Moissanite engagement rings are an alternative to the traditional, more popular diamond engagement rings, but are they a tacky alternative?
Moissanite engagement rings aren’t tacky by any means – they’re absolutely identical to diamonds, almost as durable, and less expensive overall. They’re also eco-friendly, extremely attractive, and have a remarkable origin story.
Read on to learn more about moissanite engagement rings, where the stone originated, and how much it costs to buy one.
It was once said that moissanite is the gemstone from the stars, delivered to Earth on the top of a soaring meteorite. That’s technically true, and that’s also the only naturally occurring form of moissanite, which is dramatically rare.
In 1893, Henri Moissan ventured into an Arizona crater caused by a meteorite impact. He was already a renowned chemist, but what Henri Moissan uncovered that day would serve to further his reputation.
As he probed the site, he discovered what he thought to be tiny diamonds, but what were, for the most part, totally unidentifiable crystals. He took them back to his laboratory and essentially shelved them for several years, essentially believing they were diamonds.
However, he returned to his tiny ‘diamonds’ over a decade later and identified them as silicon carbide. Now, this wasn’t a new discovery as such, as silicon carbide had been synthesized under laboratory conditions two years before.
But, it was the first time silicon carbide had been found naturally, and in this particular crystallized form. Thus, an entirely new mineral was cataloged, and it became known as moissanite.
Henri Moissan would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry two years after his official discovery, but it wasn’t for moissanite. And, until the 1950s, moissanite was found exclusively within crashed meteorites.
So, it seems that moissanite certainly is a stone sent from the stars, which makes for a fascinating origin story for the mineral. However, every single moissanite stone featured in jewelry today is synthetic – but the foundational tale is still an impressive one.
It’s Like A Diamond
There are many attributes that make a diamond incredibly popular, such as overall durability and resistance to damage, brilliance, and clarity. Although, it isn’t just a diamond that boasts these attributes, as moissanite comes a close second in every category.
While nothing known to man is as resilient or tough as a diamond, a moissanite stone puts up an immense level of competition. It’s rated as a 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, while diamond sits at a firm 10 – the highest grade possible.
Therefore, a moissanite stone is almost as resistant to damage as a diamond, and a diamond is the only thing that can scratch it.
Moissanite is also quite brilliant, and while it doesn’t boast the refractive index of a diamond, it still reflects light in a beautiful way. It’s said that moissanite has double refraction, meaning it bends light and creates a disco or rainbow light effect.
There are no real reasons why moissanite wouldn’t be a fantastic alternative to diamonds. Firstly, they’re cheaper, as they’re entirely synthetic and less popular overall – there’s no expensive mining process to consider.
Secondly, only a trained, expert eye will be able to spot the difference between a moissanite and a diamond when placed side by side. And lastly, both stones can be cut, shaped, and mounted in the exact same way – nobody will know the difference.
Therefore, it’s fair to say that moissanite is certainly not a tacky alternative to diamonds. Furthermore, if you’re in the market for an engagement ring, there’s absolutely no issue with picking out a moissanite engagement ring.
Readily Available And Attractive
These days, most mainstream jewelers across the United States offer moissanite gemstones and jewelry. It’s relatively commonplace, and there’s honestly no shortage of the mineral, given its synthetic nature.
However, there are also specialist jewelers that focus entirely on moissanite jewelry – that’s just how popular it is. For example, there’s Charles and Colvard, the leading moissanite manufacturer and jeweler in the country.
This company specializes in moissanite engagement rings, and they’re reportedly extremely good at what they do. As we’ve already said, you cannot see the visual difference between a diamond and a moissanite stone, so it is a fantastic alternative.
If you’re interested in learning more about moissanite and the range of colors or styles it comes in, check out this article we published.