From engagement ring shopping to cherry-picking a special new addition to our jewelry box, selecting the perfect gemstone for jewelry can conjure up as much nostalgia for the past as excitement for the future.
If you’re hunting for a stone that can bring the two together in mineral form, look no further than moissanite—a gemstone where reminiscences and dreams collide.
Moissanite is a resplendent gemstone that’s as perfect for a future heirloom as it is for couples whose affections span the bounds of time and space. Unearthing its history can shed more even light on moissanite symbolism (not to mention its physical radiance), lending a whole new meaning to jewelry you’ll want to keep for eternity.
What Is Moissanite?
Moissanite is an extremely rare type of stone that was first encountered by Henri Moissan (the stone’s namesake) at the turn of the 20th century.
A French chemist by trade, Moissan stumbled upon moissanite while treading through the wreckage of a meteoric crater in Canyon Diablo, Arizona. Sifting through the stones, he spotted a glimmer he mistook for raw diamonds.
That glitter turned out to be crystalline forms of silicon carbide, known today as moissanite.
However, because the moissanite gemstone is so incredibly rare, much of what you can find for purchase today is a lab-created form of the same stone.
Nonetheless, through Henri Moissan’s discovery, the moissanite stone has grown to be a popular choice for jewelry today. Additionally, in some instances, a moissanite engagement ring has become an ethical and more affordable alternative to a mined diamond ring.
What Does Moissanite Symbolize?
Apart from its dazzling appearance and provenance, moissanite sparkles with metaphorical significance.
When you wear a piece of moissanite jewelry, it bears the following symbolism:
- Cosmic courtship – If there’s any stone that attests to beauty’s potential to span galaxies, it’s moissanite. Silicon carbide is eons older than our own galaxy. It’s the hybrid product of supernovas, giant stars and untold light-years traveled from far corners of the cosmos, finally making landfall on our home planet. Some 99% of silicon carbide heralds from well beyond our solar system, so choosing this gemstone signifies boundlessness, an intrepid spirit and faith in destiny.
- Indelible devotion – Moissanite is nearly as long-lasting as diamonds themselves. It measures a 9.25 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, where diamonds are a 10. This physical durability speaks to a twin symbolic meaning: steadfastness and commitment. Moissanite is built for those who plan to make a significant investment in the future—whether in the form of a vow exchange or a pledge to forge our own growth.
- The spirit of discovery – Every commitment takes continual renewal, and moissanite’s radiance reminds us to retain a spirit of buoyancy in each commitment we make. Where diamonds symbolize tradition and stability, moissanite is a metaphor for youthfulness, effervescence and the journey of our endeavors. Each is a story that continues to unfold.
What Makes Moissanite Special?
In its lab-grown form, the moissanite stone is regarded as a diamond simulant (also called a diamond alternative), a term representing any stone not composed of 100% carbon diamond.
While diamonds are mined directly from the earth, diamond simulants are man-made from naturally occurring mineral compounds. Not only do lab diamond simulants like moissanite rival diamonds in radiance, but they are highly coveted due to their ethical manufacturing, remarkable longevity and more affordable cost.
As a stunning yet inexpensive gemstone and diamond alternative, moissanite is also known for being:
- Strikingly brilliant – In many cases, moissanite is an even more illustrious stone than diamonds themselves. Moissanite is a highly reflective gemstone with the unique ability to channel a high-wattage flare—particularly in direct sunlight. For this reason, moissanite is often used as a celestial centerpiece stone in engagement ring designs.
- Conflict-free – Unlike most natural diamonds used in jewelry design, moissanite is not mined. Because most moissanite jewelry uses gemstones created in a laboratory, it’s considered an ethical, environmentally sound alternative to traditional engagement rings that feature natural diamonds in their design.
- Affordable – Where diamonds come at a notoriously high price point, moissanite jewelry is significantly less expensive by comparison. Diamond jewelry can cost thousands of dollars, but moissanite typically costs several hundred dollars.
To ensure its lasting quality, don’t forget to learn how to clean moissanite ring and jewelry to preserve the precious stone.
Moissanite vs Diamonds: What’s The Difference?
If you’re weighing your options between a naturally mined, real diamond and moissanite jewelry, there are some important distinctions to be made between the two:
- Reflectivity – Diamonds have a reputation for radiance, but moissanite is far more eye-catching—particularly when viewed in direct sunlight.
- Color – Diamonds come in a variety of colors which are ranked on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (yellow- or brown-tinted). Today, impeccably crafted moissanite can be as transparent as diamonds with an enviable degree of gemstone clarity.
- Cost – No matter what type of jewelry you’re considering investing in, moissanite will consistently come at a much more affordable price point than natural diamonds. For instance, in many cases, even a poor-quality diamond engagement ring will cost significantly more than a high-quality, incandescently clear moissanite design.
Star-Crossed Stones For Star-Crossed Love, by Diamond Nexus
The choices we make about our jewelry—whether a design we own ourselves or one we give to someone we love—scale miles (and, in some cases, light years) beyond pure aesthetics. Gemstones speak volumes about our values and how we elect to give them substance in our lives.
An incomparably dazzling stone, moissanite reminds us of the blend of fortitude and levity it takes to relish life in full, clear color. That kindness and respect (for earth, and its mineral and human constituents) is a powerful foundation to build your life and love.
However, the moissanite gem is far from the only choice for those seeking an earth-honoring (and long-lasting) gemstone. For a lab-created diamond simulant that makes a striking comparison to a natural diamond in clarity, durability, and cut, you’ll find an optimal choice in a Nexus Diamond™alternative.
Diamond Nexus has the pieces you need to symbolize your love, from stunning custom engagement rings to necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
University College London, Department of Chemistry. The Astrophysical Nature of Silicon Carbide. http://img.chem.ucl.ac.uk/www/kelly/history.htm
Handbook of Mineralogy. Moissanite. http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/moissanite.pdf
Brides. Moissanite vs. Diamonds: What’s the Difference? https://www.brides.com/moissanite-vs-diamond-5094238
American Gem Society. Moissanite History. https://www.americangemsociety.org/moissanite-history/