What is Moissanite and where does it come from?
Moissanite is a rare mineral also known as silicon carbide, which was discovered by a French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893. The discovery of Moissanite happened in Canyon Diablo, Arizona. Henri Moissan was there examining samples from a meteorite when he discovered a crystal, which he first identified as a diamond. In 1904 he identified this new crystal as silicon carbide. Henri Moissan later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The new silicon carbide crystal was named “Moissanite” in his honour.
Eventually, silicon carbide was synthesized in a lab by Charles & Colvard. As said before, naturally occurring Moissanite is extremely rare, so it’s no surprise that most of these crystals on the market are made in a lab. It usually takes about 2-3 to create a single Moissanite.
Differencies between Moissanite and Diamond
Because of its appearance, Moissanite is very often mistaken for a diamond, but they have many differences.
On the Mohs scale of hardness, Moissanite has the number 9.5 out of 10. Diamond, on the other hand, is the hardest known mineral with number 10, which makes a diamond more durable. Another difference is the weight. Moissanite is 15% lighter than diamond.
You can also tell apart these two crystals by their colour. Diamonds are mined in nature and their colour can range from clear, white to yellow or grey. Moissanite, on the other hand, is created in meteorites, so you probably won’t be able to find it on Earth. Moissanites created in the lab are colourless.
Lastly, let’s compare the price of these crystals. Moissanite is much cheaper than a diamond. The price of a diamond is based on the cut, clarity and other important characteristics. Moissanites are usually the same price, that varies only based on the shape and size of the crystal.
There is also a difference between Moissanite and cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia tends to develop cloudy “effect” over some time. On the other hand, Moissanite stays clear every time.
Moissanite is available in many different shapes, such as pear, round, emerald, oval and cushion. Moissanite is usually combined with every type of gold – yellow gold, white gold and even rose gold. Moissanite engagement rings are usually cut in a round shape with small crystals around the band, which gives it a rich luxurious look.
Moissanite eternity bands became very popular over the past few years because of their clean and expensive appearance.
Moissanite stud earrings are usually seen in a classic round shape giving the wearer minimalistic, but expensive look.