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Is a Moissanite Engagement Ring Tacky?

If you are beginning your engagement ring search, chances are you’ve heard of moissanite and its comparison to diamonds. Over the past few years, “diamond alternatives” like moissanite have become a hot topic in the jewellery world, and for good reason. When it comes to choosing the right ring though, there’s a burgeoning line between ‘the perfect ring’ and ‘financial ruin’, with the median engagement ring price in Australia being nearly $6,000. Yet even if you are familiar with these stones, you may be unsure of whether a lab grown moissanite is a fit for you — possibly because so many rumours and competing beliefs about lab grown gemstones often overshadow the facts. But what does a jeweller have to say about the alternatives, and is it possible to exceed your significant other’s expectations without sacrificing quality or your life savings?

A diamond has long been thought of as a love-bearing crystal that represents long life due to its beauty and durability. Many people see it as following tradition to give a diamond, and therefore it is expected. But perhaps these key qualities inherent in diamonds could also be present in another stone. The popularity of moissanite has been growing 45% year on year since 2017 because of its unique qualities. A moissanite stone will last a lifetime due to its durable nature, ranking 9.5 out of 10 on the MOHs scale. It’s actually very challenging to tell the difference between a diamond and a moissanite. As a jeweller I can honestly say that both gemstones come into my hands daily and at first glance, they look virtually identical.

Cullen Jewellery Engagement Rings
Cullen Jewellery Engagement Ring

Now unless you told your significant other that the stone was a moissanite, she would probably never know the difference. Of course I’m not encouraging dishonesty but this is still nice to know. When it comes to sparkle and shine, a moissanite gemstone takes the cake. It surpasses diamonds in its reflective qualities (Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.65 compared to diamond's 2.42) and is a fraction of the price. To sum it up, moissanite possesses the “wow” factor of diamonds and is sure to turn heads. (People will assume it is a diamond, which is what we want right?) But it’s when you look closer that you discover the true beauty of moissanite. Uncovering the facts about moissanite can be tricky, so I’ve compiled an overview of everything you need to know about lab grown moissanite and how they stack up against the traditionally popular diamond.

Are Moissanite Stones Fake?

You may have read about moissanite engagement rings and seen words like ‘cheap’, ‘replica’ or 'tacky' associated with gemstone. In order to address these claims, let's have a brief look at the history of the gemstone. Moissanite gemstones are not diamonds and should be treated as their own unique gemstone. The stone originated in a meteor that hit earth in Arizona in 1893 and was discovered by Nobel prize winning scientist Henri Moissan. The chemical makeup of the gemstone was carefully examined and complex man-made processes have been developed to create the exact same stones in a laboratory environment. The process of growing moissanite is incredibly precise and not all moissanite stones are created equal. This precision ensures that lab grown moissanite have the same sparkle, scintillation, and appeal as the unattainable, naturally-occurring moissanite from outer space that crash landed in Arizona.

On the other side of the coin, the process of growing moissanite in a lab can be sped up and corners are often cut. Cheap tools and poor workmanship can deliver inferior, badly-shaped and discoloured stones. Whereas high quality lab created moissanite are grown in a lab that mimics the growing conditions of the original gemstone. Meticulous care is taken to ensure the chemical and physical makeup of a moissanite gemstone is 100% real and authentic.

One way to take the risk factor out of your purchase is to educate yourself and only purchase branded moissanite stones from a trusted jeweller. With authenticity certificates, a full grading report and the ability to trace its origin, branded moissanite is well worth the investment. In most cases branded moissanite will come with a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind. At Cullen Jewellery we exclusively use Radiant Beauty™ moissanite for their superior cut, clarity and brilliance. Buying branded moissanite ensures that you know exactly what you’re paying for. A premium product that has a quality guarantee is one reason moissanite is not tacky but rather prestigious and refined!

Jeweller crafting a Cullen Jewellery Engagement Ring
Jeweller inspecting a Cullen Jewellery Engagement Ring

There’s a lot in a name

Diamonds have been around for a long time, however the pervasive compulsion to give them as a token of our undying love is fairly modern. Evidence suggests that this trend is in large part the reflection of well-executed marketing. The warm feelings we associate with the giving and receiving of diamonds is a well established and compelling phenomenon. However, diamonds are not the only way to a girl’s heart. And as information is more readily available, the collective mindset is shifting. High quality, sparkling and enduring precious stones are no longer out of reach for the average consumer. The narrative that diamond companies have been driving is one intended to have us associate quality with a dollar value. The notion that diamonds are the only stones that will last forever, that their optical properties such as clarity and shine are superior, and a large-stoned engagement ring has to cost over $30,000 AUD (or thereabouts) is fake news.

The reality is moissanite stones are one of the hardest substances known to man - they last forever. Moissanite gemstones also have incredible clarity and unmatched shine and sparkle. Moissanite’s rainbow coloured fire in sunlight is just one of its exclusive qualities. Many people lack the budget but won’t consider anything besides a diamond, and end up settling for a lower quality diamond with more discoloration and inclusions simply for the ‘brand name’ that is ‘diamond’. Moissanite gemstones are all class with glistening eye candy that doesn’t fade over time - another reason why moissanite is an option that is neither tacky nor cheap.

Forever, for less

With moissanite solitaire engagement rings, you don’t need to sacrifice quality for size to create the ring of your dreams. Moissanite is a great choice for couples who are opting for an equally dazzling yet substantially cheaper alternative. The decision to invest in a “respectably sized” diamond centre stone often requires couples to compromise on the quality of the diamond or the ring’s craftsmanship. However, with lab grown moissanite, you get the opportunity to have a larger stone, not compromise on the quality, and stick to your budget. 

Cullen Jewellery Engagement Ring

It’s important to know your options and be able to decide what makes the most sense for you. Cullen Jewellery’s goal has always been to empower our clients by encouraging them to look into all the different choices that are available today. There are many good and viable options when it comes to your engagement ring. Moissanite is one that is very competitive, with so many special characteristics that set it apart as a frontrunner in the fine jewellery space. What some may have once considered tacky is in fact a beautiful symbol of lasting beauty and unique expression. Moissanite has already made its mark on the jewellery world and will continue to shine for many more years to come.

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