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Real diamonds vs moissanite diamonds: which is more sustainable?

  • by Vanita Badlani Bagri

We all know diamonds are a girl's best friend but are they as friendly to the Planet? It's a known fact that diamonds have caused severe ethical issues in the past and still do today, for instance, the blood diamond conflicts in Africa. But in terms of sustainability, its effect is far less known. 


Natural diamonds vs moissanite diamonds: characteristics:

Natural diamonds are pure carbon. They are rare to an extent, and they are also rigid, making them a durable material that can be used for all sorts of things like drills and other industrial purposes, not only jewellery. Due to this diversity and, more importantly, rarity, it is an expensive product.

From looking at a diamond, you can generally tell it is genuine by looking at the refracted light or its 'fire'; it will be white in its brilliance depending on the quality and grade, of course.

Moissanite, on the other hand, is a jewel that can be produced in a laboratory. It is made from carbon silicate, making it an excellent repellent of oils and dirt. While it is naturally occurring, it is scarce, so creating the diamonds by hand makes the jewels much more environmentally friendly. In terms of durability, it is not far off diamonds, so it is a perfect and much cheaper alternative for jewellery. An important characteristic is both diamonds' similar hardness. The hardness of minerals is measured in Mohs, and using this scale, diamonds rank the highest at 10, with moissanite ranked a close second highest at 9.25-9.5.

The refracted light from a moissanite diamond will be more colourful than natural diamonds. The fire and brilliance are much more robust in a moissanite diamond, making it a beautiful statement when the light hits it. As such, they are a better option than diamonds (which are very expensive). Moissanite can also be enhanced to be super clear and whiter than lab-created diamonds. 


So why is moissanite a more sustainable option?

Moissanite is the most sustainable option for a gemstone. It is man-made, meaning no mining is used. Thus limiting its carbon footprint as people do not have to use machinery to excavate it, and ecosystems are also not affected by its production, unlike genuine diamonds. Moissanite diamonds will also last forever, so you don't have to worry about them tarnishing or breaking. You are not losing quality and durability when you buy moissanite, so making the switch from diamonds to moissanite is as seamless as it seems! What's more, due to moissanite affordability, you can choose a bigger carat size for your jewellery than you usually would if you were to buy natural diamonds.


How are moissanite diamonds made?

Moissanite is made from carbon silicate formed as a single crystal; making a moissanite diamond takes around 2-3 months to get the composition of elements involved in the gemstone perfect. Ensuring it can refract light in the beautiful fiery way it does. It is formed with high amounts of heat and pressure, and this thermal energy means no binders are needed to develop the gemstones increasing their sustainability further. This not only allows diamond-like jewellery to be within reach but very accessible. 


Sustainable and ethical implications of natural diamonds 

The sustainable implications are that diamonds are solely naturally occurring, so it takes a lot of mining to be able to find and produce them. This is a very destructive process that completely tears up ecosystems and risks displacing biodiversity. The mining process is also carbon dioxide intensive as the large machinery takes a lot of energy and fossil fuels to operate. Ethically, diamonds can often be traced back to poor working conditions; workers are mistreated and paid very little. The exploitation of the workers in this industry makes for a weak argument for diamonds. Would you want something that could be traced back to environmental degradation and dangerous, sometimes lethal working conditions? Moissanite is the perfect alternative as gemstone production can always be traced back to a lab where workers are paid well and treated respectfully, and the environment is never impacted.


LaBante's Moissanite Jewels 

Keep your eye out as LaBante will be releasing a new moissanite jewellery solitaire range this Holiday season. We are sure it will persuade you of the infinite qualities of moissanite very soon! These will make the perfect Valentine's Day, Christmas or birthday gifts, and of course, they are just the beautiful statement every bride needs!



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