I’ve had a lot more requests for engagement rings with diamond alternatives lately. Whether driven by reasons of cost, ethics or environmental concerns, one thing is for certain; moissanite seems to be the front runner alternative.
Moissanite has actually been around for a while. Charles and Colvard began growing it in their labs in 1998 . So for those of you who haven’t even heard of moissanite; what is it exactly?
Straight from Charles and Colvard:
“First uncovered in a meteorite and impossibly rare on earth, Charles & Colvard® patented the innovative high-tech process that creates this brilliant jewel from silicon carbide,the world’s second-hardest substance. More durable than sapphire, ruby or emerald; moissanite’s beauty will last for generations.”
Silicon carbide probably doesn’t mean much to you unless you’re a chemist but the gist of it is that 1) moissanite is not a substance that can be sourced from nature and 2) it is very hard, second only to diamond.
Durability (alongside some clever advertising) is of course part of the reason diamonds became the go-to gem for engagement rings. Who isn’t familiar with the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever”? So despite coming up as a worthy adversary in that regard, where moissanite fell short (up until recently) was colour. Incredible fire and brilliance aside, moissanite always came out slightly tinted with a yellowish to greenish undertone. But a recent change to their lab process has done away with this problem. ‘Forever Brilliant’ moissanite is significantly whiter and judging from the increase in interest, people seem to like the change.
At a fraction of the cost of an equivalent sized diamond, the price benefit of moissanite really comes into play for larger sized stones. Substituting moissanite for a diamond results in thousands of dollars in savings. So for those who dream of a 1 carat, 2 carat or bigger (hey why not?) diamond but simply can’t afford (or can afford but can’t justify) the expense, they can certainly achieve their desired look much more reasonably and without sacrificing quality and longevity.
What’s your take on diamonds and diamond alternatives? Would you consider a substitute such as moissanite? Why or why not? Sound off below; I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.