We are proud to be a preferred retailer of created Moissanite from Charles and Colvard. We think it is the best diamond substitute available so read below to learn more!
Moissanite was discovered in the late 1890s by Nobel laureate Dr. Henri Moissan. He was conducting research into fragments of a meteor discovered in Arizona when he discovered small crystals of what appeared to be a new mineral- silicon carbide. For the next 100 years little was known about moissanite until a company named Charles and Colvard discovered a process to grow the crystals in a laboratory setting. They knew that when grown in the laboratory, the crystals could be large and pure enough to be faceted and have incredible potential for fine jewelry. After mastering a complex chemical process, they were able to bring this incredible jewel to market. In 2001 we were one of the first jewelers to realize that this gem is the best diamond alternative on the market, and we are proud to have been selling this gem to happy customers for over ten years. Whether moissanite earrings, moissanite rings, or moissanite pendants, this gem provides brilliance, durability, versatility and affordability for our clientele.
Moissanite is easiest to describe when compared to a diamond even though the stone is merit worthy on its own. Moissanite has a higher refractive index, which results in superior sparkle and refraction- the blue and orange sparkles you see when a crystal hits the light. Moissanite is almost as hard as a diamond (9.25 on the Mohs Scale), and tougher than every other diamond alternative and simulant, meaning it won’t scuff or scratch like cubic zirconia. In appearance not all Moissanite is created equally. Charles and Colvard provides four tiers of the gem, and we carry the top three. The lowest quality moissanite is sold in bulk by online retailers, and we do not think it has the same beauty that moissanite should and does have in higher qualities.
The newest and highest tier is Forever One Moissanite (above right). This moissanite is in the GIA colorless range, which means it is so white that it looks like the D, E, or F grades of a comparable diamond. These gems are always VS in clarity or better, so there are no significant clarity characteristics in the gem. Due to the added time and energy these gems take to create they are only available in round and cushion shapes and in the 3/4 to 2ct size range. The result of the purely colorless material couples with high clarity and fantastic cutting results in a gorgeous gem, so we are excited to see these Forever One Moissanites used in engagement rings.
The middle tier, and the favorite of our clients, is the Forever Brilliant Moissanite (above middle). The only difference between Forever Brilliant and Forever One is the color. The Forever Brilliant stones tend to be in the near colorless range- similar to a G,H, or I colored diamond. Once set in jewelry these are very difficult to distinguish from a diamond, which makes them a “believable” synthetic in larger sizes. Forever Brilliant stones are available in all different shapes and most sizes.
The standard moissanite, and the most affordable option, is the Forever Classic Moissanite (above left). These gems are in the SI-VS clarity range meaning there are no clarity characteristics visible to the naked eye. These gems are in the faintly tinted color range, comparable to a J-K colored diamond. Some of our clients like the warmth that this provides the stone, and they are also a good option for someone mounting their moissanite in yellow gold as the color is masked by the mounting. Forever Classic Moissanites are available in all shapes and sizes and are a great value for our clients.
Why choose Moissanite?
The primary factor in choosing Moissanite is affordability. While most women dream of owning a fine diamond, a beautiful diamond can be cost prohibitive, and a moissanite engagement ring comes very close to the real thing. Moissanite is approximately 10-20% of the price of a comparable diamond yet delivers a remarkably similar look. This also allows the client to buy a larger center stone without having to sacrifice on quality- which means the resulting piece of jewelry has a larger presence. Some of our customers choose moissanite due to ethical reasons. While we guarantee that all of our diamonds follow the Kimberly Process (so they are conflict free) and most of our diamonds are vintage or pre-owned (meaning they are recycled with no environmental impacts) some customers still prefer to have a lab-grown gem to avoid any of these issues. No matter why you choose Moissanite, it is a beautiful gem that is sure to please, and looks fantastic set in jewelry.
Is it easy to tell the difference between a moissanite and a diamond?
The quick answer is no. In fact, when moissanite was first introduced many jewelers mistakenly purchased them thinking they were diamonds! We encourage our clients to view moissanite side-by-side with a diamond so they can come to their own conclusions. When jewelers have to identify moissanite, we typically look for the increased scintillation and fire that moissanite should have. Additionally moissanite is doubly refractive (a phenomenon that causes rays of light to split when they enter the gem), which gives it a different character than singularly refractive diamonds. A moissanite does not “replace” a diamond- they are different gems with unique qualities, but they are the best substitute we have seen thus far.
Are moissanites as durable as a diamond?
We feel that moissanites and diamonds are comparable in durability. Moissanites are slightly softer than a diamond, but they are a little bit tougher. This means they may be a tiny bit more prone to a scratch or scuff, but they have an indistinct cleavage which means they are less likely to chip. That being said, we have not yet seen a chipped OR scratched moissanite come back to our store.
Should I set my moissanite in white, yellow, or rose gold?
Moissanites are so similar to diamonds that they will look good in any setting. Typically if a client wants a stone to look whiter we set the gem in white gold or platinum. If a client is looking for some warmth to the ring we will set the moissanite in rose or yellow gold. The nice thing about the three available tiers of moissanite is that we can order a stone to fit the exact mounting you choose. If you choose a yellow gold mounting, it makes more sense to buy the Forever Brilliant or Classic moissanites since the mounting will hide the body color, resulting in savings for you!
What shapes are available in moissanite?
Depending on the line of moissanite you choose, all major shapes and sizes are available. The most limited line is the Forever One which is sold primarily in round and cushion shapes from 5-10mm in size, comparable to a .75 to 4ct diamond. Forever Brilliant and Classic lines are available in round, cushion, oval, princess, emerald, asscher, radiant, pear, marquise and baguette shapes, and in a variety of sizes. In our experience the round and antique cushion are the most attractive (and also the best sellers) because these shapes hide the body color and result in the most sparkly jewelry.
How much do moissanites cost, and do they hold their value?
Moissanite is a lab created gemstone and the complex process to make it is patented by Charles and Colvard. That means that the supply and price of moissanite is set by Charles and Colvard, usually 10-20% of a similar diamond. As I am writing this page, a round 1ct Forever One moissanite is around $575, while a comparable 1ct round diamond that is VS2 clarity and F color is around $7,000.*
Due to the patented process and limited availability of moissanite, we have not seen the moissanite prices change much over the 15 years we have carried them. Because of this price stability we are able to offer a lifetime trade up policy that allows you to use the full purchase price of your moissanite toward a comparable diamond (see above for details). While diamonds are subject to market changes like stocks, they do tend to increase in value over time, but we anticipate prices to remain the same for moissanite.
*Federal Way Custom Jewelers policies and pricing are subject to change without notice. Exceptions can only be approved by management.
Federal Way Custom Jewelers has served the South Sound for over 70 years. Our showroom features incredible one of a kind pieces made in house, brilliant loose stones, and staff whose expertise is unparalleled. Visit FWCJ today!