- 3 years ago
- Wedding: May 2018
Ok, so I never post or review anything. EVER. Really. But I spent I don’t know how many hours of my life agonizing over whether to get a moissanite or a diamond for my engagement ring last year. And I think that sharing some of the information and insights here with you might save you all some precious time and agony. If you are struggling with the same choice, then read on!
At the beginning, I knew I did not want a colored gem for my engagement ring. I am not a fan of colored diamonds, and while sapphires and emeralds are gorgeous, they are too soft/easily damaged for daily wear (for me at least). So, that meant either a natural mined diamond, a lab grown diamond……or this thing called a moissanite??? I had no idea what that even was, but the biggest thread of discussion topic I saw was whether you can ‘pass’ off your moissanite ring for a diamond to the general public. The answer is yes, but with the qualifiers listed here:
- The shape and cut that looks most like a diamond is the round brilliant and coming in a close second is the emerald cut. With both those shapes you cannot tell the difference between a moissanite and a diamond with the naked eye. All other shapes and cuts do not look like diamonds because the facets are cut quite differently than those of the same shape diamond. watch this video and see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4RVPkRBqZM&t=1205s
- There is a difference in color and quality of moissanites, just like in diamonds. Earlier versions of moissanite (like ‘forever classic’, ‘forever brilliant’, or ‘premium’) tend to have more yellow undertones and match the I J K color range diamonds. The newer versions of moissanite (‘forever one’ or ‘super premium’) are colorless and match the DEF color range of diamonds. You will pay more for the colorless moissanite, just like with diamonds. Moissanites also have inclusions, just like diamonds, but good companies will only sell the eye clean stones (almost all moissanites sold by reputable companies are VVS-IF).
- Moissanites naturally have more ‘brilliance’ than diamonds as they are more refractive (they bend the light more). Therefore, moissanites give off more rainbows than diamonds do. So, a moissanite will sparkle more in the sunlight than most standard quality diamonds, but a high quality, well cut diamond will do the same; the whole reason for the crazy number of facets cut into a ‘brilliant’ or ‘hearts and arrows’ diamond is to maximize the amount of light refracted – to achieve as much brilliance as possible.
- Moissanites will not pass as diamonds when inspected by a jeweler, because they are not diamonds; they are a completely different gem, with a chemical composition all their own (SiC). So, ask yourself why you want to ‘pass’ a moissanite off as a diamond; this is the biggest qualifier IMO. If you really want a diamond, then you won’t be happy with a moissanite. If you will be constantly afraid of being ‘caught out’ or are living in fear of judgement, then I would not recommend a moissanite for you. If your heart is set on a diamond, buy a diamond. Full stop.
This leads me into the next most common discussion thread I researched – what IS a moissanite anyway? Is it a diamond simulant; or a lab grown diamond; is it even a real gem? Will it scratch, chip, crack, or get cloudy? Here is the wiki on moissanite – it’s a cool story & you should read it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moissanite. A moissanite is not a diamond simulant, nor was it ever intended to be a diamond simulant (see # 4 above on passing off a moissanite for a diamond). Similar to diamonds in many ways, a moissanite is its own mineral (silicon carbide), discovered in a meteorite (diamonds are also found in meteors) and found to occur naturally in the earth’s upper mantle (diamonds occur in the layer above the upper mantle). However, moissanite occurs with such rarity and in such small quantities naturally, that it cannot be mined for jewelry, so it is created in a lab setting (just like lab-grown diamonds). Here is another good comparison of the two gems properties: https://www.brilliantearth.com/news/moissanite-vs-diamond/
So, at this point in my decision process, I was oscillating between a lab grown moissanite and a lab grown diamond (though I was wishing that moissanite was called something more beautiful like diamonds, emeralds, rubies etc.). Both are “forever” stones (read those articles linked above if you have not yet), and both are environmentally and socially sound choices – no mining means no human rights issues & no environmental issues. The karmic cycle is all good here. I had also finally chosen the cut and style of ring I wanted – an emerald cut stone in a simple, clean, yellow gold setting. I liked the way a 2-2.5 carat solitaire looked (1.5 was just a little small & 3 was just a little too much bling for my size 5 finger).
Then came the consideration of the investment. So, is the $20,000 diamond ring ultimately a better value – because diamonds are forever, right? Is the $2000 ring just throwing away money? How much will people pay for a 2 carat moissanite ring and how much will they pay for a 2 carat diamond ring? After seriously exhaustive research, the answer is that I will get back about 70% of the $2000 moissanite ring at resale value, and I will get about 50% of the $20,000 diamond ring at resale value from a pawn shop, jeweler, or selling on e-bay (with the proper valuation documents). Neither recoups the full value of the ring, but that’s because jewelry is like a car – the minute you walk or drive away with it, the value drops. Not that I ever intend to sell my ring, but if I was going to use the “investment” logic, then I needed to follow it through.
And last is the wild card – the sentimental or emotional attachment. I can’t guide you here. All I can tell you is that we did not have a piece of family jewelry to work with (neither gem nor ring setting) so I was starting from scratch with a new ring – that makes it easier in some ways. I also own some diamonds already – my Fiance got me an antique promise ring from the 1920’s with a center diamond surrounded by French cut sapphires (this is how I know soft gems are not suitable for daily wear) & my wedding ring is a 1.2 tcw (conflict free) diamond eternity band. And, I do hope to one day pass my jewelry on to my child or my nieces/nephews, so I wanted this ring to be something classic and durable – something that would remain beautiful for 40+ years and could be reset or updated to meet the changing times/styles.
I had to ask myself “Would I be happy with a moissanite or would I secretly wish I had a diamond engagement ring instead? Would people judge me if they knew it was moissanite and would I tell people it was moissanite or would I feel the need to pretend like it was a diamond? We can afford a diamond, so why not just go for it and then not have to deal with all these uncomfortable questions. Diamonds are classic and timeless and a lab grown diamond makes my conscience happy, so why not? What did I decide to do? Look at this picture of the ring and tell me what you think it is: diamond or moissanite?
Nah, I’m just kidding! We bought the moissanite and are using the money we saved to host a huge wedding reception and honeymoon in Hawaii.