Diamonds. A girl’s best friend, right? Considering that diamonds make up a little over 40 percent of retail jewelry sales, that’s what most would say. But truth is that there are plenty of women, and their partners, who simply don’t have an extravagant income to cover the cost of diamonds. That doesn’t mean they can’t have an extremely beautiful, long-lasting engagement ring though. A modest income doesn’t meant they have to drop down to the cubic zirconia route, which is what normally comes to mind for an alternative to diamonds. Nope. Today, many are turning to moissanite.
Unlike cubic zirconia, moissanite (CZ) will continue to shine brilliantly forever, never losing its color and clarity. It also won’t end up clouding over in the near future like cubic zirconia will almost always do. CZ isn’t a fine gem. It’s a man made gem that’s produced in mass quantities, which is why it’s so much cheaper than diamonds. But in the end, you truly get what you pay for.
Not so with moissanite. Moissanite is a natural, fine gem originally discovered in 1893 by a Nobel Prize winner and chemist named Henri Moissan while studying a meteorite in Arizona. At that time, there simply wasn’t enough of this newfound mineral to use for creating jewelry. But after years of scientists working to replicate this fine mineral, it finally worked and moissanite made its way into the jewelry market in 1998.
And it’s been rapidly growing in popularity, especially among millenials. The only gem that’s stronger than moissanite is the diamond. But that’s about the only thing the diamond has on it and consumers are starting to realize just how much they may be over-paying. With regards to the amount of reflectivity and shine a diamond has, the moissanite wins. Moissanite outshines diamonds in every way except its hardiness. But it costs dramatically less than diamonds.
Kady Smith from MoissaniteCo explains that telling the difference between moissanite and diamond is a tough challenge, even for many professionals. In her words, it takes a “very skilled and highly trained gemologist” to distinguish between the two. Not only do they look pretty much exactly the same, except for the fact that moissanite will sparkle just a little more (probably fooling any untrained eye into believing the moissanite is actually the diamond), moissanite will often even come back positive when testing with a thermal diamond tester.
Of course, it’s also a popular choice because it’s earth-friendly and environmentally sustainable.