Moissanites are harder than a Sapphire and sparklier than a Diamond, but ring in at a fraction of the price. With such a long list of virtues it's not hard to understand how they've taken the jewellery world by storm.
Often confused with Diamonds, Moissanites are actually a unique gemstone all their own. Chemically, they're a silicon carbide (whereas Diamonds are famously solely composed of carbon.)
Unlike Diamonds, they're actually extremely rare in nature, and have mostly been found in material from outer space! Natural Moissanite was first discovered in Arizona in 1893 by Nobel Prize winning chemist Dr. Henri Moissan, who found the tiny crystals while analyzing meteorites. Due to their ultra-rare nature, all Moissanites used in jewellery are lab-grown.
What is the Difference Between Moissanites and Diamonds?
Moissanites are a 9.25-9.50 on the Mohs hardness scale, which makes them one of the only known minerals, other than Diamond, which is harder than a Sapphire. When it comes to their trademark sparkle, it's all thanks to their superior refractive index, which is also one of the highest of any known gem. At 2.5-2.69, it even beats out a glittering Diamond (which is a 2.42). This high refractive index means that light entering a Moissanite actually slows down, allowing it to be bounced off its facets and reflected back to your eye as fiery sparkle and spectral (rainbow) colours!
Another key difference? Moissanites are doubly refractive versus singly refractive Diamonds. This is one of the only tells for non-expert eagle eyes trying to tell the difference between Diamonds and Moissanites. Upon very close inspection (likely requiring a loupe) the appearance of their facets will appear "doubled," almost like being in front of a mirror.
Overall, these super sparkling gems are eye-catching, resilient to daily wear and extremely budget-friendly. It makes them an ideal option for adding a little brilliance to your collection, whether you're looking for an alternative engagement ring, travel-safe jewel, or some spotlight-stealing earrings or party pieces.