What Is Moissanite and How Does It Compare to Diamonds?

An engagement ring is an enduring symbol of your bond with your partner—not to mention something you’ll likely wear every day for a long time to come. And with a decision this major, there are a lot of factors to consider during the selection process, from durability and price to the style that suits you. You may have already heard about man-made stones, but are unsure exactly how they differ from their natural counterparts. If you’re interested in a diamond alternative, consider a mineral called moissanite, which stands out thanks to its superior brilliance, cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability. Before you or your partner pop the question, read on to learn more about this lesser-known gem—then check out some of our favorite moissanite engagement rings from Charles & Colvard.

What exactly is moissanite? Moissanite is one of the rarest naturally occurring minerals found in nature—it was discovered over a century ago at the site of a meteorite strike in Arizona, and has a very similar look to diamonds. Scientists later developed a thermal growing process to create the silicon carbide crystals that make up moissanite in a lab. This process, established by

Charles & Colvard, takes two to three months for the creation of a single gem, which is then cut according to specific angles and proportions to help enhance its brilliance.

How does moissanite compare to diamonds? Traditional mined diamonds are created from the compression of coal and minerals over hundreds of years, whereas the precious stone moissanite was originally found in miniscule fragments of meteorite. While initially thought to be diamonds, scientists later discovered they were instead composed of silicon carbide. Moissanite is naturally more brilliant than diamonds and has more fire, so not only does the gem look remarkably similar, but it actually out-sparkles diamonds. On top of that, during the lab-creation process, specialists examine each individual stone to determine where its natural cuts lie and use special cutting techniques to enhance its unique fire. Moissanite comes in two color grades: colorless and near-colorless (which has a slight icy blue tint), and if you’re in the market for a specific look, it’s available in all the same cuts, settings and configurations as diamonds.

Will moissanite last? Short answer: Yes! Moissanite is second only to diamonds on the hardness scale, meaning it’s nearly as durable and scratch-resistant as its counterpart. Plus, it’s more heat-resistant than a diamond, so it’s highly unlikely the stone would be damaged during routine jewelry repair. Moissanite can be cleaned the same way you’d clean any other fine jewelry: with a non-acid based jewelry cleaner or mild soap and water and a toothbrush. For even more peace of mind, consider purchasing from Charles & Colvard; every moissanite gemstone they sell comes with a limited lifetime warranty that protects against defects.

Is it environmentally friendly? Since moissanite is developed in a controlled environment, i.e. man-made in a laboratory, there’s no mining necessary. Creating these gems is not harmful to the earth and avoids any issues with conflict trade. Compared with natural gemstones, moissanite’s origins are both traceable and completely eco-friendly, so you can admire your beautiful new bling, and feel good knowing exactly where it comes from.

How much does moissanite cost? Moissanite is not only a smart choice for the earth, but for your wallet as well. While a diamond’s price varies based on cut, clarity and other characteristics, moissanite’s cost usually varies only with size and color grade. The lab-created stones are more affordable than both mined and lab-made diamonds, meaning you’ll save a significant amount on similarly sized gems. And because it’s approximately 10 percent lighter than diamonds, you will actually get a larger-sized moissanite than a diamond of the same weight.

Okay, I’m sold. Where can I buy it? You can browse engagement rings in all shapes and sizes online at Charles & Colvard or in person at a retailer near you—there’s something for every taste and budget. Need a little inspo? See our favorites below.

Forever One Cushion Split Shank Halo Engagement Ring

Forever One Oval Three-Stone Engagement Ring

Forever One Round Solitaire Engagement Ring

Forever One Round Beaded Solitaire Engagement Ring

Forever One Twist Halo Engagement Ring

Forever One Emerald Three-Stone Engagement Ring

Forever One Marquise Solitaire Engagement Ring

Signature Filigree Round Moissanite Ring

Forever One Floral Solitaire Engagement Ring

Forever One Emerald Halo Engagement Ring

This sponsored post is happily brought to you by Charles & Colvard.