How to Distinguish Moissanite from Natural Diamonds? Can People Tell?

How to Distinguish Moissanite from Natural Diamonds? Can People Tell?

Distinguishing a moissanite diamond from a natural diamond or other gemstones can be challenging, as moissanite shares many optical and physical properties with diamonds. However, there are several methods that can help differentiate between the two:

  1. Brilliance and Fire: Moissanite typically exhibits more brilliance (white light reflection) and fire (dispersion of colored light) than natural diamonds. This means that moissanite may appear to sparkle more intensely, with colorful flashes of light, especially under certain lighting conditions.

  2. Double Refraction: Moissanite has a higher refractive index than natural diamonds, resulting in a phenomenon known as double refraction. When viewing a moissanite through a loupe or microscope, you may see doubling of facets or lines within the stone, particularly along its edges.

  3. Color: While moissanite is typically near-colorless, it can sometimes exhibit a slight yellow or green tint, especially in larger stones. Natural diamonds can also vary in color, but they are generally graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Moissanite is often categorized as "colorless" or "near-colorless," but some may have a faint hue.

  4. Facet Patterns: Moissanite and natural diamonds may have different facet patterns due to variations in their crystal structures. Moissanite often displays a different arrangement of facets, especially on the pavilion (bottom) of the stone, which can be observed under magnification.

  5. Lab Testing: If in doubt, professional gemological testing can definitively identify moissanite. Gemological laboratories use specialized equipment, such as spectrometers and thermal conductivity testers, to accurately identify gemstones based on their properties.

  6. Size and Weight: Moissanite is denser than natural diamonds, so stones of the same size will weigh slightly more. This difference may not be noticeable to the naked eye but can be measured with precision scales.

  7. UV Fluorescence: Some moissanite stones may exhibit a strong blue fluorescence under ultraviolet (UV) light, while natural diamonds may fluoresce differently or not at all. However, this method alone is not always reliable for distinguishing between the two.

When in doubt, it's best to consult with a qualified gemologist or have the stone professionally tested to determine its identity accurately.