Green Light

November 1998

Diamonds:Gemology

Green Light

Synthetic moissanite now on the market is usually virtually colorless and can be confused with diamond. A colored variety is trickling in to a jewelry store in Dallas, TX

Synthetic moissanite created a stir about a year ago when the virtually colorless, durable material fooled some gemologists – and even diamond detectors – into judging it as diamond. Now C3 Inc., the company that brought you synthetic moissanite, is test-marketing green varieties of the material. (Editor's Note: The first samples of natural moissanite – a crystallized silicon carbide found in 1893 by Henri Moissan – were, in fact, green.)

The Jewelry Forrest, an American Gem Society member store in Dallas, TX, is conducting the test market for C3. Hunter says the store's name harmonizes perfectly with "Forest Green" – the official name chosen for the green variety of synthetic moissanite.

The arrangement was sealed when Hunter met with store owner Jerry Forrest and found they share a gemological vision and perspective on synthetic moissanite.

"I just love the material," says Forrest. "It's just beautiful in its own right, and so much can be done with it because of its durability. For example, we make our own jewelry and can cast moissanite in place. In addition it's guaranteed – C3 will replace the synthetic mois-sanite if there's any damage."

Selling Moissanite
Forrest avoids comparisons with diamond when selling colorless synthetic moissanite. "There is no comparison to diamond," he says. "We do not see or sell it as a diamond simulant."

He attributes a misconception about synthetic moissanite in the trade to fear of the unknown and a lack of education. "Any gemologist who looks carefully at moissanite and has trouble making the separation between it and diamond should consider doing something else," he says.

As for the green synthetic moissanite, Forrest says he's equally confident. "I mentioned green moissanite to a customer one day and presold a piece of jewelry with it in before the stones even arrived in the store," he says.

Hunter expects green moissanite will be much more widespread by 1999, if C3 can produce a marketable quantity for sales across the U.S. as it plans to do.

He says the debut of green moissanite also will pave the way for other colors, including a range of greens, blues, yellows and amber.

A Texas jeweler is test-marketing "forest green" synthetic moissanite (shown in two hues). The green material will be more widely available next year, says C3 Inc., the company that markets it.

C3 Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC; (919) 468-0399.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.



Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


 

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