Our Guide To Moissanite
Moissanite is one of the leading alternatives to conventional mined diamonds, It really is possible to have a luxurious engagement ring of your choice at an affordable price point. Our ultimate guide to Moissanite provides in-depth information on this exquisite gemstone
Your Ultimate Guide To Moissanite
What is Moissanite
Moissanite is a rare and precious gemstone made of silicon carbide that works as a beautiful alternative to the traditional mined diamond engagement ring, and is a wonderful option in its own right.
Both sustainable and ethical, moissanite is lab grown and so has nowhere near the same carbon footprint or human impact as mining does. In fact, moissanite can provide you with a highly durable ring that has its own unique radiance. Here at Lily Arkwright we specialise in moissanite, bringing you excellent engagement rings that are a mark of true British craftsmanship.
Where Does Moissanite Come From
A special relationship deserves a special gemstone, nearly all moissanite today is lab grown.Moissanite is naturally occurring and rarer than diamonds, but only occurs in very small quantities. First discovered in a meteorite crater in Arizona, United States by acclaimed Nobel prize winner doctor Henri Moissan (the gem's namesake) in 1893, it earned the title ‘space gemstone’. It wasn't until over a hundred years later when scientists successfully recreated an innovative moissanite laboratory growing process, and shortly after Charles and Colvard produced the first commercial quality lab grown moissanite gemstones.Charles & Colvard skilled laboratory technicians recreate the natural conditions and pressures needed for moissanite to form naturally to create a physically identical gemstone to that of a naturally occurring moissanite.It takes up to three months for a skilled specialist to meticulously create a single gem, post production each stone undergoes a stringent process for testing of quality, cut and purity before being shipped to our workshop for setting.Nearly all moissanite stones are lab grown under strict conditions. We are proud to support the ethical trade of precious metals and gemstones, Lily Arkwright believes all gemstones should be mined sustainably and without conflict.
How is Moissanite Grown
Moissanite occurs naturally in the earth, however it only does so in minute quantities. In order to grow any under laboratory conditions, lab technicians must mimic the conditions that cause it to appear in nature.
Moissanite is made through a process called thermal decomposition, which happens when a substance is heated and reaches a state where it can chemically decompose. In the case of moissanite this substance is Methylsilane, a colourless gas at room temperature that at the right extreme temperature conditions breaks down into moissanite. This method is overlooked by a team of experts and closely monitored to track its progress. When large single crystals of moissanite have formed, industrial-grade diamond chips are used to cut and polish the stones whilst they are spun around using turntable-like machines.
The major benefit of a lab grown gemstones is that you can have something which is compositionally exactly the same as something formed in the earth billions of years ago, yet without any of the negative side effects mining can cause.
Moissanite and diamonds are very similar to look at and almost impossible to tell apart when compared side by side, however, contrary to popular belief moissanite is not a diamond substitute and is very much its own gemstone. It has a distinctive colour sparkle due to it being more refractive than diamond. The refractive index of a material refers to the speed at which light can travel through it, and moissanite’s chemical structure means that it can slow down and bend the light entering it much better than other minerals, making it give off an almost rainbow-like effect. Moissanite is a wonderful alternative as a colourless stone, and due to its optical properties displays a remarkable fieriness.
Durability and Weight
The mohs scale of hardness is a measurement that tests the scratch resistance of a mineral, diamond scores a 10 as the hardest material on the planet and in comparison moissanite scores a 9.25. Despite being slightly lower than diamond, this is still a very high score and means that any moissanite engagement ring works fantastically as a piece of jewellery to be worn everyday. Any engagement ring set with moissanite would last a lifetime.
As moissanite and diamond have different compositions, they also have different comparative weights. Moissanite is around 10% lighter than diamond. As carat is a measurement of the weight of a stone, not the size (as it is often perceived to be), a 1ct ideal round cut diamond measures 6.5mm in diameter whereas the same diameter in moissanite would be 0.88ct. Take a look at the chart to see a side by side comparison between diamond carat weights and the equivalent moissanite weight.
How is Moissanite graded
Moissanite is graded in a similar way to diamonds using the 4C’s; colour, cut, clarity and carat.The colour scale begins at D and ends at Z, with all ranges offered by Lily Arkwright coming in two colour grades, D-F which is classified as colourless (with only their brightnesses telling them apart), and G-I classified as near-colourless. This latter range has a slight colour difference but it is still almost imperceptible.The cut is another measure by which quality can be evaluated, and is determined by how well the stone is proportioned. When referring to the cut, it is not the overall shape that is being referenced but rather the ideal set of ratios for that particular shape. For instance take one of our most popular cuts, the brilliant round, which has an optimal number of 58 facets, all of these must be correctly proportioned in order for the stone to be deemed ideal. When these ratios are inaccurate, the way that the stone reflects light can be disrupted causing leaks that drastically affect how it sparkles, ending up with lacklustre stone. When dealing with mined diamonds, if a rough stone is irregular, cutters can make concessions that create a cheaper diamond with a dull appearance. This is done by cutting the final gemstone either too deep or, as is more often the case, too shallow. All moissanite within the Forever One range and the Lily Arkwright Moissanite range, has been ideally cut and meticulously faceted in order to create maximum brilliance and fire.Charles and Colvard judge the clarity of a moissanite gemstone by employing trained specialists who, using a 10x jeweler’s loupe, decide whether the quality is of an impeccable standard. Clarity is graded by the number of imperfections that are present within a stone that may impede optical performance. These marks on the inside of a gemstone are called inclusions and when there are a lot of them, they can seriously tarnish the overall look.
The majority of moissanite and diamonds will have tiny inclusions present within, but these are often invisible to the naked eye. The Forever One range produces exceptionally clear moissanite, and falls within the Internally Flawless to Very Very Slightly Included (IF-VVS) clarity range. After it has gone through several rounds of testing every stone is given a certificate of authenticity and engraved with the words Forever One.
The Lily Arkwright Moissanite range also falls within the IF-VS range.
Charles & Colvard Forever One, The World's Premium Moissanite
Charles & Colvard are the original creators of moissanite and the Forever One gemstone is the worlds premium moissanite. With over 20 years experience and through relentless innovation in producing, cutting and polishing moissanite stones, Forever One is an ethical and sustainable gemstone and its quality is unsurpassed worldwide.
Amazing clarity, beautiful colour and available in a wide selection of cuts and carat sizes. Lily Arkwright are proud Charles & Colvard authorised retailers and set the latest and highest quality Forever One moissanite, available in two grades, Forever One D-F (colourless) and Forever One G-I (near colourless).
Each gemstone is precisely faceted to exact angles and proportions to maximise its brilliance. We stock and set moissanite stones from 0.0021ct and up-to and over 15.00ct and are able to produce custom bespoke designs.
Lily Arkwright stock a wide variety of Charles & Colvard Forever One moissanite stones in various cuts, ranging from round to radiant and including all the classics. Our moissanite collections have been recently recommended by the UK's leading wedding guide, hitched.
Lily Arkwright Moissanite
Here at Lily Arkwright we have been able to successfully produce exceptional quality moissanite for our Lily Arkwright Moissanite Range. The standard of our moissanite is in no way inferior to Charles and Colvard, however we are able to market our moissanite at a lower price simply because we produce it ourselves.Charles and Colvard had been the exclusive manufacturers of moissanite until 2016 when their patent ended. After this other companies were free to set up their own lines of moissanite. Whilst the company still produces the world’s premium moissanite, as they have been for the past couple of decades, we are happy to say that as an alternative brand we also deliver a superior calibre moissanite. Lily Arkwright moissanite comes with a lifetime warranty, just like with Charles and Colvard, because we can assure our customers of the excellent quality we offer.
Is Moissanite Sustainable
One of the major benefits of purchasing moissanite is that it does not have the same human impact as mined diamonds. Unfortunately, due to the nature of mined diamonds there is often a human cost involved, as some mines employ workers in unsafe conditions. The Kimberley Process is a certification scheme that was started to try and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream diamond market. Whilst this has been a huge help in providing safeguarding practices and in making sure that the mining of diamonds is not financing harmful groups, there has been some dispute over its efficacy. It is also worth noting that not all diamonds have been mined in accordance with this process and that it only follows diamonds up until they are cut, after which they are no longer officially traced. As moissanite is produced in the lab there is no need for any mining at all, cutting out any such harmful practices.
The impacts of diamond mining on the planet versus the minimal impact of lab grown moissanite is another big advantage. Mining can cause a massive reduction in biodiversity, can cause soil erosion and can lead to the contamination of water sources, whereby minerals from the mined rocks seep into water supplies. For every carat of mined diamond approximately 80 tonnes of earth are moved, and in 2018 alone there were roughly 148 million carats mined. In India, diamond mines have been shown to put further pressure on endangered tiger species, and in 2016 The Wall Street Journal reported that a major diamond company had killed over 18,000 fish whilst draining a lake in Canada which was to be used for diamond mining. Moissanite does not require mining and so has a carbon footprint a fraction of the size.
Mined diamonds are notoriously difficult to trace as there are so many different steps on their journeys, that transparency can often be lost. It is also quite common practice for old diamond jewellery to be reset, making the tracing of diamonds again more difficult. All our moissanite is produced in the lab and comes fully certified, so our customer’s know exactly where their precious stone has come from.
Common Myths about Moissanite
All moissanite has a colour tint: when the gemstone was first manufactured there was a marginal yellowish or greyish hue but this is no longer the case.
Moissanite is not durable: moissanite is actually the third hardest mineral on the planet and is often used in manufacturing (much like diamond) because of this. It makes for an excellent engagement ring because of these enduring properties as a hard-wearing gemstone suitable for everyday use.
Moissanite turns cloudy over time: unlike cubic zirconia, a diamond simulant that turns cloudy over time, moissanite does not and remains crystal clear.
Your unique custom-made engagement ring
Moissanite makes for an amazing engagement ring and we offer a bespoke ring design service for those who want something truly unique. As well as the wide range of options available on our website, we are able to work with you personally and make your very own engagement ring, translating your ideas and sketches into a bespoke piece.
It can be difficult deciding on something you desperately want to be perfect, especially when there are infinite possibilities to choose from. Let us help you take the strain and make sure it a fun and exciting experience! We can support you through the design decision and begin creating a custom-made piece tailored especially for you.
WHY CHOOSE LILY ARKWRIGHT
We are fully certified
All premium Charles and Colvard moissanite, for both Forever One and Hearts and Arrows, come with a certificate of authenticity awarded from the company. This is granted once a moissanite stone has undergone several rounds of examination by trained specialists, and is deemed to be of exceptional quality.
All moissanite bought from us, from both the Charles and Colvard range and from our own branded Lily Arkwright moissanite range comes with a limited lifetime warranty, meaning we can promise the excellent condition of our moissanite gemstones.
We are also members of the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and have joined thousands of other jewellery brands operating within the UK to work within their guidelines, being routinely assessed by their compliance team.
There is a 12 month warranty on all other jewellery we offer, and a 30 day return policy on all standard collections.
Some examples of our Moissanite rings
The Grace solitaire is one of our most popular ring and features a brilliant round cut gemstone set with a four prong mount and sat on a knife edge band. Coming in a variety of different metals, the Grace is an elegant and timeless choice that has been engineered to allow as much light as possible through the centre stone, showcasing the moissanite centrepiece. The Grace can also be set with a Charles and Colvard Hearts and Arrows round cut stone, which can add the unparalleled sparkle of a super-ideal cut for extra uniqueness.
The Giselle is another of our popular rings and is similar to the Grace in that it also features a brilliant round cut moissanite either in Lily Arkwright Moissanite or Charles & Colvard Moissanite, and can be set with a Hearts and Arrows cut. It also has a gorgeous pavé of diamonds set into the shoulders with a medium sized band. Each stone is carefully inspected and graded by a fully qualified gemologist.
The Lively Oval is one of our gorgeous shoulder set hidden halo rings and comes in a wide selection of centre stone cuts and can be set in Charles and Colvard moissanite or Lily Arkwright moissanite. Available in yellow, rose, and white gold as well as platinum, the Lively is a dazzling and ornate ring that is sure to impress. We have 30 day free and complimentary ring resizing, just to make absolutely sure that all our customers receive a ring that fits perfectly.
COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
World Beating Service
World Beating Service We understand how important excellent customer service is, particularly when purchasing such a special item. Here at Lily Arkwright all our jewellery consultants are JET qualified ensuring you'll receive support from an expert in the field of jewellery. We're always on hand to offer honest and impartial advice and concentrate on helping you find the perfect ring. Lily Arkwright's technology first approach ensures you'll always receive a fast and efficient service as recently highlighted by the US Chambers of Commerce. We're thrilled with our customer feedback and have achieved an impressive 5 star rating on Trust Pilot.
Visit our UK showroom
If you need any more guidance on the moissanite ranges or have any queries regarding your engagement ring or other jewellery we offer, please get in touch with us on our email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0161 537 6773.
You can also book a one-on-one consultation at our UK showroom to see what our gorgeous rings look like in real life or have a virtual showroom appointment with one of JET trained jewellery consultants who can talk you through our different options.