In the early years of the 19th century, Henry Moissan discovered a naturally occurring mineral, silicon carbide, while exploring a meteorite crater in Arizona. This remarkable gemstone later became known as Moissanite, named after the scientist who discovered it, and who tirelessly tried to recreate this stunning gem in a lab.
Moissanite has an astonishing refractive index, measuring in at a 2.691, which is higher than a diamond. This means that moissanite’s chemical structure and unique faceting enable it to slow down, bend and reflect light better than other gemstones. Similarly, its fire dispersion (measured at a 0.104) allows the gemstone to split light as it passes through the stone, making a rainbow-like effect. Moissanite gems are tough and durable, making them extremely resistant to breaking and chipping. Also, moissanite is second only to a diamond in hardness, which means it is great for jewelry worn on a daily basis.
You can clean moissanite the same way you would diamond or any other fine gem. You can use an ultrasonic cleaner, clean them with a commercial (non-acid based) jewelry cleaner or mild soap and water.
Moissanite is a great alternative gem that is less expensive than mined stone. You can get a much larger size stone without paying a hefty price. Without a doubt, moissanite is the best bang for your buck!