Moissanite stones are a solid substitute for diamonds. They have similar sparkle, whiteness, and clarity. Only experienced gemologists can easily spot the difference between these two precious gemstones.
Many think that moissanite is a cheap knock-off of diamonds, but they are not. Moissanite stones are separate gemstones with zero connection to diamonds. They are extremely rare, but they do occur naturally and are not gotten from diamonds.
Due to its brilliance and its captivating appearance, moissanite makes great gemstones for jewellery, especially engagement rings. Although they look so much like diamonds there are ways to tell them apart. Let’s see how you can identify a moissanite ring when placed side by side with a diamond ring.
To an untrained eye, moissanite and diamonds may look identical, and asking them to spot the difference might seem like a trick. Diamonds come in a variety of cuts, colours, and clarity so some may look very identical to moissanite, even to a trained eye.
If you want to adequately tell the difference, you will be needing professional equipment such as a diamond tester. The diamond tester detects whether or not a diamond is real by measuring the heat conductivity. However, the heat conductivity of moissanite is nearly as close, so using this equipment is not always 100% correct.
You could also use a moissanite tester to identify a moissanite stone. The moissanite tester measures the electrical conductivity of a stone.
But this equipment is not readily available. So, how can you tell the difference with just your eyes?
- The Brilliance! Diamond has a unique sparkle that has made it a high-demand gemstone. It mostly reflects white light. When compared to moissanite, the sparkle from diamonds is not as bright.
- Moissanites also have more fire. You get to see a dispersion of colours when the light hits them. And this is the easiest and quickest way to tell the difference.
- Another way to tell the difference is by looking closely enough through the side or top of a round moissanite ring to observe the double refraction property of the ring. You will notice that the facets on the opposite side of the stone will look doubled.
Beyond the visual appearance of both precious gemstones, there are other ways to differentiate them.
Moissanite stones are rated as high as 9.5 on the Mohs scale, next to diamonds with a perfect 10. Both stones are durable and can be worn every day without the fear of having them chipped or broken.
Diamonds have lower clarity than moissanite. The inclusions of diamonds also determine its price (the lower the inclusion, the higher its price).
Moissanite stones, on the other hand, have little to no inclusions. They are created in the lab in a controlled environment, so the chances of having inclusions in moissanite are very low.
Diamonds are typically heavier than moissanite. The density of pure diamonds is higher. So, if you weigh both gemstones of the same size, diamonds will always be heavier than moissanite.
Sometimes, even to the talented eye, differentiating between moissanite and diamonds gets harder. Certain features of high-quality moissanite make it look more like a diamond than it normally would.
When moissanite comes in certain shapes, differentiating it from natural diamonds becomes almost impossible.
A round-cut moissanite is the closest look alike to a diamond. The unique proportions of its facet and its refraction and reflection of light imitate diamonds way more than other moissanite cuts. When placed side by side, visual testing will be impractical in accurately spotting the difference. Only with the help of further weight measurement, clarity, or electrical/heat conductivity will you be able to tell the difference.
The princess cut moissanite also mimics princess diamonds in their interaction with light and a faceting pattern. It is the second-best moissanite cut for people who want to get the diamond look as much as they can.
- Step cuts (Asscher and Emerald)
Step cuts reduce the sparkle of moissanite to make it look more like a diamond. Their straight facets cause moissanite stones to lose a little bit of their brilliance, taking it down to diamond-level brilliance.
- Elongated cuts (Cushion, Oval, Pear, Radiant)
Moissanite crushed ice cut is being used to mimic the irregular sparkle as seen in elongated diamond cuts. When moissanite stones are used for elongated cuts, their symmetrical faceting pattern still makes them more brilliant than diamonds. When crushed ice is used, the refractive index is no longer as high and light scatters when it hits the gemstone, and causes them to look more like their diamond counterpart.
When moissanite comes in certain colour grades, distinguishing it from natural diamonds can also be pretty difficult. Moissanite tend to look more like diamonds that have the colour grades D, E, and F. These colour grades are the colourless variants of diamonds, which can also be seen in the natural state of high-quality, near-colourless moissanite.
Yes, but the differences aren’t so clear. For diamonds, the size determines the degree of their brilliance. The bigger the diamond, the shinier it becomes.
But, moissanite already has a higher refractive index. When a diamond and moissanite of the same size are placed side by side, the fire and brilliance of the moissanite are more captivating. If you want to imitate a diamond ring by using moissanite, go for a smaller stone.
Moissanite rings are a great option if you’re going for something more ethical and shinier. Although they are mostly seen as the best imitators of diamonds, they make great rings on their own. So, you can always go with the intention of getting a moissanite ring based on all its beautiful qualities, not just to get a stone that looks the closest to diamonds.