Are you seeking a comprehensive analysis contrasting moissanite and lab-grown diamonds?
Great, you’ve landed in the ideal spot!
Within this authoritative Twirl Weddings Education handbook, you’ll acquire valuable insights on:
- How does moissanite fare against lab-grown diamonds in terms of characteristics?
- What disparities exist in the visual aspects of moissanite and lab-grown diamonds?
- How do the price differentials manifest between moissanite and lab-grown diamonds?
- And a plethora of additional intriguing information!
In the realm of alternative options to diamonds, a particular contender has emerged, rivaling both lab-grown and natural diamonds, known as moissanite.
Buying moissanite engagement rings has become more popular, even surpassing the preference for diamond engagement rings.
However, the critical question remains: How does moissanite fare in comparison to economically viable engagement rings featuring lab-grown diamonds? Let us embark on an exploration to unravel the answer!
Origin – Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
Initially, when observing a laboratory-grown diamond alongside a moissanite gemstone, they may appear strikingly alike. However, upon closer examination, their dissimilarities become evident. In the role of your trusted advisor, we aim to thoroughly explore and elucidate the significant distinctions between moissanite and lab-created diamonds. Before delving into the details, let us first uncover the origins and production methods associated with each of these central gemstones.
Commonly referred to as a diamond simulant or simulated diamond, moissanite serves as a captivating alternative to diamonds. Its utilization in rings is often driven by its diamond-like appearance, distinguishing it from mere imitations such as cubic zirconia. Distinct from cubic zirconia, moissanite holds the status of a genuine gemstone, albeit rare in its natural occurrence. Its monikers, “Space Diamond” or “Stardust,” stem from the belief that moissanite originates from meteorites.
The journey of moissanite traces back to a remarkable discovery by a French scientist named Henri Moissan in 1893. While excavating a crater in Arizona, Henri initially mistook the gemstone he encountered for a diamond, only to realize later that it was an entirely different gemstone.
In present times, the majority of moissanite found adorning rings is synthetically produced in laboratories. Charles and Colvard take credit for pioneering moissanite creation and hold ownership of the highest quality moissanite in the industry, known as Forever One Moissanite.
AVAILABLE ON CHARLESANDCLOVARD
The production of a single moissanite is a time-consuming endeavor, typically spanning approximately 2-3 months. This extended duration is attributed to the intricate process involved in synthesizing a flawless, colorless moissanite gemstone.
To achieve this feat, scientists dedicate years of research and development to perfect the synthetic methodology. They employ intense heat and pressure to amalgamate silicon and carbon, resulting in the formation of silicon carbide crystals, commonly referred to as preforms. These preforms then undergo meticulous faceting to enhance their brilliance and are expertly cut to meet rigorous standards.
Distinct manufacturers of moissanite employ their unique approaches to create high-quality gemstones. Charles & Colvard, for instance, excels in crafting the Forever One Moissanite, adhering to exacting specifications. In fact, they offer various brands of moissanite, each characterized by its own distinctive qualities and attributes.
The fundamental composition of the Forever One Moissanite remains silicon carbide, its unique arrangement bestows upon it superior color performance compared to alternative moissanite brands. This distinctive stacking method enhances the gemstone’s ability to exhibit vibrant hues and exceptional brilliance.
Additionally, in addition to their remarkable colorless options, Charles & Colvard also provides a captivating array of fancy colored moissanite gemstones, further expanding the range of choices available to discerning individuals.
Diamonds extracted from the earth through mining are commonly referred to as natural diamonds, but this term can cause confusion when distinguishing them from lab-created diamonds, also known as lab-grown diamonds, artificial diamonds, or synthetic diamonds. While all these variations are genuine diamonds, only mined diamonds are considered natural since they originate from the ground and are obtained through mining operations.
The formation of diamonds requires an incredibly lengthy process spanning billions of years, transpiring deep beneath the Earth’s surface. To be more precise, this transformative process occurs roughly 100 miles below the Earth’s crust within the mantle. Within this subterranean region, the amalgamation of intense heat and pressure brings about a molecular alteration in graphite, the mineral form of carbon that constitutes diamonds.
Lab diamonds are produced by replicating these conditions within a laboratory setting. Customers seeking ethically conscious alternatives to mined diamonds often favor lab-grown diamonds when selecting a ring. In laboratory settings, there are primarily two methods employed to create these diamonds: high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
The process of creating an HPHT lab-grown diamond bears resemblance to the natural diamond formation process. A small portion of a diamond, known as a diamond seed, is subjected to immense pressure and elevated temperatures. The combination of these two factors prompts the seed to undergo crystallization.
Within the CVD (chemical vapor deposition) method, the diamond seed is embedded within a carbon substrate. Subsequently, this seed carbon, along with carbon-rich gases, is introduced into a chamber. Typically, methane and hydrogen gases are employed for this purpose. The amalgamation of these gases induces the transformation of carbon into a plasma state. As the plasma disperses, it leaves behind the crystalline structure of the diamond.
RECOMMENDED: Lab Created vs Natural Diamonds: The Differences
Appearance – Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
Many individuals argue that a moissanite gem and a synthetic diamond possess similar appearances, but their optical characteristics diverge significantly. Although this dissimilarity may go unnoticed by the untrained observer, we shall guide you through the disparities in visual aspects between moissanite, a remarkable diamond alternative, and laboratory-grown diamonds.
In contrast to artificially produced diamonds, the brilliance of moissanite diamonds nearly doubles. Moissanites exhibit an enhanced sparkle, radiating abundant rainbow hues. When juxtaposed with a diamond, it becomes evident that the moissanite stands out as the stone that glimmers akin to a dazzling disco ball!
The accompanying video provides a visual comparison showcasing the distinctions in the visual appeal of radiant cut diamonds, encompassing natural diamonds, moissanite, and lab-grown diamonds. It is worth noting that when it comes to lab-grown diamonds versus naturally mined diamonds, diamonds of the same grades appear identical in terms of visual attributes. This holds true regardless of the specific cut, be it radiant-cut, emerald-cut, or any other variant in between.
There are individuals who hold a preference for the understated shimmer and harmonious interplay of white and multicolored light emitted by diamonds, particularly in the realm of jewelry such as engagement rings. Moreover, both lab-created diamonds and naturally mined diamonds exhibit inclusions—distinctive features that occurred during their formation. The disparity lies in the nature of these inclusions: mined diamonds possess natural inclusions, whereas lab-grown diamonds acquire metallic inclusions during the laboratory process.
Moissanite possesses a refractive index that surpasses that of diamonds, making it a double-refractive gemstone. This unique refraction attribute is a contributing factor to its heightened brilliance compared to diamonds. The disparity in refractive index serves as a significant distinction between moissanite and lab-grown diamonds. In the realm of gemstone identification, refractive index holds utmost importance as it stands as a key tool for differentiating various gemstones, including diamond alternatives like moissanite and lab-created diamonds.
In addition to refraction, clarity holds significant importance when considering a gemstone for a ring. The clarity grade of a lab-grown diamond directly impacts its visual appearance in terms of being free from visible inclusions. Moissanites generally exhibit a high level of clarity, yet it is possible to observe a few needle-like inclusions under a jeweler’s loupe with 10x magnification.
Furthermore, high-quality moissanite typically showcases a colorless or nearly colorless appearance, distinguishing it from both lab-grown and mined diamonds, which possess varying color grades.
Interestingly, a lesser-known fact about colorless moissanite is that its appearance may not always be colorless. Depending on the lighting conditions, a colorless moissanite can exhibit a slight brownish or grayish hue, particularly in low-light settings.
It’s worth mentioning that over time, one might observe a somewhat cloudy or hazy appearance on moissanite gemstones. This haziness cannot be easily eliminated through regular cleaning methods. Unlike lab-grown diamonds, moissanites necessitate the use of a specific polishing cloth for restoration. Charles & Colvard, for instance, recommend employing Sunshine polishing cloths specifically designed for diamond alternatives like moissanite.
Price – Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
In terms of pricing, the realm of moissanite and lab-grown diamonds reveals a distinct divergence. Moissanite rings triumph in the domain of cost-effectiveness. While lab-grown diamonds may exhibit a price tag that is at least 20% more affordable than their mined counterparts, they still maintain a level of expense that may exceed the desired budget of individuals seeking a gem below the $1000 threshold. Furthermore, the pursuit of a lab-grown diamond ring boasting exceptional clarity and colorless or near colorless attributes comes at a significantly higher cost compared to the relatively more economical moissanites. This fundamental distinction between moissanite and lab-grown diamonds holds considerable significance, as it shapes the ongoing debate between the two.
When considering the aspect of cost, moissanite stands out as a pricier alternative to diamonds. While a top-notch moissanite should be less costly than a high-quality lab diamond, it still carries a significantly higher price tag compared to white sapphires or cubic zirconia.
Moreover, moissanite lacks a comprehensive grading system. In contrast, lab diamonds adhere to the GIA’s well-established 4Cs framework, which assesses diamond quality based on cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. Both lab-created and mined diamonds’ prices are contingent upon the unique combination of these factors for each individual diamond.
Contrarily, moissanite gemstones are categorized based on their quality rather than a grading system. They are typically referred to as Premium or Super Premium, wherein the price of a moissanite ring predominantly hinges upon its quality and size.
A moissanite ring of Premium quality would fall into the lower price range. This quality level can be likened to a lab diamond ring with a near colorless (G, H, I) color grade. On the other hand, Super Premium moissanite rings are comparable to colorless lab diamonds in terms of quality.
For instance, consider the Super Premium princess cut loose moissanite offered by Brilliant Earth. This particular moissanite measures 7.5mm, closely resembling the size of a 2.5 carat diamond ring. Priced at $1590 for the loose moissanite itself, the final cost would vary depending on the chosen setting for the ring.
AVAILABLE ON BRILLIANTEARTH
Conversely, the lab-grown diamond will carry a significantly higher price tag, amounting to thousands of dollars. Consider this princess cut diamond, boasting a substantial 2.57 carat weight, an exquisite color grade of F, and remarkable VS1 clarity. This lab-grown diamond can be acquired from James Allen.
AVAILABLE ON JAMESALLEN
However, it is worth noting that while it is labeled as an ideal cut, the true ideal cut diamond shapes are limited to round diamonds.
The disparity in pricing between moissanite and lab-grown diamonds of comparable quality is evident, highlighting moissanite’s advantageous position. This factor stands as one of the primary drivers behind its immense popularity as a diamond alternative, serving as a notable advantage in direct comparison to lab-grown diamonds.
Value – Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
Unquestionably, a substantial disparity exists in terms of expenses and monetary worth when contrasting moissanite engagement rings with the finest lab-grown diamond engagement rings.
However, when it comes to assessing their comparative value, what are the distinguishing factors?
Apart from the ethical considerations surrounding the source of the diamond ring, the pivotal distinction, often serving as the decisive factor, between a lab-grown diamond ring and a naturally mined diamond ring lies in their intrinsic value. Numerous establishments offer the opportunity to resell or upgrade your diamond ring, but this option is not available for lab-grown diamonds and moissanite stones.
The value of lab-grown diamonds undergoes perpetual fluctuations. When these artificially produced diamonds initially emerged, their price stood approximately 25% lower than that of natural diamonds. However, in contemporary times, one can stumble upon lab diamonds that are more than 45% less expensive than their mined counterparts. Consequently, jewelers and jewelry companies are unable to extend a trade-up policy for lab-grown diamonds, as they cannot afford to incur such substantial losses.
The lack of significant monetary worth attributed to moissanite rings stems from their inherent lack of rarity as gemstones. Moissanites, unlike lab-grown diamonds that possess identical physical and chemical properties to natural diamonds, do not possess the same status. As long as we have access to diamond seeds, the production of lab-grown diamonds will continue. Conversely, moissanite can be created whenever necessary, albeit requiring a slightly longer duration for its production.
In many instances, individuals do not prioritize the aspect of value unless they have intentions of reselling their ring. However, when it comes to fine jewelry such as engagement or wedding rings, we strongly discourage the sole purpose of purchasing them for the sake of reselling. Jewelry, unfortunately, does not retain its resale value significantly well, and one typically receives less than the original purchase price unless engaging in dubious practices, like deceiving someone on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, which raises ethical concerns in its own right.
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Other Different Factors – Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
There exist a few lesser-known factors that might influence someone’s preference for a CZ ring over a lab-grown diamond ring, or vice versa. Here are some unanticipated considerations to ponder.
Gemstone durability is frequently evaluated by jewelers through the implementation of the Mohs scale of hardness. This scale serves as a means to measure the scratch resistance of a gemstone, providing valuable insights into its endurance and ability to withstand the rigors of everyday life. A higher rating on the Mohs scale indicates a greater level of hardness, signifying the stone’s capacity to endure the demands of the bustling routine.
When examining the hardness scale, lab-grown diamonds receive the highest rating possible, reaching a pinnacle score of 10. Diamonds, known as the hardest mineral globally, exhibit exceptional resistance to scratching. Moissanite, on the other hand, closely trails diamonds in terms of hardness, boasting a rating of 9.25. Remarkably, this surpasses the hardness of gems like sapphire and ruby, both of which register at 9 on the Mohs scale. For comparative purposes, gems such as topaz occupy a slightly lower position on the scale, specifically at 8.
While both gemstones can withstand daily wear, diamonds possess a slightly higher degree of scratch resistance, granting them a slight advantage in the realm of engagement and wedding rings. However, it is essential to bear in mind that hardness alone does not guarantee immunity from chipping or breakage upon experiencing a forceful impact.
Instances of chipping commonly occur in diamonds with pronounced inclusions, particularly those graded with lower clarity such as I clarity diamonds. Conversely, moissanite holds an automatic advantage in this regard, as it lacks any inclusions. This does not imply that all I clarity lab-grown diamonds are prone to chipping, but rather suggests that the likelihood of chipping may be slightly elevated if the inclusion is significantly problematic.
The vulnerability to chipping is not exclusive to moissanite or lab-grown diamonds; it can also be influenced by the shape of the stone. Particularly, stone shapes characterized by pointed ends, such as marquise, heart-shaped, pear cut, and princess cut stones, can pose a potential risk of chipping.
When making a purchase as a consumer, particularly in the realm of engagement rings, wedding bands, or any cherished jewelry intended for regular wear, it is essential to prioritize establishments that provide a warranty. It is commonly presumed by customers that the deterioration of engagement rings and gold adornments signifies inferior craftsmanship. However, this assumption is unfounded. Precious jewelry, including engagement rings, is crafted from authentic constituents such as natural materials, metallic elements like gold, and valuable minerals.
The majority of engagement rings and wedding bands are crafted using gold or platinum, typically in 14k or higher purity. While white gold, the favored choice in terms of color, initially boasts a silvery hue, it tends to lose its luster over time. In contrast, platinum maintains its silver-like appearance, albeit at a higher weight and cost. To preserve the white gold’s brilliance, a layer of rhodium plating is required, an additional expense ranging from $60 to $120.
Over time, the rhodium coating on white gold naturally fades due to factors like skin oils and various environmental conditions. This phenomenon is inherent and affects all white gold rings, regardless of whether they are 14k, 18k, or possess a different fineness level. Experts recommend undertaking the process of re-rhodium plating your engagement ring on an annual basis.
When considering an engagement ring, it is advantageous to opt for a warranty or insurance plan that encompasses regular upkeep, including rhodium plating, thereby eliminating the need for additional expenditures. Such comprehensive coverage often extends to stone tightening, prong retipping to address snagged prongs, and, naturally, professional cleaning services. Caution must be exercised with companies that provide solely a manufacturer’s warranty or insurance, as these types of lifetime warranties solely safeguard against defects, neglecting routine maintenance. We strongly emphasize the importance of thoroughly reading and understanding the policy terms.
While it may be more common to find companies offering warranties for lab diamonds rather than moissanite, there’s no need to fret. Rest assured, there exist reputable establishments that offer warranties and exceptional customer service for both types of gemstones.
James Allen offers exclusive lifetime warranty for individuals who possess lab diamond engagement rings. The warranty covers comprehensive routine maintenance services such as rhodium plating, prong tightening, and prong retipping.
In the realm of exquisite jewelry, Helzberg Diamonds proudly showcases their remarkable collection of Forever One Moissanites, complemented by Charles & Colvard’s warranty safeguarding against any instances of chipping and manufacturing defects. Moreover, to provide further assurance, Helzberg’s lifetime jewelry care plan is available for purchase, extending coverage to the captivating engagement ring settings found within the Forever One Moissanite collection. It’s worth noting that Helzberg also offers a captivating selection of engagement and wedding rings adorned with lab-created diamonds.
Conclusion – Moissanite vs Lab Diamond
In the realm of commitment bands, one may find solace in considering moissanite or lab diamond as compelling alternatives. These two precious stones present themselves in hues of transparent elegance and a shade shy of pure clarity. Furthermore, both can be imbued with vibrant pigments to suit personal preferences.
While it is true that neither of these gemstones can claim an enduring monetary value, moissanite, in particular, exhibits a greater propensity to retain its worth over time. On the other hand, the value of lab diamonds tends to sway incessantly, making it less likely for them to appreciate in future significance. Nevertheless, it is crucial to regard these stones primarily for their sentimental value rather than their fiscal allure, especially when adorning oneself with such treasured artifacts as engagement rings.
The brilliance and radiance displayed by both gemstones are truly captivating, yet it is moissanite that boasts an unparalleled fiery aura. While considering engagement and wedding rings, certain individuals may perceive moissanite as excessively scintillating, leading to an artificial appearance. Conversely, there exists a faction of enthusiasts who ardently embrace the unique allure only moissanite can provide. On the other hand, lab diamonds exude a remarkable sparkle that gracefully harmonizes with any lighting condition, avoiding overpowering effects. Moissanite rings may manifest diverse hues when subjected to varying light sources, whereas the design of a lab diamond remains unwaveringly consistent.
Lab-grown diamonds and moissanite share the characteristic of being highly durable gemstones, although diamonds possess a slight advantage in terms of scratch resistance over moissanite. When combined with a sturdy metal, both gemstones are suitable for everyday wear, which is a crucial consideration when purchasing an engagement ring.
In comparison, a moissanite ring is notably more affordable than a lab-grown diamond ring, even though it is already significantly less expensive than a natural diamond. Additionally, moissanite offers the option of larger stone sizes at a lower cost, whereas lab-grown diamonds can be considerably more expensive for smaller sizes.
Regardless of the choice of stone, it is imperative to select a design and stone that align with your lifestyle and budget, as either option can result in an exquisite engagement ring.