In April, I was given the opportunity, along with two other designers and four bloggers, to take the Willy Wonka tour of the magical Charles and Colvard headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have worked with their Forever Brilliant Moissanite for several years now, and was excited to get a behind the scenes peek at the process.
A beautiful North Carolina rainbow spotted at dinner
The headquarters/factory has recently relocated to a sprawling building tucked in amongst the southern greenery, adjacent to a picturesque lake. You could feel the buzzing energy of innovation from the moment you walk in the door. We were whisked from room to room, each with their own eye popping indulgences: the cutting room, the grading room, the display room, and most astonishingly, the heavily secured vault full of these sparkling treasures.
There is a lot to read out there about the scientific aspect of the discovery and creation of Moissanite. This is all very fascinating - but what most attracts me most to their product, as an artist, is the tremendous amount of passion and geekery for development. It’s a process that utilizes the best eyes and minds of the industry, including the former head of Helzberg Diamonds and trained GIA gemologists who individually grade each and every gemstone that passes into the market.
The cutting process in overview
The grading process is performed by GIA certified gemologists that carefully review each stone for it’s cut, color, and clarity
A major highlight of the trip was the selection of a single gemstone that we designers are to utilize in one of our pieces. I (along with Kristin and Konstanze) was giddy upon the discovery of the gorgeous, blue-gray, limited edition 8mm round moissanite. This is a color that I have admittedly obsessed over for several months now, and I’m very excited to incorporate it into one of my designs paired with rose gold and diamond accents.
The stunning blue gray 8mm (2 carat size) moissanite that I selected for my dream ring
My overall impression is that the Forever Brilliant company is about creativity and innovation; it’s about streamlining and fine-tuning a diamond/gemstone alternative that is ethical, sustainable, and just plain beautiful. They are not attempting to replace diamonds in the market: their goal is rather to create a high quality alternative for the ethical and budget savvy consumer. I am proud to offer their Forever Brilliant gemstones in my original designs, and look forward to their new creative endeavors! Check out their new website, now live at www.moissy.com, to see more behind the scenes of the tour and learn more about their beautiful stones.