Moissanites and diamonds look remarkably similar at first glance, and to the untrained eye, they can even look identical. Because these tow gemstones are so visually similar, it can be hard to tell one apart from the other. They are very much alike when it comes to appearance, color, performance, and hardness, so to the layman, making the distinction can be challenging. By far the easiest way to make the distinction, is to compare the prices between the two stones. Moissanite is far cheaper, but before we go into that, let us look at what moissanite actually is.
An interesting history
Although moissanite is really just silicon carbide that has been processed, it was long believed that the gemstone originated in outer space. This is thanks to the fact that the first discovery of what would become commercial moissanite was made near the impact site of a meteorite in the 1800s! Unfortunately, it is nowhere near as glamourous in reality – silicon carbide is an earth-bound compound and takes its name from the French scientist who discovered it – Henri Moissan.
What about a moissanite makes it unique?
Placed side by side with a diamond, a moissanite gives off more than double the light a diamond does. This spectacular attribute comes from the fact that a moissanite has double refractive properties, as opposed to the single refraction of a diamond.
Financing moissanite engagement rings is a far less scary process than it would be with diamonds, as moissanites are grown in laboratories, which brings the costs down dramatically when compared to the cost of mining operations. Additionally, moissanites are also free of the ethical conundrums that are part and parcel of the diamond industry – environmental exploitation and territorial conflicts do not feature in the production process surrounding moissanite.
How should moissanites be cut?
Similar to diamonds, moissanites are graded by colour, on a scale that ranges from clear and colourless to tinted in one of a few colours. But a factor that is often forgotten in the selection of a gemstone, is the cut.
The cut of a stone is what determines, and even directs the appearance of the stone. Although it can be cut into a number of different shapes, the brilliant round cut is the most popular, as it maximises the fire that is already intrinsic in the jewel. In layman’s terms, this simply means that it is the cut that gives off the greatest amount of reflection.
If it cannot give off light, a stone becomes lifeless, so it is vital to the optical properties of the stone that it is cut in a way that maximizes the fire. Clean and minimalistic cuts are often the best kind to focus the attention on the right parts of the stone. Even if you choose a “less desirable” color of stone in order to accommodate your budget, this can often be well hidden by cutting the stone in the correct way.
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