A Diamond Simulant. This means it is a man-made product that simulates diamond in some ways but not in others, and is used in jewelry in many of the same ways. It is NOT diamond, however, and is not normally used for engagement rings.
From the official Moissanite website by Charles and Colvard, the manufacturer:
“With a refractive index of 2.65-2.69, moissanite exhibits more brilliance than diamond. And thanks to a dispersion that’s 2.4 times that of diamond, moissanite bends light into mesmerizing rainbow flashes of fire… over two times more than diamond, ruby, emerald or sapphire. By day and by night, moissanite simply dances with light.
Moissanite is inspired by ancient stardust. Fifty thousand years ago, a meteorite flashed across the sky and landed in Arizona, creating Meteor Crater, a vast hole in the earth’s surface 570 feet deep and nearly a mile across, along with scattering meteorite fragments across the desert. Some landed a few miles away in nearby Canyon Diablo where in 1893, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered tiny sparkling crystals of silicon carbide. This new gem was later named moissanite in his honor by Tiffany & Co. gem expert and mineralogist George Kunz. Naturally-occurring moissanite is incredibly rare. Just a handful of crystals have been discovered, always in extreme environments like meteorites, upper mantle rock, or even as tiny inclusions inside diamonds.
A century later, the first large, gem quality crystals were successfully grown in a high-tech North Carolina lab. Charles & Colvard introduced the world to the brilliance and fire of gem-quality moissanite in 1998 and today remains the sole source of created moissanite gemstones.”
Image from the manufacturer’s website ::