Moissanite is evaluated based on the 4Cs, just like diamonds. The 4Cs were developed by the founder of GIA ( Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Robert M. Shipley, and are universally recognized in the gemstone and jewelry industry as a way to clearly convey value to the consumer and other jewelry professionals.
What are the 4Cs? Various scientific approaches are used to determine the stone's value. The 4Cs stand for: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat, in descending order of importance. This blog post will cover the topic colorless vs near colorless moissanite.
Colorless vs Near Colorless Moissanite
The GIA's color-grading scale is considered industry standard. Color is graded using a color scale ranging from D-Z. For fancy color diamonds, another method is used. Fancy color diamonds exhibit more saturation and display colors such as pink, green, yellow, brown, and blue.
Definition of Colorless Moissanite
When it comes to moissanite and "white" diamonds, even minute color variations may not be visible to an untrained observer. However, these very subtle or obvious differences have a significant impact on the stone's quality and value. Colorless is the absence of color, the most rare and the most expensive.
Definition of Near Colorless Moissanite
Near colorless moissanite is defined as having only minute traces of color detectable by a trained eye under observation.
Explanation of Color Grading Scale for Moissanite
The following is a brief breakdown of the color grading scale with explanations and suggestions.
D-E-F: Colorless. These colorless stones command the highest prices with all other quality factors being equal. Colorless diamonds and moissanite are considered true investments--perfect for those who demand nothing but the best.
D Color: Colorless. These icy white stones offer a stunning sparkle, unparalleled by their breathtaking gleam, fire, sparkle, and brilliance. D is the highest color grade for both diamonds and moissanite.
E Color: Colorless. Very, very slight traces of color detected by the trained eye. These stones also exhibit a striking icy-white, commanding a higher price point than diamonds or moissanite of lower color grade.
F Color: Colorless. Very slight color detected by a trained eye. Still considered colorless, although not graded as high as D and E.
G-H-I-J: Near Colorless. Diamonds and moissanite of this color range may not quite exhibit the icy-white of the colorless grades but still display a stunning fire and sparkle without any very noticeable traces of color.
G Color: Near Colorless. G color grade diamonds and moissanite are the highest grades of the near colorless category.
H Color: Near Colorless. Slightly detected color. Although the color is more noticeable than other higher color grades, H color stones offer prestige at a great value.
I Color: Near Colorless. Slightly detected color. This color grade offers a near colorless stone at a fantastic value.
J Color: Near Colorless. Slightly detected color. J color diamonds are quite common and popular on the market in a variety of sizes, shapes, cuts, and set into classic to contemporary designs, offering all the brilliance and shine of a diamond without the higher price tags associated with colorless and near colorless grades that are higher.
K-L-M: Faint Color. These stones exhibit faint color face up. They may have a slight brown, gray, or yellow hue, which may detract from the overall beauty of the stone, depending on the clarity and cut of the stone.
K COLOR: Faint color, eye visible. Not enough saturation to be considered a fancy color moissanite or diamond.
L COLOR: Faint color, eye visible. Not enough saturation to be considered a fancy color moissanite or diamond.
M COLOR: Faint color, eye visible. Not enough saturation to be considered a fancy color moissanite or diamond.
N-Z: Very Light to Light Color. These stones range from very light color (N-R) to light color (S-Z). They may exhibit a noticeable color to the naked or untrained eye.
How Do Colorless and Near Colorless Moissanite Differ?
Visual: Colorless moissanite exhibits the famous icy-white as mentioned above, while near colorless moissanite may have a slightly color tint. However, these color grade differences may be hard to discern with an untrained eye, and only noticed for those who are keenly observing the stone, evaluating it for value, or setting for an appropriate jewelry design, for example. If the stones are compared side to side, their differences of colorless or near colorless grade will be apparent.
Price: Colorless moissanite will be priced higher than near colorless moissanite due to its higher quality grade and overall rarity. This is if all other factors are equal (cut, clarity, carat) with different color grades.
Availability: Near colorless and colorless moissanite are both readily available for purchase in different sizes, shapes, carats, quality and cuts. This is because moissanite is a popular lab-created stone mimicking its natural counterpart, created as a sustainable diamond alternative for those who seek an eco-friendly alternative. However, colorless moissanite will be priced higher because it is perceived as being a higher quality stone compared to near colorless moissanite grades.
Pros and Cons of Colorless Moissanite
Analyzing the pros and cons of colorless moissanite will help evaluate the best choice for your purchase:
Advantages: Purchase this high color grade moissanite as the perfect choice for a diamond alternative without the strenuous labor and price tag attached.
Disadvantages: The cost will be higher than settling on a lower color grade. Only professionals evaluating the stone may be able to spot the difference, making paying a higher price for one a personal choice.
Pros and Cons of Near Colorless Moissanite
Analyzing the pros and cons of near colorless moissanite will help evaluate the best choice for your purchase: and
Advantages: Near colorless moissanite is priced lower than a colorless moissanite color grade without any readily noticeable color tint. Near colorless moissanite still exhibits all the fire and sparkle at a fraction of the price of higher color grades. Near colorless are still high-quality options without any unwanted color tint.
Disadvantages: Near colorless moissanite may have slightly less brilliance, exhibiting a very slight undesirable tint, which some people may not want. For those who seek only the best, near colorless may not be their best option,
How to Choose Between Colorless and Near Colorless Moissanite?
Consider your budget, evaluate your desired jewelry style, and assess your preferences for color and clarity when choosing between colorless and near colorless moissanite color grades. By determining how much you're spending and what kind of jewelry you want to purchase, narrowing the quality of moissanite you want is effortless.
Choosing the Right Setting to Enhance Moissanite's Appearance
Metal Types: The type of metal used for the setting can affect the overall appearance of the moissanite, drawing attention to imperfections or detracting from them. White metals such as white gold or platinum amplifies the icy-white of colorless moissanite. Yellow gold complements slight tints of near colorless moissanite. Rose gold amplifies the colorless and near colorless stones because of its coppery warm, yet cool hue, giving any jewelry a stunning crispness.
Setting Styles: The style of the setting impacts the moissanite and either amplifies or detects the stones high or low quality. A classic solitaire setting brings out the brilliance and fire, while a halo setting adds extra sparkle, exuding a pure vintage retro flair in a decadent cluster multi-stone moissanite ring design. Past, present, and future three-stone settings, pave/micro pave settings, and bezel/flush/gypsy settings complement the stone's positive attributes, hopefully detracting from their imperfections. For more information on cuts and settings, please see our blog Best Cuts for Moissanite: All You Need to Know.
How to Take Care of Moissanite Jewelry
Moissanite is a durable stone, making it a stunning choice for engagement rings, statement rings, wedding bands or hip hop jewelry. We recommend the warm water and mild soapy method. Please see our other blog, How to Clean Moissanite Ring: 7 Tips to Keep Moissanite Brilliant, for more in-depth information regarding moissanite jewelry maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is colorless moissanite more expensive than near colorless moissanite?
Near colorless moissanite is more common, frequently used in both center and side stone settings. Have the look you want at a fraction of the value with near colorless moissanite. Make a statement in opulence with colorless moissanite, a pricer choice.
Should I go for D-E-F or G-H-I Color range?
The faint trace of color is not readily visible to the untrained eye G-H-I color range, making them the perfect selection for those who seek a stone with a higher color grade yet not as expensive as a colorless grade. D-E-F is perfect for those who seek a pricier piece of jewelry with higher quality stones.
Which one is better: Colorless or near colorless moissanite?
Both options are great for those who seek a different look and price point. Neither exhibit obvious color. Indulge in a colorless moissanite for maximum icy-white shine. However, near colorless also displays all the fire you love with slight color only noticeable.
Is colorless moissanite good?
Colorless moissanite has a grade of D-F on the diamond color grading scale, which is the highest grade, indicating a colorless appearance to the naked eye. Colorless moissanite is a high-quality and desirable option for a natural diamond alternative showcasing exceptional brilliance and fire at a fraction of the cost.
Colorless vs near colorless moissanite, which will you choose? With the color scale ranging from D-Z, these letters are broken down into categories. These ranges help further determine the valuation of the stone as it relates to color (or absence of). D is colorless, with Z showing traces of noticeable color.
Whether you seek a glamorous icy-white appearance (colorless moissanite) or a slight tint (near colorless moissanite) depends on your individual needs, budget, and stylistic preferences.
Choosing the appropriate metal, setting, price point, and design makes finding your dream jewelry easier when analyzing the 4Cs and color and how it relates to the overall appearance of moissanite set into the mounting.
Colorless and near colorless moissanite are both suitable options for those seeking a high-quality, beautiful, and affordable alternative to traditional natural earth-mined diamond jewelry without the heavy work supply. For more information on moissanite and why you should choose it, please see our blog, The Science Behind Moissanite: How It's Made and Why It's Unique.