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|Name:||Named after H. Moissan (1852-1907) 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 and kimberlites, is 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).
Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Moissanite. Currently in public beta-test.
Classification of Moissanite
|Strunz 8th edition ID:||1/B.02-30|
|Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:||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 edition ID:||126.96.36.199|
|Dana 8th edition ID:||188.8.131.52|
1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
3 : Semi-metals and non-metals
|Hey's CIM Ref.:||2.1|
2 : Carbides, Nitrides, Silicides and Phosphides
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Type Occurrence of Moissanite
|Type Locality:||Canyon Diablo meteorite, Meteor Crater and vicinity, Winslow, Coconino Co., Arizona, USA|
Physical Properties of Moissanite
Crystallography of Moissanite
Optical Data of Moissanite
|RI values:||nω = 2.616 - 2.757 nε = 2.654 - 2.812|
|Maximum Birefringence:||δ = 0.038|
Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
|Surface Relief:||Very High|
Chemical Properties of Moissanite
|Essential elements:||C, Si|
|All elements listed in formula:||C, Si|
Relationship of Moissanite to other Species
|Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:|
Other Names for Moissanite
Polytypes for Moissanite
|Health Warning:||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
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (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.
Structure Reports (or Strukturbericht) 13 (1950), 166 [crystal structure].
Bauer, J. et al. (1963): Natural alpha-silicon carbide. American Mineralogist 48: 620-634.[http://www.minsocam.org/msa/collectors_corner/arc/moissanite.htm]
Acta Crystallographica B25 (1969), 477 [Recent/Best,Powder Pat.,Xl. Structure].
Hannam, A.L. and P.T.B. Shaffer (1969) Revised X-ray diffraction line intensities for silicon carbide polytypes. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 2, 45–48.
Gevorkyan, R.G., G.A. Gurkina, and F.V. Kaminskii (1974): New type of natural moissanite from Armenia. Zap. Vses. Mineral. Obshch., 7, 106–110 (in Russian).
American Mineralogist (1976): 61: 1054.
Transactions (Doklady) of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Earth Science Sections 262 (1982), 163 [Powder Pat.,Chemistry].
Leung, I., W. Guo, I. Friedman, and J. Gleason (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 Yakutia [Sakha]. 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 Jahrb. Mineral., Monatsh., 521–527.
Mathez, E.A., R.A. Fogel, I.D. Hutcheon, and V.K. Marshintsev (1995) Carbon isotopic composition and origin of SiC from kimberlites of Yakutia [Sakha], Russia. Geochim. Cosmochim. 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.
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
Localities for Moissanite
The 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. ? 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.
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