Moissanite vs Diamond

Often when people hear about moissanite, they immediately start to compare it with diamond. In this post we will run you through the main differences between moissanite and diamond.

Differences between Moissanite and Diamond

Feature Moissanite Diamond
Hardness (Moh's scale) 9.25 10
Brilliance (refractive index) 2.6 2.4
Colour DEF or GHI D-I
Price (US, 1 carat equivalent) $599 $2,600-$17,000
Fire 0.104 0.044
Density 3.22g/cm3 3.51g/cm3

1. Price

The biggest difference is – thankfully- the cost of moissanite vs the cost of diamond. The gap is huge between the two. To summarise it easily and visually, the table below can explain the chasm better. It is important to note however, that given moissanite and diamond are not the same gem, they have some differences in measuring the quality of the stone. 

Firstly, the weight of the diamond is always measured in carats, however the weight of moissanite can’t be used to compare size as they have different densities- so we use what is called the diamond equivalent weight or ‘DEW’. The diamond equivalent weight is decided by the measurement of the size of the moissanite, the table can be found here if you would like more information on size comparison. 

Secondly, the cut of diamond is very important to the sparkle of the diamond, and this can influence the cost greatly. Moissanite is all lab grown, so all moissanites are super ideal cut when compared to diamond. The same holds true for the clarity- the clarity is a huge determining factor on price for diamond, but again as moissanites are lab grown there is no compromise on the clarity of the stone. 

Lastly, the colour of diamond vs moissanite. Diamonds can range from I to D colour, going from yellowing tones to brightest white. Moissanite has two options for colour; DEF and GHI.

Moissanite vs Diamond Price compare Table

Cut, Carat, Clairty, Colour, Moissanite (AUD) Diamond (AUD)
Highest quality
D: Round, 1 ct, Flawless, Super ideal cut , D colour
M: Round, 1 ct DEW, DEF,
$1,075 $22,665
Medium quality
D: Round, 1 ct, VVS2, Very good cut, F colour
M: Round 1 ct DEW, DEF
$1,075 $9,030
Lowest quality
D: Round, 1 ct, SI2, Fair cut, I colour,
M: Round, 1 ct, GHI
$730 $4,335

Prices are all in Australian Dollars, and are current as of 25-02-2020, moissanite costs are direct from Charles&Colvard, and the diamond prices are from Brilliant Earth, all natural diamond.

2. Brilliance and Fire- the look

When put side by side a moissanite and diamond round brilliant cut, the average person cannot tell the difference between the two. In fact, some think that the moissanite is the diamond because it has more sparkle to it. See this video here for a real life comparison where passers by had to say which is the real diamond. 

However, moissanite and diamond have two properties that create a very real difference in their appearance. I am referring to their fire and brilliance. Fire is the term given to the gem’s ability to split light into varying range of colour (also known as dispersion). Moissanite gives off a huge rainbow of colours, where as diamond (although very sparkly) gives off more white light. Moissanite has almost twice as much fire as diamond.

The brilliance of a gem refers to how much light is reflected back out of the gem – also known as it’s refractive index. Once again, moissanite rates higher than diamond here- it’s refractive index is 2.6 and diamond is 2.4.

The two properties of fire and brilliance make up what is known as moissanite’s ‘disco ball’ effect. It sparkles way more and reflects more rainbows than diamonds, and this (second to price) is probably the biggest difference between moissanite and diamond.

3. Durability

One of the biggest selling points for diamonds is that they “are forever” (thanks De Beers for that one). This is both referring to the fact that they are a symbol for engagement and lifetime commitment, but also that diamonds are the hardest gem stone. They don’t scratch, won’t shatter, and certainly won’t change their sparkle over time. Cubic zirconia on the other hand, won’t fair as well as diamond with everyday wear and tear- it can scratch and lose it’s luster over time. Your engagment ring is rarely taken off, so it’s expected that it can withstand a lot of use.

Luckily for moissanite, it’s closer than any other gemstone on the market in terms of hardness to diamond. If you’ve been doing your own research into moissanite vs diamond, you’ve probably heard of Moh’s scale- this is the scientific way we measure hardness. Cubic Zirconica sits at 8.5, and moissanite is at a 9.25, with diamond sitting at the top spot number 10.  Moh’s scale is exponential, so there is a huge difference between CZ and moissanite, but because moissanite is so high up it is considered to be just as durable as diamond for long term wear. 

4. Colour

Diamond has a full colour range between D (colourless) and K (yellow), with every letter in between. Moissanite has a much smaller range- either DEF on the diamond colour scheme, or GHI.  The highest grade moissanite in DEF or colourless, is just as white/colourless as the highest grade ‘D’ diamond, so we at gemroe feel that as far as colour is concerned, moissanite and diamond are equal.

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