Frequently Asked Questions
Moissanite History & Facts
Moissanite is a rare, naturally occurring mineral also known as silicon carbide, which was first discovered by the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. Henri Moissan at the site of a massive meteorite strike in Arizona. This intriguing new stone was named moissanite in his honor, and Moissan spent the rest of his life attempting to recreate this rare mineral in his laboratory. It wasnât until the late 90âs that scientistsâ working in a research laboratory located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolinaâdeveloped the innovative thermal growing process that creates silicon carbide crystals. These crystals are fashioned into moissanite gemstones that rival any natural gemstone for fire and brilliance. These man-made gems are more durable than diamond, sapphire, ruby or emerald.
No. Moissanite is not a substitute for diamond, either scientifically, chemically or emotionally. Charles & Colvard created moissanite is a unique gem with its own set of chemical and optical properties that exhibit more fire and brilliance than any other gemstone.
A proprietary thermal growing process is used to create single-crystal raw moissanite gems. The process is lengthy, complicated and expensive, which limits the output (it takes 2-3 months for the creation of a single gem). Charles and Colvard'Âs proprietary manufacturing process and moissanite'Âs use as a gem currently makes Charles and Colvard® the leading source and global distributor of created moissanite.
Years of development have led to a rigorous process for the production of created moissanite, which follows exacting specifications and very high standards of quality control. The Charles and Colvard® Certificate of Authenticity certifies that every gem is an original product manufactured in meticulously controlled facilities by highly skilled specialists. Post production, all created moissanite undergoes stringent testing for quality and purity, along with four rounds of grading before being released for sale.
Because hand-cutting is the only way to release the brilliance that intensifies a gem'Âs fire, each and every Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone is hand-cut by master gem cutters.
Carefully and precisely hand-faceted, each Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone is cut according to the exact angles and proportions specific to moissanite to maximize its brilliance and enhance its incredible fire. While ideally cut diamonds reflect hearts and arrows, moissanite stones are cut ideally to reflect more light than an ideal cut diamond. The most popular moissanite cut is the traditional round brilliant cut.
The Charles and Colvard® employs Graduate Gemologists certified by the Gemological Institute of America. Each Charles and Colvard® gem is studied by a trained gem examiner using a 10x jeweler'Âs loupe for any inclusions that may affect moissanite'Âs optical performance.
The chart below compares moissanite with other popular gemstones, including diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire, on key characteristics such as hardness, fire and brilliance.
|Gemstone Comparison Chart||Beauty Brilliance Refractive Index (RI)||Fire Dispersion||Hardness mohs Scale||Durability Toughness|
|Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite Â®||2.65-2.69||0.104||9.25||EXCELLENT|
|EMERALD||1.58||0.014||7.50||GOOD TO POOR|
In cleavage direction, toughness is 'good'
*Except twinned stones
The most significant optical property affecting a gemstone's brilliance, or sparkle, is the Refractive Index or RI. The RI of moissanite ranges from 2.65 to 2.69, meaning it displays more brilliance than diamond (with an RI of 2.42) or any other popular gemstone.
No. Charles and Colvard® provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees that every Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone will maintain its brilliance and fire forever.
A gemstone'Âs fire is determined by a gemological property called dispersion. Dispersion refers to the prism effect that occurs when pure white light enters a non-opaque object, breaks into spectral (rainbow) colors, and reflects back to the viewer. Moissanite's dispersion is 0.104 and has 2.4 times the fire of diamond (0.044) and much more dispersion than ruby (0.018), sapphire (0.018) and emerald (0.014).
Moissanite's fire exceeds that of any popular gemstone, including diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. Fire can be measured scientifically; with a dispersion of 0.104, moissanite has 2.4 times the fire of diamond. No other gemstone or jewel compares to Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® with regard to fire.
No. Charles and Colvard® provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees that every Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone will maintain its fire and brilliance forever.
Color & Clarity
No. There are no likely situations in which the color of moissanite will be permanently changed. Moissanite does undergo a temporary color change when exposed to extreme heat (for example, from a jeweler'Âs torch during jewelry repair), but with proper bench techniques there will be no lasting damage, and the gem will return to its normal color once it cools.
There are three grades of moissanite available today: colorless D-E-F range, near-colorless G-H range and with faint hues of color in the J-K range.
Yes. Moissanite has needle-like inclusions that can be seen under 10x magnification. However, they are not visible to the naked eye and do not affect the clarity of the stone. It's worth noting that nearly every gem has some sort of inclusion. They are unique characteristics, which occur in the formation of the crystalline structure.
Hardness (Resistance to Scratching) & Toughness (Resistance to Breaking)
Yes. Moissanite is durable, tough and extremely resistant to scratching and abrasion. With a hardness of 9.25, moissanite is harder than all other gemstones except diamond.
No. Moissanite is one of the toughest known gemstones. Studies in high pressure research have shown that moissanite is highly resistant to breaking and chipping.
Yes. Moissanite exhibits more heat resistance than many other gemstones, including diamond. Tests prove that at 2000°F (higher than the equivalent intensity of a house fire) moissanite gems remain intact and as brilliant as the day they were created. This heat tolerance makes moissanite unlikely to suffer damage during jewelry repair.
There are five (5) methods:
- Determine if doubling of facet junctions is visible through magnification.
- Use a jeweler'ÃÂs loupe to examine the girdle of the stone. Forever One™ and Forever Brilliant® moissanite stones starting at 4.0mm and up are engraved on the girdle for easy identification.
- Examine for needle-like inclusions, typically perpendicular to the table facet, which are visible in moissanite under 10x loupe magnification.
- Examine for specific refractive and gravity indices.
- Use a tester specifically designed to distinguish moissanite from diamond.
Charles and Colvard Forever One™ moissanite is a triumph of art, science and sustained effort. Forever One™ is an unprecedented achievement created with higher quality silicon carbide and available in two color grades: D—E—F and G—H—I. Forever One™ allows discerning jewelers and selective consumers to thrill in the ownership of an heirloom—quality gemstone that fulfills every promise of purity and brilliance.
Forever Brilliant® moissanite also falls within the prized, near—colorless G—H—I range, but with a slightly warmer hue than Forever One™ G—H—I. Forever Brilliant® was developed through improvements to the crystal growing process from the original brand of Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® also known as Forever Classic™.
Forever Classic™ offers subtle color shades in the J — K range of the industry color scale, with faint undertones of green to yellow to gray.
Forever Brilliant® and Forever Classic™ allow consumers to own incredibly brilliant gems in a range of unique cuts and dazzling large sizes that would otherwise be out of reach for all but the most affluent.
Yes. Moissanite is available in various shapes and sizes. The most popular cut continues to be the round brilliant cut, and fancy cuts such as Asscher, cushion, oval and square brilliant are available as well.
The carat is the traditional unit of measurement for a diamond's weight. Moissanite is not measured in carats because it weighs approximately ten percent less than diamond. For example, a 6.5mm round diamond would weigh 1.0ct, while a 6.5mm round moissanite would weigh only 0.88ct. The two stones would be the same size — 6.5mm in diameter. All stones for sale are listed with their size in mm and/or the diamond equivalent weight (DEW) in carats.
Due to its rarity and unrivaled beauty, Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® is expected to retain or increase its value over time.
Moissanite Repairs & Care
You may clean moissanite the same way you would diamond or any other fine gemstone. As with any fine jewelry item, an ultrasonic cleaner can be used. However, it is best to be gentle with your valuable treasures. You can also clean your moissanite jewelry using a commercial (non-acid based) jewelry cleaner or with mild soap and water using a soft toothbrush.
Yes. Moissanite is an extremely stable material. It is durable, tough and highly resistant to scratching, abrasion, breaking and chipping. Its high heat tolerance makes moissanite very unlikely to experience damage during jewelry repair.
Yes. Re-setting your moissanite gemstone into a new piece of jewelry can be done by an experienced jeweler. Jewelry designers and manufacturers create their jewelry collections featuring Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® using techniques very similar to those practiced by bench jewelers.
Yes. You can engrave your moissanite stone after your purchase, after all, it is now a part of your personal story. Please be aware that any engraving done post-purchase on the stone will void Charles & Colvardâs Limited Lifetime Warranty.