Do I like it and do I sell it? Read on and find out. What is this post about?
As a Santa Barbara Wedding Jewelry Designer, I've had more than my fair share of questions about Moissanite as an alternate to Diamond.
I’ll give you the history, what it is, the pro’s and con’s of Moissanite, and the advice on how best to select and buy it should you choose to go down the Moissanite path.
Who the Hell Discovered Moissanite?
Moissanite was discovered by French chemist, Henri Moissan, and later named in his honor. The material was found in a crater in Arizona in 1893. The crater was created 50,000 years ago.
At first, he thought he’d found diamonds. It wasn’t until he investigated further that he realized that he'd discovered something completely new. The mineral was called silicon carbide.
That was a seriously un-sexy name. The Tiffany and Co VP and gem expert George Kunz recommended the renaming of the gem quality material to honor Dr. Moissan.
Does an Amateur Rock Hound Stand a Chance in Hell of Finding His Own Supply?
Naturally occurring moissanite is rare on Earth. So much so, that unless you have your own space ship and access to an asteroid belt, your only commercial alternative are lab grown stones. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
What the Hell are Moissanite’s Properties?
Moissanite is made from silicon carbide and a secret process. Depending on which scientific publication you read, Moissanite has a hardness of anywhere from 9.2 to 9.25 on the Mohs scale, putting it closer to ruby and sapphire at 9, than diamond—at the top of scale—at 10.0.
This means that it is a pretty hard stone and that, unlike softer, more scratch-able CZ, it isn't going to scratch as much and look dull on your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Moissanite also shows good fire and sparkle as well as typically having great clarity. Check out the light return picture at the top of the blog. Moissanite is very sparkly. And it still sparkles when dirty which makes it a great choice for a daily wear ring.
The company that makes it has a policy of only selling VS Clarity and above. So you probably don’t need to look at one under a loupe to know it has good clarity.
How (The Hell) Much Does Moissanite Cost?
Moissanite costs considerably less than diamonds. While a one carat diamond might cost $5,000, a similarly sized moissanite might only set you back $700.
Be aware, though, that while diamond size is measured by weight (in carats), Moissanite is usually measured in millimeters. This is because their weights are different. For this reason you’d want to order a 6.5mm Moissanite to get one similar in size to 1ct diamond.
Is Moissanite Suitable as Hell for Wedding Rings?
It depends. If you’re a purist and insist on a traditional, naturally occurring gemstone for your wedding ring, diamonds are the way to go. Moissanites are lab grown.
Natural diamonds take millions of years to form and could be said to be part of the history of the planet. Moissanites haven’t been around for quite so long. In fact, the particular one you’re looking at might have only been around since last Tuesday. (Kidding, it takes longer than that to create them.)
Diamonds are relatively expensive compared to Moissanites. If you want a larger stone but can’t afford the former, you might get the latter. Down the line, if you decide you want to switch the it for a diamond, by all means, do so. Swapping one gemstone for another is common and easy to do.
Three Reasons People might Not Buy it even though It’s Hella Cheaper and Hard Enough
There are three reasons why people might choose a diamond first:
1. Diamonds are the symbol of everlasting love and Moissanite isn’t. So you’d be letting everyone think it’s a diamond because it acts like one. That might get to kind of bug you if all your friends have a diamond and you just pretend you have a diamond. Like you maybe have a hollow symbol of love.
2. One day your kids will get your wedding rings and they might be bummed to find out that it’s not a valuable diamond. If they ever need money in an emergency, that Moissanite will not get it for them. It’s just not valuable like a diamond is.
3. If you are a guy and you decide to get your girlfriend an engagement ring with the size of stone she wants and the design she wants and you put in a Moissanite, because that’s all you can afford, and you don't tell her, well she’s going to find out. And that could get ugly.
The Four Hella Right Ways to do Moissanite
1. If you are going to use Moissanite, ask your girlfriend if she’s OK with that. That takes care of reason number three up above.
2. Compare your Moissanite side by side to a diamond of a G color. Make sure you are comfortable with the difference in look and color of that Moissanite. The Forever Brilliant version costs a bit more, but has a wonderful white color that I love.
3. Look at the Moissanite under normal light, ugly light, and outdoor light, not just a bright store diamond light that makes any stone look amazing.
4. Do not choose an emerald cut shape as that magnifies the presence of any, different than diamond look, in the Moissanite gem. I like the round brilliant cut best as it maximizes the beauty of moissanite.
JCK Magazine recently published an article about how Moissanite is whiter now due to a newer technology.
The Three White Color Choices in Moissanite
Moissanites are not all the same. When they were first on the market they had a slightly greenish tint. It was faint but it was there. Technology improved and now they have three choices.
Forever Classic - it's color on the GIA (Gemological Insititute of America,) scale is between J and K. This is a gem with hints of green, grey or yellow.
Forever Brilliant - it's color on the GIA scale is G, H and I. The nice thing about this choice is the warmth that you get from this choice. I like Forever Brilliant for vintage style designs.
Forever One - it's color on the GIA scale is D, E and F. These are the highest colorless grades. This is their premium, most awesome moissanite. The optical properties of this style give you great sparkle with an icy brightness. It's the one I recommend for my couples wanting a simple or modern design.
Each of these gem choices is internally flawless.
There is a surprise in the moissanite universe. They are offering their sparkle in colors. I am new to these lovelies. I found teale moissanite because I realized there is not a great deal of choice for my clients who want a teale colored gem.
The nice thing about a teale moissanite, besides the nice soft color is that it will hold its sparkle better than a typical colored stone because of moissanite's ability to refract light more strongly than colored gemstones.
The other color I was shown is a lovely pale blue moissanite.
Hells Bells, Do You Have it?
Call me to see Moissanite and discuss it as a choice. I do sell them.
Hell of a Great Jeweler