For jewellery that tells a good story, it’s hard to go past moissanite! Mineral moissanite was discovered in 1893 by French chemist, and Nobel Prize winner, Henri Moissan. Moissan made the discovery when he observed crystals in rock samples from an Arizona meteor crater. He originally thought the crystals were diamonds, but he later revised his opinion, and this time he got it right. The crystals were, in fact, naturally occurring silicon carbide. Incidentally, just a couple of years before Moissan’s discovery, artificial silicon carbide had been synthesized in a laboratory. These days, both naturally occurring and lab-created silicon carbide go by the name moissanite, in honour of Monsieur Moissan.
Naturally occurring moissanite is very rare. By comparison, diamonds seem to grow on trees. Therefore, moissanite gemstones are invariably lab-created. Don’t be put off by that. Moissanite is an absolutely brilliant stone, and we mean that in every sense of the word. It has a refractive index of 2.65: the higher the refractive index, the higher the brilliance of the stone, and 2.65 is right up there! As a result, moissanite sparkles and bends light in truly magical ways.
Moissanite also ranks highly on the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamond is the hardest known mineral, with a Mohs score of 10; moissanite is not far behind on 9.25. Add in its ability to withstand heat and chemical exposure, and moissanite appeals as a gemstone that is as durable as it is beautiful.
The lab-made component means moissanite is becoming increasingly valued among those looking for a gemstone with a reduced environmental impact. But while you can see moissanite as an eco-friendly jewel, you can also see it as a wonderful stone in its own right. The extreme sparkle and fire of moissanite makes it a distinctive stone; an affordable but amazing alternative to diamonds, a superb engagement ring option, or just a fascinating way to treat yourself. If you want jewellery that’s part talking point, part fashion statement, check it out. Not every stone tells a story like moissanite does!