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What is Moissanite

a single moissanite gemstone sparkling like the stars it originated from

Moissanite is a sparkling gemstone that has been gaining popularity in recent years. While it may resemble a diamond, it is actually a unique mineral with its own distinct properties.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about this dazzling gemstone.

The History of Moissanite

Its discovery dates back to 1893 when French chemist Henri Moissan stumbled upon this rare mineral. At first, he mistook it for a diamond due to its stunning appearance, but he soon discovered that it was actually composed of silicon carbide.

Despite being a naturally occurring mineral, moissanite is found in limited quantities in nature. However, it can also be created in a lab setting, which has made it more accessible to the general public.

What makes moissanite truly unique is its cosmic connection. Scientists have discovered minute quantities of moissanite in meteorites, which leads them to believe that this gemstone originates from the depths of space.

The conditions required to form moissanite are so extreme that they are only found in meteorites and stars, which has led to much speculation about the mineral’s extra-terrestrial origins. This cosmic connection adds to the allure and mystique of this remarkable gemstone.

Physical Properties of Moissanite:

  • Hardness:
    Moissanite has a hardness of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, making it one of the hardest minerals on earth. It is more durable than many other gemstones, including sapphires and rubies.
  • Brilliance:
    Moissanite is known for its exceptional brilliance and fire, which refers to the way it reflects light. It has a refractive index of 2.65-2.69, which is higher than that of diamonds.
  • Colour:
    Moissanite is typically colourless, but it can also be found in shades of yellow, green, blue, and grey. ( We deal in the colourless to the near-colourless range) View the stone colour chart here.
  • Clarity:
    Moissanite is relatively free of inclusions, which are internal imperfections that can affect a gemstone’s appearance.

How is Moissanite Made?

Moissanite can be found naturally in small quantities, but it is primarily produced in a lab setting using a process called the CVD (chemical vapour deposition) method.

This involves growing crystals of silicon carbide on a substrate using a gas-phase reaction. The resulting crystals can then be cut and polished into gemstones.

Is Moissanite a Diamond?

While moissanite can resemble a diamond in appearance, it is a different mineral with its own unique properties. Moissanite is composed of silicon carbide, while diamonds are composed of carbon. Moissanite has a higher refractive index and more dispersion (which gives it its rainbow-like colours) than diamonds.

Benefits of Moissanite:

  • Affordability:
    Moissanite is typically less expensive than diamonds, making it a more affordable option for those who want high-quality jewellery without a high price tag.
  • Ethical and Sustainable:
    Since moissanite can be produced in a lab setting, it is a more ethical and sustainable option than diamonds, which are often mined under exploitative conditions.
  • Unique Beauty:
    Moissanite’s exceptional brilliance and fire give it a unique beauty that is different from diamonds.

 

Moissanite Vs Diamond Vs Other Popular Gemstones

TypeBeautyDurability
GemstoneBrilliance Refraction IndexFire DispersionHardness
Mohs Scale
Toughness
Moissanite2.65 -2.690.1049.25Excellent
Diamond2.41 – 2.420.04410Excellent*
Ruby1.76 – 1.770.0189Excellent**
Sapphire1.76 – 1.770.0189Excellent**
Emerald1.56 – 1.600.0147.50Poor to Good

Read more about it in our Moissanite Buyers Guide

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