Moissanite The Ethical Alternative To Diamonds
Finding an ideal engagement ring comes with ease, as there are several options available to any smart shopper. With the advent of lab technology, jewelry owners no longer have to subject themselves to the stereotypical diamond mining industry. It is now possible to choose any of the available options: naturally mined diamonds, lab-produced diamonds (these are exact replications of natural diamonds - hence, they are real), and finally, Moissanite, an astonishing gemstone with features similar to Diamond.
Are Moissanites “Fake” Diamonds?
Most people tend to think that moissanites are another type of diamond or “knock-off” diamonds. In actuality, these two gemstones are not the same or any way related, even though they bear striking similarities. It is not uncommon to find spouses feeling embarrassed when discovering that their supposed “diamond” ring was, actually, moissanite; this shows the rave for diamonds. Notwithstanding, moissanites are in no way inferior to its peer when you look at its characteristics.
Moissanites have a higher refractive index, which makes its brilliance twice that of a diamond. Additionally, it has a Mohs hardness scale of 9.5, making it the perfect alternative to its counterpart with a 10 point rating. Just like diamonds, this precious mineral will last you a lifetime.
Do They Come From The Stars?
In 1893, Henri Moissan discovered mineral moissanites in rock samples in a meteor crater, in Canyon Diablo - Arizona. Initially, he mistook these minerals to be diamonds but later identified them as silicon carbide in 1904. Due to its relation to the crash site, many people assume that it is a gemstone birthed by the stars. However, silicon carbides are located in many rock formations worldwide in their naturally occurring state. However, they do not pass for gemstones due to their natural qualities. Nevertheless, Cree Inc. manufactures the crystalline form of the silicon carbide.
Unlike various controversies surrounding diamonds and their mining procedures, moissanite has an ethical production process. Natural diamonds are mostly found in Africa, deep beneath the earth’s crust, stream beds, or the seabeds. Many large corporate entities exploit these mineral stones by either drilling the ground or mining stream bed deposits mostly by hand, also known as alluvial mining. Many of the workers on these sites receive low wages and are treated poorly. Hence, many human rights activists have always questioned the ethics of diamond mining. Besides, the heavy equipment used to mine these gemstones cause detrimental effects to the environment. Once you consider these factors, it becomes easier to see the value moissanites possess.
What Makes Moissanites Unique?
Even though moissanites and diamonds appear almost the same, they have significant dissimilarities. First off, moissanite’s crystal structure differs from its counterpart. When light travels through the mineral, it refracts in a manner known as “birefringence.” Before the intervention of Charles & Colvard in correcting moissanite’s color problem, they had always appeared green or grey. However, the company launched a product - Forever Brilliant® - to fix this problem.
If you are concerned about the mining ethics of a gemstone, moissanite is your ideal choice. You can get these stones in several color schemes, including the environmental-friendly color - green.