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Is moissanite a diamond or gemstone?

Many people are wondering what Moissanite is exactly because there is a big misunderstanding regarding the Moissanite diamond topic. It is interesting that due to its brilliance, fire, and elegance, moissanite gemstone is often compared to diamond. In this article, we will explore the history, properties, and characteristics of moissanite, as well as its similarities and differences with diamonds.

Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral known as silicon carbide (SiC). It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan when he was studying a meteorite that had fallen to Earth. Moissanite was initially thought to be a diamond. However, things have changed and later it was identified as a new mineral. It is extremely rare in nature, so it is not typically found in gemstone mines.

Properties and Characteristics of Moissanite gemstone

Moissanite is a mineral that has a unique crystal structure, with six carbon atoms and four silicon atoms in each unit cell. This structure gives moissanite a number of characteristics that make it different from diamonds. For example, moissanite is slightly less dense than diamond and has a slightly higher refractive index.

Additionally, this gemstone has a different crystal structure than a diamond. It is trigonal in shape, whereas a diamond is cubic. This difference in crystal structure causes moissanite to have a different optical appearance than diamond. For example, moissanite has a higher “sparkle” or “fire” than diamond.

It is worth mentioning that one of the major differences between moissanite and diamond is their hardness. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, moissanite falls between 9.25 and 9.5 while diamond is the hardest mineral. It has an incredible rating of 10. This makes Moissanite less durable than diamond and more prone to scratches and other damage. 

Similarities and Differences to Diamond

Moissanite is often compared to diamond because of its brilliance and fire. Both gemstones have a high refractive index, which causes them to sparkle and refract light in a similar way. They both have a similar look and feel, making them similar in the eyes of many people. That is why many people can not tell the difference between these two. 

However, moissanite and diamond are not the same, even though many people believed so. Minerals such as diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s crust, whereas moissanite is created in a laboratory. 

The difference in origin is also a big factor in their cost. Diamonds are found naturally in mines and thus rarer, more precious, and therefore more expensive than moissanite. However, this is a great opportunity for all those people that are looking for a more affordable option because they can not afford a diamond ring. 

Another key difference between moissanite and diamond is their chemical compound. Diamond is made of carbon, while moissanite is made of silicon carbide. This difference in chemical makeup gives the two gemstones different physical and optical properties, such as the difference in hardness mentioned before.

Now, let’s talk about the durability of moissanite. As mentioned earlier, Moissanite is less hard than diamond, which means that it is more prone to scratches and other types of damage. This makes a diamond a more suitable option for those who plan to wear their jewelry frequently or for those who want a piece of jewelry that will last for a long time without needing repairs.

However, one of the advantages of moissanite over diamond is that it can be created in a wide range of colors. While diamonds are mostly colorless, moissanite can be found in shades of yellow, green, blue, pink, and other colors. This allows for more creativity and personalization in jewelry design. Additionally, it is worth noting that colorless moissanite can look as good as a D-E-F color-grade diamond at a fraction of the cost.

Moissanite is significantly less expensive than diamond. This makes it an attractive option for those who want the look of a diamond at a fraction of the cost. The price gap between the two gemstones is considerable, making Moissanite a very affordable option for many buyers.

Diamond mining is known for its environmental and social impact, from pollution and deforestation to human rights violations and conflict. Moissanite is lab-created, so this type of concern doesn’t apply. Many consumers also choose Moissanite for ethical reasons since it is not mined and therefore not associated with negative social and environmental impacts.

What about the certification? Since diamond is a natural gemstone, it is generally certified by organizations such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS). Moissanite, on the other hand, is not as widely certified. However, some reputable lab-grown moissanite brands such as Charles & Colvard, have their own certification process and lab-grown moissanite is being certified by some third-party independent organizations.

How should you take care of the moissanite and diamond jewelry? Moissanite and diamond should both be handled with care to preserve their beauty. It is important to keep both gemstones away from harsh chemicals and to clean them regularly with mild soap and water. Moissanite is a bit more sensitive to heat than a diamond so avoid extreme temperatures or thermal treatments, the same applies to ultrasonic cleaning.

What would you choose?

Ultimately, whether you choose moissanite or diamond will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle. Moissanite offers a unique combination of brilliance, fire, and affordability, making it a popular choice for those who want the look of a diamond at a fraction of the cost. If you are looking for a durable, colorless, and ethically sound stone, a diamond might be the best option for you.

As you saw, Moissanite is a beautiful and unique gemstone that has many similarities and differences when compared to diamonds. Moissanite has a higher “sparkle” or “fire” than diamond, is more affordable, but less durable and not as widely certified, it can also be found in a wide range of colors, something that is not possible with diamond. While Moissanite may not be a diamond, it is still a stunning gemstone that can add elegance and style to any piece of jewelry.

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