Were it not for French scientist, Henri Moissan, and his discovery of a cluster of silicon carbide in the 1800s, you might never even have known of the existence of moissanite! This now-well known discoverer lends his name to the jewel that has arrived on the jewellery scene, and which is giving diamonds a run for their money in terms of performance, durability and cost! Intriguing, isn’t it? Let’s take a deeper dive into this enigmatic jewel!
Where does moissanite come from?
The fact that Henri Moissan’s discovery of what we now know as moissanite was near a meteorite impact site, gave rise to rumours and mistaken beliefs that moissanite has extra-terrestrial origins. Romantic as the idea may be, it is however not true. Silicon carbide, the compound upon which moissanite is based, occurs naturally right here on earth. The only catch is that it is not very readily available, but to counter that, moissanite for commercial use is easily manufactured in a lab.
Not only is this much easier in the environment than mining, it is also a much cheaper process than the outlays associated with mining, not to mention the heavy ethical considerations that go hand in hand with the sourcing and mining of diamonds.
Is moissanite expensive?
Although it is considered a valuable gemstone in its own right, a moissanite wedding ring is far cheaper that diamonds, making it a great contender for a heavyweight gemstone at an excellent price. Far from being a cheap diamond knock-off, moissanite still offers the great opportunity for getting more carats for your money than you would have gotten from an equally-priced diamond. This is great news for couples on a budget, as moissanite puts a high-performance, heavy-hitting stone within your reach, without the need to compromise on appearance or quality. Moissanite rates 9.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, where diamonds score a ten. What this means in real life, is that the hardness, durability and appearance of moissanite is more or less on par with that of a diamond!
What are the colour options of moissanite?
Although you will not find a brightly-coloured moissanite, they do scale across a mild range of colour variations, known as tints. As with diamonds, the closer you can get to colourless, the more desirable the stone, and as such the colourless variety is also the most pricey. Colourless moissanites are classified in the D to F category.
G to I represents the range of semi-colourless stones, while J to K relate to yellowish stones. The yellower the stone, the lower its price will be, and the good news is – unless you are an expert-level, it is not that easy to distinguish yellower stones with the naked eye. If you are bound by a budget, keep this in mind to help you shave some more off the overall cost of your stone! As with any precious or semi-precious stone, the cut of your moissanite will be pivotal in making it come alive.