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Interview Series -jhollywood designs


Nov 16, 2015
Before I started typing out my questions, I went back to your blog page to read some of your newer posts and I still crack up. Your personality really comes through in your writing and makes me even more excited about moissanite. So you have been around for 10 years now, were you always interested in making jewelry? Specifically engagement/wedding rings?

I actually took a jewelry class in high school and loved it. I always wanted to be an artist, but my dad discouraged it, so I ended up with an office job in my 20’s. It took many years to get here. I didn’t initially plan to end up specializing in moissanite engagement rings. Here is the rest of my back story…

I see in your early days on Etsy you started out making bracelets and then sterling silver pieces. Now you are the ‘Queen’ of moissanite. Were you always planning to expand into the moissanite market or was this a natural progression once you knew the C&C patent was expiring?

Prior to all the sterling pieces, I was doing beaded jewelry. I slowly transitioned over time, and I’m self taught. I initially bought a small round moissanite when I was learning to set stones, because it sounded interesting and the price was great. It was a Forever Brilliant by C&C. I sold their stones for several years, they even flew us to N. Carolina and featured me in one of their commercials. I made myself a .5 carat round bezel set engagement ring in yellow gold. I still have it, it’s so cute! lol

Why did you decide to brand your own moissanite versus just carrying other well known name brands?

To help us stand out in a sea of moissanite sellers. We evaluated all of the major moissanite brands and some of the smaller ones, then chose our two favorites. We sell both NEO and ZAYA because I wasn’t able to find any one manufacturer that could pull off all of the shapes we wanted in fabulous fashion. So depending on what shape you are looking for, we will make a recommendation on which brand to go with.

A lot of people ask if moissanites or lab diamonds make better pave. What do you typically recommend if budget is not an issue? Do you find that the moissanite melee holds up as well as the lab diamond melee? We read a lot about them being more brittle.

We typically recommend diamond melee. (We’ve not worked with lab grown melee as of yet.) We will do moissanite melee, but we find it sparkles just a little bit less than a diamond of the same size. I’ve seen some moissanite melee that has chipped, but in those cases the rings had taken quite a beating.

Will you be expanding into the lab diamond market? I saw your blog post with the lab diamond next to the moissanite emerald. What’s next for you with lab diamonds?

We have sold several of them and will continue to do so. They are gorgeous!

If someone tells you they want the most diamond like moissanite, what do you typically recommend?

Both brands we sell are equally diamond-like. Rounds, ovals, cushions and emeralds are usually what I suggest when asked that question. But in nearly all cases, people know exactly what shape they want, and ballpark carat size as well.

I love your Kennedy ring. I have seen a few posted over the last couple of years. What is your favorite ring to make? What moissanite ring do you wear every day or does that change?

Hmmm, that’s like picking a favorite child! Lol I really love our Darby ring, it’s classic and elegant and perfect for stacking with mixed diamond bands. I also dig the Kennedy, especially with an elongated emerald center.

I have a few rings that I wear, I love my 2.7 carat round Naomi, it looks great paired with funky mixed diamond bands. I also have a 3.3 carat Madison in two tone, and she’s a beaut too! I added milgrain detail to the band on the Madison, for fun.

There are a lot of brands that sell crushed ice and a common complaint is that they can look milky. Have you had this problem with any of your crushed ice cuts?

Crushed ice moissanite means the cutters have added additional facets, so it changes how the light plays through the stone. It cuts down on the sparkle. We’ve fine-tuned it over the last few years, so it’s a nice balance of additional facets without that hazy look. Here is a great example.
Radiant cuts and ovals have been popular choices in moissanites but they don’t always seem to look like diamonds? This isn’t important to everyone but it is a common questions. What do you think about these cuts and do you typically recommend brilliant or crushed ice?

We actually sell very few radiant cuts. Ovals have been flying out the door since last year (2019). I love them! In particular, I love our slightly elongated ovals. Standard (9x7, 10x8, 11x9 etc) ovals in larger sizes are just too chubby. At least in my opinion. The larger you go in a standard oval the plumper they get. lol #ImnotfatImfluffy

People either love or hate the double refraction of moissanite. If someone tells you they want a cut that shows the least amount of double refraction, what do you recommend?

You actually cannot see the double refraction itself without a loupe. (jeweler’s handheld magnifying glass) What they are likely concerned about is the “rainbow flash”, the colorful fire that moissanite can have. It’s really far less noticeable then people realize, but there is such much info out there about it, people tend to get hung up on it.

I find the stones that have the least rainbow flash are step cut, emeralds and asschers.

What has been improved in the NEO as far as cut? There were some issues early on with NEO cut based on some reviews. How was this resolved?

They switched manufacturers several times, to get higher quality rough. Once they found one they were happy with, they worked on tweaking their cuts – changing facet angles little by little until each shape was perfect.

A lot of people ask about colored moissanite. What colors do you carry and are any of them coated? Are your green emerald’s moissanite or hydrothermal emerald’s?

Our colors are not coated! The coating scratches off far too easily. We carry greens, greys, yellows and a greenish-blue now that is really fun. They are actually green moissanite. We get the various colors by leaking different elements into the reactor when the stones are growing. You can browse our colors on Instagram by searching #ZAYAgreen #ZAYAyellow #ZAYAgray and #ZAYAbluegreen. Or #ZAYAoval #ZAYAecushion etc.

That same rule applies for NEOs, #NEOemerald #NEOround etc. And for our jewelry, we tag them like this #JHDkennedy #JHDnaomi and so forth.

What has been your favorite trend of 2019?

Yellow gold and 3 stone rings, both of which I love! They are still very much a solid trend this year. (2020)

What trend are you happy to say good bye to?

Narrow diamond shanks and also halos. lol

What trends can we expect for 2020?

I’m seeing marquise cuts surging in popularity, as well as princess cuts. #helloninetieswelcomeback

Do you have a storefront or is your Etsy shop the only place to order?

You can shop on both our website and also Etsy. But Etsy currently has the bulk of our products. Our website is being overhauled as we speak. I am a web designer, so have built all of our websites thus far, but I truly don’t have time so we decided to outsource it. Now I am their craziest client because I used to do it for a living. haha

Thank you for your time! I have to say that the next time I come across the word ‘deliciousness’ I am going to think back to the delightful way you manage to describe your moissanites!
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