Welcome to our fascinating journey through the history of moissanite, a remarkable gemstone with a story that spans over a century. In this article, we’ll delve into the origin of moissanite, its properties, and its relevance in the world of jewelry. So sit back, relax, and let’s embark on this enlightening adventure.

Over 120 years ago, a French chemist named Dr. Henri Moissan made a groundbreaking discovery. While conducting experiments to find efficient electrical conductors, Dr. Moissan stumbled upon silicon carbide—an incredibly rare mineral—in a meteorite crater located in Arizona. In recognition of his remarkable find, this gemstone was named “moissanite” in honor of its discoverer, Dr. Moissan.

Dr. Moissan dedicated the rest of his life to trying to recreate his extraordinary discovery, but unfortunately, his attempts were unsuccessful. It wasn’t until decades later that synthetic moissanite was successfully developed.

Key Takeaways:

  • Moissanite gemstone was discovered by French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan over 120 years ago.
  • The gemstone is named “moissanite” in honor of Dr. Moissan.
  • Dr. Moissan spent the rest of his life attempting to recreate his discovery.
  • Synthetic moissanite was later developed by researchers from North Carolina.

The Creation of Synthetic Moissanite

In the late 1990s, researchers from North Carolina developed a groundbreaking process for creating pure silicon carbide known as Moissanite. This synthetic material, also used in the production of synthetic diamonds, has a remarkable combination of properties that make it ideal for various applications.

Composed of Silicon Carbide (SiC), Moissanite possesses exceptional hardness, optical properties, and thermal conductivity. Its hardness ranks at 9.5 on the Mohs scale, making it one of the hardest gemstones known to man. Additionally, it exhibits remarkable optical brilliance and fire, rivalling that of diamonds.

Charles & Colvard, the original creator of Moissanite, played a vital role in bringing this stunning gemstone to the market. Through extensive research and development, they refined the process of producing Moissanite, resulting in a gemstone that offers exceptional beauty and durability.

“Moissanite is a gemstone that possesses extraordinary brilliance, offering a unique alternative to traditional diamonds. Its fire and sparkle capture the imagination of jewelry lovers around the world.”

The creation of Moissanite involves a complex and meticulous process. It begins with the growth of silicon carbide crystal in a laboratory-controlled environment. The material is then cut and polished to showcase its natural beauty and maximize its brilliance.

The entire production process of Moissanite takes approximately two to three months to create a single gem. This meticulous approach ensures that each Moissanite gemstone exhibits exceptional quality and meets strict standards.

The availability of Moissanite as a gemstone has transformed the jewelry industry. It offers an ethical and sustainable alternative to traditional diamonds, as natural Moissanite is incredibly rare. Consumers seeking beautiful, responsibly sourced gemstones with exceptional optical properties and durability often choose Moissanite.

Comparison of Moissanite and Diamonds

Properties Moissanite Diamonds
Hardness (Mohs scale) 9.5 10
Refractive Index 2.65 – 2.69 2.42
Dispersion 0.104 0.044
Color Colorless to near-colorless Various colors
Price per Carat More affordable Higher

As the table above demonstrates, Moissanite shares some similarities with diamonds, such as hardness, but also possesses unique properties such as a higher refractive index and dispersion. This results in enhanced brilliance and fire compared to diamonds. Furthermore, Moissanite’s affordability makes it an attractive choice for those looking for high-quality gemstones without breaking the bank.

By harnessing the power of science and technology, laboratory-created Moissanite has become a highly regarded gemstone option for jewelry enthusiasts worldwide. Its unique properties, eco-friendly production, and lower price point make it a desirable alternative to traditional gemstones.

Next, we will explore the geological occurrence of Moissanite and uncover its natural origins.

Geological Occurrence of Moissanite

Natural moissanite is an incredibly rare gemstone, with a fascinating geological occurrence that adds to its allure. Prior to the 1950s, the only known source of moissanite was from presolar grains found in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. These meteorites contained tiny fragments of moissanite, providing a glimpse into the gem’s unique properties.

Over time, additional sources of moissanite were discovered, expanding our understanding of its geological presence. One notable find was in the Green River Formation in Wyoming, where moissanite crystals were uncovered in sedimentary rocks. These natural moissanite specimens displayed stunning color and clarity, further highlighting the gem’s beauty.

Additionally, moissanite has been found as inclusions in diamonds and other ultramafic rocks, such as lamproite. Lamproite is a volcanic rock that often contains diamond deposits, and the presence of moissanite within these rocks provides valuable insights into the gem’s formation and occurrence.

An image showing the geological occurrence of moissanite, inclusions in diamonds, and other ultramafic rocks like lamproite:

geological occurrence of moissanite

The discovery of moissanite in these diverse geological settings underscores the gemstone’s unique origin story and contributes to its scarcity in the natural world. It is this rarity that makes moissanite a true marvel in the world of gemstones, captivating both gem enthusiasts and scientists alike.

Chemical Makeup and Properties of Moissanite

Moissanite, composed of silicon carbide (SiC), is renowned for its remarkable properties. This captivating gemstone shares a similar structural composition to diamonds and exhibits extraordinary hardness, exceptional optical properties, and impressive thermal conductivity.

With a robust molecular arrangement, moissanite can endure high pressures, making it an ideal choice for enduring and exquisite jewelry pieces. Unlike many gemstones, moissanite comes in a wide array of colors, ranging from dazzling whites to brilliant yellows and mesmerizing blues. Its exquisite beauty and brilliance are graded on the diamond color grading scale.

The Unique Qualities of Moissanite:

  • Hardness: Moissanite ranks at 9.25 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it one of the hardest gemstones known to man. Its exceptional hardness ensures lasting durability, offering wearers the peace of mind that their precious jewelry will retain its stunning beauty for years to come.
  • Optical Properties: Moissanite possesses impressive refractive qualities, resulting in a more vibrant and colorful brilliance when compared to other gemstones. Its doubly refractive nature adds an enchanting depth and character to its appearance.
  • Thermal Conductivity: Known for its exceptional thermal conductivity, moissanite effectively dissipates heat, ensuring that the gemstone remains cool to the touch even under prolonged exposure to external factors. This unique property enhances the comfort and wearability of moissanite jewelry.

In summary, moissanite’s chemical composition of silicon carbide (SiC) gives rise to its outstanding properties, from its extraordinary hardness and exceptional optical properties to its impressive thermal conductivity. This captivating gemstone is a true testament to beauty, durability, and innovation in the world of jewelry.

Lab-Created Moissanite

Due to the scarcity of natural moissanite, lab-created moissanite has become the preferred option for jewelry. With advancements in technology, scientists have developed a complex thermal method for creating single crystals of moissanite in laboratories. This process enables the production of high-quality lab-grown moissanite that exhibits the same exceptional beauty and properties as its natural counterpart.

Lab-created moissanite offers a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to natural gemstones. By avoiding the need for mining, lab-grown moissanite reduces environmental impact and supports ethical sourcing practices. Furthermore, lab-grown moissanite is widely available, ensuring a consistent supply for jewelry manufacturers.

At With Clarity, we pride ourselves in providing the finest quality moissanite for our customers. Our lab-created moissanite is classified as Type AAA, meeting the highest standards of clarity, color, and cut. With its remarkable brilliance and mesmerizing sparkle, our Type AAA moissanite rivals the beauty of any gemstone.

Lab-Created Moissanite Natural Moissanite
Eco-friendly and sustainable Limited availability and impact on the environment
Consistent quality and supply Relies on rare natural occurrences
Affordable and accessible Rarity drives up prices

Experience the magnificence of lab-created moissanite with our exquisite collection of jewelry. Whether it’s an engagement ring, a pendant, or earrings, our Type AAA moissanite will captivate and enchant. Embrace the brilliance of this remarkable gem, knowing that you are making a sustainable and responsible choice.

Lab-Created Moissanite Jewelry

Moissanite in Engagement and Promise Rings

Moissanite has gained significant popularity as the gemstone of choice for engagement and promise rings. Its unique characteristics make it an ideal option for couples seeking a stunning and durable symbol of their love.

One of the key advantages of moissanite is its exceptional durability. With a hardness rating of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, it is second only to diamonds in terms of hardness. This means that moissanite engagement rings can withstand the rigors of everyday wear without losing their brilliance or becoming easily scratched.

Moreover, moissanite is lightweight, making it comfortable to wear all day long. This quality is particularly important for individuals who prefer a ring that feels effortless on the finger. Additionally, moissanite is hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin.

When it comes to its visual appeal, moissanite offers a striking luster and brilliance that rivals that of diamonds. Its refractive index is higher than that of diamonds, resulting in a sparkle that catches the eye. Moissanite also offers protection against chipping, ensuring that the ring will continue to shine for years to come.

Another compelling reason why moissanite is a popular choice for engagement and promise rings is its affordability. Compared to diamonds, moissanite offers a more budget-friendly alternative without compromising on beauty or quality. This makes it an ethical and environmentally-friendly choice for environmentally conscious couples.

Moissanite comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes, allowing couples to find the perfect ring that suits their personal preferences. Whether you prefer a classic solitaire or a more unique halo or vintage-inspired design, there is a moissanite engagement ring that can capture your individual style.

Benefits of Moissanite in Engagement and Promise Rings:

  • Durable and scratch-resistant
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin
  • High luster and brilliance
  • Protection against chipping
  • More affordable than diamonds
  • Variety of shapes and sizes
Property Moissanite Diamonds
Hardness (Mohs Scale) 9.25 10
Refractive Index 2.65-2.69 2.42
Color Colorless Varies
Brilliance Higher than diamonds Varies
Cost Affordable Expensive

Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia

When it comes to gemstones, moissanite and cubic zirconia are often compared due to their similar appearance and sparkle. However, it’s important to note that these two gemstones have different chemical compositions, resulting in distinct characteristics.

Moissanite is composed of silicon carbide (SiC), which gives it its exceptional brilliance and durability. On the other hand, cubic zirconia is made of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), providing it with a different set of properties.

Characteristic Moissanite (Silicon Carbide) Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Dioxide)
Chemical Composition Silicon carbide (SiC) Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2)
Sparkle Both moissanite and cubic zirconia offer excellent sparkle and brilliance.
Hardness Moissanite is one of the hardest gemstones, ranking 9.25 on the Mohs scale. Cubic zirconia is less hard, with a rating of around 8-8.5 on the Mohs scale.
Color Moissanite is available in a colorless variety, as well as various shades of yellow, green, and gray. Cubic zirconia can be colorless, but it is often made to mimic the appearance of diamonds by having a colorless appearance.
Price Moissanite is generally more expensive than cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is more affordable compared to moissanite.

Overall, while moissanite and cubic zirconia both provide sparkle, they have unique qualities that set them apart. Moissanite’s silicon carbide composition gives it exceptional hardness and brilliance, making it a sought-after gemstone. Cubic zirconia, with its zirconium dioxide composition, offers an affordable alternative. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preference and budget.

Similarities and Differences Between Moissanite and Diamonds

Moissanite and diamonds are both stunning gemstones, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Let’s explore the similarities and differences between these two exquisite stones.

Sparkle and Brilliance

Both moissanite and diamonds have exceptional sparkle, reflecting light beautifully. However, moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds, which means it exhibits more colorful brilliance. This vibrant play of colors is a unique feature of moissanite, setting it apart from diamonds.

Refractive Properties

One of the notable differences between moissanite and diamonds lies in their refractive properties. Moissanite is doubly refractive, meaning it splits light into two rays as it passes through the gemstone. On the other hand, diamonds are singly refractive, with light passing through a single ray. This distinction contributes to the distinct visual appearance of these gemstones.

Mohs Hardness Scale

The Mohs hardness scale, which measures a gemstone’s resistance to scratches and abrasions, ranks diamonds as the hardest gemstone with a score of 10. Moissanite, although not as hard as diamonds, still boasts impressive durability with a score of 9.25 on the Mohs scale. This makes moissanite a suitable choice for everyday wear, ensuring longevity and minimal signs of wear over time.

Beauty and Affordability

Moissanite offers a stunning beauty that rivals that of diamonds, making it a popular alternative for engagement rings and other fine jewelry. Its impressive sparkle, combined with its affordability compared to diamonds, makes moissanite an appealing choice for individuals seeking a beautiful and cost-effective gemstone.

When it comes to selecting a gemstone, the choice between moissanite and diamonds ultimately depends on personal preference, budget, and the desired aesthetic. Both gemstones have their own unique qualities that make them highly sought after in the world of fine jewelry.


The discovery of moissanite by Dr. Henri Moissan and the subsequent development of lab-created moissanite by Charles & Colvard have revolutionized the Moissanite gemstone industry. With its unique combination of beauty, durability, and affordability, moissanite has become a popular choice for jewelry lovers. Its wide availability and range of shapes and sizes make it easy for anyone to find the perfect piece that suits their style.

What sets moissanite apart from other gemstones is its ethical sourcing. As a lab-created gem, moissanite eliminates the need for environmentally damaging and socially unethical mining practices. This makes it an attractive sustainable alternative for conscious consumers who prioritize ethical sourcing.

The Moissanite gemstone industry continues to grow as more people become aware of its benefits and beauty. Jewelers like With Clarity offer a wide selection of lab-created moissanite jewelry, ensuring that customers have access to high-quality pieces at affordable prices. From engagement rings to sophisticated necklaces, moissanite has established its place in the market as a stunning and sustainable gemstone, capturing the hearts of jewelry enthusiasts worldwide.


How was moissanite discovered?

Moissanite was discovered over 120 years ago by French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan while searching for efficient electrical conductors. He found silicon carbide—a rare mineral—in a meteorite crater in Arizona. The gemstone was named “moissanite” in his honor.

How is synthetic moissanite created?

Synthetic moissanite is created using a process developed by researchers from North Carolina in the late 1990s. This process involves creating pure silicon carbide, which is used for various products, including semiconductors, LED lighting, and drilling tools.

Where is moissanite found geologically?

Natural moissanite is incredibly rare and has been found in presolar grains in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, the Green River Formation in Wyoming, and inclusions in ultramafic rocks like lamproite from diamond mines in Yakutia.

What is moissanite composed of?

Moissanite is composed of silicon carbide (SiC) and is known for its hardness, optical properties, and thermal conductivity. It has a similar structure to diamonds and can withstand high pressures.

What is lab-created moissanite?

Lab-created moissanite is a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to natural moissanite. It is produced by creating single crystals of moissanite through a complex thermal method in a laboratory.

Why is moissanite popular for engagement and promise rings?

Moissanite is popular for engagement and promise rings because it is durable, lightweight, and hypoallergenic. It offers a high luster and protection against chipping, making it ideal for everyday wear.

How does moissanite compare to cubic zirconia?

Moissanite and cubic zirconia may look similar, but they have different chemical compositions. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, whereas cubic zirconia is made of zirconium dioxide. Both offer sparkle, but they are distinct gemstones.

What are the similarities and differences between moissanite and diamonds?

Moissanite and diamonds both have sparkle, but moissanite has a higher refractive index, resulting in a more colorful brilliance. Moissanite is also doubly refractive, while diamonds are not. Diamonds rank higher on the Mohs hardness scale in terms of hardness.

How has moissanite impacted the gemstone industry?

The discovery of moissanite by Dr. Henri Moissan and the subsequent development of lab-created moissanite by Charles & Colvard have revolutionized the gemstone industry. Moissanite offers a unique combination of beauty, durability, and affordability, making it a popular choice for jewelry.

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Last Update: February 7, 2024