Never heard of it? If you haven’t, you are likely to hear more in the near future as Moissanite is growing in popularity. But first, let me give you the breakdown of this gorgeous stone …
Natural Moissanite is a very rare mineral that was first discovered in fragments of the meteorite at Diablo Canyon or Meteor Crater in Arizona, and is typically found in iron-nickel meteorites. It was named in honor of its discoverer, Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Ferdinand Henri Moissan. The crystals available occur too small in nature to be set into jewelry. Synthetic Moissanite (also known as silicon carbide (SiC) after its chemistry or by the trade name, carborundum) is now becoming a popular choice for brides!
Moissanite grown in laboratories has hit the market place in the form of cut gemstones in a variety of shapes and sizes. Moissanite brings to the jeweler’s table a similar index of refraction and better than twice the fire of diamond, but is only slightly less expensive, due to the difficulty in growing the crystals. Moissanite is causing quite a stir in the jewelry markets.
Charles & Colvard Lab grown Moissanite is very hard to differentiate from diamond. It is very hard, rated at 9.25 (diamond is 10) and has a high index of refractivity of 2.6 – 2.7 (diamond’s IR is slightly lower at 2.42). Unlike other diamond simulants, Moissanite is highly thermally conductive, like diamond. It is this property that is used to test for the authenticity of real diamonds.
Moissanite is doubly refractive and a closer look should show double facet edges, whereas a diamond’s cut edges are singular in appearance. In the past Moissanite had a slightly more greenish look to the stone, recently there has been much more consistency in getting a whiter stone look. While the diamond grading scale does not technically apply to moissanite, for the purpose of comparison most experts compare Moissanite to diamonds in the I-J Color range & VS1-VVS Clarity.
They are a beautiful alternative to the diamonds at a fraction of the price. For more information visit moissanite.com