Hello sunshine! I got married a few years ago. My husband caught me by surprised when he proposed. When we first start going out together, he made it crystal clear that we wouldn’t get married as he found it was a waste of money. Fair enough, we could spend more on travel. Three years later he was on one knee, proposing. He was kind enough to let me design my ring; and after debating over Moissanite vs Diamond, I finally settled for a giant moissanite. I have always been a practical girl, the more I could save on the ring, the more I could spend on our Disney honeymoon!
The truth is, when shopping for engagement rings, moreover bridal sets, the debate moissanite vs diamond doesn’t really exist; at least not in Canada. The gemstone is quite unknown, and I found myself learning about it through extensive research.
What is a diamond
First, let’s focus on what is a diamond. Simply put, a diamond is by a hair, a regular HB pencil. Chemistry 101 here, graphite is made of 100% carbon atoms, just like diamonds. The only difference is the carbon piling which in one case makes it brittle and super resistant in the other. When impurities affect the carbon piling in a diamond, it gives the fabulous coloured diamonds every girl dreams of. For instance, boron impurities in a diamond crystal lattice will generate a blue diamond and nitrogen will give yellow diamonds. It is unclear though what causes the pink diamond. The largest pink diamond mine is located in Argyle, Australia and scientists from around the world study the product; however, there is no clear answer yet. The gemstone is known for its hardness, its shininess, but above all, for being a girl’s best friend.
What is a moissanite
Moissanite is a gemstone from space, how cool is that? It was first discovered on a meteorite by 1893, the resemblance with diamond is so impressive, it was first confused with diamond, before being appropriately analysed in 1904. The occurrence on Earth is quite rare, and it is mostly related to space debris. Now, in order to cut ring-worthy gemstone, do we need to wait for a meteorite to hit the Earth? The good news is that scientists (my peeps!) were able to synthesise in a lab the exact gemstone. The moissanite is almost as hard as diamond. Diamonds being a 10 the Mohs scale (and the reference for the hardest stone) and the moissanite is at 9,0-9,5. This value makes moissanite an excellent choice for a ring to be worn every day.
What are other good choices for an engagement ring?
Typically, (but don’t quote me on that), women will tend to go for neutral gemstone for their bridal set. You want a timeless piece for something you will wear for twenty plus years. As a result, transparent stones such as diamond are at the top of the list. However, not every couple can or want to spend a couple of dozens thousand dollars on a diamond ring. Therefore, other transparent choices have made their places, such as white sapphire and moissanite.
Other popular choices include morganite, a translucent blush gemstone, absolutely gorgeous on a rose gold mount.
Is cubic zirconium similar to moissanite?
When debating about moissanite vs diamond for an engagement ring, you might find yourself including cubic zirconium in the equation. Don’t do that. Moissanite quality is nowhere near zirconium. The thing about cubic zirconium it’s that is way softer than moissanite or diamond, between 6 and 6,5 on the Mohs scale (remember that it’s a logarithmic scale). Therefore, many life events can contribute to scratch the stone making it to lose its shininess over a short period of time. As opposed to moissanite, which presents a hardness of 9,5 on the Mohs scale; either a diamond or another moissanite can scratch the stone. Sapphire is a great choice, displaying a hardness of 9.
Does the moissanite shine as much as a diamond?
When you first wear your engagement ring, you want it to shine so brilliantly that it almost blinds anybody who looks at you. As a result, I totally understand the question, I asked myself the same. Moissanite shines more, the diamond refractive index being around 2.40 as opposed to the moissanite, which is 2.65. Allegedly, this is sciency stuff you might not be interested in, just keep in mind that the take-home message is : moissanite shinier than a diamond.
Although the stones are very similar, if you decide to purchase a moissanite to your girlfriend, don’t try to lead her into thinking it’s a diamond. As a matter of fact, I would try to discuss the matter with her beforehand. Maybe she is really expecting a diamond and will be disappointed with anything else. My husband was disappointed I didn’t want a diamond, see how people are different?
Moissanite vs diamond; the sustainable choice
For the past few years, diamonds have had a bad press. The numerous bloody conflicts associated with diamond extraction, pollution around the mines, workers health and security concerns have tarnished the diamond reputation. You can purchase certified “clean” diamonds such as the Canadian diamonds; Birks is known to use only the finest Canadian diamonds, Tiffany is also known to use conflict-free diamonds.
However, there was once a few blood diamonds which made their way onto the side of the conflict-free diamonds, using multiple handlers and by-passing the conventional tracking system.
Moissanite, on the other hand, is lab-made. We cannot afford to wait for a meteorite to fall on Earth every time someone gets married. Therefore, chemists developed a synthesis route to produce high-quality stones. Moissanite comes into two quality options, either colourless (the finest) or near-colourless (budget option). You can either purchase the stone already mounted or the loose gem and ask your jeweller to create something unique for you.
If you are getting married anytime soon and are debating over Moissanite vs Diamond, just remember that not only diamonds are forever! In the meantime, have a drink, stay for a while!