There seems to be a lot of demand for an alternative to “earth mined” diamond these days. Some are doing it for ethical reasons, some for nature conservational reasons and for others it is purely economical.
Two popular alternatives are synthetic moissanite and laboratory grown diamond. Laboratory grown diamond is identical to natural diamond in its physical properties differing only in how it is created whilst moissanite is a different mineral entirely.
Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 in a meteorite crater in Arizona (USA). Natural moissanite is incredibly rare and found only as small grains that are not suitable for use in jewellery, therefore all the moissanite we see in jewellery today are synthetic (man-made). Gem quality moissanite was first synthesised in 1987, however it wasn’t until 1993 that the first near colourless crystal was created. Synthetic moissanite is also produced in a range of colours, shades of grey, gold, brown, green, blue, purple, pink and yellow.ucts.
Doubling of the back facets seen through the crown of this moissanite due to its anisotropic nature.
Natural diamond has a long history that adds to its global appeal. In the first records we have, they were traded in India as early as the 4th century BC. Laboratory grown diamonds were confirmed to have been synthesised in the 1940’s and by 1954 the first reproducible synthesis of diamond began. It should be noted that there were many claims of successfully synthesising diamond between 1879 and 1928 but these were never confirmed. Synthetic diamonds can be produced in colourless, near colourless, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, green and blue, although many of these colours require further treatment after the process of growing in the laboratory.
Laboratory Grown Diamond