Moissanite (pronounced moy-sun-ite) is an alternative simulated diamond that has been of increasing interest over the last few years. With a fascinating history – it was discovered in meteorite fragments in 1893 – this mineral is actually extremely rare in nature. In fact there is so little, and the pieces are so small, that any Moissanite jewelry must be synthetic. Luckily for consumers looking to buy Moissanite, it is produced in quantity for gem use by dealers Charles and Colvard, who hold a patent for their method of producing the gem.
Buying Moissanite Jewelry Online
Finding Moissanite for sale online is easy, with Amazon being a great example of a reputable supplier, carrying a range of Moissanite earrings, Moissanite engagement rings, wedding bands and sets, and other general jewelry. Here is a look at some lovely pieces that are reasonably priced, and show the versatility of this stone. It’s worth noting that Moissanite is considered a better quality stone than Cubic Zirconia due to its hardness and brilliance. It is also a more complicated process to produce the gem, and these factors are reflected in the price to some extent.
Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia & Diamonds
Interestingly, Moissanite is harder than Cubic Zirconia, coming close to a real diamond in hardness measured on the Mohs scale, rating a 9.25 vs 8.5 for a CZ. One of the key differences is its much higher level of dispersion. Dispersion in jewelry refers to the ability of the gem to split light into it’s rainbow of separate colors. The effect of this is to give Moissanite an incredible rainbow color effect compared to other diamond simulants. This certainly makes it distinguishable from a real thing, at least to an experienced observer, but many buyers actually find this a desirable quality, with their jewelry having amazing brilliance and fire. A point to consider if choosing between Moissanite vs diamonds for your next piece of jewelry.
One of the only problems with Moissanite, and it certainly is something that can be worked around, is birefringence. This quality means that light travelling through the stone is split into separate paths, giving a slightly ‘fuzzy’ appearance to the internal lines created by the facets. This can be alleviated to some extent by careful cutting of the gem, which is one reason that a reputable dealer is worth the slight extra expense.
Moissanite is Silicon Carbide (SiC, also called Carborundum), and it is easy to mass produce the mineral using a mixture of coke or coal which is electrically heated to high temperatures. This process is done on an industrial scale to produce hundreds of tons of the material for use as an abrasive. However this process does not result in a gem grade material, being instead a coarse black mass. To make a true gem grade material a more controlled growth process is required. In a similar fashion to lab created diamonds, SiC is vaporized into a gas, and then introduced to a high temperature chamber containing seed crystals of Moissanite. This process can produce large crystals in less than a day.
Buy Moissanite Jewelry in Dallas
As with any gem, shoppers are advised that you usually get what you pay for. You may be able to find cheap or discounted Moissanite on auction sites like ebay, but be aware of the language used by some retailers and make sure to read the fine print.