Creating an entirely new and unique category of jewel and jewelry, moissanite-chemically known as silicon carbide-is both exceptionally brilliant and amazingly unique. Believed to have been carried to the Earth in a meteorite 50,000 years ago in trace amounts, silicon barbide now has been created in a painstaking laboratory process and then hand faceted by master gem cutters to bring out an exceptional natural brilliance. Set into a fine piece of jewelry, moissanite produces the most fire you’ve ever seen-it’s unlike anything found naturally on Earth.
Moissanite’s characteristic sparkle is more than just a show of beauty-it’s also a testament to the superior science behind the jewel. Moissanite is known for its high refractive index of 2.65, greater even than the refractive index of diamond at 2.42. There is a correlation between a jewel’s refractive index and its brilliance. Simplified, the higher the refractive index, the more brilliance the jewel emits. In other words, moissanite’s brilliance outrivals diamonds’s. What’s more, moissanite’s fire of 0.104 is more than twice that of diamond (0.044). This means that moissanite emits more fire, or flashes of rainbow colored light than diamond. With more brilliance and fire than that of diamond or any popular jewel, moissanite is truly impressive.
Moissanite’s brilliance outshines every jewel, yet its exceptional durability should not be overlooked. Durability is commonly described to consist of both hardness and toughness; however, a third component of durability is stability. Hardness refers to the jewel’s resistance to being scratched or abraded and is commonly expressed as a number ranking (1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest) on Mohs relative hardness scale. Therefore, if you were to compare hardness between gemstones, a jewel can only be scratched or abraded by a material that has the same hardness or a higher Mohs hardness.
Although diamond is the hardest substance known to mankind, ranked as 10 on Mohs, moissanite is the second hardest jewel known to man, at 9.25. Moissanite’s ability to resist abrasion out ranks many popular colored gemstones and is second only to diamond.
The ability of a jewel to remain intact, withstand force (pressure) and resist breaking or chipping is known as toughness. Determined by a substance’s atomic and chemical structure, toughness can vary directionally within a jewel or gemstone. While both moissanite and diamond are rated excellent in toughness, moissanite has a different atomic and chemical structure than diamond. Moissanite’s atomic structre does not have a direction of cleavage (which sometimes is considered as a direction of structural weakness) like diamond does. Simply said, moissanite outranks diamond in overall toughness.
Stability is a material’s ability to remain intact or withstand exposure to temperature and chemicals. Moissanite can easily withstand temperature variations during the jewelry manufacturing process and reparies at the jeweler’s bench. In fact, moissanite has a higher vaporization temperature than diamond and can withstand temperatures reaching 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Moissanite is also very stable when exposed to various chemicals typically used during both manufacturing and jewelry repair. Moissanite remains impervious to solutions and acids typically used with jewelry manufacturing liquids that commonly damage other less stable jewels such as tanzanite or emerald.
With excellent hardness and superior toughness, moissanite is more durable than diamond and an optimal choice for a jewel that will truly endure.
Moissanite vs. CZ
At first glance moissanite resembles diamond and might be mistaken for diamond, a synthetic diamond or diamond substitute, but in fact, moissanite isn’t a diamond look-alike or a ‘me-too’ stimulant like cubic zirconia. Moissanite is an entirely unique jewel with highly desirable qualities. And when compared with cubic zirconia or CZ (perhaps the world’s most popular diamond stimulant), the differences are obvious, and moissanite’s uniqueness becomes even more desirable. CZ is an inexpensive simulated diamond look-alike and is inferior in almost every gemological property to moissanite. CZ is mass produced under a myriad of trade names and promoted with various brand names. Compared to moissanite, CZ has a lower Mohs hardness. It scratches and abrades easily which causes many consumers to say that CZ loses its surface luster after just a few years. Although CZ claims to scratch glass, many gemstones and jewels are ranked above glass in hardness and can easily scratch glass. Truly, there’s no comparison between moissanite and CZ. Moissanite continually stands out as superior.
Moissanite vs. Synthetics
The difference between synthetics and simulants might seem to be confusing as some synthetics could be marketed as simulants. Simply defined, a synthetic gemstone is basically the same as its natural counterpart and has essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties; however, it is created by man using laboratory processes. For example, a synthetic ruby is essentially the same mineral as a ruby grown by Mother Nature; however, the synthetic variety is grown by man in a lab. On the other hand, stimulants are created to resemble other substances or gemstones. Stimulants do not necessarily share similar properties. For example, a rhinestone might resemble a diamond or moissanite; however, a rhinestone is made of glass and doesn’t share similar properties with either diamond or moissanite. One of the most popular diamond stimulants or look-alikes is cubic zirconia. CZ is also a synthetic as it is manmade. Lab-created moissanite; however, is best known to be in a category of its own and is marketed and sold as a unique jewel.
Moissanite vs. Diamonds
Brilliant, durable and near-colorless diamond and moissanite are often compared. However, under closer examination, you can see that these two unique stones have several key differences. The most obvious difference is that moissanite and diamond are two entirely different jewels with distinctly different chemical compositions, physical characteristics and optical properties. Moissanite’s chemical composition is silicon carbide and diamond is composed of carbon. While both sparkle, moissanite actually has a higher brilliance than diamond when you compare refractive indices. Moissanite’s measurement of brilliance or refractive index (RI) of 2.65-2.69 is about 10% higher than diamonds RI of 2.42. Not only does moissanite have a higher refractive index than diamond, but its dispersion (fire) measured at 0.104 is nearly two and a half times more than diamond’s (0.044). Interestingly diamond has a natural affinity to grease and therefore it easily attracts grease which builds up on diamond’s surface and can reduce its luster appearance. Moissanite is less likely to attract grease, sparkling brightly even when it hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. Moissanie is also more durable than diamond and less likely to cleave into two pieces when force is applied. What’s more, today’s commonly promoted engagement ring diamond is lower in quality, and moissanite’s exceptional cutting is evident by the way moissanite out shines many diamonds. In every way, moissanite is a superior choice for beautiful, unique jewelry.
Discovered more than 100 years ago in particles taken from an Arizona meteor crater, silicon carbide begins its journeys through a transformational process to become moissanite, a spectacular jewel of the 21st century. Now, through the combination of advanced technology and proprietary processes, moissanite is carefully created by Charles & Colvard. Cherished worldwide, the jewel is acclaimed for its exceptional brilliance and dispersion (fire) – properties that in moissanite exceed most popular gemstones and are greater than diamond’s. Moissanite is also harder than ruby, sapphire and other popular gemstones and second in hardness only to diamond. Moissanite’s history truly showcases the feats of modern science and artisan skill in creating a jewel so universally appealing.
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