ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diamond, Moissanite and Engagement Rings

Updated on March 5, 2014

As a chemist and microelectronics engineer I have always been interested in crystals of one kind or another. When I worked in the pharmaceutical industry synthesising new drugs and compounds that had never before seen the light of day we used crystallisation to purify them, and many of the crystals that we created were stunningly beautiful.

Before modern instruments made figuring out the structure of new compounds almost routine, many early German chemists were able to discover the complex structure of organic molecules just by studying their crystalline forms; so painstaking was their work that a whole lifetime might be spent figuring out just a handful of structures.

For a while I worked on high temperature electronics, which is electronics that work at temperatures at which most normal electronics would fry. To achieve this various exotic materials are used as an alternative to the usual semiconductors such as silicon, and two of those materials are diamond and silicon carbide.

Moissanite engagement ring

A Moissanite engagement ring
A Moissanite engagement ring

Created Diamond and Moissanite

Both of these materials appear in nature and can be created in laboratories and factories. While created diamond mainly is used for various process and devices, it is also possible to create diamond gemstones. Sometimes their quality is equivalent to natural diamonds. Silicon carbide occurs in many different forms (there are around 250 polymorphs) and is used in many different purposes; however there is one form of the material that has a strong resemblance to diamond. It is called moissanite and it was named after its discoverer Henri Moissan.

Meteor Crater Arizona

Meteor Crater, Arizona where Moissonite was first discovered
Meteor Crater, Arizona where Moissonite was first discovered

Discovery of Moissonite

The discovery of moissanite has an interesting history. Henri Moissan was a French Chemist who won the Nobel Prize for isolating fluorine. However in 1893 he discovered moissanite while he was examining fragments of the meteorite that created the mile wide Meteor Crater in the Arizona Desert. At first he thought that the tiny fiery crystals were diamonds, but then he found that they were silicon carbide. Subsequently moissanite has been found in other meteorites and in very small quantities in the Earth’s upper mantle rock; but the mineral exists only as tiny crystals, and is extremely rare.

Moissonite Gemstones

Cree is a US electronics company that specialises in LEDs, and spent many years developing techniques for making pure silicon carbide crystals for use in LEDs, high temperature and high power electronics. They also developed a process for making moissanite which could be cut and polished just as diamonds are. The process was patented and today moissanite gemstones are produced and marketed exclusive by Charles & Colvard.

Created moissanite gemstones are remarkable in many ways. They are almost as hard as diamond, and they are as thermally conductive. Aesthetically they are also similar though moissanite sparkles even brighter than diamond and has more ‘fire’, fire being the property that creates the characteristic flashes of rainbow colours that is a characteristic of precious gemstones.

Diamond or Moissonite?

An important advantage of moissanite over diamond is that it is considerably less expensive. One of the more important jewellery purchases that many of we males ever make is buying engagement rings, and tradition has it that we spend one or two months’ salary on them; however little or much you earn that is a considerable amount of money. However moissanite engagement rings are considerably less expensive. As a comparison you might expect to pay around $4,000 for a good quality one carat diamond, but a top quality one carat moissanite gemstone would cost just $800.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

Finally...

Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” might not have quite the same ring if you substituted “Moissanites” for “Diamonds”; but the ring would sparkle just as brightly and you would save a considerable sum of money.

What do you think?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 

      4 years ago from India

      interesting!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)