Moissanite Rings – a Smart Choice
Buying an engagement ring or any ring for that matter is often associated with gold and diamonds. It almost feels that if a ring does not have a centred diamond it is somehow not worth the investment.
This could not be further from the truth – if you think about it, why exactly are diamonds a popular choice for rings? They are durable, shiny, beautiful and elegant. What if we told you you can get all of these features from a mineral that is much cheaper? That is exactly what moissanite is. This mineral is getting all the more popular, and for good reason. It is a great and smart choice as an alternative to spending a fortune for a diamond ring.
It is time to look away from gemstone prejudice and explore new options brought about by the revolution in gemstone making – lab grown gemstones are slowly taking over the industry and moissanite is no exception.
Introduction to Moissanite
If this is the first time your moissanite, which is entirely possible, let’s have a brief introduction to this wonderful gem.
Moissanite was discovered back in 1893 by the French scientist Henri Moissan. The mineral was actually initially believed to be just another piece of the diamond because of the likeness between the two. It was only a decade later that the moissanite was given a proper separate name.
Further research discovered that the mineral actually had extraterrestrial origins – meaning that it was not natural to Earth, but instead it came from interstellar meteors that crashed on the surface of our planet. Moissanite has actually been found on Earth as well, but its occurrence is extremely limited; in fact, until 1958, there were no sources of the mineral found anywhere in the world.
Although it looks quite like a diamond, moissanite’s chemical structure is different – it is not made of carbon, but rather a silicone carbide. Its structure takes no toll on its durability, it is as durable as any diamond, and can only be scratched by gemstones that have a higher degree of hardness – and such gemstones are only other moissanite and diamonds, which are the hardest gemstones out there. A moissanite ring can be worn freely, it can be exposed to water and cold without fear of damage.
Moissanite is typically shinier than a diamond and its light reflection is noticeably stronger.
This makes the choice of moissanite a matter of taste. While moissanite is usually colourless, it can be tinted in some shades of green, brown, yellow or even blue.
When it comes to light reflection, diamonds have what is called “brilliance” – the diamond’s ability to bend light and reflect it – that is part of what makes them so attractive. Moissanite is a bit different in that regard, as its light-bending characteristics produce a different effect.
This is owing to the fact that its edges and cuts are formed in a different way, and their sparkling effect is not as memorable as that of the diamond. However, it would be unfair to say that it is not beautiful. If certain light conditions are met, the moissanite can give off a very colourful cocktail of light.
In terms of hardness, moissanite scores almost the top. Minerals are rated according to a special international measurement scale called the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. The scale goes from 1 to 10. Expectedly, diamonds score the highest with 10, but moissanite follows very close behind with 9.5, which is an extremely high score.
The clarity of moissanite is perceived in a similar fashion to that of the diamond. The clarity of minerals refers to their perfection or lack thereof. It is reported that it is quite rare to notice imperfections in moissanite, mainly because the latter is almost fully grown in laboratories where the process removes most room for inclusions.
It is virtually impossible to find moissanite in nature because it does not naturally occur on planet Earth. All the moissanite you can buy in stores is produced in laboratories, but fear not – that does not impact the quality of the mineral.
Just as lab grown diamonds, lab grown moissanite is completely normal and of high quality.
In fact, the lab process makes both lab grown diamonds and moissanite much cheaper than their mined diamonds. It is also a much more ethical process that does not harm the environment the way mining does.
Mining impacts not only the immediate vicinity it is conducted in, but also nearby crops, water, farming, forests and wildlife. Lab methods only use electricity and the amount is much less harmful.
Availability and Other Usages
Are Moissanite rings available in stores, how rare are they?
Thanks to their growing popularity, moissanite rings are available in most jewellery stores nowadays. Of course, we are talking about lab grown moissanite.
Moissanite can actually also be used in experiments that rely on its hardness and similarity to the diamond. In fact, it is economically viable to use moissanite instead of diamonds if the experiments actually allow for it. These experiments include the usage of moissanite as an anvil for creating high pressure. Additionally, moissanite is very similar to diamonds in terms of its thermal conductivity, and can also be a good replacement. Of course, its main usage nowadays is on engagement rings and other jewellery – and it makes sense, the aesthetics of moissanite are rivalled by few other gemstones.
Why Choose a Moissanite Ring
If you put aside the classic choice of diamonds, moissanite becomes an obvious alternative. It is beautiful, available and practical – the price difference makes the choice a very easy step to take.
You can also look at moissanite rings as a very rare and charming gift for your partner thanks to their stellar origins. Not many people can boast of having a ring with a gemstone that came from a meteor, right?
It is a great gift for those that want to go for something different, exotic or even magical.