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What is a Moissanite?

Moissanite is a mineral composed of silicon carbide. Often referred to as the gemstone from the stars, it was discovered in 1893 inside a meteorite in Canyon Diablo, Arizona, by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Henri Moissan. Initially mistakenly identifying his discovery as diamonds, it wasn’t until 1904 that Moissan determined the crystals were, in fact, silicon carbide. This naturally occurring mineral form of what we now call moissanite was named in honor of Moissan later in his life.

In its natural form, moissanite remains very rare. It wasn’t until 1958 that geologists found it outside of meteorites: first, in the Earth’s upper mantle near Wyoming, and then, the following year, as inclusions in rock in Russia.

Today, moissanite is exclusively grown in laboratories as an alternative to diamonds. Created in a controlled environment with advanced technology, it is easily traceable and requires no mining. This means moissanite has a smaller carbon footprint and lessened environmental impact than a naturally mined gem.

Increasingly popular as an alternative to diamonds, moissanite is now widely used in jewelry, especially as the center stone of engagement rings.


Is a Moissanite a Diamond?

No, a moissanite is not a diamond. Professionals grow them in laboratories because they are visually similar to diamonds, but compositionally they’re quite different. Diamonds are composed of carbon and moissanites are composed of silicon carbide.

While the untrained eye may visually perceive moissanite as similar to a diamond, it has a higher refractive index — meaning it produces more rainbow ‘fire’ than a diamond when light hits the stone’s surface. Diamond is also physically harder than moissanite, which is a 9.25 on the Mohs hardness scale compared to a diamond’s rating of 10.

While they both feature dispersion, scintillation, and are both considered to be good thermal conductors, moissanites and diamonds are otherwise distinct.

How to Tell a Moissanite from a Diamond?

If you are not trained in the differences between diamond and moissanite, telling the difference can be difficult.

The best way to tell the difference is to line up two similarly sized gemstones, one moissanite, and one diamond, and compare them side-by-side. The distinct sparkle of a diamond is a unique combination of reflected light, the colors that refract through it, and its scintillation. While moissanite exhibits light reflection, color refraction, and scintillation, it also features more than two times the amount of 'fire' than diamonds, meaning it shows more intense flashes of rainbow light than diamonds. This 'disco ball' effect, which is more prominent in moissanite with larger carat weights, is the best way to quickly distinguish between moissanite and diamond.

To officially confirm the difference between a moissanite and a diamond, take it to a trained professional. By examining the ‘doubling’ of opposing facet junctions with a loupe, they can validate if your stone is a moissanite or a diamond.

Cubic Zirconia Vs Moissanite

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) and Moissanite are distinct gemstones with various differentiating points:

  • Foundation:

    • CZ originates from Baddeleyite, a chemical element, in monoclinic crystal forms.
    • Moissanite is a result of combining silicon and carbon elements, with the presence of silicon carbide resembling shining meteorites.
  • Founded Year:

    • Natural CZ was established in 1892, with lab-created CZ production beginning in the late 1970s.
    • Moissanite was discovered by Dr. Henri Moissan in 1893 while inspecting crystal formations in meteorites.
  • Making Process:

    • CZ is crafted from zirconium oxide powder, melted at 3000°C, forming a crystal for cutting and polishing.
    • Moissanite is made with silicon carbide seed under high pressure and temperature, resembling rough mined diamonds.
  • Eco-friendly:

    • CZ is considered eco-friendly as it does not harm nature during production.
    • Moissanite is also eco-friendly, emphasizing renewable energy and ethical practices.
  • Price:

    • CZ is more affordable, with a 1.00 carat stone priced at $20 to $30.
    • Moissanite is comparatively higher, ranging from $60 to $150 for a 1.00-carat stone.
  • Conflict-Free or Conflicted:

    • Natural CZ can be conflicted if sourced from mined zircon and baddeleyite crystals; artificial CZ is conflict-free.
    • Moissanite is conflict-free, produced in a controlled laboratory environment.
  • Certification:

    • CZ stones have their own certification grade (A to AAA) but lack global recognition like GIA or IGI.
    • Moissanite carries authenticated certification for sellers but isn't certified by major institutions.
  • 4C’s:

    • CZ lacks universally recognized criteria for carat, cut, color, and clarity.
    • Moissanite adheres to standard criteria for carat, color, clarity, and cut grades.
  • Reflections Index:

    • CZ has a refractive index of 2.15-2.18, sparking fire and resembling a glitter star.
    • Moissanite has a higher refractive index (2.63-2.68), reflecting in natural and backlights.
  • Durability:

    • CZ has an 8.5 Mohs Scale rating, suitable for jewelry but may scratch.
    • Moissanite boasts a 9.25 Mohs Scale rating, ideal for durable engagement rings and wedding jewelry.
  • Fluorescence:

    • CZ exhibits more fluorescence due to Zirconium Oxide's presence.
    • Moissanite has less fluorescence, maintaining a symmetrical balance.

In conclusion, CZ offers affordability and sparkle, while Moissanite provides a brilliant diamond-like experience with enhanced durability, making it the preferred option.


Moissanite vs. Diamond vs. Lab Diamond


When comparing Moissanite, Diamond, and Lab Diamond, several key factors distinguish these gemstones:


  • Moissanites score 9.25 on the Mohs scale, ideal for everyday wear.
  • Diamonds, with a Mohs scale rating of 10, are the hardest known mineral and an excellent choice for engagement rings.
  • Lab diamonds, also rating 10 on the Mohs scale, share the durability advantage for engagement rings.


  • Moissanites are slightly more brilliant than diamonds, featuring over twice the fire.
  • Natural diamonds exhibit slightly less brilliance and half the fire of moissanites.
  • Lab diamonds showcase similar brilliance and fire characteristics as natural diamonds.


  • Moissanites can be colorless or have hues of teal, grey, green, yellow, and black.
  • Natural diamonds occur in various colors, including pink, blue, and yellow.
  • Lab diamonds, available in colorless and colored varieties, are more accessible than natural colored diamonds.


  • Moissanites are significantly more affordable than diamonds, priced based on size, shape, and color.
  • Natural diamonds, the most expensive, are rare and priced according to the 4 C's and shape.
  • Lab diamonds, more affordable than natural diamonds but pricier than moissanites, follow the same pricing criteria.


  • Moissanites are grown in controlled labs, ensuring ethical production.
  • Natural diamonds are mined from the Earth, undergoing cutting and polishing processes.
  • Lab diamonds, like moissanites, are cultivated in controlled labs, providing an ethical and controlled sourcing method.

In summary, Moissanites offer affordability and unique colors, natural diamonds boast rarity and prestige, while lab diamonds provide a balance of ethical sourcing and quality at a more accessible price point. Each gemstone caters to diverse preferences, ensuring a choice suited to individual tastes and values.


Is Moissanite Heavier Than Diamond?

Moissanite is slightly lighter than diamond, but the difference is usually negligible.


Does Moissanite Cloud or Get Cloudy Over Time?

Moissanite does not typically become cloudy with time, maintaining its clarity with proper care.

Is Moissanite Used in High-End Jewelry Brands?

Moissanite is gaining popularity in high-end jewelry brands like IVORY & EBONY for its quality and ethical sourcing.


How Can I Clean and Care for My Moissanite Jewelry?

Moissanite can be cleaned with mild soap and water, and regular care will maintain its brilliance.


Is Moissanite a Good Investment?

While not a traditional investment like diamonds, moissanite offers lasting beauty without the high cost. So you can invest more on the precious metals like gold, platinum and silver for your jewelry.


What Colors Does Moissanite Come In?

Moissanite is available in a range of colors, from colorless to shades of grey, green, and yellow.


Can Moissanite Pass as a Diamond?

Yes, moissanite closely resembles diamonds and can convincingly pass as one to the naked eye. Also, most diamond testers (even the expensive ones) can't differciate a moissanite to diamond.


Is Moissanite Suitable for Engagement Rings?

Moissanite is an excellent choice for engagement rings due to its durability, brilliance, and cost-effectiveness.


Where Can I Buy Authentic Moissanite?

Authentic moissanite can be purchased from reputable jewelers like IVORY & EBONY, both online and in physical stores. 


Does Moissanite Scratch Easily?

Moissanite is the second-highest gemstone in the world. It is hard to scratch but if you are scratching Moissanite with a diamond, you might see tiny scratches.


Can Moissanite Be Set in Different Metals?

Yes, moissanite is versatile and can be set in various metals like gold, platinum, or silver.


What Shapes and Sizes Does Moissanite Come In?

Moissanite is available in all the shapes and sizes that a diamond comes in, like round, princess, oval, and emerald cuts. Since it is cheaper than Diamond, it can also be customized in different shapes and sizes like an animal.


Does Moissanite Have Inclusions?

Moissanite generally has fewer inclusions than natural diamonds, contributing to its clarity.


Can Moissanite Lose its Brilliance Over Time?

Moissanite retains its brilliance over time, making it a durable and long-lasting gemstone.


What Sets Moissanite Apart from Other Gemstones?

Moissanite's exceptional brilliance, durability, and affordability set it apart from other gemstones.


Is Moissanite Considered a Precious Stone?

While not classified as a precious stone, moissanite is highly valued for its beauty and durability. Making it an affordable option, now people can invest more in precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver.


Can Moissanite Be Customized for Jewelry Designs?

Yes, moissanite can be custom-cut and designed for unique and personalized jewelry creations. IVORY & EBONY offers custom moissanite pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and ring or engagement rings.


Does Moissanite Have a Lifetime Warranty?

Many reputable moissanite vendors like IVORY & EBONY offer lifetime warranties, ensuring the gem's quality and durability.


Does Moissanite Change Color Over Time?

No, Moissanite is known for maintaining its color over time, offering consistent beauty.


Is Moissanite Suitable for Heirloom Jewelry?

Moissanite's durability makes it suitable for heirloom jewelry that can be passed down through generations.


Can I Upgrade My Diamond to Moissanite?

Many jewelers offer diamond upgrades to moissanite, providing an affordable and brilliant alternative.


Does Moissanite Have Fire and Sparkle?

Moissanite is renowned for its exceptional fire and sparkle, creating a dazzling appearance.


How Can I Differentiate Between Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia?

Moissanite has a higher refractive index and greater durability compared to cubic zirconia. You can try to to scratch the cubic zirconia with a moissanite and notice the scratch.


Can I Insure My Moissanite Jewelry?

Many insurance companies offer coverage for moissanite jewelry, protecting it against loss or damage. If not moissanite, you can always insure the precious metals in your jewelry.


Does Moissanite Have a Double Refraction Effect?

Moissanite exhibits double refraction, contributing to its unique play of light.


What Is the Largest Moissanite Ever Created?

The largest moissanite ever created is around 310 carats, showcasing the gem's versatility.