Moissanite engagement rings:
Moissanite is a synthetic gemstone used in engagement rings as a diamond substitute. A moissanite engagement ring can exhibit qualities more like a real diamond than any other known jewel. Moissanite is closer in hardness to diamonds than other gemstones (it's harder than rubies, sapphires or emeralds, for example) and retains its clarity far longer than other man-made gems. If you want an engagement ring that sparkles just like a diamond and it doesn't matter whether or not you're wearing the real thing, a moissanite engagement ring would be worth considering.
Moissanite engagement rings: What are they?
The chemical name of moissanite is silicon carbide. It's a naturally-occurring mineral but is found in very limited quantities - natural moissanite crystals are extremely rare and those that have been uncovered are usually too small to be used for jewelry. Moissanite is named for French scientist Dr. Ferdinand Frederick Henri Moissan, who was the first to discover the sparkling crystals in 1893 in the Canyon Diablo meteor crater in Arizona. Synthetic moissanite, the diamond substitute used in moissanite engagement rings, is a manufactured, laboratory-created gemstone. Moissanite can be grown in green, blue, yellow and near-colorless forms. The near-colorless form is most commonly used in moissanite engagement rings, and often the difference between a moissanite stone and a diamond can only be told by a professional jeweler or gemologist.
Moissanite is heat resistant and durable and, like diamonds, very resistant to scratching, abrasion, breaking and chipping. The most popular shape and cut of a moissanite engagement ring is the traditional round brilliant. A variety of other shapes and cuts are also available, but more elaborate designs often tend to retain more of the green or yellow color.
An engagement ring with a moissanite stone or stones will cost much less than one with diamonds. Moissanite is more expensive than cubic zirconium (CZ), a popular diamond substitute that has been available for some time, but it's also more durable and of much higher quality than CZ. Prices for a moissanite engagement ring vary according to the setting, size of the stone and the merchant you've chosen, but you can save up to thousands of dollars if you choose a moissanite engagement ring instead of one with a diamond. That way, you can splurge on a bigger stone or a fancier setting, and still save lots of money.
Charles & Colvard, Ltd., which is based in North Carolina, holds the patent and is the exclusive worldwide marketer and distributor of moissanite jewels, but they do not sell moissanite engagement rings. If you're thinking about a moissanite engagement ring, they are available for purchase at a number of department stores, retail jewelers and online merchants. Here's a helpful hint: if you're considering buying from an online company and won't see the actual stone until after the ring arrives, be sure to check out the company's return policy; that way, if the moissanite engagement ring stone isn't clear enough or as close in appearance to a diamond as you wanted, you can send it back.