Differences between moissanite and diamond

Moissanite so closely resembles diamonds that it must be examined in fine detail to determine the differences. This chart compares the two jewels:

Diamond Moissanite
(Refractive index)
2.42 2.65
.044 .104
(Mohs scale)
10 9.25
Color Various: Graded from D – X Colorless white
Weight 3.53 g/cm3 3.21 g/cm3
Heat Resistance Burns at 800 °C Undamaged up to 1800 °C
Double refraction No Yes
Cost $3,400 – $25,000 / carat $275 / carat
Public opinion Widely accepted Less accepted, but gaining traction
Availability Many retailers Few retailers


From a gemstone property standpoint, moissanite is superior. It carries much more sparkle than diamonds (that’s what the brilliance and fire mean) which will make your loved one happy. Diamonds are harder, but for jewelry it doesn’t matter much (although it’s worth pointing our that moissanite is harder than cubic zirconia (8.25), another popular diamond substitute). The heat resistance of moissanite allows it to be crafted in specific molds, increasing variety of shape. And you don’t have to worry about comparing the “4 C’s of diamonds” – moissanite is superior in color, cut, clarity, and carat. Check out this image of a diamond and a moissanite under direct light – see how the moissanite refracts more colors? That’s the superior sparkle!


Moissanite loses in a few categories. Double refraction means light can sometimes bend into 2 lines instead of 1 line as it goes through the stone. In jewelry this is viewed as bad, but I’m not sure why since it’s creating more luster. The most difficult disadvantage of moissanite is its public view. Many people view any diamond alternative as cheap and who wants to give their fiance something cheap? Yet it’s a tough battle of trying to change perception when evidence shows there are superior gems out there.

Here’s a video of a moissanite and a diamond side by side, in great detail. Can you see the differences with your naked eye?

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