Are you a fan of the spectacular beauty of a diamond, but wish to do something a little different for your ring? Joseph Jewelry has a variety of moissanite jewelry in the Seattle and Bellevue area.

Moissanite is a rare gemstone with many uses. This mineral was first discovered in the U.S. in 1893. At the time, it was falsely identified as a diamond by Henri Moissan, the discoverer for whom it is named. A little over a decade after his mistake, Moissan recognized the difference in the molecular composition of the substance he’d found and real diamonds, and he named his find silicon carbide. It has since been re-named after Mr. Moissan. Because this first discovery of moissanite was in a meteorite crater, many, including Moissan, were under the impression it did not naturally exist on Earth.

This gem is still so rare in nature that announced discoveries are often immediately questioned for their authenticity. It was not until 1959 that this gemstone was found as an inclusion in several other gems including kimberlite and diamonds. The discovery of moissanite as part of the natural Earth created quite a buzz, and some found it hard to believe as recently as the 1980s. And in many discoveries, moissanite continued to be confused with other minerals.

Characteristics of Moissanite

Moissanite jewels are both durable and gorgeous. Because of its rarity in the natural world, this gem did not make its appearance in the jewelry market until the end of the 20th century, but it has a fiery brilliance that makes it perfect for jewelry. It has even made its way into engagement rings, which is traditionally a place for diamonds. Moissanite looks very similar to diamonds, with the main difference being the gray-green tint of moissanite as opposed to the clearer complexion of a diamond. This difference is usually only spotted in direct-light, and for some, the lower price tag makes this departure in appearance easier to swallow. There are, however, some dissenters in the jewelry world who only see this gem as a cheap jewel because it has the tendency to refract light twice. They find this attribute highly unfavorable and claim the gem to be best used for gaudy costume jewelry. This is not the opinion shared by all, though, especially those who love moissanite for its intense brilliance.

Other Uses for Moissanite

Laboratories are also great places to use this rare gem. Since moissanite has many properties similar to diamonds, including strong covalent bonds, it is a great alternative for high-pressurized procedures in the lab. Because diamonds are expensive, costs for experimentation can be greatly reduced with this alternative gemstone. There are also uses for moissanite in electronic or thermal conduction projects. Moissanite has excellent thermal conductivity properties, much like diamonds. The fact that it is one of the hardest gemstones is one of the primary reasons it is used for these applications.

So, if moissanite is so rare in the natural world, how is it so popular as the alternative to diamonds? Almost all moissanite used in labs or for practical purposes is the synthetic, or lab-created version. The synthesis of this rare jewel makes it a great, low-cost alternative to diamonds for both jewelry and industrial uses.