I know it’s going to sound cliché, maybe even a little ridiculous, but I’m really excited to be living in the age of technological development that is currently happening. In a world where we see something fascinating, take a picture and upload it before even reacting to the situation at hand, where 3d printing has created better lives for people though prosthetic development and surgical implants, and where new compounds and materials are discovered and new applications are found for them every day. We scroll past stories such as these after reading about 30 seconds at a time, but few really take time to think about just how amazing these things are and what they will become.
One story I want to tell you is about a compound called silicon carbide. It has come a long way in the last 20 years. Most of you will know it as Moissanite.
The first time I saw a moissanite, I had to set a 3 carat sized stone in a Gordon’s in Texas. As a shaky new goldsmith going through the motions slowly, I gazed into the stone through my visor. I really didn’t see the appeal; it was large and eye-clean, yes, but the colour was off-putting. Brownish-yellow with flecks pf indigo and purple flashing at you, it was… gaudy, and not in a kitschy vintage way.
Flash forward 5 years, and so much has changed. Sitting on my desk today, as I prepare files for a 3d printer, is a moissanite, a manmade gemstone that is eye-clean and perfectly white. Sure, the price tag is a little bit bigger, but there is value in that sparkle.
Charles and Covard have come out with the Forever brilliant and Forever one lines, that are comparable to a D-F colour diamond, eye clean, almost as hard as a diamond, and a fraction of the price.
Now, why would you want a manmade stone, where is the appeal in that? Well… personal taste is key here. Someone may want the size and look of a $20,000 diamond, but isn’t ready to put out that kind of investment. That is where moissanite can come in, it’s all the look, without the cheapness of a cubic zirconia, or the impact of a diamond. This may also be a great way to add to the look of a custom piece as accents to your gemstone, flanking it with a bright glow.
Now, some people may argue that this will compete with the diamond industry completely, honestly I’m not so sure. One laboratory taking on the world diamond market is kind of a David and Goliath- like story, but it is one I am excited to see unfold.
For your gemstone selection, manmade or otherwise, it’s best to communicate what you want and what’s most important to you to ensure the best results. This may be an option for you, or you may prefer something forged by nature rather than nurture. That’s what’s great about the time we live in; anything goes.