A gem from outer space
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
One of our favourite stones, and it's from outer space!
Moissanite is a stone with more shine and fire than diamond but at a fraction of the cost. It was discovered by Henri Moissan (that sort of gives away why its called what its called), oddly enough, it was accidentally from a meteor crater!
It was almost mistaken for a diamond, but with further testing it was discovered to be Silicon Carbide as compared to diamond, whose chemical formula is Carbon. Yes, essentially it's graphite - the stuff that your pencil is made of - but we digress.
The crystalline compound, Moissanite.
The main reason that Moissanite was first mistaken for a diamond was due to its relative hardness and exceptional brilliance. Natural Moissanite is incredibly rare - even rarer than diamonds - and so today most Moissanite is created in a lab. It has the allure of being conflict free.
Why is hardness important? Well put simply, the harder the material, the less likely it is to become damaged – no scratch marks. Explaining the concept a bit more for those interested, if we were to measure both on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, Diamond, which is of course the hardest mineral known today, measures 10 on the Scale, while Moissanite is 9.25. Cubic Zirconia measures somewhere between 8 – 8.5
Moissanite has a relative hardness second only to diamond so it will not chip or scratch. It has a refractive index greater than that of diamond which means it shines more than a diamond and it costs much less than a diamond making it a great replacement gem for the budget conscious.
And there's always the option of combining both! Use Moissanite for the centre stone, and diamonds for the smaller, side stones.
Whatever you decide, make sure you have all of the information, and discuss all of your options with your personal jeweller