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Moissanite Versus Cubic Zirconia

Which simulated diamond has better value?

Trying to decide between cubic zirconia and moissanite for your jewellery? At first glance, these two stones might look very similar, but there are some very big differences between moissanite and cubic zirconia. In the end, moissanite wins out as the better choice – here's why:

Moissanite is Harder Than Cubic Zirconia

Hardness is used to describe the extent to which a gem is resistant to being scratched. On the Mohs scale of hardness, which measures the relative hardness of a substance on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being a soft substance like talc and 10 being the hardest substance, diamond), cubic zirconia is given a hardness rating of 8.5. In comparison, Charles & Colvard-created moissanite receives a 9.25 on the Mohs scale. What this means on a practical level is that cubic zirconia will be much more susceptible to scratching, and will lose its luster faster with normal wear. On the other hand, the hardness of Moissanite means it is much less susceptible to scratching.

Cubic Zirconia Is Not As Tough As Moissanite

Toughness refers to how much a substance resists chipping or breaking. Measuring the pressure tolerance of a material in millions of pounds per square inch (psi) will give you an idea of how tough it is. Composed of silicon and carbon, Moissanite has a toughness of 7.6 psi, making it more than three times tougher than cubic zirconia at 2.4 psi – it is even tough enough to be cut with a diamond cutter. So if you want a gemstone that will last longer, moissanite is the right choice.

Moissanite Is More Heat- and Dirt-Resistant Than Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is more porous than diamond or moissanite, which makes it difficult to keep clean. Hand oils, cosmetics and dust love to cling to cubic zirconia stones, which makes the stone appear dull. In addition, jewellers find it difficult to work with cubic zirconia because of its low heat resistance; when exposed to too much heat, cubic zirconia can shatter and turn a milky, opaque colour.

In contrast, moissanite is non-porous and requires very little maintenance; the occasional cleaning will suffice to maintain its brilliance and fire. In addition, moissanite has a high heat resistance; it can withstand temperatures of at least 1100 degrees Celsius, which is hotter than a house fire; that makes it less likely to experience heat damage during jewellery repair. At these temperatures, Moissanite will remain intact and continue to exhibit the same brilliance it always has.

In conclusion, while cubic zirconia might work well for cheap fashion jewellery, it's not a great choice if you want a stone that will last a lifetime. Moissanite's fire, brilliance and resistance to breaking, chipping, heat and dirt makes it the most realistic diamond simulant available, and the best value for your money.

Do you have more questions about moissanite diamond jewellery? Contact North Star Moissanite to learn more – we are happy to help.