What is Moissanite?

If you’ve landed on this page, you’ve probably been doing your own research already into what Moissanite is. However, for hollistic purposes for this site we have included our own version of exactly what moissanite is and how it came to be here.

It's a gem stone

Diamonds, moissanite, rubies, emeralds, topaz, sapphire, cubic zirconia. All differnt gems, all beautiful, moissanite is one of the many sparkly stones you can buy. 

Let’s get real nerdy: Diamonds are made of the pure element carbon (C), Sapphires are made of mostly aluminium oxide (Al2O3 with some other cool stuff mixed in) and Moissanite is silicon carbide (SiC). When these little elements all come together and form solids, they are super hard and sparkly. Yeh, that’s pretty sic hey?

The reason why Moissanite can be so favourably compared to Diamond for so many chemical properties, is that silicon belongs to the same period group as carbon, so it forms similar chemical bonds. If you don’t think it’s neat well then I can’t help you.

How did we find it?

This is probably the COOLEST thing about Moissanite: it was discovered from a METEOR (Canyon Diablo, left). In 1893, A french bloke called Moissan found the silicon carbide in a crater in Arizona- and shockingly (!) thought it was diamond to begin with. Naturally occuring moissanite is very rare- only in meteorite fragments do we find the compound. All moissanite that you can buy is manufactured.

...Ok so, we know what it's made of and where it came from, what does that mean for my jewellery exactly?

The properties of Moissanite are what make it the best diamond alternative on the market. The usual comparisons that are made are

 

hardness (read: how long will the moissanite last?)

Most comparisons use something called the Moh’s scale, this is a scientific way of saying how hard something is. This isn’t a great way of describing hardness as people don’t really know what on earth a ‘Moh’ is worth. 

Simply put, Diamonds are at the top with a 10 which is why we use them for drills and such. Moissanite sneaks in at 9.25, so although we don’t recommend putting your engagement ring on the end of a drill, it certainly isn’t going to chip or be worn down over time. For all intents and purposes, Moissanite is just as lasting as a diamond.

colour (bright white or dull yellow?)

Because moissanite gems are lab created, and if you choose a trusted retailer,  they are almost always DEF colour – the diamond grade for whitest white (left). Choosing a natural diamond means that you have to find a happy medium between the colour, and the price. High grade colours command high prices, and unfortunately the colour of the diamond is one of the most obvious features if you compromise on it.

refractory index (read: sparkle sparkle)

For this particular category, Moissanite actually has a HIGHER refractory index. This means that the light reflects better in the moissanite gem than in a diamond. For some people, they dislike this feature, calling it “the disco ball” effect. We at Gemroe say if you’re buying a diamond for it’s sparkle and beauty, why on earth wouldn’t you go sparklier by getting a moissanite instead?

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