It's common knowledge that diamond is the hardest naturally-occurring mineral on the planet, and it's used in industrial cutting and drilling. However, there is another mineral that shares many properties with diamonds. This lesser-known mineral is called moissanite, and some people consider it better than diamonds.
Diamond was discovered millennia ago in India, while moissanite was discovered by French scientist Henri Moissan in the last 19th century. Moissanite's lack of popularity may be partially attributed to how new it is — it's younger than the telephone.
Though diamond is the hardest mineral, moissanite comes very close, being rated a 9 to 9.5 on the hardness scale, falling slightly short of diamond's rating of 10. However, it makes up for this by being far more heat resistant. It can withstand temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Celsius before it burns. Additionally, moissanite has a slightly higher refractive index rating than diamond, making it shinier than a diamond ring. Because the gem is rare, nearly all moissanite today is synthetic.
How does the price compare? Diamonds are a whopping eleven-and-a-half times more expensive than moissanite! So if you're ever shopping for a hard, shiny, heat-resistant mineral, go with moissanite for the best deal. Thinking about buying a diamond ring for engagement? If so, you may want to do some more research before committing to an expensive piece of jewelry. Here are some things to think about before buying that ring.