Wondering which is better, moissanite or morganite?
You're in the right place.
In this article, will compare these two gemstones and answer questions like:
- Is Morganite Good for an Engagement Ring?
- Can You Buy Natural Moissanite?
- Which Stone is More Expensive?
Main Differences between Morganite vs Moissanite
The main differences between morganite vs moissanite are:
- Morganite is traditionally a peachy pink color or lavender, whereas moissanite can be colorless or different shades of pink.
- Morganite is a natural gemstone, whereas moissanite is man made.
- The color of morganite can be untreated, whereas fancy colored moissanite is always treated.
- Moissanite is excellent for daily wear, whereas morganite is more susceptible to damage.
Morganite vs Moissanite: Origin
Morganite is the peachy-pink variety of the mineral species called beryl. You might be familiar with other beryl family varieties like emerald and aquamarine. It was discovered in 1910 in Madagascar.
Famous fine jewelry brand Tiffany & Co were the first ones to introduce the pink gem to the industry.
Sometimes fine colored stones come from certain areas of the world, but you can find a beautiful morganite stone from any of its locations. Morganite is fairly common, found in Afghanistan, China, Mozambique, Namibia, Russia, United States, and Zimbabwe.
Peach-to-pink beryl varieties grow in large crystals like other beryl varieties. Funny enough, a large carat size of morganite may cost less than a smaller morganite gemstone. Around 20 carats, the value starts to go down.
Overall, the best gem quality stones come from Brazil. These are the strongest salmon to pink hued morganites. Natural morganite is common, but there are also lab created morganite, simulated morganite, and heat-treated morganite.
A moissanite gemstone is best known as a diamond simulant. Most moissanite engagement rings are colorless. However, colorless moissanite stones may also be treated to become colored moissanite.
Natural moissanite is very rare. You should assume all moissanite rings in the industry are lab grown moissanite. The stone was discovered by a French scientist named Henri Moissan in 1893. It was nicknamed "Stardust" or the "Space Diamond" because he initially thought it was a diamond, and it was discovered in a crater.
It was believed to come from the fragments of a meteorite.
It wasn't until about 1995 when the industry spotted a use for larger moissanite crystals as fine jewelry. A company called Chee had developed single moissanite crystals. They combined their expertise with a jewelry retailer named Charles & Colvard to produce the first manufactured moissanite gemstone.
Moissanite engagement rings started production in the United States, but is produced all over.
Morganite vs Moissanite: Appearance
Morganite is known for peach to light pink tones. It's often described as a salmon orange-pink color. Pinkish purple tones of morganite can occur as well and are popular, but harder to find.
A dark colored stone is not considered morganite, but instead called pink beryl. Still, many search for dark colored morganite. Morganite is considered to have its highest color tone at a 3.
You shouldn't buy morganite that's too pale, as these aren't actually morganite stones. Those stones should be called goshenite, the less expensive colorless beryl stone. Pink morganite is preferable by most, but some prefer the peach color.
Like aquamarine, a high-quality morganite should have close to flawless clarity. A flawless morganite stone shouldn't command over-the-top prices.
When comparing morganite to a diamond engagement ring, a diamond will have more brilliance and sparkle. That's to be expected from colorless diamonds, but not a colored stone.
You should avoid buying morganite rings with a round brilliant shape. They reflect the most light, which is perfect for a white diamond. It's not ideal for showcasing the color of a morganite stone. Oval cuts, emerald cuts, and cushion cuts are a better option.
You'll want to ask about morganite treatments if you're in the market for natural gemstones. Remember, a morganite can be both natural and treated. Since natural and untreated morganite already has few inclusions, it doesn't need any kind of clarity treatments.
Heat treatments turn peach morganite to pink morganite. These color treatments are permanent, but can be altered at extreme heat temps (1000˚F). The heat effectively removes yellow hues from peach colored stones, leaving the pink hues behind. Some may give the stone a pink orange hue.
A morganite may also be irradiated to enhance color. You should be careful with irradiated stones because they can fade in light. It can be difficult for many morganite buyers to distinguish an untreated stone from a naturally occurring one.
Synthetics & Imitations
Lab grown morganite exists, and is usually very affordable. However, most morganite you come across in retail fine jewelry stores like Kay and Zales is natural. You'd be more likely to find lab grown morganite stones at places like Amazon, Etsy, or Ebay.
Read also: Kay vs Zales: Which is Better?
Keep in mind that synthetic or lab grown morganite is still real. Just as a lab grown diamond is a real diamond, so are synthetic colored stones. They have the same chemical, optical, and physical properties as the natural gem species.
There are other gemstones that can be passed off as morganite. Cubic zirconia stones are a cheap man made gemstone that can be any color. A peach or light pink cz stone can be a morganite imitation.
The best way to protect yourself from buying a fake morganite is to buy from a reputable retailer. If buying online, make sure to read descriptions thoroughly.
Words like synthetic and created indicates the stone is lab created. Words like morganite alternative, imitation, and simulant, indicate it is not a morganite at all.
Gem certificates from a reputable gemological laboratory will disclose genuinity and color treatments if any.
Moissanite is one of the most popular diamond alternatives in the industry today. Though a man made gemstone, moissanite engagement rings are all over. Many enjoy the fire and brilliance that comes from moissanite.
Its refractive index is more than that of a diamond. Sometimes the light performance of a colorless or nearly colorless moissanite ring is compared to a disco ball. Moissanite will reflect more white light than any morganite stone. It will be closer to the brilliance of diamonds.
Colored moissanite is less popular as a center stone, but is available on the market. Scientists can produce any color of moissanite, including various pink hues. Most pink moissanite is a vivid pink color, unlike what you'd see in a natural morganite stone. However, peach and light pink moissanite can still be found.
Moissanite has to be treated in order to become a fancy colored stone. This is done by using a process called chemical vapor deposition. This process is one of the methods using for producing lab created diamonds too.
This is done to tinted moissanite stones or yellow moissanite to market them as fancy colored stones. The bottom of the stone is coated with a bonding agent, and a layer of pink or peach coloring is applied.
When looked upon, the colored bottom of the peachy-pink moissanite ring appears throughout the stone. In actuality, it's only the bottom.
Moissanite might be referred to a diamond imitation or diamond alternative. It can also be imitated by another semi precious stone. Some of the most popular moissanite imitations are cubic zirconia, white zircon, white topaz, or white sapphire.
Read also: Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia
Imitations of pink moissanite could be pink sapphire, rose quartz, pink topaz, pink cubic zirconia, or other pink stones. You shouldn't worry a whole lot about running into fake pink moissanite because colored moissanite doesn't generally have high prices per carat. Below, a pink CZ engagement ring can look like pink moissanite or morganite.
Morganite vs Moissanite: Price
Morganite and moissanite have very different costs. However, neither of these cost as much as natural diamonds.
Most colored gemstones follow a general idea of quality. Moissanite is a little different. Moissanite qualities are separated as Super Premium, Premium, and standard moissanite. As indicated, a super premium moissanite is the best cut quality and the most colorless.
However, it should be noted that even colorless moissanite may look tinted in some lighting. That is an effect of moissanite, no matter which quality you get.
A one carat untreated natural morganite may cost a few hundred dollars. Typically, morganite can run for 100 to $200 per carat. Synthetic morganite stones can be found under $100 per carat.
A one carat colorless moissanite is more expensive than a morganite of the same size. Moissanite is valued based on how close it looks to a true diamond. A super premium moissanite may cost around $500-600 per carat.
Pink moissanite rings can be found under $100 per carat, but seem to increase in carat weights over 3 carats.
Morganite vs Moissanite: Value
The price tag of morganite engagement rings vs moissanite rings may be less, but let's see how they compare in the long run. Just because the upfront cost is cheaper doesn't mean it'll outlast the more expensive one.
One of the ways gemologists analyze a gemstone's wearability is by using the Mohs hardness scale. It is a rating system from 1-10, with 10 being the hardest gemstones. A natural diamond and lab grown diamond rate a 10 on the Mohs scale. Diamonds are the hardest mineral in the world.
Moissanite reaches a 9.5 on the hardness scale. It's the second hardest mineral in jewelry. Morganite, on the other hand, falls below these two gems. The hardness of a morganite ring is 7.5-8 on the hardness scale.
More gemstone buyers are becoming aware of the importance of a stone's hardness. You should know the hardness level of a gem isn't the only thing that affects the stone's longevity over years of wear.
In fact, a better term for gemstone hardness is scratchability. The hardness level is how scratch-resistant a mineral is. Dirt and dust in the air damages gemstones. If not cleaned well or taken care of, the dirt can scratch and alter the appearance of the stone. These scratches make it appear cloudy.
Other factors include gemstone cleavage and fracture. Most faceted gemstones have cleavage. The cleavage planes are areas within a crystal that can split when struck. Fracture also has to do with the way a mineral breaks outside of the cleavage plane.
There are levels and terms for both cleavage and fracture. Moissanite is often recommended as the best diamond alternatives because they don't have cleavage planes. Natural and lab grown diamonds both have cleavage planes. A morganite has indistinct cleavage, which means it's more likely to fracture than split.
Overall, both moissanite and morganite can make great engagement rings. However, you will need more care with a morganite to keep it in its best shape. If wearing it daily, you'll want to make sure you're cleaning it daily.
If you have an active lifestyle and are considering a morganite engagement ring, you might opt for a protective setting such as a bezel or flush setting.
Moissanite, whether pink or colorless, requires less maintenance than a morganite gem. They will be great in all settings.
Read also: Should You Buy a Bezel Setting?
Morganite vs Moissanite: Our Pick
An engagement ring should be an outward reflection of the inward you, or representation of the love between you and your partner. You should always choose the center stone that fits your tastes and your budget.
That being said, there has to be a winner between morganite and moissanite. At Learning Jewelry, we recommend a moissanite engagement ring over a morganite ring. Here's why:
- A moissanite is an extremely hard gem, just like a diamond. Because of its hardness and lack of cleavage, it'll hold up better over a long period of time.
- You don't have to worry about natural vs lab created moissanite because all moissanite is lab grown. Similarly, moissanite isn't treated either, except to give it color.
- Even if you prefer the peach or pink colored morganite vs moissanite in colorless form, you can obtain those colors in moissanite for less money.
- You might still prefer a morganite engagement ring, and I don't blame you. Morganites are beautiful naturally occurring gemstones. They are an excellent option if you're looking for colored diamond alternatives and hoping to save money.
I recommend checking out Brilliant Earth's morganite and moissanite loose stones. You can custom design your engagement ring with either of these gorgeous diamond alternatives.