Moissanite or Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic Zirconia

Reading the Wikipedia article on cubic zirconia a few days ago, I came across the article on moissanite, which is another diamond simulant. Occurring very rarely in nature, in its natural forms it is quite precious as it appears in only meteorites and upper mantle rock. However, the material also occurs naturally as inclusions in rocks such as diamonds.

Lab grown moissanite is thus used because of the rarity of the substance, but is a good substitute for when diamond is too expensive an option, as its hardness is 9.5 on the Moh's scale where diamond rates a 10. Especially since then large amounts can be used.

It has only been used in jewellery for a short time, but apparently some optical properties of moissanite exceed that of diamonds. That makes me extremely curious now to see one, considering it's also a cheaper alternative. Apparently it's also more ethical in its production. Despite being said as 'popular' though, I don't think I've ever seen any around Australia, or Sydney anyway.

Maybe once the patents on using Moissanite in jewellery expire in 2016, it'll begin to appear more on the market. Unfortunately it seems for the moment we are stuck with the cubic zirconia alternative though! Here's a site to explore in the meantime though...