My Journey from Ashes to Gold to Moissanite - Part 2
This is the second part of my story on my journey to becoming a Moissanite connaisseur.
2019 was the year to make plans. While I was still at a loss on how to regain control of my career that basically went from a 16-year, full-blown successful business to completely nothing, I started tinkering around the prospect of building a new business that is related to gold and silver. I must admit that I was still reeling from the trauma of this devastating event of my life and the sound of "maybe I should just retire" self-talk was very appealing at the time. I was 44 years old and have worked my bum off and taking a break doesn't sound like a bad idea. But when you're body and mind are used to move and solve problems and deal with organized chaos on a daily basis, you can't just shut it off. The stillness was deafening, it was stirring me crazy! So I never stopped thinking of what business I should start and focus on next. I know I want to do something that is related to gold and silver but I don't want to collect coins or nuggets or bullions. After witnessing the burned remains of my inventory, I want my next business to hold its value even if a catastrophic event like this ever happens again.
Knock on wood, I don't ever want to deal with something like this ever in my lifetime.
So I started to draw gold and silver jewelry designs and got a free, unpublished website that I could play around with and build my pretend jewelry brand. The more I worked on it, the more I started to feel confident that I could make it work, but there's still something missing....colors. I love vibrant, lively colors and by working with gold and silver, I'm pretty much confined to shades of yellow and gray. Just 3 months into it, I felt that my enthusiasm had burned out. THIS IS NOT GOOD. "I need to work with precious stones", I thought. So I started to look into the most commonly known ones: Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond. But there's something about diamond that doesn't sit well with me. Very early in life, I became aware of how diamonds are mined, the conflict it created and how a cunning marketing ploy made its price artificially inflated that caused it to become one of the most expensive jewelry stones. I never owned a piece of diamond jewelry until I was married and started to wear a wedding ring and that is still all I own, a piece. Then I realized that mining gold, silver and any other precious stones have a tremendous impact to our environment. Being aware of how drastic our surroundings have changed from the time I could start to remember, seeing trees and plants almost everywhere steadily replaced by tall buildings, roads, bridges and subdivisions and on top of that, blasting underground tunnels to get to these precious commodities, I closed my eyes and shook my head, no, I don't want to be part of it.
I vowed to only use above ground, gold and silver...but what about my stones? What could I use?? Pearls! They are cultured and they are eco-friendly. I am originally from the Philippines, I know where to get the best ones and according to Mrs. Kennedy, pearls are always appropriate, right? But still, shades of white, gray and gold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Argh! There must be something out there!
One morning, I was cleaning my closet and emptying out my tarnished silvers so I could dunk them all into my jewelry cleaning jar, I found a pair of earrings I had bought decades ago. It was the very first jewelry I bought for myself as a reward for reaching my target goal in my early twenties. It's a
1-carat pair of earrings set in 18k gold. I was pretty sure it wasn't diamond and I know it's not cubic zirconia since it's a reward for myself for reaching a milestone....then, I remembered, it was Moissanite. But I thought, why would I buy Moissanite? I went to my computer and looked up Moissanite. It's lab-grown! Oh, that's why!
So there starts my obsession about this lab-grown stone. How it was discovered, how it's made, the different colors it can become from clear colorless to the different shades of yellow, blue, green, champagne and gray, and it's shine...oh it shines bright!
Now I had a skip in my walk again. I was more inspired to draw my jewelry designs. I worked on my pretend website every single day until about a week before Thanksgiving day 2019 when I decided I had enough designs to launch and I finally honed-in on my brand name, Halley Reh. Who's Halley you may ask? Halley is from Halley's Comet since Moissanite was first discovered from a meteor crater and Reh (pronounced "Ray") is something I hold so dear to my heart...REH is my only son's initials! - Kaye Hartman
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