What is Fire and How Moissanite Compares to Other Gems

Jul 12, 2017
What is Fire and How Moissanite Compares to Other Gems

What is gemstone fire? When light hits your gemstone and reflects, you see a sparkle and a prism of colors. These colors are known as fire. The gemological term for this is dispersion.

What gives a gemstone its fire?

A gemstone’s fire is determined by a gemological property called dispersion. When pure white light enters a non-opaque object such as a gemstone, it breaks into different wavelengths of light that are refracted by its internal facets. These spectral colors are the rainbow-like effect you see when you look at a gemstone.

Does fire affect price of a gem?

Yes, indirectly, a gemstone’s fire does affect the price of the stone because it shows the viewer how well the stone is cut. When properly cut, a gemstone will emit maximum fire and brilliance. If the stone is cut too shallow or deep, light will leak out of the stone, causing its fire to diminish.

When it comes to colorless and near-colorless gemstones such as moissanite or diamond, fire is especially important because it makes the stone appear more brilliant and lively.

Does moissanite have more fire than diamonds or other gems?

Moissanite’s fire exceeds that of diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, as well as other popular gemstones. As a scientific measurement, moissanite’s dispersion is 0.104, which means it has 2.4 times the fire of a diamond.

The further the opacity of a gemstone drops, or the more color that is added, the smaller its dispersion measurement. This is reflected in the dispersion of darker-colored gems:

  • Moissanite - 0.104
  • Diamond - 0.044
  • Ruby - 0.018
  • Sapphire - 0.018
  • Emerald - 0.014

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.

moissanite vs. diamond

Will Moissanite Lose Its Fire?

No, moissanite will never lose its fire. Charles & Colvard provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which guarantees that every Charles & Colvard created moissanite gemstone will remain as brilliant and have as much fire as the day you bought it. 

Extra Resources:


If you want more information on the properties of moissanite, visit our Moissanite FAQ page.

Find out how moissanite stacks up against other popular white gemstones, read moissanite vs. diamonds and moissanite vs. white sapphire on our blog. 
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