What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a common alternative to natural or lab grown diamonds; it’s a rare, precious gemstone with a much lower carbon footprint than traditional mined diamonds.
Here at The Stone Lab, we specialise in Moissanite as a more sustainable and ethical alternative, delivering you excellent quality and durable engagement rings suitable for everyday wear. Each and every piece has been carefully crafted by our in-house goldsmiths.
Where does Moissanite come from?
Almost all moissanite nowadays is lab grown. However, it was actually first discovered in a meteorite crater in Arizona, United States by acclaimed Nobel prize winner doctor Henri Moissan in 1893, which gave it the title ‘space gemstone’. It was more than 100 years later when scientists were able to successfully recreate a moissanite lab growing process. Shortly after that, Charles and Colvard produced the first commercial quality lab grown moissanite gemstones. It can take up to three months to meticulously create a single moissanite gemstone. Once they have been created, they undergo a stringent quality check and control process, testing quality, cut and purity before being set in house by our master goldsmiths.
Moissanite does occur naturally in the earth, however only in very small quantities which makes it rare and difficult to come across. In order to grow even the smallest amount in a lab, technicians need to mimic the exact conditions that allow it to be created in nature.
The process that Moissanite is made through is referred to as thermal decomposition, occurring when a substance is heated and reaches the point where it can chemically decompose. In the case of moissanite, this substance used is Methylsilane, which at the right extreme temperature conditions breaks down into Moissanite. This method is carefully managed by a team of experts, in order to oversee each part of the process. When large individual crystals have formed, industrial-grade diamond chips are used to cut and polish each of the stones.
The key benefit of a lab grown gemstone is that it can be created to be identical in its composition to something that was formed in the earth, without any of the negative impact that mining can cause.What does Moissanite look like?
Well, in short, Moissanite and diamonds are almost identical and therefore very challenging to differentiate when compared to one another. However, Moissanite is not directly a diamond substitute and is very much its own gemstone. It has a distinctive coloured sparkle due to it being more refractive than a diamond. Moissanite is a popular alternative for those looking for a more ethical and affordable colourless stone, with similar optical properties to diamonds.Durability and Weight
The mohs scale of hardness is a measurement that tests the scratch resistance of a mineral. On this scale, diamond scores 10 as the hardest material, with Moissanite coming in at 9.25. Despite it being slightly lower, it’s still a very high score which ensures that Moissanite is suitable for everyday wear due to its durability, giving you a piece of jewellery that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Moissanite is also around 10% lighter than diamond due to the fact that it has a different composition. As carat is the way of measuring the weight of a stone as opposed to the size (as it is commonly perceived to be), a 1ct round diamond measures 6.5mm in diameter, whereas the same diameter in moissanite would equate to 0.88ct. Take a look at the size chart to see a comparison between diamond carat weights and moissanite’s comparable weight.How is Moissanite graded?
Moissanite is graded in a similar way to diamonds. The 4 Cs represent colour, cut, clarity and carat.
Beginning at D and ending at Z, the colour scale is something we offer in all ranges here at The Stone Lab. These are offered in two colour grades. D-F are classified as colourless (with only their brightness distinguishing them apart). G-I are classified as near-colourless, with a slight colour difference, although this is still almost imperceptible.
Quality can also be measured against the cut of the Moissanite. This is determined by the stone’s proportions – not the overall shape, but the ideal set of ratios for a specific cut. A round brilliant has an optimal number of 58 facets, all of which should be correctly proportioned in order for the stone to be classed as “ideal”. When the ratios are not at their optimum, the way in which light is reflected within the stone can be disrupted, having an impact on how it sparkles. All moissanites have been ideally cut and faceted to maximise the sparkle of each and every gemstone. Charles and Colvard assess the clarity of a moissanite gemstone. Clarity is graded by the number of imperfections that could hamper the optical performance present within a stone. The marks on the inside of a gemstone are called inclusions. If a stone possesses many inclusions, then this will have a negative impact on the overall look of the stone.
The majority of Moissanite gemstones and diamonds have tiny inclusions present, although these are often invisible to the naked eye. The range produces exceptionally clear moissanite and falls within the Internally Flawless to Very Very Slightly Included (IF-VVS) clarity range. After it has gone through several rounds of testing, every stone is given a certificate of authenticity and engraved with the words ‘Forever One’.Moissanite Options
Charles & Colvard are the original creators of Moissanite. With their 20+ years of experience, innovation and experimentation, Charles and Colvard’s ‘Forever One’ gemstone is the world’s premium Moissanite which has unsurpassable quality worldwide.
The Stone Hub are proud Charles and Colvard providers, offering two grades of the Forever One stone: D-F (colourless) and G-I (near-colourless).
We stock a wide variety of Charles & Colvard Forever One Moissanite stones in various cuts, from round to radiant, as well as all the classics. In fact, The Stone Hub’s Moissanite collections have been recently recommended by the UK's leading wedding guide: Hitched.
All of our gemstones are faceted to exact angles and proportions - maximizing their brilliance. Moissanite stones from 0.0021ct and up-to and over 15.00ct are stocked and set. We can also produce custom bespoke designs.The Stone Lab Moissanite
The Stone Lab have successfully produced Moissanite of the most exceptional quality. The standard of our own stones is in no way inferior to Charles and Colvard, although is available at a lower price due to the fact that they are produced in-house. Until their patent ended in 2016, Charles and Colvard were the exclusive manufacturers of Moissanite, and whilst they are still premium producers, we are proud to deliver a super caliber of Moissanite from our own brand. Like Charles and Colvard, all of our Moissanite has a lifetime warranty, assuring our customers of the excellent quality we provide.
A notable benefit of purchasing Moissanite is its lack of human impact, especially when compared to mined diamonds. Unfortunately, a human cost is usually the result of mined diamonds, including unsafe working conditions in mines for workers. An effort was made to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream diamond market through the introduction of The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Although this has been partially beneficial, offering safeguarding protocols and avoiding the financing of harmful groups, arguments still arise regarding the scheme’s efficacy. A key issue lies with the tracking of the diamonds, where the scheme only follows them up until they are cut – allowing for conflict mining to take place after this point in the production process. Moissanite, on the other hand, avoids any harmful practices, where no mining is required.
It is undisputable that the minimal impact of lab grown Moissanite on the environment is a huge advantage when compared to the significant effects that diamond mining has on the planet. The mining process can cause a reduction in biodiversity, encourage soil erosion, and contaminate water sources due to the fact that minerals from the mined rocks seep into water supplies. An average of 80 tonnes of earth is moved for each carat of mined diamond. To put that into a broader prospective, 148 million carats were mined in 2018 alone. Evidence from diamond mines in India have shown that the mining process has put pressure on endangered tiger species. This isn’t just a regional factor – in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that 18,000 fish were killed whilst a lake used for diamond mining was drained in Canada. By comparison, Moissainte has a far smaller carbon footprint, omitting the mining process altogether.Traceable
Due to numerous different steps during the production of mined diamonds, they are notoriously difficult to trace, meaning transparency is often lost. Old diamond jewellery is also hard to trace, where it is commonly reset. All of our Moissanite is produced in a lab and is sold fully-certified, ensuring that our customers are aware of exactly where their precious gemstone has come from.Common myths about Moissanite
All Moissanite has a colour tint - When the stone was first manufactured, it had a marginal yellow or grey hue, although this is no longer the case.
Moissanite is not durable - As the third hardest mineral on the planet, Moissanite is durable and, like diamond, is frequently utilised in manufacturing because of this. These enduring properties guarantee the perfect engagement ring, where the hard-wearing gemstone is largely suitable for everyday use.
Moissanite turns cloudy over time – Moissanite is and will remain to be crystal clear, no matter its age. This is far from cubic zirconia, a diamond stimulant that turns cloudy over time.Your unique custom-made engagement ring
Moissanite is perfect for engagement rings. We offer a bespoke ring service to ensure your ring is as unique as possible. Whilst you can select a ring from the wide range of options available on our website, we can also work alongside you to translate your personal ideas and sketches into an amazing ring.
It can be difficult to decide on a ring which you desperately want to be perfect, especially with an infinite range of options to choose from. Rest assured, we will make this experience as fun as exciting as possible through supporting you in the design process and creating a custom-made piece tailored just for you.WHY CHOOSE THE STONE LAB
Each premium Moissanite within our range bears a certificate of authenticity, deeming it to be of exceptional quality, granted once a Moissanite stone has undergone several rounds of thorough examination by trained specialists.
All of the Moissanite you can purchase from us comes with a lifetime warranty, whether it be from our own branded range of the Charles and Colvard range – guaranteeing excellent condition gemstones.
In addition, we hold a National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) membership and alongside other UK-based jewellery brands, work to meet their guidelines and are routinely assessed by their compliance team.
All of our other jewellery comes with a 12-month warranty, as well as a 30-day return policy for all standard collections.SOME EXAMPLES OF OUR MOISSANITE RINGS
One of our most popular rings is the Grace Solitaire, which features a brilliant round cut gemstone, is set with a four-prong mount and sits on a knife edge band. Available in a variety of metals, this ring exudes timelessness and is an elegant choice which is engineered to boast its Moissanite centerpiece by allowing as much light as possible through its centre stone. For extra uniqueness, the Grace can be set with a Charles and Colvard Hearts and Arrows round cut stone, which will add an extra sparkle.