A Brief History of Moissanite

Diablo Crater where Henry Moissan discovered the essential properties of moissanite

From meteorite to moissanite.

To understand the incredible story of moissanite, we need to travel back in time 50,000 years. It was then that a meteorite flashed across the sky and slammed into the earth at a remote spot in Northern Arizona. The violent impact created what is today known as Meteor Crater, a vast hole in the earth's surface 570 feet deep and nearly a mile across. During the impact, meteorite fragments were scattered across the desert, some landing in nearby Diablo Canyon. These fragments held minute quantities of a shimmering material never before seen, discovered in 1893 by a prominent French scientist named Dr. Henri Moissan. After extensive research, Dr. Moissan—who would later become a Nobel Prize winner—concluded that this material was a new mineral: silicon carbide. In 1905, a well-known Tiffany & Co. gem expert and mineralogist, George Kunz, suggested the new jewel be named moissanite in Dr. Moissan's honor.

Since naturally occurring quantities of moissanite are so rare and scarce (there isn't enough to create a single pair of solitaire earrings), it would take another hundred years before these brilliant crystals would gain worldwide acclaim. Inspired by Dr. Moissan's remarkable discovery, a North Carolina company known as CREE developed a proprietary process in the late 1980s for producing large, single crystals of moissanite. Then in 1995, after observing moissanite samples, a master diamond cutter suggested that properly cut crystals could result in a brilliant new jewel. Within days, scientists from CREE and Charles & Colvard® embarked on a three-year research project to bring the fire and brilliance of moissanite jewels to consumers—and ultimately introduce moissanite to the world in 1998. Bridal jewelry has never been the same.


Learn more about Dr. Moissan and the history of Moissanite

At MoissaniteBridal.com, we understand the level of commitment and thoughtful research that comes with choosing the right engagement ring. That's why we created our new Moissanite Engagement Ring Guide for Men PDF (and the women who love them). This invaluable resource provides you with essential insight into the vast world of engagement and wedding jewelry; conflict-free diamonds; sustainable materials, like recycled gold; and diamond alternatives, including Forever One, and Supernova moissanite. Learn more about what makes moissanite so special with the Moissanite Engagement Ring Guide