Meteorite from outer space; diamond-like gem
Moissanite (a type of silicon carbide) is also called carborundum. Most of the moissanite are artificially synthesized, while natural moissanite are very rare and can only be found in meteor craters. The color rating of synthetic moissanite in the early days are mostly below I. Some of them had light green color, and their clarity and size simply cannot meet the requirements of being gemstones. However, with technological advancement, the quality of synthetic moissanite was improved and could finally be deemed as gems. Moissanite have been brought to jewelry market since 1997, though they have not been famous in Hong Kong until recent years.
The origin of Moissanite
Generally speaking, moissanite is a type of silicon carbide. It has an appealing nickname, “the stone of enchanted star”. The first natural moissanite found on Earth was discovered by the French doctor Henri Moissan. He found this particularly bright granule in a meteorite that fell into the United States, and its shape was similar to diamonds. Since moissanite came from meteorites, there is no natural moissanite on Earth. In the hope of doing further research, scientists decided to develop artificial moissanite themselves. Because of its extreme-sturdiness and diamond-like appearance, it is often used as a diamond substitute and has become popular in Hong Kong in recent years.
Moissanite do not just reflect light in one direction, but on both sides, so they can shine beautifully like rainbow. The sparkle of moissanite is stronger than that of ordinary natural diamonds, and the sparkle will never fade. It is worth noting that since moissanite is a kind of silicon carbide, it has good thermal conductivity, and thus normal diamond testers cannot distinguish it from real diamonds. Most importantly, as moissanite is artificially synthesized, its price is usually less than one-ninth of that of diamonds. So moissanite is a gemstone that has similar luster and sturdiness, and at the same time equally gorgeous as diamond.
The difference between moissanite and diamond
The biggest difference between moissanite and diamond is that moissanite is birefringence, which means it gives double refraction when being shone, but diamond only gives a single refraction. The result is that moissanite has a better fire than diamond. Moissanite is therefore a cultivated gemstone that shines better and more affordable than diamonds. The detailed differences between moissanite and diamond can be found in another article: The difference between and comparison of diamond, moissanite and cubic zirconia
The growth of moissanite in Hong Kong jewelry market: With continuous development and innovation of technology, beauty is no longer an unimaginable luxury. As the need and diversity of Hongkongers towards aesthetics and dressing grows, the concept of “jewelry” is also constantly changing. Moissanite has emerged in a modern era like this and become famous for its diamond fire and color.
The gem is now favored by people who value beauty. And of course, it is a must-have for designers because moissanite is a luxury with the price of non-luxury. People’s love towards moissanite is no less than that of those expensive diamonds. Looking at the trend of demand for moissanite today, one can expect that moissanites’ advantages in price and quality would interest even more jewelers in the future.