Approximately 50,000 years ago, a meteor fell with a fiery crash to Earth, bringing with it trace amounts of a rare mineral. Discovered ages later in an Arizona crater by French chemist Henri Moissan, at first the tiny crystals were thought to be diamonds as they had the same hardness and sparkle. It took eleven years for Moissan to realise his error and correctly identify the new mineral as a type of silicon carbide.
The mistake is forgivable though. The two gems are almost identical in clarity and fire, and moissanite is prized as a diamond substitution in scientific industries. However, its rarity made moissanite impossible to use commercially until just a few years ago, when the process to create perfect, clear moissanite in a lab was perfected. Now couples all over the world choose moissanite to mark their love with an ethical, affordable, beautiful gem that will last forever.
The Beauty and Durability of a Diamond at 1/10 Cost
Moissanite is made from silicon carbide, a crystalline compound of both silicon and carbon prized for its semiconducting properties. Though moissanite was initially manufactured in a lab for industrial and scientific uses, it was very quickly apparent that there was a market for this gemstone that had the same hardness as diamond with twice the sparkle. Since then, moissanite has become the most popular alternative diamond, and many customers believe that in terms of brilliance, it surpasses diamonds.
Second Hardest Substance on the Earth
On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, which measures a gemstone’s ability to withstand surface scratching, diamonds measure 10. Moissanite measures 9.5. This score makes moissanite one of the hardest substances on the planet.
Moissanite also has over twice the fire of diamonds, making it the gemstone with the highest measurable fire. Fire is what gives a gemstone a rainbow prism effect. Moissanite also has the most brilliance of any gem in the world. Brilliance is measured by the amount of light reflected back at your eye. In other words, moissanite is measurably more beautiful than diamonds.
In addition to its surface toughness, moissanite can also withstand much higher temperatures than diamonds. So although this stone might have been made in a lab, it will exist in the universe for millennia to come.