When deciding on a gemstone for your engagement ring, the selection process typically revolves around choosing between alternatives like Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia. Though CZ has long maintained its popularity because of its familiarity, Moissanite happens to be a formidable contender that matches and often surpasses natural diamonds and CZ in several respects. But there exist many Moissanite problems, which make the decision complex for people. Hence, it is imperative to form an informed decision by assessing crucial factors like color, clarity, brilliance, durability, pricing, and more, given the distinctive attributes that each stone offers. Below we will pit Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia against each other and compare them on these metrics to make an informed decision.
Origin and History
In a comparison between CZ and Moissanite, their historical origins set them apart. Natural Cubic Zirconia was discovered for the first time in 1930 and was known to contain zirconium oxide. Primarily, Cubic Zirconia includes a blend of Zirconium and Oxygen in its chemical makeup, whereas Moissanite is crafted from carbon and silicon elements. It aligns Moissanite’s composition more closely with that of diamonds comprising carbon atoms.
Both CZ and Moisannite showcase extreme rarity in their natural occurrences, resulting in the widespread availability of their lab-created variations.
Winner – Moissanite has the upper hand. Its celestial origins give it an extra character and add a layer of mystery and romance. Moreover, Moissanite’s composition is much closer to the diamonds in contrast to CZ.
Color and Clarity
Comparing CZ and Moissanite on their clarity and color, you will find a noteworthy distinction between the two. VZ is systematically engineered to present an impeccable and flawless appearance, characterized by a phenomenal clarity rating and an absence of color. Remarkably, all CZ stones have a D color grade, signifying the highest plausible rating akin to the diamond’s color.
In contrast, Moissanite rarely achieves absolute transparency or complete colorlessness. Variations may manifest, encompassing subtle grayish, greenish, or yellowish undertones alongside potential structural
irregularities. This inherent variation stems from the intricate production process linked to Moissanites. Like diamonds, which never attain flawless perfection, Moissanites harbor internal imperfections and minute flaws.
Winner – In the realm of clarity and color, CZ usually claims a position of flawlessness, boasting immaculate clarity and color. But this impeccable quality can often lend an artificial appearance to CZ. Hence, the decision regarding this aspect’s preference remains subjective.
Moissanite’s resilience makes it an excellent selection for engagement rings, necessitating scratch resistance and enduring strength because of their constant exposure. Surprisingly, Moissanite even surpasses diamonds in terms of heat resistance, ensuring its enduring form and brilliance even in the face of intense heat.
Though Cubic Zirconia is also hard, measuring between 8 and 8.5 on the Mohs scale, it continues to be less solid than Moissanite. Hence, in terms of toughness and the gemstone’s ability to endure wear and tear, Moissanite stands out as a winner. With a 7.6 PSI toughness rating, Moissanite certainly outperforms Cubic Zirconia, which registers only 2.4 PSI in the toughness rating. This difference implies that Moissanite is three times more resilient against chipping and fractures than Cubic Zirconia.
Winner – Moissanite is a clear winner as it is three times tougher and 1.25 points harder than CZ.
Reaction to Dirt
When contrasting the two on their response to accumulated grime and dirt, both CZ and Moissanite exhibit a dull or cloudy appearance over time because of factors like beauty products, household cleaners, airborne particles, and natural oils. This phenomenon can decline their radiant qualities and overall lustrous appeal.
As for the resilience against dirt, Moissanite outranks CZ because the latter tends to cloud more readily. Consequently, CZ’s sparkle fades faster. Hence, the upkeep of CZ demands more frequent cleaning than Moissanite to retain its brilliance.
Winner – Moissanite is a preferred choice because of its ability to endure dirt accumulation and has lower cleaning requirements than CZ.
Both CZ and Moissanite are two considerably affordable alternatives to diamonds. Nevertheless, Moissanite frequently attracts a relatively higher price tag than Cubic Zirconia. A top-tier Moissanite carat costs around $400, whereas a similarly sized Cubic Zirconia stone falls between $20 and $40. You must further note that Cubic Zirconia typically lacks intrinsic value and has no resale potential.
It can seem surprising for shoppers who may perceive Moissanite as an imitation diamond and expect it to be priced relatively lower. But please note that Moissanite stands out as a distinctive gemstone. It requires expertise, advanced technology, and substantial investment for its synthesis. Remarkably, Moissanite’s price tag is almost always around 10 percent of the diamond’s cost. A comparison between one-carat marquise cut diamonds and Moissanite of the same cut underscores the point – The Moissanite cost is approximately 90 percent less than that of a diamond. But when contemplating them from the aspect of an investment, Moissanite has an upper hand over Cubic Zirconia because of its historical value retention.
Winner – While CZ is a relatively cheaper alternative, Moissanite has better potential in terms of resale value.
When comparing CZ and Moissanite in terms of their light performance, the Refractive Index takes center stage as a metric for assessing its brilliance. Moissanite depicts 2.65 RI, outshining the diamond’s 2.42 RI. Its increased RI translates into Moissanite’s phenomenal brilliance and superior light performance, making it a better alternative for engagement rings because of its increased fire and sparkle than diamonds.
But there is a dual aspect to Moissanite’s brilliance. It usually showcases a dazzling color play, typically noticeable in sunlight. While this effect may be less intense in smaller Moissanite stones, it is much more apparent in the larger stones. Shoppers have diverse opinions on this rainbow-like phenomenon – while some think of it as ostentatious, others appreciate the vibrant radiance it brings. This characteristic distinction in light performance sets Moissanite and diamonds apart.
On the other hand, CZ has a RI ranging between 2.15 and 2.18, significantly lower than Moissanite. Though CZ has commendable brilliance and sparkle, it does not match the depth noted in Moissanite. CZ occasionally exudes a glassy appearance and lacks the fiery qualities found in Moissanites and Diamonds. Its sparkle is typically characterized as surface level.
Winner – As for the light performance, Moissanite secures the win for its brilliance, but the presence of a rainbow-like effect (subject to individual preference) sets it apart. Hence, the decision between the two rests on individual preferences.
So, which one should you choose?
Basis the comprehensive comparison between CZ and Moissanite, the latter emerges as a better selection for the engagement ring gemstone. Its superior durability, celestial origins, better potential for resale value, and remarkable brilliance position it as a preferred selection. While CZ boasts flawless clarity and color, Moissanite’s strengths, including its spectacular light performance and dirt resilience, make it a more compelling pick. Ultimately, Moissanite’s mystique, enduring allure, and value retention put the scales in its favor, solidifying it as a standout pick for engagement rings that combine practicality and elegance.
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