Lab Diamond vs Moissanite

We get this question all the time - should I choose a lab grown diamond or a moissanite for my engagement ring? 

 

We love moissanite; we work with a ton of it, and Hera was originally founded as a mosisanite company! It's a great option for so many of our clients. But if the question is which one has better light performance, the simplest answer is that lab diamond always has the visual edge. But the truth is a lot more complicated! 

 

Moissanite vs lab diamond: stone shape

 

Moissanite tends to lack the depth and crispness of diamond, and that's much more apparent in some cuts than others. Our favorites in moissanite are Old Mine Cut, Old European Cut, emerald cut, Asscher cut, round brilliant and hexagon. Pear, marquise and radiant cut moissanite have comparatively poor light performance compared to moissanite. If you're considering purchasing one of these cuts, we strongly recommend making sure you see the stone in a variety of lighting conditions; a lot of online jewelers hit moissanites with really bright flourescent or LED lighting, so they sparkle like crazy, but these cuts tend to look a bit milky and flat in real life compared to diamond. 

 

Now, that's not to say that these fancy elongated shapes are ugly in moissanite. We wouldn't sell them if that were the case! But they don't perform as well as other moissanite cuts, and have the most visible differences when compared to lab diamond. Pear and marquise cuts face up very large for their carat weight in lab diamond, so if you did want to upgrade to diamond, you wouldn't need to break the bank to get something that looks sizeable on your hand. 

 

Moissanite vs lab diamond: stone size

 

Size is another factor to consider. Diamonds look great in all sizes, but moissanite has more of a sweet spot.

 

When we're talking center stone sizes, moissanite really looks best in the 6.5-8 mm range for 1:1 ratios and 7x5 - 10x7 range for elongated cuts. I typically don't recommend going larger than 9 mm for 1:1 ratio moissanite or 11x8 for maximum light performance. (But by the way - it's ok if you want to optimize for size over light performance! We just want you to have all the info you need to make an informed decision.) 

 

Melee (small stones like round accents or baguettes) perform better in lab diamond than moissanite. We prefer to avoid moissanite baguettes, small pears or marquises, and rounds under 3 mm. 

 

Moissanite faceting patterns

 

Remember what we said about how relatively poorly performing moissanite cuts - like pear and marquise - look way better under certain lighting conditions? That's the case for certain moissanite cuts as well, like crushed ice. We always choose step cut or brilliant cut moissanite for our clients; crushed ice and crushed ice hybrid also look waaaaay better under jewelers' lighting than they do in real life.

 

Moissanite under different lighting conditions

 

We'll say it again because it's so important: make sure you've seen at least a video of your moissanite in natural lighting conditions, especially when choosing one of these cuts or faceting patterns. Natural lighting videos need to be taken outside or near a window with minimal or soft artifical light - no bright flourescent lights like you see in offices or jewelry stores. We always shoot our videos, whether diamond or moissanite, in this sort of lighting so clients can see how it performs in real life. 

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