Diamond vs. Moissanite

What's the Difference?

Diamond and moissanite are both popular gemstones used in jewelry, but they have distinct differences. Diamonds are naturally occurring gemstones formed deep within the Earth's crust over millions of years, while moissanite is a lab-created gemstone made from silicon carbide. In terms of hardness, diamonds are the hardest known substance, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale, while moissanite is slightly lower at 9.25. Diamonds have a higher refractive index, giving them a brilliant sparkle, whereas moissanite has a higher dispersion, resulting in more fire and rainbow-like flashes of color. Additionally, diamonds are more expensive and rare, while moissanite is a more affordable alternative that offers similar visual appeal. Ultimately, the choice between diamond and moissanite depends on personal preferences, budget, and ethical considerations.


Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash
Chemical CompositionCarbonSilicon Carbide
Environmental ImpactMined, potentially harmfulLab-grown, more eco-friendly
Photo by SYNG on Unsplash

Further Detail


Diamonds and moissanites are two popular gemstones that are often compared due to their similarities in appearance. While diamonds have been cherished for centuries, moissanites have gained popularity as an alternative due to their unique properties. In this article, we will explore and compare the attributes of diamonds and moissanites, shedding light on their differences and helping you make an informed decision when choosing between the two.

1. Composition and Origin

Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle under intense heat and pressure. They are composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure, making them the hardest known natural substance. On the other hand, moissanites are silicon carbide crystals that were first discovered in a meteorite crater. While diamonds are entirely natural, moissanites are created in laboratories using advanced technology to replicate their natural counterparts.

2. Hardness and Durability

Diamonds are renowned for their exceptional hardness, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale. This means they are highly resistant to scratching and can withstand everyday wear and tear. Moissanites, although not as hard as diamonds, still rank high on the scale with a rating of 9.25. This makes them a durable option for jewelry, ensuring they can withstand the rigors of daily use without losing their brilliance or becoming easily damaged.

3. Brilliance and Fire

Both diamonds and moissanites exhibit exceptional brilliance and fire, which refers to their ability to reflect and refract light. Diamonds are known for their unique ability to disperse light into a spectrum of colors, creating a mesmerizing sparkle. Moissanites, on the other hand, have an even higher refractive index than diamonds, resulting in an intense brilliance and fire that can sometimes be mistaken for a diamond. This makes moissanites an excellent alternative for those seeking a gemstone with exceptional sparkle.

4. Color and Clarity

When it comes to color, diamonds come in a wide range of hues, from colorless to various shades of yellow or brown. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamonds on a color scale, with D being the highest grade for a colorless diamond. Moissanites, on the other hand, tend to have a slight yellow or greenish tint, although they are also available in near-colorless options. In terms of clarity, diamonds can have internal or external flaws known as inclusions and blemishes. Moissanites, being lab-created, are generally considered to have excellent clarity with minimal inclusions.

5. Cost and Affordability

One of the most significant differences between diamonds and moissanites is their cost. Diamonds are highly valued and can be quite expensive, especially for larger carat sizes or those with exceptional color and clarity grades. On the other hand, moissanites are more affordable, offering a similar appearance to diamonds at a fraction of the price. This affordability makes moissanites an attractive option for those on a budget or looking to maximize their budget for a larger stone.

6. Ethical and Environmental Considerations

Another aspect to consider when choosing between diamonds and moissanites is their ethical and environmental impact. While diamonds have faced scrutiny in the past due to concerns over conflict or "blood" diamonds, the industry has made significant strides in implementing ethical mining practices. Many diamonds now come with certifications, such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, ensuring they are sourced responsibly. Moissanites, being lab-created, have a smaller environmental footprint and are considered a more eco-friendly choice.

7. Popularity and Cultural Significance

Diamonds have long been associated with luxury, love, and commitment. They have a rich cultural significance and are often the gemstone of choice for engagement rings and other special occasions. Diamonds have stood the test of time and continue to be highly sought after. Moissanites, although gaining popularity, do not carry the same historical significance. However, they offer a unique and affordable option for those looking for a stunning gemstone without the high price tag.


In conclusion, both diamonds and moissanites have their own unique attributes and appeal. Diamonds are natural, incredibly hard, and carry a rich cultural significance. Moissanites, on the other hand, offer exceptional brilliance, durability, and affordability. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences, budget, and ethical considerations. Whether you opt for the timeless beauty of a diamond or the stunning sparkle of a moissanite, both gemstones have the potential to make a lasting impression.

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