ELEMENTS 5 CLUB
Many people would love to own jewelry made with diamonds, but because of the high cost, not everyone is able to have it. For people who find themselves in this situation there is an alternative: moissanite. It is less expensive than diamonds and it looks very similar. To give you an idea: it took the original founder a couple of years before realizing that his “diamonds” were, in fact, a different type of stones. So the best part of moissanite is that it’s almost impossible to differentiate it from a diamond (especially with the naked eye). This has led to the debate of moissanite vs diamond with many people arguing one way or the other.
Moissanite can be described as silicon carbide formed as a single crystal and having most of the qualities of a diamond. It was discovered by a French scientist Dr. Herni Moissan in 1883 who ended up winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry – as well as having the gemstone named after him. At first, he thought that these particles he had found in a crater created by a meteor that fell to earth were diamonds, but it was later determined that these crystals consisted of silicon carbide. Natural moissanite is extremely rare which is why most of it is produced in a laboratory.
Moissanite produced in the laboratory is done to give the illusion of diamonds, but it still is compositionally and visually slightly different from real diamonds.
Moissanite is not a diamond, but it can be confusing because it cannot be easily distinguished from a diamond with the naked eye. In fact, it so hard to recognize the difference, that even under a microscope it’s hard to tell what is moissanite and what is diamond. To tell the difference you need to visit a gemologist, who uses all types of special tools, in order to come to a conclusion.
On the Mohs scale – which is used to determine the ability of a gemstone to withstand surface scratching – the moissanite measures 9.25. The diamond measures a perfect 10 making them perfect to be used for jewelry or cutting machines. In reality however, moissanite is used more frequently as it is cheaper to produce. Diamonds are by definition the only material to have a perfect score on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Moissanites display a different type of brilliance than diamonds because their faceting pattern is different. Moissanite exhibit fiery rainbow sparks and flashes which is loved by many while others complain its intense brilliance can create a disco ball effect especially in sunlight. On the other hand diamonds reflect light in three different ways which are white light referred to as brilliance, rainbow colors referred to as dispersion and surface sparkle known as scintillation. Combining the three gives diamonds their well-known sparkle.
Diamonds are graded on color and compared on this basis while moissanite are not graded on color but they are not colorless either. Under certain lights, they still project a yellowish or greenish shade.
In the end, gemstones are known for being valuable, so this is the most important and final criteria. Moissanite is not as expensive as diamonds; it is just a fraction of the price, since it can be produced synthetically. The price of moissanite is based primarily on its size or type (enhanced or non-enhanced). The price of a diamond however can reach extreme heights, with the rarest kinds being valued at over a $100 million per stone. For diamonds, it all depends on its clarity, cut, size and color.