The reputation and popularity of moissanite earrings and jewelry continues to grow as more and more people discover this sparkling gem. Moissanite earrings and jewelry are perfect when you're looking for a beautiful gift for a friend or a treat for yourself. So what exactly is moissanite?
What is Moissanite?
Although moissanite is just now beginning to make a splash in jewelry design, this unique gemstone was first found more than 100 years ago by Henri Moissan. In 1893 Moissan was investigating samples from a meteorite in Arizona when he encountered beautiful crystals that he identified as the compound silicon carbide. This substance was later given the name moissanite in honor of its discoverer. However, natural moissanite was very rare and when it did occur it was in minute quantities. Because of this, there was never enough of the gem to use in jewelry making.
Fortunately for moissanite fans, a breakthrough in 1998 made it possible to produce jewelry using moissanite. That was the year that the firm Charles and Colvard introduced a synthetic form of moissanite that was of such good quality that it could be used as a gemstone. Silicon carbide was being used in other applications, however Charles and Colvard recognized its potential for the jewelry market and developed techniques for creating a gem that so closely resembles a diamond that it has fooled jewelry experts. Charles and Colvard patented its moissanite making methods and is currently the only distributor of moissanite gems in the world.
Moissanite and Diamonds
Because it so closely resembles a diamond, moissanite is often used in jewelry as a diamond simulant. It is clear like a diamond and has the sparkle and shine that everyone loves to see in a diamond. Many feel that moissanite's variations in quality and color make it more closely resemble a true diamond than other diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia. Moissanite has a level of 9.25 on Moh's hardness scale where a diamond is a 10, a ruby is a 9, a cubic zirconia is an 8.5 and an emerald is a 7. So while it is not quite as hard as a diamond it is still very hard and harder than most other gems. This makes it resistant to scratches and chips, and likely to give the wearer years of enjoyment.
Jewelry made from moissanite makes the most of that gem's luster, brilliance and fire. Moissanite can be used in jewelry just like a diamond would be. Moissanite can be cut into popular diamond shapes such as round, marquise, square, oval, pear, princess or baguette. Moissanite can be set in earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches just as a diamond. However, because moissanite is significantly less expensive than diamonds, a similar piece of jewelry can be had for a fraction of the price. Moissanite earrings and jewelry are available from a variety of jewelry shops and internet sites.
Caring for Moissanite Earrings and Jewelry
While moissanite earrings and jewelry are certainly durable, they must still be cared for properly in order to keep them looking their best. Moissanite jewelry can be cleaned using plain old soap and water as well as commercial jewelry cleaners, which can be found in most jewelry stores and many department stores that sell fine jewelry. Moissanite should also be safe in ultrasonic cleaners. It is a good idea to remove moissanite rings and bracelets when doing housework, gardening or any type of work that could cause the jewelry to be knocked around.
In addition to jewelry, silicon carbide is used in a variety of products, including semiconductors and cutting tools.
To learn more about moissanite or to purchase beautiful moissanite earrings and jewelry, please visit the websites listed below: