Moissanite vs. Diamonds: Understanding the Differences

How do the two compare - and what sets them so apart?

When it comes to selecting the perfect gemstone for an engagement ring or any piece of jewelry, the debate between moissanite and diamonds is a hot topic. Both gemstones offer their unique allure and set of characteristics, making them suitable for various preferences and occasions.

But what is moissanite - and how does it compare to diamond? Well, this blog is going to explore the key differences between the two, focusing on their composition, optical properties, durability, and value - and what, at the end of the day, all of these mean for you.

At face value: composition and appearance

The gemstone type used to make Moissanite jewelry was discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan, is composed of silicon carbide and is known for its brilliant sparkle and durability. Initially found in a meteor crater, natural moissanite is exceedingly rare, leading to the majority of moissanite available today being lab-grown. This gemstone is celebrated for its fire and brilliance, often displaying a “disco-ball” effect due to its exceptional reflective properties.

Diamonds, on the other hand, are made of carbon and have been the traditional choice for engagement rings and fine jewelry for centuries. Diamonds are prized for their unmatched hardness, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale, and their subtle brilliance and fire. The color of diamonds is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light color), with colorless diamonds being the most sought-after.

But the basic truth? They look practically identical. I mean, take a look at these Moissanite pendants below - can you tell they’re not diamond?

Round Cut Classic Solitaire Pendant (click for US site)

Round Cut Classic Solitaire Pendant (click for UK site)

Round Cut Classic Halo Pendant (click for US site)

Round Cut Classic Halo Pendant (click for UK site)

Optical properties and hardness: a nerd’s guide

One of the most striking differences between moissanite and diamonds lies in their optical properties. If we look at the numbers - which can be a little complicated, so bare with us - Moissanite has a higher refractive index (2.65-2.69) compared to diamonds (2.42), which means it bends light more dramatically, resulting in more pronounced fire and brilliance.

Moissanite's fire is rated at 0.104, showcasing more rainbow flashes of light, while the fire of a diamond is rated at 0.044.

And, in terms of hardness, diamonds are slightly harder than moissanite, with diamonds ranking a 10 on the Mohs scale and moissanite coming close behind at 9.25. This makes both gems suitable for everyday wear, although diamonds have a slight edge in resisting scratches - but still offers a solid choice for long-term jewelry pieces like Moissanite wedding bands.

Value and affordability

Another significant difference between these two gemstones is their value and price point. Moissanite is much more affordable than diamonds - as the price of a one-carat diamond can vary greatly, ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 based on its quality and characteristics. Moissanite, as you can guess, tends to be much lower than this when you find the right jeweler, or one that offers a bespoke design service.

While diamonds hold their value over time and can be considered an investment, moissanite's appeal lies in its beauty and cost-effectiveness. Moissanite offers a visually stunning alternative to diamonds at a fraction of the cost, making it an attractive option for those who prioritize the appearance and sustainability of their gemstone without breaking the bank.


Round Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring, Twisted Band With Hidden Halo (click for US site)

Round Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring, Twisted Band With Hidden Halo (click for UK site)

Round Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring, Twisted Stone Set Shoulders (click for US site)

Round Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring, Twisted Stone Set Shoulders (click for UK site)

So… ready to give Moissanite a try?

There’s only really one way to work out if Moissanite is a jewel you’ll love and enjoy - and that’s by giving it a go. We’ve a wide selection of engagement rings, earrings, pendants, and more, that’re sure to appeal to your taste. Plus, with a site-wide 50% off sale (that ends soon!), now is the perfect time to give it a go.

And an added bonus - we support one tree planted, meaning that a portion of your money goes towards brilliant eco-conscious causes. Win-win, no?

Whatever the occasion, and whoever it’s for… it’s time to take a peek!