Lab-grown diamonds and moissanites are popular alternatives to natural diamonds. When most people hear the term "lab grown diamond," they often confuse it with moissanite. While both of these options have a lot in common, there are also some key differences that you'll want to be aware of before making a purchase.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the differences between lab-grown diamonds and moissanites, so you can be sure you are getting the right stone for your needs.
The History of Lab-Grown Diamonds
The first laboratory-grown diamonds were grown in the 1950s by General Electric. In 1954, GE scientists succeeded in creating diamonds using a high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) process that placed carbon under conditions similar to those found deep within the Earth. This was a significant achievement, as it demonstrated that synthetic diamonds could be created using artificial processes. General Electric used this process to create the first lab-grown diamond. They were not able to perfect this process to grow gem quality stones. The lab-created diamonds on the market today are the result of decades of work by researchers across the globe. Lab diamonds are created in a lab through a process of HPHT or CVD, while moissanite is created in a lab by CVD.
When was the first Moissanite Stone Grown?
Moissanite was first discovered by the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. Henri Moissan at the site of a massive meteorite strike in Arizona. Dr. Moissan believed that the crystals he found were diamonds, but they were later identified as silicon carbide (SiC). It wasn't until the 1990s that a group of scientists devised a method to grow these crystals, which could be faceted into the jewels we see today. In his honor, this remarkable new stone was dubbed "moissanite." This stone was grown using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, which involves using chemicals to deposit a thin carbon layer on a substrate.
Do Moissanite and Lab Diamonds Have the Same Durability?
On the Mohs scale, lab-grown diamonds register harder than moissanite. Moissanite ranks second in hardness on the scale, with a rating of 9.25/10! Both are tough stones that can withstand everyday wear, but lab-grown diamonds are slightly more durable because they are more resistant to scratching. However, since they're both manufactured, neither type of stone is considered "natural."
Do Lab Diamonds and Moissanite Sparkle the Same?
No, they don't. Moissanite is known for its "fire," or the flashes of rainbow-colored light it emits when viewed from different angles. This is due to its double refraction and dispersion rate, which means it bends and splits light into two rays as it passes through the stone. Many people claim that it appears noticeably more sparkling. On the other hand, diamonds disperse light into a single ray, giving them a more "brilliant" sparkle.
Are Moissanite and Lab Diamonds Graded the Same by Diamond Grading Laboratories?
As of right now, the answer is no due to not having a universal grading system in place for moissanite. This is primarily because moissanite and lab-created diamonds have different chemical compositions, which means they cannot be graded using the same standards. Both can have inclusions and varying body colors, but only lab diamonds (and natural diamonds) are currently accurately graded by laboratories like GIA and EGL.
Are Lab Diamonds and Moissanite Priced the Same?
No, Moissanite is considerably less expensive than laboratory-grown diamonds. Although they can share some similar growing techniques, lab grown diamonds are still more desirable and sought after, likely because they are truly clones of their natural sibling, the earth grown diamond.
The Bottom Line
So, if you're looking for a stone with the same durability and varieties of clarity and color as a natural diamond, a lab-grown diamond might be the better option. When it comes to price, moissanite is actually considerably less expensive than lab-grown diamonds. In fact, it's one of the most affordable and durable simulants on the market. So, moissanite might be the way to go if you're working with a tighter budget. As you can see, there are some key differences between these two popular diamond alternatives. So, before making a purchase, be sure to research and consider all your options.
At Worthmore, we are proud to offer our customers the highest quality lab-grown diamonds and moissanites. Our team is passionate about providing an excellent customer experience from start to finish. If you have any questions about the differences between lab-grown and mined diamonds or would like help selecting the perfect diamond or moissanite for your occasion, please don't hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to help! Thanks for reading, and we hope you'll visit us soon!