Moissanite was first discovered by a French scientist named Henri Moissan while examining rock samples in a meteor crater. Natural moissanite is not viable for commercial use due to its extreme rarity. Moissanite as we know it has been artificially created in a lab and is marketed as an alternative to diamonds.
On the Mohs scale, moissanite is a 9.5, very close to a diamond’s rating of 10. It is very durable, making it suitable for both jewelry and industrial applications.
Moissanite color can vary, but typically falls into the J-K-L grades on the diamond color scale. However, recent technological improvements have enabled the production of “colorless” moissanite.
Due to its faceting and structure, moissanite is more brilliant then a diamond. This is especially apparent when it is exposed to sunlight. This should only be considered a negative if you are using the moissanite as a diamond imitation, because it may give away the fact that it is not a diamond.
Natural diamonds cost significantly more than synthetic moissanite. There is, however, no true resale market for moissanite. If you ever tried to sell it, you would get little to no value in return. Diamonds, on the other hand, have a strong resale market which often fetches 50-60% of the purchase price.
While moissanite may resemble a diamond, it is a beautiful gemstone with its own unique qualities. Purchasing it for this reason is a perfectly reasonable decision. Issues can arise when you purchase moissanite solely as a cost saving diamond simulant. Although they may be cheaper than diamonds, synthetic moissanite is not “cheap”. A moissanite engagement ring can cost thousands of dollars. Depending on how much you paid for your moissanite jewelry, this can make the initial price savings seem less significant.