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Moissanite History

Discovered more than 100 years ago in particles taken from an Arizona meteor crater, silicon carbide begins its journeys through a transformational process to become moissanite. This spectacular jewel of the 21st century, through the combination of advanced technology and proprietary processes is now carefully created by Charles & Colvard. Cherished worldwide, moissanite is acclaimed for its exceptional brilliance and dispersion of fire. Properties in moissanite exceed most popular gemstones and have greater fire dispersion than diamonds. Moissanite is also harder than ruby, sapphire and other popular gemstones and second in hardness only to diamonds. Moissanite's history truly showcases the feats of modern science and artisan skill in creating a jewel so universally appealing.

Around 50,000 Years Ago

Meteorite carrying a trace amount of silicon carbide crashes to the Earth, creating a meteor crater located in the Canyon Diablo area of Arizona. The meteor crater particles will not be discovered or examined until more modern times.

Making an Appearance

Samples from the Canyon Diablo meteor crater are given to French scientist Dr. Ferdinand Frederick Henri Moissan for examination. The small geological sample contains crystals with extraordinary sparkle that Dr. Moissan determines are a new mineral that he later named it silicon carbide.

Honoring Moissan

More than a decade later mineralogist, George Frederick Kunz, a gem expert and former vice president of Tiffany & Company, recommends honoring the discovery by having it named after Dr. Ferdinand Frederick Henri Moissan—moissanite.


Natural silicon carbide crystals were so rare and unrefined that it could not even be used to make a single pair of earrings; however, in the 1980s, after extensive research and development, larger crystals are finally produced and available for use in the jewelry industry.

A Brilliant Emergence

When a master gem cutter was first approached to cut and facet a small sample of silicon carbide, he was intrigued by the mineral and suggested that if the sample crystal was larger, an amazing jewel could be faceted. In another part of the country, Dr.Kurt Nassau, a world-renowned scientist in the field of physical chemistry and a gemologist expert in advanced crystal synthesis, predicts that if large gem-quality crystals of silicon carbide, also known as moissanite, could be created, a truly spectacular jewel with incredible visual characteristics would emerge.

Shining As Jewelry

Moissanite created by Charles & Colvard debuted in the jewelry industry and was first sold to retailers across the United States in 1998.

Uniquely Cherished

People across the world gift themselves and others with stunning moissanite jewelry, especially with a growing popularity of engagement rings, replacing a much more expensive option of diamonds. Charles & Colvard remains the sole source of moissanite, making the jewel available in fine jewelry and department stores around the globe.

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