This is a collaborative post
You might be one of the few early adopters of moissanite as an alternative to diamonds. If you are already sporting a piece of extreme sparkle on your finger, you have Henri Moissan to thank. He was a French scientist who first discovered moissanite in the form of silicon carbide, all the way back in the 1800s. An interesting bit of trivia: Moissan’s discovery was made near the impact site of a meteorite, which led to a widespread belief that moissanite’s origins are in outer space. Unfortunately, exciting as this would have been, it is simply not true. Moissanite is processed from the mother compound, silicon carbide, which occurs naturally right here on earth.
What makes a stone a Moissanite, and not just a fake diamond?
Before we address this question, let’s take care of one major misperception first: moissanites are not fae diamonds, and were not designed to be “diamond lite”! They are an independently valid gemstones, that happen to visually resemble diamonds. The main factor that sets moissanites apart from diamonds, is the fact that they are double refractive. Refraction refers to the light-dispersing qualities of the stone, in other words, how the light that enters the stone, leaves it again, which is what creates the sparkling effect in gemstones.
Double refraction means that the light that enters the stone is split into two, creating an effect of letting out more light than it lets in. Based on this, moissanites are considered to be more than twice as bright as diamonds!
In addition, moissanites are almost as hard, and therefore as durable as diamonds. In fact, they are thought to be the second hardest substance on earth, second only to diamonds. The Mohs hardness scale rates diamonds as a 10, while moissanite scores a 9.5 – an almost negligible difference.
What colours are available?
As with diamonds, moissanites come in a range of tints, which are graded across a scale and which influence the overall value and desirability of the stone. The highest quality moissanites are clear and colourless, or remarkably close to this, and these are graded as D-E-F on the colour range. Although the nuances in colour are quite difficult to see with the naked eye, you will be able to certify the quality of your diamond upon purchase.
Moissanite sounds good – now convince me!
People who are looking at getting engaged, but who are limited in their available budget, can greatly benefit from moissanite, as carat for carat, you get a lot more stone for the money you spend on it when you buy moissanite rings. While an amount of money might only have resulted in a small diamond, you will be able to afford a much bigger and more dramatic stone for the same price in moissanite.
Because the stone is hard and durable, it is not easy to damage, chip, or scratch, and it can be worn in all circumstances where a diamond would have been alternatively suitable.
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