Finding an engagement ring in modern shopping terms is not difficult. The amount of available options could make it confusing, but the range of options is constantly expanding. For decades, if not centuries, the diamond industry has had a monopoly on marriage-related jewellery, but that is swiftly changing with the onset of the lab revolution.
Thanks to major advances in laboratory generation, couples are no longer forced to settle for diamonds. Grown diamonds and replicas abound, and the quality is improving by the day. But what’s the deal with Moissanite? Similar in durability, appearance and wear, but still just not a diamond, what makes this beautiful stone so unique?
What’s the difference?
Although the visible difference between a diamond and a moissanite is negligible, they are ultimately different. There is a group of purists who believe that buying moissanite is a cop out, while another group views moissanite as progressive over the conventional entrapment of diamonds.
If diamonds are considered traditional, moissanite is seen as breaking tradition. No matter what you believe, there is no doubt that a cheap moissanite engagement ring can hold its own despite the extensive history of the diamond market.
A short history
The French geologist Henri Moissan first noticed natural moissanite while working on collecting samples from a meteorite crater. Although it has been synthetically produced for use in jewellery for decades, it is a naturally-occurring, though rare mineral.
Many people are drawn to the ethical production that is associated with Moissanite, compared to the destructive effect diamond mining has on kimberlite formations underneath the earth, on riverbeds and the ocean floor. There is a definite ethical stigma attached to diamonds that come from Africa, where large corporations are known to not only dig up the environment in pursuit of the gems. Alluvial mining is equally controversial, as the heavy machinery that is used across both forms of mining lead to untold pollution and destruction of the natural environment. To make matters worse, African miners are often paid extremely low wages, that barely meet the basic standards of living.
What better way to avoid this that by opting for moissanite, which is produced in a laboratory under controlled conditions. Makes you think that even a cheap moissanite ring could be the valuable one after all!
It is NOT a diamond
Amongst the many clues that demonstrate that a moissanite is not a diamond, is the definite fact that a moissanite sparkles much more than a diamond. Its crystal structure is assembled differently , resulting in "birefringence", which refers to the bending of light as it passes through the stone.
Some people will choose lab-created moissanite time and again for moral and ethical purposes. Others believe diamonds to be natural, rare and special.
Luckily, the crossover area is growing by the day, and those with a taste for the nontraditional can treat their beloved to a ring with a custom-colored stone, such as the signature green from moissanite makers Charles & Colvard, in honor of their commitment to environmental responsibility.