For a long time (although not as long as you might think) diamonds have been considered the de facto "best" gemstone. Advertisements pushing diamonds are everywhere, and other gems rarely even get mentioned. However, everyone knows there are significant problems with diamonds: They're overpriced, their distribution is tightly controlled to keep prices high, and they are permanently linked to bloody colonialist warfare.
So, what do you do if you want a beautiful clear gemstone, but don't want to support the diamond trade? Choose moissanite jewelry instead.
What Is Moissanite?
While moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral, also called silicon carbide, it's extremely rare. Fortunately, science found ways to create artificial moissanite which is identical to natural samples. All moissanite jewelry sold in stores is lab-made.
Moissanite is very similar to diamond in appearance, with almost none of the drawbacks.
Moissanite vs Diamond
1 - Hardness
Diamond, which is the hardest substance that can naturally exist, is harder than moissanite - but not by much. Diamond is a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, and moissanite is a 9.25. That makes it the second-hardest gem typically used in jewelry, and for everyday wear, it's every bit as durable.
2 - Brightness
Moissanite is actually brighter and more brilliant than diamond. It has a refractive index of 2.691, higher than diamond, as well as a higher fire dispersion, meaning its flashes and sparkles truly catch the eye.
3 - Color
Like a diamond, moissanite is mostly clear/white but can contain color imperfections. It's graded on a D-Z scale, like a diamond, with higher letters indicating better quality. The best moissanite can be just as perfect as diamond, but also includes rainbow refractions in its sparkles.
4 - Clarity
Being lab-made, moissanite is naturally clearer than diamond - especially when comparing larger stones. Large diamonds will almost always contain imperfections.
5 - Ethics
This one is truly clear-cut: No one ever died to bring you a piece of moissanite jewelry. The same can't be said for most diamonds on the market. This means you can enjoy a gem that is quite similar to a diamond but without any moral or ethical qualms.
6 - Price
Possibly best of all, moissanite is far less expensive than diamond. After all, there's no cartel keeping the prices high. You can enjoy a large moissanite ring or dazzling pendant for what a small diamond piece would cost.