All about Moissanite

Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to Earth.

He initially thought that he discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were actually composed of silicon carbide (whereas diamonds are 99.999% Carbon). Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so the stones today are made in the lab. After many years of trial and error, the particles Moissan discovered were successfully synthesized to produce what is now one of the world's most scintillating gemstones.


The most significant optical property affecting a gemstone's brilliance, or sparkle, is the refractive index or RI. The RI of moissanite ranges from 2.65 to 2.69, meaning it displays more brilliance than diamond (with an RI of 2.42) or any other popular gemstone.


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) colours, and reflects back to the viewer. Moissanite's dispersion is 0.104, which exceeds that of any gemstone, including diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald.

Colour and Clarity

Will it hold the colour? There are no likely situations in which the colour of moissanite will be permanently changed. Moissanite does undergo a temporary colour change when exposed to extreme heat from a jeweller's torch during jewelry repair, but with proper bench techniques there will be no lasting damage, and the stone will return to its normal colour once it cools.


Can moissanite scratch? No. Moissanite is durable, tough and extremely resistant to scratching and abrasion. With a hardness of 9.25, moissanite is harder than all other gemstones except diamond, meaning that it can only be scratched by a diamond or other moissanite stones which is very unlikely to occur.

MM vs 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.

Gemstone Comparison Chart





Company Info


27 Bathurst Street
Toronto, Ontario


P: 416 565 8016

Moissanite info made by Charles & Colvard 

20/20 Episode on Moissanite.