Synthetic Moissanite

Synthetic Moissanite originally referred to a rare mineral discovered by Henri Moissan having a chemical formula SiC and various crystalline polymorphs. Earlier, this material had been synthesized in the laboratory and named silicon carbide (SiC).

Mineral moissanite was discovered by Henri Moissan while examining rock samples from a meteor crater located in Canyon Diablo, Arizona, in 1893. At first, he mistakenly identified the crystals as diamonds, but in 1904 he identified the crystals as silicon carbide. The mineral form of silicon carbide was named moissanite in honor of Moissan later on in his life.


Chemical Composition :

Silicon Carbide – SiC

Classification / Type :

This is a man made material. The term synthetic is used since it has a natural counterpart as inclusions seen in diamonds and other gemstones.

Crystal System / Forms :


Cuts & Uses :

Facetted cuts.

Dispersion : 0.105 (high fire)
Hardness : 9.5
Lustre : Adamantine
Magnification :

Strong doubling of facet edges, inclusions and culet (generally seen through kite facet), reflective needles.

Optic Character :

Anisotropic, D.R.; Uniaxial Positive

Pleochroism : Weak
Refractive Index / Birefringence :

2.648 – 2.691 / 0.043

Simulants (with separation tests) :

G.G.G. (dispersion, doubling, S.G.), Y.A.G. (dispersion, doubling, S.G.), Synthetic Cubic Zirconia (S.G., dispersion, doubling), Diamond (dispersion, doubling, inclusions, S.G.), Strontium Titanate (dispersion, doubling, S.G.), Sphene (dispersion, inclusions), Synthetic Rutile (S.G., dispersion), etc.

Specific Tests :

Moissanite probes are available which are defined for synthetic moissanite values of thermal conduction such as moissanite thermal probe.

Spectrum :

Not characteristic

Synthesis :

Large crystals are grown by sublimation from a feed powder, diffusion through graphite and growth directly from the vapor phase on a seed crystal. In the sublimation process, the silicon carbide vaporizes and recrystallises without passing through the liquid stage.

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