In the year, 1893 Henri Moissan discovered a material shining with brilliance that was never seen before. The site was Canyon Diablo in Arizona. At first it was mistaken for diamond but later in 1904, laboratory testing showed that it was of a different chemical composition. The gem is named after their discoverer and is called Moissanite. It is a Silicon Carbide that comes in its beta-polymorph structure that allows the molecules to be arranged in face-centered cubic alignment. It is harder and durable and has many industrial usages as abrasive. The strength is due to the molecular stability and structure.
Availability of the mineral
Naturally occurring Moissanite is rare on the surface of the earth and the first one was found from a meteor. The other sources of this mineral on earth are Green River formation in Wyoming and as a part of kimberlite in a diamond mine in Yakutia. However, it is abundant in space and forms the stardust around carbon-rich stars. The scientists discovered the potential hidden in the mineral and synthesized in laboratories to be obtained as jewelry. Virtually the entire Moissanite jewelry is synthesized in a laboratory. It does not indicate that they are artificial. The elements and the procedures are similar to that present in nature.
Brilliance that surpasses all
These stones do not cloud or lose their brilliance with time. When they are manufactured, they have a slight tint of yellow to green. They are later treated and enhanced for clarity and increased brilliance. The best Moissanite in the market is clear to almost clear. The stones are hard and durable. They do not chip or break easily and can be worn out daily. It has a high refractive index of 2.65. It provides the gem a high brilliance, which is seen through the extent of white light, refracted from its side and front.
Treating it right
Cleaning them is easy and using a mild detergent or a liquid solution is the best way to go with the process. Never use an abrasive or soap and use a soft toothbrush to clean the superficial dust. There are various methods to increase the brilliance of the gem. One of them is treating them under high pressure and temperature to make it brighter. In the structure of this silicon carbide, there are some unbounded free electrons, the process joins them and thus enhances the strength with brilliance. Some of them are enhanced using a film or coating above it, but it can fade away with time.
For unmatched shine and durability
Another significant property of the gemstone is the double refraction. It means that the white light entering in the stone will be split and refracted using two distinct and straight paths. The feature enhances the brilliance. The gem’s table or top however will have single refraction so that the cut is clear to the eyes. Carbon has a tendency to form chains and has one of the strongest bonds. It is no wonder that their life forms on the earth are carbon based. Silicon, on the other hand, is next to carbon when it comes to stability and strength. The mineral thus is high strength and endurance gemstone.