Is there any greater frustration than wanting to propose to your beloved, but not having enough money for a diamond that will knock their socks off? Gone are the days of spending several months’ salary on a diamond, gone are the days of wearing a diamond because there’s nothing better, and gone are the days of entering married life up to your eyeballs in debt, all thanks to moissanite.
What is moissanite and where did it come from?
Moissanite was discovered in the late 1800s by the man from whom it takes its name – Henri Moissan, a French scientist. Due to the fact that it was first formally discovered at the impact site of a meteorite, Moissanite is often erroneously believed to come from space. This is not correct, as the compound from which it is made, silicon carbide, is found naturally on earth. It is, however, fairly rare to find in its natural form, which is why commercial moissanite is grown in labs. The large silicon carbide crystals are processed and cut into smaller gemstones before getting them ready for sales and distribution.
The sole manufacturing rights for moissanite in the United States belongs to a single company, Charles & Colvard. As with any market where jewels of any value are involved, moissanite unfortunately also has a strong black-market presence. Of course, the moissanite being sold on the black market, outside of the company that holds the patent rights, are cheap fakes, so make 100% sure of the origins of your moissanite before spending your money in the wrong places.
How to pick the right moissanite for you
Diamonds get a lot of airtime as being the affordable engagement ring stone of choice. Not only is this a dated view to hold, but not keeping an open mind cuts you off from learning about new options on the market. Moissanite can hold its own against diamonds in appearance and performance. Although it closely resembles diamonds in appearance, moissanite is actually a far brighter stone, thanks to its double refractive properties. Double refractive simply means that it has the ability to let out a greater spectrum of light than a diamond.
Even when it comes to the hardness and toughness factor, Moissanite doesn’t stand back to diamonds. In fact, they are second only to diamonds on the hardness scale, known as the Mohs scale. Diamonds score a 10 on this scale, while moissanite comes in at 9.5 – a negligible difference. This toughness means that you need not worry about your moissanite being damaged through chipping, cracking or mechanical damage when being processed by a jeweller.
Be seen with your moissanite
The brilliance and shimmer of a moissanite makes them natural head-turners. The immense strength and durability means that you will not suffer the heartbreak of damage to the jewel by mechanical handling. It’s relative inexpensiveness means that you will be able to afford a far bigger stone than what would have been the case in you had bought a diamond – and if that isn’t excellent value, I don’t know what is!