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Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Moissanite: A Comprehensive Guide to Making the Right Choice

Lab-Grown Diamond and moissanite gemstone side by side

Choosing a gemstone for your jewellery, especially for an engagement ring, is a significant decision for South Africans. With ethical and affordable options like lab-grown diamonds and moissanite gaining popularity in South Africa, this guide aims to provide a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds created in controlled environments. They offer the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, making them a popular choice for ethical and budget-conscious consumers. To learn more about how lab-grown diamonds compare to natural diamonds, check out our Gemstone Comparison Guide.

History and Origin

Lab-grown diamonds have been around since the 1950s but have gained significant attention in recent years due to advancements in technology and ethical considerations.

What Is Moissanite?

Moissanite was first discovered in a meteor crater in 1893 by Henri Moissan, a French scientist. It has been synthesised and used in jewellery since the early 1990s.

Moissanite is a unique gemstone made from silicon carbide. Known for its high refractive index, moissanite offers exceptional brilliance. For more details on what moissanite is and its properties, visit our Moissanite FAQs.

Comparative Factors: Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Moissanite


  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: With a score of 10 on the Mohs scale, lab-grown diamonds are incredibly durable.
  • Moissanite: Slightly less hard at 9.25 but still suitable for daily wear. For more on grading and hardness, see our Grading Information.

Brilliance and Sparkle

  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: Known for their high brilliance and classic sparkle.
  • Moissanite: Offers even higher brilliance due to its refractive index, which you can learn more about in our Jeweller’s Bench Guide.

Ethical Considerations

  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: Often considered more ethical than mined diamonds due to the absence of mining-related social and environmental issues.
  • Moissanite: Also considered ethical as it is lab-created, eliminating the need for mining.

Market Trends

  • Lab-Grown Diamonds: Increasingly popular in South Africa for engagement rings and fine jewellery.
  • Moissanite: Gaining traction as a cost-effective alternative to diamonds, especially among younger South Africans.

Pros and Cons: Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Moissanite

Lab-Grown Diamonds

  • Pros: Ethical sourcing, variety of colours, prestigious reputation
  • Cons: Higher cost, lower resale value


  • Pros: Cost-effective, eco-friendly, exceptional brilliance
  • Cons: Lower hardness, less prestigious

For a more detailed comparison, check out our Diamond vs Moissanite Guide.

How to Choose Between Lab-Grown Diamonds and Moissanite

Consider factors like budget, ethical concerns, and aesthetic preferences when choosing between these two gemstones. Prices can vary, but in South Africa, moissanite generally offers a more budget-friendly option. For more advice on choosing the right style, see our guide on Engagement Ring Styles.


Both lab-grown diamonds and moissanite have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Your choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences. For those in South Africa looking for more insights, explore our Majestic Moissanite Range and Oshun Moissanite Engagement Rings in South Africa.


  • Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?
    • Yes, they share the same chemical composition as natural diamonds.
  • Is moissanite suitable for daily wear?

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