Moissanite, The Fake Diamond?

What is moissanite diamonds? How come any people say it was fake diamond?

Moissanite (read: moys-uh-nite), which is in the name of the chemical, Silicon carbide (SIC), is a natural mineral found in very small amounts in the earth. Moissanite scarcity make this gemstone cannot be used as a raw material for jewelry.

Moissanite was first discovered in fragments of the meteorite at Diablo Canyon or Meteor Crater in Arizona. It was named in honor of its discoverer, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Ferdinand Henri Moissan. Synthetic moissanite is also known as silicon carbide after its chemistry and by the trade name, carborundum. In the meteoritic material, moissanite is associated with tiny diamonds. Moissanite is also the trade name being used for new synthetic SiC gemstones.

Moissanite, in its natural form, is rarer than diamond. It has only been discovered in a small variety of places from upper mantle rock to meteorites. Discoveries have shown that moissanite occurs naturally as inclusions in diamonds, xenoliths, and ultramafic rocks such as kimberlite and lamproite. They have also been identified in presolar meteorites formed with grains called carbonaceous chondrites.


Moissanite and Diamond

As a diamond simulant, artificial moissanite is very hard to differentiate from diamond and can fool many gemologists. It does have many similarities. It is very hard at 9.25 (diamond is 10) and it is highly refractive with an index of refraction of 2.6 - 2.7 (diamond's IR is slightly lower at 2.42). Most important, moissanite and diamond are thermally conductive unlike other diamond simulants and unfortunately it is this property that is primarily used as the test for the authenticity of real diamonds. This causes Moissanite can pass diamond tester.

However, Moissanite is the unique character of the physical and composition different from the diamond. First of all, moissanite is hexagonal, not isometric and therefore it is doubly refractive unlike diamond. A through the face examination of a moissanite gemstone should show double facet edges whereas a diamond's edges are single in appearance. Moissanite is also slightly less dense than diamond and is rarely perfectly clear of color, having pale shades of green. Natural flaws are absent in moissanite, replaced instead by tiny, unnatural, white, ribbon-like structures that are a result of the growing process. The synthetic SiC known as carborundum has seen many uses in high tech ceramics, electrical components, abrasives, ball bearings, semi-conductors, extremely hard saws and armor.

Moissanite, Fake Diamond?

Having a higher refractive index than diamond, moissanite jewelry is the most brilliant of colorless jewels. Due to Its optical properties, moissanite has 10% more brilliance (light return from inside the jewel), 19% more luster (light reflecting from the surface of the jewel), and 150% more fire (white light refraction) than diamonds. Moissanite also has a lower specific gravity than diamonds; it is 13% lighter than diamonds by volume. These optical and physical properties translate to a physically larger gem of equivalent carat weight and clarity. While a 1 carat round brilliant cut diamond is typically 6.5 mm wide when cut to ideal proportions, a one carat moissanite should come out to be about 6.7 mm in diameter. Moissanite clarity is comparable to that of a VS diamond and its color can vary around I-J-K in the diamond grading scale.

Because moissanite and diamonds look similar and have a few similar properties, jewelry stores today market moissanite as the “other diamond”. Moissanite price is only 1 / 10 of Diamond price with the equivalent quality. Diamond is more expensive because the process requires many costs, such as mining, and price control.


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