Moissanite Hardness: The Durable and Brilliant Alternative to Diamonds
- by Rokshok
Moissanite Hardness: Everything You Need to Know
When it comes to gemstones, hardness is an important factor to consider. After all, no one wants to invest in a beautiful piece of jewelry only to find out that it easily scratches or chips. That's where moissanite comes in. This stunning gemstone has gained popularity in recent years due to its hardness, durability, and affordability compared to diamonds. In this article, we'll dive into the world of moissanite hardness and everything you need to know about this sparkling gemstone.
What is Moissanite?
Before we delve into the hardness of moissanite, let's first understand what this gemstone is. Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral, composed of silicon carbide. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, hence the name. However, it wasn't until the late 1990s that moissanite started to gain popularity as a gemstone due to its diamond-like appearance. It has a high refractive index and dispersion, giving it a brilliance and fire that is similar to diamonds.
Moissanite vs. Diamond Hardness
One of the main reasons why moissanite has become a popular alternative to diamonds is its hardness. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, diamonds rank as the hardest mineral with a score of 10. Moissanite, on the other hand, ranks at 9.25, making it the second hardest mineral after diamonds. This means that moissanite is extremely durable and resistant to scratching, chipping or breaking. In fact, it is harder than popular gemstones such as sapphires and rubies, which rank at 9 on the Mohs scale.
What makes moissanite so hard? It all comes down to its chemical composition. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, a compound that is known for its strength and hardness. It is also formed under extreme heat and pressure, making it even more durable. This is why moissanite is often used in industrial applications such as cutting tools and abrasives.
Durability and Wearability
Aside from its hardness, moissanite is also highly durable and wear-resistant. This is due to its chemical and physical properties. Unlike diamonds, moissanite has a higher resistance to heat, making it less likely to crack or break when exposed to high temperatures. It is also resistant to chemicals, making it safe to wear while doing everyday activities such as washing dishes or applying lotion.
One of the most common concerns when it comes to gemstones is their ability to retain their sparkle over time. With moissanite, you don't have to worry about this. Due to its high hardness, moissanite is less likely to scratch or get damaged, which means it will retain its brilliance and fire for years to come.
Moissanite vs. Other Diamond Alternatives
If you're in the market for an alternative to diamonds, you've probably come across other options such as cubic zirconia (CZ) and white sapphire. However, when it comes to hardness, moissanite is the clear winner. CZ ranks at 8 on the Mohs scale, making it significantly softer than moissanite. This means that CZ is more prone to scratches and chips, making it less durable and wear-resistant compared to moissanite.
White sapphire, on the other hand, ranks at 9 on the Mohs scale, making it harder than CZ but still not as hard as moissanite. It is also less brilliant and has a lower refractive index, giving it a less diamond-like appearance. This is why moissanite is often considered the best alternative to diamonds, as it combines the durability and sparkle of a diamond at a more affordable price point.
Care and Maintenance of Moissanite
As we've established, moissanite is a highly durable gemstone. However, this doesn't mean that it doesn't require any maintenance. To keep your moissanite jewelry looking its best, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Clean regularly: Just like any other gemstone, moissanite can get dirty and lose its sparkle over time. It is recommended to clean your moissanite jewelry at least once a month using warm water, mild soap and a soft cloth.
Avoid harsh chemicals: While moissanite is resistant to chemicals, it is still best to avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach and chlorine. These can cause discoloration and damage to your gemstone.
Store properly: When not wearing your moissanite jewelry, it is important to store it in a safe and dry place. Avoid storing it with other jewelry to prevent scratches or damage.
Inspect regularly: As with any gemstone, it's important to inspect your moissanite jewelry regularly for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any scratches or chips, take it to a professional jeweler for repair.
Moissanite is a stunning gemstone that has gained popularity due to its hardness, durability, and affordability. With a hardness of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, it is one of the hardest gemstones available and is highly resistant to scratching, chipping or breaking. Its ability to retain its brilliance and fire over time makes it a great alternative to diamonds. By following proper care and maintenance, your moissanite jewelry can last a lifetime and continue to shine bright.