So you’ve recently discovered moissanite; the magical stone from meteorites that’s environmentally friendly, socially responsible, as beautiful as a diamond, and for a fraction of the cost. Now what?

The Chelsea three stone moissanite engagement ring by Abby Sparks Jewelry.

It’s at this point that you scour the internet for proof that it’s too good to be true and likely find yourself sifting through wedding forums where bride after bride claims no downsides, #noregrets, and that moissanite can and most definitely does pass for a diamond. Want the real deal? Talk to a jeweler. Luckily, you’re in the right place.

Does Moissanite Look Like a Diamond?

Yes, moissanite looks very similar to a diamond. It’s near-colorless, has a similar refractive index to a diamond and the GIA deems moissanite the closest diamond imitation.
At Abby Sparks Jewelry we consider moissanite a diamond alternative, not an imitation. Moissanite is not a synthetic diamond or the oft dreaded cubic zirconia, it’s a totally separate gemstone that is naturally occuring, though extremely rare, and is found in meteorites. Because it’s so well suited to jewelry but tough to come across, moissanite is lab grown under the same conditions that produce the stone in nature.

Developed by the GIA, the diamond color chart gives each stone a color rating ranging from a completely colorless D to yellow-tinged Z.

Naturally occurring moissanite and it’s lab created equivalent are not colorless. Some diamonds are. Though moissanite can’t be directly graded on the diamond color chart, the natural or “classic” moissanite color is comparable to a GIA-certified K-color diamond. To the untrained, non-jeweler eye, differences in diamond color are not perceptible up until about this point. Most of the moissanite now on the market has been enhanced to be as close to colorless as possible, but jewelers and some discerning jewelry enthusiasts are still able to detect a slight yellow or gray hue in moissanite under certain lighting. Jewelry designers can also detect subtle differences in brilliance and fire (more on this here: Moissanite V Diamond: What’s the Difference?)

How To Tell Moissanite From Diamond

Unless you’ve seen a lot of diamonds, you probably can’t tell the difference. If you have other diamond jewelry, you might notice that moissanite has more brilliance and more perceptible colors than diamonds. The true way to tell the difference? You’ll need some professional equipment. A diamond tester is used to detect whether or not a stone is a real diamond by measuring how heat moves through it, though because moissanite heat conductivity is close to that of a diamond, it’s not a surefire bet. There are also diamond testers that measures electrical conductivity, but this will only tell you whether a stone is or is not a diamond, not necessarily what the stone is. Moissanite testers are specifically designed to identify moissanite by measuring how a stone conducts electricity. But I’m guessing you don’t have one of these at your disposal.

Diamond or moissanite? Only a trained eye can tell.

Armed with the naked eye only, the best way to tell is to have a comparably sized diamond and to compare side by side. You’ll notice that moissanite and diamonds have different brilliance. Diamonds distinct sparkle is a unique combination of how it reflects light, the colors that refract through it, and the scintillation. Moissanite has more colors and fire, making quick flashes of rainbow color when moving the stone around. This disco ball effect can be more pronounced in sunlight. Like a diamond, the larger the moissanite the more color you are able to see and the easier it is to differentiate it from a diamond. That being said, no one but a jeweler or experienced jewelry buyer would likely see a difference. Moving past the superficial, moissanite is almost as hard as a diamond on the Mohs scale; a 9.5 as compared to a diamonds perfect 10 rating. Why is this important? Because whatever stone you choose to use has got to be tough enough for the everyday bangs and bumps that jewelry often encounters.

So can moissanite pass for diamond? For the general public, your nosy but well meaning friends, and everyone you display your moissanite ring to between now and forever…they won’t know the difference. Most don’t even know moissanite exists and wouldn’t think to question it. It’s also generally frowned upon to probe about someone’s engagement ring, though it happens! So if you’re worried about it, or about feeling awkward as someone coos about how sparkly your “diamond” is, you may want to have a canned response in your back pocket. May I recommend, “Thanks! I love it too.”

Ready to make your own moissanite ring? Here’s everything you need to know about creating an engagement ring with a lab-grown moissanite.