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And Then I Went Jewelry Shopping:The Elusive Moissanite

November 15, 2012 6 comments

So, the Nerd and I have discussed getting engaged. It’s pretty much been the foregone conclusion since even before I moved down to Georgia, so it’s not like this is a surprise to anyone. What may actually come as a surprise is that I’ve actually taken the time to read up on diamonds and have come to a couple of very telling conclusions:

  • Conclusion the First: I am a spoiled brat with very expensive tastes.
  • Conclusion the Second: Unless I stop being a spoiled brat or find some other option, I’m not getting engaged before the next Presidential election (or lack thereof if we devolve into a second Civil War in the meantime).

Content with being a spoiled brat, I began to look at other avenues. Many other avenues. What I found was that

  • you can get more bang for your buck at online retailers like bluenile.com or jamesallen.com, but diamonds are still frickin’ expensive
  • lab created diamonds are still just as expensive as mined diamonds for some reason I cannot deduce, and
  • estate jewelers have the crappiest websites known to man.

No, seriously, go do a search for estate jewelers in your area. I guarantee their website looks like it threw up 1996 and you can’t narrow your search, and (oh right) they’re not really that less expensive.

Anyway, this lead to a search for an alternative gemstone. I’m not a fan of wearing colored gemstones every day and there are very few places that make their gemstone rings not as gaudy as hell, so basically this leaves me with finding a diamond simulant (or a white sapphire). I looked at diamondnexus.com, but ultimately I read way too many bad reviews for me to feel comfortable buying one of their rings. Then I remembered that I had heard of this stone called moissanite.

Don’t know what moissanite is? Don’t worry; it seems like no one does. Wikipedia describes it as such:

Mineral moissanite was discovered by Henri Moissan while examining rock samples from a meteor crater located in Canyon Diablo, Arizona, in 1893. At first, he mistakenly identified the crystals as diamonds, but in 1904 he identified the crystals as silicon carbide. The mineral form of silicon carbide was named moissanite in honor of Moissan later on in his life.

So how awesome is that? It’s stardust that I can wear on my finger. My favorite Neil Gaiman book is Stardust. My favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson quote mentions stardust:

The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.

Moissanite is almost as hard as a diamond (which was a worry for me because I know at some point that ring’s getting hit against something unforgiving) and has a higher refractive index (which translates to brilliance) and a higher dispersion (which translates to fire). Most moissanite is lab created by a company called Charles and Colvard…in fact, if you find some that isn’t made by them, you’re probably getting ripped off. There’s a really good, seemingly unbiased description of the whole thing here.

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