Konstanze, owner and designer of jewelry line Nodeform, recently visited us here at Charles & Colvard® HQ. While she enjoys working with a variety of alternative gemstones, moissanite is definitely one of her favorites. Below she discusses what attracts her to this gem and why it makes a great choice for the eco-conscious and humanitarian jewelry buyer.
I absolutely adore moissanite. I enjoy working with it and designing jewelry to show off its true beauty. What’s not to love about moissanite? They are more affordable than diamonds, durable, and lasting for every day wear. They have the same or even better sparkle than a diamond and are ethically sourced and conflict-free. Plus, they are made in the USA and free of environmental issues.
I personally have never been a fan of the traditional white diamond ring. I just could not fathom spending that much money on a large diamond ring, or walking around with something on my hand that’s the price of a car. That money seemed so much better spent on a down payment on a home, or on extra fun on your wedding day to celebrate the best day of your life with your friends and family. Or you could treat yourself to a nice honeymoon you will remember for the rest of your life. So why not go with alternatives to the standard diamond engagement ring that are equally beautiful and don’t leave you with financial problems?
The only diamonds I liked were rough diamonds, the more raw and rugged the better. Rough diamonds are unique, a bit nerdy, and way more interesting than their overpriced faceted white counterparts. But with all diamonds there is the issue of blood diamonds and environmental concerns surrounding mining and fair labor conditions. There are some alternatives like Canadian diamonds, or recycled diamonds (in place of newly minded ones).
I also love colored gemstones, especially sapphires, for engagement rings. Each one is unique in its hue. They come in a rainbow of colors to fit whatever fashion, style, or mood someone desires. Sapphires are still mined, unless they are lab created, and therefore environmental concerns have to be taken into account. But there are Fair Trade sapphires available that provide close tracking from mine to market and foster environmental protection, fair labor practices at the cutting factories, and a tight chain of custody. However, not everyone wants colored gemstones for their engagement ring. White sapphires may be an alternative, but they just don’t have the same sparkle as a diamond, or moissanite.
Now, by adding moissanite into the mix, there is a gemstone from space, originally discovered in a meteorite crater. Moissanite is made in a lab in the US. It’s all pure science and hard work creating this beautiful hard pure silicon carbide (SiC) that is cut into fiery gemstones. After visiting Charles & Colvard®’s offices in Morrisville, NC, I am even more impressed with this diamond alternative. It was fascinating to see the process of how these gems are made and to meet the dedicated team behind it.
My customers looking for an engagement ring featuring a diamond alternative seem to fall into mainly two categories. Those that do like a diamond ring but not the price tag – and those who want anything but a diamond for eco-conscious reasons.
If it looks like a diamond and is as durable as a diamond, but is only a fraction of the cost of diamond, why not go for it? It’s totally up to you whether your want to be upfront about it being a moissanite. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference.
If a diamond look-a-like is the goal, I would recommend choosing a round brilliant cut moissanite. Many of the fancy cut moissanites like cushions, pear, trillion, or ovals have a slightly different facet design than a diamond of the same shape and are more easily detected as not being diamond. The larger the stone, the more apparent the slight off-white color may be. However, it’s less noticeable in more enclosed bezel settings than an open prong setting. If the off-white color is a concern, go with a Forever Brilliant® moissanite. Many of my customers comment they were actually pleasantly surprised how white the moissanite was in their ring. The new generation of moissanite has come a long way from the early moissanite on the market some 10-15 years ago.
For those who love moissanite for being an eco-friendly and sustainable diamond alternative, be proud of your choice. Go big and flaunt it. You deserve it. Moissanite is beautiful in any shape or size. Moissanite set in recycled metal is the perfect feel-good option for a beautiful engagement ring free from worry about the ethical issues in the harvesting, processing, and trade of mined gemstones. Lab created stones still require energy to be grown and processed, but that energy is far less than what is needed in traditional mining operations.
As a bench jeweler, I love creating jewelry with moissanite. The stones are very easy to work with. The precision cutting is done by master gem cutters to exact specifications to yield a perfectly proportioned gemstone for maximum light reflection. During my visit to Charles & Colvard®, I learned that the overseas cutting facilities are hand selected to be sure they provide safe and fair labor practices for their workers. Other than cutting, all processing, including the growing of the silicon carbide, treatments, and development are done in the USA. This gemstone qualifies as Made in America and complies with FTC Standards – another great reason to choose moissanite set in handmade jewelry by skilled local artists to create jobs and support the local community.
I am looking forward to creating more designs with this amazing gemstone.
Below, Konstanze speaks about why she loves to work with moissanite: