The Diamond is the reigning supreme gemstone, but if you want something different, there is a gemstone that looks remarkably similar to diamonds—the moissanite. Perhaps the biggest advantage of moissanites over diamonds is the price, for moissanites are considerably cheaper than a diamond. If you want a large carat, white gemstone, but don’t have the money for a large diamond, then the moissanite is the gemstone for you. Lower quality, smaller diamond tends to cost more than higher quality, larger moissanite stone.
So what exactly is the moissanite? What are its properties and value?
The Moissanite is a near-colorless gemstone that’s composed of silicon carbide. First discovered by Henri Moissan, a French scientist, moissanite was originally found in the crater left behind by a fallen meteor.
In its natural form, moissanites are very rare and has been discovered only in a few rocks from upper mantle rock to meteorites. Until the 1960s, no other source for moissanites than meteorites had been encountered. This makes it practically impossible to use natural moissanites for jewelry. Luckily, artificial silicon carbide had already been synthesized in the lab by Edward G. Acheson just two years before Henri Moissan's discovery.
Today, moissanite used in fine jewelry is almost exclusively lab-created. The process of creating moissanites can be controlled and regulated for the best and most consistent results in production.
Brilliance, which refers to a stone’s ability to reflect white light, is a good measure for how much a gemstone will ‘sparkle’. The moissanite has a refractive index from 2.65 – 2.69, which is higher than a diamond. This means that moissanites have a higher brilliance and fire (colored flashes).
Clarity refers to how clean or clear a gemstone is with respect to natural microscopic characteristics that exists internally during the process of creation. Inclusions are internal characteristics, and external characteristics of the gem are known as blemishes.
Because moissanites are essentially all lab-created using natural elements, we can expect the highest quality gemstone with the greatest care in regards to its clarity.
Color refers to the natural body color of a gemstone and not to the reflection of spectral colors that flash when it moves. The less color a gemstone displays, the higher the rarity, and therefore the higher the value.
Moissanites can vary in color based on its "Grade". They are available in the grade of J-M as "Greenish/Yellowish/Grayish", G-I as "Near Colorless", and D-F as "Colorless".
Gemstones are measured on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which assesses a gem’s ability to withstand surface scratching. Moissanite measures in at 9.25 on the scale out of 10 - the maximum on the scale, making it one of the most durable gemstone in world, bested only by the diamond.
Diamonds are priced measured by cut, clarity, size, and color. Moissanites, however, are priced based on size and color grade Because moissanite is so brilliant and durable, it has become a viable diamond alternative. It can be cut to almost all of the well known shapes, such as round, princess (square), radiant, cushion, emerald, and several others.
The finest moissanites are available here at GlowMe. Only "Colorless" moissanites, graded as D - F, are available on our online store. Check out our Moissanite jewelry collection here.