Moissanite versus Lab-grown Diamonds versus Natural Diamonds

When it comes to choosing the right gem for your dream jewelry, you probably think bigger is better, right? Bling doesn’t tend to be small, after all! But for many couples, a big blingy engagement ring can break the bank--not a great way to start a life together. Luckily, there are smart lab-grown diamonds and other diamond alternatives to choose from, allowing you the ring of your dreams.

Facts about mined diamonds (or natural diamonds):

  • Mined diamonds are natural diamonds (obviously). Natural diamonds are clear carbon, mined from a rock called kimberlite, which lies deep within the earth. 
  • Diamonds aren’t rare per se. Industrial-grade diamonds are known for their hardness and are used in many industrial practices. High-quality, jewelry-grade diamonds are more difficult to find. 
  • Gem-quality diamonds require a tremendous amount of mining. Around 100,00 tons of rock must be dug up to find a crystal that could produce a 1.00 ct d/flawless diamond. 
  • Natural diamonds are graded on the D - Z color scale and the FL - 13 clarity scale. 
  • When buying a natural diamond, you should choose GIA for Natural Diamond Certification.

Why choose natural diamonds for your custom design engagement ring?

  • Natural diamonds are the most traditional choice for an engagement ring, with a history dating back thousands and thousands of years.
  • Unlike lab-grown diamonds, every diamond is one-of-a-kind, completely unique on its own, just like your love.
  • Diamonds are a financial investment that generally accrues value over time.
  • There’s a pride of ownership when you own a real diamond. Fairly or not, lab-grown and moissanite often have a stigma associated with them.
  • Diamonds are the real deal, unlike lab-grown diamonds or moissanite. It’s as authentic as love itself.

Facts about lab-grown diamonds (also known as synthetic diamonds):

  • Lab-grown diamonds are actual diamonds, not simulants like cubic zirconia. Lab-grown gems are molecularly identical to natural mined diamonds. 
  • CVD (carbon vapor deposition) and HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) diamonds are both lab-grown diamonds created using two different techniques. 
  • Lab-grown diamonds are visually identical to mined diamonds. The naked eye couldn’t tell the difference. They are only differentiated via a lab with special equipment.
  • Just like natural diamonds, there are high and low-quality lab-grown diamonds. Lower quality lab-grown diamonds will have inclusions. 
  • Lab-grown diamonds can be near colorless or colorless. They also come in a variety of candy colors. 
  • Just like traditionally mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds come in the same standard shapes like round, princess, marquise, oval, pear, cushion, radiant, emerald and asscher. 
  • When buying a lab diamond, choose GCAL or IGI for certification. 

Why choose lab-grown diamonds for your engagement ring?

  • Lab-grown diamonds roughly cost half of what a mined diamond costs. This means more bling for your buck. 
  • Lab-grown diamonds are more sustainable and eco-friendly than natural diamonds. They have a clean, traceable history (unlike natural diamonds which can have darker origins). 
  • Lab-grown diamonds are often purer than their natural counterparts, which can have sediment ingrained in them. Improved purity means a whiter, brighter diamond. 
  • In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recognized lab diamonds as real diamonds, erasing any cultural stigma surrounding them. 
  • The price of natural colored diamonds is exorbitant due to its rarity in nature. But colored lab-grown diamonds can be yours at an affordable price. But lab-grown colored gemstones are accessible and affordable. 

Facts about moissanite:

  • Moissanite was found in a meteorite crater in 1893. French scientist Henri Moissan discovered it, thinking it was diamond. Upon further testing, he found it was silicon carbide. 
  • Though ridiculously hard (only a diamond is harder on the Mohs scale) moissanite is a diamond simulant, not a diamond.
  • While moissanite is often considered colorless, the stone can project a grayish or yellow hue in certain light. The larger the moissanite, the more noticeable the color. 

There are two grades of moissanite gems:

  • Forever One GHI (with an average color rating of G-H-I and a clarity of VVS1)
  • Forever One DEH (with an average color rating of D-E-F and a clarity of VVS1). Considered colorless by GIA standards.

Why choose moissanite diamonds for your custom design engagement ring?

  • Moissanite is actually more brilliant than diamonds. The Refractive Index (RI) indicates how much light a gem reflects. Moissanite has an RI of 2.65 compared to 2.42 for diamonds. 
  • Wallet-friendly simulants like moissanite are less expensive than lab-grown or natural diamonds, making it a smart choice for a blingy custom design that won’t break the bank. 
  • Moissanite can be cast in place, which means a jeweler can create more specific or complicated custom designs
  • Moissanite is extremely heat-tolerant and is less likely to experience heat damage during jewelry repairs. 
  • Moissanite is less likely to attract grime and dirt than diamonds. This means less cleaning and maintenance.
  • Like lab-grown diamonds, moissanite is eco-friendly and conflict-free, with guaranteed origin.
  • Moissanite is roughly around 90% less expensive than a natural diamond and maintains its brilliance, luster and fire indefinitely. 
  • Moissanite possesses a different kind of brilliance than diamond because their faceting pattern is different. Their rainbow-like flashes can create a disco ball effect, which is liked by some, disliked by others. The larger the moissanite, the more obvious this effect will be. 
  • Simulants like moissanite are good if you travel frequently, where thefts are more likely to occur. The loss of a simulant diamond isn’t nearly as great as its natural counterpart. 

As you can see, there are some smart, beautiful and affordable alternatives to traditionally mined diamonds. The choice is up to you and your imagination. Reach out to us. We love creating your dream jewelry!

Do you have any questions or suggestion?

Get in contact with Joe, Margie or Jennifer for expert help.

Joseph Schubach Jewelers
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