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Ever seen a diamond next to a moissanite, and wondered how to tell them apart? Although they might seem identical at first glance, you will notice, upon closer inspection, that one of the two is more sparkly than the other. Would it surprise you to find out that the diamond is the duller of the two stones?

Long touted as the only actual choice of stone for engagement rings, the controversy-riddled, expensive, and by comparison, dull diamonds seem to have had their day. Some people can’t tolerate the high price. Others refuse to use diamonds due to their origins – their mining processes destroy the environment, their miners are often exploited and underpaid, and the constant quest for more leave non-renewable resources depleted. Moissanite is the logical and ethical answer to all these issues.

What makes Moissanite an optical leader?

Moissanite is a double-refractive stone, which means that it lets out twice as much light as it lets in. This unique quality makes it twice as brilliant as a diamond, in terms of its ability to throw light, or fire, as the technical term states. Make sure that you buy your moissanite from a jeweller who understands cut and clarity, to ensure that you get a stone that addresses all the checkpoints you want for your unique piece of jewellery.

A rare star

Although silicon carbide, the compound from which moissanite is made, occurs naturally around the globe, it is rare. This has led to the practise of cultivating it in laboratories instead, as it is easy to do, and doesn’t cost much to produce when compared to the cost of mining diamonds. Their lab-created origin also means that moissanite is a renewable resource, which can be recreated tie and again to satisfy the supply and demand of the market.

Blow by blow, moissanite can give you nearly the same performance you would have expected from a diamond – it is only half a point behind diamonds on the Mohs hardness scale, at 9.5, while diamonds measure a 10. This means that moissanite is capable of delivering a durable, damage-resistant piece of jewellery, no matter how much processing it goes through in the hands of jeweller.

The ethical choice

Over several years, diamonds have grown increasingly more associated with exploitative corporations, underpaid miners with no alternative way to escape the mining system, depleted natural resources, endangered habitats and severe damage to the earth through drilling and blasting, all in the name of profit.

Moissanites can be recreated over and over in the lab, and pose no danger to the environments or the workers along the production line. It costs much less than diamonds, and can be bought guilt-free. If you are concerned about human rights violations and environmental degradation, there really is no argument over which of the two stones to choose. Weight for weight, you can also get a far larger stone for the amount of money you pay, than if you were to  choose a diamond for a similar price.