers ethical and environmental benefits, making it an attractive option for conscious consumers. As a lab-created gemstone, moissanite is a conflict-free alternative to mined diamonds, ensuring that your jewelry is not associated with negative social or environmental impacts.

Furthermore, the production process for moissanite is significantly less resource-intensive than mining for natural diamonds, resulting in a lower environmental impact. By choosing moissanite for your jewelry, you can enjoy the sparkle and beauty of a diamond-like gemstone while making a more environmentally friendly and ethical choice.

Caring for Your Moissanite Gems

To keep your moissanite jewelry looking its best, it's essential to care for it properly. Clean your moissanite gems regularly using mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft toothbrush, avoiding harsh chemicals that could damage the stone.

Additionally, while moissanite is safe to wear in the shower, repeated exposure to soap, shampoo, and conditioner may cause a build-up of oils on the surface of your ring, so it's a good idea to remove your jewelry before bathing.

With proper care, your moissanite gems will maintain their sparkle and beauty for a lifetime. You can find more advice and tips in our jewelry care guide.


In conclusion, moissanite is an attractive diamond alternative with a unique combination of affordability, durability, and ethical and environmental benefits. Its brilliance, hardness, and versatility make it an excellent choice for engagement rings and other jewelry, and its customizable nature ensures that there's a moissanite piece for everyone. So whether you're considering an engagement ring or simply looking to add some sparkle to your jewelry collection, give moissanite a closer look – it might just be the perfect gemstone for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is moissanite as good as a diamond?

Overall, moissanite is just as good as a diamond. It's optically comparable, and with the exception of being able to scratch from a diamond, it is a very durable gemstone. Therefore, it should not be dismissed as an option when looking for quality gemstones.

Are moissanite diamonds fake?

No, moissanite is not a fake diamond. It is an entirely different gemstone that is naturally occurring, albeit very rare, and is popular for fine jewelry due to its durability and beauty.

Therefore, moissanite diamonds are not fake.

Is moissanite a real gem?

Yes, moissanite is a real gemstone that was discovered by Henri Moissan and has since become a popular alternative to diamonds. Its distinct sparkle and brilliance make it a great option for anyone looking for an affordable but beautiful jewelry stone.

Moissanite is a great choice for those who want the look of a diamond without the hefty price tag. It is also a great option for those who want to make a statement with their jewelry. The unique sparkle.

← Older Post Newer Post →