Diamond vs Moissanite: What is the Difference?

Diamond and moissanite are two popular gemstones known for their brilliance, durability, and beauty.

While they share some similarities, they also possess distinct characteristics that set them apart in terms of their composition, properties, and value.

In this comprehensive analysis, we will explore the differences between diamond and moissanite, examining their origin, physical properties, optical characteristics, durability, and value in the gemstone market.

1. Origin and Composition:


Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under extreme pressure and temperature conditions. They consist of carbon atoms arranged in a crystalline structure, making them a pure form of carbon.

Natural diamonds are mined from diamond-bearing deposits found in various regions worldwide, including Africa, Australia, Canada, and Russia.

Diamonds can also be created synthetically through high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods. Synthetic diamonds have the same chemical composition and crystal structure as natural diamonds.


Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral composed of silicon carbide (SiC). It was first discovered in a meteorite crater in Arizona by Henri Moissan in 1893.

While moissanite occurs naturally in rare instances, most moissanite used in jewelry is lab-created. Lab-grown moissanite is produced through a process called vapor deposition, resulting in high-quality gemstones with properties similar to natural moissanite.

2. Physical Properties:


Hardness: Diamonds are the hardest known natural substance, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This exceptional hardness contributes to their durability and resistance to scratching.

Refractive Index: Diamonds have a high refractive index, resulting in exceptional brilliance and sparkle known as “fire.” The light dispersion in diamonds creates vibrant flashes of color.

Dispersion: Diamonds exhibit strong dispersion, meaning they separate white light into its spectral colors, creating a rainbow effect.


Hardness: Moissanite is also very hard, ranking 9.25 on the Mohs scale. While slightly less hard than diamond, moissanite is still highly resistant to scratching and abrasion.

Refractive Index: Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, resulting in even greater brilliance and fire. Its optical properties give moissanite a dazzling appearance.

Dispersion: Moissanite has a higher dispersion than diamond, meaning it produces more colorful flashes of light, often referred to as “fire.”

3. Optical Characteristics:


Brilliance: Diamonds exhibit exceptional brilliance due to their high refractive index and excellent light reflection. The combination of brilliance, fire, and scintillation contributes to their captivating sparkle.

Color: Diamonds occur in various colors, including colorless, near-colorless, and fancy colors such as yellow, pink, blue, and green. The absence of color is highly valued in white diamonds, while fancy colored diamonds derive their beauty from their unique hues.


Brilliance: Moissanite is renowned for its intense brilliance and fire, often exceeding that of diamonds. Its high refractive index and dispersion give it a striking sparkle that rivals or surpasses that of diamonds.

Color: Most moissanite used in jewelry is near-colorless or slightly tinted. However, some moissanite gems may exhibit green or gray undertones, especially in larger sizes or specific lighting conditions.

4. Durability and Wear Resistance:


Diamond’s exceptional hardness and durability make it highly resistant to scratching, chipping, and wear. This durability ensures that diamonds retain their beauty and luster even with everyday wear and tear.


Moissanite is also highly durable and resistant to scratching and abrasion, although slightly less so than diamond. Its hardness and toughness make it suitable for everyday wear and long-term durability.

5. Value and Cost:


Diamonds have long been prized for their rarity, beauty, and symbolic significance. The value of diamonds is influenced by factors such as carat weight, cut, color, clarity, and certification.

Natural diamonds, especially those with exceptional characteristics such as colorless clarity and high carat weight, can command high prices in the market.


Moissanite is a more affordable alternative to diamonds, offering similar brilliance and sparkle at a fraction of the cost. Lab-created moissanite is widely available and significantly less expensive than natural or synthetic diamonds.

The affordability of moissanite makes it an attractive option for individuals seeking the beauty and brilliance of a gemstone without the high price tag associated with diamonds.

Final Conclusion on Diamond vs Moissanite: What is the Difference?

In conclusion, while both diamond and moissanite possess unique qualities and beauty, they cater to different preferences, budgets, and lifestyles. Diamond’s rarity, hardness, and traditional allure make it a timeless choice for engagement rings and fine jewelry.

On the other hand, moissanite’s affordability, brilliance, and eco-friendly origins appeal to those seeking a stunning gemstone without the high cost associated with diamonds. Ultimately, the choice between diamond and moissanite depends on personal preferences, values, and budget considerations.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *