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."
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
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.