Is moissanite a fake diamond?

moissanite: Engagement Ring
Engagement Ring with Diamond (npleafage.com)

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As a jewelry designer and retailer frequently working with diamond alternatives like moissanite, I often get asked – “is moissanite a fake diamond?” While cleverly marketed as a diamond duplicate, moissanite has quite distinct origins and properties that set it apart scientifically.

In reality, moissanite rates objectively more brilliant with additional color fire sparkle exceeding diamonds visually. Its durability also competes head-to-head while costing far less. When shared openly with consumers, moissanite serves as an ethical, economical stand-in. So why the fake associations?

In this extensive educational guide examining moissanite details alongside diamond qualities, we’ll unpack:

  • Scientific composition and structure
  • Hardness, brilliance ratings
  • Color, cut gradings
  • Sourcing origins and ethics
  • Price value comparisons
  • Best practices identifying moissanite

Let’s empower this knowledge so you can spotlight the uniqueness of moissanite gems confidently while appreciating their diamond-rivaling advantages transparently!

Moissanite Properties vs Diamonds
At face value, moissanite stones and diamonds share some visual similarities that understandably create market confusion between them. Both manifest as colorless to faintly yellow/brown, transparent crystals suitable for jewelry when cut. But diving deeper into materials and sourcing science illuminates key differences.

In simple terms:

  • Diamonds = naturally formed mines, carbon atoms
  • Moissanites = lab created, silicon carbide crystals

The same element carbon that constitutes 20% of our bodies produces diamonds when crystallizing deep underground. In moissanite’s case, labs simulate conditions generating incredibly scarce natural moissanite crystals – originally discovered in a meteor crater!

Let’s analyze essential factors side-by-side:

Hardness Resistance
Diamonds rate 10 on the Mohs Scale as the hardest known mineral, edging out the next toughest gems ruby and sapphire at 9. Early moissanite marketed as a diamond twin scored 9.25 on Mohs, somewhat misleadingly implying a near match. In actuality, most moissanite falls closer to 9 – still excellently durable.

This hardness means both endure through decades of wear without scratching or excessive abrasions. Excellent conductors of heat, strong thermal resistance gives diamonds and moissanites incredible toughness. Except under extreme high-impact collisions, these gems shrug off cracks or fractures during everyday use.

In plain terms – both moissanite and diamond secure top rankings for jewelry durability longevity.

Light Refraction & Brilliance
One key separator lies in brilliance performance outcomes. Both moissanite and diamonds internally reflect and refract light in sparkling fashion. But moissanite’s higher refractive index at 2.65 compared to diamond’s 2.42 refracts more white light.

This proves especially noticeable in certain cuts. Round brilliant moissanites project supreme fire and brilliance exceeding diamond! The extra color bursts juxtapose beautifully against diamond’s crystalline sparkle. Moissanite also costs 30-50% less than diamonds in typical jewelry markets currently.

When maximizing carat size per budget, or desiring lively rainbow prisms, moissanite clearly outperforms optically for less. Certain shapes like emerald cut showcase diamond hallmark shine better though. So shape selections and pairing contrast both optimizes overall looks.

In simple terms – moissanite optics offer slightly more brilliance at much lower price points.

Grading Properties Matter Too

Gemologically speaking, jewelers grade diamond and moissanite against different sets of metrics aligned with their composition properties. Labs assess the 4Cs quality for diamonds – Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat weight. While GHI ratings evaluate moissanite.

Key diamond grading letters measure:

Color D-Z– Rating colorlessness with D highest white
Clarity IF – I3– Inclusion visibility inside
Cut Excellent to Good– Craftsmanship angles

For moissanites, GHI scores rate:

G – Grade level from G-J
H – Hue color tonality
I – Inclusion/Clarity codes

So moissanites don’t “fake” diamond 4C scores when each uses distinct grading systems. They rival diamonds optically but contain own scientific personalities. Which origin story matters too…

Moissanite Sources Differ from Diamond Origins

In nature, rough diamond crystals grow extraordinarily slowly – over billions of years – as carbon elements bond 120 miles underground. Powerful volcanic eruptions transport them above ground in volcanic rock deposits (kimberlite pipes) for mining recovery.

Moissanite’s natural discovery occurred much differently. In 1893, a Nobel Prize winner named Henri Moissan uncovered mysterious crystals near a meteor crater in Arizona. Later identified as silicon carbide, he aptly coined the gem “Moissanite” after himself.

Beyond this sole documented meteor source, no further natural moissanite deposits ever emerged. With advanced technology though, scientists can now grow near-identical moissanite crystals in labs. Controlled environments allow calibrating optical properties like enlarging size unavailable naturally.

This means while diamonds get mined from inherently limited indigenous sources annually, lab grown moissanite supplies keep pace with worldwide jewelry demands. The disruptive economics brings affordable luxury to far more consumers. And unlike diamond mining controversies around working conditions, labs generate gems ethically without environmental harms.

In simple terms – moissanites and diamonds feature distinct compositions from separate sources. One abundantly grown synthetic, one naturally scarce. Both shiny!

Price & Value Comparison
Given moissanite’s amplified supply capacity from labs, diamond-mimicking beauty at mined diamond prices gets enabled for brides, designers and shoppers. Production scales introduces savings.

Currently moissanites run 30-50% below equivalent diamond costs easily. That affords bigger sizes maximizing carat impressions too! As innovative methods keep improving lab-created gemstones, expectcosts sliding further.

Some key price comparisons in today’s fine jewelry market:

  • 1 carat GIA certified diamond: ~$5,000
  • 1 carat ForeverOne moissanite: ~$1,000
  • Half carat diamond studs: ~$1,200+?
  • Half carat moissanite studs: $300+

Whether buying loose or mounted in settings like engagement rings or tennis bracelets, dramatic valuation discrepanciesgive moissanite advantages. Their exceptional brilliance, toughness and color range versatility optimize the total carat presence. Well informed buyers capitalize on blood-free ethics for 70% off retail too!

In plain terms – moissanites offer consumers far more size and sparkle for budget than diamonds!

Best Practices Spotting Moissanite
If wondering whether a particular stone classifies as moissanite or diamond, jewelers and appraisers have methods confirming identities easily. Remember to always ask! Here are common options:

  1. Refractometer device – Measures refractive index based on how much a gemstone bends entering and exiting light beams. Diamonds score ~2.42 vs moissanites ~2.65.
  2. Thermal tester probe – Diamonds disperse heat rapidly when removed from the device. Moissanites retain enough warmth to still feel slightly hot on fingers.
  3. Microscope plus loupe – Inspect for microscopic inclusions. Crystalline structures differ, no graining white planes in moissanite.
  4. Ask the seller and review any lab certificate – Legitimate retailers provide gemological testing paperwork from IGI, GIA, etc. detailing the grade ratings of each center stone.

Forever One moissanites even ship with their own independent Certificates of Authenticity. So no question marks around honesty or ethics!

By requesting to view the analyses documentation, you can easily verify descriptions. Any vague responses or reluctance delivering evidence should raise suspicion. Insist on proof before purchasing any diamond alternatives like moissanite out of common best practice.

When shared transparently with consumers, moissanites rate affirmatively as premier diamond alternatives rather than imitators. Evaluating them on own compositions, visual physicists, pricing thresholds and sourcing backgrounds debunks “fake” myths. In parallel to diamonds, moissanites shine phenomenally but with own personalities!

With so much jewelry misinformation in mainstream media traditionally, I prioritize publishing educational content exactly like this for clarity. Please contact me directly anytime with requests to examine new diamonds or moissanites you are considering for purchase. Stay savvy with how to spot quality, value and ethics accurately.

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