Moissanite is a form of silicon carbide that is found in nature in very rare quantities. Because of its close resemblance to diamond, jewelers often use moissanite instead of diamonds in order to keep the cost of the jewelry down without compromising on the look. At a casual glance, it is almost impossible to tell them apart.
Moissanite also has a hardness of 9.5 on the Mohs scale, which is close to that of a diamond, which is rated as 10 on the same scale.
Any jewelry with moissanite can look just as glamorous as the real thing. While this is great for someone who wants to get the diamond look without having to empty their bank balance, it is not so good news for someone who is looking to buy the real thing as a gift for a loved one or as an investment. The striking similarity between the two and the fact that moissanite can be cut to sparkle like a diamond means there is a lot of potential to get scammed if you are not careful.
If you are shopping around for a real diamond, it is important to know how to tell the difference between moissanite and diamond.
Moissanite is flashier and more brilliant
When light enters moissanite, it breaks down in bigger, rainbow-colored flashes, causing it to appear flashier and more colorful than diamond. Diamond reflects light back differently, which gives it that clear sparkle that it is so well-known for.
Moissanite also has a double refraction property, which is absent in diamonds. This double refraction causes the facets of the moissanite to appear duplicated when you look through the top of a polished stone. In a diamond, the facets appear crisp and sharp.
Moissanite is lighter than diamond
Diamond has a higher density and a higher specific gravity than moissanite. Moissanite’s lower density and lower specific gravity results in it weighing much less than a diamond of the same size.
As a rule of thumb, Moissanite has higher clarity
The amount of naturally found moissanite is not enough to meet the growing demand for this stone so much of it is artificially prepared. The controlled conditions in the lab result in a perfect stone with minimum internal flaws. Diamonds on the other hand are found naturally and usually tend to have some inclusions or flaws that lessen its brilliance.
Moissanite costs much less
Moissanite costs about 10 – 15% of the price of a diamond that is similar in shape, size and cut. However just because a seller quotes a higher rate for a particular piece, it is no guarantee that it is a genuine diamond. Some jewelers will take their chances and try and pass off a moissanite as a diamond to unsuspecting customers.
Moissanite is never truly colorless
A real diamond will always have a dazzling, bright white appearance under any lighting conditions. Not so with moissanite. A supposedly colorless moissanite will appear yellowing or grayish under certain lighting conditions.
Learning how to tell the difference between moissanite and diamond can help you make smarter buying decisions, whether you are looking for the real thing or a cheaper alternative.