Moissanite Ring vs. diamond: It’s Time to Tell You the Truth

Diamond VS. Moissanite: It’s Time to Tell You the Truth

/ Post by zulre wu
“Why are diamonds so damn expensive?” Have you ever asked yourself when you stand in front of the mall counter? Yes, the diamonds are beautiful, glamorous, elegant, but unaffordable for most people because of their inflated premium. For a very long time, diamond has dominated the gemstone market and this monopoly has carried on for years with no major disruptions in place. Do you know that diamonds are usually associated with high costs and conflicts? Today, we will not stand by any side to criticize diamonds or moissanite, we will only describe the fair facts. It’s time to tell you the truth.
Diamonds are often found in some of the most desolated and remote locations on the planet. For example, there is a diamond mine on the edge of the Kalahari desert in Botswana, where the summer temperature can boil up to 104°C. In contrast, some diamond mines are located in the coldest regions in the world, such as the tundra in Siberia, Russia, where the temperature can be lower than -40°C, the frozen ground is very cold and hard. It is impossible to find the mineral deposits in those areas with harsh natural conditions without your amazing spirit of adventure and passion for diamonds.
The disappointing part is that diamond mines are only discovered in few countries in the world, only 6% of them have commercial development value, and only 1.8% are suitable for polishing into gems. It often takes decades or even hundreds of years of hard work to find unmoved primary diamond deposits that can be intensively mined. The mining either cause harm to the environment or clashes amongst different parties. Currently, diamond mines on the surface have been exhausted. Therefore, it takes a lot of manpower, material resources, and investment to transform diamond mining from open-pit mining to higher-cost underground mining. In the mining process, it is necessary to fully mine the diamond-rich ore, and then move, crush and process it. It is also necessary to use high-tech and manual sorting technology to extract diamonds from the ore and carry out careful processing. In order to ensure that the coarse diamond particles in the ore are intact, only 1 carat (0.2 grams) of diamonds can be decomposed from 250 tons of ore.
Diamond mining causes enormous environmental devastation, it is estimated that over 1 ton of earth is taken out for every carat of diamond mined. Mining often leads to erosion, deforestation, and barren wastelands. If you have the chance to visit any one of the diamond mines, you will see there is no romance but only desolate. These are empty, barren, sad-looking places. In addition to this, there is also the factor of bad working conditions, human rights abuse, and the risk that your diamond may be a conflict, or blood, diamond. Although diamonds are gorgeous, there is also an ugly side that has been highlighted through films such as <Blood Diamond>.
You won't be surprised if the cost of a cut, polished, and processed 1-carat diamond costs is higher than US$1,800. After all, the production of a diamond requires so much manpower, material resources, and environmental damage. But, when this 1-carat diamond goes from the loose diamond supplier to a wholesale buyer, then inlaid and processed into jewelry, retailed by the jeweler through the jewelry counters of large and medium-sized shopping malls or luxury specialty stores, and finally presented to consumers, the price will rise to 7-12 times from the original price, which can easily upper to $10,000.

Perhaps for some people, thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of dollars are affordable, but for most of the people, especially young folks who are struggling to balance their life and expensive bills, those treasures are truly unaffordable. The confusing question is, why do we have to spend a ton of money to get something you can quite easily find in jewelry shops but yet so expensive? Is there any gemstone that can replace it perfectly without teetering at the yawning edges of the debt hole in the attempt?

In 1937, German mineralogists M. V. Stackelberg and K. Chudoba discovered naturally occurring cubic zirconia in the form of microscopic grains included in metamict zircon. This was thought to be a byproduct of the metamictization process, but the two scientists did not think the mineral important enough to give it a formal name. The discovery was confirmed through X-ray diffraction, proving the existence of a natural counterpart to the synthetic product. In 1969, French scientists Y. Roulin and R. Collongues invented the "cold crucible melting shell method" technology to produce cubic zirconia, but they only did some exploratory research. In 1972, Soviet scientists under V. V. Osiko at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique, their technology grew very large crystals. In the meantime, they applied for a patent of this man-made gemstone. After 1976, the former Soviet Union introduced these colorless cubic zirconia crystals to the market as a substitute for diamonds, which caused lots of panic in the diamond industry. At that time, this type of diamond was called "Soviet Diamond". Subsequently, other countries have also produced this gemstone, and it became popular internationally after that.

Has zircon truly become the substitute for diamonds? No, it hasn’t, you can easily tell the differences by naked eyes. The fire of the diamond is beautiful, it can refract the light, you can see 5-7 colors on the diamond. Zircon cannot refract light, but can only reflect light, that's why zircon looks whiter. And the surface of zircon should be bluish, that's why it looks hazy and not as bright as diamonds. The most deadly point is that diamond is currently the hardest substance found in nature. A gem’s hardness and scratch resistance are measured by the Mohs Scale which gives each precious gem a mark out of 10 points. Diamonds are often used for industrial cutting because their Mohs hardness has reached 10. But the hardness of zircon is only 7.5, after wearing a period of time, zircon always has some scratches on it. Therefore, although it's cheap, zircon is not a good substitute for diamonds.

In the case of gemstones, most people are afraid of wearing fine jewelry that somehow isn't what is popularly known. Many would rather not wear jewelry at all if they can't afford the over-priced gemstones to avoid being labeled as wearing a 'fake' diamond. So gradually, zircon has become an inlay in cheap jewelry instead of an eye-catching main stone of your ring that appears at your wedding. So, can we only hand over our hard-earned cash to the diamond monopoly? No, this is exactly why another gemstone came into being.

The story goes back to the late nineteenth century, in 1894, a man called Dr. Henri Moissan discovered this mineral-Moissanite (a type of silicon carbide) in a huge meteorite crater in Arizona. It is also called carborundum. In 1905, to show respect to Dr. Henri Moissan, this newly discovered gem was named Moissanite. It was successfully developed in the laboratory since 1980. In 1997, it was exclusively produced by a US-listed company names 3C, they were combining cutting-edge technology and patented ultra-perfect cutting technology, implanting crystal clear high-tech gemstones. The sparks of Moissanite shows are more shining than diamonds! This successful introduction of marketing has caused numerous international sensations and increasing demand for Moissanite.

So, can Moissanite become a good substitute for diamonds? Will it repeat the mistakes of zircon and become an inlay in cheap jewelry? Let’s answer the question itself: How does Moissanite compare favorably with Diamond?

The original purpose of synthetic Moissanite was to imitate diamonds. Various technological measures have been working hard in this direction. In the long-term upgrade process, the final effect gradually defeated synthetic cubic zirconia, artificial yttrium-aluminum-garnet, and other artificial gems for the same purpose. It even passed the test of a diamond selector, this forcing the inspection agency to produce a special detection pen for Moissanite, it has undoubtedly become the biggest challenger to diamonds.

Some people would think that the selector is only to measure the resonance of gemstones, the aesthetics should be analyzed from the angle of refractive index or fire. After many tests and data comparison, what we can tell is that the appearance of Moissanite is very similar to natural diamonds, it is difficult to distinguish them from the naked eyes. It is also a gemstone with the closest physical properties to natural diamonds. If you look closely, you will find that the fire of Moissanite is stronger than diamonds.

Moissanite's characteristic sparkle is more than just a show of beauty, this is not merely a sales line, but a scientific and quantifiable fact. Tested with professional equipment, the fire of Moissanite is 2.5 times that of diamonds. The fire of diamond is 0.044, while Moissanite is 0.104; in terms of refraction, diamond is 2.42 and Moissanite is 2.65. The higher the refractive index of a gemstone has, the more brilliance the jewel emits. That is why Moissanite's superior refractive index makes Moissanite the most brilliant fine gemstone on earth. The fire and refraction of Moissanite exceed of the diamond, which is very impressive. In addition to superior fire and brilliance, Moissanite has 18% greater luster than a diamond and 50% greater luster than zircon. From the appearance point of view, the excellence of Moissanite is noncommittal.

Diamonds are the most durable gemstones with a score of 10 on the Mohs Scale. Moissanites are just behind that with 9.25 points, which makes it the second hardest and most durable gem in the world. For comparison, sapphires and rubies are 9 on the Moh Scale, their hardness is a bit lower than Moissanite, but the cost performance is completely incomparable with Moissanite. Not to mention emeralds and zircons are only have 7.5 points, their hardness is completely incomparable. If you scratch them with Moissanite, the Moissanite will easily leave scratches on them, but they cannot leave one scratch on Moissanite. That is why Moissanite is definitely the best choice except for diamond if a gem’s durability is important to you. This means that it is extremely unlikely that your Moissanite will be scratched unless your store it with diamond jewelry. People always say “diamond is last forever”, but not all of them have the chance to know that Moissanite can also last forever too.

In the comparison of these indicators, Moissanite is not much inferior, and some values are even higher than diamonds. It is precisely because the fire of Moissanite is stronger, from the perspective of appearance, Moissanite can have the ability of "recognized beauty" of diamonds. Of course, many professional appraisers blindly belittle and exclude Moissanite just because of the difference in visual fire and even the difference under the influence of psychological perception, this is also an undesirable cognitive attitude. The so-called beauty is nothing but just a subjective judgment, and it is even possible that these differences will become the propaganda advantage of Moissanite in the future. Somehow, Many of the attacks on Moissanite come from diamond dealers. Everyone's perspective is different; of course, their positions are different, businessmen always stand on the side of their own interests. The fact is that in the same price range according to the 4C grading, the Moissanite is definitely the winner of diamonds. Consumers basically only see the final product, we can't tell which ones are diamonds and which ones are moissanite, but we can distinguish the price label. The price of Moissanite is only one-tenth of the same grade of the diamond, or much lower than that.

In the cost of building a normal diamond ring, the price of the main stone itself is the largest part. If the diamond is larger, the proportion of precious metals and craftsmanship is smaller. “Why do we have to spend more money to buy natural diamonds when we can buy larger and cleaner decorative effects for much less money?” This is the biggest question for consumers, and it is also the most difficult problem for natural diamond sellers when they're facing synthetic diamonds and Moissanite. We have collected some information to let us compare them from each side.

Because of the excellent material and high-cost performance, Moissanite has become the choice of many people‘s daily wear or engagement ring. But there are still some people who are vacillating between diamonds and Moissanite. It is totally understandable when human beings face an unknown thing, our first reaction is to worry and doubt it. We always want to follow the public’s choice to avoid being the “special one”, this is why you always see some similar questions when you search “Moissanite ring” on Google.

Well, does the moissanite ring looks fake? No, it doesn’t. The fire and brilliance of Moissanite actually far outshine that of diamonds. Some people are worried about the glitter of moissanite rings giving away that it is not a diamond, but it is definitely not overpowering to the point of looking fake. When light hits a moissanite engagement ring, it sparkles rainbow colors on the surface and also can produce almost a rainbow effect, which makes many people fall in love with that. Moissanite lovers are attracted by the sparkle and fire of moissanite stones; the color is more vibrant and fiery than the subtle sparkle of a diamond. The sparkles of Moissanite are gorgeous and rich in texture, you will never think it looks fake. Therefore, it is hard for you to tell which one is diamond and which one is Moissanite by naked eyes.

Is a Moissanite diamond a real diamond? No, Moissanite is its own gemstone. Based on the previous comparison, you have already known enough about the material characteristics of Moissanite. Practically, Moissanite is carbon silicate and whereas diamond is pure carbon, which means Moissanite will repel dirt and oil better than diamonds. Moissanite is among the most ethical, sustainable engagement ring choices too. Because most of the Moissanites are man-made stones, which means it can be cut in any size or shape you want. Natural diamonds are limited to the size and shape the Earth grows them, the mining has also caused great damage to the environment. But Moissanite is super sustainable because no mining is needed, it cannot be denied that Moissanite will be the best choice for environmentalism.

Is it bad to get a Moissanite engagement ring? We can’t define what is good and what is bad about a gemstone, both diamonds and moissanite have their pros and cons. It is up to the individual to determine which stone is most suitable for them. Prior to the De Beers diamond campaigns in the late 1930s, diamonds were actually going out of fashion. But their clever marketing strategies created the modern image of diamonds as the ideal symbol of love and devotion. Since then, a diamond became the best friend for a woman, and a man was required to spend 2 months’ salary on it. These concepts have become the mainstream and diamonds are now equated to wealth, prestige, class, and of course, forever love. At least now, we have to admit that Moissanite is not achieved the social status that diamond does. For some people, Moissanite is snubbed as a “fake” stone for diamond. But what needs to be declared again is: Moissanite and Diamond are different gemstones, both have their own advantages. Whether you choose a diamond or Moissanite, it is a matter of personal preference and values, no need to have any other concerns.

Let’s get to the last question, Is Moissanite worth it? Yes, it totally worth it. We all know that diamonds are pretty expensive stones when it comes to price. Many young couples are spending up to two months' salary on their ring - thanks to social pressure and media influence. According to marketing price, an average 1-carat diamond costs upwards of USD $3000 - $4000, with the average cost of a diamond engagement ring being more than USD $5000. But a Moissanite of similar appearance and size can cost up to 90% less than a diamond, and whether it is appearance or hardness, Moissanite is comparable to diamonds. The most important is, who doesn't want to spend only hundreds of dollars to get a ring that can last forever and pass it to your next generation? Whatever your views may be on this, the Moissanite ring is clearly a more rational, practical choice.

As jewelry, the most intuitive and basic function is the decorative function. From the perspective of rigid consumers, we can’t talk about added value, investment value, collection value, etc., these are concepts played by professionals and collectors in the diamond industry. A normal consumer even cannot find a channel for diamond recycling, apart from paying a high price for a diamond ring, what is left for us? We do not agree that some people say diamond marketing is just a scam and fabricated story, but we also do not agree that diamonds are irreplaceable. Diamond is just a gem, it has a fixed structure and physical characteristics, it is loved by people because of its beauty. However, human beings rely on their own wisdom and technology to imitate and recreate the beautiful gemstone step by step. Now, we have gradually reached the starting point of creation and can produce gems that can replace natural diamonds for decoration. Diamonds are not irreplaceable, as now and in the future, there will be more people spending less money to wear more beautiful jewelry than before. People like to see this, this trend is inevitable and unstoppable.

We can't interfere with anyone's choice, because everyone is unique and should be able to express their own style and beauty in their choice of jewelry. In the 21st century of today, we should more focus on how to express our own beauty and aspiration, stop letting public opinion to determine your choice! We truly hope everyone can find their favorite gems, every gemstone can find their suitable owners and shine through the endless moment.


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