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The Moissanite Story

 

The Moissanite Story dates back to thousands of years ago, when a meteorite crashed into the earth’s surface creating an enormous crater that still exists today, the Canyon Diablo in Arizona.

 

In 1893, while examining the fragments that had come from space, Dr. Henri Moissan, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, identified the presence of a new mineral: natural silicon carbide, which in  1904 was named Moissanite in honour of its discoverer.

 

Moissanite in its natural form is practically impossible to find (at least on Earth), much rarer than the rarest of gemstones and, as a consequence, for many years remained merely an  academic curiosity.

 

Then experts began to study this very interesting substance, of such an extraordinary hardness that it made an excellent abrasive, and with such particular electric characteristics that it could be used in the semiconductor industry, and physical properties of a kind that could be used for jewellry.

 

Moissanite is so interesting that experts have spent years on study and research in an attempt  to reproduce it synthetically.

 

While trying to synthesize the diamond, Edward Acheston had accidentally reproduced it by passing an electric discharge between two electrodes of carbon through a fused mixture of carbon, clay and aluminium silicate. He called it carborundum because its hardness was midway between that of corundum and the diamond.

For decades, several techniques have been studied for growing synthetic crystals of Moissanite. Of all these processes only that of sublimation with insemination, studied by Lely, has proven the technical possibility of controlling the growth of a large individual crystal.

 

One hundred years after Dr. Moissan’s discovery, the University of North Carolina developed the technology for the production of single silicon carbide crystals, mainly for industrial purposes. The final process was patented by Davis, Hunter and Carter in 1990. The crystals are produced by Cree Inc. and they are mainly used in the electronic field (chips, transistor, led blue, etc).

In 1995, after a meeting with a diamond cutter, the idea emerged of a colourless moissanite, as an excellent alternative to the diamond.

 

After three years of study, and billions of dollars in investments, a new gemstone saw the light and was patented in 1998, the Moissanite, whose extraordinary physical characteristics permit it, once cut as a brilliant, to compete with the most noble gemstones, and in particular with the diamond, since it is practically identical!

For use in jewellery, the crystals are sold to Charles & Colvard who take care of cutting and marketing the gemstones obtained from them (hence the name “Moissanite Charles & Colvard”).

Moissanite is harder than any other natural gemstone known today (even harder than corundum); its tenacity is excellent and the refractive index very high; the or dispersion is even higher than that of the diamond. The new Moissanite is so similar to a diamond, that not even the thermal drill used by experts can distinguish moissanite from a diamond.

 

The manufacturer has put an electronic tester on the market which can distinguish Moissanite from a diamond with 100 % certainty, in order to avoid fraud.

The quality of moissanite, its quality/price ratio, its uniqueness, the possibility of owning stones of a high weight in carats at a reasonable price are bringing Moissanite success in numerous places throughout the world. 

 

www.moissaniteitalia.com - info@moissaniteitalia.com

Arsaurea Gems. srl di Alberto e Luisa Malossi

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified: Venerdì 5 aprile 2013