Many feel that synthetic Moissanite is overpriced, but there is only
one producer og colorless synthetic Moissanite, so they have a lock
on the product and charge what they will. There IS a natural
counterpart, but the crystals are microscopic.
Moissanite is doubly refractive, unlike diamond which is singly
refractive. Thus, M. will display a "doubling" of pavilion facets
under the crown facets. This is easy to see with a loupe. Also,
varyingly, Moissanite looks white under incandescent lights but
often takes on a light greenish-yellow tone in daylight. It almost
looks greasy sometimes.
I can't tell you how many times in forty years I have been called on
to create a diamond look-alike stone, often for insurance purposes,
but sometimes just for bling. Increasingly, I have been cutting
synthetics or stimulants even for engagement rings!
Someone suggested cubic zirconia, but CZ is NOT durable and will not
last long in a ring. Commercially cut CZ is easy to distinguish from
diamond just by the poor facet meets and soft facet edges. Properly
cut and polished, it is very similar to diamond optically, but it
just not stand up to abuse through time. Anyone who has worn one for
a few months needs to loupe the stone it will be dinged up.
For quite a few years I used colorless YAG to cut diamond
substitutes. Cut to AGS Ideal angles and proportions, and properly
polished on a ceramic lap they are stunning! But, though very hard,
YAG may chip over an extended period, as well, but not nearly as bad
as CZ. For the past couple of years I have been using Czochralski
pulled colorless synthetic corundum (sapphire), and, while the RI is
MUCH lower than diamond, they make a very satisfactory diamond
substitute that will withstand a hammer blow! I would never have
believed it would make a good diamond substitute until a client
insisted on having one cut to AGS Ideal proportions, I was amazed!
So now, we use the corundum and warranty the stones for life. The
secret s in the polish and it is very time consuming to cut. It takes
about seven hours to produce a well-made and well-polished 6.5 mm
stone. But it is still only a fraction of the cost of Moissanite and
looks as good or better.