Moissanite Knowledge & History
WHAT IS MOISSANITE?
Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® is a unique near-colorless jewel made from silicon carbide (SiC) that outshines all others with its unsurpassed fire and brilliance. Moissanite, also known as silicon carbide (SiC), is a naturally occurring mineral found in limited quantities or as small particles in the earth. Moissanite is not a diamond simulant or diamond substitute; it is its own jewel. The rarity of large natural moissanite crystals prohibits their use in jewelry making.
For years, scientists tried to re-create this extraordinarily brilliant material. Only recently through the power of advanced technology has Charles & Colvard® developed a way to duplicate this unique and near-colorless jewel by producing large, gem-quality crystals. Moissanite is truly a unique and beautiful blend of art and science.
WHERE DID THE NAME MOISSANITE COME FROM?
Discovered in 1893 by French Nobel Prize-winner, Dr. Henri Moissan, the jewel was later named in his honor.
HOW IS CHARLES & COLVARD CREATED MOISSANITE® MADE?
Single-crystal moissanite is manufactured through a patented thermal growing process, the specifics of which are proprietary. The process is very difficult and expensive, thus preventing mass production. Today, Charles & Colvard® is the sole source and global distributor of created moissanite, with proprietary patents for the manufacturing process itself, as well as for its use as a jewel.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE PRODUCT AND QUALITY IN THE PRODUCTION OF CREATED MOISSANITE?
Every Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone is produced within exacting specifications and high quality control standards. The Charles & Colvard® Certificate of Authenticity ensures that every Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone is an original product which has been manufactured in controlled facilities by highly skilled specialists using the latest technology. Moissanite created gemstones are released for sale only after having met stringent quality control standards.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT MOISSANITE?
You can read and learn about moissanite at www.whatismoissanite.com
What makes moissanite “sparkle”? What characteristics of moissanite give it such exceptional brilliance?
The Refractive Index (RI) of a gemstone is the most important optical property affecting its potential brilliance (sparkle). With an RI of 2.65 – 2.69, moissanite displays more brilliance than diamond (RI 2.42) or any other popular gemstone, such as ruby (RI 1.77) and sapphire (RI 1.77). (See Chart below):
* In cleavage direction, toughness is "good" ** Except twinned stones
Will moissanite’s brilliance ever fade?
No. Charles & Colvard® provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees that every Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone will maintain its brilliance and fire for its lifetime.
Does moissanite have any identifying characteristics such as inclusions?
Though moissanite is not sold with eye-visible inclusions, needle-like inclusions are inherent to the crystal growth process and can be seen under magnification.
How is moissanite graded for clarity?
Using a 10x loupe, each individual jewel is examined for inclusions that may affect moissanite’s optical performance.
Is moissanite available in different colors?
Most moissanite sold today is near-colorless.
Is moissanite graded on the GIA diamond color grading scale?
No. The standard GIA diamond color grading scale is not designed to rate moissanite. Unlike diamonds, which range from colorless to brownish to fancy yellow, Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® can have slight undertones from green to yellow to gray to teal.
Can the color of moissanite change?
No. There are no likely situations in which the color of moissanite will be permanently changed. A temporary color change will occur when moissanite is exposed to heat (torch) during jewelry repair techniques. However, with proper bench techniques, there is no resulting damage and moissanite returns to its normal color after the jewel cools to room temperature.
Are moissanite jewels hand-cut or mass produced?
Every Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® gemstone is precisely hand-cut by a master gem cutter to create maximum brilliance which intensifies its ultimate fire.
What shapes are available?
While round brilliant continues to be the most popular cut for moissanite, fancy cuts such as castle, cushion, heart, marquise, octagon, oval, pear, princess, radiant, square brilliant, triangle and trillion are also available in limited quantities.
What gives moissanite its fire?
A gemstone’s “fire” is caused by dispersion – the property by which light is spread out according to its wavelengths (colors) as it passes through an object. Moissanite’s dispersion is 0.104 and can be calculated scientifically.
How does moissanite’s fire compare with that of other popular gemstones?
Moissanite displays 2.4 times more dispersion or fire than diamond (0.044) and much more dispersion than ruby (0.018), sapphire (0.018) and emerald (0.014).
Will a moissanite jewel ever lose its fire?
No. Charles & Colvard® provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees that every Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® will maintain its fire and brilliance for its lifetime.
Hardness (Resistance to Scratching)
Is moissanite resistant to scratching?
Yes. Moissanite is durable and tough. It is extremely resistant to scratching and abrasion. Diamond is the hardest gemstone used in jewelry but moissanite, with a hardness of 9.25, is harder than all other gemstones including ruby and sapphire.
Toughness (Resistance to Breaking)
Can moissanite break easily?
No. Based on measurable scientific studies in high pressure research, moissanite is extremely resistant to breaking and chipping. In fact, moissanite is one of the toughest jewels known to man and can stand the test of time.
Is moissanite heat tolerant?
Yes. Moissanite has heat resistance properties superior to many other jewels. Tests prove that at 2000˚F, higher than the equivalent intensity of a house fire, moissanite remains intact and as brilliant as the day it was created. High heat tolerance makes moissanite less likely to experience heat damage during jewelry repair.
How can moissanite be distinguished from other colorless jewels?
There are four (4) methods for distinguishing moissanite:
- Test using the Tester Model 590 or other testing devise used to distinguish moissanite.
- Determine if doubling of facet junctions is visible through magnification.
- Unique needle-like or micropipe type inclusions that typical are perpendicular to the table facet are visible only under magnification in a percentage of moissanite.
- Specific gravity and refractive index are important attributes in gemstone identification useful for a gemologist with appropriate equipment to identify moissanite.
Is it true that created moissanite can test positive as diamond using conventional testing equipment?
Yes. Near-colorless created moissanite has many similar physical properties to those of diamond and will test positive for diamond when using a thermal diamond tester.
Sales & Customer Service
Why is moissanite sold by millimeter and not by carat weight?
Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® is listed in millimeters because it is easier for a jeweler to order moissanite in millimeters to be able to determine the size needed for mounting. Also used is diamond equivalent weight (dew). This is the method by which most retailers are used to selling and consumers are used to buying.
Carat is the traditional measuring unit of a diamond's weight. Moissanite stones are slightly lighter than diamonds. For example, a 6.5mm round diamond would weigh 1.0 ct, while a 6.5mm round moissanite would weigh 0.88 ct. The two stones would be the same size - 6.5mm in diameter. All stones on Moissanite.com are listed with their actual size in mm and/or the diamond equivalent in carats.
Does moissanite retain its value over time?
Because of its rarity, unmatched beauty, and patent protection, Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite® is expected to retain or increase in value over time.
Jewelry Repair & Care
How do you clean moissanite?
You can clean moissanite the same way you would diamond or any other fine gemstone. As with any fine jewelry item, you would not want to dump all of your jewelry into an ultrasonic cleaner at once to guard against possible chipping, but your moissanite jewel is perfectly safe under normal ultrasonic cleaning. You can also clean moissanite with a commercial (non-acid based) jewelry cleaner or mild soap and water using a soft toothbrush.
How does moissanite hold up in repairs and sizing?
Moissanite is a highly stable material. It is durable and tough, extremely resistant to scratching, abrasion, breaking, or chipping. In addition, high heat tolerance makes moissanite less likely to experience heat damage during jewelry repair.