Mention engagements and weddings , and chances are that your brain will almost automatically think of diamonds. Over the course of centuries, diamonds have established themselves in the forefront of our consciousness when it comes to what the leading jewel in the market is. But recent developments have shown a trend in which people are actually moving away from diamonds. They are expensive, unsustainable, bad for the environment and not ethically sound, on account of the exploitation and violence that often accompanies diamond mining. But if not diamonds, where to turn? Enter the moissanite!
But what is it?
Unprocessed Moissanite is quite simply, silicon carbide. The first discovery was made in the late 1800s by a French scientist, Henri Moissan, from whom the jewel takes its name. The fact that the deposit of silicon carbide was found near the area where a meteorite had fallen to earth, gave rise to many rumours that the jewel has its origins in outer space. Although it makes for a good story, it is unfortunately not true. Silicon carbide, although rarely found in its natural form, does occur right here on earth.
Moissanite bears many similarities to diamonds, but despite this, they are not replicas nor fakes. The one major thing that sets them apart from diamonds, is the exceptional brilliance of moissanite, which often appears in a rainbow-type glow.
More things to know to help you pick your Moissanite
Similar to how it works with diamonds, it is possible to have your moissanite stone cut into any shape and size of your preference. All the classic cuts that apply to diamonds, can be applied to moissanite with great success. It is really up to you to decide what you want and what you want the final result to be. Because you get a lot more stone for your money when you buy a moissanite rather than a diamond, it does give you a bit more to work with. Moissanite is also sturdy and durable , falling within the same hardness range as diamonds! On the Mohs scale, which is the gauge used to measure the hardness of a stone, diamonds score a 10, while moissanite come in at a solid 9.5, making them the second hardest gem after diamonds.
How do the colour grades work?
As with any crystal, variations in colour and clarity within a group of moissanites can be expected. The different ranges along the scale are represented by letters of the alphabet. The most desirable category is a colourless moissanite, which will be graded according to colour and clarity on the D to F scale. The next category down is G to I, which is almost colourless, but not quite of the same quality as 100% clarity. J to K represent moissanite with a yellow tinge, the least desirable of all categories, but these are also the cheapest. Because the differences in colour can barely be picked up by the naked eye, this is a great way to save some money if you need!
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