Discussing Moissanite Against Genuine Diamond in the Context of Today's Evolving Jewelry Societies

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Moissanite is affordable to many, however other diamond simulants like cubic zirconia, synthetic spinel or man-made colorless sapphires are usually a little less costly in comparison. The traits of moissanite that differentiate it visually from these other gemstones are usually the selling points to which people find themselves drawn to.

One noticeable characteristic of moissanite is its high level of dispersion. This allows it to showcase more "fire" or the spectral flashes of color you would see when rocking and tilting the stone under light. moissanite possesses a dispersion rate of 0.104, compared to diamond's lesser dispersion rate of 0.044. We can see through these numbers alone that moissanite's fire would most likely show up stronger than an equivalent quality of diamond. Now, to some this is a good thing, but there are also many jewelry lovers who describe moissanite's fire to have a "disco ball" effect, which might mean that its fiery appearance is too flashy for their taste. Personal preference has a major hand in the present moissanite demand on the market.

Moissanite is a Diamond Simulant / Imitation. It is Very Different from Natural OR Man-Made Diamond, Because it Possesses an Entirely Different Chemical Structure and Composition.

The stone's refractive index is also higher than diamond's, being at 2.65 to 2.69. Moissanite is actually a doubly refractive stone, unlike diamond or Cubic Zirconia. This means that once light enters its interior, it bends and changes direction slightly.

Moissanite can sometimes show "doubling", especially when viewed under a microscope. This can be observed by looking through the stone in magnification, and staring at either the back-facets or inclusions. Be careful though when testing this way, as the stone will have certain directions that will not showcase the doubling effect. This would be called an optic axis direction, and all doubly refractive gems (anisotropic gemstones) have at least one, depending on their crystal symmetry.

Hardness is another trait that moissanite scores well in. It belongs to the rate of 9.25 on the Moh's scale, which is even higher than ruby or sapphire. Diamond still reigns as the hardest mineral though at a Moh's rate of 10.

Virtually all moissanite you would see in the jewelry trade is man-made. The natural counterpart was discovered by a man named Henry Moissan back in 1893. These crystals are usually quite small and incredibly rare, so their usage in the jewelry trade would not merit much following. The stone's brilliance and optical properties though, gave scientists the motive to create synthetic versions using a process called sublimation.

Despite moissanite's diamond-like qualities, many specimens also tend to look a little greenish or grayish, depending on the quality of their production. This is one of the more negative observations regarding moissanite as a diamond simulant, however the best batches of man-made moissanite do not possess such a degree of color overcast, and instead can look very much similar to traditional colorless diamonds.

Today, the industry often uses "moissanite testers" to scan for these gems, as the standard electronic diamond testers can miss them (due to moissanite's high thermal conductivity).

Gemcamp Laboratories

A Discovery Institute for Gemstones and Gemology

Our resident gemologists believe in encouraging public trust within the jewellery industry through shared education, value transparency and professionalism.


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