(Closed) Diamond Versus Moissaniteposted 6 years ago in Rings
- 6 years ago
@sporting: I think the ring you posted is quite lovely. I really like the detail on the bands. Personally, I’m more of a thin band girl and the bands appear to be a bit thick for my taste. Do you know their measurements? Either way, what is most important is that YOU love it. But since you asked opinions, I think it’s a really pretty set.
- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 1997
@dulcevida: NO, not my opinion but fact.
you said: “It (moissanite) has the exact same chemical make-up as the naturally occuring moissanite.No, it doesn’t. There has never been any silicon carbide/moissanite that can be simply polished and set! The synthetic silicon carbide is doped to change it making it larger and whiter to imitate a diamond.A true synthetic gemstone is one which exists in its same form in nature. Moissanite does not exist in the same form in nature. @Taeyers: : For instance, a sapphire can be mined and polished and set in jewelry. A synthetic sapphire is one that replicates what already exists in nature in the same form.
Here is an article on the history of moissanite:
For moissanite officiando’s and others like myself who are interested.Here’s an article from the Wall Street Journal from back in the day. It includes info about Jeff Hunter and 3C (the original “developers” of moissanite jewels). Apparently Jeff Hunters father was a “Cree”, the brother a head hancho at Cree who manufacturers moissanite. The article covers some of the origin of moissy. It mentions that the product was emerald appearing! Surprising they didn’t go that route too!http://online.wsj.com/article/SB885928599171771000.html
Analysts Wait to See If C3’s Fake Gems Pan Out
One company, C3, of Morrisville near Research Triangle Park, went public in November with the mission of turning a lab-created mineral called moissanite into brilliant and inexpensive gems resembling diamonds. The other firm, Cree Research, a more established Durham-based semiconductor-material maker, produces the material that is the basis for moissanite.
The companies are run by brothers Jeff Hunter, 40 years old, president of C3, and Neal Hunter, 35, Cree Research CEO.
Cree Research Inc.Business: Maker of semiconductor material
Six months (Dec. 28) 1997 1996Revenue:$20,313,000$13,528,000Net Income:
2,640,0002,264,000 Per-share earnings:0.20
.17Second quarter Per-share earnings:0.110.03No Glitter
But their efforts to bring synthetic moissanite gems to market have hit a few snags. A gem expert at a jewelry-industry trade group who examined 23 gems provided by C3 says they were grayish and fuzzy. Meanwhile, Cree researchers have fallen behind schedule in producing material that would allow C3 to consistently make higher-clarity gems.
When the company learned of the gem expert’s reviews, it hustled an improved version of the stone to three Atlanta jewelry stores, where jewelers opined that C3’s gems looked like diamonds.
And Cree Research, with an 11-year track record in the fast-moving semiconductor industry, is confident it can solve the production delays.
Still, the early problems illustrate the pitfalls of trying to create a product and introduce it in a tough market. Despite a marketing blitz through outlets such as Home Shopping Network, for more than 20 years the best-known pseudo-diamond, cubic zirconia, claims a scant portion of U.S. diamond sales, which reached $18 billion in 1997.
The Hunter brothers believe their diamond substitute — which they say will be higher in quality, and price, than cubic zirconia — will tap a lucrative market among buyers looking for diamond lookalikes at a tenth of what a diamond would cost.
Neal and Jeff Hunter, along with a third brother, Eric, pursued the possibility of creating a fake diamond in 1995 when they noticed that material Cree was making resembled emeralds. More tinkering in Cree’s lab resulted in a material with the same properties as moissanite.
Cree’s work in semiconductor materials includes the development of a high-tech blue laser capable of boosting storage on CD-ROMs, and separately, making products such as light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, that are used in everything from stadium replay boards to auto-dashboard illuminating systems.
A Family Affair
The forming of C3 (named after the brothers’ father, Charles Cree Hunter, and their mother’s maiden name, Colvard) in 1995 to produce the gem gave Jeff Hunter, then a controller at North Carolina State University, a chance to run a company. Eric Hunter, 38, remains a large shareholder. C3 began studies of the moissanite, including a 1996 survey of 30 Midwestern jewelry stores, 28 of which mistakenly identified a C3 pendant as a diamond.
Buoyed by that kind of response and needing money for research and development, C3 went public in November, selling three million shares at $15 each. The company said in December securities filings that while it believed its lab-created moissanite could make it a “superior substitute” for diamonds, the company didn’t expect to produce revenue until the first half of 1998.
Under a recent five-year, $12 million agreement between the two companies, Cree supplies the raw material in the form of three-inch crystals, which C3 slices into smaller bits. The material then is sent to Southeast Asia for fastening and returned to C3, where the moissanite is graded for quality.
To examine the new diamond substitute and alert jewelers that it was headed to market, James Shigley, a gem expert at the Gemological Institute of America, the Carlsbad, Calif., industry trade group, requested samples of synthetic moissanite from C3 last summer. The institute this week will release a report based on Dr. Shigley’s study.
“People experienced at looking at diamonds will say this doesn’t look like a diamond,” Dr. Shigley says. “When you compare moissanite against the diamond, it tends to have a grayish color. They don’t look sharp.” Still, his report projects synthetic moissanite could become widely available as a diamond imitation.
Told of the findings, C3 said that Dr. Shigley had seen early-stage gems, and that improvements had been made.
That may be so. C3 representatives last week accompanied a Wall Street Journal reporter to three Atlanta retail stores to have the company’s later-stage jewels examined. The first jeweler conducted a standard test that measures heat generated by carbon — present in both diamonds and moissanite — and concluded the .69-carat stone was a diamond. A second jeweler, certified by the Gemological Institute, studied the gem more closely, and appraised it at $2,700. A third jeweler conducted a less-scientific test, looking at the stone only under a small magnifying glass. He, too, said the fake stone was a diamond.
These jewelers’ responses may portend well for C3 once the gems are rolled out. But Cree has run into production problems. Ten researchers are behind schedule in coming up with material that would allow C3 to make higher-quality gems that are graded on the same color scales as diamonds. Currently, Cree is producing moissanite with a color grade that could be used in bracelets, which have smaller cuts of gems, but not in rings. C3 wants gems with a higher grade, says Jeff Hunter.
An Unmet Deadline
“C3 set up a pretty aggressive schedule,” Neal Hunter says. “We have not hit the schedule.”
Of course, the stakes are highest for C3. Lorraine Maxfield, an analyst at Paulson Investment in Portland, Ore., notes that C3’s stock has fallen 33% from its IPO price because some investors thought they were buying a stock that would quickly soar. When it didn’t, and the company didn’t release any news beyond the Cree contract in its first months, the sell-off began.
For Cree, analysts say a successful gem could be a big boost, but disappointing sales wouldn’t be a disaster. Neal Hunter estimates that 5% to 10% of Cree’s $43 million in projected revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30 will come from C3 orders.
Now, with C3 promising to have its product in stores this summer, a big question is whether there will be a strong demand for the fakes.
“That’s a big if,” says Ms. Maxfield of Paulson, the underwriter for C3’s initial public offering.
Jerry Ehrenwald, president of International Gemmological Institute, a New York-based trade group, says he thinks C3’s gems look like diamonds. But he adds he can’t imagine a husband saying, “Honey, instead of a diamond, I’m going to give you a moissanite.”
- 6 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014
@Bridey77: If you’re interested…
The shoofly pie’s origins may come from the treacle tart with the primary difference being the use of molasses rather than golden syrup. A Montgomery pie is similar to a shoofly pie, except lemon juice is usually added to the bottom layer and buttermilk to the topping. A chess pie is also similar, but it is unlayered.
Many food history reference books attribute the origin of shoofly pie to the Pennslyvania Dutch. A closer examination of culinary evidence suggests this group may be able to claim the name, but maybe not the recipe. This resiliant sugar-based formula is capable of adapting through the ages according to ingredient availability and cook ingenuity. Food historians tell us sugar-filled pastries originated in the Ancient Middle East. Sweet treacle pies were popular all over Medieval Europe. Renaissance diners preferred similar compostions made with fine white sugar. These recipes were introduced to America by European settlers from several nations. Molasses was often substituted for treacle in colonial American recipes. Some folks say the “original shoofly recipe” is descended from Centennial cake. Both desserts have striking similarities.
WHY SHOOFLY? According to the book Rare Bits, Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, by Patricia Bunning Stevens (p. 262) shoofly pie was created when “the pie-loving Pennsylvania Dutch …found themselves short of baking supplies in the late winter and early spring…all that was left in the pantry were flour, lard, and molasses. From these sparse ingredients they fashioned Shoo-Fly Pie and found that their families liked it so well that they soon made it all year round. The unusual name is presumed to come from the fact that pools of sweet, sticky molasses sometimes formed on the surface of the pie while it was cooling, inevitably attracting flies.” According to the The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, by John Mariani (p. 293) the term “Shoo Fly Pie” was not recorded in print until 1926.
In American cuisine, shoofly pie is a sort of treacle tart, made with molasses or brown sugar and topped with a sugar, flour, and butter crumble. It’s name is generally taken to be an allusion to the fact that it is so attractive to flies that they have to be constantly shooed away from it, but the fact that it originated as a Pennsylvania-Dutch specialty suggests the possibility that shoofly is an alteration of an unidentified German word.”
—An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 310-1)
WHAT IS AMISH SHOOFLY?
There are two basic variations on the traditional Amish Shoofly Pie recipe.”Traditional” Shoo-fly pies are made with either a “wet bottom” (soft filling and crumb topping) or “dry bottom” (crumb topping is mixed into the filling), which is commonly served for breakfast.”
If you are looking for a Shoo-Fly pie recipe from the early 18th century, try this one from “The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook,” by Mary Donovan. On page 135 appears this recipe attributed to Magdelena Hoch Keim of Lobachsville, Pennsylvania. (1730–?). This recipe has been modernized for contemporary kitchens:
Wet-Bottomed Shoofly Pie
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp each nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg yolk, beaten well
1/2 cup barrel molasses
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp baking soda
Piecrust dough for 9-inch pie
Combine flour, sugar, spices, and salt with the shortening. Work into crumbs with your hands. Add beaten egg yolk to molasses. Pour boiling water over soda until dissolved; then add to molasses mixture. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry and fill it with the molasses mixture. Top with the crumb mixture. Bake at 400 degrees until the crust browns, about 10 minutes. Reduce to 325 degrees and bake firm.
Original recipes for “molasses pie” read like this:
Four eggs–beat the Whites separate–one Teacupful of brown Sugar, half a Nutmeg, two Tablespoonfuls of Butter; beat them will together; stir in one Teacupful and a half of Molasses, and then add the Whites of Eggs. Bake on Pastry.
(Mrs. Cole’s Recipes, c. 1837–reprinted in The Williamsburg Art of Cookery, Helen Bullock [Colonial Williamsburg:Williamsburg VA] 1937 (p. 127)
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