written by Genius Glamor Fashionista Expert, Laura Canter
When people think of engagement rings and wedding rings, the first thing that comes to mind is the quintessential diamond along with its four C’s: carat, cut, color, and clarity. Well, did it ever occur to anyone that engagement rings can be comprised of other gemstones? There are just so many to choose from. My stepmother was given a very deep sapphire set in a white gold band from my father because he knew how much she loves her September birthstone. My best friend Crystal, given the no frills person that she is, opted for a pearl on her engagement ring. And for myself, well I prefer a rose gold band, complete with a moissanite stone. What’s moissanite? I’m glad you asked. Moissanite is a gemstone that is coming into its own mirroring that of a real diamond with its flawlessness and beautiful brilliance. Oh, and did I mention it comes from a meteorite? Take note gentlemen, this gemstone is another great way to remind your lady that she really is the star of your universe.
Moissanite in the Rough
That’s right, I said meteorite. According to Diamondsuck.com, Moissanite, holding the chemical name of Silicon Carbide, is a rare gemstone that is typically found in very small quantities in meteorites, corundum deposits, and kimberlite. Looking at it with your naked eye, moissanite does hold similar qualities to the diamond in that it is transparent, extremely hard (9.25 on the Mohs scale, compared to 10 for diamond), and has a high index of refraction (2.65 - 2.69, compared to 2.42 for diamond). When a large rough moissanite sample is cut and polished, the end result is a very bright, brilliant, transparent gemstone that is almost indistinguishable from the diamond until you notice the scintillation of many colors that exude from the stone.
“It’s an acquired taste in jewelry, but people do like some of the styles,” says Cynthia Edwards, Sales Associate at Helzberg Diamonds in Escondido, CA. “I have to explain to [the customers] that it does have carbon in it. It’s born in an incubator.”
Considering I used to sell jewelry, in my opinion moissanite is brighter, more lustrous, and has more fire than a diamond. It radiates extremely beautiful colors when you hold it up to any light, it even sparkles in the shadows.I would sell the heck out of moissanite rings not only because it was my job to make a certain amount of commission for said jewelry store that employed me, but I genuinely believe in the product and stand behind its brilliance and stamina. And, considering you can see these things sparkling in the glass cases from outside the store, these babies practically sell themselves.
“A lot of entertainers wear moissanite. Rapper 50 Cent wears it on stage, so while he’s performing and showing off his ‘bling,’ you’re watching him wear moissanite,” Edwards expresses.
Here’s a little bit of background on the moissanite stone. According to moissanitejewelry.com, “The history of natural moissanite can be traced back to the late 1800's and a man who later became a Nobel Prize winner. Dr. Henri Moissan discovered natural silicon carbide while analyzing part of the Diablo Canyon meteorite in 1893. The mineral name for silicon carbide, Moissanite, was given in Dr. Moissan's honor in 1905.
“Natural sources of silicon carbide are rare, and only certain atomic arrangements are useful for gemological applications. Recently, single-crystalline silicon carbide, in certain forms, has been used for the fabrication of high-performance semiconductor devices. North Carolina-based Cree Research, Inc., founded in 1987, has developed a commercial process for producing large single crystals of silicon carbide. Cree is the world leader in the growth of single crystal silicon carbide, mostly for electronics use. Gem quality Moissanite is created exclusively by Charles & Colvard, Inc.”
In my opinion, moissanite stones are so much more desirable than diamonds, but just in case you’re still not convinced, let me break it down so you will find more money in your wallet at the end of the day. You know how some commercials make you feel like scum of the earth because you’re NOT spending three months’ salary on an engagement ring for your
nagging girlfriend? Not in the moissanite world. Let’s compare and contrast, shall we? Imagine a 1.00-Carat Round, Very Good-cut, I-color, VS1-clarity diamond. According to a diamond grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), this precious stone is worth $4,565. Now, let’s take a look at a Round 6.5 mm moissanite stone (yes, moissanite is measured in mm, which equals roughly 1.0 carat), certified by Charles & Colvard, retail is $735. Wow!!! According to my calculations, that’s a $3830 difference! Keep in mind though, that’s just for the stone, we’re not including the setting or the band yet.
“Mostly, people do like to wear moissanite when they travel, that way if they lose it, the loss wouldn’t be as much as a diamond,” Edwards explains.
Now I know this article is being published in Exec Digital and let’s be honest, if you’re reading this magazine, you’re not thinking about skimping when it comes to buying jewelry for your beautiful lady. However, think of all the other stuff you can buy for her with the money you saved on buying a moissanite as opposed to a diamond. A new purse, a trip to the Riviera, or more pocket change you can spend on yourself. Hi, remember you? Buy something pretty for yourself, like moissanite cuff links for example. Go crazy!