What is Moissanite? A Beginner's Guide
If you're in the market for an engagement ring or other piece of fine jewelry, you may have heard of moissanite as a diamond alternative. But what exactly is moissanite? In this beginner's guide, we'll explore the basics of this beautiful gemstone and how it compares to diamond.
Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral, with the chemical composition SiC, or silicon carbide. It was first discovered by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893, in a meteorite that had crashed to Earth. It was later found in small quantities in natural deposits, but because of its rarity, it was never used in jewelry.
Fast forward to the 1990s, when scientists discovered a way to create moissanite in a lab. Since then, it has become a popular alternative to diamond in fine jewelry. Here are some key features of moissanite:
Brilliance: Moissanite is known for its exceptional brilliance, or ability to reflect light. In fact, moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, which means it sparkles more. It also has a high dispersion, which means it splits light into spectral colors.
Durability: Moissanite is a very hard mineral, with a rating of 9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness (diamond is a 10). This means it is highly resistant to scratching and can stand up to everyday wear and tear.
Affordability: Moissanite is generally less expensive than diamond, making it a great option for those who want a beautiful, high-quality gemstone without breaking the bank.
Ethics: Some people choose moissanite over diamond because it is a lab-created gemstone, and therefore does not have the same ethical concerns as some diamond mines. However, it's important to note that not all diamond mines are unethical, and there are also ethical diamond options available.
One interesting fact about moissanite is that it can pass most diamond testers. This is because moissanite and diamond have similar thermal conductivity, which is what diamond testers measure. However, there are some tests that can differentiate between moissanite and diamond, such as testing for electrical conductivity or UV fluorescence.
So, how does moissanite compare to diamond? While both are beautiful gemstones, they do have some differences. Diamond is still the hardest mineral, and is slightly more brilliant than moissanite. However, moissanite has a lower price point. Ultimately, the choice between moissanite and diamond comes down to personal preference and budget.
In conclusion, moissanite is a stunning gemstone with many desirable features, including brilliance, durability, affordability, and ethical concerns. It has become a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry, and is a great option for those who want a high-quality gemstone without the high price tag of diamond. Just be sure to do your research and purchase from a reputable source like Huerta Jewelry to ensure you're getting the gemstone you want.