Moissanite vs Diamond: Everything To Know

Learn the differences and similarities between moissanite and diamond so you can decide which sparkly rock is your best friend!

By Erin Celletti

Moissanite vs Diamond
Photo by Zola

Moissanite vs Diamond: Everything To Know

Anyone who has been there knows that shopping for the perfect engagement ring can be overwhelming. While getting engaged is such an exciting milestone and signifies all the incredible moments to come, all the decisions that come along with it can seem tough to navigate.

How many carats should you buy? What the heck is a princess cut? Do you really need to spend three month’s salary? Moissanite — what in the world is moissanite? What about other wedding day jewelry?!

We’re here to help. We’ve got the lowdown on moissanite and diamonds: how they stand up to one another, their benefits, the differences between them, and more. Your engagement ring and wedding jewelry decisions just got a little bit easier.

What Is Moissanite?

Think of moissanite as a diamond’s budget-friendly cousin. It’s known for its serious sparkle (also known as “brilliance” in the diamond world). Moissanite is still a gemstone, but it’s created in a lab to be more affordable and more eco-conscious than a diamond, with the sparkle you expect.

Moissanite first came on the scene in the late 19th century when it was discovered nestled within a meteor crater by French scientist Henri Moissan. He first thought he came across diamonds in the space rock, but he soon learned otherwise. (Who can blame him — diamonds and moissanite look super similar on the surface, after all.)

These days, moissanite is made in a lab, with its main ingredient being silicon carbide. When heated to extreme temperatures, it’s allowed to cool as it crystallizes and is then cut, shaped, and polished.

Moissanite vs. Diamond

Fully understanding the differences and similarities between moissanite and diamonds is important so you can determine the right gem for you. There are standout features for both when it comes to price, durability, brilliance, and color. Here’s how they compare.

Moissanite vs Diamond Infograph


Moissanite is significantly less costly than real diamond stones, largely because it’s created in a lab and isn’t a naturally-grown gem. This makes moissanite more attainable, since it’s readily available, as opposed to diamonds, which are limited in supply.

For both stones, while factors like carat size, cut, and quality do impact price, moissanite will always be priced less. If you want a large and sparkly stone but don’t want to pay a premium price, moissanite will almost always be the best option compared to a diamond.


Both moissanite and diamonds are tough cookies. As far as durability goes, it’s important to know which stone is harder, and the Mohs scale can help determine this. On a scale of 1-10, moissanite earns a 9.25, while diamonds top the scale with a score of 10.

Both materials are tough — which is why they’re both top contenders for engagement rings that are meant to be worn daily, standing up to the wear and tear of life.


Of course, you want your engagement ring to sparkle and shine bright, and thankfully both materials are known for their brilliance. Two important words come into play when comparing the brilliance of moissanite vs. diamonds — color and classic.

First things first, brilliance refers to the way the stones reflect light. While diamonds are officially graded based on cut, clarity, and carat weight, brilliance is more of a qualitative quantity of a stone and is a bit open to interpretation.

Diamonds have a classic brilliance, reflecting white light, while moissanite has more of a colorful brilliance. When light reflects off moissanite, the colors disperse in a way unique to the lab-created stone.


Natural diamonds are given a letter associated with their color purity. The less color a diamond has, the earlier in the alphabet their letter will appear. (Colorless diamonds are in the D-F range, and stones with just a touch of color are generally in the G-J range.) The less color present, the higher the cost of the diamond.

On the other hand, moissanite shows off more color and has its own color variations, so it’s known for and identified by the vibrant “fire” or colorful reflection it gives off.

Color is often the easiest way to identify the difference between both materials.

To keep things simple, diamonds are generally icy and colorless (the less color the better!) whereas moissanite has a bit of a rainbow reflection.

So now that you know moissanite is created in a lab and natural diamonds are made from the earth, you might be wondering where exactly do lab diamonds fit into the mix? Breaking down the differences between both lab grown gems is rather simple.

Moissanite vs Lab Diamond

Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, while lab-grown diamonds are made from carbon atoms arranged in a cubic lattice. Moissanite is less expensive, very slightly softer (9.25 on the hardness scale, vs a 10 for lab-grown diamonds), and more colorful, vs the white sparkle of lab-grown diamonds.

Both moissanite and lab-grown diamonds are less of a budget buster than natural diamonds, with moissanite usually carrying the lowest price point of the three.

Which Is Right for You?

Diamonds or moissanite — which will make you happier every time you see it on your finger? Now that you have a bit of a better understanding of the two different stones, you can probably see for yourself that it really comes down to personal preference.

Natural diamonds are more costly, but they’re diamonds, so of course they are. Diamonds are precious stones mined directly from the earth. They have a very specific grading system, a competitive market, and they’re priced accordingly. They’re the traditional stone in an engagement ring and what many brides-to-be have their hearts set on having.

Moissanite, on the other hand, is a lab-created stone that mimics the look of a diamond without being identical. Moissanite is much easier on the wallet, and you can get a larger stone for a fraction of the cost of a diamond.

We asked, you answered: 72% of Zola couples surveyed said that diamond alternatives and substitutes (lab-grown, moissanite, other gems, etc) are most certainly ‘in’ right now. Read our First Look Report for more 2024 wedding trends and insights.

Only you can know which is right for you. If you’re looking for a larger, showstopping ring but are conscious of the price tag, moissanite might be the answer. If you want a timeless, natural, made-to-last forever ring, regardless of size, then a diamond is what you want most.


Now that you’ve learned about the differences between moissanite and diamonds, you can rest assured you’ll make an educated decision while shopping for an engagement ring. And, whether you opt for a diamond or moissanite, yellow gold or white gold, solitaire or halo — we wish you a happy engagement, and happiest wedding planning!

Getting engaged soon? It’s never too early to start planning! Check out our Wedding Planning Checklist and get ahead of the game.

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