Moissanite in nature is extremely rare. Discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan in a meteor crater in Arizona, he initially mistook it for diamond, but later identified it as silicon carbide. Until the 1950’s no source other than meteorites had been discovered, but was later found as a rare inclusion in kimberlite and diamonds during mining. All applications of Moissanite today are made using synthetic material due to the scarcity of it in nature. Introduced to the jewellery market in 1998 it is becoming a popular alternative to Diamond owing to its similar or even better optical characteristics and, to a lesser extent, its ethical production.
Moissanite is second only to diamond in hardness and is actually considered tougher as it has no natural fractures that can crack if subjected to impact. It is synthesised to very high standards, equal to diamonds with a graded clarity of VS1-VS2. It has a slightly darker colour, similar to I-K on the diamond scale, which is noticeable during direct comparison of loose stones but considerably less so when featured in a jewellery setting.
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