Moissanite (\ˈmȯisənˌīt\): the name given to a naturally occurring and lab-grown mineral made up of silicon carbide. It’s unique chemical structure elicits an unrivaled fire and brilliance and makes it one of the most durable gemstones available today.
What is moissanite?
Moissanite is a rare, naturally occurring mineral made up of silicon carbide. It was first discovered in a meteorite crater in Arizona by Nobel Prize winning chemist Dr. Henri Moissan. Moissan spent years trying to recreate moissanite in a laboratory, but was unsuccessful. Scientists spent two centuries researching and developing his techniques, and in the late 1990’s they had a breakthrough. Using innovative thermal growing processes, scientists in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina grew silicon carbide crystals in a laboratory. These processes allowed Charles & Colvard to create and cut some of the most beautiful colorless gems that rival any natural gemstone for fire and brilliance.
What are moissanite’s physical properties?
Moissanite elicits unparalleled fire and brilliance due to its unique physical properties. It has a greater brilliance refractive index at 2.65-2.69 than any other natural gemstone. This means that moissanite’s chemical structure and faceting enable it to slow down, bend and reflect light better than other gemstones. Similarly, it’s fire dispersion (measured at a 0.104) – the gemstone’s ability to split light as it passes through the stone, making a rainbow-like effect – outranks all other gemstones. When tested on the MOHS Scale, a qualitative scale characterizing the scratch resistance of various gemstones and minerals, moissanite came in second only to a diamond. This means moissanite is not only a tough gemstone, but a durable one that can stand up to daily wear.
Is moissanite a brand of diamond or a simulated diamond?
Moissanite is not a diamond substitute or a fake diamond – it is scientifically and chemically its own gemstone. Its unique chemical and optical properties allow it to exhibit more fire and brilliance than any other gemstone. Don’t just go for the “diamond standard,” go by your own standards and choose a gemstone that’s right for you.
For more information about moissanite’s qualities, refer to our Moissanite FAQ Section. If this article makes you want to shop for a new necklace or pair of earrings, check out our newest products! From fashionable stacking ring sets to embellished cross necklaces, we have a variety of socially-responsible jewelry options.