Mined diamonds are exceedingly expensive and often lack transparency in the sourcing process. A gorgeous engagement ring with a prominent center stone is within reach for many couples through an alternative diamond stone. As an added bonus, couples won’t need to worry their ring is causing an undue strain on the environment. The two most common diamond alternatives are moissanite and cubic zirconia.

Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia

In order to decide on the right center stone, it’s important to understand the quality, value, and unique characteristics of each stone type. While diamonds are pure carbon, moissanite is composed of silicon carbide and cubic zirconia is zirconium dioxide. The chemical properties mean very little to the naked eye. Instead, gemstones are compared based on brilliance, fire, color, and clarity.


Brilliance is another word for sparkle! Think of the inside of a gemstone like a series of mirrors. As light pours in, the rays bounce and reflect off numerous facets. The mesmerizing sparkle is a significant advantage of a clear gemstone.

The brilliance refractive index or BRI determines the amount of light refracted in each gemstone.  Moissanite is considered the world’s most brilliant gemstone and measures 2.65-2.69 on the scale, which is even higher than a diamond at 2.41-2.42.  Cubic zirconia ranks significantly lower than a diamond at 2.15-2.18.


Fire refers to the way light reflects off the top of a gemstone creating a prism of colors and shine. The quintessential moment of twinkling your engagement ring in the sunlight shows off the fire of the gemstone.

Again moissanite ranks the highest for fire dispersion. Since moissanite is lab-designed, each stone is cut for optimal light dispersion both inside and on the surface of the gem. Cubic zirconia also ranks slightly higher than a diamond. However, without brilliance, the stone captures no depth and the fire can look superficial.

Color and Clarity

Color and clarity will quickly drive a diamond price up because a colorless and clear diamond is ideal and extremely rare. Cubic zirconia on the other hand is designed to be colorless with flawless clarity. Now what sounds like an immediate perfect score, is actually a common complaint with the gemstone. The clarity draws attention to the stone’s unnatural appearance and magnifies its lack of brilliance. However, the initial clarity of cubic zirconia is short-lived since the stone is known to scratch and become cloudy within three to five years of everyday wear.

As technology has advanced, moissanite has been perfected in the Forever One™ Moissanite by Charles & Colvard. Available in two color ranges, this premium moissanite can be selected as DEF (colorless) or GHI (near-colorless). Just like a top tier diamond, moissanite grades in the VS range for very slight inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye. The color and clarity are guaranteed with a lifetime warranty for the Forever One™ Moissanite so you never have to worry your stone might diminish over time.

Price vs. Value

Cubic zirconia is without a doubt the least expensive diamond alternative. A one-carat stone retails at $20-$40. The price reflects the quality of the stone making cubic zirconia an unfavorable option. Moissanite is an affordable option that keeps its value over time. A one-carat moissanite stone ranges from $300-$400, two-carats are $750-$1,000, and three-carats are $1,100-$1,450.

Ella Rose specializes in moissanite engagement rings and exclusively offers the Forever One™ Moissanite with a lifetime upgrade program. If your ideal stone size is not in your current budget, start with a smaller stone and upgrade it any time with 100% of your original purchase price added towards the new stone.

Moissanite: A Gemstone of its Own

Although hailed as a premier diamond alternative, moissanite wasn’t created to be a diamond look-alike. Moissanite is a gemstone of its own caliber. Originally discovered in a meteorite that crashed into a desert in Arizona, Dr. Henri Moissan studied the fragments and came across the striking mineral of silicon carbide. The mineral was named  “moissanite” and over years became the lab-created gemstone we know today. Is there a more romantic origin story than an out of this world mineral forged amongst the stars?

Shop Moissanite at Ella Rose

Your dream engagement ring is within reach at Ella Rose. Browse moissanite engagement rings or combine a setting and stone shape with the custom ring builder. Leave your worries behind, because every moissanite offered is a certified Forever One™ Moissanite, the highest quality moissanite in the world. From ethically sourced materials to handcrafted rings by master jewelers in Nashville, Ella Rose makes transparency and quality their top priority. Discover the beauty of moissanite at ellarosegems.com.

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