Are Laboratory Grown Diamonds, Moissanite?!

The short answer is – no – definitely not! Let me explain… 

Diamonds can be complex for the consumer to understand, often a one-off and expensive purchase to celebrate an important life-event. A diamond purchase can be so loaded with emotion, meaning and dare I say it, nerves, that the choices and terminologies can be overwhelming. 

Hence, my purpose and passion with CHELSEA ROCKS – Laboratory Grown Diamonds, a source of trusted information to cut the confusion about diamonds in general and laboratory grown diamonds specifically. 

What is Moissanite? 

So, back to Moissanite and our question of the day. Moissanite is what is known as a simulant and is chemically, optically and atomically different to a diamond.  In other words,  Moissanite seeks to imitate or represent some of the visual qualities of a real diamond but is not a diamond.

Moissanite (silicon carbide) was discovered in 1893 in Arizona by Dr Henry Moissan. However, the key difference is that the molecular structure between Moissanite and diamonds. This results in a host of different visual and physical properties between the two materials which impact hardness and optical performance of the stone.  The key difference lies in diamond’s molecular structure in which every carbon atom is covalently bonded (where 2 electrons are shared) to 4 other carbon atoms. This gives diamond its superior strength and makes them the hardest object on Earth.

Diamonds - Beauty and Strength

On first glance to the untrained eye, a Moissanite purchase may seem tempting, it has a passing resemblance to a diamond at a lower price point. However, it does not hold up in terms of functional performance, hardness or beauty. It also has none of the symbolism, romance and allure of a diamond. However, due to Moissanite’s refractive optical characteristics, their polished facet structure is completely different from the diamond’s 57 facets round brilliant cut.

 Moissanite – Shallow and Shady

 As you may know, if you are a frequent reader of my blog, I am all about diamond “cut”. Often Moissanite is cut poorly with a shallow “crown” and deep proportions to maximise the fire of the stone. This can result not only in dark shadows and glassy areas appearing in the stone. Who would want that in their engagement ring?! Secondly, due to the absence of data about Moissanite, there is no certification, tangible data and you are more or less at the mercy of your jeweller.

(For a deeper dive about the pros and cons of Moissanite: read here