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Moissanite

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Portrait of Henri Moissan
Formula:
SiC
System:
Hexagonal
Colour:
Green, black, Blue, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
Name:
Named in 1905 after Ferdinand Frederick Henri Moissan (28 September 1852 – 20 February 1907), a French chemist who, after years of research of high-temperature methods and furnaces for the production of carbides and synthetic diamonds, discovered the natural occurrence in the Canyon Diablo meteorite.

Moissan was the first to isolate elemental fluorine and received the 1906 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for that.
Moissanite, found as tiny crystals in some meteorites (originally formed in star dust) and kimberlites, kjjis naturally occuring silicon carbide, SiC (in synthetic form a very important high-performance ceramic, more commonly known as abrasive "carborundum").

A large number of polytypes (predominantly hexagonal or rhombohedral) is known.
Most of the natural moissanite grains are 6H and 15R polytypes (Shiryaev et al., 2011).

Compare 'UM1982-06-C:Si'.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Moissanite.


Classification of Moissanite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
1.DA.

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
D : Nonmetallic Carbides and Nitrides
A : Nonmetallic carbides
Dana 7th ed.:
1.3.7.1
1.3.8.1

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
3 : Semi-metals and non-metals
2.1

2 : Carbides, Nitrides, Silicides and Phosphides

Type Occurrence of Moissanite

Physical Properties of Moissanite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent
Colour:
Green, black, Blue, Colorless, Green yellow, Yellow
Streak:
Greenish grey
Hardness (Mohs):
Cleavage:
Poor/Indistinct
{0001} Indistinct
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
3.218 - 3.22 g/cm3 (Measured)    
Comment:
3.218 - 3.22, Average = 3.21

Crystallography of Moissanite

Polytype:
Formula:
Crystal System:
Class (H-M)
Space Group:
Space Group Setting:
Cell Parameters:
Ratio:
Unit Cell Volume (calc):
Z:
Moissanite-10RMoissanite-15RMoissanite-2HMoissanite-33RMoissanite-3CMoissanite-4HMoissanite-5HMoissanite-6H
    SiC   
 Trigonal       
3m - Ditrigonal Pyramidal
 R3m      
        

a = 3.08Å, c = 37.85Å






 a:c = 1 : 12.289      
 V 310.96 ų
(Calculated from Unit Cell)
      
        

Optical Data of Moissanite

Type:
Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 2.616 - 2.757 nε = 2.654 - 2.812
Birefringence:
0.2-0.3
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.038
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
Colour in reflected light:
Pale grey
Pleochroism:
Weak
Comments:
Pale blue to paler blue

Chemical Properties of Moissanite

Formula:
SiC
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Moissanite to other Species

2.2SinoiteSi2N2O
2.3OsborniteTiN
2.4TongbaiteCr3C2
2.5CarlsbergiteCrN
2.6SiderazotFe5N2
2.7GupeiiteFe3Si
2.8XifengiteFe5Si3
2.9Khamrabaevite(Ti,V,Fe)C
2.10Haxonite(Fe,Ni)23C6
2.11CoheniteFe3C
2.12Roaldite(Fe,Ni)4N
2.13Suessite(Fe,Ni)3Si
2.14Schreibersite(Fe,Ni)3P
2.15Barringerite(Fe,Ni)2P
2.16Perryite(Ni,Fe)5(Si,P)2

Other Names for Moissanite

Name in Other Languages:
Italian:Moissanite
Portuguese:Moissanite
Simplified Chinese:莫桑石
Traditional Chinese:碳矽石

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Moissanite

Reference List:
Kunz, G.F. (1905) Moissanite, a natural silicon carbide. American Journal of Science: 19: 396-397.

Moissan, H. (1905) Étude du siliciure de carbone de la météorite de Cañon Diablo. Les Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences: 140: 405-406.

Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 123-124.

(1950) Structure Reports (or Strukturbericht): 13: 166. [crystal structure]

Bauer, J., Fiala, J., Hřichová, R. (1963) Natural alpha-silicon carbide. American Mineralogist: 48: 620-634. [http://www.minsocam.org/msa/collectors_corner/arc/moissanite.htm]

Bauer, Y., Fiala, Yu., Grzhikhova, R. (1965) Moissanite from middle mountains of Czechoslovakia. International Geology Review: 7: 1194–1206.

Acta Crystallographica B25 (1969), 477 [Recent/Best,Powder Pat.,Xl. Structure].

Hannam, A.L., Shaffer, P.T.B. (1969) Revised X-ray diffraction line intensities for silicon carbide polytypes. Journal of Applied Crystallography: 2: 45–48.

Gevorkyan, R.G., Gurkina, G.A., Kaminskii, F.V. (1974) New type of natural moissanite from Armenia. Zap. Vses. Mineral. Obshch.: 7: 106–110. [in Russian]

Fleischer, M., Pabst, A., Cabri, L.J. (1976) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 61: 1054.

(1982) Transactions (Doklady) of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Earth Science Sections: 262: 163. [Powder Pat.,Chemistry]

Leung, I., Guo,W., Friedman, I., Gleason, J. (1990) Natural occurrence of silicon carbide in a diamondiferous kimberlite from Fuxian. Nature: 346: 352-354.

Marshintsev, V.K. (1990) Natural silicon carbide in kimberlitic rocks of Yakutiya. Mineral. Zhurnal: 12(3): 17-26. [in Russian]

Jambor, J.L., Grew E.S. (1992) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 77: 207-213.

Filippidis, A. (1993) New find of moissanite in the Metaxades zeolite-bearing volcaniclastic rocks, Thrace county, Greece. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte: 521–527.

Mathez, E.A., Fogel, R.A., Hutcheon, I.D., Marshintsev, V.K. (1995) Carbon isotopic composition and origin of SiC from kimberlites of Yakutia [Sakha], Russia. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta: 59: 781–791.

Di Pierro, S., Gnos, E., Grobety, B.H., Armbruster, T., Bernasconi, S.M., Ulmer, P. (2003) Rock-forming moissanite (natural alpha-silicon carbide). American Mineralogist: 88: 1817-1821.

Lee, J.S., Yu, S.C., Tung, S.F., Bai, W.J., Yang, J.S., Fang, Q.S. (2006) The crystal structure of natural 33R moissanite from Tibet. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 221: 213-217.

Capitani, G.C., Di Pierro, S., Tempesta, G. (2007) The 6H-SiC structure model: further refinement from SCXRD data from a terrestrial moissanite. American Mineralogist: 92: 403-407.

Shiryaev, A.A., Griffin, W.L., Stoyanov, E. (2011) Moissanite (SiC) from kimberlites: Polytypes, trace elements, inclusions and speculations on origin. Lithos: 122: 152-164.

Internet Links for Moissanite

mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-2743.html
Please feel free to link to this page.

Localities for Moissanite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
Australia
 
  • Western Australia
    • Wyndham-East Kimberley Shire
      • Lake Argyle area
Kubel, S. Argyle Diamond Mine–Geology and Mining of the AK1 Pipe, Kimberley region, Northwest Australia.
Austria
 
  • Styria
    • Hieflau
Grachev, A.F., Borisovsky, S.E., Grigor'eva, A.V. (2008): The First Find of Native Rhenium in the Transitional Clay Layer at the Cretaceous/Paleogene Boundaryin the Gams Section (Eastern Alps, Austria). Doklade Earth Sciences: 422(7): 1065-1067
Azerbaijan
 
  • Ağcabədi District (Aghjabadi)
    • Shusha
Meteoritics, vol. 32, pages 719-732; Lee M R, Russell S S, Arden J W, Pillinger C T (1995) Nierite (Si3N4), a new mineral from ordinary and enstatite chondrites, Meteoritics, 30, 387-398
Bulgaria
 
  • Smolyan Oblast
Svetoslav Petrussenko, Iliya Dimitrov, Kostadin Glushkov, Lubomir Metodiev (2007) A Wonderful World of Minerals (Minerals, Mineral Deposits and Localities from the Area of the Town of Chepelare). Fourth International Symposium Mineral Diversity Research and Preservation pp229-233
Canada
 
  • Québec
    • Estrie
      • Les Sources RCM
        • Asbestos
HORVÁTH, L., PFENNINGER-HORVÁTH, E. and SPERTINI, F. (2013) The Jeffrey mine, Asbestos, Québec, Canada: A mineralogical review. Mineralogical Record, 44, 375-417.
China
 
  • Anhui Province
    • Anqing Prefecture
      • Qianshan Co.
Xu, S. et al. (2008): Moissanite in serpentinite from the Dabie Mountains in China. Mineralogical Magazine 72, 899-908.
  • Guizhou Province
    • Guiyang Prefecture
      • Qingzhen Co.
Lin, Yangting, Amari, Sachiko, and Pravdivtseva, Olga (2002) Presolar grains from the Qingzhen (EH3) meteorite. The Astrophysical Journal: 525(1)(08/2002): 257-263.
    • Zunyi Prefecture
      • Zunyi Co.
Kehua Yin (2009): Geology and Prospecting 45(3), 273-279
  • Jiangsu Province
    • Lianyungang Prefecture
      • Donghai Co.
        • Maobei
Jingsui Yang, Zhiqin Xu, Wenji Bai, Qingsong Fang, and Zhongming Zhang (2006): 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), July 10-14, 2006, Abstract 59-SE-A0643.
  • Jilin Province (Manchuria; Dongbei Region)
    • Jilin Prefecture
      • Chuanying District
Wankang Huang, Yingwen Xie, and Jingming Pan (1978): Geochimica 7(1), 25-34
  • Liaoning Province (Manchuria; Dongbei Region)
    • Liaodong Peninsula
      • Dalian Prefecture
        • Wafangdian Co.
http://wrgis.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of03-220/DATABASE/lode_deposits.txt
  • Shandong Province
    • Laiwu Prefecture
      • Gangcheng District
Yaxiong Zhong (1980): Geology and Prospecting 16(5), 31-36
      • Laicheng District
Yaxiong Zhong (1980): Geology and Prospecting 16(5), 31-36
    • Linyi Prefecture
      • Fei Co.
Weiguo Zhong, Dengshi Zhou, Jitai Liu, Xiaoping Cheng, and Lihua Xie (2003): Shandong Geology 19(1), 43-49
      • Yimeng Mts (Yimeng Shan)
        • Mengyin Co.
Jianhong Zhang, Guojie Yang, and Zhaohui Li (1986): Kuangwu Xuebao 6, 344-349.
    • Tai'an Prefecture
      • Daiyue District
Yaxiong Zhong (1980): Geology and Prospecting 16(5), 31-36
    • Zibo Prefecture
      • Boshan District
Yaxiong Zhong (1980): Geology and Prospecting 16(5), 31-36
  • Tibet Autonomous Region
    • Shannan Prefecture (Lhokha Prefecture; Lhoka Prefecture)
      • Qusum Co. (Qusong Co.)
Wenji Bai, Jingsui Yang, Qingsong Fang, Binggan Yan, and Zhongming Zhang (2001): Earth Science Frontiers 8(3), 111-121; Lee, J.S., Yu, S.C., Tung, S.F., Bai, W.J., Yang, J.S., Fang, Q.S., Zhang, Z.M. (2006): The crystal structure of natural 33R moissanite from Tibet. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, 221, 213-217.
Xiangzhen Xu, Jingsui Yang, Dengzhu Ba, Qingsong Fang, Songyong Chen, Wenji Bai, and Huaqi Li (2008): Preliminary research on Kangjinla podiform chromite deposit in Tibet. Presented at the 33rd International Geological Congress, Oslo, August 6-14, 2008.; Xiangzhen Xu, Jingsui Yang, Guolin Guo, and Fahui Xiong (2013): Acta Petrologica Sinica 29(6), 1867-1877
  • Yunnan Province
    • Lijiang Prefecture
      • Gucheng District
Zhaochong Zhang, Jingwen Mao, Fusheng Wang, and Pirajno, F. (2006): American Mineralogist 91(7), 1178-1183.
Czech Republic
 
AmMin 48:620-634 (1963)
    • Ústí Region
      • Třebenice (Trebnitz)
Rost R.: Doplňky k mineralogii pyropových štěrků v Českém středohoří. Časopis pro mineralogii a geologii, 1962, 7, 4, 407-417.
Rost R.: Doplňky k mineralogii pyropových štěrků v Českém středohoří. Časopis pro mineralogii a geologii, 1962, 7, 4, 407-417.
  • Moravia (Mähren; Maehren)
    • Olomouc Region
      • Prostějov
Lee M R, Russell S S, Arden J W, Pillinger C T (1995) Nierite (Si3N4), a new mineral from ordinary and enstatite chondrites, Meteoritics, 30, 387-398
Egypt
 
  • Western Desert
    • Great Sand Sea
Yasunori Miura (2009) Metamorphosed calcium carbonates in sea-impact glass LDSG. 2009 Annual Meeting of Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences, R7-03.
Hungary
 
  • Tolna Co.
    • Völgység
      • Bátaapáti
Szakáll-Gatter-Szendrei:Mineral Species of Hungary,2005
Israel
 
  • Haifa District
[Moissanite-6H] Gems & Gemology, Summer 2014 Vol. 50 No. 2; Howard Coopersmith, Vered Toledo, John Ward, Michiel De Wit, R Spaggiari, Emmanuel Fritsch: "Geology and Exploration of Gem Deposits at Mt. Carmel, Northern Israel: Natural Moissanite, Sapphire, Ruby & Diamond."
    • Mount Carmel
[Moissanite-6H] Gems & Gemology, Summer 2014 Vol. 50 No. 2
Kazakhstan
 
  • Aktobe Province (Aqtöbe Oblysy; Aktubinskaya Oblast')
Pavel M. Kartashov analytical data
Norway
 
  • Sør-Trøndelag
    • Meldal
      • Grutseter
Jørgensen, L. B. & Sagvold, E. B. (2001): Geologiske severdigheter og mineralforekomster i Løkkenfeltet. Orkla Industrimuseum 42p
Russia
 
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Krasnoyarsk Territory (Krasnoyarsk Kray; Krasnoyarskii Krai)
      • Evenkia (Evenkiyskiy Autonomous okrug)
        • Nizhnyaya Tunguska River Basin (Lower Tunguska River)
Kvasnytsya, V., Wirth, R., Dobrzhinetskaya, L., Matzel, J., Jacobsen, B., Hutcheon, I., ... & Kovalyukh, M. (2013). New evidence of meteoritic origin of the Tunguska cosmic body. Planetary and Space Science, 84, 131-140.
      • Targhasa massif
L. N. Novoselova, A. Yu. Lyul (1986) Geochemical characteristics of iron silicides from Lower Cambrian reefal limestones, Krasnoyarsk. International Geology Review 28:114-118
    • Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia)
[World of Stones 12:49]
Handbook of Mineralogy - Anthony, Bideaux, Bladh, Nichols
      • Northern Yakutia
        • Olenyok (Olenek) river basin
Koval'skii, V.V., Oleinikov, O.B. (1985): Native metals and natural polymineralic alloys of copper, zinc, lead, tin and antimony in rocks from the "Leningrad" kimberlite pipe. Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR: 285: 203-208; in: Hawthorne, F.C., Bladh, K.W., Burke, E.A.J., Grew, E.S., Langley, R.H., Puziewicz, J., Roberts, A.C., Shigley, J.E., Vanko, D.A. (1987): New mineral Names. American Mineralogist: 72: 227
      • Vilyui River Basin (Vilui River Basin; Wilui River Basin)
        • Lower Khann'ya River
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
  • Far-Eastern Region
    • Kamchatka Oblast'
Pavel M. Kartashov data
      • Tolbachik volcano
[MinRec 31:202]
    • Magadanskaya Oblast'
      • Kolyma River Basin
        • Degdekan rivulet
Plyashkevich, A.A., Minyuk, P.S., Subbotnikova, T.V., Alshevsky, A.V. (2016): Newly Formed Minerals of the Fe–P–S System in Kolyma Fulgurite. Transactions (Doklady) of the Russian Academy of Sciences/Earth Science Section: 467" 380-383; http://forum.amiminerals.it/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12916&sid=9b89d03bd5ce87f39ba8564967753056 (2016)
    • Primorskiy Kray
      • Khanka lake
Molchanov, V. P., & Medvedev, E. I. (2011). Features of chemistry natural gold nanotubes (Primor’ye). Materials, methods and technologies (CD-ROM), 5(2), 263-269
  • Northern Region
    • Murmanskaja Oblast'
      • Kola Peninsula
www.koeln.netsurf.de/~w.steffens/khib.htm
  • Urals Region
    • Southern Urals
      • Chelyabinsk Oblast'
        • Kyshtym (Kychtym; Kishtim)
Pavel M. Kartashov data
  • Volgo-Vyatskii Region
    • Nizhny Novgorod Oblast'
      • Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky; Gor'kii)
M.I. Novgorodova data
  • Western-Siberian Region
[Mineralien Welt 6/92:62]
      • Tyumenskaya Oblast'
6th orogenic lherzolite conference 2014 Morocco; Yang, J., Meng, F., Xu, X., Robinson, P. T., Dilek, Y., Makeyev, A. B., ... & Cliff, J. (2015). Diamonds, native elements and metal alloys from chromitites of the Ray-Iz ophiolite of the Polar Urals. Gondwana Research, 27(2), 459-485.
    • Prepolar Ural
      • Tyumenskaya Oblast'
        • Khanty-Mansi Okrug (Khanty Mansiysk)
          • Saranpaul
Pavel M. Kartashov analytical data
P.M. Kartashov data
South Africa
 
  • Free State Province
    • Thabo Mofutsanyane District
      • Clocolan
Field, M., Stiefenhofer, J., Robey, J., and Kurszlaukis, S. (2008): Ore Geology Reviews 34, 33-75.
Tajikistan
 
  • Viloyati Sogd (Viloyati Sughd; Viloyati Khodzhent; Viloyati Leninabad)
    • Gissar Range
Novgorodova M.I. (1996) Native magnesium and the problem of its genesis, - Geokhimiya, №1, p. 41-50 (in Rus.)
Turkey
 
  • Aegean Region
    • Izmir Province
Am Min 88:1817-1821
Ukraine
 
  • Kirovohrad Oblast' (Kirovohrads'ka Oblast')
G.M.Yatsenko, Ye.M.Slyvko, A.I.Rosykhina(2000) Allied Mantle Components Of The Klyntsi Gold Zone And The Rivne Explosive Structures (the central part of the Ukrainian shield). Mineralogical Review pp 28-34; O.K.Babynin, A.G.Marchenko, Yu.F.Marchenko (2006) Object B3. Klyntsivske gold deposit. In International Field Workshop. IAGOD Field trip.
  • Mykolayiv Oblast' (Nikolajev; Nikolayev; Nikolaev)
Nittler, L.R., C.M.O'D. Alexander, F.J. Stadermann, and E.K. Zinner (____) Presolar Al-, Ca-, and Ti-rich Oxide Grains in the Krymka Meteorite.
USA (TL)
 
  • Arizona
    • Coconino Co.
      • Winslow
        • Meteor Crater and vicinity
Am Min 77 (1992), 208
  • Kansas
    • McPherson Co.
Lee M R, Russell S S, Arden J W, Pillinger C T (1995) Nierite (Si3N4), a new mineral from ordinary and enstatite chondrites, Meteoritics, 30, 387-398
  • Wyoming
    • Green River Formation
[Moissanite-3C] REGIS, A.J. & L.B. SAND (1958): Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 69, 1633.
    • Sweetwater Co.
AmMin 48:620-634 (1963)
Uzbekistan
 
  • Tashkent Viloyati (Toshkent)
    • Angren Region
      • Chatkal-Kuraminskii Range
Yusupov, R.G. , et al. : Mavlyanovite, a new mineral species from a lamproite diatreme, Chatkal Ridge, Uzbekistan. Mineralogical Magazine 73,43-50 (2009).
Outer Space
European Journal of Mineralogy; December; v. 19; no. 6; p. 771-782; DOI: 10.1127/0935-1221/2007/0019-1766
The Moon
J. Frondel (2009), Lunar Mineralogy, Wiley Interscience
Mineral and/or Locality  
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