by Suzanne Sachs • 5 min read
THE BASICS --
Moissanite is a stunning but little known gem and while it can be a wonderful option for an engagement ring, much of the available moissanite can also be deceptive and buyers aren’t always getting what they think. How do moissanite rings compare to vintage rings, which is best, and where can the two intersect?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
In this guide, we will explain the following:
- What is moissanite?
- What is the difference between a diamond ring and a moissanite ring?
- Resale market
- Vintage rings vs moissanite rings
- Choosing an engagement ring you will love
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a silicon carbide crystal with an octagonal structure. The gemstone is naturally occurring but very rare. It was first discovered by Henri Moissan in 1893, while he was excavating a meteor crater in Arizona, but due to its strong similarity to diamond, it wasn’t until 1904 that moissanite was confirmed as a unique gemstone.
While moissanite can be formed naturally in the upper mantle of the Earth’s crust and small deposits have been found in Wyoming, Russia, and Israel, the validity of those findings has long been disputed.
The gem, however, is actually very easy to grow in laboratory conditions, creating gemstones at a low cost. This makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious shoppers, but also creates difficulty if synthetic moissanite is substituted for natural diamond.
What is the Difference Between Diamond Rings and Moissanite Rings?
Moissanite is similar to diamond yet when comparing a moissanite ring and diamond ring in terms of fire and brilliance, moissanite is generally regarded as too “sparkly” with higher refraction within the stone producing larger, more intense flashes of light. This can vary greatly depending on the number of stone facets and the quality of the cut.
Both diamond and moissanite and diamond are very durable gems, with diamond rated as a 10.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness – the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth. Moissanite is only very slightly softer, rated as 9.25-9.5, and is generally considered the second hardest natural mineral. This makes the gem ideal for daily wear, as it will not be as susceptible to chips, nicks, or fractures.
“Suzanne was amazing! I utilized the layaway service and it was a breeze. Ring made its way to Texas and was even more gorgeous in person."
— Chloe G verified buyer
Moissanite has a hexagonal structure, whereas diamond has a tetrahedral structure. This makes diamond slightly more dense than moissanite, and if two stones are of the same carat weight, the moissanite gem will appear slightly visually larger.
The color of moissanite can also be graded on the same color scale as diamonds, and generally ranges from D (colorless) to K (very faintly yellow or greenish). Diamonds, of course, can come in a broader range of “fancy” colors including pink, blue, and black.
Because moissanite is similar to a diamond, the gems are easy to mistake for one another. In some cases, disreputable retailers may attempt to pass lab-grown moissanite off as natural diamond. It is important to recognize the differences, and be able to avoid such unscrupulous scams.
“I've purchased two vintage rings from Suzanne over the past decade and my wife has loved both. Great service, communication and speedy delivery.”
• Resale Market
There is very little resale market for moissanite, and consumers interested in vintage jewelry will prefer natural diamonds or gemstones. This should be another consideration for consumers comparing natural diamonds and moissanite, particularly if the stone may be reset or resold in the future. Moissanites are not likely to appreciate in value as significantly as natural stones, therefore they may not be as good of an investment in the jewelry market.
“My experience with Vintage Diamond Ring was so excellent I really had to think about it for a while. First their selection of jewelry is profound. The quality is superior.”
Vintage Rings vs Moissanite Rings
Because of a vintage rings rarity, moissanite isn’t likely to be found in an antique or vintage ring, though it is possible – however remote – that an older ring may have a moissanite as the center stone. Careful examination of the stone, including electrical current tests, could definitively confirm the type of gemstone.
While it is remotely possible that an antique or vintage ring could have a natural moissanite stone, the likelihood is exceedingly remote. If an older piece of jewelry is being marketed as moissanite, most likely the stone has been replaced with a modern, lab-grown moissanite in order to promote a more visually attractive gem. This may be done as a ruse to attempt to deceive unwary buyers, or may be done to improve the overall look of the piece, which is a very subjective quality and depends on each individual buyer’s preferences.
Far better for most buyers is to look past the admitted affordability and flashy sparkle of moissanite and consider the enduring beauty of true vintage rings. While older diamond cuts, such as the rose cut or old European mine cut, may have less immediate fire, their far more unique shapes and one-of-a-kind
craftsmanship are even more distinctive and give each piece individual character.
Even the color of vintage jewelry – with its subtle warm and cool shades of natural diamonds – has more personality than the visually colorless appearance of most moissanite. This gives vintage pieces more character and distinction, as each stone is perceived uniquely.
Choosing an Engagement Ring You Will Love
Whether engagement rings, cocktail rings, anniversary rings, wedding rings, or other styles, vintage rings remain stunning and eye-catching for decades, and are always a beautiful choice to add to any jewelry collection. Furthermore, vintage rings and antique jewelry have stood the test of time with flattering designs and styles that go beyond a momentary trend and create heirloom style that can be cherished for generations. The exquisite craftsmanship and detail in antique and vintage rings cannot be overstated, and these pieces catch the eye far more than a quick flash of light, and have far better personal stories to tell than a moissanite or a lab-created stone with no unique history.
Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of vintage engagement rings today!