Moissanite History & Facts
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a rare, naturally occurring mineral also known as silicon carbide, which was first discovered by the Nobel Prize-winning chemist, Dr. Henri Moissan, at the site of a massive meteorite strike in Arizona. This intriguing new stone was named “moissanite” in his honor.
It wasn’t until the late 90s that scientists–working in a research laboratory located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina–developed the innovative thermal growing process that creates silicon carbide crystals. These crystals are fashioned into moissanite gemstones that rival any natural gemstone for fire and brilliance. These man-made gems are more durable than any other popular gemstone such as diamond, sapphire, ruby or emerald.
Is moissanite a brand of diamond or a simulated diamond?
No. Moissanite is not a substitute for diamond, either scientifically, chemically or emotionally. Charles & Colvard created moissanite is a unique gem with its own set of chemical and optical properties that exhibit more fire and brilliance than any other gemstone.
How does Vai Ra create moissanite?
Vai Ra's third party vendor creates moissanite which is followed by Charles & Colvard moissanite process who were original creator of moissanite. The process is lengthy, complicated and expensive, which limits the output—it takes two to three months for the creation of a single gem. Thus every gem is unique.
In creating moissanite, what steps are taken to ensure the product is of the highest quality?
Years of development have led to a rigorous production process, which follows exact specifications and very high standards of quality control.
Post production, all created moissanite undergoes stringent testing for quality and purity, along with numerous rounds of grading before being released for sale.
The SLA Certificate of Authenticity certifies that every gem is authentic manufactured according to rigorous standards by highly skilled specialists.
Is Moissanite an ideal cut stone?
Carefully and precisely faceted, each Charles & Colvard created moissanite gemstone is cut according to exact angles and proportions specific to moissanite. When cutting moissanite, precision is critical to maximizing its brilliance and enhancing its incredible fire.
How is moissanite graded for clarity?
Charles & Colvard employs graduate gemologists certified by the Gemological Institute of America. Each Charles & Colvard gem is studied by trained grading specialists using a 10x jeweler’s loupe for any imperfections that may affect it’s optical performance.
How does moissanite compare to other gemstones on key gemological properties?
Moissanite is comparable to other popular gemstones including diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald on key characteristics such as hardness, fire and brilliance. On the Brilliance Refractive Index, moissanite is more brilliant than any other gemstone, ranging from 2.65-2.69 on the scale. Its fire dispersion is over 4x greater than any other popular gemstone. On the MOHs hardness scale, moissanite comes in second only to a diamond, measuring at 9.25. In addition, moissanite's durability is excellent, meaning it will survive daily wear and tear.
What property of moissanite makes it sparkle with such exceptional brilliance?
The most significant optical property affecting a gemstone’s brilliance, or sparkle, is the brilliance refractive index or BRI. The BRI of moissanite ranges from 2.65 to 2.69, meaning it displays more brilliance than diamond (with a BRI of 2.42) or any other popular gemstone.
Will the brilliance of moissanite ever fade?
No. Charles & Colvard provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees that every Charles & Colvard created moissanite gemstone will maintain its brilliance and fire forever.
What gives moissanite it's fire?
A gemstone’s fire is determined by a gemological property called dispersion. Dispersion refers to the prism effect that occurs when pure white light enters a non-opaque object, breaks into spectral (rainbow) colors, and reflects back to the viewer. Moissanite’s dispersion is 0.104, which exceeds that of any gemstone including diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald.
Do other gemstones have more fire than moissanite?
Moissanite's fire exceeds that of any popular gemstone, including diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. Fire can be measured scientifically; with a dispersion of 0.104, moissanite has 2.4 times the fire of diamond. No other gemstone or jewel compares to Charles and Colvard Created Moissanite® with regard to fire.
Will a moissanite ever loose it's fire?
No. Charles & Colvard provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees that every Charles & Colvard created moissanite gemstone will maintain its fire and brilliance forever.
Will moissanite fade or change color over time?
No. There are no likely situations in which the color of moissanite will be permanently changed. Moissanite does undergo a temporary color change when exposed to extreme heat from a jeweler’s torch during jewelry repair, but with proper bench techniques there will be no lasting damage and the stone will return to its normal color once it cools.
Is moissanite graded on the GIA diamond color grading scale?
Moissanite grading uses a color grading scale that is based upon the GIA diamond color grading scale. There are three grades of moissanite available today: colorless (D-E-F range), near-colorless (G-H-I range) and with faint hues of color (J-K range).
Does moissanite have inclusions?
Yes. Moissanite can have needle-like inclusions that can be seen under 10x magnification. They are not visible to the naked eye and do not affect the clarity of the stone. It’s worth noting that nearly every gem has some sort of inclusion. They are unique to each gemstone and occur in the formation of the crystalline structure.
Hardness(Resistance to Scratching) and Toughness(Resistance to Breaking)
Is Moissanite resistant to scratching?
Yes. Moissanite is durable, tough and extremely resistant to scratching and abrasion. With a hardness of 9.25-9.50, moissanite is harder than all other gemstones except diamond. Charles & Colvard provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty that protects against damage to the stone.
Does Moissanite break easily?
No. Moissanite is one of the toughest known gemstones. Charles & Colvard provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty that protects against damage to the stone.
Is Moissanite heat resistant?
Yes. Moissanite exhibits more heat resistance than many other gemstones, including diamond. Tests prove that at 2000ºF—higher than the equivalent intensity of a house fire—moissanite gems remain intact and as brilliant as the day they were created. This heat tolerance makes moissanite unlikely to suffer damage during jewelry repair.
How can moissanite be distinguised from other colorless gemstones?
There are five (5) methods:
1. Determine if doubling of facet junctions is visible through magnification.
2. Use a jeweler’s loupe to examine the girdle of the stone. Forever One™, Moissanite by Charles & Colvard and Forever Brilliant® moissanite stones approximately 4.0mm and larger are engraved on the girdle for easy identification.
3. Examine for needle-like inclusions, typically perpendicular to the table facet, which are visible in moissanite under 10x loupe magnification.
4. Examine for specific refractive and gravity indices.
5. Have a trained gemologist or jeweler use a testing device specifically designed to distinguish moissanite from diamond.
Charles & Colvard Brands of Moissanite
What is Forever One Moissanite?
Forever One is the premium brand of moissanite. These gems fall within the range of internally flawless to very slightly included (IF-VS). Such unparalleled clarity is only available from the silicon carbide material we use to make our gemstones, which is manufactured through a patented process. The color, or lack thereof, of these gems is impeccable. Forever One gems are available in two grades: colorless or near-colorless (DEF-GHI). And, the cuts of these stones are unmatched.
What is moissanite by Charles and Colvard and how does it differ from Forever One Moissaite?
Moissanite by Charles & Colvard is a cut above other moissanite on the market, with the exception of Forever One. Created from the same patented silicon carbide material that offers unparalleled clarity, Moissanite by Charles & Colvard is truly a revolutionary value. The distinction between Forever One and Moissanite by Charles & Colvard is made through our applied expertise throughout the process, and the discerning approach we take to ensure the quality of Forever One remains far above any other offering available today. By closely evaluating clarity and cut, we’re able to determine which stones meet our exemplary standards for Forever One, and those that bear the Moissanite by Charles & Colvard name.
What is the difference between Forever One, Forever Brilliant and Forever Classic Moissanite?
Charles & Colvard Forever One moissanite is a triumph of art, science and sustained effort. The structural configuration of this specific moissanite material is what yields its unsurpassed, colorless (D-E-F) quality. While chemically it is still silicon carbide (SiC), and its optical and hardness properties remain the same, it is the stacking of SiC material in the manufacturing process that makes Forever One moissanite unlike any of its predecessors.
Through its research and development efforts working with Forever One, Charles & Colvard developed a second grade of Forever One, in G-H-I quality. Boasting the same optical properties of our DEF quality moissanite, this near colorless gemstone emits a faint, icy hue compared to its Forever Brilliant predecessor, which yields a warm hue.
Forever Brilliant moissanite falls within the prized, near-colorless G-H-I range. Forever Brilliant was developed through improvements to the crystal growing process from the original brand of Charles& Colvard created moissanite also known as Forever Classic.
Forever Classic offers subtle color shades in the J – K range of the industry color scale, with faint undertones of green, yellow or gray.
*Based on the Gemological Institute of America's diamond grading scale.
Why is moissanite sold by millimiter rather than by carat weight?
The carat is the traditional unit of measurement for a diamond’s weight. Moissanite is not measured in carats because it weighs approximately 10 percent less than diamond. For example, a 6.5mm round diamond would weigh 1.0ct, while a 6.5mm round moissanite would weigh 0.88ct. The two stones would be the same size – 6.5mm in diameter. All stones for sale are listed with their size in millimeters and the diamond equivalent weight (DEW) in carats.
Will Moissanite retains its value over time?
Due to its rarity and unrivaled beauty, Charles & Colvard created moissanite is expected to retain or increase its value over time.
Moissanite Repairs and Care
How should I care for my moissanite jewelry?
You may clean moissanite the same way you would diamond or any other fine gemstone. As with any fine jewelry item, an ultrasonic cleaner can be used. However, it is best to be gentle with your valuable treasures. You can also clean your moissanite jewelry using a commercial (non-acid based) jewelry cleaner or with mild soap and water using a soft toothbrush.
There is a haze or film on the stone, tried cleaning it but it won't come off, is this normal?
Gemstones are exposed to many different elements when you wear them. Because of this, an organic build-up or “film” can occur on created gemstones such as moissanite. It is not harmful to the gemstone however it cannot be removed with over the counter jewelry cleaner or with a jewelry store cleaning.
This film can be easily removed with a Sunshine Polishing Cloth. Another option that works well would be to use any silversmith polish that can be found in your local hardware or grocery store. Feel free to contact our Customer Service department with any specific questions related to cleaning moissanite.
Are there any chemicals I should avoid while wearing my ring? Cleaning, pool, etc.
Charles & Colvard created moissanite gemstones can be cleaned with any typical jewelry cleaner or cloth. You can find jewelry cleaner or clothes in many drug stores or big box retail stores such as Walmart, Target, etc. Further, moissanite gemstones may be placed in ultrasonic cleaners for cleaning as long as the jewelry setting will allow for such cleaning.
Typical jewelry settings designed with 14K gold can be cleaned with the typical jewelry cleaner for gold jewelry. Plated jewelry, such as Platineve or silver plated with gold or platinum, should be cared for as per the designer’s instructions. Further, plated jewelry should not be cleaned in a heated ultra-sonic cleaner, soaked in jewelry cleaner for extended amounts of time, exposed to harsh chemicals (bleach, ammonia, etc.), pools or hot tubs.
Can moissanite withstand repairs and sizing?
Yes. Moissanite is an extremely stable material. It is durable, tough and highly resistant to scratching, abrasion, breaking and chipping. Its high heat tolerance makes moissanite very unlikely to experience damage during jewelry repair.
Can moissanite gemstones be re-set into new jewelry?
Yes. Resetting your moissanite gemstone(s) into a new piece of jewelry can be done by an experienced jeweler. Jewelry designers and manufacturers create their jewelry collections featuring Charles & Colvard created moissanite using techniques very similar to those practiced by bench jewelers.
Can I engrave my moissanite stone?
Yes. You can engrave your moissanite stone after your purchase, after all, it is now a part of your personal story. Please be aware that any engraving done post-purchase on the stone will void Charles & Colvard’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.