Moissanite vs Diamond
Posted by: Editor AL
18th September 2019, Singapore – Recently our commercial team was shooting an assignment for LeCaine Gems, a Singapore-based company that imports, retails & distributes Moissanite. As we had done many similar shoots in the past, we can’t help but compare – from the view of a photographer. From Diamonds to custom jewellery, from real gems to synthetic stones, we had shot almost every type until Moissanite came along.
So what is Moissanite exactly? From our interaction with this special gem during our shoots, we discovered that Moissanite shines as brilliantly as Diamonds, has clear and distinctive prism lines and many times during the shoot, we totally forgotten that we were shooting Moissanite – such is the brilliance of this gem that we had to repeatedly remind ourselves that we were not shooting Diamonds. So after the shoot, I decided to find out more about Moissanite – from a photographer point of view as well as a regular guy who will buy jewellery from time to time for friends & love ones.
Moissanite was originally discovered in 1893 by a French Chemist – Ferdinand Henri Moissan – who found this shiny and bright gem at a crater formed by a fallen meteor in Arizona. Due to the circumstances and situation where/when this gem was found, it is also nicked-known as Stardust or Space Diamond. Interesting! Due to the limited amount that was found, Dr Moissan spent nearly a lifetime to re-create this rare and precious material and had successfully synthesised its particles to produce this scintillating gem. And thus the naming of this gem to Moissanite – after Dr. Moissan.
Moissanite is so rare – there’s two ways to get Moissanite, you can either camp at Arizona and pray for a meteor to fall again or simply look to Lab-Created Moissanite. A quick search on the net reveals that Lab-created Moissanite is the most eco-friendly & conflict-free gem in this entire world. First & foremost, no mining is involved (since it is Lab-created) and we all know the processes for mining involves deforestation which in turn caused ground erosion leaving barren wastelands everywhere. Not forgetting the heavy machineries and the carbon they created during the mining process.
Secondly, as Moissanite is 100% Lab-Created today, it is created ethically & by using sustainable methods. In such a controlled environment, every piece of Moissanite is created with 100% cloned properties that remains stable & uniformed which is why it is now gaining huge popularity and taking the diamond market shares by the thousands. Another thing that I found out – diamonds are 100% Carbon (seriously?) while Moissanite are 50% Silicon & 50% Carbon – unlike other synthesised gems, Moissanite does not simulate diamonds, but it far surpasses it in many ways.
As a photography subject, Moissanite is so brightly photogenic-al that many photographers find it a challenge to shoot it correctly. Why? Moissanite emits brilliance of rainbow gleams (sometimes more brilliance than a diamond depending on the angle you shoot) and lights are transmitted slightly differently through the gem although the prism cuts are very similar to diamonds. As difficult as it sounds, but once you got the light & angle right, it’s a beautiful subject to shoot.
Since Moissanite & Diamonds are so similar in appearance that most people would not be able to differentiate between the two, we decided to consult the person behind LeCaine Gems – Miss Ashley Siew.
Editor: Hi Ashley, Moissanite & Diamonds are so identical visually is there a way to properly differentiate them?
LeCaine: LeCaine: Yes, they are visually very similar, professional special equipment is sometimes used by experts just to try and tell them apart. While it is not easy to differentiate the both with naked eyes, you can gradually tell the difference with the colors each emit. Moissanite tends to carry a rainbow hue at some angles due to its higher refractive index than the Diamond. As Moissanite is a popular diamond alternative in the United States for the past 20 years, we have started seeing fake Moissanite pop up in the market but are actually diamond simulants of lower quality. They look bright and colourless at first but quickly turn cloudy and dull. Genuine Moissanite does not turn cloudy even a long period of use. In fact, they continue to sparkle thanks to its beautiful brilliance. Constant care is recommended to keep your Moissanite jewellery shine, just like how you will take care of your diamond jewellery. are quite sought after by our clients, I would say they are the ones who can tell the diamond apart pretty well after handling the stones over time!
Editor: I am finding it hard to shoot the Moissanite as compared to diamonds because it shines much brighter than a diamond and it reflects every and any light, why is this so?
LeCaine: In proper terms, we call it “Brilliance”, which refers to the gem’s ability to reflect white light, which is a good indication of how a stone sparkles. This is a measurable property and it is parallel to a gem’s refractive index (GRI). By comparison, Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.65 to 2.69 while a diamond’s reflective index is only 2.42. This shows that Moissanite is not only more brilliant than most gems, it also has an array of dazzling fire and rainbow colours to completely mesmerise you.
Editor: No wonder I had a tough time shooting it. However, I am very impressed, many times during the shoot I ended up thinking I am shooting diamonds! What about durability, how does Moissanite stand up to diamonds?
LeCaine: Diamonds are known to be the benchmark for hardness upon which all other materials are compared with. On the Mohs scale of hardness, the diamond leads the way at number 10. However, trailing closely behind with a rating of 9.25, is the Moissanite. It is the second hardest gemstone used in jewellery making and it is harder than sapphire, emerald and ruby which are the other popular gems used for engagement rings. Moissanite is therefore scratch-resistant and hard to damage compared to cheaper alternatives like a cubic zirconia which measures a 7 out 10. With such a high durability and brilliance, the Moissanite is perfect for everyday wear and truly a sophisticated diamond alternative.
Editor: Amazing! What about heat? Is it comparable to diamonds? Can Moissanite withstand extreme high heat conditions?
LeCaine: Moissanite is extremely heat-resistant. In fact, it exhibits more heat resistance than a diamond. Lab Tests have shown that Moissanite gems remained intact and stayed brilliant even when it was subjected to 2000ºF, which is higher than the equivalent intensity of a house fire.
Editor: Wow! Sounds like Moissanite is near-indestructible! Is it?
LeCaine: The high heat resistance, together with its hardness, Moissanite has all the properties very similar to a diamond. However, nothing is indestructible! The hardest materials as we know may be brittle and liable to crack when a strong impact or huge force is executed on it. As an assurance, we conduct stress tests on the stones in our labs to ensure they pass before curating the stones to set onto the rings. All our stones are graded by an independent laboratory and inscribed with unique serial numbers. And with that kind of properties, it is also unlikely to be damaged during ring sizing, soldering or retipping prongs which other gems are commonly subjected to.
Editor: Thanks Ashley for sharing so much! Learn a lot!
Well people, I learnt a lot about Moissanite through shooting, researching, writing this article and interviewing LeCaine Gems’ Ashley. I hope all of you learn something too. My conclusions are; Moissanite is not created to compete with diamond but it had surpassed diamond in so many important ways including brilliance, fire, durability, resistance to heat and of course, the price. It is so much more affordable than you can imagine.
As the (old) saying goes, “A Diamond is a Girl’s Best Friend”. We say: “But it is also the wallet’s worst enemy”. Luckily for Moissanite, our wallets are safe.
LeCaine Gem is our latest Accredited Lifestyle Merchant and they are offering great deals for our card members – find out more on the Lifestyle Merchant page! Or simply, click here to visit LeCaine Gems!
Ourshutterjourney Card Members’ Privilege:
– Buy any jewellery & get a 10% discount OFF
– Use Promo Code: OURSJ10–
– Please Present Ourshutterjourney Card during collection.
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