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One of the biggest questions you’ll have to confront when designing your own custom engagement ring is the type of stone you wish to use. Diamond is the obvious choice. But you have many other options. Rubies, sapphires, alexandrite and topaz all make a great choice for a centre stone. And then you have the diamond wannabes. Those stones that, if cut well, look like diamonds and feel like diamonds, But don’t have the diamond’s price tag. And the first among these is moissanite.

So, what’s the difference between moissanite and diamond? And could moissanite work for your custom engagement ring?

Moissanite vs Diamond

What is moissanite

Discovered in 1893 by French scientist, Henri Moissan, the first moissanite was found in a crater formed by a meteorite in Arizona. Moissan originally thought that the crystals were diamond, but later determined that they were composed of silicon carbide.

Incredibly rare in its natural form, moissanite is now lab-made. And can almost rival diamonds in strength and beauty.

What is the difference between moissanite and diamond?

  • Strength – Diamond is  the hardest of all minerals, scoring 10 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite isn’t quite that strong. But with a Mohs score of 9.25, it is stronger than almost all of the other gemstones. Including sapphire and ruby.
  • Colour – Although diamonds come in a range of colours, it is possible to get a completely clear, ‘white’ diamond. We treasure these for their unparalleled lustre and clarity. On this, moissanite can’t compare. In large moissanites a slight grey or yellow tone can usually be seen. But this needn’t be a bad thing. Choose well, and it will add to the character of your custom engagement ring. Many people love the moissanite for this quality.
  • Brilliance – The scintillation of the moissanite and diamond are both beautiful, but noticeably different. While diamonds have a pure sparkle. The moissanite glitters with rainbow hues. The diamond has more of a subtle shine. Moissanite gleams.
  • Price – Moissanite will always be cheaper than diamond. Some sources state that moissanite can actually cost up to 90% less than a similarly sized diamond. And that is a serious consideration when designing your engagement ring.

Are there any other considerations when choosing between moissanite and diamond?


Diamonds are dazzinlg. There’s no denying it. But they can also have an ugly side. The phrase ‘blood diamond’ is now very well known. It refers to diamonds that have been mined in conflict zones and used to fuel violence. Responsible jewellers, like Durham Rose (we’re actually a member of the responsible jewellery council), take pains to ensure that conflict diamonds do not make it into the UK jewellery trade. But others aren’t so scrupulous. With moissanite, there are no such concerns because moissanite is lab-grown.


Equally, because of the way in which moissanite is produced, it is a far more sustainable stone than diamond. Moissanite is carefully created in laboratory conditions. Diamond is mined from the earth. While we will always take pains to ensure eco-conscious practises are used to acquire any diamonds supplied to Durham Rose. And we are always happy to source lab-grown diamonds. It’s always wise to check where diamonds come from.

Moissanite has a lot to recommend it for use in engagement rings. It’s beautiful, durable and ethical. It can make a stunning centre stone. It is considerably cheaper. And of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using moissanite alongside diamonds in your rings. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal taste. And whichever stone you choose, we just know that your custom engagement ring is going to be breath-taking.

Ready to start designing your bespoke engagement ring? Book your consultation today.