I will start out by just saying an empahatic “no, absolutely not” all Moissanite is not alike. As Moissanite continues to grow in popularity, many suppliers are flooding the market. We get our fair share of suppliers contacting us with “cheap” Moissanite. Sometimes the prices are just so cheap that you have to wonder about the quality, that it probably isn’t going to be up to our standards. For sure, the gem cutters aren’t being paid a fair wage. For us at LARACI, as I have mentioned countless times, the Ethical side is of the utmost importance to us. The quality of the Moissanite must be top notch but not at the expense of those producing it. Possibly some of the cheaper brands are ok or even good quality but at that price, for sure the stone cutters aren’t making a fair wage – cannot be possible when they are selling a 1 ct Moissanite for $100 – $200.
Also worth mentioning, the cut of these cheaper Moissanite may not be the same as the pricier brands that are cutting for optimal sparkle, which would impact the dazzle of your Moissanite. A good quality Moissanite has very few flaws (none to the naked eye – can only be seen under 10x magnification) and therefore the cutters are able to cut an ideal cut as the stone is ideal. However, with the lesser quality Moissanite, there are generally visible flaws that wont allow for an ideal Moissanite cut.
I have read many forum threads and reviews on cheap Moissanite bought from China and India, it concerns me that people may then have a poor opinion of Moissanite if this is their only experience. The quality side, or lack thereof, of “cheap” Moissanite can tarnish the Moissanite industry. These Moissanite can lack the clarity, color and strength of a quality name brand Moissanite gem. They may also lack the proper cut that allows the light to enter the stone and disperse with the optimal sparkle that quality Moissanite is known an loved for. The worst part though is that often small children, as young as 7 yrs old are cutting the stones (think about this for a moment. We as humans are all alike, can you imagine your 7 yr old beloved child, grandchild, niece or nephew having to endure this??! NEVER!! It wouldn’t happen in our first world and it shouldn’t happen elsewhere either. Stories of stone cutters (including the children) with poor vision and arthritis in their necks, backs and fingers from the small detailed work and the hunching over. Child labour is a huge reason LARACI disagrees with the diamond trade so we absolutely cannot endorse it in the Moissanite trade either. Stone cutting is a very precise job that takes it toll on a stone cutters body so even an adult doing this profession should be paid a fair wage, which just isn’t a possibility with these cheaper Moissanite.
We understand that consumers probably don’t realize these conditions and if they did, they wouldn’t purchase the cheap Moissanite from eBay, Amazon and other such sources. We also know that much of the “cheap” Moissanite is a lower grade and doesn’t measure as strong on the MOH’s scale. The strength of a stone determines it’s durability, it’s ability to withstand chipping, scratching and breaking. As well, we have heard from a few Moissaniite suppliers that not all of these Moissanite stones register 100% silicon carbide. This would also affect the durability and the color. Even if the stone looks the same in the beginning, it could discolor over time which won’t happen in genuine quality Moissanite.
We have received some of the cheaper Moissanite from wholesalers, much of it has visible flaws to the naked eye, poor, inconsistent cuts and often a poor polish. Which at the very least, would impede the dazzle of a Moissanite but at te visible flaws in the stone could compromise the strength and durability. So when looking at “cheap” Moissanite that way, it’s not that cheap. If you are reducing a Moissanite to Cubic Zirconia quality, you might as well buy a cubic zirconia for pennies on the dollar. A 1 ct CZ will cost you about $3 compared to the cheap $100 or $200 sub par Moissanite. While CZ is perfectly acceptable for an occasional dinner ring or a fashion ring that won’t be worn often or for long, it’s not adequate for an engagement ring that will be worn daily for a lifetime.
So like most things, if it looks to go to be true, it probably is. I would forgo the cheap moissanite, even if you think it looks the same.