Moissanite You say?
Moissanite have been getting a lot of attention lately and an increasing number of Millenials are opting for this stone over diamonds. Even choosing this stone over lab-made diamonds because of its superior optical qualities. However, in spite of the spike in popularity of this gemstone, there are still many people who are not quite sure as to what Moissanite really is. So here are some information and everything you need to know about this relatively new gemstone:
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a gemstone first discovered in an ancient meteor crater way back in 1893. The scientist who first discovered this mineral, Dr. Henri Moissan, first thought it was diamond because of its intense brilliance. He later found out that this mineral is composed of silicon carbide and not carbon as diamond is composed of. Naturally-occurring moissanite is very, very rare. It can only be found in a few places in upper mantle rocks and mainly in meteorites. This is the reason that the Moissanite used for jewelry are all grown in the laboratory. This gemstone is sometimes dubbed as meteor gemstone, stardust, or shooting star diamond because of the connection of this mineral to outer space.
Is Moissanite a type of Diamond?
The short answer is NO. Moissanite is not the same as diamond nor is it "a type" of diamond though we cannot blame anyone from confusing the two because Moissanite shares a lot of similar qualities of diamonds. It has been found that diamonds could sometimes contain Moissanite as an inclusion. They share the same heat and refractive index and this is the reason why Moissanite will test positive for a diamond using a regular diamond tester.
Is Moissanite a fake diamond?
Again, the shortest answer is NO. Many diamond institutions have claimed that Moissanite is not as good as diamonds or Moissanite is a fake gemstone because Moissanite disrupted their market as it gains more and more popularity with the younger generation for various reasons such as lower price point, unparalleled optical qualities, and durability. It is important to note that Moissanite is a gemstone in its own right that just happens to have similar qualities as diamonds. In other words, Moissanite is a diamond alternative and not a diamond imitation. A well-made piece of Moissanite jewelry has heirloom-quality and just as classy and sophisticated as any other precious gemstones such as diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire.
Moissanite is one of the hardest minerals on earth and places second only to diamonds in durability, registered at 9.25 on Mohs scale, and can withstand temperatures of up to1,800 degrees celsius (remember, it came from the stars). It is much harder than other precious stones such as ruby, emerald, and sapphire, becoming an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Moissanite is highly resistant to chipping, scratching, or breaking.
What do I need to know if I am buying a Moissanite stone?
Just the same as buying any kind of precious stones, there are certain factors to consider when buying Moissanite. The first thing is the color. When Moissanite was first introduced to the market, the only color categories to choose from were Colorless (D-E-F), near-colorless (G-H-I), and slightly tinted (J-K range). As with diamonds, the absence of color on this gemstone is considered the most desirable, consequently having the heftiest price tag at an average of $690/ct. At present, as the technology gets better, Moissanite comes in various colors such as gray, vivid yellow, champagne, green, teal, aquamarine, and blue.
The facet cut is also an important factor as a properly cut stone enhances the brilliance and fire of a Moissanite. Moissanite can be cut into any common gemstone shape such as round, princess, marquise, pear, cushion, radiant, oval, trillion, and heart.
Shapes that use step-cut such as baguette, emerald, and Asscher that has wide, open facets are also beautiful and classy but be aware of the pitfalls in choosing your stone. Make sure that the stone is free of tints, has the highest grade of clarity, and is cut to proportion. Since step-cut is like an open window where you can see the inside of the stone so clearly, even the slightest color and inclusions could be very visible to the naked eye.
Another factor to consider is Moissanite's clarity. Clarity measures the inclusions in the stone. Inclusions are threadlike imperfections created during its growing process due to the extreme pressure and heat that the Moissanite go under when they form. Although Moissanite used in jewelry are lab-grown and there is a lot of control over the environment of the final product, most Moissanite tends to have some small inclusions although these flaws are mostly only visible under magnification and are not visible to the naked eye.
Moissanite Optical Qualities
Moissanite has an exceptional brilliance, luster, and fire 4 times more than diamond. Due to its very high refractive index, 2.65-2.69 Moissanite emits colorful flashes of color known as the "rainbow effect" when it is viewed under natural sunlight. Although many diamond-selling websites claim that Moissanite will lose its luster over time, or it will discolor or will become cloudy over time, these claims are simply NOT true. Moissanite has been around for more than 30 years and no one who bought this gemstone claimed that their stone has lost its original quality.
Moissanite Price and Resale Value
While it is a common perception that diamond is a good investment because of its "heirloom quality" and resale value, Moissanite and diamond have the same resale value of half the price you bought it for. Moissanite, because of its durability can be passed down from generation to generation. While moissanite is a comparatively affordable gemstone and a great choice as an alternative to diamond, don’t expect it to be cubic zirconia cheap. Highly graded Moissanite stones command hefty prices. Although lab-created, the process of growing this gemstone is a laborious, and time and resource-consuming process. As for diamond's heirloom quality, Moissanite's long-lasting durability is just the same as a diamond.
The retail prices for Moissanite vary depending on its grade, but in general, a 1-carat colorless loose stone average cost is about $690. As Moissanite costs only about 10% of a diamond’s price per carat, this means that you save 90% of what you would have spent on a diamond.
What is the selling point of Moissanite Over Any Other Gemstones?
Moissanite is ideal to use in any type of jewelry. Whether you are a maximalist or a minimalist, Moissanite is a perfect choice for any jewelry style. Moissanite is beautiful when you want to dress up or add some glamour to your everyday wardrobe.
While Moissanite is versatile and can be used for all types of jewelry, it is becoming more popularly used as the center stone for engagement rings by many young couples. Millennials tend to opt for things that are practical and made in a socially-responsible way. Moissanite is durable, affordable, beautiful, and ethically grown. Moissanite, like diamonds, works well with any kind of ring setting. It doesn't require protection as the softer gemstones like Emerald need because it is durable enough, and can be set in delicate styles such as solitaire or tension settings. It works well with any metal color such as yellow, rose, or white gold. Platinum or palladium may also be used. Moissanite is avant-garde, modern, and practical which are the primary reasons they are becoming more popular and appealing to modern couples.
2ct Ideal Cut
EF/VVS1 Colorless Moissanite Engagement Ring
set in 14k White Gold
2ct Ideal Cut
H/VS2 Clarity Diamond Engagement Ring set in 14k White Gold
A side by side