In 1893, the Nobel Prize-winning French scientist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered minute quantities of a new mineral, natural silicon carbide. The mineral was discovered in an iron meteorite (Canyon Diablo) in Arizona. It was later named "moissanite" in honor of Dr. Moissan.
More than a century later, Cree (a North Carolina-based R&D lab) developed a process for producing large, single, crystals of synthetic moissanite. In 1995, a master diamond cutter saw samples of the silicon carbide crystals and suggested to the founders of Charles & Colvard that, if properly cut, the crystals could make a beautiful jewel. Charles & Colvard recognized the mineral's potential.
They also realized that in order for the moissanite gems to be used, they would have to be manufactured, since there is essentially no natural supply for this stone. In 1995, Charles & Colvard collaborated with Cree to develop larger gemstones for Charles & Colvard to use in the Cree colorless development program. In conjunction with Cree, Charles & Colvard is the exclusive worldwide manufacturer and marketer of lab-created moissanite gemstones.