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1913 East Locust Street
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Expressions Jewelers specializes in creating custom & handcrafted fine jewelry and showcasing curated collections from designers around the world.

The Facts: Moissanite vs. Diamonds

Expressions Jewelers | Blog

The Expressions Jewelers Blog will help you discover custom designs, jewelry trends, gift ideas, care tips, and more for your jewelry collection (or the collector in your life).

The Facts: Moissanite vs. Diamonds

Mary Van Buer

Pinterest has revealed some surprising results in their 2018 Wedding Trends: Sweet and Simple report.

The top trends in engagement rings are Moissanite, Art Deco, and Oval shapes.

The social media website has reported a 294% increase in “pins” or saves about moissanite gems over the previous year, making it the fastest growing engagement ring trend. Despite the uptick in interest, many consumers are unfamiliar with the diamond alternative.

What is it?

Moissanite is a mineral composed of silicon carbide (SiC). Although it is naturally-occurring, it’s more commonly lab-created, as it has only been found in upper mantle rock and meteorites. Today it is engineered as a diamond substitute; however it truly is a gemstone of its own.

In 1893 the mineral was discovered by Nobel Peace Prize winning chemist, Dr. Henri Moissan in an Arizona meteorite crater. Moissan spent years trying to synthesize the mineral in his lab to no avail. It wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists were able to create silicon carbide crystals using an innovative thermal growing process. For over twenty years Charles & Colvard, the original creator of moissanite, has been using this process to create the gemstone for jewelry.

Dr. Henri Moissan (By sv:Generalstabens litografiska anstalt - Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1966, Public Domain)

Is it like a diamond?

Not at all. The most important point is moissanite is a completely difference mineral than diamond. While both stones usually appear near-colorless, they have other very distinct properties.

Moissanite from Charles & Colvard

Moissanite does indeed make a great alternative to diamond. With a hardness of 9.25 on the Moh’s scale (second only to diamond), this gem is well-suited for everyday wear. The brilliance and fire of moissanite are also remarkable. The gem has a refractive index of 2.691 making it the most brilliant gem. Fire (or dispersion) is the material’s ability to split light as is passes through the stone, creating a rainbow effect. The fire in moissanite is extreme and surpasses that of a diamond.

Because of the gem’s durability moissanite can be cut into numerous shapes, styles, and sizes. When considering a moissanite (or any gem) it is important to view in-person. Much like a diamond, you will want to look for a gemstone that has an appealing cut.

Why should I consider moissanite?

When you purchase a moissanite, you are buying a gemstone that requires no mining to produce, making it environmentally and socially friendly. Additionally, its origins are trackable, which makes moissanite a perfect eco-consciences choice.

In addition to the unique physical properties and sustainable features, moissanite has an economical benefit. Moissanite’s price per carat is far less than other gemstones, diamond included. Moissanite prices vary depending on quality and size but are dramatically less than comparable diamonds.

Whatever the reason you are considering moissanite, we can answer questions you may have regarding this brilliant and unique gemstone. Ready to browse? Visit our online showcase and see what is available!