What is Moissanite?

Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist called Henri Moissan, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He found microscopic mineral particles inside a crater in Diablo Canyon, Arizona. When created naturally, Moissanite is made from stars. The moissanite particles found in the Diablo Canyon are known to come from a meteorite that hit the Earth thousands of years ago. At first, Henri Moissan claimed that he had found a diamond. It wasn't until 1904 that the mineral had been known as Silicon Carbide. Although the availability was too small for the use of jewelry, the stone was later called Moissanite in honor of Dr. Moissan.

It wasn't until the late 1980s that Cree, a company in North Carolina, started manufacturing large single crystals of moissanite. Due to the fact that there is basically no natural supply of moissanite, a regulated thermal growing process must be generated in the laboratory. Charles & Colvard recognized the potential for minerals when properly cut and patented the production process, making them the only manufacturer of moissanite before its expiration in 2015. While Charles & Colvard is known for its high quality moissanite gemstones, several other competing moissanite producers are now on the market. Here at Princess Bride Diamonds, we carefully analyzed various brands of moissanite and decided to carry Charles & Colvard and a newer company, Harro Gem, because of their overall consistency, stunning refractive properties and special diamond-like cutting styles. New producers are still popping up, and we intend to continue to adapt to the nature of the stones.

Moissanite vs Diamond

In the jewelry industry, moissanite is very famous for its resemblance in appearance and wearability to diamonds. Owing to the regulated laboratory conditions, all moissanite gemstones will be relatively similar in color and clarity, whereas diamonds are the opposite-no two stones will have the same pattern of inclusions. This ensures that the prices of diamonds will differ depending on the quality, but the prices of moissanite will not.

Clarity

The clarity of the moissanite gemstones is roughly VS1 and above. This guarantees that the gemstone is free of inclusions in the naked eye even under a 10-strong jewelry loupe. Inclusions, if any, can usually only be seen under a microscope.

Color

Moissanite is produced in various color shades. The most popular choice is colorless, which is comparable to a diamond in the DEF color categories. Moissanite can also be made at the near-colorless grade, which is comparable to a diamond in the GHI color categories.

Refractive Index

Moissanite is known for its refractive index of 2.65, which is notably higher than a diamond at 2.42 or sapphire at 1.76. The higher the refractive index, the higher the brilliance, which looks like bright light traveling out of the stone.

Fire Dispersion Rate

One of the most visibly distinguishing properties of moissanite is its high fire dispersion. Moissanite receives a fire dispersion score of 0.104, while a diamond’s score is only at 0.044. You will see much more of a fiery rainbow appearance in the moissanite compared to the diamond.

Luster Rate

The luster of the stone will determine how much light is reflected to the observer off the surface. Moissanite has 18% greater luster than a diamond and 50% greater luster than a cubic zirconia. 

Scratch Resistance

Scratch resistance is an extremely important property of diamonds for wedding rings because after years of daily wear they hardly show signs of aging. Diamonds are the hardest known mineral, giving them a score of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Moissanite is a very close second, at 9.25-9.5, making it a great alternative stone for a wedding ring or any piece of jewelry you plan to wear daily.

Price

Due to the way they are produced and marketing, moissanite costs a fraction of the price of a diamond.

Conclusion

Due to their gorgeous sparkle, precisely engineered cuts, durability, and attractive price points, moissanite is becoming an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings and jewelry alike.