Lab Grown Diamonds VS Moissanite: The Key Differences
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a mined diamond ring could easily break your budget. As such, many ring shoppers turn to moissanite, a popular diamond simulant that’s affordable. However, it’s good to note that there’s also been a rise in lab grown options that are significantly more wallet-friendly than mined diamonds – making lab grown diamonds a fantastic option while retaining quality.
Before you shop for that perfect sparkler, it’s important to understand the differences between them, so you can make an informed decision on which one is the best for you.
Moissanite isn’t the same as diamonds
First things first, moissanite isn’t a diamond. While the two look very similar, moissanite is made from silicon carbide, which has an entirely different chemical makeup from a diamond. Natural moissanite comes in small crystals and is incredibly rare. Thus, most moissanite gems used for jewellery are synthesized in a lab under a thermal growing process.
Lab grown diamonds share the same properties as mined diamonds
Lab grown diamonds are structurally, chemically and visually identical to the mined diamonds we all adore. The only difference is that the high-temperature and high-pressure conditions that create diamonds underground are instead, replicated in a lab. As creating these lab conditions are much easier and go through a shorter process than mining diamonds underground, lab grown diamonds tend to be more affordable than mined diamonds.
Now that you know the difference between lab grown diamonds and moissanite, let’s take a look at how the five factors differ between the two.
While the gemstones look similar, there are variations in their colour.
Lab grown diamonds: Diamonds can exhibit every colour. They can range from colourless to any shade in the rainbow – pink, purple, yellow, you name it!
Moissanite: Moissanite has a smaller variety of colours it can exhibit. The colours range from colourless to warmer hues like yellowish or greenish tints.
2. Colour permanence
The colours of the gemstones can also remain the same or change over time, depending on their characteristics.
Lab grown diamonds: The colour of a diamond lasts forever. The diamond on your ring today will look the same in decades to come, so you won’t ever have to worry about fading or discolouration!
Moissanite: On the other hand, moissanite is sensitive to temperature. It changes colour when placed under a temperature of over 65 deg Celcius. These heat-sensitive colour changes are usually short-lived, but they can occasionally be permanent.
The hardness of a gemstone is determined by the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which assesses its ability to withstand scratches on the surface.
Lab grown diamonds: As the saying goes, “a diamond is forever”. Diamonds are one of the most durable gemstones. On Mohs Scale of Hardness, diamond scores a solid 10, making it the hardest mineral on Earth. That being said, diamonds are ideal for everyday wear, with their durability being one of the reasons behind their popularity for engagement rings.
Moissanite: Moissanite is slightly softer than diamond. Despite so, it’s still extremely hard with a score of 9.25 on Mohs Scale of Hardness. While moissanite is a little more vulnerable to scratches than a diamond is, it’s still a durable gemstone that’s suitable for daily wear.
The way that the gemstones refract light controls how sparkly they look. Refraction refers to how the gems bend light. Diamond and moissanite have different refractive indexes, making their sparkle one of the most noticeable differences between them.
Lab grown diamonds: Diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42. They reflect a combination of brilliance (white light), dispersion (rainbow colours) and scintillation (surface sparkle), giving them their iconic sparkle.
Moissanite: Moissanite has a higher refractive index of 2.65. It sparkles brighter and more colourfully than diamond, emitting fiery, rainbow flashes. While some may love the firework-like flashes of moissanite, others feel that it looks rather artificial, especially under sunlight and in larger stones.
While both gemstones are more affordable than natural diamond, they also vary in costs between each other.
Lab grown diamonds: Diamonds are usually an expensive option. Diamond prices vary based on shape, cut, carat, colour and clarity. However, lab grown diamonds offer a much more affordable price tag. For our Star Carat collection, you can get a lab grown diamond that’s 50% larger than that of a mined diamond for the same price – giving you a real bang for your buck!
Moissanite: Moissanite is exceedingly cheaper than diamonds, but it also requires more maintenance in the long run. If you’re considering buying moissanite, remember to factor in long-term costs like yearly professional jeweller cleaning.
When choosing a centrepiece for your ring, there’s no doubt that both of these gems will exhibit a gorgeous sparkle that you can flaunt. However, if you’re looking for something that’s timeless yet practical, you can’t go wrong with lab grown diamonds – as the only difference compared to mined diamonds is its origin! It remains to be an affordable option while still delivering the hardest, most durable quality that won’t fade over time.
At SK Jewellery, we offer stunning lab grown diamonds in our Star Carat collection. Quality comes first – and we are proud to provide a selection of IGI certified lab grown diamonds that also fall under the Type IIA category, representing only the purest and valuable type of diamonds.