It is very likely that you will have grown up with the perception that diamonds are the be-all and end-all in the world of gemstones and jewellery. Portrayal of diamonds in the media, as well as its presence in cultural icons (think of engagement rings or the crown of England!) have solidly positioned diamonds as the most important stone in the jewellery world.
All that glitters…
But take a step back and think about the cost of diamonds, and suddenly they don’t seem so appealing anymore. And I’m not only taking about the cost of walking into a store and buying a diamond. The cost of diamonds includes the destruction committed to the earth where mining sites go up, the cost of conflict and war in in areas trafficked for their diamonds, and the exploitation of the miners who work the sites. If you, like many others, don’t feel like you can be part of this cycle, moissanite might be just the answer you didn’t know you were looking for!
But it’s just a fake diamond!
I cannot reinforce this point enough – moissanites are NOT fake diamonds . Although in many aspects they look like diamonds, handle like diamonds and wear like diamonds, they are neither fakes, nor knock-offs. But moissanite is an individual gem that is not intended to be a fake diamond – its similarities are a combination of coincidence and suitability.
It is a hard-wearing stone, and in fact, the second hardest stone on the market after actual diamonds. As with diamonds, you will not need to be concerned about chipping, cracking, or any other damage coming to the stone, any more than you would have worried about a diamond! Its proximity to diamonds on the Mohs scale of hardness means that moissanite wears and tears exactly like a diamond – but at a fraction of the cost.
What is moissanite actually?
Before being processed, moissanite is nothing more than silicon carbide. Although this compound is scarce in its natural state, it is easily and cost-effectively created in a laboratory environment, which is the origin of all commercial moissanite. Moissanite has gained major popularity in recent years, based on its astounding fire. Fire refers to the way a stone displays the light that comes out of it, and is also known as its brilliance. Because moissanite is double refractive, it lets out almost twice the amount of light that enters it, thanks to intricate bending and shaping of the light beam after it enters the stone. This also results in moissanite’s characteristic “rainbow” fire, where many colours can be witnessed in a moissanite stone, compared to the monochromatic white glow given off by diamonds, which are only single refractive.
The cut and colour of a moissanite will also affect its overall appearance. The ideal standard is colourless, which is the most expensive too, as is the case with diamonds. Moissanites do cover a range of colour tints, from brownish to yellow and green.