When you think of a white gemstone, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Is it a diamond? While diamonds have been a popular choice for engagement rings since the early 1900’s, alternative gemstones have been gaining a lot of ground. Diamond alternative stones can include white sapphire and colorless Forever One moissanite – two beautiful options that share similar properties to a diamond.
THE WHITE SAPPHIRE – A STONE FROM THE EARTH
Let’s start with the basics. All white sapphires are corundums – which means they belong to the same family as rubies and blue sapphires. Sapphires are aluminum oxides, which means that just a few trace elements within the sapphires chemical structure are responsible for the coloring of each stone. White sapphires can range from blue to colorless, and just about everything in between. While the broad color spectrum of the sapphire presents an array of options, if you’re looking for a diamond alternative gemstone that can be mined from the earth, the white sapphire is a good option.
The chemical makeup of white sapphires doesn’t just affect their hue, it’s also responsible for the gemological properties the gemstone exhibits. White sapphires have a refractive index of 1.77, which means they come in third to moissanite and diamonds in brilliance. When looking at the gemstones fire (how light passes through the gemstone), a white sapphire doesn’t quite compare to moissanite. White sapphires do however rank highly on the MOHs hardness scale. As you can see in the chart below, white sapphires rank in the top three gemstones available on the market for hardness behind diamonds and moissanite.
The major downfall to the white sapphire is its inability to retain its fire and brilliance with daily wear. All stones get dirty with everyday wear and tear, but unlike moissanite, sapphires do not retain much of their fire and brilliance when they encounter build up from soap or lotions. If you want to keep your white sapphire sparkling as brilliantly as the day you bought it, you’ll need to clean your stone frequently. White sapphires can also develop a “frosted” appearance after years of wear due to scratches and chipping of the edges of the stone. This cloudy phenomenon occurs because the chipping impacts the refractive properties of the stone, which lessens its overall brilliance and shine.
MOISSANITE – THE PERFECT DIAMOND ALTERNATIVE
Forever One moissanite is a colorless gemstone that shines brighter than a diamond. Unlike white sapphires, moissanite is naturally found on earth but in such small quantities, that it’s not possible to cut gemstones from them. Moissanite is actually more rare than white sapphires and diamonds. Because of this, scientists conducted centuries of research to figure out how to grow moissanite (silicon carbide) in a lab. Today, we are able to offer the best quality lab-grown moissanite on the market today, Forever One.
Moissanite has an unrivaled eye-catching sparkle. According to brilliance refractive index and fire dispersion scales, moissanite outshines white sapphires and diamonds. As you can see in the chart above, Forever One moissanite’s fire (the way a gemstone splits light into its individual wavelengths – giving the stone a “rainbow” like effect when exposed to light) is over 5x greater than that of a white sapphire. Moissanite ranks slightly higher on the hardness MOHs scale than white sapphire and both stone’s toughness is “excellent,” meaning both can withstand the rigors of daily wear.
Forever One moissanite is not only the best diamond alternative, it’s a gemstone in its own right. Moissanite is lab-grown, which means no mining occurs in the creation process and it’s not involved in any conflict trade. We believe a gems beginnings are an important part of its unique story. At Charles & Colvard, we are on a mission to set new standards in the jewelry industry for eco-friendly and sustainable gems.
And if you’re worried about incurring damage to your jewelry, don’t be! We stand behind our moissanite products, which is why Charles & Colvard provides a Limited Warranty on your purchase of Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® jewelry and gem(s) that are 4mm in size or larger. Additionally, Charles & Colvard® provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty that applies to your purchase of Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® gem(s) that are 4mm in size or larger. To learn more about our warranty and how it applies to our jewelry and gems, click here.
WHICH IS BETTER FOR ME – MOISSANITE OR WHITE SAPPHIRES?
The answer to this question is really up to you. Do your research and understand the properties, cost and practices behind the mining of the gemstone your looking to purchase. Moissanite and white sapphires share some similar characteristics, while others stand in contrast with one another. If you want a stone that is naturally mined but has a lower price point, white sapphires would be a good choice. If you are looking for a socially responsible gemstone that will last forever at a revolutionary value, moissanite is your best bet.
Both of these stones can be used as diamond alternatives, but they are each gemstones in their own right. To learn more about moissanite and its origins, please visit our moissanite page. If you’re ready to start shopping our latest moissanite designs, head on over to our shop page.