Being relatively new to the gemstone and jewelry industry, and having the best timing to launch my business as a gemstone manufacturer in the midst of a pandemic, (of course I'm being sarcastic here). It begs me to check out my Asian competition especially that they are selling their gemstones at a wholesale price that is less than how much it costs to manufacture them. So I placed multiple orders of the gemstone from different marketplace platforms to get a variety of products to compare with. For the colorless category, I only ordered the stones that are listed with the DEF/VVS1 or Forever One grade so that I can compare them to the best quality stone that we grow. As they trickle in arrival, I inspected each gemstone with my naked eye, a loupe and a microscope. I am not a certified lab gemologist, but having to look at Moissanite all day long, I've grown accustomed to knowing what I need to look for gemstones that has a potential to be graded as DEF/VVS1 with excellent polish and cut. In our lab, we sort through the gemstones before we send them to an independent grading lab so we can save time and money and I can vouch that we have about 92% accuracy.
I took pictures of the gemstones side by side under LED lighting with 5x magnification to compare their colors even further and here are my findings:
THE COLOR. I found out that the DEF colorless grade China made Moissanite has a strong milky-white appearance and the India made has a very strong grayish hue (see picture above). The milky-white color of the China made Moissanite affects its fire and its luminosity had fallen flat due to the almost opaque white color. I must say, in fairness to the seller, that the description of the product was "White DEF Forever One Moissanite". I assumed that by saying "white" it meant colorless as white Moissanite does not exist to my knowledge. But low and behold, I was mistaken as this product is clearly white and not colorless. It's not quite an opaque Opal white but almost. As you can see in the picture, I tilted the India made Moissanite because that is the angle where a naked eye could clearly see its strong grayish hue. While the brilliance of the India Moissanite surpassed the China made one, the grayish hue of this stone is pretty visible even without the help of any magnification instrument.
THE CUT. The lack of a proper cut that allows the light to enter the stone and disperse with the optimal sparkle that quality Moissanite is known and loved for, are also pretty evident on both China and India made stones. An untrained eye may not be able to see, but if you look at the picture of the China made stone, the fogginess and the white color of it is produced due to fluorescence. Fluorescence is the cause of the hazy, blurry, white cloud and foggy appearance of a gemstone regardless of its color and clarity. Poor cut can produce fluorescence and one could guess that the white coloring of the China stone is due to its poor cutting technique. As for the India stone, in my opinion, the pavilion was cut a little too deep and some light are escaping through the culet instead of bouncing and passing through its crown giving it a more dull appearance when placed side by side with a Halley Reh Moissanite.
THE CLARITY. Since Moissanite is lab grown, it is pretty easy to weed out stones that have too many inclusions. Both China and India made stones have very minimal to no inclusions, which will pass for VVS1 clarity.
THE CARAT. I bought what was declared as 1-carat stone. The HR and India stone both measured about 6.7mm in diameter (+/-0.03mm), while the China made stone only measured 6.5mm and weighed only 0.92ct. Moissanite is about 15 to 20 percent lighter than a diamond. A Moissanite with the same diameter as a 1ct. diamond will weigh less.
THE VERDICT. I know most will say that my review is partial because I am comparing both stones made in other countries with the gemstone that is manufactured in-house. But I can say that the pictures above are not in anyway manipulated and you can see the differences between all three of them yourself. If you are looking for a great deal on a stone that you will be using on a daily basis and durability is your priority, I suppose any of these three will serve your purpose. This is to assume that the hardness of both stones from China and India are the same which I cannot tell just from looking at the stone without the use of a specialized materials testing machine. But if you are looking for a close alternative to a diamond in terms of its overall appearance, I wouldn't invest on China or India made stones. You are better off buying a grade AAA+ Cubic Zirconia. Of course it won't last as long as Moissanite, but the optical qualities in my opinion are better in a high quality CZ than a Moissanite bought from these two countries.
I also ordered the colored ones such as fancy vivid yellow, green and blue. My review for these stones are coming in my next blogs.