More sparkle than a diamond, exceptionally durable, conflict-free and affordable: this may sound too good to be true, but the wonderful moissanite truly delivers on its promises. Read on to find out more about this remarkable stone.
A Gift from the Stars: The History of Moissanite
In 1893 French scientist (and future Nobel Prize winner) Dr Henri Moissan thought that he had discovered diamonds from outer space. His incredible find was contained in samples taken from the crater of the Canyon Diablo meteorite, which fell to earth in Arizona around 50 000 years ago.
It was more than a decade later that he realised that these crystals had a different chemical composition to the pure carbon of a diamond. Instead, they were made of silicon carbide, a substance not known to exist naturally on earth. In 1905, two years before his death, this mineral was named Moissanite in his honour.
The Source: Where Does Moissanite Come From?
Natural moissanite is too small to be cut into gemstones and incredibly rare, having been found in just a handful of locations since Moissan’s original discovery.
Moissan himself tried and failed to create synthetic moissanite and it took almost a century before scientists were able to develop a method for producing large silicon carbide crystals. In 1998 the first lab-created moissanite entered the jewellery market.
Buyers were immediately entranced by its phenomenal sparkle, ethical credentials, good value and durability. Demand for moissanite continues to grow every year and it is and increasingly popular alternative to the traditional diamond engagement ring.
Find out how moissanite compares to diamonds.