The marketing is too strong.
Now, imagine that the diamond is cheaper. It is no longer an expensive signal. Therefore, although the diamond is the same, it no longer serves the same purpose. So, the cheaper diamonds get, the less demand there is from prospective brides, even if only marginally. This fuels further declines, although that is probably already happening due to better industrial diamonds.
This takes time, of course. But that also means it has a lot of momentum. As the price decline continues, and the word of that spreads, it will accelerate.
Having a diamond wedding ring is like having a turkey for thanksgiving. That's just the way it's done. It's a part of the culture, maybe you could even say there are religious elements to it.
And that was achieved through marketing.
To elaborate: The "tradition" of diamond engagement rings only dates back to the 1930s, invented almost whole cloth by the DeBeers cartel to sell diamonds. For that reason, I think saying it's a "part of the culture" overstates things. This is not a long tradition that connects us to our ancestors.
Just cuz you yourself are making the purchase once doesn't mean it is in a thing much of the time.
Not working animal skins? You could if you wanted to.
2. Keeping mental tabs on which mate always ducks out before they buy the round and making up for it at a BBQ by grabbing a beer out of their Esky. Possibly leading to a fist fight at around 11:30PM and then making up at around 12:01AM.
3. "Sorry mate" as the default response when you're unable to grab the door for a stranger because you're a few CMs too far away.
Well, you’re half right. Baby showers in various forms definitely are in many cultures ancient traditions. Gender reveal parties (at least pre-natal ones; there's some post-natal traditions that have some similarity), quite obviously, not.
A lot of Western culture that goes back hundreds of years has its roots in either religion or the Enlightenment. Holidays, the scientific method, the individualist concept of humanism, capitalism.
Last names. The seven-day week. Learning European history in elementary school. The food you eat every day. Just a bunch of random stuff, really. Think of every way your culture differs from China or Cameroon.
My wife is a practical, pragmatic person. But she wanted a diamond ring. She felt sheepish about wanting one.
The expense wasn't the appeal, and she's never been interested in signaling consumer goods otherwise like clothes, purses, fashion, jewelry, cars etc. If I had gotten a rarer, more expensive stone that was not a diamond, she would not have liked it as much. The cultural element of the diamond ring was a big part of the appeal.
I'd love to see the market change, to support more diversity in what's normative. But it is too late for us. My wife loves her ring but it was kind of a surprising reaction for her to deal with. She's said that if it were any other jewelry she'd be fine with something other than diamond. She also in retrospect wishes she had been accepting of moissanite. But it was what it was.
But she loves her ring and has never spent a day without it. She will happily wear faux silver earrings but the ring is non negotiable.
Gold is famous for holding its resale value; so a gift of gold can in theory be unwound to recover the money spent. It is a signal of wealth.
Diamonds cannot be resold, the money may as well have been burned. It is a signal of wealth and commitment. There is also the added bonus that a diamond is not going to be stolen.
I wasn't aware of this. What's the rationale?
I have got some mileage out of characterizing mined diamonds as symbolizing south-African slavery. At least, my wife didn't want one.
I wonder how much money you'd have to actually burn to extract enough carbon to create a decently sized diamond from it
Paper is, what, 44-50% carbon by weight? Imagine a ring with the weight of even a small stack of bills.
It wasn't long ago that the paper was worth more than the rock.
But if you burn it, you lose the carbon. Char it instead.
"Thou Art Godshatter". Long-term fitness-increasing Machiavellian plots are encoded as simple human desires. Indeed, social plays like this one work much better if the host thinks it's something they "just want" rather than some grim manipulative scheme to prove your loyalty.
Diamonds aren't "small gifts"; they're absurdly expensive ornaments. Their primary purpose is so American women can show off to other women how much money their husbands have. It's a bit like having a really expensive luxury car: it's a signal to others to show you're rich, not a way for someone to show affection to another.
Edit: About Asian cultures, I'll also add, it's just just lovers. Coworkers will frequently get each other small gifts, or gifts for everyone on the team. This is usually small food items, not anything at all expensive. They might do this if they travel somewhere. I had an Asian (i.e., he had just moved from SE Asia for this job) coworker once give everyone on our team some nice variety of tea, for instance.
An American visiting from other company was completely dumbfounded: Why have you paid yourself?? He is your boss, it’s his responsibility to pay when he invites you to lunch!!
...And I was completely dumbfounded observing his reaction: have Americans no pride?
Buying small gifts for coworkers is one thing, but buying lunch is a bit much. I wouldn't spend more than $5 on a gift for a coworker.
I'm baffled that you're baffled. Gift-giving is common in every culture, country, and religion in the world.
it really is marketing, since the value signalling could just occur by wiring your wife $20k or whatever, no need to violate overseas human rights
Suddenly Padmé agreeing to marry a guy who slaughtered an entire village of Sand People and monologued to her about it makes a lot more sense.
While she knew that diamonds are more or less worthless logically, the marketing and social drivers kept it in her head that she needed one - the emotional need was very very high. But the more she read about the human cost the more in conflict the social worth of the things became.
Ultimately she decided that the moral cost aligned with her logical mind and that's what finally overrode her emotional desire to get one. She still wanted a sparkly thing and after spending some time looking in to lab grown diamonds, she coudn't get over the basic worthlessness of having an expensive sparkly thing and ended up just getting a modest lab grown moissanite ring -- on sale and with a discount coupon.
Congrats to having such a smart wife.
A big house can have value, but not the way they are typically built in the US. A valuable one has a big-enough living section with a separate workshop, gallery, or apartments. American zoning laws tend to forbid it, so the workshop is often labeled a "garage". Your garage can be as big as you like, but you may be obliged to conceal how you use it.
Strange but true, Americans have been taught it's normal. Like diamonds.
It doesn't outwardly seem pragmatic if she's happy to forego expense which provide a service or experience, but not a piece of stone that weighs less than a gram and serves no function other than to display wealth. You'd be better spending that money on a fancy sports car - at least you'd get some fun out of it and a fair resale value.
People are willing to give something up for proof of effort; a personal union, or something else of value.
Whenever someone tells me bitcoin is a scam and has no intrinsic value, I ask them about diamonds, expensive art, etc. Most people cannot reconcile bitcoin and diamonds (as jewelery) in the same value frame.
Diamonds do have some functional uses of course, as does gold. But their price is wholly determined by the belief (whether justified or not) that they cannot easily be manufactured on demand. Just like bitcoin.
I really like that, bitcoin as the diamond of yesteryear. Effectively finite, has to be mined, only has value/importance because a group of people assign it one, has limited practical use (diamonds as abrasives mostly, bitcoin as a cookie crumb record of transactions) is seen as foolish/wasteful by others, you can't use either for practical trade as the vast majority of individuals/companies don't accept either for trade and both could easily be rendered worthless by a technological advancement or social change.
This is literally what my sister responded with when I asked her why she liked diamonds so much:
Bitcoins aren’t pretty. Sparkling, finely cut specific rocks are. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.
Does your sister have a preference for diamonds over finely cut zirconium (or even glass)? It’s likely not as simple as that, even if you and her try to rationalize it that way.
Unlike gold, there's no way to sell 1% of a diamond.
Gold/bitcoins/diamonds just become more desirable when their price goes up.
Diamonds only prove that in a very narrow sense, namely in that some gemstone expert (that you need to trust) can subject the diamond to a battery of sophisticated tests in order to testify to its genuine, non-counterfeit nature.
Bitcoin's Proof of Work is trivially verifiable in comparison.
Also the worth of bitcoin is (kinda) backed by the worth of the electricty which is used to mine blocks (and consequently new bitcoins).
That's the point: signal to peers that you've found a great partner that's willing to throw this kind of money away just for your status.
These things are symbols that ascribe value to a person and a relationship. Getting it made out of plastic rather than gold goes not carry the same symbolism.
That’s not true. The far greater purpose is for the man to signal commitment to his bride. By spending a lot of money, especially if it’s not easy for you to afford it, you signal to her that you are seriously committed to her. You signal that you trust her with something very expensive that would not be easy for you to replace.
You can’t bypass that sort of thing. If the price of diamonds collapsed completely then we’d need to find something else to replace them.
Also, we can bypass this kind of thing and did up until the last century. Further, certain couples bypass this type of thing all the time routinely. You don't see gay male couples giving each other diamond engagement rings and yet their marriages aren't exploding in spectacular fashion.
It doesn't even make sense from a financial penalty standpoint. Anyone who is on an upward trajectory would be able to bounce back from losing a month or two of salary relatively quickly in which case it's not really forcing long term commitment.
There is no real point to this ritual other than showing off. The guy gets to show off how much cash he has and the woman gets to show off to everyone else that she has a guy with a lot of financial resources. It is completely arbitrary and we have arbitrarily converged on a diamond as a mechanism to do this. Sure giving rings makes people feel good; receiving and gifting any present makes people feel good; but it's absolutely not a necessary requirement for a healthy relationship.
This isn't quite true.
1) Who's "we"? Outside the US, no one really cares that much about diamonds. Outside the US, western Europe, and Japan, no one does. It's largely an American phenomenon.
2) People didn't just "arbitrarily coverge" on diamonds; this was engineered by DeBeers almost a century ago, in what's probably the most successful marketing campaign in human history.
>If we are talking about financial commitment and signaling to a partner, why not gift a house, a car, a long term bond, cash, expensive clothing, a watch, literally any other piece of jewelry, etc?
This is literally what's done in other cultures, and has been for ages. Though usually, it's the bride's family who has to pony up all this largesse, in what's called a "dowry".
>Why does it have to be the guy that does it; shouldn't the wife also signal equal levels of commitment or is she incapable of that?
This is a very good question, because again, in other cultures, it has traditionally been the bride (or rather, her family) who had to provide a dowry to get a decent man to marry her. This of course has, in more recent times, driven families to abort their unborn female children in favor of male children.
Pedant here. Hello everybody!
There is a difference between dowry and bride price. Traditionally the dowry in culture with custom of primogeniture was the portion of inheritance the bride brought with her. It's a bribe to the groom's family not to contest the rest of the inheritance when his father-in-law dies, not to put a fine point on it.
Following Anglo-Saxon customs (which was heavily influenced by the Vikings) brides were given morgangifu, literally morning gift, from her husband the morning after the wedding. This is hers to take with her and her children, after a divorce or death of the husband. See also morganastic marriage, where a woman and her children get nothing except the morning gift, that is, she and the kids don't get the traditional inheritance (crown, title, land, such). It's a payoff to the bride's family to not contest what's regarded as the groom's family's property, not to put a fine point on it.
The bride price is the cost paid by the groom to the bride's family, this practice was more common in Asia and the tribal Middle East. Women were regarded as property, her leaving the family home and joining the family of her husband is regarded as a loss to her clan. In ancient Chinese text, lesser wives not just concubines were bought, literally.
The British colonists, upon observing the similarities of this custom to their own, applied the English term "dowry" to it. The practice, while largely extinct in mainstream British society, has held on in parts in South Asia (though many modern South Asians consider it abhorrent), and therefore its modern colloquial use is more connected to the South Asian custom.
There is a separate practice of the bride's parents gifting her with items of jewelry which are intended to be her sole property - a sort of insurance policy against an unreliable husband - and not that of the groom or his family. Whether that was honored or not obviously depended a lot on the situation. This practice has actually continued relatively unabated, and it is partially responsible for the high demand for gold in South Asia during wedding seasons.
Is committing to spending your life with someone not trusting them with something that wouldn't be easy for you to replace? What's more irreplaceable than the years of your own life? Not every couple gets a diamond engagement ring or precious metal wedding rings (the prevalence is trending downward) and I've heard no studies that establish correlation between successful marriages and diamond engagement rings. Your line of thought is very lucrative for corporations like deBeers, however.
And how does she know you’re committed if you’re not willing to risk anything up front? You can say “well she knows me! We’ve been dating for years!” but then you balk at trusting her with something valuable? Maybe she doesn’t really know you. Maybe things are great now, when nobody has committed anything of value, but will it work when things get tough?
Of course a diamond’s no guarantee of that. It’s only a starting point.
What's more irreplaceable than the years of your own life
We’re talking about the beginning of a married relationship: the engagement. When people talk about engagement rings, they don’t look at dollar figures, they look at number of weeks salary. That is the point! You’re putting time into the relationship up front. Think of it like putting a down payment on a house.
Your line of thought is very lucrative for corporations like deBeers, however
There are plenty of other diamond sources besides deBeers. Lots of people are buying diamonds mined in the Canadian arctic, for example. They have the added benefit that you know they aren’t conflict diamonds.
People do this research when buying diamonds these days! When your fiancée is showing the ring to her friends, if she can tell them a story about all of this research you put into it, then it means even more to her.
This is NOT how happy long lasting marriages are done these days. I would argue that even any days. But reality is, most people are not really happy in their lives, somehow 'lost' drifting around, and combined with sheepish mentality they can accrue this mindset of 'if he spent enough money on some piece of rock then and only then he must really love me, otherwise not', because others are saying so. Desperately immature.
If others are saying so, it must be right, no? Well, in this case, no. Some people take lifetime to understand this simple truth, some are fast learners (ideally from other's mistakes), and of course some never learn.
That's not a great start to a marriage
And why doesn't she have to do the same
Plenty of times the guy has been all-in right up until the moment he becomes a father, then he bails. If he has no financial stake in the relationship either then there’s nothing holding him to the marriage except his word and his feelings, both of which can be broken.
Single motherhoods is ridiculously common these days. I think a big part of the reason why is that tradition and commitment are dying out, and marriages based on romance are dying along with them.
I’m pretty sure there are much better ways to put time into a relationship upfront, since probably nobody said on their deathbed I wish you worked more to get me a bigger diamond for our engagement. Spending time to actually know each other instead of working for piece of carbon which is very useful for some industries.
Also this weeks of salary is also something I cannot wrap my head around, I was engaged a few times, breaking off the engagement had nothing to do with the value of the engagement ring.
Perhaps we could replace them with healthy relationships?
Q: Any actual evidence that cash is any kind of reliable signal for commitment to a relationship? There would appear to be plenty of celebrity divorce counter-examples.
[In the spirit of full disclosure: my wife didn't want - or get - an engagement ring]
The social context mutated yet the artifact remained - mostly out of the resistance to thinking known as tradition and the desire to sell overpriced baubles.
Q: Is it just me, or does that statement sound like it fell out of the 1950s through some kind of wormhole?
In no particular order:
* If the girl asks the guy to marry her, are we to understand that he should expect to receive a diamond ring from her, to somehow seal the deal?
* Why should it be the guy "promising marriage" to the girl?
* Why should it be based on "guys" marrying "girls" at all?
I agree with this, and it even makes rational sense. I just wish we could "spend a lot of money" on something else like gold, or a house downpayment. At least those are assets - you aren't simply throwing your money away. Even a charitable trust would be a more impactful way of demonstrating commitment through sacrifice - spending money on diamonds is like throwing it away.
Why is that important? Maybe it’s less important today, but if you turn on her and she has to strike out on her own, then her engagement ring becomes a bit of wealth she has access to in an emergency. In that regard it may seem rather silly (why not a bank account?) but in the past, women didn’t have bank accounts or other easy ways to access wealth.
I've seen people do the same thing with their wedding that left them $30k in debt.
I totally buy their reasoning for why they did it, but they lose me when they prescribe it to everyone else.
I used to feel that same way as you, but I've changed my opinion over time. It's just one of those community norms that (for me, anyway) makes HN an interesting place.
https://www.bain.com/insights/global-diamond-industry-report... (Figure 16)
"Yes!!" And she was giddy at the prospect.
I felt confirmation in that moment for having broken up her years before that.
Another few years after that conversation she got her diamond -- after gaining 100lbs and getting a boob job.
I really don't understand how some people think.
The spouse is not okay with this, and makes only token efforts to hide disdain, but I am stubborn enough to die before giving a single penny to some parasitic international diamond cartel, just for a little bit more refractive index, hardness, and thermal conductivity.
We're still not a diamond-free household, though. Some have been inherited from more foolish ancestors.
We have also "mined" natural corundums at a touristy dirt-washing operation in western North Carolina. This, of course, led immediately to talk about digging up yellow/brown rough diamonds in Crater of Diamonds (Arkansas) State Park, which immediately informed me that the venomous DeBeers brain-hooks were still set. It just makes me hate the cartel more.
I think what irritates me most is that their marketing is so effective. You can show an entire feature film, starring A-list actors, about people getting brutally murdered over the diamond trade, and people will unabashedly say they still want diamond jewelry after watching. Hell, you can watch Marathon Man, and hear, "I'm afraid of dentists now, but I would also like to keep all the diamonds I can eat." They have somehow made diamonds bypass all reason, and link directly to the emotional center of the psyche, with nothing more than decades of persistent advertising.
Diamonds do not make you look great. Or, at minimum, they do not make you look better than cheaper, non-cartelized clear gemstones, such as moissanite, cubic zirconia, clear sapphire, clear beryl (goshenite), clear topaz, or even clear quartz.
Think about why you would rather have a diamond than any other mineral. Think about why a synthetic carbon allotrope sells at such a large premium over its actual cost of synthesis. They're still riding along on the coattails of DeBeers' 9 decades of unrelenting marketing.
If I were getting a pure carbon allotrope jewelry centerpiece, I would very much prefer a single graphene molecule, 235 km long, rolled up into a spiral 1 cm thick--preferably oriented to be most conductive along the axis. Now that would be something worth wearing!
We (as a species) will go cognitive miles to avoid actually facing embarrassment or admitting to being fooled. Your thing might not be overpaying for a diamond and it’s unlikely you can see your own instance(s) but I’m sure you have seen it in others on the regular.
Though, as a man, figuring out your partner's expectations of rings and weddings (and family and children and ...) is part of the dating process. You really shouldn't be blindsided at the engagement phase.
I'm reminded of a friend from high school who is got divorced after finding out his wife of two years didn't want and never wanted children. His defense was "it just never came up!"
Except that the literature has shown that people generally find greater happiness using their money to buy experiences rather than things. From a researcher who wrote (the) book on happiness:
> "Shifting from buying stuff to buying experiences, and from spending on yourself to spending on others, can have a dramatic impact on happiness," writes Dunn and her co-author Michael Norton.
If, per Aristotle, happiness is the supreme good, it would objectively be better to spend your limited resources on things that are more likely to give it to you.
Yes, but a) travelling is not the only way to buy experiences by any means, b) Actually doing/ creating things or experiences is infinitely more rewarding than consumption. Programming, making music, painting, woodworking, cooking, gardening, whatever tickles your fancy. All those studies still only are about buying.
 for certain personalities.
"We found no significant evidence supporting the greater return received when buying experiences."
That was a couple years ago, there might be a meta analysis or actual replication attempts by now, but I'm not going to dive for them, just pointing out this bad discussion tactic of "studies show [what I want to argue for]" without considering the ongoing replication crisis.
Speaking personally, the most bang-for-buck is probably video games. I don't know if I would classify those as experiences or things. Perhaps it depends on the game's replayabilty.
Read the book. Every chapter covers an idea on how to best use one's monetary resources to increase happiness, and there are dozens of endnotes to studies for each chapter.
This is literally the book author's field of study. If you have a problem with the claims, talk to her: I'm just the messenger and will bow to the experts.
I'm guessing you aren't black...
Those "peaceful" towns are now either full of old people because the young ones have moved away, or a bunch of opioid and meth addicts. America's small towns are falling apart. Things were really different in 1992; that's over a quarter-century ago now.
Then again, most Americans get, what, two weeks off in the year? It makes sense to me how travel then becomes an all-inclusive resort trip instead of the more enriching slow-boil flavor of travel that provokes the best experiences and potential change in your life and perspective. Pretty hard to get that in two weeks.
Traveling is not the only way to create experiences. I (the person you replied to) have no interest in it. I'd rather spend time/money on a local motorcycle racetrack staring at the upcoming corner and figuring out the best line.
World population should level off before those 2nd-tier ones start to get swamped, too. So that's nice.
(It's fun to have this conversation with gender-neutral pronouns.)
this sounds like the opposite of a true marriage to me.
*But of course I have no idea about your lives and wish you the very best.
I've been married three times, and the issue of diamond rings never came up.
But then, I would never have married someone who raised the issue.
Edit: In case it's not obvious, the "diamonds for women" thing is blatantly sexist. And it's a flag for other attitudes.
Story 1. Both my and my wife’s wedding rings were stolen. The wedding bands were my parents’ and had been in the family for the better part of a hundred years. Though they were extremely simple, plain gold rings with very little value (prob got $50 at a pawn shop if that). We replaced them with similar rings just because we wanted them.
Story 2. My wife had a ring that had belonged to her grandmother. It was very ornate and had many kinds of jewel including diamonds and Ruby’s. It was very old school in design but was quite pretty. It was also stolen. I found a similar one for about $14,000 online and offered to buy it for my wife who was devastated at the loss but she refused because it “wasn’t the same” which I of course understood.
So there’s more than just the dollar value of the thing is what I’m saying.
I don't know if was the marketing, just wanted the commitment in dollars before telling everyone she's engaged or the status symbol to show off to other people but it had to be a significant diamond. One of the things that surprised me was man made diamonds at the size and quality she wanted weren't actually cheaper.
Ideal world, both of them feel free to express their wants clearly and early. Equality in being shamed for wants is a bad equality.
Someone pragmatic would be happy with "any" kind of ring, when I see those big diamonds it reminds me of those dumb people showing off their ring to friends in TV shows.
I'm not sure for other countries but diamond is a very US thing.
My wife wants to upgrade her diamond and I think she is convinced that moissanite is a good substitute.
But I find that moissanite is still far more expensive than I expected (for 1.5 carats, it wasn't 2% of the price of a diamond).
But maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.
If you don't mind me asking. Where did you find yours?
These patents only expired in the last few years, and as recently as 2018 in Mexico.
Spending too much on a diamond ring is common though
It's possible this changed between 09-13 because of the recession, but I'd bet it's very common now that the economy is doing really well.
This might not be a mortgage, in the sense of being a lifetime payment. But it's a (semi-)secured loan.
If you can use math to explain physics, physics to explain chemistry, chemistry to explain biology, biology to explain psychology, psychology to explain sociology, and sociology (plus history) to explain culture, then it would be fair to say you could use math to explain culture.
Of course, there's a lot of big gaps here, but the point is: trying to tie culture to biology is not without merit.
IMO, males and females both run on instinct through chaos crafted channels of superstition we call "culture". Like water running down a mountain in streams, it's not the channels which explain the waters movement downward (that's gravity), they just define the means through which it happens.
Implies that <people> have no agency and run on instinct: see psychology, marketing theory
It's not just impractical; it's impossible to know enough of the variables to derive one from the other.
In practice "evolutionary" explanations are constantly used to make something intuitively plausible for which there is no evidence sound scientific and convincing.
FWIW, my wife has a $600 artificial diamond ring that she picked out at Walmart.com. It's one of her most prized possessions (not because of the cost, but because of what it symbolizes) and she frequently points out to people how inexpensive it was.
I distinctly remember her saying that if I were to pay 2 months salary for a ring it would be a sign that I was too dumb to marry. For that kind of money she'd rather have a new car.
Great attitude and totally on-point, responsible finances are one strong pillar under a relationship, if you blow through your cash on baubles you will eventually end up stressed.
We're quite happy with them.
A decade ago, I bought a $4K diamond as an engagement ring for my now-wife (I didn't know about moissanite then), and my colleagues gave me so much shit since I was spending significantly less than 3X monthly salary. Thankfully, my wife agreed with me. We remain happily married :)
It is extremely easy to distinguish a moissanite from a diamond using a reliable, low-tech test: the moissanite can't scratch a diamond, but a diamond will scratch the moissanite.
The problem, if you're a jeweler talking to a customer, is that this will damage the moissanite.
Indeed, my fiance was completely happy with sterling silver and a white sapphire. It's a hand-carved design (lost wax) and it cost me less than our recent trip to the zoo and in her own words "I don't have to worry about being nervous about losing some dumb expensive ring, this one is perfect".
Sure, over time the sapphire will scratch a lot easier and get cloudy but we're talking about a few dollar stone. It can easily be replaced.
Huh? The sapphire will scratch easier... if you spend a lot of time rubbing your hand against diamonds.
Sapphire is one of the hardest stones there is. It's the 9th point on the (ordinal) 10-point Mohs scale, with 10 being diamond.
Remember, precious and semi-precious stones are just fancy chemical compounds.
Here's a similar story: https://hackaday.com/2013/05/20/adding-leds-to-an-engagement...
After a discussion with my fiancee I did end up finding a earth/natural diamond(I know). I did end up using the same site to help me find a good deal and seemed to save a chunk of change.
Our main motivation was actually social justice over price, though - my wife is big into a number of social justice causes, and couldn't justify killing villagers in the Congo so she could have a diamond engagement ring. We looked into lab-grown diamonds as well, but just found that we liked the look of moissanite more. You can totally tell the difference if you have a trained eye, but to mine moissanite is better in basically every respect you would care about: it sparkles more, has more defined facets, and tends to be clearer with a brighter light.
Moissanite has a higher refractive index and higher 'fire' than a diamond. Any jeweler worth their salt should be able to discern between them with only a visual inspection.
https://i.imgur.com/Cm6gwyL.jpg - I design and make jewelry, from scratch, as a hobby. I can just look at a stone and tell you if CZ/Goshenite/Moissanite/Diamond/Glass. The differences in the stones when cut is quite apparent.
Anyway, I imagine no jeweler when asked to clean a stone, is going to blurt out "That's not a diamond!" No positive customer reaction possible there.
Moissanite - https://www.dhresource.com/0x0/f2/albu/g9/M01/71/E4/rBVaVVy8... Higher RI than diamond but less than rutile. Still great fire.
Diamond - http://img.fruugo.com/product/1/70/74615701_max.jpg Pretty plain and dull. Hardly any prismatic/chromatic display. Even CZ has more 'fire' than this.
This makes the cachet that diamonds possess even more ridiculous. They're literally orders of magnitude more expensive, for something that's objectively worse in terms of the properties that actually matter for a gemstone.
to be fair, it probably always was.
Of course maybe there is a noticable difference but often people see/taste/hear/smell/feel something that's not there if they already know which is A and which is B.
I don't think any of this stuff really matters, btw, just get what looks good to you.