Moissanite Engagement Rings Buying Guide
The use of diamond has dominated the engagement ring market throughout living memory. However, what if you want an engagement ring with a similar look, but you don’t want to use a diamond? The good news is that you have options! There are several types of diamond “simulants" (stones that look similar to diamond, but are not diamond). The most popular simulant used in engagement rings is called moissanite.
How was Moissanite Discovered?
Moissanite was first discovered in a meteorite in 1893 by the chemist Dr. Henri Moissan, after whom the mineral was named. Dr. Moissan quickly recognized physical similarities between moissanite and diamond. It turned out that the parallels between the stones were more than skin-deep. Actually, moissanite is more similar to diamond than other simulants in some respects.
Is Moissanite like Diamond?
Moissanite ranks close to diamond on the Mohs Scale of Hardness with a massive score of 9.25, while diamond maxes out the chart at 10. Moreover, the stability of moissanite when exposed to light, heat and chemicals, coupled with its resistance to scratching, means that it can be set by jewelers in any type of setting with just as much confidence as a diamond. As it is so durable, moissanite is a great choice for engagement rings regarding daily wear and tear.
Is Moissanite a Natural Stone or Man-Made / Lab Grown?
Naturally-occurring moissanite only exists in small sizes, so almost all of the gem-quality material on the market is synthetic and sold as “synthetic moissanite.” This is a boon to individuals who are concerned about the environmental and social impact of mining. An additional benefit of synthetic moissanite is that it is priced at a fraction of the cost per carat of natural diamond. Synthetic moissanite can be synthesized to be colorless, but there is material that is slightly greyish, yellowish, or greenish in color.
Will Someone Notice that my Moissanite is not a Diamond?
While synthetic moissanite looks very much like diamonds, and historically fooled some diamond testing tools, there are optical differences. Gemologists consider three factors when evaluating the appearance of diamonds: fire (the flashes of color), brilliance (the flashes of white), and scintillation (the pattern of sparkle across the whole stone).
Moissanite has less brilliance than diamond, but has more fire. This means that the stone will reflect more rainbow colors than diamonds. However, nothing can compete with the adamantine shine and sparkle of a diamond, so if that is what you want from your rock, you may be disappointed in moissanite, and the larger the stone, the more visible this will be. However, if your “moissie” is set into a sparkly pave ring surrounded by diamond bling, I doubt the general gawker will notice at all.
What is the Next Best thing if I Decide I Don't want Moissanite?
For a beautiful and economically wise option that you can enjoy for years, consider this alternative! If you decide you need that sparkle and shine, may we suggest spending just a little more on a lab-grown diamond; an affordable diamond option when compared to natural mined stones. Feel free to “ask a gemologist” at Rare Carat for help in building the right option for you!