What is a “Lab Diamond”?
A “Lab Diamond,” also known as a “Synthetic Diamond,” or “Man-Made Diamond” is a diamond gemstone that was made in a laboratory instead of the Earth’s crust. That’s it! No secrets. In fact, there is no chemical difference between a Lab Grown Diamond and a natural, mined diamond: they are both simply crystal-clear carbon. So, a Lab Diamond has the same hardness (10/10), the same look, and the same sparkle as a mined diamond. The only way you can tell it is a Lab Grown Diamond is if you have it tested.
Is a Lab Diamond the same thing as Moissanite?
No. They are completely different minerals, with very different looks and different hardness ratings.
Ok, so what is Moissanite?
While there is natural Moissanite, it is incredibly rare and comes in tiny crystals. So for jewelry, gem scientists create it for us in a lab. Unlike Lab Diamond, Moissanite has a different chemical makeup. While Diamond is pure carbon, Moissanite is both silica and carbon. As a result, Moissanite sparkles differently (more!) and isn’t quite as hard as diamond (but is still really hard).
What Are the Differences Between Moissanite vs Lab Diamond?
One of the most noticeable differences in Moissanite is its sparkle. Actually, Moissanite sparkles more than diamond, and more colorfully than diamond,if you can believe it! In fact, Moissanite reflects about twice as much colored sparkle as a Diamond does! Gemologists call this “dispersion,” and Moissanite’s dispersion is 0.104, as compared with diamond’s 0.044. So, when you look at a Moissanite side by side with a Diamond, Moissanite is going to look like a firework.
Left: Diamond | Right: Moissanite (Photo: Lauren B Jewelry)
Lab Grown Diamonds occur in every color. So, they can be “colorless,” “near colorless,” or any of the rainbow colors, like blue, red, or purple! Moissanite naturally occurs in only colorless, near colorless, and yellowish-Green shades. Traditional Moissanite used in jewelry for the past couple decades has had a yellowish color to it. Importantly, new advances in technology have allowed cutting edge scientists, like those at Charles and Colvard, to create new, colorless Moissanite for us. Forever One Moissanite is bright white, without any hint of yellow.
Refra…what? “Refraction” means how a gem bends and breaks light apart. And, Lab Diamonds vs. Moissanite refract light differently. For you gem geeks out there, Diamond is singly refractive, and Moissanite is doubly refractive. For the rest of us, the important thing to note is that because of the way Moissanite treats light, if you look into it at a special angle, all the facets are going to look doubled (like you’ve had one too many glasses of wine)! Other gems which show double refraction include sapphire, tourmaline, and zircon.
Diamond is the hardest substance on Earth. So, on a scale of 1-10, Diamond is a 10! Moissanite is a little softer. However, Moissanite is still an incredibly hard gem at 9.25/10 on the hardness scale!
Finally, let’s discuss price. Lab Diamonds, due to being harder, more traditional, and more sought after, command a higher price. So, when comparing Moissanite vs Lab Diamond, Moissanite is less expensive.
So Which is Better, Moissanite vs Lab Diamond?
It depends. I know, your favorite answer. But really, it matters what you value.
Who Should Pick Moissanite?
Couples who want:
- A non-diamond center stone.
- A super sparkly gemstone that doesn’t look exactly like diamond.
- A durable choice for their engagement ring.
- To pay a tiny fraction of the cost of a mined diamond.
Who Should Pick Lab Diamonds?
Couples who want:
- The hardest, most durable choice for their engagement ring.
- The exact sparkle of a mined diamond (a look no one will question).
- A gem with credible certification.
- Bragging rights of owning a “diamond ring.”
- To save 50-70% off the price of mined diamonds.
Can You Really Tell the Difference Between Moissanite vs Lab Diamond?
Yes. Moissanite has a very distinctive colored sparkle. It looks like a firework! So, those that look closely at a ring will notice a difference. This is because Moissanite is extra bright and sparkly.
Where Can I Buy a Lab Diamond Engagement Ring or a Moissanite Engagement Ring?
Right here! Do Amore focuses exclusively on conflict free, ethical engagement rings. So, lab diamond engagement rings and moissanite engagement rings are some of our favorites! Because both of these wonderful gems are made by man, they are some of the most ethical, sustainable choices out there for your special ring. Start here to choose your perfect lab diamond. Or, begin here to choose a moissanite!
Can you help me choose between Moissanite vs Lab Diamond?
I sure can. My name is Corinne, and I’m the gemologist. Send me a note here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I have no preference between Moissanite vs Lab Diamond, and will help you choose what’s right for you.