Everything you need to know about Moissanite
In this article we aim to answer all the questions you might have on Moissanites.
From the manufacturing side to the value and more.
We are however open to any other questions that you might have and would love to hear your comments.
What is a Moissanite Gemstone?
What is a Moissanite Gemstone? Moissanite is a synthetic lab engineered stone made of the hardest materials on earth. Often referred to as a diamond replacement due to it’s resemblance. It holds it’s own as a perfect choice for an engagement or wedding ring.
What is a Moissanite made of?
What is a Moissanite made of? Moissanite is naturally a Silicon Carbide which makes it one of the hardest materials on earth and also gives it an unmatched brilliance.
It has the chemical formula SiC which is considered a very rare mineral.
Often used for commercial and industrial applications because of its extreme hardness, optical properties / brilliance and conductivity.
Natural Moissanite is incredibly rare and never sold in it’s original natural form. The Amount naturally available will barely be enough to make a ring or two. After many years of toiling in labs, Moissanite was successfully recreated to produce what is now one of the world’s most magnificent gemstones.
Raw Silicon Carbide used to make Moissanite
How is a Moissanite made?
The manufacturing process. How is a Moissanite made?
The raw Silicon Carbide manufacturer and the Moissanite Polisher are not the same.
The raw materials are lab created according to certain chemical specifications. These specifications vary depending on the ultimate use of the material.
The sheer expense of creating the material prevents the manufacturing of large quantities, thus allowing a Moissanite to retain a certain level of exclusivity.
The polisher will select the raw material based on the quality and continue to cut the Moissanite into a desired shape similar to that of a diamond.
Much like a Diamond, the quality of the end result is a combination of the quality of the raw material as well as the ability and experience of the polisher.
If the raw material is great quality and yet the polisher doesn’t have the necessary skill, the end result won’t be great.
That’s why we look at both the material and polishing or cutting quality before we make a purchase.
It’s the perfect combination between craftsmanship and science.
The brief History of Moissanite.
First discovered in 1893 by scientist Henry Moissan in Arizona. This scientist would eventually win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The original Moissanite stone was literally born of a star (meteorite) that found it’s way to our planet.
Henri discovered the Silicon Carbide while excavating a meteorite crater called Canyon Diablo in Arizona. Needless to say at first the rocks / gems were thought to be diamonds due to their hardness and diamond-like properties.
The natural existence of Moissanite was questioned in the scientific and in gemological communities until very recently in the 1980’s.
Moissanite is mostly found in small quantities in meteorites, xenoliths and rocks like kimberlite which makes it extremely rare in its natural form.
Raw Silicon Carbide used to make Moissanite. Cut loosely into the gemstone shapes required.
Does a Moissanite Look like a Diamond?
Is a Moissanite a good Diamond replacement?
Is a Moissanite a good Diamond replacement?
The short answer is yes, a Moissanite and Diamond look very similar to one another.
To the average Joe in the street the stones would be indistinguishable. Many electronic Diamond testing devices would test it positive for being a Diamond.
In the trade however there are a few properties that tell them apart. The most apparent would be the way that it reflects light. Moissanites tend to display a rainbow-like color palette where Diamonds are more monotone.
A deciding factor whether to purchase a Diamond or a Moissanite largely depends on your budget. Perhaps the question is whether you want to spend more on a smaller Diamond or less on a larger Moissanite.
The visual appeal of a Moissanite is often better than that of a Diamond, making it a better option for the budget conscious.
If however your idea is to have a higher intrinsic material value to your engagement ring, then a smaller Diamond would perhaps be the answer.
Another deciding factor would be the durability of a Moissanite.
While a Moissanite is not indestructible, it is an extremely durable stone, making it a very good Diamond replacement for everyday wear in a ring. A Diamond however still remains the hardest of the two.
If your decision is purely based on looks, then a Moissanite wins by a mile.
This is due to the refraction rate of a Moissanite which is higher than that of a Diamond, giving it more sparkle.
Moissanites are Eco-concious.
What does that mean for the planet?
The process of creating a Moissanite is completely lab based. That means that there are no mines polluting the air or by-products being pumped into the rivers. The landscape remains largely unchanged.
The Diamond industry is following a huge trend towards ethically sourced Diamonds, the impact on the planet through mining is still hugely negative.
The human-factor also plays a large part in whether you choose Diamonds or Moissanite. Due to the cost of Diamonds, there is a huge global problem related to ‘blood Diamonds’. This comes at a great human life cost. Until the value or demand of Diamonds drop significantly this will remain a problem in the foreseeable future (despite the efforts undertaken by the regulators).
The polishing process of the Moissanite stone is a fine art.
Does a Moissanite have resale value?
Does a Moissanite have resale value? The short answer is not really.
There is a small resale value to a Moissanite but the value lies more in the visual appeal it gives you in an engagement ring. The fact that it saves you tens of thousands as apposed a diamond set engagement ring also carries some significant weight.
What you do pay for is the extremely expensive lab process and the ability of the manufacturer to polish and cut the Moissanite.
Are Moissanite costs Regulated?
Compared to a Diamond, a Moissanite is priced at a huge discount.
Diamonds are very tightly regulated through a global standard whereas Moissanites are prices based on the ’supply and demand’ principle.
Moissanites are priced different depending on the quality of the stone and manufacturing process.
Up till recently a company “Charles and Colvard” had the rights to be a sole manufacturer and distributer of Moissanite. This allowed them to charge a hefty premium for their stones.
As the market opened up for other manufacturers and suppliers, the costs became more directly related to the demand.
It’s very important to purchase your Moissanites from a reputable supplier to ensure you receive a good quality product. There are many manufacturers who are still cutting their teeth in this relatively new market, yet are selling substandard stones to clients who aren’t aware of what they are purchasing.
Moissanites that are prices too high aren’t necessarily the best quality.
Moissanites on the other hand that are priced too low, perhaps reflect a substandard manufacturing process. This is another good reason to talk to a professional Moissanite supplier.
As mentioned before in the article, the expense of creating the raw material prevents oversupply and allows the Moissanite to retain a certain level of exclusivity.
The polisher mounts the Silicon Carbide onto a
Moissanite gemstones that are nearing completion.