Moissanite is a mineral discovered by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893 while studying a fragment of a meteorite in Arizona. This rare mineral is mostly found on cool luminous stars outside our solar system. Due to its stellar origin, moissanite is sometimes referred to as Stardust or Space Diamonds. Since it's rare to find moissanite in its natural form, all forms used for jewelry are lab created. Like diamonds, moissanite is composed primarily of carbon, with the addition of silicon (the same mineral used for computer chips).
Is moissanite the same as cubic zirconia (CZ)?
No! While both moissanite and cubic zirconia gems are lab created and more environmentally friendly than diamonds, moissanite is more similar to diamonds and the best diamond alterative!
First, like diamonds, moissanite is extremely durable. In fact moissanite is 3 times more resistant to breaking and chipping vs cubic zirconia.
Second, moissanite is more resistant to dirt and easier to clean vs cubic zirconia which will quickly become cloudy with wear.
Third, moissanite has a refractive index more similar to diamonds (2.65 and 2.42) vs cubic zirconia at a much lower value (2.15). Cubic zirconia looks more glassy and lack the sparkle and flash of moissanite and diamonds.
Moissanite is lab created so every stone has less environmental impact and can be traced back to its origin unlike mined diamonds. Moi promises that every moissanite stone we use will not only be of the highest quality (D color, VVS/IF clarity, and ideal/excellent cut), but also 100% ethically created and more environmentally friendly versus mined gemstones.
Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.65 vs 2.42 for a diamond resulting in more captured light and sparkles. It also has a scintillation of 20.4% vs 17.2% for a diamond resulting in more flashes of light as the gemstone moves. Lastly, it has dispersion of 0.104 vs 0.044 for a diamond resulting in brighter and clearer sparkles.
Moissanite is almost as hard as a diamond with a score of 9.5 on the Moh's scale vs 10 for a diamond. This makes moissanite the second hardest jewelry gemstone after diamonds. Additionally, moissanite is more heat/fire resistant than diamonds.
Unlike diamonds which reflect mostly white light, moissanite will reflect across a broader range of natural colors resulting in a more colorful and radiant shine. This can be most commonly observed in natural sunlight or fluorescent lighting.