The Diamond Debate: What Stone Is Right For Your Engagement?

by - Monday, August 19, 2013

The process of choosing and purchasing an engagement ring is an endeavor that can cause a considerable amount of consternation for anyone.  Someone in the market for an engagement will be bombarded with an innumerable list of do’s and don’ts as well as countless opinions about what you should or shouldn’t buy.  A person will be confronted by ingrained mores about what is the right gem, metal as well as how much it is appropriate to spend.  With all of that pressure and those expectations it is difficult to make a decision that you feel is right for you.  Education is the key to making this process much less stressful.

Moissanite jewelry will most likely come up in your search for engagement and wedding rings.  Read further to educate yourself on this attractive alternative to diamonds.

What is Moissanite?

In 1893 in the Arizona desert Dr. Henri Moissan discovered a mineral deposit embedded in a meteor crater.  While examining the rock sample, Moissan identified a type of crystal never before seen that same to be known as silicon carbide.  Other than encased in meteorites, almost no other sources of naturally occurring moissanite are found in nature.

Utility Of Moissanite

While the naturally occurring sources of silicon carbide are virtually nonexistent, scientists were able to artificially recreate and grow the crystals in a lab environment.  Silicon carbide was found to be one of the hardest and most durable minerals on earth.  Because of this and its ability to conduct heat it did not take long for many industrial and commercial uses for moissanite to be found.  For example, it can be found in industrial drilling implements, car brakes and electronic equipment.  After its industrial value was widely known gem grade moissanites were created and immediately became an affordable alternative to diamonds.

Pros Of Synthetic Diamonds

Moissanites are often put in comparison with diamonds as people seek a cost efficient alternative to gem diamonds.  Moisannite jewelry offer customers some definite advantages that make them an attractive option.  Gem cut moissanites look almost identical to diamonds.  Their brilliance and luster is equal to that of a diamond and will retain their optical properties without the natural degradation that happens to other gems.  In terms of hardness and durability, a moissanite ranks 9.5 of the Mohs scale of hardness which makes it second to only a diamond which is a 10. It resists daily wear and tear quite well and is perfectly suited for oft worn jewelry.  Natural diamonds will also cost consumers almost 90% more

Cons Of Moissanite

People do not generally look at moissanite with the same type of emotion or give the symbolic value that a diamond receives.  Diamonds are a status symbol that people also consider to be an investment, whereas moissanite is not highly valued after market. 

Purchase Of Conscience

Moissanite jewelry, like that offered by Charles and Colvard, is a great idea for customers that are worried about the social and ecological consequences of diamond cultivation and sale.  Moissanites are traded on the black market and have to ties to international conflicts.  In addition, as most are synthetically generated, there are no adverse environmental effects associated with moissanite mining practices. 


… written by Greg - a freelance writer who studies Science and Technology in his spare time.

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