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Moissanite

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Formula:
SiC
System:HexagonalColour:Green, black
Lustre:Vitreous, Sub-MetallicHardness:
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

IMA status:Approved
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:1.3.7.1
Dana 8th edition ID:1.3.8.1

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

Lustre:Vitreous, Sub-Metallic
Colour:Green, black
Streak:Greenish grey
Hardness (Mohs):

Crystallography of Moissanite

Crystal System:Hexagonal

Optical Data of Moissanite

Type:Uniaxial (+)
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

Formula:
SiC
Essential elements:C, Si
All elements listed in formula:C, Si

Relationship of Moissanite to other Species

Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
2.2Sinoite
Si
 
2
N
 
2
O
2.3Osbornite
TiN
2.4Tongbaite
Cr
 
3
C
 
2
2.5Carlsbergite
CrN
2.6Siderazot
Fe
 
5
N
 
2
2.7Gupeiite
Fe
 
3
Si
2.8Xifengite
Fe
 
5
Si
 
3
2.9Khamrabaevite
(Ti,V,Fe)C
2.10Haxonite
(Fe,Ni)
 
23
C
 
6
2.11Cohenite
(Fe,Ni,Co)
 
3
C
2.12Roaldite
(Fe,Ni)
 
4
N
2.13Suessite
(Fe,Ni)
 
3
Si
2.14Schreibersite
(Fe,Ni)
 
3
P
2.15Barringerite
(Fe,Ni)
 
2
P
2.16Perryite
(Ni,Fe)
 
5
(Si,P)
 
2

Other Names for Moissanite

Synonyms:
Muassanite
Other Languages:
German:Moissanit
Muassanit
Italian:Moissanite
Portuguese:Moissanite
Russian:Муассанит
Simplified Chinese:莫桑石
Spanish:Moissanita
Muassanita
Traditional Chinese:碳矽石

Polytypes for Moissanite

Polytypes:
Moissanite-10RMoissanite-15RMoissanite-2HMoissanite-33RMoissanite-3C
Moissanite-4HMoissanite-5HMoissanite-6H

Other Information

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

Reference List:

- +
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

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
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  • Look for Moissanite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Moissanite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Moissanite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
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  • 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.
    Azerbaijan
     
    • Naxçıvan District (Naxcivan; Nakhichevan)
      • 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
    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. Mineral. Mag. 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)
      • Moravia-Silesia Region
    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
      • 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
    Outer Space
    European Journal of Mineralogy; December; v. 19; no. 6; p. 771-782; DOI: 10.1127/0935-1221/2007/0019-1766
    Russia
     
    • Eastern-Siberian Region
      • Krasnoyarsk Territory (Krasnoyarsk Kray; Krasnoyarskii Krai)
        • 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
        • 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]
    • 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]
      • 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.)
    The Moon
    J. Frondel (2009), Lunar Mineralogy, Wiley Interscience
    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
    • 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
     
    • 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
      • 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).
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