Moissanite is quickly becoming one of the most popular substitutes for those who are looking for the beauty and brilliance of diamonds without the heft price tag. Moissanite was first discovered in the remains of a 50,000-year-old meteorite by Henry Moissan in 1892.
In 1995, Charles and Colvard became the first moissanite laboratory and produced some of the first lab-made moissanite gems the world had ever seen. Since these stunning gems are only naturally found in meteorite wreckage, most of the moissanite available for sale comes from a lab.
Moissanite is typically broken down into three categories, depending on its GIA certification:
- Forever Colorless
- Forever Near-Colorless
- Forever Brilliant
Below, we’re going to break down the difference between the three types of forever moissanite and explain which one is the most valuable and why.
Forever Moissanite: The Best Substitute For Diamond
While some of the diamonds you find are mined around the world, the vast majority of them are made in a lab, just like moissanite. The two gems look almost exactly alike. They’re both clear, hard, crystalline stones that come in a variety of different clarity options and can be custom-cut to create brilliant light and refractory patterns (known as effervescence).
The main difference between moissanite and diamond is the element that they’re made of. Diamonds are made out of pure carbon that’s been ultra-compressed in extreme temperatures to create a perfect crystalline pattern. Moissanite, on the other hand, is created from compressed silicon carbide.
While both of the resulting crystals share similar clarity and are incredibly hard (diamonds are rated 10 on the Mohs scale; moissanite is rated 9.25), their chemical charge is different. Diamonds are positively charged, which means they magnetically attract negative dirt particles. However, Moissanite has a neutral charge and resists dirt and oils, retaining its shine for far longer.
Types Of Forever Moissanite
If a lab wants to sell their freshly-made moissanite for top dollar, then they need to get them certified by the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA-certified gems that make their way into jewelers’ hands are usually referred to as “Forever Moissanite.”
There are three different types of forever moissanite, and they are ranked according to their clarity and how much color they display. The more colorful they are, the more contaminated they are by other elements.
Forever Colorless Moissanite
The most expensive and highest-quality is referred to as Forever colorless moissanite. These stones are comparable to Nexus lab-made diamonds. Their effervescence is like no other, and they register as either D, E, or F on the GIA’s clarity scale. They’re almost completely white or near-transparent, displaying no other colors.
Forever Near-Colorless Moissanite
The next grade down is the near-colorless Forever moissanite. The GIA ranks these stones either G or H on the clarity scale. They’re almost colorless but may contain glints of color if you hold them at the right angle under the light.
Forever Brilliant Moissanite
The cheapest variety of moissanite is known as Forever Brilliant. It’s rated either H or I on the GIA’s clarity scale. Compared to Forever colorless and near-colorless, these gems contain considerably more color. The stones may have a yellow or golden tint to them, and colors such as blue and red may be reflected through the facets.
Make no mistake; they’re still incredibly beautiful. However, if you’re looking for that perfectly clear, water-like appearance for an engagement ring or bridal set, then you’ll probably want to go with one of the higher grades.