The traditional 4C model is a great tool to understand how a diamond’s four main characteristics affect its price and appearance:
- Cut - Precision of Craftsmanship.
- Carat - Weight and Size.
- Clarity - Purity.
Although moissanite looks very similar to a diamond, it’s much more than simply an “affordable diamond alternative”. It’s a striking gemstone that’s gaining popularity as a great centre stone option for engagement rings.
Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that moissanite is directly compared to diamonds when couples do their research.
To understand how moissanite stands it ground let’s plug it into the well-known diamond 4C model.
[Unfimiliar with the 4C model? Here’s a one-page guide]
Cut - The Sparkle Factor
When a gemstone cutter sits down to transform a rough/uncut moissanite into its shiny final form he needs to stick to a very detailed recipe.
Every facet, angle and proportion needs to be in a predetermined balancing act to ensure a moissanite works its optimal magic with light.
It’s more science than art.
Diamonds are mined in all shapes and sizes. As you can imagine, certain odd-shaped stones surface that can make it hard to stick to these ideal parameters. Tiny compromises in the cut of a diamond are very common.
On the other hand, 99.99% of moissanites are made in a laboratory where science mimics and accelerates the natural “growth cycle” of this extremely rare gemstone.
There’s no excuse or reason for a moissanite’s cut grade to be anything but “Excellent”.
If a moissanite has been poorly cut and polished the size, clarity and colour doesn’t matter… you’re stuck with what looks like a dull and bland piece of glass.
Moissanite is often refered as the worlds most brilliant gemstone. Keep it that way.
Moissanite Vs. Diamond: Although marginal, moissanite has a higher reflective and dispersion index than a diamond. A perfectly cut moissanite will have more fire and brilliance than a diamond! That’s why “Excellent” cut should be non-negotiable.
Carat - Size.
Moissanites are 7% lighter than diamonds.
Say you have two round gemstones with identical diameters;
- 6.5mm DIAMOND - weight: 1,00ct.
- 6.5mm MOISSANITE - weight: 0,93ct.
At first glance, the diamond (1) looks like the larger gemstone.
It’s not. The moissanite is the exact same size (6.5mm) as the 1,00ct diamond … it just weighs less.
To make size comparisons with diamonds easier the moissanite industry decided to express the weight of moissanite in equivalent diamond weight (EDW).
That’s as easy as taking a moissanite, sipping your coffee, and then asking yourself this question;
“If this moissanite was a diamond what would it weigh?”
In the case of the 6.5mm moissanite (2) the EDW is 1,00ct. That’s exactly what a 6.5mm diamond weighs.
The moissanite’s weight will be shown on the grading certificate as:
- 6.5mm MOISSANITE - 1,00ct. (EDW).
Clarity - “Purity”
All natural gemstones have imperfections (inclusions) ranging blatantly obvious to barely noticeable, even under 10X magnification.
That’s just the way Mother Nature cooks them up in harsh environments over millions of years.
Natural moissanites are so rare that scientists and gemmologists took on the challenge to mimic and accelerate the natural formation of this fiery and brilliant gemstone in a laboratory setting.
Interesting fact… Henry Moissan, the French scientist that discovered and decoded moissanite, actually went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He also very humbly named the gemstone after himself.
As you can imagine the controlled laboratory conditions should facilitate the growing and creation of very pure and clean moissanite.
Unfortunately, some factories can’t stand the temptation to cut costs and corners. You can’t blindly assume all moissanites are top-notch quality.
What does a poor quality moissanite look like?
It’s not always obvious, but a cloudy and milky appearance is a telltale sign. And easy to spot now that you know what to look for.
What’s the use of a gemstone that sparkles more than a diamond if it’s fogged up by cloudiness? Your engagement ring deserves better.
Stick to the top 3 clarity grades:
- Internally flawless - IF
- Very Very Slight Inclusion 1 - VVS1
- Very Very Slight Inclusion 2 - VVS2
Moissanite Vs Diamond: When viewing a moissanite always ask to see it next to a diamond of comparable specifications. If the moissanite has less fire and brilliance - give it a pass.
For more information on clarity, head over to this link.
Moissanite uses the same colour grading scale as diamonds.
The colour range starts at D (colourless) and then trickles down the alphabet all the way to Z which will be prominently yellow or brown. As you move from one letter to the next the prominence and intensity of the colour tint very slightly intensifies.
To simplify things “white” moissanite is often bundled into two colour categories;
- Colourless: D-E-F colours.
- Near Colourless: G-H-I colours.
Although categories set up beautifully white in an engagement ring, you will be able to spot the colour difference when you compare them side by side.
Unlike with diamonds the jump from near colourless to colourless isn’t exponential. The small premium isn’t prohibitive. Deciding between the two shades will come down to personal preference.
I will choose the colourless variant every day of the week. Its pristine aura has an undeniable presence.
Diamond Vs Moissanite: If you’d like to pass your moissanite off as a diamond, just know a 1,00ct D colour VVS-clarity diamond can easily bully you out of R150 000.
For more information on 1,00ct diamond pricing, follow this link.
As with diamonds, no photo does a moissanite justice.
The only way to see what the fuss is about is to visit us for a coffee and browse our extensive range of different colours, sizes and shapes.
You'll be doing yourself a massive favour.
To fix a time simply send an email to email@example.com and we’ll be in touch with available time slots. See the P.S. below.
PS: We’re running a Valentine’s special where all our certified 1,00ct moissanites (D, VVS) are marked down to R5240. That should be irresistible.