If you are looking for a sparkling gemstone that can rival the beauty and durability of a diamond, you might have heard of moissanite. Moissanite is a synthetic gemstone that was first discovered in a meteor crater in Arizona in 1893. It has a similar appearance and hardness to diamonds, but with some unique properties that make it stand out.
In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why some people are choosing moissanite over diamonds, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of this alternative gemstone. We will also provide some tips on how to shop for moissanite jewelry and how to care for it.
What is moissanite?
Moissanite is a rare mineral that is composed of silicon carbide. It has a hexagonal crystal structure and a refractive index of 2.65-2.69, which means it has more fire and brilliance than diamonds (which have a refractive index of 2.42). Moissanite also has a higher dispersion than diamonds, which means it splits light into more colors and creates a rainbow effect.
Moissanite is not a natural gemstone, but a lab-created one. The natural moissanite that was found in the meteor crater was too scarce and small to be used for jewelry. In 1995, a company called Charles & Colvard developed a process to synthesize moissanite in large quantities and high quality. They are still the leading producer of moissanite today, although other brands have emerged as well.
Why are people buying moissanite instead of diamonds?
There are several reasons why some people prefer moissanite over diamonds, such as:
- Cost: Moissanite is much more affordable than diamonds. A one-carat moissanite can cost around $300-$600, while a one-carat diamond can cost around $4,000-$6,000. This means you can get a bigger and more impressive stone for your budget with moissanite.
- Ethics: Moissanite is ethically sourced and environmentally friendly. Unlike diamonds, which can be mined from conflict zones or cause environmental damage, moissanite is created in labs with minimal impact on the planet. You can also be sure that your moissanite is not tainted by blood or violence.
- Style: Moissanite is versatile and trendy. You can find moissanite in various shapes, sizes, colors, and settings. You can also customize your moissanite jewelry to suit your personal style and preference. Moissanite is also popular among celebrities and influencers who want to make a statement with their jewelry.
What are the drawbacks of moissanite?
Moissanite is not without its flaws, however. Some of the drawbacks of moissanite are:
- Color: Moissanite can have a slight yellow or gray tint, especially in larger sizes or under certain lighting conditions. This can make it look less white and clear than diamonds. Some people may prefer the warmer tone of moissanite, while others may find it less appealing.
- Durability: Moissanite is very durable, but not as durable as diamonds. It has a hardness of 9.25 on the Mohs scale, while diamonds have a hardness of 10. This means that moissanite can still scratch or chip if exposed to extreme pressure or heat.
- Recognition: Moissanite is not as widely recognized or accepted as diamonds. Some people may not be familiar with moissanite or may think it is a fake or inferior gemstone. Some people may also prefer the status and prestige that come with owning a diamond.
How to shop for moissanite jewelry?
If you are interested in buying moissanite jewelry, here are some tips to help you:
- Choose the right shape and size: Moissanite comes in various shapes and sizes, from round to oval to cushion to pear. The shape and size of your moissanite will affect its appearance and price. For example, round moissanites tend to have more fire and brilliance than other shapes, but they also tend to be more expensive. You should also consider the size of your finger and the style of your setting when choosing your moissanite.
- Choose the right color and clarity: Moissanite comes in different colors and clarities, from colorless to near-colorless to faint yellow or gray. The color and clarity of your moissanite will affect its sparkle and value. For example, colorless moissanites tend to have more sparkle and value than near-colorless or faint ones, but they also tend to be more expensive. You should also consider the color of your metal setting when choosing your moissanite.
- Choose the right brand and certification: Moissanite comes from different manufacturers and brands, so it’s important to choose a reputable brand that produces high-quality moissanite. Look for brands that are known for their quality and have a track record of producing reliable gemstones. Additionally, consider looking for moissanite that has been certified by a reputable organization, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This certification will ensure that the moissanite is authentic and of high quality. By choosing the right brand and certification, you can be confident that you are getting a beautiful and durable gemstone for your engagement ring or other jewelry.
Finally, the appearance of moissanite is another reason why people are choosing it over diamonds. While diamonds are known for their brilliance and fire, moissanite can actually be more sparkly. This is because moissanite has a higher refractive index, which means it reflects light more than a diamond does. Some people even prefer the look of moissanite over diamonds because of this.
In conclusion, moissanite is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to diamonds for engagement rings. Its lower price point, smaller environmental footprint, and high durability are all factors that make it an appealing option. Additionally, its sparkle and appearance make it a great choice for those who want a flashy ring without breaking the bank. While diamonds will always be a classic choice for engagement rings, it’s clear that moissanite is quickly becoming a popular alternative.
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