If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post, the chances are you’re considering popping the question soon and have decided to opt for a lab grown engagement ring. When it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring for yourself or your partner, familiarising yourself with a few essential factors will aid you in making the best decision. An engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime and important purchase, and like any other significant purchase, you want to be well informed so that you can make the best decision.
Lab grown gems have been increasing in popularity in recent years with more consumers becoming conscious of their products sourcing and carbon footprint. To begin with, let’s establish the basics of how these minerals are formed and quite literally ‘grown’ in a laboratory. So what are the differences between moissanite and lab diamonds?
What is moissanite?
Moissanite is formed from the naturally occurring mineral called silicon carbide, which first originated in a meteorite crater in Arizona and it is a perfect alternative to budget conscious couples. In order to create moissanite in a lab, the naturally occurring process is duplicated through a combination of high heat and pressure. Moissanite is extremely rare in nature (more so than a diamond!) and almost all jewellery set with moissanite is lab grown. Only gemology experts can tell the difference between lab created and natural moissanite.
What are lab diamonds?
Lab diamonds are created from a diamond seed and are chemically, optically and physically the exact same as mined diamonds, with the only difference being the origins. One is created in a lab under strict controlled conditions replicating the extreme natural environment and the other takes millions of years to form deep beneath the Earth’s surface. There are two complex processes used during the production of lab diamonds, one called CVD (chemical vapour deposition) and the other High-pressure-high-temperature(HPHT), both of which are popularly used throughout the lab-grown diamond world and the results are virtually the same.
Durability: Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
To assess the durability of a mineral, we use a method called the Mohs Scale of Hardness which determines the scratch resistance of minerals. The hardest, most durable mineral on the planet is a diamond with a score of 10 on the Mohs Scale and moissanite has a score of 9.25-9.5. Both gemstones are extremely hard wearing and ideal for everyday wear, perfect for an engagement ring designed to be worn everyday for the rest of your life!
Brilliance and Fire: Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
Through proprietary faceting and cuts, moissanite gemstones optimise their high refractive index, often known as brilliance. Moissanite has a refractive index from 2.65–2.69, which is higher than natural diamonds, meaning moissanite emits sparks of colour from the light entering the stone. That said, a lab grown diamond reflects light in more complex ways, through scintillation, brilliance and fire dispersion which give the stone that renowned sparkle that everyone loves and adores.
Price: Moissanite vs Lab Diamonds
Lab diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds but this price does vary depending on the cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. However, a general rule of thumb is that lab diamonds are 30% less expensive than their mined diamond counterparts. On the other hand, moissanite is dramatically less than lab diamonds and naturally mined diamonds, costing up to 90% less! Giving you many possibilities and opportunities to explore on your journey to finding the perfect engagement ring.
We hope this guide to moissanite and lab diamonds has been informative enough to help you make a decision between these two brilliant gemstones. The jewellery experts at Lily Arkwright love to discuss everything lab grown jewellery so why not drop them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call 0161 537 6773 if the above has piqued your interest.