A diamond may be a best friend to some girls, but others find devotion to the less well known, but also brilliant and sparkly, moissanite. First discovered by French scientist Henri Moissan in a meteorite, the silicon carbide crystals are now lab synthesized into a beautiful gemstone with many similarities to the diamond, including color, brilliance and durability.
Moissanite stones have a refractive index of 2.65 – 2.69, making them even a bit more brilliant than diamonds at 2.41. Some find this additional brilliance lovely, while others find it a bit off-putting. While diamonds are the hardest stone on the Mohs scale at 10, moissanite ranks a very close 9.25, offering durability rivaling its famous mineral cousin. It is resistant to scratching, abrasion, breaking and chipping. The color of moissanite varies somewhat from a classic moissanite stone, which may have a slight yellowish hue, to near colorless and colorless enhanced moissanite stones. As with other gemstones, customers can choose from a beautiful array of stone sizes, shapes and settings.
But it’s moissanite’s differences from diamonds that are making it an ever more popular choice in lieu of a diamond, particularly for bridal jewelry.
One of the great appeals of moissanite is its price, which is a fraction of that of a diamond of similar size and color. Diamond prices are based on the stone’s characteristics, the famous 4Cs (carat, cut, color and clarity). Moissanite pricing is based on the stone’s size and whether the color is enhanced. A one-carat, round, I color, VS2 diamond would be priced at $4,000 or more, while a moissanite stone of the same size would range from $250 – $600 depending on its color. For the price conscious, this allows the consumer to choose a larger stone and stay within a smaller budget.
As customers, particularly Millennials, become more environmentally conscious, moissanite offers an environmentally friendly option in the search for jewelry. Because moissanite is lab-created, there are no concerns about the environmental impact of mining as there are with certain diamonds. Moissanite also removes any ethical concerns related to conflict stones, as they are not mined in war-torn areas. While the diamond industry and jewelers are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of diamond mining, for certain customers knowing that there is no environmental or ethical question brings peace of mind to their jewelry purchase.
Care and cleaning of moissanite jewelry should be done on a routine basis, just as with other gemstones. Use a fine jewelry cleaning formulation as recommended by your jeweler. You should also have your piece inspected annually to ensure their are no loose settings or other damage.
While diamonds remain the most popular gemstone, particularly for bridal jewelry, and for very good reason, moissanite offers another beautiful option for consumers as they search for the perfect stone.
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