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Moissanite, One of the Most Captivating Diamond Imitators Today


Throughout the past several decades, two man-made gemstones have been touted to be the most commonly traded diamond simulants in most parts of the world. Take note, the word simulant refers to an imitation or something that is chemically-unlike the gemstone it is imitating. Moissanite and cubic zirconia both resemble diamond to the naked eye, save for some small subtle factors, however studying gemological properties can help you separate the the two from diamond.

(Commercial testers that rely on thermal or electrical conductivity must be used with experience and caution, sometimes these do not exhibit consistency in their readings. We never use handheld or 'diy' machines as primary tests or on their own.)

Between the two imitator gems, moissanite is usually slightly more expensive. It also has some properties that even exceed those of diamond. Moissanite's 2.65 refractive index value for example, is even higher than diamond's 2.42 value. Refractive index governs the slowing and directional change of light as it enters a gemstone's more optically dense material from another material like air.

If your familiar with 'fire' the term used to describe those colourful flashes or sparks you would see while rocking or tilting a diamond, then you should know that moissanite usually showcases more of this as well. Dispersion is the proper term for this observation, and the dispersion rate of moissanite is 2.4 times higher than diamond's. Combine this with its high refractive index, and moissanite's physical appearance can look incredibly similar to diamond's in terms of light display, brilliance and beauty.



Moissanite is not as hard as diamond, but it comes close at around 9.25 on the Moh's scale. Proprietary brands and companies produce moissanite in their chemical laboratories and factories, sometimes calling it under a different trademarked name when it rolls out to retail.

Know though that moissanite is anisotropic (doubly refractive), and gemologists can easily separate it from diamond by keen observation with a gemological microscope. For us, this is a much more reliable separation test than electric conductivity (used by some diy testers), as the latter can often show mixed results due to some diamonds also having electric conductivity values close to moissanite's.

Moissanite makes for a very interesting alternative to the world's current most beloved gemstone. A lot of people here in the Philippines actually have duplicate or 'twin' versions of their jewelry made with moissanite or cubic zirconia. These are worn instead of the real thing for a sense of personal safety at times, with relation to the idea or possibility of theft. These imitations have been around for quite a long time and have since garnered a very large following in the trade. Some people purposely wear moissanite as a gem in its own right as well, due to its physical and optical traits being quite alluring to the eye.

The monetary value of moissanite however is still much lower or cheaper than even the wholesale values normally paid for either natural or lab-grown colorless diamonds.
Gemologist.ph
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