What is Moissanite?
A jewel born from the stars………….and perfected on earth
Moissanite is a new category of gemstones with fire, brilliance and lustre more than any other gemstones in the world including diamonds!
Discovered from meteorites each Moissanite gemstone is hand cut to attain perfection. Essentially composed of carbon and silica it has an incredible hardness of 9.25 just next to diamonds. This would never let it scratch or become cloudy with wear or dull with time. Moissanites are guaranteed to never lose their optical properties.
In fact, they are such close match to diamonds that only a laboratory can tell the difference from diamonds – NO ONE ELSE!
What more could you ask for? – How about the fact that Fiona Moissanite Solitaires cost about 1/10th the cost of a diamond!
Moissanite gemstones truly are Fiona Classic.
Fifty thousand years ago, long after the dinosaurs had vanished, a meteorite crashed into the Arizona desert creating what is now known as “Meteor Crater.” Fragments of this meteorite were scattered across the desert. Hidden in these fragments was a brilliant secret waiting to be discovered. In 1893, Nobel-Prize winning scientist Henri Moissan began studying fragments of this meteorite in nearby Diablo Canyon. In these fragments Dr. Moissan discovered minute quantities of a shimmering new mineral, with fire and brilliance never before seen on earth. After extensive research, Dr. Moissan concluded that this mineral was made of silicon carbide.
In 1905, this mineral was named Moissanite, in his honor. Despite this amazing discovery, since naturally occurring quantities of moissanite are so small, it would be another century before this stunning mineral would emerge as the brilliant jewel it is today.
In the summer of 1995, a master diamond cutter observed samples of Moissanite and suggested that properly cut crystals would make a brilliant new jewel. Within days, scientists from CREE and Charles & Colvard began a three-year research project to bring the fire and brilliance of Moissanite jewels to consumers.
Sanguine Industries was then appointed as an authorized distributor to market these precious jewels in India. Co-founded in the year 2003 by two brothers Mr. Saurabh Agrawal & Mr. Parag Agrawal Fiona became the first registered brand for Moissanite Jewelry in India.
To begin the moissanite production process, Charles & Colvard receives single silicon carbide crystals from Cree. The crystals are precision cut into small pieces called preforms, as shown in (Step 1).
The preforms are then sent overseas to high-volume faceting vendors who hand-cut and polish the preforms to Charles & Colvard standards, which are designed to maximize the gemstone’s brilliance and fire. As (Step 2) shows, the vendor then attaches the preform to a guidance tool, or dop to aid in the grinding process. Moissanite jewels are shaped with a tool called a faceting machine. To understand this tool, imagine a record player. The faceting machine acts as the record table, spinning around.
It is made of either steel or aluminum, and has industrial-grade diamond chips embedded in it (that’s what cuts and polishes). The dop acts as the record player needle, gently guiding the moissanite preform down to the spinning faceting machine.
It’s the friction between the gemstone and faceting machine that shapes the stone. The faceting vendor uses the faceting machine to cut and polish each moissanite preform. Using the dop, the gemstone is rotated for an even shape and polish.
The lower portion of the gemstone, or pavilion is formed by grinding the pavilion (Step 3). Then the girdle (the edge of the stone that is grasped by the setting) is cut and polished (Step 4), and then the pavilion facets are cut (Step 5) and polished (Step 6).
Next, the gemstone is removed from the dop and reattached with the top of the stone, or crown, exposed for cutting (Step 7). The crown facets are cut and polished. Finally, the table (the upper flat surface) is polished (Step 8). The resulting gemstone (Step 9) is returned to Charles & Colvard for inspection, sorting, grading, and shipping to select Jewelry stores.
Superior Brilliance & Fire
These photographs demonstrate why Fiona Moissanite’s superior brilliance and fire make it a gemstone whose stunning beauty is unmatched by any other. Compare a Fiona Moissanite brilliance and fire to any other jewel and you will see why we say it is unlike any gemstone ever seen.
A one-carat diamond in water with a high intensity light shining on it.
The effective brilliance (refractive index) is displayed by the length of the light specks and the size of the ring of specks in proximity to the center of the diamond.
The fire (dispersion) is displayed by the spectrum of color associated with each speck.
A one-carat Fiona Moissanite jewel in water with a high intensity light shining on it.
The superior brilliance (refractive index) is clearly displayed by the increased length of the light specks and the larger size of the ring of specks.
The superior fire (dispersion) is clearly displayed by the deep, intense spectrum of color associated with each speck.
A one carat Fiona Moissanite jewel side-by-side with a one carat diamond in water with a high intensity light shining on them.
The superior brilliance of Fiona Moissanite is displayed by the ring of specks extending beyond that of diamond.
The superior fire of Fiona Moissanite is displayed by the intense color spectrum of the Moissanite light specks when compared to the diamond light specks.
Moissanite created by Charles & Colvard, its superior brilliance and fire make it unlike any jewel ever seen.
Durability & Hardness
Moissanites are known to be one of the hardest gemstones on earth next to diamonds which makes them last forever!
The durability of a gemstone is determined by its hardness, or resistance to scratching, and its toughness, or resistance to chipping or cleaving. A simple scale based on empirical tests has been developed and is called the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Moissanite created by Charles & Colvard, at 9.25 Mohs, is second in hardness only to diamond and incredibly tough. During the development of created moissanite jewels, extensive real-world wear tests were performed by women in a variety of professions, from bank teller to dog groomer to office worker. These wear tests confirmed that Fiona Moissanite gemstones out-perform most gemstones in terms of durability.
Superior Heat Resistance
MOISSANITE IS TOUGHER THAN DIAMONDS
The following pictures demonstrate the superior heat resistance of created moissanite jewels compared to diamond.
A moissanite jewel and a diamond are placed in a high temperature oven. The temperature in the oven is increased and a flow of oxygen is introduced.
As the oven reaches 1100° C, the diamond catches fire and begins to vaporize. At this point, the heat to the oven is turned off and the diamond will continue to burn until…
…the diamond has completely vaporized. The moissanite jewel remains intact and as brilliant as the day it was created.
Moissanite Cut & Shape
The cutting specifications for Fiona Moissanite jewels are designed to maximize the brilliance and fire inherent in the material. To maximize the light reflecting from a faceted Moissanite jewel requires the design of shapes with proportions and angles unlike any other jewel.
Using computer modelling, we create proprietary designs to display the maximum light reflection based on the optical properties (i.e. fire, brilliance and lustre) of Moissanite jewels. A unique version of the round brilliant cut was the first shape developed applying these computer models. On popular demand we designed new fancy shapes that eliminate dark areas commonly found in other gemstones with these fancy cuts. We believe these proprietary designs enhance Moissanite’s physical properties for the superior optical performance observed in faceted Moissanite jewels.
- What is the clarity of Moissanite?For the purpose of comparison to natural diamonds, experts agree the clarity of Moissanite gemstones is equivalent to a VVS diamond clarity grading. Needle-like inclusions are inherent to the Moissanite crystal growth process which can only be seen under magnification and are invisible to the naked eye.
- How is Moissanite graded for clarity?Using a 10x loupe, each individual jewel is examined for inclusions that may affect the optical performance of the jewel. Only Moissanite graded as “eye-clean” is available for sale with Fiona Moissanite.
- Does higher clarity Moissanite exist?IF or F clarity Moissanite does not exist despite the unscrupulous claims of some retailers.
There are 2 color grades of Moissanites available as follows:
- The Fiona Classic Moissanite which is comparable to G-H-I color of diamonds. The Fiona Royal variant of Moissanite is comparable to D-E-F color of diamonds.
- All Fiona Moissanite gemstones are Fiona Classic grade. And stones above 6.0 mm are inscribed with “Fiona Classic” mark on the girdle and accompanied with the certificate for the same.
Due to the high level of light dispersion, Round Brilliant stones appear the whitest, followed by Square Brilliant and Oval stones. Radiant stones and especially the Pear and Marquise stones have lower light dispersion so the color will be more apparent. The color is also more apparent in Princess than in Square Brilliant. However, please keep in mind that even “near-colorless” stones are very white, are cut to maximize light dispersion.
Carat is the traditional measuring unit of a diamond’s weight (1 carat = 200 milligrams). A carat is divided into 100 “points,” so the same diamond can be represented as weighing a carat and a half, 150 points or 1.50 carats.
Moissanite is lighter by 15 – 18% in weight than a diamond, so it is best to refer to it in millimeters only. For example a diamond which measures 6.5 mm in diameter weighs 1 carat whereas a Moissanite of the same size will weigh approximately 0.87 carat.
Introducing Fiona Royal Moissanite
Introducing the world’s first colorless moissanite by Charles and Colvard. Made to perfection, this amazing gemstone has all the revolutionary fire and brilliance of it’s predecessors, and a grading of colorless (D-F) when compared to the Gemological Institute of America’s diamond color grading chart. The Fiona Classic variant grades as near colorless (G-H-I).
Lab-Grown Diamond Vs Moissanite
Following the key differences between moissanite and diamond including durability, brilliance, color & Price.
- Lab Grown Diamonds
- On Mohs Scale of Hardness, Moissanite scores a 9.25. That makes it a second hardest stone on planet earth after diamond.
- Lab Grown Diamonds
- Lab Grown Diamonds are the hardest known mineral and receive a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Because of this exceptional score, diamonds are very durable and ideal for everyday wear.
- Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance, as their faceting pattern is different. The fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanites are beloved by some, but others complain that moissanite’s heightened brilliance can create a “disco ball” effect, especially in sunlight.
- Lab Grown Diamonds
- Diamonds reflect light in three different ways. The white light reflected back is referred to as brilliance, while the rainbow of colors refracted through the diamond is referred to as dispersion. The surface sparkle of a diamond, known as scintillation, is a third type of diamond light return. The combination of these three gives diamonds their famous sparkle.
- Moissanites are mostly “colorless” but still project a yellow or greyish hue in certain lights. Here again, the larger the moissanite, the more noticeable the color and the easier it is to identify it as a simulant.
- Lab Grown Diamonds
- A colorless Lab Grown diamond, has a natural body color that contains no traces of yellow, brown, or grey, resulting in a dazzling, bright white appearance.
- Moissanite gems typically vary in price only based on size and whether the stone is Fiona Classic or Fiona Royal. Moissanite are relatively cheaper than Diamond and Lab Grown Diamonds.
- Lab Grown Diamonds
- Lab created diamond prices vary based on shape, carat, cut, color, and clarity. Lab created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds.