When my partner popped the question, I was so pleased that he did it with a moissanite engagement ring. There was no diamond in site, and I could not be happier! This might seem like a really strange statement. Most people do not know what a moissanite is and those that do know immediately denigrate it as being ‘fake’.

But let’s back up for a moment.

It’s true that every girl fantasizes about her engagement, the lover on bended knee holding out a beautiful luxurious box, with that elusive yet coveted engagement ring within the box. And more often than not, we read of that ring being a diamond ring! After all, who does not want a stone that has been glorified in our culture for a long time? A diamond is ‘forever’ and a ‘girl’s best friend’.

But the trouble for me was that when I began to research on what kind of diamond I wanted, I felt as though I had opened Pandora’s box.

Suddenly, it wasn’t as romantic as I had always thought. I was learning about all the unethical practices and environmental devastation that was going on in this industry. A single standard open cut diamond mine can be as enormous as 500 meters across and 300 meters deep, with the surrounding area left wasted and unfertile. Conflict diamonds is another factor to consider. I did not want my engagement ring to be stained with blood under any circumstances.

That was when I learned about moissanite and I was hooked!

Moissanite is a diamond simulant, and to the untrained eye, it can look exactly like a diamond. In fact, it often takes a trained expert with specialist equipment to distinguish the two. Although Cubic Zirconia is the most popular diamond simulant on the market, Cubic Zirconia has a reputation for being cheap and not durable. Moissanite, on the other hand, has qualities very similar to a diamond. Although they are very similar in appearance, diamonds and moissanites are distinct in every other way that matters.

What makes a moissanite such a great alternative to diamonds is that it is extremely durable. A diamond ranks 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness but a moissanite is second best at 9.25 (.25 higher than sapphires and rubies!). You might be wondering why this is important but consider that your engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that will be worn every day for the rest of your life. It needs to be able to take the rough wear and tear of daily exposure and still be sparkling at the end of the day. The hardness of moissanite means that next to diamonds, it is one of the hardest stones you will find.

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