Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but they're also expensive. Luckily, there are many less costly alternatives. Two of the most popular are Morganite and Moissanite, but for very different reasons. Read on to find out which is right for you.
What Is Morganite?
Also known as rose beryl, a pink semi-precious stone first discovered in 1910, Morganite is not a replacement for diamond so much as an alternative. Unlike the clear brilliance of a diamond, Morganite comes in hues ranging from peach to pink. It has less brilliance than diamond, which means the interior of the gem reflects less light than that of a diamond. Morganite is still a beautiful stone, and is perfect for someone who wants to stand out from the crowd.
What Is Moissanite?
Moissanite is so similar to diamond that when it was first discovered in 1893, scientists thought they'd found diamonds. It wasn't until 1904 that it was discovered that Moissanite contains silicon, unlike diamond, which is made of pure carbon. The original Moissanite came from a meteorite, but today, Moissanite is created in labs. Regardless of its origins, Moissanite is the ideal gem for someone who wants a diamond but can't afford one: even jewelers can be fooled by this near-identical alternative.
The Differences Between Morganite And Moissanite
Now that you know the difference, which gem is right for you? There are a few critical differences between the two that can help you make your decision.
While Moissanite is clear and colorless, like white diamond, Morganite can range in color from peach to salmon to pink. Morganite's color can be altered slightly through heat treatment to make the pink more bright. This change is permanent, so you don't have to worry about the color fading with time.
Morganite is a very clear stone, with good depth and luster, but it isn't as brilliant as diamond. Moissanite is almost indistinguishable from diamond, and shares its brilliance and extremely high clarity.
On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, Morganite scores a 7.5 to 8 depending on the gem, while Moissanite scores a 9. For reference, diamond is a perfect 10 on the Mohs Scale. The Mohs Scale ranks materials against each other, however, so it serves primarily as a comparison point: Moissanite is harder than Morganite. To see how much harder, we can look at the Knoop Hardness Test: versus Diamond's 7,000 score, Morganite scores 1,000 and Moissanite scores 2,200.
While the first Moissanite was found in a meteorite, today's gems are almost all lab-made. Morganite, on the other hand, is found in mines, primarily in Brazil.
A 7mm Morganite gemstone is around $600, while a 7mm Moissanite gemstone is about $900. While Moissanite is quite a bit more expensive than Morganite, both are far less expensive than their diamond equivalents. A pink diamond, the closest equivalent to Morganite, can go for anywhere from $2000 to $6000, while a white diamond equivalent to Moissanite will cost you at least $4500.
When deciding between Morganite and Moissanite, personal preference should be the determining factor. If you'd like a unique, colorful gemstone to show off, then Morganite is the clear winner. But if you want the closest thing you can get to a real diamond without paying thousands of dollars, then Moissanite is perfect for you. Whichever gem you pick, rest assured that your choice will be sure to set your jewelry piece apart.