Moissanite was discovered by a French chemist at the end of the 19th century, although has only been used in the jewellery market since 1998. Along with diamond, it is one of the hardest substances there is, and is only found in a few places around the world, including meteorites.
Moissanite diamond rings have become popular as a replacement for real diamonds, and the mineral has several advantages. Not only is it cheaper to buy than diamond, but the mining techniques used to obtain it generally cause less damage to the landscape.
However, many people also claim that moissanite is more visually appealing than diamond. The pattern of facets is different, often creating tiny flashes of bright colour. Larger stones also often have a distinctive grey or yellow hue. If you love the look and timelessness of sparkling gems, but are on a budget, it may be the answer.