What is moissanite?

Moissanite is a beautiful clear gemstone that possesses more fire and brilliance than a diamond. It's story began when a meteor struck what is now Arizona thousands of years ago. Very small silicon carbide crystals resulted from this spectacular event. In 1893, Henri Moissan was sampling rocks in Arizona's Canyon Diablo when he discovered these crystals that were later named Moissanite in his honour. 

Charles & Colvard was the first jewelry company to grow this beautiful stone and introduce it to the market. Because of its rarity, all moissanite is now lab-grown and it is growing in popularity as an affordable, beautiful, and sustainable gemstone.

Here are some common questions about moissanite.

Is moissanite durable?

The Mohs hardness scale rates moissanite at 9.25 and diamonds at 10. This means that it is difficult to scratch or break it. It is harder than all other gemstones, including rubies and sapphires making it very suitable for everyday wear in an engagement ring. 

What is meant by fire and brilliance?

When talking about moissanite, its unique sparkle is often highlighted. This unique sparkle is its fire and brilliance! Fire is the color reflected in the gemstone. Moissanite’s dispersion rate is 0.104 compared to a diamond’s dispersion of 0.44. This means that moissanite stones reflects a bit more color while a diamond reflects mostly white light. 

Brilliance refers to how a gemstone sparkles and is measured by its Refractive Index (RI). Moissanite has a RI of 2.65-2.69 compared to a diamond that has a RI of 2.42. This means that moissanite sparkles more than a diamond. We think this one of the reasons why it is more beautiful than a diamond!

Is moissanite expensive?

Compared to diamonds, it  is very affordable, especially for sought after larger colorless stones. The benefit of moissanite is that it is an affordable, durable, and sustainable gemstone that will not need to be replaced. 

Maybe, more importantly, choosing moissanite allows couples to maintain their priorities and values while allowing them to design a beautiful symbol of their love and commitment to one another.

Do the 4 C’s color, clarity, cut, and carats apply to moissanite? 
Yes, it does! 

Moissanite is available in colorless and near-colorless ranges. Colorless stones fall within the DEF range and near-colorless stones fall within the GHI range. The difference between colorless and near-colorless is subtle and is a personal preference.

Below is an image from Abby Sparks that demonstrates the slight difference between DEF and GHI (&J) color ranges. 


Aside from color, clarity is one of the most desirable features of moissanite. Clarity refers to inclusions within the stone. The clarity of moissanite is, on average, equivalent to a VS clarity on the GIA scale used to grade diamonds. This means that the stone appears to be flawless to the naked eye, but small inclusions are visible with a 10x loup.

In regard to clarity, moissanite offers excellent value over diamonds. Diamonds that have a VS clarity rating are very expensive and not normally readily available at your local jeweler.


Cut refers to the proportion, the symmetry, and the polish of the stone. A gemstone’s beauty is impacted by how well it is cut. Well-cut moissanite stones are far more beautiful than a poorer cut more expensive diamond.


When working with moissanite we use millimeters and Diamond Equivalent Weight (DEW). One interesting difference between the two stones is that moissanite is slightly lighter than a diamond.


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