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What is moissanite?

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Quick Answer

Moissanite is a mineral with the chemical formula SiC. When it is cut and polished, it can sparkle even more brilliantly than diamond, but it was formerly too rare to be mined for jewelry. As of 2014, moissanite crystals can be created artificially.

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Full Answer

Moissanite is almost as hard as diamond. It ranks 9.25 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, whereas diamond ranks 10. Its refractive index, which measures its brilliance, is 2.65 to 2.69. This compares favorably with diamond, whose refractive index is 2.42. Moissanite was discovered in a meteor crater by Henri Moissan in 1893. At first, Moissan thought they were diamonds, but correctly identified them in 1904

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