moissanite vs lab diamond

Moissanite Vs Lab Diamond: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing the right engagement ring can be a daunting task. With so many different options on the market, it's hard to know where to start. But two of the most popular choices are moissanite and lab-grown diamonds. So, how do you choose between the two? Let's take a closer look at moissanite vs. lab diamond to help you decide.

Understanding The Moissanite

Moissanite is a type of naturally-occurring silicon carbide crystal. It was first discovered in 1893 by French chemist Henri Moissan, who found tiny crystals of the material in a meteor crater in Arizona. Today, moissanite is often found in abrasive products like sandpaper and cutting tools.

However, it has also gained popularity as a jeweler's stone due to its exceptional hardness (second only to diamond) and its high refractive index (meaning it sparkles more than most other stones). One downside to moissanite is that it is not as "colorless" as diamond, meaning it may have a slightly yellow or greenish tinge.

A Close Look At Lab-Created Diamonds

Lab-created diamonds are manufactured diamonds grown in a laboratory using high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) synthesis or chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Lab-created diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds but typically cost 20-30% less.

One advantage of lab-created diamonds over natural diamonds is that they can be produced in large quantities with few impurities. This means that you're more likely to find a "perfect" lab-created diamond than you are a natural diamond.

Moissanite Vs. Lab Diamond: Key Differences

moissanite vs lab diamond

There are also some key differences that you'll want to keep in mind before making your purchase. Let's break down the key differences between moissanite and lab-grown diamonds so that you can make an informed decision about which stone is right for you.

  1. Naturally Occurring And Controlled Environment.

Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment using cutting-edge technology. On the other hand, moissanite is a naturally occurring stone mined from the earth.

  1. Chemical Composition

Lab-grown diamonds are chemically identical to natural diamonds. While similar to diamonds in many ways, moissanite has a different chemical composition.

  1. Costs And Hardness

Lab-grown diamonds are typically less expensive than natural diamonds. Moissanite is also less expensive than diamonds, but it should be noted that moissanite is not as hard as diamond.

What's The Catch?

Moissanite is a diamond simulant, meaning it is made to look like a diamond but is not one. It is composed of silicon carbide and is nearly as hard as a diamond (9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness, compared to 10 for diamonds). 

Lab-grown diamonds are what they sound like—diamonds grown in a laboratory rather than mined from the earth. Because they are artificial, they can be created with specific characteristics (such as size, color, and clarity).

Which Gemstone To Choose?

Choosing between moissanite and lab-grown diamonds comes down to personal preference. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to mined diamonds that still has brilliance and fire, moissanite may be the right choice for you.

But suppose you're looking for an eco-friendly alternative chemically identical to mined diamonds. In that case, lab-grown diamonds may be a better choice. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which type of diamond is right for your engagement ring. Here’s a quick guide to keeping your engagement ring from spinning!

The Pros And Cons Of Moissanite And Lab Diamonds

Moissanite Pros:

  • Moissanite is cheaper than a diamond. If you're on a budget, moissanite is a great option.
  • Moissanite is more durable than a diamond. With a hardness of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, moissanite is one of the toughest materials on earth. This means it's less likely to chip or scratch than a diamond.
  • Moissanite is eco-friendly. Because it's created in a lab, there's no need to mine moissanite from the earth. This makes it a more sustainable choice than diamonds.

Moissanite Cons:

  • Moissanite isn't as sparkling as a diamond. While moissanite does have brilliance and fire, it doesn't have the same "sparkle" as a diamond.
  • Moissanite can turn yellow over time. While this isn't an issue for everyone, some prefer diamonds' colorless look.
  • Moissanite is less valuable than diamonds. Diamonds may be a better choice if you're looking for an investment piece.

Lab-Grown Diamond Pros:

  • Lab-grown diamonds are environmentally friendly. Like moissanite, lab-grown diamonds are created in a lab, so there's no need to mine them from the earth.
  • Lab-grown diamonds are chemically identical to mined diamonds. This means they have the same physical and optical properties as mined diamonds.
  • Lab-grown diamonds cost less than mined diamonds. Because they're created in a lab, lab-grown diamonds don't come with the high price tag that mined diamonds do.

Lab-Grown Diamond Cons:

  • Lab-grown diamonds aren't as sparkly as natural diamonds. This is because most lab-grown diamonds have fewer inclusions than natural diamonds, affecting how light reflects off them.
  • Lab-grown diamonds may not be available in all colors. However, this may not be an issue for everyone as most people want a colorless or near-colorless diamond.

How Long Does It Take For Lab Diamonds To Grow?

The time it takes for lab diamonds to grow depends on the size of the diamond being grown. Smaller diamonds can take as little as two weeks, while larger ones may take a few months.

moissanite vs lab diamond

The process of growing diamonds in a lab is not identical to the way they are formed in nature, so the time required can be different.

Diamonds in Nature

Natural diamonds form deep within the earth under immense heat and pressure. Over millions of years, these conditions allow carbon atoms to bond together and crystallize into a diamond. Once formed, diamonds can be brought to the surface through volcanic activity or mined directly from kimberlite and lamproite pipes.

Lab Grown Diamonds

Most lab-grown diamonds are "grown" using High-Pressure High, Temperature (HPHT) methods, which recreate the conditions needed to form natural diamonds. A small diamond "seed" is placed in a chamber with carbon gas and exposed to intense heat and pressure.

  • How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Manufactured?

Over several weeks or months, the carbon atoms bond around the seed and grow into a larger diamond. Lab-grown diamonds can also be created using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), which involves depositing thin layers of carbon onto a substrate in a low-pressure chamber.

CVD is typically used to create smaller diamonds or augment HPHT-grown diamonds with additional layers of carbon. Most lab-grown diamonds produced today are used for industrial purposes, but many gem-quality stones are also being created.

Some lab-grown diamonds are indistinguishable from natural stones that even trained experts cannot tell apart without special equipment.

Back To You

So, which type of diamond is right for you, moissanite vs. lab diamond? Whichever type of diamond you choose, we wish you all the best in your search for the perfect engagement ring! Also, look at what to choose from 4 prong vs 6 prong and simple tips for green moissanite jewelry.

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