Diamond Vs. Moissanit: Buying Guide

Why diamonds are worth the money: Consider the lasting value and beauty of a gemstone before purchase. Diamonds and moissanites are distinctly different in brilliance, hardness, composition and color. While moissanite and diamond have somewhat similar appearances from afar, the two stones differ significantly in several areas like brilliance, fire, durability and value. You can find a moissanite ring for a fraction of the cost of a diamond ring, but it's important to know the main differences and in this guide, we'll share everything you need to know.





Diamond vs. Moissanite.


First discovered by Henri Moissan, a French scientist, moissanite was originally found in a crater formed by a fallen meteor. Different than a normal diamond, Moissanite is made of silicon carbide. Because the natural moissanite discovered by Moissan in 1893 is exceptionally rare, the moissanite sold today is produced by laboratories. Made to seem like diamonds, moissanite varies from diamond in both composition and appearance.

Diamond Vs. Moissanite - Price

A diamond's price and value is dependent on its 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat). These elements work together to form the beauty and brilliance of the stone.

On the other hand, most moissanites tend to cost the same price, except when two stones differ in size and type of moissanite material enhanced or unenhanced.

While price differs between diamond and moissanite, it's essential to realize that the features, quality and beauty of diamonds and moissanites differ significantly. Just because the price is lower, it does not mean you're getting a better deal or a better value.

To outline the price difference of moissanite vs. diamond side by side, we've compiled the below chart. Although the prices differ, the lasting value and actual beauty of a moissanite vs. diamond is incomparable.

Note - Moissanite weighs approximately 15% less than diamonds. Therefore, an accurate comparison of price is not possible. Instead of using carat weight, moissanites are priced on their size in millimeters. We have estimated a close comparison below:

Size (in Carats) Diamond Price Size (closest equivalent to Carats) Moissanite Price
0.50 $1,060 5mm $520
0.63 $1,520 5.5mm $610
0.75 $2,220 6mm $680
1.0 $3,890 6.5mm $850

Diamond/Moissanites price comparison.


Diamonds are graded on a GIA color scale from D to Z, while moissanites are not categorized by their color. Moissanites are, however, not colorless and resemble the K grade on the GIA diamond scale.

When under certain lights, yellow and green tints can be seen in moissanites. The larger the moissanite, the easier it is to notice yellow, gray or green tints. At large sizes, it's generally easy to notice the stark difference from a diamond.

Nearly colorless diamonds, ranging from D to J on the GIA scale, will contain no hints of yellow or gray tinting. Color is one element that make diamonds sparkling white, and it is hard to mistake a moissanite for the clear, natural beauty of a diamond.


Like diamonds, moissanites often come with imperfections visible when they are viewed under magnification. Since all moissanites sold on the market are synthetic, they rarely come with a clarity grade below VS level, meaning their clarity is higher than of average diamonds.

Although moissanites are graded for clarity using the GIA clarity scale, it is important to mention that the GIA does not grade diamond simulants. This means the certificate will be given by the manufacturer or seller of the stone.


The Mohs scale is used to measure a gemstone's hardness, or in other words, its durability. Ranging from 1 as the softest to 10 as the hardest, the Mohs scale indicates a distinction between moissanite and diamond. On the Mohs scale, a moissanite measures in at 9.25, while a diamond reaches the scale maximum at 10.

As the hardest known mineral, diamonds are incredibly durable and resilient and perfect for everyday wear and engagement rings. To gain perspective on mineral hardness, we display the Mohs scale below. As the chart demonstrates, diamonds are harder than some very durable minerals such as steel and Tungsten carbide.

Mohs Scale Of Hardness

Hardness Substance Or Mineral
>10 Nanocrystalline diamond (hyperdiamond. ultrahard fullerite)
10 Diamond
9.5-10 Boron
9-9.5 Moissanite
9 Sapphire
8.5 Chromium
8 Cubic zirconia
7.5-8 Emerald
7 Quartz
6-7 Silicon
6 Titanium
5.5 Glass
5 Apatite (tooth enamel)
4-4.5 Steel
4 Iron
3.5 Platinum
3 Copper
2.5-3 Gold
2-2.5 Halite (rock salt)
2 Calcium
1.5 Lead
1 Talc
0.5-0.6 Potassium

Mohs scale of hardness.


When you see a diamond sparkle, you're experiencing its ability to bend and refract light. As light strikes the pavilions (the angled surfaces on the lower half of the diamond), it bounces and is refracted up through the diamond's table (the top, flat surface) to your eye. When this occurs, it's called brilliance, a remarkable quality of diamonds.

Diamond Too Shallow

Diamond interaction with light - Diamond Too Shallow

Shallow Cut - Poor Brilliance.

Depth percentage too shallow: 56.5% and below.
Table percentage too low.
Crown and pavilion angles too shallow.

Ideal Diamond

Diamond interaction with light - Diamond Ideal

Ideal Cut - Most Brilliance.

Depth percentage is ideal for maximum sparkle: 59 - 62.3%.
Table percentage is ideal.
Crown and pavilion angles are optimal.

Diamond Too Deep

Diamond interaction with light - Diamond Too Deep

Deep Cut - Poor Brilliance.

Depth percentage too deep: 65% and above.
Table percentage too high.
Crown and pavilion angles too large.

Diamond interaction with light with different diamond cuts - The percentages above are specific to a round shaped diamond. The ideal proportions for other diamond shapes are all slightly different.

Moissanites, on the other hand, give off a different type of sparkle. Their facets are cut and formed differently, causing less white light refraction than a diamond. While moissanites do create sparkle, it is not as clear and vibrant as those of a diamond.

In addition to diamond's signature brilliance, the gemstones also emit fire, which is the reflection of colored, or rainbow light. A moissanite also gives off a vibrant colored light reflection. In some cases and under certain light, the moissanite emits extensive color dazzling, which some people don't prefer.

While relatively noticeable when looking at a moissanite vs. diamond side by side, the difference in brilliance and fire is increasingly obvious with larger sizes.

Moissanite Properties

Chemical Name Silicone carbide
Chemical Formula SiC
Crystal System 6H polytype, hexagonal
Colors Colorless, green, yellow, blue and black
Hardness 9.25 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index 2.65 - 2.69
Specific Gravity 3.218 - 3.22
Transparency Transparent
Birefringence 0.043
Lustre Adamantine to metallic
Cleavage Indistinct
Streak Greenish-gray
Fluorescence Orange-red

Moissanite properties.

Final Thoughts

By both experts and non-experts, moissanites should not be considered the same as a diamond. For many reasons, from substance to brilliance to color, the two are entirely different gemstones.

Diamonds are naturally found, formed of the hardest material, and possess extraordinary beauty and value. Moissanites are almost always lab-created and made from silicon carbide.

While from a distance the diamond and moissanite might appear somewhat similar, they are noticeably distinct even to a non-expert's eye.

Though moissanites and diamonds are unmistakably different, the moissanite is an option for those looking for a gemstone at a lower price point.