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Silicon carbide, also known as moissanite, is a very rare mineral. Found as inclusions in other minerals, it has very few natural sources, one of which is meteorites. Due to its rarity, it is now synthesized in laboratories. Often used in jewelry, loose moissanite stones can be purchased on their own and used as a starting point for buyers to create their own custom jewelry.
Moissanite is very similar in appearance and properties to diamonds but has an even higher luster and sparkle. Like diamonds, it is extremely hard and does not easily scratch, making it ideal for use in jewelry. Jewelry made from moissanite is popular, appearing commonly as rings, necklaces, and earrings. The mineral can also be found in brooches and bracelets.
People purchase moissanite from jewelers as ready-to-wear jewelry that has already been placed in settings. They also buy loose moissanite stones from jewelry stores or from online dealers. These loose stones can then be customized into jewelry as desired. Although sold in a variety of locations, there is only a single legitimate manufacturer of the stones, Charles & Colvard. When buying loose moissanite stones, it is important to make sure that they come with a certificate of authenticity of having been produced at this particular laboratory.
You can purchase loose moissanite stones in a variety of cuts suitable to create your own custom jewelry. They are hand-faceted in the same cuts available for diamonds, including princess, marquis, and pear. Aside from the standard moissanite, some are available that have a delicate, green coloring added. Although not graded using the same scale as diamonds, cut, clarity, color, and carats are often taken into consideration when determining price, although standards are adjusted accordingly.
Moissanite is less expensive than diamonds, and purchasing the stones loose can help reduce the cost even further. Prices for singular stones can range from just under $100 US dollars (USD) to well over $10,000 USD. Nearly any setting can be used for moissanite that be used for diamonds, including gold, platinum, and sterling silver.
People choose loose moissanite stones for a number of uses. The jewelry may be a surprise gift, and thus, an individual buys the stone and cut, then he or she can choose the setting at a later date to ensure proper fit and accordance to taste. Loose stones can also be used to replace stones that have been lost from other pieces of jewelry or to fit antique settings.