What is Moissanite?

Origin and Growth of Moissanite

Moissanite, a silicon carbide mineral known as the "gemstone from the stars," was initially discovered by chemist Henri Moissan in 1893 within a meteorite in Arizona. Originally mistaken for diamonds, it was later identified as silicon carbide.

Found naturally in meteorites and subsequently in the Earth's upper mantle near Wyoming and inclusions in Russian rock, natural moissanite is exceptionally rare. However, since 1958, it has been exclusively produced in laboratories as a sustainable alternative to mined diamonds, thanks to advanced technology that ensures its traceability and minimal environmental impact.

As a result, moissanite has gained popularity in jewelry, particularly as the focal point in engagement rings, offering a stunning and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gemstones.

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Is a Moissanite a Diamond?

Composition, Optical Properties, and Hardness Contrasts

Moissanite and diamonds are distinct gemstones, despite their visual similarities prompting laboratory growth of moissanite. While diamonds are carbon-based, moissanites are silicon carbide-based.

Although a casual observer might mistake moissanite for a diamond, it exhibits a higher refractive index, resulting in more colorful light dispersion or "fire." Diamonds surpass moissanites in hardness, scoring 10 on the Mohs scale compared to moissanite's rating of 9.25.

While both gems share traits like dispersion, scintillation, and thermal conductivity, their composition and optical properties set them apart significantly.

Comparison Guide

MOISSANITE VS. DIAMOND

Moissanite

Composition: Composed of silicon carbide, moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral found in limited quantities on Earth, but most moissanite used in jewelry is lab-created.

Hardness: Second only to diamonds in hardness on the Mohs scale, moissanite scores 9.25, making it highly durable and resistant to scratching or chipping.

Brilliance and Sparkle: Moissanite: Known for its exceptional brilliance and fire, moissanite exhibits a dazzling sparkle due to its high refractive index, dispersing light into colorful flashes.

Color: Moissanite: Generally, moissanite exhibits minimal to no color and is graded on a color scale from D to K, with D being colorless and K showing slight yellow or gray undertones.

Cost: Moissanite: Moissanite is typically more affordable than diamonds of comparable size and quality, offering an excellent alternative for those seeking brilliance without the high cost.

Origin and Sustainability:Moissanite: Most moissanite available today is lab-created, offering an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to mined gemstones.

Popularity and Tradition: Moissanite: Growing in popularity as an alternative gemstone for engagement rings and fine jewelry, moissanite offers a modern yet timeless choice for those seeking brilliance and affordability.

Diamond

Composition: Comprised of carbon atoms arranged in a crystalline structure, diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle over millions of years.

Hardness: Diamonds are the hardest natural substance, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale, making them extremely durable and ideal for everyday wear.

Brilliance & Sparkle: Renowned for its unmatched brilliance, diamonds disperse light beautifully, resulting in a captivating sparkle with a play of light known as "diamond fire."

Color: Diamonds come in a range of colors, from colorless (D) to light yellow or brown, with color grades affecting their value and rarity.

Cost: Diamonds are traditionally more expensive due to their rarity and demand, with factors such as cut, color, clarity, and carat weight influencing their price significantly.

Origin & Sustainability: Mined diamonds have raised concerns regarding environmental impact, labor practices, and ethical sourcing, although efforts are being made to promote responsible mining practices and traceability.

Popularity and Tradition:Diamonds have long been synonymous with luxury, romance, and tradition, making them a popular choice for engagement rings and special occasions for centuries.

How to Tell a Moissanite from a Diamond

Differentiating between diamond and moissanite can be challenging without proper training.

The most effective method is to compare two similar-sized gemstones—one diamond and one moissanite—side by side. Diamonds have a distinctive sparkle due to their unique light reflection, color refraction, and scintillation. While moissanite also exhibits these qualities, it showcases more vibrant 'fire,' resulting in intense flashes of rainbow light, especially in larger carat weights, resembling a 'disco ball' effect.

For a definitive identification, consult a trained professional who can use a loupe to examine facet junctions for 'doubling,' confirming whether your stone is a diamond or a moissanite.

Benefits of Moissanite

Mining Free

Moissanite is Lab-Created, Minimizing Mining Impact.

Value

Moissanite Offers Exceptional Value per Carat Compared to Other Gemstones.

Durability

With a Hardness Rating of 9.25 on the Mohs Scale, Moissanite Is Ideal for Everyday Adornments.

Tips on Selecting a Moissanite

When shopping for moissanite, there are key differences to note compared to other gemstones.

While diamonds undergo grading for cut, color, clarity, and carat by independent institutions, moissanites are evaluated primarily for cut, color, and clarity. At Poet Robson, they are further categorized based on color as Premium or Super Premium, with Premium akin to a G-H color diamond and Super Premium comparable to D-E-F range. Due to advanced technology in moissanite creation, their quality shows minimal variation.

Consider if moissanite aligns with your preferences, especially in terms of its unique qualities like fire, scintillation, affordability, and durability, compared to diamonds, to determine if it's the right choice for you.

Moissanite FAQ's

Does Moissanite get cloudy?

No, moissanite does not get cloudy over time. Read our Care Instructions for tips on how to preserve, protect, and clean your jewelry.

How is moissanite made?

Moissanite is grown in a laboratory by professionals with advanced, specialized equipment.

How long does moissanite last?

Moissanites are strong, long-lasting gemstones. With proper care, moissanites can last throughout your lifetime and be passed down to future generations.

Are Moissanite stones high-quality?

Yes. Just like diamonds, moissanite is graded for color, clarity, cut, polish and symmetry. Our moissanites are considered top gem quality as they are colorless (D-E-F), high clarity (VS1 or better) and have excellent cut, polish and symmetry.

Is moissanite durable?

Moissanite is one of the toughest known gemstones which makes it perfect for an engagement ring, a piece of jewelry that is usually worn every day. Studies in high pressure research have shown that moissanite stone is highly resistant to breaking and chipping.

Does moissanite lose its sparkle?

Moissanite will not lose its sparkle as time passes. The clarity and color of the stone won’t change through the years. Dirt and grime are the only common elements that may inhibit a ring’s sparkle until it is cleaned. Damaging the surface of moissanite can inhibit sparkle, as it would for any gemstone.