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Diamonds vs Moissanites - The Truth and the Lies
Sep 29, 2020

There are many companies out there that specialise in selling diamond simulants, primarily moissanite crystals.

Because of the unfortunately plentiful misinformation regarding moissanite and other diamond simulants, we requested one of our top gemmologists at NOVITA DIAMONDS, Michael, to write a short but hopefully eye-opening article to put to rest all the misconceptions about moissanite and disclose how they differ from actual diamonds. As a customer, you have the right to make decisions based on truth and not lofty marketing claims.

 

DO DIAMONDS AND MOISSANITES LOOK THE SAME?
SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT?

 

Here we will explain all the differences in straightforward terms so you can tell them apart clearly.

Firstly, they simply look different. Moissanites tend to have darker tints than diamonds. If moissanite stones are evaluated using the same colour grading system used for diamonds, the scale going from "D" to "Z", the average moissanite will have a "J" in colour. A "J" colour is a visible tint of brown, which is clear to the naked and untrained eye, and, therefore, not recommended for purchase.

That didn't stop some companies from offering "H" colour moissanite, if their bold claims are to be believed. In fact, the existence of "H" colour moissanite has not been verified by independent experts. As a gemmologist, I have had the opportunity to inspect plenty of moissanites but have yet to encounter one that is "H" in colour. In conclusion, most moissanites sellers are sneakily trying to take advantage of unwary people to make a quick profit.


MOISSANITE VS DIAMOND: SPARKLE DIFFERENCE

When comparing diamonds and moissanites, the difference in sparkle colour also stands out, even to the naked and untrained eye. Moissanite produces iridescent colours, so its sparkles look like rainbows while diamonds' sparkles are a purer white. The disparity in sparkle colour between diamonds and moissanites is due to all moissanites being pleochroic – when viewed from different angles, multiple colours appear from the moissanite. In other words, moissanite appears to have different colours as they are double refractive. This peculiarity is only found in moissanite and never in diamonds. In contrast to moissanite, the optical properties of diamonds lie in their consistency; its sparkle's colour doesn't change when viewed from different angles. To put it simply, the easiest way to differentiate it is to examine moissanite from its top, paying close attention to where the facets join- you'll spot two joints instead of seeing just one.

To no one's surprise, companies recently claim that a new method of cutting moissanite prevents double fractions from occurring in the crystal. However, this claim should be taken with a grain of salt since double fraction is inherent to the material, and no novel cutting method can bypass it from happening .

 

SOME OTHER DIFFERENCES


Moissanites will get a greenish tint. The easiest way to make the stone turn green in colour is to test it by bringing the stone close to direct fire for a few seconds. 


Diamonds have faceted girdles. Given the price difference between a diamond and moissanites, a lot more effort goes into the cutting of diamonds. While moissanites have smooth girdles, diamonds are generally cut to have facets even in the girdle. 


Diamonds are harder than moissanites. There is a reason for the adage that diamonds are forever. In fact, diamonds are the hardest material found in nature, scoring a 10 out of 10 on the hardness scale. Moissanites are the hardest out of all other simulants, such as cubic zirconia and others. However, diamonds are still three times harder than moissanites, making them susceptible to scratches. Despite their overwhelming hardness,  diamonds are more comfortable to wear than moissanites as the latter are denser and heavier than diamonds.

 

LONG STORY SHORT


TRUE: Moissanites have a brown tint in colour on average, "J" when comparing it to a diamond colour grading system.
FALSE: Moissanites can be made white in colour (colourless).
TRUE: Moissanites sparkles are iridescent in colour, while diamonds' sparkles are white.
FALSE: Moissanites sparkle similarly or identical to diamonds.
TRUE: All moissanites suffer from double refraction, no matter how they are polished or cut.
FALSE: There is a way to cut moissanites to eliminate double fraction.
TRUE: Moissanites resemble costume jewellery due to the iridescent sparkles they produce.
FALSE: Moissanites are cut to the same standards as diamonds.
TRUE: Moissanites turn green when exposed to direct fire.

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