Moissanite vs. Diamond – Know the Difference

Moissanite vs. Diamond – Know the Difference

Difference between
Moissanite & Diamond

Choosing the center stone of an engagement ring is a matter of personal choice. While most couples prefer diamond engagement rings, there are plenty of other much more affordable gemstone options. Moissanite, a diamond look-alike, is one such gemstone.  Let's discover more about moissanite vs. diamond for their brilliance, color, price, and durability.

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite was first discovered in the 19th century. It is a naturally-occurring mineral known as silicon carbide. Since the late 1990s, moissanite has been grown in labs just like man-made diamonds.   Scientists use a fusion of heat and pressure to create silicon and carbon crystals that are identical to natural moissanite in structure. This process, however, is time-consuming and complex and it takes around 2-3 months to create one gemstone.

Origin of Moissanite

Moissanite deposits is rarely found on earth. This precious gemstone was first discovered in 1983 by Dr. Henri Moissan - a French Scientist and a Nobel prize winner. He found it among the remnants in a crater created by a meteor hit. At first, Dr. Henri thought that he had discovered diamonds. But later found that the crystals were actually composed of silicon carbide.  Many years after its discovery, scientists successfully synthesized moissanite crystals to produce one of the most scintillating gemstones of the present day.

Moissanite vs Diamond - How Do They Differ?

Moissanite, also sometimes referred to as a diamond simulant, is synthesized to give the illusion of diamonds. However, it is different from a real diamond in its appearance and composition. Further, the brilliance, durability, and color of the two are also quite different. However, both these have one thing in common - they are very good thermal conductors.

Diamond ring

 Let's learn more about their differences. 


Moissanite vs Diamond - Durability

Nobody can doubt the durability of diamonds. The hardest mineral, diamonds can withstand almost any wear and tear. That is why diamonds are the most preferred gemstone for engagement rings - one can wear them every day.  However, moissanite isn’t far behind. With a hardness of 9.25, this stunning gemstone is the second-hardest material used as a gemstone. Interesting fact: Avoid storing your moissanite with diamond jewelry as it might scratch.

Moissanite vs Diamond - Brilliance

Typically, moissanite is more brilliant than diamonds or any other gemstone. This means moissanite has more sparkle. This is because moissanite is doubly refractive (twice the dispersion value of a diamond) and is cut differently from diamonds. Rotating the moissanite stone produces a rainbow-like effect, unlike diamonds that reflect whiter light.

Moissanite vs Diamond - Color

Today, you can easily find moissanite in the same color range as white diamonds. Moissanite is generally labeled as “colorless”, but the gemstone can still project a grayish or yellow hue in certain lights. Again, the larger the stone, the easier it is to notice the color. On the other hand, a diamond, whether natural or man-made, is colorless. Its natural body color contains no trace of brown, yellow, or gray, which produces a dazzling, bright white appearance.

Moissanite vs Diamond - Price

When comparing moissanite vs diamond for cost, moissanite is the clear winner. It is about one-tenth the price of a mined diamond of the same size and quality. So, if you want a large carat gemstone, but don’t have the money to buy it, moissanite is the way to go.

Diamond vs Moissanite - Quick Comparison

Features Moissanite Diamond
Refractive Index Higher refractive index than a natural diamond from 2.65 to 2.69, so more sparkling, sometimes like a disco ball,  Diamonds reflect light in three ways: White light, rainbow light, and surface sparkle. 
Color Generally colorless, but can sometimes produce yellowish or grayish hues in certain lights.  Dazzling, bright white appearance
Price Much more affordable Very Expensive
Brilliance More brilliance than diamonds Comparatively less

Is Moissanite Better Than Diamond?

When comparing a diamond vs moissanite, there are many benefits that lend themselves to moissanite, which are:

Only Quality

If moissanite gemstone isn’t of the best clarity or has inclusions or blemishes, it won’t go up for sale. This is why lab-grown moissanite is produced in a meticulous environment.

100% Ethical

This is the greatest benefit of moissanite over any other naturally mined gemstone. Since these are lab-made, you are assured that you’re wearing ethical jewelry.
cushion diamond ring

High Refractive Index

When comparing moissanite vs diamond, the brilliance of each gem is the prime distinguishing feature. Moissanite has a high refractive index, so it creates a superior sparkle, which is unmatched by a natural diamond


Moissanite is the best alternative to a diamond. While some may even turn to cubic zirconia, moissanite doesn’t develop a cloudy appearance over time like cubic zirconia. Also, dust and oils will affect the luster of moissanite more slowly thane diamonds. Further, being the second hardest gemstone, moissanite makes a durable jewel. Take proper care of your moissanite ring, and you’ll pass it down to the generations.


Moissanite is much more affordable than diamonds. So, those who can’t afford a diamond ring can easily buy a look-alike moissanite ring.

Conclusion - Moissanite Or Diamond?

Logically, both moissanite and diamond are identical in terms of their visual characteristics. They are two of the hardest minerals known to man. Lastly, and most importantly, both gemstones exude incredible beauty that will last forever. The choice between moissanite and diamond depends on what you prefer. Moissanite is a viable option for those not wanting to buy a diamond due to price, ethical or environmental concerns. If you are a true diamond lover, buying a diamond engagement ring is the ultimate deal. For more such informational read or to buy designer engagement rings, explore Dolphin Galleries today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is moissanite cheaper than a diamond?

Yes, moissanite is cheaper than a natural diamond. It is about one-tenth of the price of a mined diamond of the same size and quality.

Is moissanite man-made?

Yes, moissanite is produced in labs under intense pressure and heat, just like lab-grown diamonds.

Which moissanite closely resembles a diamond?

Round-cut moissanite looks most like a diamond. Since the round-cut stones have specific facets and proportions, round moissanite can be easily cut in a way that causes light to interact with it just like it does with diamonds.


Steve Schlag

Owner of Dolphin Galleries, Art & Jewelry Expert.