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A lab-created gemstone made of silicon carbide.

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A Budget-Friendly & Ethical Alternative to Diamonds

  • Mar 24, 2009
Lab-created Moissanite is fairly new to the field of jewelry, but with the way that the economy is now, they've been making waves internationally in the jewelry world since people have been blingin' recessionista style.  I know that there are a lot of people out there who don't feel comfortable wearing lab-created gemstones over natural ones, but as a former gemology student who has worked in the jewelry industry for several years, many of my colleagues and I have fallen in love with this new gemstone because not only is it gorgeous, but it doesn't make a big dent in our wallets, so it's definitely something to consider.

Though I LOVE diamonds (because after all, diamonds are a girl's best friend!), there are still times when I prefer to use Moissanite.  For example, when I'm working on a piece of jewelry that requires several large diamonds, but am on a budget, or when it comes to earrings for myself, since I lose earrings so easily.  I have three pairs of stud earrings.  One pair is cubic zirconia (CZ), one is Moissanite, and the other, diamond.  I rarely ever wear the CZ ones anymore because they've dulled over time from my wearing moisturizer and hair products, and I rarely ever wear my diamond ones because they were so expensive that I can't risk losing them.  Though I would also hate to lose my Moissanite earrings, they costed thousands of dollars less than my diamond ones, yet they wouldn't ever dull like CZ despite my wearing them almost every day.

These are some useful facts that I highlight for people to consider when choosing between diamond or Moissanite:
  • Coming after diamonds, Moissanite is the second hardest gemstone out there, so you don't really have to work about it breaking, or melting, etc.
  • Moissanite actually has more scintillation and a higher refractive index than diamonds do.  In other words, more bling.
  • Moissanite is more than likely a higher color and clarity level than many diamonds out there.
  • Moissanite has a lower specific gravity than diamonds, meaning that a moissanite is slightly less dense and that if there was a 1 carat moissanite and a 1 carat diamond, the moissanite would appear physically larger, though just slightly.
  • It takes a really, really trained eye to be able to tell the difference between a natural diamond and a Moissanite by eye.
  • Unlike CZ that dull with time, Moissanites and diamonds are going to be shiny forever.
  • Moissannites usually range from hundreds to a couple thousand for anything around under 3 carats, whereas a diamond of the same size could range from several thousand to tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. 
  • Diamonds will appreciate in value, whereas Moissanites wouldn't really appreciate in value much.
  • If you ever want to upgrade in size, color, or clarity, etc, it's way easier to trade in a diamond than it is to trade in a Moissanite.  I don't think I've ever heard of anyone trading in a Moissanite before.
  • For those who are worried about the ethics of diamond mining, Moissanite is a great alternative.

When it comes to jewelry, it doesn't get much better than gorgeous, inexpensive gemstones that will last forever, and that can be passed on from generation to generation.

Edit: Since so many readers have asked where to buy Moissanite, I've added this link to the Moissanite retail locator ;)

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May 30, 2010
This may sound like a silly question, but I was wondering if it is it true the moissanite will glow under black light?
January 01, 2010
There is actually a site that has a program where you can trade in or trade up your moissanite, moissanitefinejewelry.com, which I found through the Charles and Covard website. I've been doing some research on engagement rings myself, and what's your opinion on buying a ring online? Too risky? I'm trying to decide whether to buy a loose stone(moissanite) and find a setting locally, or just buy the whole thing online. What do you think?
January 02, 2010
I don't think I would ever take advantage of the Moissanite trade up, but it's good to know that it's there! The reason I say that is because Moissanite isn't too expensive to begin with. For example, the difference of a 1 carat vs a 2 carat Moissanite is a few hundred dollars, while the same difference in size in a diamond is tens of thousands of dollars. Since the price difference is minimal, I say go as big as you'd like the first time around so that you don't have to waste money and time on an upgrade later.  Be reasonable though. You don't want something so gaudy that you'd never wear it ;)

There are plenty of trustworthy sites out there that sell Moissanite, but I would suggest going to a store.  It's nice to be able to physically see and try on something that you're about to fork over $1000+ for.  Plus it's nice to be able to be serviced and have your questions answered in person.  You just have to find a good jeweler.  Good luck! :)
January 02, 2010
Thanks for the advice! I probably wouldn't use the program to upgrade but it's nice to know it's there in case I ever lost or chipped my stone, since they'll apply the purchase price to a new one. My ideal size stone is about 1.25 carats, 2 even seems too gaudy for me. I live in a smaller area where the only places that carry moissanite jewelry are retail chains(which have a very small, poor quality selection) so I'll probably buy a loose stone and go to a local jeweler for the setting. Thanks for helping me with my decision!
January 04, 2010
My pleasure! And wow, I didn't realize that that company upgraded lost or chipped stones. That's like insurance! :) You don't have to worry about your Moissanite chipping though. They're really close to being as hard as diamonds, which is the strongest substance in the world, and they're pretty much always ideal cut since they're lab created!
December 13, 2009
Thank You for this review. I had no idea(!) and anything that gets people to think about human/ecological cost of diamond mining/sourcing is a GOOD thing :)
December 21, 2009
My pleasure! And thanks for your comment, Corrina. Very true! :)
November 29, 2009
I just got a Moissanite 1ct Princess Cut Solitaire Ring and I LOVE it!!!!! I am sooo happy with it and people really have not noticed it isnt a diamond! I will never be throwing away soo much money on diamonds again! I had originally lost my DIAMOND ring my fiance proposed with so buying another diamond was really not an option $$$$ wise.. im am soooo incredibly happy with this ring and I would recommend Moissanite to anyone!!
November 29, 2009
Amen, sistah! Glad you're enjoying your Moissanite ring :)
October 20, 2009
I am thinking about getting a moissiante ring, but my 1 concerns is that the moissinate seems to reflect red and blue colors. Do diamonds do this also? I'm wondering if people will think my ring is fake because the moissanite reflecting red and blue instead of just white light. Thanks!
October 20, 2009
Moissanite does reflect an extremely slight faint pink and green color, but one would have to be super professional with a really keen eye to tell the difference. Otherwise, it's a dead ringer for a diamond and people wouldn't know unless you told them! White diamonds sometime reflect a slight blueish tint, too. Though that depends on the characteristics of the diamond itself.
October 21, 2009
Thanks for your help! Do you have side by side photos of a diamond and a moissiante for comparison?
October 21, 2009
No problem!  For comparison, I have this picture that I took of a pair of Moissanite studs with a diamond jacket.  The stud in the foreground is a little hazy and out of focus, but in the other one, you can see that the stones are identical in color.
April 11, 2009
Wow! This is fantastic! I've never even heard of Moissanite before, but I think now that I would definitely consider it as a beautiful, ethical alternative to diamonds. (Also, I always lose everything! Maybe I'd feel less guilty if it wasn't a diamond I squandered.)
March 26, 2009
Interesting-you are right Diamonds are a girls best friend- I've never thought about moissanite being an alternative. Aren't there politically correct diamonds out there?
April 08, 2009
There are so-called "ethically"-mined diamonds out there, but I don't know how much more ethical they are than the ones mined in South Africa. I'm not trying to say that it's okay, but to put it into perspective, the mining of diamonds is probably about as ethical as gasoline, or products at stores like Wal-Mart. The only difference is that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't star in a movie about it.
About the reviewer
devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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Lab-created Moissanites are gemstones that are lab created with silicon carbide.  They are near colorless and flawless, with a refractive index of 2.65, a hardness ranking of 9.25, a dispersion of .104 and a specific gravity of 3.20.  They are often worn as an alternative to diamonds.
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Fashion, Jewelry, Gemstone, Moissanite


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