Charles & Colvard is based in Morrisville and recently opened its first showroom. The business sells moissanite and lab-grown diamonds, which are more affordable than natural diamonds. 48% of Charles and Colvard’s customers are between the ages of 25 and 44.
Despite diamonds’ prominence, the worldwide diamond industry has long been questioned. Diamond mining has been related to human rights violations, poverty, child labour, and environmentally hazardous practises.
As the diamond industry advances, one North Carolina company is on a quest to provide a less contentious and more cheap alternative. To the untrained eye, the jewellery at Charles & Colvard’s Morrisville showroom seems to be ordinary diamond jewellery, yet their items are “crafted, not mined.”
“Moissanite is on the blue, and our Caydia lab-grown diamond is on the pink,” says the designer. “This simply helps us differentiate it not only online, but also in the shop,” said Hillary Watson, Charles & Colvard’s director of sales and merchandising. “Charles and Colvard were the original creators of moissanite. Moissanite is found in the soil, but not in sufficient quantities to be used in gemstone jewellery. So we discovered out how to reproduce that procedure in a lab about 27 years ago.”
The company specialises in moissanite and lab-grown diamonds. So, what is the distinction between these and natural diamonds?
“A colourless gemstone, moissanite. It is constructed of silicon carbide. A natural diamond is composed of carbon. Carbon is also present in lab-grown diamonds. “The only variation is the place of origin,” Watson explained.
Charles & Colvard
Charles & Colvard won’t reveal all of their manufacturing secrets, but they will tell you how they compare to genuine diamonds. “For example, this is 3.9 carats for $4,100 and it’s a DEF colourless moissanite,” Watson added. If the identical ring were made with genuine diamonds, the price would rise. “You’re looking at upwards of $40,000 for four carats,” Watson added. Their jewellery is highly popular for engagement rings, and the bulk of their customers are millennials. In fact, 48% of their clientele range in age from 25 to 44.
“Because it’s more reasonable, they can place a deposit on their ideal home, have their dream honeymoon, and have a grander wedding,” Watson explained. How do moissanites relate on the hardness scale used to evaluate natural diamonds? “Moissanite is a 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, ranging from 9.25 to 9.5. The value of diamond is ten. In terms of hardness, moissanite is second only to diamonds, making it ideal for everyday use. It’s quite long-lasting. “It won’t shatter or scratch,” Watson assured.
Charles & Colvard is so sure of their product and keen to teach others about it that they established their first showcase at the end of October.
“Buying an engagement ring is a very personal experience, and while we do have a direct consumer website, CharlesandColvard.com, we get a lot of requests for on-figure photos or ‘I want to see what the gemstone looks like in real life,’ especially from people who are unfamiliar with moissanite or lab-grown diamonds. They want to see, feel, touch, and experience the goods. So we’re extremely pleased to have this space, this beautiful 2,000 square foot showcase, to allow customers to fall in love with the jewels in person,” Watson added.
According to Watson, not everyone in the diamond business has been warm to these lab-grown alternatives, but that is changing.
“I believe there will always be individuals who have this preconceived concept that a diamond originates from the ground, but the industry is accepting lab-grown diamonds,” Watson said.
Charles & Colvard jewellery is also available in all Helzberg Diamonds stores, which have over 150 locations around the country.
According to Paul Ziminsky, an independent diamond analyst in New York, most consumers still prefer real diamonds, but interest in lab-grown diamonds is expanding rapidly, accounting for around 10% of diamond jewellery sales by value.
Charles & Colvard was the first to commercialise lab-created moissanite, a rare gemstone made of silicon carbide. The Company’s flagship Forever OneTM moissanite brand and premium CaydiaTM lab grown diamond brand bring breakthrough gemstones and jewellery to market.
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