Moissanite vs Diamond: How to Buy a Moissanite Ring

All the tools to make an informed decision.
Read This Moissanite vs Diamond Guide Before You Shop
Photo: Cami Jane Photography
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Lauren Whalley
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
Fashion Editor, Beauty & Inclusivity
  • Lauren writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in fashion, beauty and size inclusivity.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Lauren worked in wedding editorial for Brides, Style Me Pretty and Enaura Bridal.
  • Lauren studied public relations and advertising at the University of Central Florida.
Updated Feb 29, 2024
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If you're currently on a quest to find the perfect sparkler for your engagement ring, you may be wondering about the difference between moissanite versus a diamond and you're not alone. The Knot's 2023 Jewelry and Engagement Study found that among couples opting for a non-diamond engagement ring, moissanite is the number one choice. Even if you've already made up your mind, how does one go about discerning the quality of moissanite? Fear not, you've come to the right place.

Before we dive in, let's get one thing out of the way to start: no one stone is better than any other. The best stone is always going to be the one that speaks to you while channeling your style (thanks to the surrounding design choices such as ring metal, setting, and stone shape) and of course, falling within your budget. Both diamonds (natural and lab-grown diamonds) and moissanite are beautiful gemstones, but there are a few key differences that can help you decide which one is better for your situation if you're on the fence. To help with the process, we tapped a few experts to provide pointers to keep in mind while engagement ring shopping.

Meet the Experts

  • Lorraine Brantner, who's been a Sales Manager and Gemologist at for over 13 years. She's going to take us on a deep dive into what moissanite is and why some prefer a moissanite engagement ring while others prefer a diamond.
  • Charles & Colvard CEO Don O'Connell. The company introduced moissanite to the jewelry market in 1998 after receiving the patents to create and market lab-grown silicon carbide gemstones.
  • Jewelry designer and moissanite evangelist Kristin Coffin. After studying metalsmithing at the University of Vermont, Kristin began selling her designs in 2007. Her business quickly grew from a one-woman show to a robust team of talented artisans whose work is prized by brides around the world.

In this article:

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite is a gem made from a naturally occurring mineral called silicon carbide, according to Brantner. It was originally found in a crater from a fallen meteor by French Scientist Henri Moissan in 1893. Naturally occurring moissanite is very rare as it is mostly found in outer space (cool, right?), so most of the gem is lab-produced making it, well, less rare and more affordable. It's often referred to as a "diamond alternative" because of its similar sparkling appearance and budget-friendly price tag. However, Charles & Colvard CEO Don O'Connell considers moissanite a gemstone in its own right because it's recognized by the American Gemological Society.

Moissanite vs Diamond Price

We get it, engagement ring cost is a major deciding factor when choosing your dream bling. A diamond's price is determined by cut, clarity, color, and carat size. The average cost of a 1-carat natural diamonds hovers slightly around $4,000 with the most flawless clocking in at around $6,000. Since moissanite is lab-produced (unless you happen to stumble upon a meteor-like Nobel Prize-winning scientist Henri Moissan, for whom the stone is made), they tend to be priced less than but graded similarly to lab-grown diamonds (which on average are about ⅓ of the cost of natural stones). Comparatively, the most brilliant 1-carat moissanite stone might command around $750. "There is pricing pressure that's occurring right now between lab-grown diamonds and moissanite," says O'Connell. "We believe we have a better gemstone than anyone else who's trying to bring regular general moissanite to the market with our Forever One and our other Charles Colvard moissanite.

Moissanite vs Diamond Differences

"We want to make sure that we're as colorless as we can be. When it comes to moissanite versus diamonds, our Forever One moissanite fits that bill with the desirable D-E-F gradings," says O'Connell. Much like diamonds, the quality of stones spans a spectrum and Charles and Colvard has taken away the need for guesswork. There's no learning curve pertaining to the 4 Cs of diamonds because it is the most flawless and brilliant moissanite on the market. Any gemologist will of course be able to tell the difference between moissanite and a diamond. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide while a diamond is about 99.95 percent carbon, plus or minus a few trace elements.


"Moisannite is slightly more durable than ruby and sapphire on the Moh's scale of hardness," says Brantner. This lands the gem at a 9.25 rating, which makes it extremely difficult to scratch. Diamonds, on the other hand, are a 10, making them the hardest substance on earth. It's one of the factors that contributes to a diamond's higher price point. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.


Clarity refers to the imperfections found in a stone. "Moissanite tends to be an eye-clean gem, so you will end up with a wider clarity spectrum with diamonds," Brantner explains. The industry standard for diamond clarity is the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grading scale, which measures blemishes. Nearly all stones have some type of inclusion; it's what makes them unique. Since moissanite is created in labs, as Brantner explained, they are mostly eye-clean, meaning that the imperfections can really only be seen under a jeweler's microscope.


The cut of a stone refers to its brilliance (white flashes) and fire (colorful flashes), and depending on what kind of sparkle you're looking for, both diamonds and moissanite can deliver. "Moissanite has different visual properties than a diamond," says Brantner. Mainly, moissanite is doubly refractive from certain views, meaning it can create double-rainbow flashes of fire. Some moissanite gems are specifically cut to not show this trait in the face-up position to make them sparkle closer to a diamond. "There is a difference to almost three decades of creating the best in class stones," says O'Connell. "Charles & Colvard has different proprietary cuts and facets to our moissanite gemstones that maximize the fire and brilliance of the gemstone."


Moissanite is not a colorless stone; it often has tinges of yellow or green. However, as technology advances, there is some moisannite that can be nearly colorless. A diamond's color, on the other hand, is rated on the GIA's scale of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow), with D being the highest color grade. Brantner notes that "exposure to chemicals may alter the color of a moissanite gem over time, where diamond color is stable." So be sure to keep this in mind and ask your jeweler about proper moissanite care before you buy.

Moissanite vs Lab-Grown Diamond

"Clients will often fall in love with a certain setting, and they'll discover that they can have the overall look and aesthetic they want with moissanite, when it otherwise isn't attainable for them with a diamond," says Kristin Coffin, whose eponymous line of engagement rings boasts not only clear moissanite but aqua-teal and grey. These colors emerge naturally during the growing process and simply do not occur in diamonds, either natural or lab-grown diamonds. If it's a clear stone you're after, clear moissanite will offer a similar look to your classic lab-grown diamond, albeit with a score of 9.25 on the Mohs hardness scale (still very robust) compared to a diamond's 10.

Tips for Buying a Moissanite Engagement Ring

Let me be clear: by no means are we presenting moissanite as a "dupe" for a diamond. They are each their own stone. Nor should you attempt to pass off a moissanite ring as a diamond (or vice versa, for that matter) to your significant other. Our goal is simply to help you find the best stone for you by arming you with the right tools (and a few editor's picks) to make your own decision. Armed with our expert advice, whatever you decide will be absolutely beautiful.

Value Propositions

"It's becoming a tighter conversation. A lot of people want the carbon in lab-grown diamonds because they're predisposed to hearing "diamond," says O'Connell, "Though lesser known, a moissanite is an incredible gemstone in its own right and actually, it's rarer given the number of lab-grown diamonds saturating the market."

Stone Quality

Just like lab-grown and natural diamonds, the quality of moissanite spans a spectrum with true, high-quality moissanite actually being somewhat hard to come by. Less reputable retailers may even try to pass off cubic zirconia as moissanite so trust is key, which is why we've highlighted three of our favorite retailers below. Because of its hardness, moissanite can handle more minimalist settings (thin four prong) and the overall look of the ring is limited only by your imagination. Should you purchase a stone alone, any professional jeweler will be able to work with moissanite if you're looking to go the bespoke route.

Where to Buy Moissanite Rings

As with any gemstone, you'll need to do your due diligence to ensure the stone you're purchasing is an authentic moissanite ring. As with diamonds, it's not unheard of for less reputable companies to pass off cubic zirconia as moissanite. Moissanite offers an incredible value but if a price is simply too good to be true, it probably is. Lucky for you, we've done some of the legwork for you to provide our top three names in the game.

Charles & Colvard

The Charles & Colvard name has been synonymous with moissanite since the company created the first gem-quality moissanite in 1998. Their Forever One™ stones are the most brilliant on the market and come with a lifetime warranty.

Our top picks: Forever One Bezel-Set Ring, Forever One Three-Stone Ring, Forever One Graduated Ring

Kristin Coffin

Coffin's line offers classic white but also rare grey and teal moissanite (shades that just aren't available for diamonds, and especially not for such affordable price points!). It's a great way to get a truly unique ring and color for the affordability and durability of moissanite. Many of Coffin's designs feature dramatic, crown-like halos for a bold look.

Our top picks: Magnolia Ring, Talia Ring, Adeline Ring

Brilliant Earth

One of the largest online retailers (now with brick and mortar locations scattered throughout the country) for engagement rings and beyond, Brilliant Earth built its reputation with a commitment to sustainability through lab-grown stones. With a dizzying array of customization options, settings, and stone shapes, the experience can be just as personalized as going the bespoke route.

Our top picks: Luna Bezel Ring, Alya Twist Ring, Secret Garden Ring

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