Last month, one of our favorite independent jewelry designers, the wickedly talented Heidi Gibson, visited us here at Charles & Colvard® HQ. She was given a tour of our manufacturing area and received the opportunity of a lifetime: to pick her dream gemstone from our vault!
Below is her recap of the trip, plus a sneak peek at her upcoming design.
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 & Colvard® headquarters in Morrisville, 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 production process.
The headquarters/factory has recently been relocated to a sprawling building tucked in among the southern greenery, adjacent to a picturesque lake. You could feel the buzzing energy of innovation from the moment you walked in the door. We were whisked from room to room, each with its 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 aspects 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.
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.
My overall impression is that Charles & Colvard® 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!