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Lab grown diamonds have exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. But there’s an older alternative with nearly twice as much sparkle: moissanite. Despite what many people believe, these are different gems, made from different processes, So what are the differences between lab grown diamonds and moissanite?

What Is a Lab Grown Diamond?

A lab grown diamond is just that: a diamond grown in a lab. It’s made of the same carbon as natural diamonds, and is chemically identical. There’s actually no way to tell the difference between a lab grown diamond and a natural one by sight. You have to have it tested. Regardless of their provenance, all diamonds are made of carbon.

What Is Moissanite?

Moissanite is another gem, even rarer in nature than diamonds. But it’s much easier to create in a lab. While diamonds are made of nearly 100 percent carbon, moissanite is made of carbon mixed with silica (the same chemical that makes up sand).

What Are The Differences Between Diamonds and Moissanite?

Lab Grown Diamonds Are Harder

All diamonds, whether mined or made, are a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. That’s the hardest a gemstone can be. Moissanite, however, scores a 9.25 on the same scale: hard enough to withstand even heavy wear, but it can be scratched by something harder.

Moissanite is Sparklier

It may be difficult to imagine a stone with more sparkle than a cut diamond, but the silica inside moissanite means it reflects more colors. The technical term for this is “dispersion,” and moissanite has a dispersion rate of 0.104, where a diamond has 0.044 — less than half as much. 

Diamonds are More Expensive

Even lab-grown diamonds will come at a premium, just because they’re diamonds. There’s higher demand for them, and a constant supply, so they’ll likely always cost more. Currently, a diamond can cost about five times more than a moissanite stone of the same size.

Which Stone Is Better?

There’s no one right answer to this! It depends on your priorities. If nothing but a real diamond will do for you, you may find moissanite tacky. If you’re more budget conscious or you really like things that sparkle, moissanite may be the gem for you. If you have more questions about either gem, contact the experts at Alberta Diamond Exchange.