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Moissanite: Yea or Yuk


#1

Hi all, Just finished reading the latest Stuller "Finding Facts"
Aug 2000. Stuller, bless their hearts, is as you know a major
distributor of Charles & Colvard created moissanite. In this edition
they printed several frequently asked questions regarding the created
material. Just wondering how other professionals feel about
moissanite. Even Stuller is side stepping the color isssue with the
stuff but describing it as “near colorless” but having brilliance
and hardness unlike any other jewel on the market. Whew! I think
the color is terrible when compared to diamond. Haven.t heard much
about the materials appeal for anyone lately but the distributors.
Hope I haven.t stepped over the line by knocking this "rare jewel"
but just interested in what others feel about it as a bonifide
diamond replacement.

Gary Dirks
Janine’s Jewelry
Redding, Ca. (Real Northern California!)


#2

Yuk on Moissanite ! Why would anyone pay hundreds per carat for
caborundum ? Anyone who has read my postings on subjects pertaining
to Jeweler Supply Houses will have observed the fact that I am very
partial to Stuller…if, you want service and good stocking. When
it comes to marketing , they are just as prone to" B.S.ing"as any
other company. The old American credo of justifying any product on
the basis of "if you can make someone buy it, sell it ! " is steadily
eroding consumer confidence in our products and harms those of us who
want to provide value and quality to our clientele. The latest fiasco
is the Firestone tire recall. Now there is a good example of shoddy
quality control. Our automobile industry is another good example. If
you want a really fine car or truck that will give you trouble free
service,you sure as hell don’t want to buy Ford or G.M. The Japanese
and Germans wouldn’t have a chance in our market were it not for the
fact that they have much higher standards of quality. Ultimately it
is the American consumer who is at fault. His perceptions of product
worth have been manipulated by Madison Avenue to the extent that
transportation has become style and status rather than function. We
as jewelers have an obligation to guide the customer along more
rational lines of consumption rather than filling him with smoke and
selling him crap that fails prematurely. “Reverend” Ron at Mills Gem
Company, Los Osos, CA.


#3

We as jewelers have an obligation to guide the customer along more
rational lines of consumption rather than filling him with smoke and
selling him crap that fails prematurely. “Reverend” Ron at Mills Gem
Company, Los Osos, CA.

Amen brother John.
Thomas in Tennessee


#4
   interested in what others feel about it as a bonifide diamond
replacement. 

see where Moissanite will fit into the marketplace. It does have some
eye appeal, but expensive synthetic stones that have succeeded in the
market have a natural gemstone counterpart that people can relate to:
i.e. Chatham Created Gems. Moissanite has no counterpart and nothing
about it connects to the human experience. Not yet anyway. Let’s see
if the Television shopping networks adopt it. If they do, they will
create a market for it, and if they don’t, it’s probably doomed.
Anthony Toepfer, Anthony Toepfer Jewelers, Keene NH


#5
    Yuk on Moissanite ! Why would anyone pay hundreds per carat for
caborundum ? 

I am just wondering–is your vehemence based on actual experience with
moisonite, or on supposition? Does it, in fact, “fail prematurely”?
Have you seen/used it? I have not, and have no opinion on it one way
or the other–don’t feel I can without firsthand examination. I am
quite curious about it as a potential way to have the visual impact of
diamond at less cost. As for American quality control as opposed to
European/Japanese, at this point, a lot of that is hype, too. Anyway,
is this an American product? I thought it was developed in Russia. (Of
course, now there’s a country known for quality controll ;>}.)
–Noel


#6

I agree with you, Ron;

I also feel there are two divergent forces meeting in the retail
jewelry trade, whose habits also affect those of the venues of the
galleries, art fairs, and other less conventional jewelry outlets.
On the one hand, there are marketing efforts which are basically an
extension of the fashion industry. They seek to capitalize on the
buyers urge towards novelty and status. They are marketing image
more than substance. From the other direction comes the tradition of
the artist/craftsman. Herein come values like craftsmanship, good
design, durability, utility, beauty (whatever that is. . .and I think
we have the ability to judge that, albiet from a plurality of
perspectives). Also, in there are beliefs in the intrinsic value of
honesty, good faith business dealings, and pricing that represents
the presence of these values less than the demands of market
response. Our field has seen these values remain while many other
trades and business have converted to cynicism and lost all but the
belief in the bottom line. It’s a good fight, it’s ours, and we’ll
keep it up until we prevail.

David L. Huffman


#7
   describing it as "near colorless"  but having brilliance and
hardness unlike any other jewel on the market. 

Hello Gary,

Whilst this claim is absolutely true it doesn’t amount to very much
in the real world. Carborundum is indeed harder and tougher than
Sapphire but not by enough to make much difference between them as
far as resistance to wear is concerned. If you go clam digging with
your moissanite solitaire it will soon need repolishing. Indeed on
the polishing lap I find it behaves very similar to sapphire. It is
indeed more resistant than CZ but still many many times softer than
diamond.

It does have a unique brilliance, but then so do all gems. It is
closer to diamond than any simulants I have seen. I think there is
little romance in owning a stone that is made of the same stuff as
cheap grinding wheels, however it has established a new low in
synthetic gemstone heritage. I predict, not that clairvoyance is
particularly needed, that synthetic moissanite will follow an
identical trade model as all previous simulants. A period of high
priced single source stones followed by a similar period of medium
priced stones from multiple suppliers. The final market price will
reflect the cost of manufacture plus the cost of cutting, the same as
all other synthetic stones. I feel we have reached stage 2 with
stones showing up from far eastern sources supposedly under $50 ct. I
fear these stones, especially if cut in 2 - 3 mm sizes, will continue
to be a threat to unwary buyers for many years to come, more so than
any previous simulant.

Tony –


#8

Just a note on the oddness of human nature. When aluminum was first
discovered some jewelery was made from it, by Cartier I think, and
sold at very high prices. Likewise yellow irradiated diamonds ( they
actually caused 2nd & third degree burns)

We love novelty!


#9

Dear Noel, I was going to rebut your lettter, but others have done the
job for me. One of the things you might want to bear in mind is that
we cynics are very often idealists who really care about things like
honesty, responsibility and democracy. When citizens get to the point
that criticism evokes a knee jerk defense, it is time to question
where we are going. We should all keep an open mind and cherish a
spirit of inquiry. If we cling to the status quo we will not evolve.
No civilization is immune to failure. Ron at Mills Gem, Los
Osos, CA.


#10

Dear Reverend Ron, I too have pondered the moissanite question. I
may well be considered a heretic but I am in the process of
developing a semi-futuristic line of jewelry with syntactic
boundaries. That means that all the stones used in this line must
end with the letters --ite. That leaves out a few old favorites of
course, but I’m really having fun with the conceptual part of this.
Now, if we must say that certain stones are substituting other
stones, we could say moissanite for diamond, tsavorite for emerald,
rhodolite or rubellite for ruby, tanzanite for sapphire, etc… (I
also happened to think the numbered pearls are hot as hell)
Meanwhile, why don’t we just give moissanite a chance? Why can’t
everyone just let moissanite be its own person? Ron, I love reading
your posts, but is it possible your church is stuck in the 60’s?
Becky in NYC where the kids have taken over and nobody even knows it
yet!


#11
Why would anyone pay hundreds per carat for caborundum ? "Reverend"
Ron at Mills Gem Company, Los Osos, CA.  

Dear “Reverend”,

As a fellow fundamentalist disciple of natural stones, I feel
somewhat guilty in reporting that Moissanite is not carborundum, but
in fact crystallized silicon carbide, harder than carborundum.
However, I too am amazed that anyone would pay that much for a
simulant.

If the business of selling Moissanite is any indication it will
quickly (a few years?) be relegated to the ranks of other annoying
"jewels." The company has gone through name changes, changes in
corporate leadership and is facing the same struggles as other high
tech industries.

I am sure that you will remember, as I do, that CZ originally sold
for outrageous amounts of money before selling at a more reasonable
amount (next to nothing). I think Moissanite will go the way of
Chatham emeralds. There are still some sold but they have never
really caught on. I have worked on a few Moissanite that people have
purchased and brought to me, I am not impressed.

From the Lion’s den of Moissanite, Cary NC Larry Seiger


#12

Dear Larry, I beg to differ with you…Carborundum is Silcon Carbide
and Moisonnite is Silicon Carbide. Carborundum is merely the trade
name for Silcon Carbide. Carborundum is also crystallized Silicon
Carbide, but the Moisonnite process obviously results in a more
transparent and less colored product. C’est la meme chose, mon ami !
Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


#13

Dear Becky, I stand guilty as accused…right on! Natural gems are a
thing of the past and we should embrace all those wonderful
laboratory dingle berries as if they were rare and dear. Furthermore,
if we pay astronomical mark-ups for goods that can be replicated by
the shipload, it proves that we have arrived ( having just emerged
from pubescence ) After all, conspicuous consumption is the in thing.
Value is a thing of the past just as profitability in commerce is
irrelevant. Let us all rush out and buy a bit of abrasive and mount
it in a splashy virtual gold ring and, if we have any money left, we
can buy stock in a company that doesn’t make money. Ah progress !
Isn’t that what it is all about ? Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


#14
   Carborundum is Silcon Carbide and Moisonnite is Silicon Carbide.
Carborundum is merely the trade name for Silcon Carbide. Carborundum
is also crystallized Silicon Carbide 

Ron,

your right, my mistake. I was confusing corundum (aluminum silicate)
and carborundum.

Larry Seiger


#15

The biggest complaint I have about it, is that, like so many other
things in this internet world, the price they sell for on the net is
about 20% above the cost from Stuller. I’ve had customers cancel
orders because they could get it cheaper on the net.

One thing to note, I don’t sell it as a diamond simulant. I sell it
as what it is, synthetic moissanite. I find that no matter how I
approach the subject, thought, the customers still see a diamond
simulant.

Just my $.02 worth.

Sharon


#16

Dear Ron, I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why I wanted to know
whether your reaction to moissonite was based on moissanite, or was a
knee-jerk reaction to a synthetic. That didn’t strike me as
open-minded. I am not, and was not, defending anything except keeping
an open mind. I guess I’m willing to be knee-jerk about that! All I did
was ask you a couple of questions that you have chosen not to answer.
Sorry I offended you, but I guess now were even! --Noel


#17

The discussion about Moissaite is a bit absurd. People buy jewlery
for three basic reasons. 1. Personal adornment 2. Status symbolism.
3. Investment. These three items can also be called customer needs.
Most jewelry is purchased for adornment. The price people pay for
Moissanite is no more ridiculous than what they pay for diamonds. A
large percentage of colored stones have been “enhanced” in some
manner. Moissanite simply is another option for customers. No more,
no less. Moissanite is no less legitimate than glass beads, PMC,
ceramics, enamel, or other materials used in this bussiness. As for
me, I don’t care for Moissanite or diamonds simply because they are
both over priced.


#18

Dear Noel, The Moisannite issue is really not important, except to the
extent that it portends the future. I am a product of the seventies
,an era which was on the threshold of market invasion by
synthetics and altered gems. To be sure, man has been screwing around
with fast buck gemstone manipulation since much earlier times and it
is a realistic reflection of human nature. However, the mystique of
gems has always had a fundamental grounding in appreciating the
beauty and rarity of objects in nature.There isn’t any question about
the fact that synthetics and simulants can be beautiful and sometimes
without equal in nature. Nonetheless, as synthetics and simulants
increasingly supplant natural gems, the rationale for value becomes a
moot point. NOW we get down to the real issue of how is this going to
affect the industry? High ticket, highly profitable jewelry utilizes
natural How then are we going to sustain our business
volumes when the value of our product continues to plummet ?
Currently we are in transition…the mix of phonies and doctored
stones is approaching equity. The TREND is inexorably in the
direction of naturals being replaced by man made “gems”. It can be
argued that this will create an expanding market inasmuch as greater
affordablility should expand the market…on the other hand, this
expansion will inevitably erode the “mystique” and romance of gems
and jewelry and it is highly likely that jewelry will become another
"throwaway" commodity just as watches have become…they wear out
quickly and you throw them away. Food for thought…Ron at Mills
Gem, Los Osos, CA.