Geology

How can you tell a moissanite crystal from a real diamond?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Moissanite is the common name for silicon carbide - - a mineral that occurs naturally, but only in tiny quantities. These days, moissanite can be synthesized through an industrial process involving heat and pressure. The resulting stone has qualities that in some ways are very similar to those of diamonds. For one thing, the mineral is extremely hard; in fact, it's the third-hardest compound known. If cut by an expert, a moissanite crystal can be as lustrous as a real diamond. The two stones are so similar that even many experienced jewelers can't tell the imitation diamond from the real thing.

    The only reliable way to tell the difference between a diamond and a moissanite jewel is to use a testing machine produced by Charles & Colvard - - the original, primary manufacturer of moissanite. To the average consumer, a moissanite stone does have one essential difference from a diamond - - it's roughly 10 percent of the price.

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