They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but that doesn’t mean they are for everyone. Whether you don’t want a diamond engagement ring for ethical reasons or you don’t want to shell out the money for a diamond, a moissanite engagement ring is a good alternative for those who want a stunning centerpiece on their finger. Not only is moissanite remarkably similar to a diamond in color and clarity, but it’s also said to be even more sparkly.
Don’t know anything about this alternative diamond? We’re going to answer the seven most commonly asked questions about moissanite engagement rings to help you determine whether this could be the right choice for you.
1. What Is Moissanite?
If you haven’t heard of moissanite before—or if you have, but you’ve only looked at pictures—it is a naturally occurring mineral that’s also called “silicon carbide.” Believe it or not, it was actually discovered back in the 1890s when scientists were studying a meteor crater in Arizona. Thankfully, today we don’t have to wait for a meteor to crash into earth to have moissanite readily available. It’s recreated in a lab setting and mass produced so that it can be sold in jewelry stores around the world.
2. What’s the Difference Between Moissanite and Diamonds?
The main difference between moissanite and diamonds is that moissanite is made in a lab and diamonds are mined from the earth. Another main difference of moissanite and diamonds is that they have different grades on the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a way to classify a mineral’s hardness on a scale of 1-10 (1 being soft and 10 being the hardest). Essentially, how it works is the harder the mineral, the more resistant it is to scratching. A moissanite ring would have a slightly lower grade than a diamond—moissanite has a grade of 9.25 on the Mohs scale and diamond has a grade of 10. However, if you place a diamond and moissanite next to each other, it can be very difficult to tell the difference in their appearance because they are so similar in color and clarity.
3. Will People Be Able to Tell that it’s Not a Diamond?
Unless you are a professional jeweler who has the equipment to look at the stones scrupulously—no, you will not be able to tell that moissanite is not a diamond. Should you have any doubts, take a look at a moissanite ring right next to a diamond ring at a jewelry store.
4. How Much Cheaper Is Moissanite than Diamonds?
The best part about choosing a moissanite ring over a diamond is the price. If you purchased a one carat diamond, that can easily set you back at least $4,000 to $5,000, depending on the cut and clarity of the stone, but moissanite of the same size will only cost you at the most around $600. In other words, you’ll save a LOT when you choose moissanite.
5. Is it Really More Sparkly than a Diamond?
Because diamonds are mined from the earth, they tend to come out how they come out—with imperfections and all. But since moissanite is made in a lab setting, they can weed out any imperfections, which yes, makes it more sparkly than a diamond.
6. Is it More Environmentally Friendly than a Diamond?
Diamonds may be beautiful, but they haven’t exactly had the best reputation. Diamonds are mined from the earth and can cause major environmental devastation, including erosion and deforestation. Mining for diamonds has also been a dangerous profession—and the diamond industry has been known for labor exploitation and human rights violations. Although the Kimberley Process has helped consumers know whether or not their diamond is a “conflict diamond”—or a diamond that is mined in a war zone and sold to fund an insurgency’s war efforts—the industry is still fraught with conflict and uncertainty.
Moissanite rings, on the other hand, are made in a lab so they are automatically more environmentally and labor-friendly. If this is something that you feel strongly about, you should consider taking a look at a moissanite ring so that you can know for certain that your ring has done no harm to the earth or to the laborers who made it.
7. Will it Last a Long Time?
Lastly, you may be wondering about the longevity of a moissanite ring. Sure, it sounds nice that it’s cheaper, similar in looks to a diamond, and more environmentally friendly, but will it stand the test of time as you travel, take showers, accidentally scrape it against a table, or drop it on the floor? The answer is yes. Moissanite is every bit as durable as a diamond, and you don’t have to worry about having to replace it down the line.