The History of Moissanite
Many people know all about diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and all the other common gemstones. However, not many of us know much about this gemstone, which is a rare mineral often used for industrial purposes and in jewelry. Since lots of people know little about this gemstone’s history, we decided to talk some about it today.
Where Was the First Natural Moissanite Found?
This is actually a very interesting fact. Moissanite was first discovered in some rock bits taken from a crater created by a meteor in Canyon Diablo!
It was discovered by a French chemist, Dr. Henri Moissan (hence the mineral’s name). However, he originally misidentified it.
At first, he believed that he had found some diamonds. Until 11 years after his initial discovery, he realized that it was a different chemical makeup and was, in fact, natural silicon carbide.
Side note: synthetic silicon carbide had been created two whole years BEFORE the discovery of natural moissanite!
As we mentioned above, moissanite is a rare mineral, made up of silicon carbide (or SiC, per its chemical formula). Loose versions of this gemstone are very hard, which is one of the qualities that makes it good for industrial purposes. It also has excellent thermal conductivity, as well as great optical properties.
Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia
It is important to note that this stone is NOT the same as cubic zirconia. People often make the mistake of calling any colorless gemstone that isn’t a diamond, cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is made from zirconium dioxide, whereas moissanite, as we mentioned, is made from silicon carbide.
About Lab Made Moissanite
Synthetic silicon carbide was created before the discovery of what would become known as moissanite. After the initial discovery, it was determined that the natural supply of the mineral was nothing even close to sufficient--even for small pieces of jewelry.
Thus, experts set to work on a process to create moissanite in labs. They began by forming the lab-created gems in single crystals, letting them develop and form using a complex and time-consuming thermal method.
Fast forward to today, generally, all moissanite for rings, earrings, wedding bands and other types of jewelry are lab-created. At With Clarity, we offer Type AAA, lab-created moissanite.