Benefits of Moissanite
Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to Earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.
Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so moissanite available today is laboratory-created. After many years of trial and error, the particles Moissan discovered were successfully synthesized to produce what is now one of the world’s most scintillating gemstones.
Moissanite, referred to as a diamond simulant, is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. The durability, brilliance, and color of the two gems are quite distinct. One common property of both diamonds and moissanites is that they are both very good thermal conductors.
Moissanite vs. Diamond
Because they are grown in controlled environments using advanced technology, moissanites require absolutely no mining to produce. Therefore, their origins are easily traceable.
Compared with natural gemstones, lab created moissanites have a smaller carbon footprint and result in less environmental impact. Fine jewelry made with moissanites and recycled metals is a responsible choice.
While diamonds are graded on the 4 C’s scale (Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat), moissanites are graded solely on color. The cut and clarity grade is similar across different qualities of moissanites. At Brilliant Earth, we offer Premium and Super Premium moissanites. Premium moissanites are nearly colorless and can be compared to a G or H in color on the 4 C’s scale, and Super Premium moissanites are colorless, falling within the D-F range.
A common thought when considering a moissanite is whether or not the gemstone will pair well with natural diamond accents. Moissanites look beautiful when set in rings featuring diamond accents. The image above features an oval moissanite set in a diamond accented three stone setting.
Other Affordable Diamond Alternatives
If you are considering a moissanite engagement ring, you’ll find dazzling options in our Moissanite Collection that can be set in your favorite Brilliant Earth engagement ring settings. If you’re attracted to the lower price point in comparison to diamonds but have concerns about the color or brilliance, you may want to consider other diamond options.
The most effective way to tell moissanite apart from a diamond is to use a loupe to look through the top, or the crown, of the jewel at an angle. You will see two slightly blurred lines that indicates a double refraction, an inherent quality of moissanite. Double refraction is easier to see in some shapes than others.
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.
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.
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.
Moissanite is the only gemstone that passes as a diamond on a handheld point test. If you want a stone that resembles a diamond without a high price, moissanite is a great option. At the end of the day, preference comes down to personal taste.