Moissanite vs Diamond vs Lab: How To Choose?

By Dustin Lemick
June 22nd, 2021

Whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring, anniversary gift, or just for everyday wear, choosing the right gem for your ring is an important decision. There are three main options to consider: moissanite, diamond, and lab diamond.

Moissanite is an alternative gemstone to the ever-so-popular diamond. When it comes to moissanite rings vs diamond, the deciding factor typically has to do with price. However, we will get into the nitty-gritty of how to choose your gemstone based on four main factors: durability, brilliance, color, and price. In this comparison, you’ll also discover whether a moissanite vs lab diamond is an option for you.

Durability

Mohs Scale of Hardness is used to measure the durability of gemstones. Specifically, this scale assesses a gem’s ability to withstand surface scratching. Here is where the three gem options fall on the scale:

  • Moissanite: Moissanite gemstones are a 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
  • Natural Diamond: Diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
  • Lab Diamond: Lab diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.

When it comes to the durability of moissanite engagement rings vs diamond engagement rings, there is only a slight difference. This is also true for a moissanite vs lab diamond. Each one is very durable, practically resistant to scratches, and can withstand everyday use.

According to Frugal Rings, the only thing that could scratch a moissanite or diamond is another diamond, so your stone, regardless of type, should be fine as long as it does not come into direct contact with a diamond. With that being said, testing hardiness on different surfaces is not recommended, since pressure put onto a moissanite or diamond (lab grown or natural) can increase the probability of surface scratches on your stone. In this case, you’re better off safe than sorry!

Brilliance

Brilliance is most commonly used to describe the appearance of light reflected from the interior of a gem. Moissanites have a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do.

  • Moissanite: Moissanite gemstones emit a rainbow-like flash. This heightened brilliance has been compared to a small disco ball and illuminates the most in sunlight.
  • Natural Diamond: Whether natural or lab, diamonds reflect light in a few different ways. The brilliance of a diamond is the white light reflected. The dispersion of a diamond refers to the rainbow of colors reflected through the diamond. Scintillation is the surface sparkle of a diamond. It’s the beautiful combination of these three elements that give diamonds their famous sparkle.
  • Lab Diamond: Lab diamonds are created to emit light in the same way natural diamonds do.

When it comes to the brilliance of moissanite vs diamond rings and moissanite vs lab diamond rings, there is a difference, but there isn’t a right or wrong. It comes down to preference and/or budget.

Color

Color refers to the natural color, or lack of color, that can be seen when looking at a gemstone. Although moissanite, diamonds, and lab diamonds look very similar at a glance, there are differences.

  • Moissanite: Moissanite gemstones are often considered “colorless,” but that isn’t necessarily true. They often project a grayish or yellow hue in certain lights.
  • Natural Diamond: Diamonds show a bright-white appearance, which is simply a result of their natural “colorless” color. Unlike moissanite, there are not any traces of gray or yellow in a natural diamond.
  • Lab Diamond: Lab diamonds also show a bright-white color similar to natural diamonds.

If you’ve always dreamed of a bright-white, clear diamond, a natural or lab diamond is a great option because they don’t show any other colors. The moissanite vs diamond debate often comes down to the color, or lack of color, that you want your ring to show.

Price

Price is typically a deciding factor when choosing between moissanite engagement rings vs diamond engagement rings and a moissanite vs lab grown diamond.

  • Moissanite: Moissanite gemstones are much less expensive than natural diamonds. In fact, online jeweler With Clarity states that while a colorless 1-carat diamond will cost roughly $5,000, a colorless 1-carat moissanite will cost significantly less at about $600.  That’s 88% less than a real diamond!
  • Natural Diamond: Diamonds are the most expensive gemstone option of the three. The price of a diamond varies based on the 4Cs of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat.
  • Lab Diamond: Lab diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds but are a great alternative if you prefer the look of a diamond vs moissanite gem.

Moissanite and lab diamonds are budget-friendly alternatives to a natural diamond ring.

Protecting the Gemstone You Choose

Whether you choose a moissanite vs diamond ring or a moissanite vs lab diamond ring, it is important to protect your investment with engagement ring insurance. Get a free jewelry insurance quote from BriteCo™ today to find out what it takes to insure your ring of choice!

Get a free jewelry insurance quote from BriteCo™ today to find out what it takes to insure your ring of choice or contact us today for more information!

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About the Author

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.
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