Moissanite engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular due to the gem’s durability, sparkling appearance, and affordable price tag. If you’re considering buying one yourself or simply want to find out more about this diamond look-a-like, then you’ve come to the right place.
Our guide below covers everything you need to know about this scintillating gemstone, from its discovery and physical properties to how to choose a moissanite stone for an engagement ring or other jewelry setting.
Best known as a diamond simulant, moissanite is a lab-created gem made from silicon carbide crystals.
Moissanite was first discovered by the French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893 when he found small fragments of the gem at the site of a meteor crater in Arizona. He initially thought that he had uncovered diamonds, but later established that the crystals were made of silicon carbide.
Given that the only source of this gemstone is the site of its initial discovery, naturally-occurring moissanite is incredibly rare. It was only after many years of experimentation that the first synthetic moissanite stone was successfully grown in a lab. From that point onwards, virtually all the moissanite jewelry on the market has been lab-created.
Today, moissanite is advertised as an alternative to diamond and is used in all kinds of jewelry, from earrings and pendants on necklaces to engagement rings.
Given that the majority of the stones used in jewelry have been grown in a lab, moissanite requires absolutely no mining to produce. This means that tracing the origins of a specific moissanite stone is very easy to do.
Furthermore, lab-created moissanite has a reduced carbon footprint compared to natural diamonds and other gemstones, which means minimal environmental impact. In other words, purchasing fine jewelry made with moissanite gemstones is the more sustainable and ethical choice.
Although moissanite is typically described as colorless, there are some gems that exhibit a yellow or grayish hue under a certain light. These stones may be described as near colorless. Similar to diamonds, the size of the gemstone can play a role in how noticeable or apparent the color will be.
While many people will opt for colorless moissanite because of its close resemblance to diamonds, the gem is also available in various shades of brown, yellow, green, blue, gray, gold, purple, and pink.
Brilliance refers to one of the optical properties of a gemstone. It describes the way light is reflected from the interior of the gem.
Moissanite is famous for its brilliance, emitting a striking display of rainbow flashes that are especially noticeable in sunlight. While this fiery flash of colors is popular among those who love a big, bold look for their engagement ring or other jewelry piece, others view moissanite’s heightened brilliance as garish.
To put things into perspective, natural diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42. Moissanite, on the other hand, has a refractive index ranging from 2.65 to 2.69. However, it should also be noted that moissanite gems exhibit a different kind of brilliance to diamonds since their faceting pattern is different.
Gemstones are ranked according to the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, which measures a stone’s ability to resist surface scratching. A diamond is considered the most durable with a score of 10, followed by moissanite with a score of 9.25. This means that the only mineral hard enough to scratch a moissanite is another moissanite or a diamond.
Moissanite is often cited as a budget-friendly alternative to natural diamonds, which are some of the most expensive gemstones on the market. This makes them an excellent choice for those wanting a diamond look-a-like without the hefty price tag.
While diamonds are evaluated according to the 4 C’s (which stands for color, clarity, carat, and cut), moissanite gems are typically only evaluated based on size and whether the stone is Premium or Super Premium.
Premium moissanites are near colorless and are the equivalent of the G or H color for diamonds, while Super Premium moissanites are colorless and fall within the D-F color range.
When it comes to choosing a moissanite for an engagement ring or other fine jewelry setting, one criterion to consider is whether or not the stone will complement natural diamond accents. This is because pairing these gemstones is not only an effective way of bringing down the cost of an engagement ring without compromising on the design but also looks beautiful.
While they may appear nearly identical to the naked eye, it is possible to tell moissanite jewelry apart from diamond by examining it under a jeweler’s magnifying glass or loupe. When looking through the top or crown of a moissanite gem at an angle, you will see two blurred lines. These lines indicate double refraction, which is not present when looking at a diamond.
A moissanite gemstone will not lose its sparkle over time unless there is a build-up of grime and dirt on the surface of the stone. This can easily be prevented with regular cleaning using warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Moissanite is a rare, naturally occurring mineral comprised of silicon carbide, which was initially discovered by the French scientist, Henri Moissan, at the impact site of a meteor strike in Arizona. The new mineral was named in his honor.
Given that the only source of natural moissanite ever discovered was at the site of a massive meteorite strike, moissanite is one of the rarest minerals on earth. Fortunately, scientists found a way to grow silicon carbide crystals in a lab, which is how the majority of moissanite gemstones came to be.
There are only four precious stones: diamond, sapphire, emerald, and ruby. All other gemstones, including moissanite, are known as semi-precious stones.
With a score of 9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, moissanite is one of the toughest gemstones in existence. This makes it ideal for a range of jewelry settings and is suitable for everyday wear.
When using diamond testers that detect thermal conductivity, a moissanite stone will pass as an authentic diamond. This is because, unlike faux diamonds and most other gemstones, moissanite can conduct heat.
While there are some key differences between the two, moissanite is an excellent alternative to diamond, especially if you’re looking for a gemstone that looks like a diamond without the high price.
While they are both lab-created gems, there are several ways in which moissanite outshines cubic zirconia as a diamond look-a-like. First, moissanite is composed of carbon and silicon, whereas cubic zirconia is made of oxygen and zirconium. This makes moissanite much more similar to a diamond, which consists of pure carbon. Second, moissanite is rated 9.25 on the Mohs Scale, while cubic zirconia is only an 8 to 8.5. In other words, moissanite is the tougher gemstone. Third, moissanite exhibits a higher level of brilliance and better light performance. It’s also much more valuable and expensive than cubic zirconia.
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