Man-made, double refraction, pleochroism, yellow-green tinge
Moissanite is a crystal form of silicon carbide and was discovered in a meteorite that hit the Earth 50,000 years ago. In 1893 Henry Moissan won the Nobel prize for proving that moissanite is in fact a new mineral. That doesn't mean much, Yassir Arafat once won the Nobel Peace prize too.
By God's grace moissanite was not used in jewelry until 1998. In 1998 a North Carolina-based R&D lab synthesized Moissanite. Judging by the stone's look the Cree laboratory was the same place where Doctor Frankenstein earned his degree.
|Hardness (Mohs scale)||10||9.25|
|Weight||3.53 g/cm3||3.21 g/cm3|
|Heat Resistance||up to 800 °C||up to1800 °C|
In conjunction with Cree, Charles & Colvard got the exclusive worldwide manufacturer and marketer rights of lab-created moissanite. The patent protecting the manufacturing process will expire in a few years when the prices are expected to drop.
Moissanite is rated at 9.25 on the Mohs hardness scale - the only stone harder is a diamond. Moissanite is very easy and safe to work with, but aesthetically moissanite is a poor choice to simulate the look of a diamond.
Moissanite color is similar to an average J-L color in diamonds with a distinct greenish-yellow overtone and double refraction and strong pleochroism which makes the identification process easy.
Recently a new process of manufacturing yielded white moissanite lacking yellow-green color. New, absolutely white moissanite is indeed a great diamond replacement.