Moissanite is a naturally occurring crystal which occurs in such small amounts and sizes as to be uncommercial.
It was discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan in a meteorite which had fallen to earth some 50000 years ago and landed in the Arizona desert. Dr Moissan started studying small fragments from this meteorite and made an astonishing discovery. Imbedded in it were tiny amounts of what looked like a new unknown jewel.
Although it occurs naturally on earth it is only in tiny quantities and commercially unviable.
Scientists could see its potential as a brilliant new jewelry stone and so set out to manufacture it in a lab. It's application as a jewel was immediately clear and so a new naturally occurring but also man made jewel was born. The process of making it is very new. It has only been commercially available in jewelry since 1998, so is only a few years old on the jewelry market.
It is exceedingly hard to make and the process to do so is kept very secret. It can only currently be made in reasonably small quantities.
There are a number of properties of jewels which are common amongst them and are therefore used for comparison purposes. These properties are beauty, colour, brilliance, fire and luster, durability and rarity.
The brilliance of a jewel is created by the cut. A diamond in it's natural state for instance is pretty unimpressive. Give it a proper design and use the diamonds natural refraction of light and it is beautiful. It is the cut that does this, however it is the qualities of the jewel which produce the brilliance once it has been cut. Brilliance can be measured by the amount of light which enters a jewel compared with the amount which comes back when put under a light source.
Fire refers to the ability of the stone to refract light back out in colours. The light rays break up into their original spectrum colours and that is what gives the jewel its special character.
Luster is the amount of light reflected back from the surface of the jewel.
Durability is the toughness, the resistance to scratching, chipping, or splitting. This is detemined by its hardness, and it is also the hardness which determines the brilliance.
Rarity is reasonably obvious. It is the availability of the jewel.
Moissanite equals or outperforms diamonds in just about all categories. In particular it has superior brilliance, fire and luster. The only category in which it doesn't outperform diamonds is hardness. It is slightly softer than diamond, but only very slightly, and is harder than all other stones. Jewellers can stuggle to tell the difference between diamonds and Moissanite. In fact there is now a specific instrument which has been developed to help jewellers to tell the difference between diamond and moissanite as it is so hard to see and so many cannot tell them apart.
It will not scratch or become cloudy with wear.
In 1999 the US imported 23.4 million carats (karats) of diamond and only .07 million carats of Moissanite. It is very rare.
There are other diamond substitutes available such as cubic zirconia or even glass. Moissanite outperforms all these admirably.
Moissanite is not really a diamond substitute though. It is a new jewel in its own right. It is just so good that it is immediately compared to diamonds which are always thought of as the best jewel.
If you are thinking of diamond jewelry then moissanite has to be considered. It is far cheaper than a comparable diamond. It is high quality. It is a great jewel. At the end of the day it is not diamond and so if you are determined to get a diamond then do so. But it is a very attractive alternative.
It is more and more becoming the choice of the stars.
Kim Cattrall's character, Samantha Jones, wore a brilliant white gold ring featuring Moissanite in an episode during the last season of the TV hit Sex and the City.
Kiko Ellsworth, one of Hollywood's "Hot" young stars wore a brilliant pair of 2 ½ ct. Moissanite "Martini Stud" earrings to the premiere of Bad Boys II, on July 9th in Los Angeles.
Many other stars have been seen wearing moissanite jewelry in the last few years. It is becoming the new fashion in jewelry. It is also becoming one of the most popular engagement ring stones.
Moissanite is the newest and certainly one of the best jewelry stones available. Moissanite is here to stay.
Find out more about Moissanite Bridal Rings, as well as Moissanite Engagement Rings and Loose Moissanite Stones at Peter's website, The Magic of Moissanite. © 2005 Peter Crump.