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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!


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.


Henri Moissan: Founder of Moissanite

Side note: synthetic silicon carbide had been created two whole years BEFORE the discovery of natural moissanite!




Chemical make-up


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.


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Moissanite Engagement and Promise Rings


Moissanite engagement, as well as promise rings, are popular today owing to their beauty. It is quickly gaining more popularity as a stone that has a high luster for a variety of reasons. Not only is it sturdy and durable, but moissanite also offers some protection against chipping from everyday wear. Lightweight and maintenance-free, it is also hypoallergenic making it a favored choice to sparkle on the finger. An ethical and environmentally-friendly way to showcase your forever love, this is a stone that is a good alternative to a diamond. Another key factor that contributes to the popularity of moissanite is the availability and cost of the stone. It is also extremely pocket-friendly and thus works well as a different and unique stone for an engagement ring or a promise ring. It is widely available and the fact that there are lab grown variants available makes it even easier to source.


Moissanites are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit every taste. From round cut to emerald cut to oval cut or heart shape, versatility is another integral aspect while considering this stone. Having been in the jewelry industry for years together, it wasn’t until recently that couples started to recognize the sparkle to enjoy in an engagement or promise ring. One of the hardest stones available today, they make for a good choice for either style of jewelry.


When it comes to differentiating between a lab grown diamond and moissanite, both offer a sparkle that catches the eye. Having said that, they both are completely different minerals and different hardness ratings. They aren’t the same gemstone. Lab diamonds are pure carbon while Moissanite is both silica and carbon. They have a higher refractive index than a lab grown diamond or a natural diamond, which helps them exhibit a brilliance that is more colorful than a diamond. Also, lab grown diamonds occur in every color while moissanite occurs in colorless, near colorless and yellowish-green shades. For those who will have it, moissanite is doubly refractive, which means that all the facets will look doubled as compared to a diamond that is singly refractive. Another point to consider is that while a diamond is 10 on the Moh’s hardness scale, Moissanite is a little softer with about 9.25 on the same scale.


Overall, both diamonds and moissanites are a beautiful choice for engagement rings, promise rings or jewelry.




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Henri Moissan Image Source: Wikipedia