Have you ever-wondered about the long-term quality of moissanite? Moissanite will maintain its quality and clarity you initially fell in love with; however it must be maintained and cleaned regularly. Moissanite will not lose its luster or become cloudy from within--it will look dull and lose its sparkle if it is covered in build-up caused by various elements.
So, do moissanite rings get cloudy? This blog post will cover what moissanite is, its unique properties, the key differences of moissanite and diamond.
Maintenance and care is required for moissanite jewelry; remembering to incorporate care for your jewelry will keep it in optimal condition. This article recovers different aspects of moissanite and how to care for your moissanite jewelry.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a lab-created diamond alternative rising in popularity within the last few years. It is durable, hard, and brilliant, making it a must-have for those who love fire and incredible sparkle.
Moissanite: History, Properties & Unique Features
Moissanite commonly refers to synthetic or man-made moissanite, which is readily available on the market. Natural moissanite is very rare and very expensive–rarer than diamonds. Natural moissanite may also command a higher price than diamonds and other precious stones because they are so rare.
Natural moissanite was discovered in Arizona by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. Henri Moissan in 1893, hence the name moissanite. Moissanite is found in extremely small quantities in certain types of rocks, such as kimberlites and lamproites, as well as in meteorites.
Because of its rarity, synthetic moissanite was created in a laboratory in the late 1990s. Gem-quality moissanite was first introduced by Charles Eric Hunter, who formed the company Charles & Colvard Ltd. Moissanite was patented in the US in North Carolina.
Composition: Moissanite is composed of silicon carbide (SiC), with a carbon atom surrounded by four silicon atoms in a tetrahedral form. Lab grown moissanite is formed through a highly pressurized process, taking many months to produce gem-worthy crystals.
Durability: The Mohs Hardness Scale is used to identify minerals rating between 1-10. A mineral's hardness or "scratch resistance" against another substance of known hardness on the Mohs scale. Moissanite rates a durable 9.25 out of 10.
A gemstone's hardness (scratch resistance) should not be confused with "toughness." This means the stone may break, chip, abrade, and scratch under duress.
Luster & Refractivity: The refractive index measures the bending of light as it passes through the stone. Did you know moissanite is the world’s most brilliant gemstone? Moissanite exhibits high luster and refractivity, making it very sought-after for its show-stopping "fire."
Key Differences Between Moissanite & Diamond
Moissanite and diamond are popular choices for engagement rings and other jewelry. They both exhibit beauty, sparkle, and fire--but how are they different? Moisnaite and diamond do have some similarities, but there are notable differences.
Composition: Diamond is composed of pure carbon. Moissanite is a silicon carbide mineral. They have different crystal structures as well--diamond is an isometric crystal from the isometric-hexoctahedral crystal system with an octahedral crystal habit. Moissanite is a hexagonal crystal most commonly found in the 6H hexagonal crystal system.
Brilliance & Fire: Moissanite is known as the world's most brilliant gemstone with a higher refractive index than diamond. This gives it a spectacular rainbow sparkle effect. Diamond has an icy-white brilliance, making them distinctively different when they are observed.
Hardness: Moissanite rates a 9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness (rating minerals 1-10), making it extremely durable and hard compared to other gems. Diamond is a 10/10 and is famous for its durability. Although moissanite is not as durable and scratch resistant as a diamond, it is perfect for wearing as an everyday ring because it is still very durable.
Price & Affordability: Moissanite is less expensive than natural earth-mined diamonds of the same quality and carat weight, making it a more affordable option for those who are price conscious.
Origin & Sustainability: Natural diamonds are sourced from the earth and are associated with a strenuous work supply chain. Moissanite is created in a lab and offers a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to natural diamonds.
Color: Moissanite has a slightly yellow, green, blue, or green tinge. Diamond is considered colorless but also exhibits brown and yellow tinges. They are both evaluated on the 4Cs grading scale (color, clarity, cut, and caratage) developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Fancy color moissanite and fancy color diamonds are also available.
Cloudiness in Gems and Jewelry
Gems and jewelry can get cloudy for many reasons, including exposure to chemicals, oils, and dirt.
Common Causes of Cloudiness
Harsh cleaning products, bleach, chlorine in pools, saltwater seas, body oils/sweat (naturally occurring), body lotions/body oils, cosmetics, body wash, and soaps are some of the frequent causes of build-up, clouding the stones and diminishing the shine and sparkle of jewelry.
Cloudiness occurs in both fine and fashion jewelry as a result of normal wear and tear, working with the hands, or left simply sitting on a tabletop or open jewelry organizer unworn over longer periods.
Does Moissanite Get Cloudy?
Moissanite becomes cloudy due to exposure to bacteria and dirt, just like all other materials and jewelry. This cakey build-up causes a film on the stone, around the prongs, and other settings. The metal may also display scratches, dents, and lose its shine and luster as you enjoy your jewelry.
Regular cleaning prevents buildup, keeping the moissanite looking brand new. Moissanite is generally a very stable gemstone that can withstand normal wear and tear. Dirt and grime will not increase or affect factors such as inclusions or decreased color.
How to Clean Cloudy Moissanite
Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or ultrasonic cleaners on your moissanite ring. Harsh ultrasonic vibrations from an ultrasonic cleaner can cause microscopic fractures or chips on the stone’s surface. Liquid jewelry cleaners verified as safe for use with moissanite are also suitable alternatives.
- Rinse & Pat Dry: Rinse the ring thoroughly under cool water running from the tap, removing the soapy residue. Pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth, or let it air dry.
How to Keep Your Moissanite Squeaky Clean
- Regular Maintenance: Cleaning your jewelry once every 2-3 weeks is recommended, or more if you feel it is starting to lose its luster.
How to Keep Your Moissanite Safe & Far Away From Chemicals
Here are some tips on how to keep your moissanite far away from chemicals and safe from damage:
- Remove moissanite jewelry BEFORE cleaning the house with harsh cleaning supplies such as bleach, ammonia, and chlorine.
- Chlorine in pool water can damage the stone. Removing your jewelry before swimming and storing it in a safe place will prevent exposure to potential damage.
- Place your jewelry on last and after you get ready. Hair spray, perfume, cosmetics, body lotions/oils cause bacteria and unsightly build up. Taking your jewelry off first when you get home will keep it from getting snagged on hair and clothing.
- Storing your moissanite jewelry separately from other jewelry prevents contact and will prevent it from getting scratched or damaged.
Moissanite is a durable stone, however, it is still susceptible to scratches and other damage from unexpected impact.
Keeping your moissanite stored safely in a pouch/box will keep it from getting damaged.
Do moissanite rings get cloudy? Moissanite is not a porous stone–it will not absorb these exterior elements. It is also heat-resistant and will not immediately warp if it is exposed to normal heat conditions. Over time, moissanite rings may exhibit a cloudy appearance–this is because it has picked up grime on the surface from daily activities.
Removing your moissanite jewelry BEFORE you engage in exercise or swimming will help retain its shine longer.
Moissanite is a high-quality gemstone that must be taken care of properly through regular maintenance, preventing clouding as it collects oils, bacteria, and debris from wear.
Charles & Colvard
Moh’s Hardness Scale
Wiki, Refractive Index
Diamond vs. Moissanitehttps://www.diffen.com/difference/Diamond_vs_Moissanite#:~:text=Diamond%20is%20an%20isometric%20crystal,the%206H%20hexagonal%20crystal%20system.