Thursday, June 27, 2013

Are Diamonds Really a Girl's Best Friend?

What would you say if I told you there was a gemstone that was proven to be more beautiful than diamonds? You'd probably say, "Why, that is not possible! Ones estimation of beauty cannot be proven to be more or less correct than the varying opinions of others! It is unaccountable!" (Because in my head you speak like a character in a Jane Austen novel.) And you would be right. Sort of.

While it's true that opinions of beauty vastly vary from person to person, there are scientific measurements for things like brilliance (refractive index), fire (dispersion), and luster index. If that data defines beauty, then there is a stone more beautiful, as well as being almost as hard, and a fraction of the cost of diamonds.

Does that excite you as much as it does me?! I doubt it, but we can compare scientifically if you'd like. What's your heart rate, temperature, pupil size, etc?

This stone is called moissanite, named after Dr. Henri Moissan, who discovered it in 1893. Hang in there, this is kind of interesting. He was studying a crater created by a meteorite that hit the earth thousands of years ago, when he found small traces of an unknown mineral.... Unknown because it's from outer space! It is made of silicon and carbon, both of which are found on Earth, but the combination of the two doesn't naturally occur here.

Obviously, natural moissanite is very rare. Only traces of it have been found, certainly not enough to be used in jewelry. But some brilliant scientists came up with a method for creating it in a lab. They produced it because it's physical and electronic properties make it the foremost semiconductor material for.... some things I know nothing about, and in the interest of staying on topic, I'm going to move on. In 1995 a master diamond cutter suggested that if it were cut it would make a beautiful jewel. He was right!

Moissanite can be compared to, and in fact surpasses diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds in brilliance, fire, and luster, and is only slightly below diamonds in hardness.

But wait, there's more! Moissanite is considerably less expensive than diamonds. I'm talking in the $100's rather than in the $1000's. That's a smokin' deal for a stone that is proven to be more beautiful, right?

Are you sold yet? What do you think, should I make some moissanite jewelry?