Lab-Grown Diamonds Vs. Moissanite

Lab-Grown Diamonds Vs. Moissanite

Choosing the right gemstone for your jewelry can be a pretty tough decision, right? There are already a lot of options out there, but what if you’re looking for something a little more special? What if you want something for a special occasion or even to pop the question? What if you want to make sure you’re getting something that’s cruelty-free? Well, the two biggest options out there would be lab-grown diamonds and moissanite. But how exactly do these even compare?

Lab-Grown Diamonds: A Sparkling Innovation

Lab-grown diamonds have become popular for their ethical production and authentic sparkle. These diamonds are real in every sense, with the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds. Some people might say they’re not “real” diamonds, but they are; they’re just not mined.

They are created in a controlled environment using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which natural diamonds form. Two primary methods are used to create lab-grown diamonds: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Both methods produce stunning diamonds that are virtually indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. Unlike natural diamonds, which are formed naturally over the course of millennia deep in the earth, lab-grown diamonds are expertly manufactured over the course of weeks or months.

Moissanite: The Starry Alternative

On the other hand, moissanite, while beautiful and brilliant, is a synthetic gemstone with different properties and quality levels. Moissanite was first discovered in a meteor crater by Dr. Henri Moissan in 1893. This extraordinary discovery led to the creation of lab-grown moissanite, which is now widely used in jewelry. Moissanite exhibits a higher refractive index, resulting in a fiery, rainbow-like sparkle. The popularity and trust in moissanite jewelry are due to its superior quality and conflict-free nature. So let’s do a bit of digging to see which is the best choice for you.

Composition and Characteristics

So, when it comes to these two ethical mined diamond alternatives, there are some differences. While sure, at first glance you might not immediately see them, they’re definitely there. 

Difference in Composition

Lab-grown diamonds and moissanite are fundamentally different, they’re both ethical and affordable gemstones, but still different. Lab-grown diamonds are made of pure carbon, just like natural diamonds, giving them their signature hardness and brilliance. Moissanite, however, is made from silicon carbide, a material first found in meteorites and later produced in labs. While it’s striking, it’s not the same as the carbon structure of diamonds.

Physical Properties Comparison

They’re both hard, but lab-grown diamonds and moissanite differ slightly in their hardness and overall durability.

Mohs Hardness Scale

The Mohs Hardness Scale is a valuable tool for comparing the hardness of gemstones. This scale ranges from talc, the softest material at level 1, to diamond, the hardest material at level 10.

  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: Lab-grown diamonds score a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale, making them the hardest known material. This exceptional hardness provides lab-grown diamonds with superior resistance to scratches and damage, ensuring long-lasting durability.
  • Moissanite: Moissanite scores 9.25 on the Mohs scale, which, while still very hard, is slightly less so than diamonds. This means that moissanite is highly resistant to scratching but not as impervious as lab-grown diamonds. Moissanite tend to be brittle and easily chipped and scratched over time. 

The increased hardness of lab-grown diamonds gives them an advantage over moissanite in terms of durability. However, hardness is just one aspect of gemstone quality; reflectivity is another crucial factor to consider.

Reflectivity Characteristics

Reflectivity, or how a gemstone reflects light, significantly impacts its visual appeal.

  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: Lab-grown diamonds have a special ability to refract and reflect light, which is what gives them their sparkle. The white light reflected by diamonds, known as brilliance, is one of their most sought-after characteristics. The proportions, symmetry, polish, and cut of the diamond all determine how it reflects light and gives it that dazzling sparkle that diamonds are famous for. Even expert jewelers may struggle to distinguish between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds with the unaided eye.
  • Moissanite: Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds so it has a different kind of sparkle. It often has a fiery, rainbow effect, known as dispersion which can be more pronounced than the brilliance of diamonds. While that can be beautiful, it’s a different look from the traditional brilliance of diamonds.

Both have great reflectivity but lab-grown diamonds have a classic and intense white sparkle and moissanite has a vibrant and colorful flash. This difference in optical properties allows you to choose what kind of sparkle you like best.

Diamond Grading Similarities and Differences

So, there are the four C’s: carat, cut, color, and clarity; while diamonds can be graded on this scale, moissanite can’t because it varies based on quality (like the cut and color). 

Diamonds whether mined or lab-grown are graded by institutions like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and International Gemological Institute (IGI) to determine their quality. This grading system is transparent and helps buyers make informed decisions. Moissanite has no standardized grading system so it’s hard to determine its true value and quality and buyers may find it difficult to compare moissanite stones accurately and be uncertain in their purchase.

Pricing and Value

While ethics are a major reason why people gravitate towards lab-grown diamonds and moissanite, it’s not the only reason; pricing also plays a significant role in their popularity. These alternatives to mined diamonds offer more affordable options without compromising on beauty or quality, making them accessible to a broader audience. Both lab-grown diamonds and moissanite offer good quality options for consumers looking for affordable and ethical jewelry.

What Affects Cost?

Lab-grown diamond price is affected by the four C’s: carat, cut, color and clarity. Larger diamonds with higher clarity, better cuts, and desirable colors are more expensive. Moissanite price is mainly determined by size, color grade, and cut quality. Since moissanite has no standardized grading system, the price can vary widely based on these factors but generally, it’s more affordable than lab-grown diamonds.

Price Comparison

Lab-grown diamonds and moissanite both offer cost-effective alternatives to mined diamonds, but lab-grown diamonds tend to be pricier. This higher price reflects their closer similarity to natural diamonds in terms of physical, chemical, and optical properties. However, for those on a tight budget, moissanite is an excellent option. Lab-grown diamonds are more cost effective in the long run if you factor in durability because moissanite may need replacing every 10 or so years to do wear and tear. 

Durability and Care

When considering the durability and care of lab-grown diamonds versus moissanite, it's essential to recognize their individual strengths and maintenance requirements.


Both lab-grown diamonds and moissanite are known for their durability so they can be worn daily. Lab-grown diamonds score a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness making them the hardest material known. This hardness means they are highly resistant to scratches, chips and other forms of damage. Moissanite is slightly softer with a 9.25 Mohs scale rating but still very durable and can be worn daily with minimal risk of damage. But moissanite is more prone to scratching over time compared to lab-grown diamonds.

Low Maintenance

Both gemstones are low maintenance and easy to care for. Lab-grown diamonds with their higher hardness requires minimal maintenance to keep their brilliance. Just clean it with gentle soap, warm water, and soft brush and it will sparkle. Moissanite with its higher refractive index might need more frequent cleaning to keep its brilliance as it can attract more dirt and oil. But the same simple cleaning method will do to restore its sparkle.

Long Term Value

Lab-grown diamonds are built to last. They are incredibly durable and less prone to damage compared to moissanite, ensuring your jewelry remains in excellent condition over time. While moissanite is often seen as a budget-friendly option, its susceptibility to scratches and wear makes it less reliable for long-term use. Choosing a lab-grown diamond means you won't have to worry about frequent replacements or repairs, allowing you to enjoy your beautiful, enduring gemstone without the hassle or the replacement cost. 

Aesthetics and Style

People love the look of a diamond, but they just hate the story behind mined diamonds and the fact there’s a high price tag too. So how do moissanite and lab-grown diamonds hold up?

Sparkle and Brilliance

They each have their own unique sparkle, with moissanite known for its flashy “disco-ball” effect. However, moissanite isn’t as durable as lab-grown diamonds and is more likely to get scratched or become cloudy over time, diminishing its sparkle. If you prefer a gemstone with timeless brilliance and lasting durability, lab-grown diamonds are the perfect choice.

Color and Clarity

Color and clarity play a pretty big role in the appearance of a gemstone. So, when it comes to a lab-grown diamond, they look just like a mined diamond, and that goes for the color and clarity too. As for moissanite, they’re usually colorless or they’ll have a hue of yellow, gray or green. 

Design Options

Basically, whatever style you’re after, they’re both available in said style. They can be cut in different ways, and incorporated into any jewelry like engagement rings, necklaces, different cuts, you name it. Both lab-grown diamonds and moissanite can be used as the center stone in various jewelry designs, including engagement rings and necklaces. They’re both very versatile, which is another reason why they’ve both grown so popular.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical sourcing is increasingly important for many buyers.


Lab-grown diamonds and moissanite are both sustainable compared to mined diamonds. Production of lab-grown diamonds uses less energy and has a smaller environmental footprint. Moissanite being entirely lab-created also avoids the environmental and ethical issues of mining.


Both options are cruelty-free, ensuring that no human rights violations occur in their production. This ethical aspect makes them attractive to socially conscious consumers.

Invest In Lab-Grown Diamonds with Carbon Diamonds in Dallas-Fortworth

Overall, lab-grown diamonds will stand the test of time and are far more durable than moissanite. At Carbon Diamonds, we can help you find the perfect lab-grown diamond for you. With over 40 years of experience, you can trust us to provide you with the proper education and assistance during your diamond journey. 

Contact us to book an appointment - we offer both in-person and online appointments so we can serve you regardless of your location. Let us help you make an informed and confident choice for your next piece of jewelry.