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What is Moissanite? A Unique Jewel
 
Intro

Creating an entirely new and unique category of jewel and jewelry, moissanite is both exceptionally brilliant and amazingly unique. Moissanite, also known as silicon carbide, was carried by a meteorite and landed in on Earth 50,000 years ago. In 1893, Henri Moissan, a French chemist began studying fragments of a meteorite found in Meteor Crater near Diablo Canyon in Arizona. In these fragments he discovered minute quantities of a new mineral, and after extensive research, Moissan concluded that this mineral was made of silicon carbide. In 1905, this mineral was named moissanite, in his honor. Today with advance technology, scientists were able to create moissanite in a laboratory process and then hand faceted each stone by master gem cutters to bring out an exceptionally natural brilliance. Set into a fine piece of jewelry, moissanite’s luster and fire attracts much attention.

Brilliance and Fire

Moissanite's sparkly characteristic is more than just a show of beauty; it is also a testament to the superior science behind the jewel. Moissanite is known for its high refractive index of 2.65, even greater than the refractive index of diamond at 2.42. There is a correlation between a jewel's refractive index and its brilliance. The higher the refractive index, the more brilliance the jewel emits. Moissanite is almost three times more brilliant than a diamond, which will emit more of a rainbow color than a diamond. With more brilliance and fire than any popular jewel, moissanite is truly impressive.

Durability/Hardness

Moissanite is an exceptionally durable jewel. Durability is commonly described as the jewel’s hardness, toughness, and stability. Hardness refers to the jewel's resistance to being scratched or abraded and is commonly expressed as a number ranking of 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest on the Mohs relative hardness scale. Therefore, if you were to compare hardness between gemstones, a jewel can only be scratched or abraded by a material that has the same hardness or a higher Mohs hardness. Diamond is the hardest substance known to mankind, ranked as 10 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite on the other hand is the second hardest jewel known to man standing at 9.25. Moissanite's ability to resist abrasion out ranks many popular colored gemstones and is second only to diamond.

Toughness

The ability of a jewel to remain intact, withstand pressure, and resist breaking or chipping is known as its toughness. Determined by a substance's atomic and chemical structure, toughness can vary directionally within a jewel or gemstone. While both moissanite and diamond are rated excellent in toughness, moissanite has a different atomic and chemical structure than diamond. Moissanite's atomic structure does not have a direction of cleavage, which sometimes is considered as a direction of structural weakness like diamond does. Simply said, moissanite outranks diamond in overall toughness.

Stability

Stability is a material's ability to remain intact or withstand exposure to temperature and chemicals. Moissanite can easily withstand temperature variations during the jewelry manufacturing process and repairs at the jeweler's bench. In fact, Moissanite has a higher vaporization temperature than diamond and can withstand temperatures reaching 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Moissanite is also very stable when exposed to various chemicals typically used during both manufacturing and jewelry repair. Moissanite remains impervious to solutions and acids typically used with jewelry manufacturing, liquids that commonly damage other less stable jewels such as tanzanite or emerald.

With excellent hardness and superior toughness, moissanite is an optimal choice for a jewel that will truly endure.

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