Moissanite Vs Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond: What’s the Best?

Moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond are three distinct gemstones with different properties and characteristics.

Composition And Characteristics

When considering a gemstone for a piece of jewelry, it’s important to understand the composition and characteristics of the options available. In this article, we’ll explore the chemical composition and physical properties of three popular choices: Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia, and Diamond.

Chemical Composition

Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia, and Diamond have different chemical compositions, which contribute to their unique properties and appearance.

Moissanite, also known as Silicon Carbide (SiC), is a naturally occurring mineral. Its chemical formula is SiC, and it is composed of silicon and carbon atoms.

Cubic Zirconia (CZ), on the other hand, is a synthetic material made to resemble a diamond. It is composed of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) with added stabilizing elements.

Diamond, the hardest known natural substance, is composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure. Its chemical formula is simply C.

Physical Properties

The physical properties of Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia, and Diamond can help us distinguish between these gemstones.

Gemstone Hardness Refractive Index Dispersion
Moissanite 9.25 2.65 – 2.69 0.104
Cubic Zirconia 8 – 8.5 2.15 – 2.18 0.058 – 0.066
Diamond 10 2.42 0.044
  • Moissanite has a Mohs hardness of 9.25, making it quite durable and suitable for everyday wear.
  • Cubic Zirconia has a slightly lower Mohs hardness of 8 – 8.5, making it less resistant to scratches compared to Moissanite and Diamond.
  • Diamond, with a perfect Mohs hardness of 10, is the hardest gemstone and is known for its exceptional durability.
  • The refractive index refers to how a gemstone bends light. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than both Cubic Zirconia and Diamond, giving it a brilliant sparkle.
  • Dispersion, also known as the “fire” of a gemstone, measures its ability to split white light into spectral colors. Moissanite exhibits the highest dispersion among the three gemstones, resulting in stunning flashes of color.

Durability And Hardness

Moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamonds exhibit varying levels of durability and hardness. Each gemstone possesses distinct properties that determine their ability to withstand everyday wear and tear. Understanding the differences can help you make an informed choice.

Durability and Hardness: When it comes to selecting a gemstone for your jewelry, durability and hardness are crucial factors to consider. Moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond are three popular choices with distinct characteristics. Understanding their durability and hardness properties can help you make an informed decision. Let’s explore each gemstone’s durability and hardness in detail.

Mohs Scale Of Hardness:

The Mohs Scale of Hardness is a renowned system used to measure the scratch resistance of minerals and gemstones. Ranging from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest level of hardness, this scale provides valuable insights into the durability of different gemstones.

Resistance To Scratches And Wear:

Scratch resistance is a key aspect in determining a gemstone’s durability and longevity. Let’s delve into how moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond compare when it comes to resistance to scratches and wear.


Moissanite is a lab-grown gemstone that exhibits exceptional hardness. With a score of 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, it is closer to diamond’s hardness than any other gemstone. This feature ensures that moissanite is highly resistant to scratching and wear, making it an ideal choice for everyday jewelry.

Cubic Zirconia:

On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, cubic zirconia ranks lower than both moissanite and diamond. It has a hardness score of around 8, making it susceptible to scratches over time. While cubic zirconia is affordable and visually similar to diamonds, it may require more careful handling to maintain its polished appearance.


Diamond, the hardest mineral on the Mohs Scale of Hardness with a score of 10, is renowned for its exceptional durability. Its hardness allows diamonds to resist scratches and wear, ensuring that they remain radiant and pristine for generations. This durability makes diamonds a highly sought-after choice for engagement rings and other exquisite jewelry. To summarize the durability and hardness comparison: – Moissanite, with a hardness score of 9.25, closely rivals diamond in terms of hardness, providing substantial resistance to scratches and wear. – Cubic zirconia, with a hardness of approximately 8, is relatively softer than both moissanite and diamond, which can make it more susceptible to scratching over time. – Diamond, the hardest gemstone on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, offers unmatched resistance to scratches and wear, making it the most durable option. By assessing the durability and hardness of moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond, you can choose the gemstone that aligns with your preferences and needs. Whether you prioritize affordability, visual similarity to diamonds, or long-lasting durability, understanding these factors will guide your jewelry purchase decision.

Brilliance And Sparkle

When it comes to Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond, a key factor to consider is their brilliance and sparkle.

Refraction And Dispersion

Moissanite has a higher refractive index than Cubic Zirconia and Diamond, resulting in more fire and brilliance.

Brilliance In Different Lighting Conditions

  • Moissanite performs exceptionally in various lighting settings, maintaining its sparkle in any environment.
  • Cubic Zirconia may appear dull in natural light but vibrant under artificial lighting.
  • Diamonds display unmatched brilliance under all light conditions, elevating their sparkle.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to choosing a sparkling stone for jewelry, many people weigh the cost differently between moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond. Let’s delve into the cost comparison of these popular gemstones to help you make an informed decision.

Price Range

Let’s take a closer look at the average price ranges for moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond:

Gemstone Average Price Range
Moissanite $300 – $800 per carat
Cubic Zirconia $20 – $100 per carat
Diamond $3,000 – $20,000+ per carat

Factors Influencing Cost

Several factors influence the cost of moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond. These include:

  • The stone’s quality, color, cut, and carat weight
  • Market demand and supply
  • The type and setting of jewelry

Ethical And Environmental Considerations

In the pursuit of the perfect piece of jewelry, it’s essential to consider more than just the aesthetic and monetary value. Ethical and environmental considerations play a significant role in making an informed choice between Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia, and Diamond. By delving into the ways these gems are sourced, mined, and their impact on the environment, one can make a more conscientious decision.

Sourcing And Mining Practices

When it comes to ethical considerations, it’s vital to understand the sourcing and mining practices of these gemstones. Diamonds often come with a legacy of conflict, involving human rights abuses and environmental degradation. On the other hand, Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia are lab-created, thereby eliminating the risk of supporting unethical mining practices.

Impact On The Environment

In addition to ethical concerns, the environmental impact of these gemstones must be taken into account. Diamonds, often mined in ecologically sensitive areas, can cause irreversible damage to the environment. Conversely, Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia are more sustainable options as their production does not involve destructive mining activities, thereby reducing their environmental footprint.

Maintenance And Care

Providing proper maintenance and care is essential for all three gemstones: moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond. Regular cleaning and storage in a safe place will ensure their longevity and brilliance.

Maintenance and care are crucial aspects when considering Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond. Proper maintenance can ensure the longevity and brilliance of these gemstones. Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
  • Regularly clean with mild soap and warm water.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners.
  • Use a soft-bristle brush for gentle scrubbing.
  • Keep away from extreme heat and sharp blows.
  1. Periodic professional cleaning to maintain luster.
  2. Store separately to prevent scratching.
  3. Inspect settings regularly for security.
  4. Consider re-polishing over time for enhanced shine.

Frequently Asked Questions For Moissanite Vs Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond

What Is Moissanite And How Does It Compare To Diamonds?

Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral, while diamonds are formed from carbon. In terms of brilliance and durability, moissanite is a close contender to diamonds at a fraction of the cost. Its greater fire and luster make it a popular alternative to diamonds.

How Does The Cost Of Moissanite And Cubic Zirconia Compare To Diamonds?

Both moissanite and cubic zirconia are significantly more affordable than diamonds. Moissanite, due to its rarity and manufacturing process, is often pricier than cubic zirconia. When considering cost and durability, moissanite is the preferred choice for many consumers.

Are Moissanite And Cubic Zirconia Ethical Alternatives To Diamonds?

Moissanite, being a naturally occurring mineral, and cubic zirconia, being lab-created, are ethical alternatives to diamonds. The mining of diamonds can often contribute to environmental and ethical issues, while moissanite and cubic zirconia offer a conflict-free and sustainable option for consumers.


Ultimately, choosing between moissanite, cubic zirconia, and diamond boils down to personal preference and budget. Each gem has its unique characteristics and appeals to different individuals. Consider your priorities and make an informed decision that aligns with your style and values.

Happy shopping!