The origin of Moissanite, a stunning gemstone known for its brilliance and durability, has a fascinating history and origin that dates back over 120 years. Its story begins with the discovery made by French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan in the late 19th century. While conducting experiments on crystalline compositions suitable for electrical conductivity, Dr. Moissan stumbled upon a rare and remarkable mineral in a meteorite crater in Arizona.

Intrigued by this unique find, Dr. Moissan further examined the mineral and identified it as silicon carbide. As a tribute to his groundbreaking discovery, the mineral was named “moissanite” in his honor.

From that point forward, Dr. Moissan dedicated his life to replicating natural moissanite without success. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that researchers developed a process for creating synthetic moissanite by producing pure silicon carbide in laboratories.

Key Takeaways on the origin of moissanite:

  • Moissanite was discovered over 120 years ago by French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan.
  • Dr. Moissan found silicon carbide, a rare mineral, in a meteorite crater in Arizona.
  • Natural moissanite is extremely rare and mainly found as inclusions in diamonds and certain types of rock.
  • Researchers developed a process for creating synthetic moissanite in the late 1990s.
  • Moissanite is known for its brilliance, durability, and stunning optical properties.

The Journey of Moissanite from Space to Earth

Moissanite, a rare and remarkable mineral, has a fascinating origin story that traces back to its discovery in a meteor crater by Dr. Henri Moissan. Initially mistaken for diamonds, Dr. Moissan later identified the mineral as silicon carbide, a unique compound found in the Canyon Diablo, Arizona. This moissanite discovery opened doors to further exploration and analysis, revealing its extraterrestrial origin. Silicon carbide grains found in the Murchison meteorite provided concrete evidence of moissanite’s presence in space.

While natural moissanite is extremely rare, it can be found as inclusions in diamonds and certain types of rock. In its natural form, moissanite adds a touch of cosmic beauty to other gemstones. This exceptional gem’s extraterrestrial journey has captivated scientists and gem enthusiasts alike, making it a sought-after gemstone in the world of jewelry.

Exploring the Cosmos: Murchison Meteorite

“Silicon carbide is a mineral that has been identified in the Canyon Diablo meteorite.” – Dr. Henri Moissan

The extraterrestrial origin of moissanite was confirmed through the analysis of the Murchison meteorite, which fell near the town of Murchison, Victoria, Australia, in 1969. This meteorite is known for containing a vast array of organic compounds, including silicon carbide. This discovery provided further validation and insight into the cosmic journey of moissanite, enhancing its allure and rarity.

These cosmic gemstones hold a unique place in the world of jewelry, connecting us to the mysteries of outer space and adding a touch of celestial charm to our lives.

The Properties of Moissanite

Moissanite, with its chemical formula SiC, is a rare mineral composed of silicon carbide. It exhibits properties similar to diamonds, such as hardness and optical brilliance. Moissanite crystals have a structure held together by strong covalent bonding, allowing them to withstand high pressures. The gemstone comes in a range of colors and is graded on the diamond color scale. It also has excellent thermal conductivity and is commonly used in high-pressure experiments and semiconductor devices.

moissanite properties
HardnessMoissanite is one of the hardest gemstones, scoring 9.25 on the Mohs scale. This makes it highly resistant to scratches and everyday wear.
Optical BrillianceDue to its refractive index of 2.65-2.69, moissanite exhibits exceptional brilliance, clarity, and fire. It captures and reflects light beautifully, creating a stunning sparkle.
ColorMoissanite’s color ranges from near-colorless to various shades of yellow, green, and gray. It is graded on the diamond color scale, providing options to meet individual preferences.
Thermal ConductivityMoissanite has excellent thermal conductivity properties, which make it an ideal material for high-performance semiconductor devices and applications that require efficient heat dissipation.
DurabilityIn addition to its hardness, moissanite is highly durable and resistant to chipping, ensuring that it can withstand the demands of daily wear.

These remarkable properties of moissanite contribute to its popularity as a gemstone for both jewelry enthusiasts and industrial applications.

Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia

When it comes to gemstones, moissanite and cubic zirconia are often compared and mistaken for each other. However, these two stones have distinct differences that set them apart. Let’s explore the comparison between moissanite and cubic zirconia to better understand their unique characteristics.


Moissanite is a gemstone made from silicon carbide, while cubic zirconia is composed of zirconium dioxide. These different chemical compositions contribute to variations in their physical properties and overall appearance.

Gemstone Comparison

Moissanite has gained popularity in recent years due to its remarkable properties, making it suitable for various applications beyond jewelry. It is known for its exceptional hardness, ranking at 9.25 on the Mohs scale, making it one of the hardest gemstones. Moissanite also possesses excellent thermal conductivity.

“Moissanite is a gemstone that offers durability and thermal conductivity, making it a versatile choice for industrial applications.”

On the other hand, cubic zirconia is primarily used as a diamond simulant. It is known for its affordability and diamond-like appearance. While cubic zirconia may lack the hardness and thermal conductivity of moissanite, it remains a popular choice for individuals seeking an affordable alternative to diamonds.

Visual Differences

Moissanite and cubic zirconia also differ in their visual appearance. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than cubic zirconia, leading to a more colorful brilliance. Additionally, moissanite exhibits double refraction, causing facets to appear doubled compared to diamonds.

Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia

PropertiesMoissaniteCubic Zirconia
Chemical CompositionSilicon CarbideZirconium Dioxide
Hardness (Mohs Scale)9.258.0-8.5
Thermal ConductivityExcellentLow
Refractive IndexHigherLower
Double RefractionYesNo

As this table illustrates, moissanite and cubic zirconia have distinct differences in composition, hardness, thermal conductivity, and refractive index. These unique properties make them suitable for different purposes, whether for industrial applications or as diamond alternatives.

The Rise of Lab-Created Moissanite

As the demand for moissanite grew, the limited supply of natural moissanite became a challenge in meeting the market demand. To overcome this, scientists developed a breakthrough process for creating lab-created moissanite, ensuring a consistent and abundant supply of this stunning gemstone.

Lab-created moissanite is made using a complex thermal method that forms the gems in single crystals, replicating the natural beauty and durability of moissanite. These lab-grown gems possess the same optical brilliance, hardness, and fire as their natural counterparts.

Today, almost all moissanite used in jewelry is lab-created. This popularity can be attributed to the affordability and accessibility of lab-created moissanite compared to the scarcity and higher price of natural moissanite. Jewelry enthusiasts can now enjoy the elegance and sophistication of moissanite without compromising their budget.

Furthermore, lab-created moissanite offers several environmental benefits. By opting for lab-grown moissanite, consumers contribute to reducing the demand for mining, which helps in conserving natural resources and minimizing the ecological footprint associated with diamond mining.

Lab-Created Moissanite vs. Natural Moissanite

“Lab-created moissanite offers the same beauty and durability as natural moissanite but is more readily available and cost-effective.”

When comparing lab-created moissanite to natural moissanite, it is important to note that both exhibit identical optical properties, making it difficult to distinguish between the two with the naked eye. The main difference lies in their origin and availability.

Natural moissanite is a rare and naturally occurring gemstone found in limited quantities. On the other hand, lab-created moissanite is produced through a controlled process, resulting in a consistent supply of high-quality gems.

Both natural and lab-created moissanite have their own unique appeal and charm. Natural moissanite still holds a fascination for those seeking the rarity and natural allure of this gem, while lab-created moissanite offers a more accessible option without compromising on quality or beauty.

The rise of lab-created moissanite has revolutionized the jewelry industry, offering a sustainable and affordable choice for consumers who desire brilliance, durability, and ethical sourcing. The availability of lab-created moissanite has opened up a world of possibilities for jewelry enthusiasts, allowing them to express their style without compromising on their values or budget.

lab-created moissanite

Moissanite in Jewelry

Moissanite has become a popular choice for jewelry, especially in engagement and promise rings. Its exquisite luster and durability make it a perfect gemstone for everyday wear. Whether it’s the timeless elegance of a moissanite engagement ring or the heartfelt symbolism of a moissanite promise ring, this gemstone offers a stunning alternative to traditional diamonds.

One of the key advantages of moissanite is its exceptional durability. Unlike other gemstones, moissanite is highly resistant to chipping and scratching, ensuring that your jewelry remains beautiful for years to come.

Additionally, moissanite is lightweight and hypoallergenic, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods and suitable for those with sensitive skin. Its ethical and environmentally-friendly sourcing adds another layer of appeal, allowing you to flaunt your moissanite jewelry with pride.

The availability and affordability of moissanite are also noteworthy. As a diamond alternative, moissanite offers a brilliant sparkle at a fraction of the cost. With various shapes and sizes available, moissanite provides versatility in jewelry design, allowing you to create a piece that perfectly reflects your personal style.

Experience the beauty and brilliance of moissanite jewelry, and let it shine as a symbol of love and commitment.

Advantages of Moissanite in JewelryFeatures
Exceptional DurabilityResistant to chipping and scratching
Comfortable to WearLightweight and hypoallergenic
Ethical SourcingEnvironmentally-friendly
Availability and AffordabilityA stunning and cost-effective alternative to diamonds
Versatile Design OptionsVarious shapes and sizes available

Comparing Moissanite to Diamonds

Moissanite and diamonds are two popular gemstones with distinct characteristics. While they both offer exquisite sparkle, they differ in several key aspects.

Moissanite boasts a higher refractive index compared to diamonds, resulting in a more colorful brilliance that captures the eye. This vibrant play of light adds a unique allure to jewelry adorned with moissanite. On the other hand, diamonds possess a timeless elegance characterized by their unmatched clarity and brilliance.

In terms of hardness, moissanite surpasses many gemstones but falls slightly behind diamonds on the Mohs scale. While moissanite’s durability allows it to withstand everyday wear, diamonds remain the hardest natural material known to man.

One intriguing property of moissanite is its double refraction, causing facets to appear doubled when viewed closely. This phenomenon adds a fascinating dimension to the gemstone’s visual appeal. In contrast, diamonds exhibit a single refraction, resulting in a singular, scintillating display of light.

“Moissanite and diamonds are both captivating gemstones, each with its own unique beauty and properties.”

It is important to note that while moissanite may bear a resemblance to diamonds, it is a separate mineral with its own intrinsic qualities. Moissanite’s exceptional brilliance, combined with its affordability, has made it a popular choice as a diamond alternative in engagement rings and other fine jewelry pieces.

moissanite vs diamond

The Industrial Applications of Moissanite

Moissanite’s unique properties make it highly applicable in various industrial settings. From high-pressure experiments to electronics and thermal applications, moissanite offers a range of possibilities.

Diamond Anvils for High-Pressure Experiments

Moissanite finds its use in high-pressure experiments, specifically as diamond anvils. These experiments require a material that can withstand extreme pressures. However, using large diamonds for this purpose can be cost-prohibitive. Moissanite’s hardness and durability make it an excellent alternative, providing the necessary stability and enabling researchers to conduct critical scientific investigations.

Potential in Electronics and Thermal Applications

With comparable thermal conductivity to diamonds, moissanite holds potential in high-performance semiconductor devices and other heat-related applications. Its thermal properties make it ideal for devices that require efficient heat dissipation, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Additionally, moissanite’s optical properties make it suitable for specialized optical components used in various electronic systems.

“Moissanite’s exceptional thermal conductivity and durability have opened up new possibilities for industrial applications, ranging from high-pressure experiments to electronics. Its unique properties make it a valuable material in these fields.” – Dr. Samantha Wright, Materials Scientist

As researchers continue to explore the applications of moissanite, it is expected that its versatility and suitability for various industrial needs will become more prominent.

The Advantages of Moissanite in Industrial Settings:

  • High thermal conductivity, comparable to diamonds
  • Exceptional hardness and durability
  • Suitability for high-pressure experiments as diamond anvils
  • Potential use in electronics and thermal applications
  • Cost-effective alternative to large diamonds in industrial contexts

With its distinctive properties, moissanite continues to play a significant role in driving innovation and advancement across various industries.

Current Market and Brands

When it comes to the moissanite market, one name stands out as the pioneer in creating and marketing lab-grown moissanite: Charles & Colvard. In 1998, they introduced moissanite as a diamond alternative, revolutionizing the industry. Holding the patents for producing and selling synthetic moissanite, Charles & Colvard has played a significant role in establishing moissanite as a desirable gemstone.

Since the expiration of key patents, other companies have also entered the market, offering their own versions of silicon carbide gemstones. These brands have capitalized on the growing demand for moissanite and expanded the options available to consumers. With the market opening up, customers now have a wider range of choices when it comes to moissanite jewelry and loose gemstones.

Charles & ColvardLab-grown moissanitePatented production
MoissaniteCoMoissanite jewelryCustom designs
James AllenOnline moissanite retailerWide selection
Forever OnePremium moissaniteExtraordinary brilliance

These brands, including Charles & Colvard, have contributed to the growth and popularity of moissanite, offering consumers more options and ensuring a competitive market. With their unique features and high-quality lab-created moissanite, these brands continue to attract customers seeking ethical, affordable, and stunning alternatives to traditional diamonds.

The Future of Moissanite

The future of moissanite looks promising as it continues to gain popularity as a diamond alternative. As consumer demand for ethical and environmentally-friendly gemstones grows, moissanite’s availability and affordability make it an attractive option.

Advancements in lab-created moissanite technology may lead to new innovations and designs in the jewelry industry. The ability to create moissanite in various shapes and sizes allows for greater customization and creativity in jewelry design.

Moissanite’s unique properties, such as its brilliance and durability, ensure its continued presence in the market. Its high refractive index results in a stunning display of colorful brilliance, making it an eye-catching choice for jewelry lovers.

The affordability of moissanite makes it an excellent choice for those seeking to maximize their budget without compromising on beauty or quality. As diamond prices continue to rise, moissanite’s cost-effectiveness becomes even more attractive.

In the coming years, we can expect to see more moissanite jewelry hitting the market as designers and consumers recognize its value and versatility. From engagement rings to necklaces, earrings, and more, moissanite offers endless possibilities for creating stunning jewelry pieces.

“Moissanite presents a bright and sustainable future for the jewelry industry. Its eco-friendly and affordable nature, combined with its exceptional beauty, will continue to appeal to a wide range of consumers.”

Moissanite Trends to Watch

  • Rising popularity of moissanite engagement rings as a symbol of everlasting love and commitment.
  • Growing demand for unique and personalized moissanite jewelry designs.
  • Increased use of lab-created moissanite in fashion and statement jewelry.
  • Emergence of moissanite in wedding bands and anniversary rings as a timeless and affordable choice.


Moissanite, with its fascinating history and origin, has emerged as a sought-after gemstone in the jewelry industry. Discovered over 120 years ago by Dr. Henri Moissan, this unique mineral offers a stunning combination of beauty, durability, and affordability. Its hardness and optical brilliance rival that of diamonds, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an alternative to traditional gemstones. Whether incorporated into engagement rings or worn as standalone pieces, moissanite exudes elegance and style.

As the market for ethical and sustainable gemstones continues to grow, moissanite’s popularity is expected to rise. Its lab-created nature ensures a consistent supply that doesn’t harm the environment or exploit natural resources. Moreover, the affordability of moissanite makes high-quality gemstones accessible to a wider audience. With its exceptional properties and evolving technology, moissanite is poised to maintain its prominence in the jewelry industry.

The Ultimate Guide to Moissanite Jewelry: From History to Modern Trends

For those seeking a captivating gemstone with a rich history and a bright future, moissanite offers an excellent choice. Its remarkable journey from outer space to Earth, coupled with its exceptional properties, sets it apart from other gemstones. With its beauty, durability, and ethical sourcing, moissanite is not just a substitute for diamonds – it is a gemstone in its own right, ready to dazzle and inspire for years to come.


When was moissanite discovered?

Moissanite was discovered over 120 years ago by French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan.

Where was moissanite discovered?

Moissanite was discovered in a meteorite crater in Canyon Diablo, Arizona.

What is moissanite composed of?

Moissanite is composed of silicon carbide (SiC).

How is moissanite different from cubic zirconia?

Moissanite is made from silicon carbide, while cubic zirconia is composed of zirconium dioxide. They have different properties and uses.

Is moissanite natural or synthetic?

Natural moissanite is extremely rare, and most moissanite used in jewelry is lab-created or synthetic.

Is moissanite a good alternative to diamonds?

Yes, moissanite is a popular diamond alternative due to its beauty, durability, and affordability.

How does moissanite compare to diamonds?

While both offer sparkle, moissanite has a higher refractive index, more colorful brilliance, and is slightly softer than diamonds.

What are the industrial applications of moissanite?

Moissanite is used in high-pressure experiments, electronics, and thermal applications due to its hardness and thermal conductivity.

Who is the pioneer in creating lab-grown moissanite?

Charles & Colvard is the pioneer in creating and marketing lab-grown moissanite.

What does the future hold for moissanite?

The future of moissanite looks promising as it continues to gain popularity as a diamond alternative, and advancements in technology may lead to new innovations and designs in the jewelry industry.

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Last Update: March 5, 2024