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What is moissanite?

What is moissanite?

If you have been engagement ring shopping in the recent past or are in the process now, jewelers may have mentioned moissanite as a “diamond alternative”. What exactly is moissanite? Where did it come from? Is it a diamond? What should you know before purchasing a moissanite engagement ring? We are here with the scoop and your questions answered so you can make the best decision. Let’s dive in with the FAQ’s!


What is moissanite?

Moissanite has affectionately been referred to as “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 particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a meteor crater (a meteorite) that fell to Earth. When discovered, Henri Moissan initially thought that he had found diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were not the same as diamond, instead they 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 is lab-created to have an appearance very similar to diamonds, but it’s inherent composition and in some ways even it’s visual appearance is quite different. The durability, brilliance, and fire of the two gems are quite distinct.


What is the hardness of moissanite vs diamond?

To rate hardness, the mohs scale of hardness is used. Diamonds are a 10 on the mohs scale, which is considered the hardest substance. Moissanite rates a 9.25 which means moissanite has a very high rating in terms of hardness (as a comparison rubies are 9 on the mohs scale and they are terrific for fine jewelry that is worn every day). It’s durability is very good, which makes it an excellent candidate for an engagement ring.


Do moissanites weigh the same as diamonds?

No. As they have a completely different chemical composition they have unique weights. Therefore, we don’t weigh and sell moissanite gems by the “carat weight” rather they are sold based on the measurement. This can be compared with a diamond however. A 1 carat round brilliant cut diamond typically measures around 6.5mm in diameter. Therefore, if you want your moissanite to have the appearance of a “1 carat diamond” simply purchase a moissanite that measures 6.5mm in diameter.


Do moissanite sparkle like diamonds?

Moissanite actually have more sparkle than diamonds. It’s almost like looking at a disco sparkly! This is due to it’s very high refractive index. Along with that, one of the most distinguishable elements of a moissanite gemstone is its fire or dispersion. Dispersion is caused as white light radiates through the gemstone on different wavelengths—each wavelength produces beautiful flashes of color throughout the gemstone. Moissanite have intense sparkle and fire back to your eye.


Is moissanite comparable to a cubic zirconia?

Not at all! Cubic zirconia is a man made stone made of zirconium dioxide. Remember, cubic zirconia, moissanite and diamond are all unique - they each have their own physical, chemical and optical properties.


Do moissanite have inclusions?

One of the most appealing characteristics of an engineered moissanite is they are very clear and virtually free of inclusions. This means they sparkle like crazy!


What color grade are moissanite?

Charles & Colvard have been pioneering the manufacturing of moissanite gems for nearly 30 years. Since 1995, they have set the standard for moissanite refinement and perfected the process. Today we have the Forever One moissanite by Charles & Colvard, which is colorless (a comparable diamond color would be rated DEF).

There was an evolution to the color grading. The versions called “Forever Classic” and “Forever Brilliant” were near colorless but today, go for the Forever One. They are simply stunning!


Is it true that moissanite tests as diamond?

Yes! A moissanite will test as a diamond on a diamond tester, however, a trained eye can easily detect moissanite under magnification.


Is moissanite good for everyday wear?

Being that moissanite stones have a rating of 9.25 on the mohs scale, they are an excellent candidate for every day wear, especially as a moissanite engagement ring. That being said, it is not indestructible. Like a diamond, a moissanite is prone to chipping if it is struck hard enough. It will break before it will yield so it must still be worn with the care you would give to any piece of fine jewelry.


Does moissanite have warranty?

Charles & Colvard moissanite come with a certificate of authenticity and limited warranty. Remember as with any warranty, you may be responsible for shipping costs to return the defective or damaged gem to them and you will have fees associated with having your new moissanite set.


Are moissante GIA certified?

No, GIA does not certify moissanite, however, all Charles & Colvard moissanite come with a certificate of authenticity.


Are moissanite comparable to lab grown diamonds?

Both moissanite are lab created but no, they do not share the same, physical, chemical or optical properties. But lab grown diamond and natural diamonds are both diamonds (some might say real diamonds) but their origin has a direct impact on their value or diamond price. For more information on lab grown diamonds please refer to our blogs entitiled “Should I Buy A Lab Grown Diamond?” and “Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Mined Diamonds”.


How do I buy a moissanite engagement ring?

Designers like Tacori, Simon G, Noam Carver and Parade Designs typically do not sell or set center stones in their engagement ring styles. This means you can have a moissanite set into any engagement ring you desire!  A solitaire, a diamond band, a three stone ring, a halo ring style...these will all work with a moissanite center. At Perrara, we will help you to choose your dream diamond engagement ring and then have our jeweler set the moissanite as the center stone right here on premises. It’s so easy and best of all you can get everything you want.


In Summary:

We hope this FAQ discussion of moissanite vs diamond has given you some insight into what moissanite is and if it’s the right center stone for your diamond engagement ring. We proudly carry Charles & Colvard moissanite instore have a selection at all times. Next time you visit, ask to see moissanite alongside a lab grown diamond and natural diamond option and we promise to help you choose the best stone to symbolize your love and commitment.

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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What is moissanite?

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What exactly is moissanite and how does it differ from natural diamond, lab grown diamond or a cubic zirconia? Your questions answered!

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