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  • OEC Moissanites Are Here!


    And, the video below is in HD so click on the higher resolution setting and watch full screen! (to watch in HD: 1. Click Play. 2. mouse over the “360p” and choose “1080P”. 3. Click the full screen button next to the Plus sign (+).)

  • Peachy Pink Cushion Cut Moissanite

  • Retail and Desire in the Jewelry Business

    I stumbled across this article by columnist James Alperinover coffee this morning. Good points about the changing mindset of today’s customers:

    When you consider the traditional products that older generations considered to be within the realm of luxury, it seems that the younger generation has set its sights in a whole new direction. The status symbols for Gen Y are not fine china, crystal and sterling silver flatware as much as they are the latest big-screen TV, computer or i-whatever.

    Ask a young person, “What time is it?” and they will answer you by pulling out their cell phone, not by looking at their watch, an object that most of their peers consider an artifact. After all, a watch only tells time; today’s “cell phones” connect their owners to the world via the Internet.

    Our industry is not just facing a crisis because of the global economic downturn. We are faced with a crisis of changing tastes and realities. We tend to think that the Internet has affected our industry only through changes in customers’ buying habits and their heightened abilities to become educated consumers. It is true that the days when a customer knew nothing about products they wished to purchase disappeared when “Google” became a household word. But it goes beyond that. Besides changing the way the world educates itself and shops, the digital age has actually changed what consumers want and turned what generations of Americans have perceived as luxury upside down.

    Remember, we are engaged in a “want” business, not a “need” business. The younger generation has broken ties with the past, for better or worse. Nearly gone are the days when people visited their trusted family jeweler just as they visited their trusted family doctor. Even in medicine today, you no longer meet with a family physician who made house calls (remember those?) carrying a black medical bag. Now, you go to a large multi-doctor practice and proceed to sit in a waiting room.

    There is, today, a lack of commitment in society, a fickleness that is all around us in our “throwaway” culture, and one that is reflected in what is happening within the jewelry industry. Today’s young people do not want the commitment of one expensive piece of jewelry. They prefer fashionable costume jewelry to accessorize the styles of the moment. When costume jewelry breaks or goes out of style, it is discarded, its ultimate destiny the same as the sweater that it was purchased to go with.

    There is no insurance premium to pay, nothing to cover a potential loss. There is no sense of, “I have to wear this piece because it was so expensive to buy.” There is no sense of obligation, because, to the younger generation, it is frankly easier and often more fun to own and wear many pieces of costume jewelry than it is to cherish one expensive piece of fine jewelry. Fashion jewelry is an accessory, not an item of luxury, but it fills a niche in today’s world.

    One area of the jewelry industry that has bucked this trend toward fashion jewelry and ever-shifting tastes has been bridal. An important diamond ring now possesses even greater significance than it did in our grandmothers’ time. The diamond engagement ring has become more a symbol of success and status than an item of pure luxury. So although young people today want to feel free to change their minds without guilt about what items of jewelry to wear, they very much wish to show their friends that they have been successful in their selection of mates, who are, as their rings make evident, also good providers.

    Back in the 1970s, the Swiss watch industry found itself in deep trouble as the Japanese quartz movement watches swept through the watch world. The Swiss government had to come to the aid of an industry left behind as the upstarts from overseas took over the market.

    The industry was in turmoil and it took a lot of work, but the Swiss began to catch up and today are viable quartz watch manufacturers. Even more interesting is the fact that self-winding, automatic watches are again becoming popular. This supports the idea that the pendulum of fashion does, in fact, swing back.

    So when it seems that today’s youth have less interest in fine jewelry than their predecessors, consider this: Before too long, once again, consumers will look to jewelry as a desired luxury item, maybe to wear while talking on their new iPhone and watching their new big-screen TV.

    To add to his points about engagement rings, we also see a trend toward engagement rings and wedding rings made of eco-friendly (and affordable) moissanite, like this beauty below:

    Style 9438M

    Classic Tiffany Style Marquise Shape Moissanite Solitaire

    Classic tiffany style solitaire with a Charles and Colvard created marquise shape moissanite.

    Available Center Stone Size: 1/2ct-1 3/4ct

    Call for Platinum Pricing

  • The Pros and Cons of Moissanite

    To choose moissanite or not to choose moissanite – that is the question. But what is the answer? Well, it’s not as clear cut (excuse the semi-pun) as you would like. It requires a little research, which you should do before a major purchase anyway.

    Here are some of the pros and cons, as listed on the Diamonds-are-Forever website:

    The Pros and Cons of Moissanite – The Pro’s

      • Cost – The cost of Moissanite is roughly an eighth of the price of natural diamonds but is generally more expensive that Cubic Zirconia at one tenth of the price of natural diamonds
      • Appearance – Moissanite is so optically close to diamond that even some jewelers cannot tell the difference without the aid of various tests
      • Clarity – Moissanite is not separated into different grades of Clarity like diamonds because each stone must meet set specifications before being released to distributors. The set specifications of Moissanite are comparable to diamonds which have been graded VS1-VS2 on the Diamond Clarity Chart
      • Inclusions / Flaws – Manufactured to appear more like diamonds, Moissanite gemstones have inclusions which is a plus-point when compared to the flawless Cubic Zirconia – the growing process produces tiny, unnatural, white, ribbon-like inclusions
      • Moissanite stones are equivalent to the H – J grades in the white Diamond Color scale. Moissanite is not as white-white like the Cubic Zirconia (which is equivalent to a perfect “D” and therefore less believable imitation, as white-white color diamonds are extremely rare.
      • Hardness – Hardness denotes resistance to scratching as opposed to Toughness which relates to the ability to resist breakage from falls or impacts. Moissanite is much harder than most natural gems, and Cubic Zirconia, at about 9.5 on the Mohs scale, however it is nowhere near as hard as a diamond at about 10.0 on the Mohs scale
      • Toughness – Moissanite is tougher than diamond because it has no natural fractures that can crack if the stone is subjected to an impact of some kind.
      • Moissanite has a slightly higher index of refraction (brilliance) and much greater dispersion (fire) than diamond. It retains its fire if it gets dirty, oily, or smudged, whereas Cubic Zirconia looks very dull when dirty. The excess fire is seen as a ‘pro’ by some and a ‘con’ by others

    Moissanite – The Con’s

      • Investment – Jewelry containing synthetic gemstones like Moissanite are not a good investment – they do not hold their price.
      • Color – Can have a slight yellowish / greenish tint which becomes more noticeable with increasing gem sizes.
      • Fluorescence – An undesirable hazy effect that causes them to appear slightly green or yellow. The effect  of fluorescence on Moissanite is much greater under natural light or in sunlight.
      • Moissanite is highly birefringent (a birefringent crystal splits a light beam into two) which is a desirable quality in some optical applications, but is not desirable in gemstones. Moissanite jewels are therefore cut along the optic axis of the crystal to minimize birefringent effects
      • Fire – Has more ‘fire’ or brilliance producing a more synthetic effect. The high dispersion of 0.11 is apparent in Moissanite (nearly 2.5 times greater than that of diamond) and readily distinguishes it from diamond with a dispersion of 0.04 which is virtually unnoticed. The excess fire is sometimes considered cheap and fake looking.
      • Hardness – Diamonds are harder than Moissanite  which is 9.5 on the Mohs scale compared to a diamond at about 10.0 on the Mohs scale
      • Inclusions / Flaws – Manufactured to appear more like diamonds, Moissanite gemstones have inclusions. Natural flaws are absent in Moissanite replaced instead by tiny, unnatural, white, ribbon-like structures that are a result of the growing process.
      • Rarity – Moissanite is not rare and can be made quickly and in vast quantities, whereas natural diamonds take millions of years to form.
      • Symbolic Value – Diamonds have long symbolised love and purity – Moissanite has no such symbolic value yet.

    Because our moissanite comes from Charles and Colvard, the creators and top manufacturers with the highest standards in moissanite, you can be assured your choice is a smart one. But again, research is key. A jewelry purchase is for life, and we understand that.