The History of Moissanite
A French scientist named Henri Moissan, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, discovered natural moissanite in 1893. Moissan was studying samples from a meteor crater in Arizona when he came across a new unknown mineral. This mineral was later named in his honor as Moissanite. This mineral, found in upper mantle rock and meteorites, was scarce in its natural form so began the development of the technology to synthesize moissanite in a laboratory. Dr. Moissan spent the remainder of his life trying to recreate his extraordinary find but never succeeded.
In 1998, researchers from the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina developed and patented a process for creating pure silicon carbide (SiC). This was used in the development of many products that included semiconductors, LED lighting and extremely hard drilling tools and abrasives. It was then that the vision and innovation of Charles & Colvard, the original creator of moissanite, came to fruition.
Moissanite is the name given to a naturally occurring and laboratory-grown mineral. It has the the same chemical composition as a natural diamond. While Moissanite is a lab-created gemstone made of silicon carbide, Diamonds are natural gemstones made of carbon.
Moissanite is created through a process of extreme heat and pressure. This begins with a silicon carbide crystal placed in a furnace and heated to around 2,700 degrees Celsius. This causes the crystal to break down into its component parts: carbon and silicon. They are then placed in a chamber and subjected to incredibly high pressure, around 60,000 atmospheres. This causes the carbon and silicon to fuse together creating a new crystal called moissanite. The process of producing moissanite is lengthy, taking two to three months to create a single gem.
How is Moissanite Different from a Diamond
Moissanite is similar to diamonds in terms of its hardness and brilliance. The physical properties of Moissanite has a hardness rating of 9.5 on the Mohs scale as compared to a Diamonds hardness rating of 10.0. The Brilliance factor (rainbow-like sparkle) exceeds that of a diamond at 2.69 Brilliance compared to a Diamond having 2.42 Brilliance.
Moissanite is a chemically stable mineral making it resistant to damage from heat and chemicals. Overall, Moissanite is a high-quality gemstone that is an affordable alternative to diamonds. Lab created moissanite can be created in various colors, including colorless, yellow, and pink, depending on the specific synthesis process used.
Moissanite is an Eco Friendly Alternative to Mined Gemstones
Moissanite is good choice for eco-conscious consumers, as it does not require mining nor the environmental impact of diamonds.
Diamonds are mined from the Earth, which can hurt the environment. Mining diamonds can lead to soil erosion, groundwater pollution, and other forms of corruption. Since moissanite is created in a laboratory it has a much lower environmental impact.
It also does not have the same ethical considerations as diamonds. Diamonds are often mined in conflict zones, and the money from selling diamonds can be used to fund wars and other human rights abuses. Moissanite is a great choice if you are looking for an ethical alternative to diamonds.
An Affordable and Durable Alternative to Diamond
The increased availability of moissanite for use in jewelry due to its synthesis has contributed to its growing popularity as an alternative to diamonds. Its affordability, durability, and brilliance make it an attractive choice for consumers looking for high-quality gemstones in their jewelry.
Moissanite is so much less expensive because jewelers don't have to go through the costly process of mining for diamonds, which can significantly drive up the cost of jewelry. Lab Created Moissanite has fewer flaws than natural diamonds. It is often more brilliant and sparkly. Lab-created gemstones like moissanite offer an affordable alternative to traditional diamond jewelry without sacrificing quality or beauty.
Moissanite may have a lower hardness then diamond, but the difference is minimal. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, a tough and durable material. It is an excellent and more affordable alternative for those looking to achieve the look of a diamond without the expensive price tag.
Moissanite is similar to a diamond in appearance, as it has exceptional brilliance and fire that makes it hard to distinguish from a diamond without the help of a magnifying glass.
Over time, a diamond will slowly lose its sparkle as the surface becomes dirty or dulled. However, moissanite is different. This stone is known for retaining its sparkle for years, regardless of wear and tear. While damage to the surface of any gemstone can diminish its sparkle, moissanite is particularly resistant to scratching and chipping.
Moissanite is often cut to maximize its sparkle, while diamonds are cut to maximize its brilliance. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, meaning it will have more sparkle and fire. Diamonds have a higher brilliance, which gives them a white flash. Moissanite is known for its dazzling sparkle resulting from its double refraction properties. When light strikes the gemstone's surface, it is broken into two rays that travel at different speeds, resulting in more of the light being reflected the observer. While moissanite has 2 rays diamonds have only a single refractive index, meaning they don't disperse light similarly.
Moissanite possesses 5.7 times and 7.4 times more fire than ruby, sapphire and emeralds, respectively. There is no other gemstone, natural or man-made, that compares to the brilliance of moissanite.
4 C’s as it relates to Moissanite and Diamonds
Cut: Diamond and moissanite are both cut the same. The cut is the precise pattern you are using to create the faucets in your stone. These faucet patterns reflect light, giving your gemstone its brilliance and fire.
Color: Today there are three different color grades for Moissanite:
The diamond color grading scale is different because diamonds come in a variety of hues, ranging from colors D-Z. Diamonds have a larger color variety so they require professional equipment and a trained eye to determine a stone’s color grade.
Clarity: When determining a stone’s clarity, we are looking for any inclusions and imperfections. Because moissanite is essentially lab-grown we are able to control the clarity, so it allows for flawless grading in moissanite.
Carat Weight: Carat weight is not comparable between a diamond and moissanite because they do not weight the same. The physical weight of a diamond is measured in carats whereas moissanite is measured in millimeters (mm). This is because moissanite weighs significantly less than diamond. If you’re looking to achieve the look of a 1-carat diamond, you would select an 4mm moissanite.
Which one is better? In terms of price, color, durability, brilliance, hardness, and clarity? Moissanite outperforms diamond. Moissanite has more fire, more brilliance and more luster than a Diamond. If you’re looking for a beautiful and durable gemstone that is also budget-friendly, Moissanite is a perfect choice.