Engagement rings and wedding rings should be special and durable. You want something your partner can be proud of, so as you initially learn about Moissanite, it’s natural to wonder if it might be considered cheap or tacky.
Is Moissanite Tacky? No, despite what well-paid diamond marketing firms work hard to make you believe, there’s nothing Tacky, or shameful, about giving a beautiful Moissanite engagement or wedding ring. Moissanite looks very similar to diamond. It’s incredibly durable, and yet significantly less expensive.
In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll give you all the information you’ll need in order to decide if Moissanite is the right choice for your special ring.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite (which is sometimes referred to as ‘Moissy’ in casual conversation) is an ultra-rare naturally occurring stone that was first discovered in 1893 as a scientist combed the impact site of a meteorite in an Arizona desert. The fragments that were found there were originally misidentified as Diamond. Years passed before the French scientist that made the discovery realized that they weren’t diamonds, but something else—something new. Moissanite was eventually named after the French scientist (Henri Moissan) that discovered it.
Naturally occurring Moissanite is far rarer than Diamonds. Diamonds are mined in countries around the globe. The illusion of scarcity supports high prices, which both create a sense of exclusivity that’s a critical part of the industry’s marketing strategy. Diamonds certainly are difficult to extract from the earth, but they aren’t nearly as rare as we’re led to believe through carefully controlled supply channels.
There are no Moissanite mines where large quantities of the stone are extracted from the earth. It’s most commonly found at meteorite impact sites even today, though tiny fragments of Moissanite are also infrequently found in a few other locations as well. Natural Moissanite is always found in tiny pieces that are far too small for jewelry. It’s often broken up as the meteorite which it was part of makes impact with the earth. Because of this, all Moissanite used for jewelry is recreated in a lab.
Moissanite is incredibly hard, so it was originally utilized as an industrial abrasive agent because diamonds and other gems that might serve a similar purpose were far too expensive. Moissanite’s natural hardness makes it a durable choice for jewelry that can withstand the abuse of daily wear.
Moissanite naturally looks almost identical to diamond, but that doesn’t make it a ‘fake diamond’ any more than having a strong natural resemblance to Julia Roberts makes you a fake Julia Roberts. Moissanite is an amazing stone on it’s own merits, and can be a wonderful choice for a wedding or engagement ring!
Does Moissanite Look Strange or Stand Out?
Most Moissanite owners would tell you that their ring stands out in a positive way. Moissanite really sparkles, which catches the eye! I’ve heard many Moissanite owners comment that they’re constantly getting compliments on their Moissanite ring. They sometimes add that they never got so many nice comments about the diamond rings they wore in the past.
Moissanite is typically a clear stone, like diamond (though fancy colored options do exist), so it certainly doesn’t look strange or stand out in a negative sense.
How Common are Moissanite Rings?
Moissanite has become much more commonly used over the past ten years or so. Internet search data shows that it’s searched more than many alternatives like Lab Diamonds, Morganite, White Sapphire, and Cubic Zirconia for use in rings. You may have seen many Moissanite rings without even realizing it. Most often, people that aren’t professionals in the industry see a Moissanite ring and assume it’s a diamond ring. Even professionals might have a hard time identifying a Moissanite ring without a closer inspection, and perhaps testing equipment, in many cases.
The use of Moissanite rings is growing rapidly, so If you ultimately decide to go with Moissanite, you’ll certainly be in good company!
What’s Most Important to You and Your Partner?
Our tastes and preferences are constantly being shaped by marketing companies that shape our opinions through ads and product placements. It’s a subtle process. We aren’t even conscious of the fact that we’re being manipulated to associate certain ideas and feelings with a particular product. These campaigns aren’t a guessing game or gamble for the diamond industry. It’s an investment, and the marketing firms they hire are masters at programming our biases and impressions to desire their product and to think of all others as a poor personal reflection on us. Too often, we bite and accept the meanings and associates they carefully feed to us.
Did you know that Americans haven’t always given diamonds when they got engaged or married? Prior to the 1930s, other gems were far more common. It was only through heavy marketing campaigns that the tide began turning, and people began associating Diamonds with engagement, marriage, and love. An expectation of a diamond was created over time, but that didn’t happen organically—it was programmed into us by the industry that would directly profit from the shift. They caused us to feel a sense of failure if the diamond wasn’t big enough. They caused us to question if it was real love at all if a diamond wasn’t presented. It’s all nonsense in reality, but many still buy into the conditioning that we’ve received through marketing.
When you choose Moissanite, you get a ring that looks almost identical to a diamond. You also get a stone that’s harder than all gems and stones other than diamonds. Moissanite rings are durable, so they can be worn daily and don’t need to be babied like softer stones. When you choose Moissanite, you save significant money, because the supply of Moissanite isn’t centralized and manipulated. You’ll typically save 85% over the cost of purchasing a similar-sized diamond! That means thousands of dollars in savings that you can apply to paying down debt, a better honeymoon, a down payment on a home, etc.
So what’s most important—having a durable and equally beautiful stone that you save thousands of dollars on or maintaining a self-serving tradition that the diamond industry created in order to build demand and support exorbitant prices?
How Durable Is Moissanite
The Mohs Scale of hardness is a comparative scale that essentially ranks materials in order of hardness. It’s ‘comparative’ because it doesn’t measure their hardness as much as it shows us, numerically, which stones are harder than specific types of other stones. From the scale, we learn that Talc has the lowest possible rating at just 1. Diamond (the hardest known rock) is on the other end of the scale, with a hardness of 10. All other rocks fall somewhere in between those two points. The Mohs Scale rates Moissanite between 9.25 and 9.5. That tells us that it’s not as hard as diamond, but it’s still really hard (even harder than sapphires).
That hardness means that Moissanite is scratch-resistant. Most of the light bumps and scrapes that might scare a Cubic Zirconia or topaz won’t blemish a Moissanite. This means that, unlike many diamond alternatives, Moissanite can stand up to the harsh conditions of daily wear without quickly wearing out.
Does Moissanite get cloudy over time?
The passing of time won’t cause Moissanite to get cloudy, however, it can accumulate build-up from things like soaps and lotions that can begin to block some sparkle. If that happens, a simple cleaning should restore your ring’s full beauty. The good news is that Moissanite is so sparkly, that it can reflect light flashes through build-up that would leave most other stones looking completely dull and lifeless! That means that cleaning requirements are far more relaxed for Moissy than it often is for other types of rings.
How Much Does Moissanite Cost?
The cost of Moissanite will vary, depending on who you’re shopping with, but the equivalent of a 1 carat stone (7mm) typically costs around $300, while a diamond of comparable size would typically cost $3,000 to $5,000. Again, the potential savings are significant!
How Can People Tell Moissanite and Diamonds Apart?
In reality, your friends, family, and co-workers would have a hard time telling Moissanite and Diamond apart. A professional jeweler would have an easier time distinguishing the two stones, though they sometimes have to resort to high-tech devices for identification when appearances aren’t distinctive enough.
The quickest way to alert people to the fact that your Moissanite ring isn’t a diamond ring is to go too big with the stone that you choose. You could buy a 3-carat Moissanite stone for a minimal cost, but a 3-carat diamond would likely cost at least $30,000—something your friends, family, and co-workers might know you couldn’t possibly afford. Their immediate assumption with an unusually large stone is that it’s a diamond simulant of some kind (like Cubic Zirconia).
A one-carat diamond isn’t something that’s unusual for most rings, so if you stick to a Moissanite stone in that range, it’s much less likely that anyone would have reason to assume that it might not be a diamond that you’re wearing. Professionals frequently move the stone under light to observe the sparkles. Moissanite has more fire (light dispersion) than diamonds, which can be one way they distinguish Moissanite from diamonds. Fire presents itself as rainbow-colored sparkles of light that reflect back from the ring when exposed to light. Most of your friends would admire the way your Moissanite ring dances with sparkles, but they wouldn’t know that those sparkles are a little different from what they might observe in a comparable diamond.
Should You Let People Think Your Moissanite is a Diamond?
You should never mislead the person that you’re offering a ring to about what it’s made of. If you talk about what Moissanite is before you buy it, hopefully, you’ll get a read on how they feel about it. Like most people, they may be unfamiliar initially, but as they learn more, they may come to appreciate it for its beauty, incredible origins, and savings.
I personally feel that Moissanite is a pretty remarkable stone, and I’m not embarrassed at all for someone to know that the solitaire in my wife’s ring is made of Moissanite, not diamond. Having said that, I also don’t feel that I need to go around proactively telling everyone who sees my wife’s ring that the stone is Moissanite. If they ask, I’ll tell them. If they don’t ask, I probably won’t mention it either. You can handle this in whatever way feels best to you, but again, Moissanite is such an incredible stone, that it’s nothing you should feel ashamed to let others know about.
There are a few issues that Moissanite owners sometimes experience. First, when they don’t remove their ring to apply hand sanitizers, lotions, sunscreen, etc, they sometimes experience some build-up on their ring that may dull its ability to sparkle until it’s properly cleaned.
The build-up of the oils and chemicals, mentioned above, can also create a rainbow stain that can be difficult to clean off for some people. The stain can be removed, but it’s sometimes challenging for those that are experiencing it for the first time.
The other issue that’s fairly common, is that Moissanite seems to temporarily take on a grey hue in certain lighting conditions. My wife has seen that happen when her hands are on the steering wheel and she’s driving under a grey cloudy sky. Her Moissanite ring simply reflects the color of the sky, but it looks at the time like it’s actually taken on a greyish tone. Once she gets to her destination and has different lighting in her environment, the ring looks normal again. This illusion makes Moissanite interesting, but it’s nothing lasting that should cause concern.
If you need something less expensive than a traditional diamond, but ultimately decide against a Moissanite, for whatever reason, you may want to look into either buying a lab-grown diamond or a used diamond ring.
Lab grown, or man made, diamonds look exactly the same as mined diamonds and are equally durable, however, they cost much less. I wrote this article explaining more about the benefits and savings of lab grown diamonds.
You can save money on mined diamonds, and lab-grown diamonds, by buying them 2nd hand through Pawn Shops or sites that act as consignment agents. Specialized sites frequently have rings tested for authenticity and provide greater assurance that you’re getting what you think you’re buying. You can find one of my favorite second-hand retailers here. They also have a good selection of loose used diamonds that you can mount to your own band if you’d prefer that.
A Moissanite ring will serve as a symbol of your love and commitment just as effectively as a diamond ring will. It comes down to which stone has the beauty, durability, and price that works best for you. Buying Moissy isn’t tacky or cheap, it’s smart. It’s frugal.
Will Moissanite Last Forever? | Frugal Family Heirloom Rings
When Does Moissanite Look Fake? | The 3 Main Giveaways
Lab Created Diamond vs Moissanite | Look, Durability, & Cost
Moissanite rings look very similar to diamond rings, but does that make them nothing more than diamond knockoffs?
Is Moissanite considered fake? Moissanite isn’t “fake.” It’s a real, naturally occurring, stone. Natural Moissanite is much rarer than Diamonds. Because of this, the Moissanite in all jewelry is lab-created. Moissanite looks very similar to diamond, but this doesn’t make Moissanite a fake diamond—or diamond a fake Moissanite.
Why do some people refer to Moissanite as fake? I’ll explain some of the more common reasons below.
Is Moissanite a Fake Diamond?
Diamonds peddlers (and sometimes those that paid way too much to purchase a diamond…and want to justify the decision) occasionally refer to Moissanite as fake (usually implying that it’s a ‘fake diamond’). The label “fake,” understandably, doesn’t sit well with many people that are shopping for a ring to mark an important occasion in their lives. Those that throw the term around recognize this, which is, of course, why they do it.
There are three very common reasons that critics of Moissanite often use to justify claims that it’s fake.
- Moissanite is made to look like diamonds
- Moissanite is a manufactured stone
- It isn’t always presented as Moissanite
I’ll provide more context for each of these claims and address them in the paragraphs that follow.
Moissanite is Made to Look Like Diamonds
Again, Moissanite is a naturally occurring stone, but it’s rare—far more rare than diamonds. Moissanite was originally discovered in 1893 by French scientist Henri Moissan. Henri was investigating the site of a meteor impact in the deserts of Arizona. During his exploration of the area, he found some small crystal fragments that he believed to be diamond. It wasn’t until several years later that he discovered that they were something entirely different than diamond. The stone was eventually named in his honor.
Interesting, right? Moissanite naturally resembles diamond. The fact that the two look so similar is no reason to refer to Moissanite as a fake version of the other. In reality, they’re just two distinct stone types that have some level of commonality in terms of look and durability (yet they’re very distinctive in other areas).
In another article, I referred to Moissanite and Diamond as doppelgangers (two people that almost look like identical twins, but who aren’t related to each other).
Alligators and Crocodiles look almost indistinguishable to those that haven’t learned the physical characteristics that distinguish them. Just because the two reptiles have a lot in common and look fairly similar doesn’t mean that a Crocodile is a fake Alligators, or that an Alligator is a fake Crocodile.
This same scenario applies to Moissanite too. It does look similar to diamond, but that doesn’t make it fake. White Sapphire can also look similar to diamond, but here again, it’s a natural stone that happens to somewhat resemble diamond (the same way that alligators and crocodiles resemble each other without being identical).
Moissanite is a Manufactured Stone
I mentioned earlier that Moissanite is much rarer than Diamonds. We don’t find large deposits of Moissanite in pockets around the globe that we can continue mining for years (as we do with diamonds. In fact, Moissanite has primarily been found at the site of meteor impacts. The force of the impact typically ensures that only small fragments remain. In the extremely rare instance where naturally occurring Moissanite has been discovered on earth, it’s been found in very small sizes and quantities.
Because Moissanite is a fascinating, functional, and beautiful stone that’s so hard to find naturally, we’ve been creating it in labs for many years. We first started manufacturing it in 1903 so we could use the stone as an abrasive for manufacturing. Moissanite is incredibly hard and much less expensive than other alternatives at the time.
Today, many types of stones are created in labs around the globe. Diamond is another lab-created stone that’s growing in popularity today. The diamonds that are manufactured are made of carbon. They aren’t fake diamonds. They’re real diamonds (in every sense of the word), and have the exact same characteristics as diamonds that were formed in the earth.
As you can see, being lab created doesn’t make a given stone ‘fake.’ Moissanite wasn’t imagined and made up to look like diamonds—it’s a real stone with its own qualities, characteristics, and history.
It Isn’t Always Presented as Moissanite
Because Moissanite and Diamond look so similar, it’s definitely possible for someone to assume that the Moissanite ring you gave them is a diamond ring if you don’t inform them otherwise. Disclosure and honesty are especially important when you present a ring to someone you care about to mark a special moment in the relationship.
If you propose with a Moissanite ring, for example, you really SHOULD find an appropriate way to tell them. The fact that it’s a Moissanite ring doesn’t have to be said before opening the box, while you’re still on one knee, or before they answer your proposal, but you should be open and transparent with the information. Sooner is probably also better than later.
Please don’t get me wrong, this disclosure isn’t an apology. Moissanite is an interesting and impressive stone in its own right. There’s just no need to pretend that a Moissanite is anything other than what it is. Moissanite truly ISN’T a fake diamond. You can be open, honest, and proud of your ring for what it is.
While we’re on the subject of appropriate disclosures, I should mention that Moissanite isn’t intentionally sold by reputable jewelers as diamond—it’s sold as Moissanite. I say ‘intentionally’ just because it’s sometimes hard to tell the two apart without specific testing. I recently wrote an article describing the type of testing and instruments that can be used to distinguish diamonds from Moissanite.
It’s easier for dishonest people to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers on sites that connect private party buyers and sellers (online auction sites, for example). I would exercise real caution when purchasing ANY stone from an individual seller (even through online platforms that you’re familiar with) or online retailers that you’re unfamiliar with. The larger, more established, and more reputable a retailer is, the more certain you can be, that you’ll get what you paid for.
Yes, there may be some situations where Moissanite isn’t disclosed to be Moissanite. When that happens, people frequently believe the stone to be diamond. That clearly shouldn’t happen. When it does, it doesn’t mean that Moissanite is a ‘fake’ stone— it means that people are sometimes dishonest. Again, they may try doing the same thing with a stone like White Sapphire or a number of other similar stones.
How Does it Moissanite Compare to Diamond?
I’ve mentioned several times that Moissanite and Diamond have both common and distinctive characteristics. I thought it might be helpful to quickly highlight some of those issues so you can better understand the similarities and differences.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Hardness
Both Moissanite and Diamond are very hard stones, but they aren’t equally hard. Diamond rates at 10 (the highest score) on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, while Moissanite comes in at 9.25.
The numerical between those two seems small, but the actual difference in hardness is actually pretty significant. Diamond is much harder than Moissanite. That extreme hardness is both good and bad. On one hand, it means that diamonds are incredibly scratch resistant. On the other, it creates a major vulnerability that you’ll learn about in the next section.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Toughness
Hardness and toughness are not the same things. Hardness has to do with scratch resistance. Toughness essentially has to do with break resistance. The harder materials become, the more brittle they get. Diamonds are therefore very resistant to scratches, but also fairly susceptible to cracking or breaking.
My younger sister once had her diamond ring fall off a counter onto a tile floor. As she picked up the ring and examined it, she found that the stone had fractured all the way through.
Because Moissanite is less hard, it’s also less brittle. This makes Moissanite tougher than diamond (less likely to break as the result of an impact).
Moissanite vs Diamond: Durability
Hardness and toughness are both factors that play into durability. Because of that, it’s really hard to say whether diamond or Moissanite is the more durable stone overall. Fortunately, both stones are durable enough to be considered ‘forever’ stones, which means they are capable of being used as family heirlooms, that get passed down from generation-to-generation.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Sparkle
Moissanite is capable of displaying far more sparkle (particularly colorful sparkle—commonly referred to as ‘fire’) than diamond can. This is one of those characteristics that is naturally different between the two stones. Some absolutely LOVE all the additional sparkle. It makes the ring look so vibrant and tends to draw lots of compliments!
When it comes to sparkle, Moissanite is pretty low maintenance. Some stones start to look muted and dull pretty quickly as they collect dirt from daily wear. Moissanite surpasses diamond, and most other stones, in its ability to sparkle right on through some pretty substantial grime.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Cost
The cost difference between Diamond and Moissanite is significant. A 1-carat diamond will likely cost at least 10 times as much as a Moissanite stone of the same size.
A Moissanite stone of that size will cost $300 to $600. A 1-carat diamond of reasonable quality will typically cost $5,000 or more.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Insurability
Both stones are equally insurable. I wrote an article discussing the options and costs for insuring a lab-grown diamond ring. The same options and approximate costs would also be applicable to Moissanite rings, so that post may be worth reviewing if you’d like to understand your options a little better.
One of the benefits of purchasing a ring with a lower cost stone (like Moissanite), is that you may not need to purchase insurance coverage because the cost of replacing the stone may be low enough that you can essentially self-insure. That saves you money that you might otherwise have to pay every month to cover a more expensive ring.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Resale
All used rings are going to sell at a discount. No one wants to pay anything close to retail for a used right—even if it’s in ‘like new’ condition. The size of the discount that’s required to sell your ring will depend on many factors. There are a couple of important differences to keep in mind when comparing Moissanite and Diamond.
First, you risk a lot less when you buy a Moissanite stone. That reality certainly runs against the grain of the beliefs that advertisers have tried to instill in us over the years. We’re led to believe that the diamonds in our engagement rings and wedding rings are an investment of some sort—that hold their value and even appreciate. Unless you’re buying a truly rare diamond (sizes and colors that typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more) it’s all really fiction.
If you purchase a diamond for 6,000 and have to sell it used for a 50% discount, you’ve lost $3,000. If you purchase a Moissanite stone for $600 and have to sell it for a 70% discount, you would only lose $420 in total. That’s why I say you risk a lot less when you purchase Moissanite. You could essentially toss your Moissanite stone in the garbage and lose A LOT less money than you would after SELLING your diamond ring.
I mention that just to highlight the issue, but in reality, there’s no reason that you wouldn’t be able to sell your Moissanite at a discount that’s similar (and most likely even less) than the discount you would have to offer in order to sell a diamond.
I evaluated a number of used diamond rings and moissanite rings that were being offered for sale in my area to figure out the average discount that was being offered on each. I outlined the results in an article titled Will Moissanite Go Up in Value? Sellers are, naturally, only going to discount as much as they need to in order to draw buyers to purchase their ring instead of a new one, so it’s interesting to get some insight into how low they need to go to accomplish that.
Moissanite is not a ‘fake’ stone—and certainly isn’t a fake diamond. It’s a naturally occurring stone that’s been reproduced in laboratories since the late 1800s. Natural Moissanite is rare on earth, but it also exists in space and has often been found at meteor impact sites (which is where Moissanite was first discovered).
Moissanite does happen to look very similar to diamond. While it isn’t quite as hard as diamonds, it is tougher. Moissanite is a durable “forever” stone that’s capable of lasting for generations. Couples that can’t, or don’t want to, spend the kind of money that diamonds demand, often save 90% on the cost of their stone by choosing Moissanite! Years later, many tell me that they couldn’t be happier and would make the same decision all over again!
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Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia are both diamond alternatives that can look gorgeous and cost significantly less than a similar-sized diamond would. Even though Moissanite and CZ have those things in common, they certainly aren’t the same in many other areas.
Is Moissanite better than CZ? Moissanite is definitely the better option if your primary concern is durability. Moissanite is significantly harder than CZ. That hardness means added scratch resistance. If your primary concern is cost, then Cubic Zirconia may be the better choice because it’s significantly less expensive.
More than likely, you’re not shopping with just one characteristic in mind. You probably want the most durable ring you can get at the best price you can find. In the remainder of this article, I’ll share information that will help you determine whether Moissanite or CZ is the best fit for you, based on your unique needs.
Moissanite vs CZ: Scratch Resistance
Mohs Scale of Hardness is a relative scale that illustrates which stones are harder or softer than other stones. It essentially ranks stones from hardest to softest and applies a numerical rank that helps you to understand where they fall in the hardness ‘pecking order’.
Diamond is the hardest stone known to man, so it has the highest rating on the scale (10). Talc is the softest stone on the scale, with a rating of just 1. Other stones fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Moissanite is definitely considered a hard stone. It has a score of 9.25 to 9.5, making it one of the hardest stones available for rings. At a score of 8 to 8.5, Cubic Zirconia isn’t in the same league as Moissanite when it comes to durability. CZ is far from the softest stone that’s used as a diamond alternative, but it’s not nearly as durable as Moissanite.
The numerical difference between 8 and 9.25 may not seem like much, but the difference in their actual hardness IS significant! Remember, that The Mohs Scale of Hardness is a RELATIVE SCALE. This means that the only thing the numbers clearly communicate is WHETHER a particular stone is harder or softer than another stone. The numbers can’t convey HOW MUCH harder or softer the other stone is. Even jumping from an 8 to 8.5, for example, could represent a HUGE difference in the actual hardness between two given stones.
With that context in mind, the actual difference in hardness between Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia is significant when it comes to the longevity of your ring. Hardness directly equates to scratch resistance. The harder your stone is, the less likely it is to scratch when your hand comes in contact with other objects and surfaces in your everyday environment. By contrast, the softer your stone is, the MORE likely it is to scratch!
This means that it’s much easier to maintain the beauty of your Moissanite stones, over time, than it would be with CZ stones in comparable pieces of jewelry. If durability is one of your primary concerns, but you don’t want to splurge on a much more costly diamond, you may want to stick with something like Moissanite!
Fact 1: Moissanite is significantly harder than CZ, which means it’s going to scratch far less easily.
Moissanite vs CZ: Sparkle
Both Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia are known to throw off a lot of sparklebut which is BETTER? If you’re the type that just can’t get enough sparkle, Moissanite is your best bet!
The two primary elements of the sparkle effect are fire (colorful flashes of light) and brilliance (flashes of white light). Moissanite outperforms CZ in both areas (it even outperforms diamonds in this area).
Comparing Components of Sparkle
|Type of Stone||Brilliance||Fire
One other important consideration of sparkle, is how well a stone tends to sparkle through dirt and grime. Some stones get muted and dull-looking very quickly. CZ tends to be affected by buildup from dirt and oils much faster than Moissanite. While it’s a good idea to keep your Moissanite clean, it’s known to be a low maintenance ring that continues to sparkle like crazy, even through the kind build-up that dulls other rings!
Those that own Moissanite rings will often tell you that they can’t keep their eyes off all the flashing white and colorful bursts of sparkle they constantly see as they move their ring under light.
Fact #2: Whether both are clean or dirty, Moissanite out performs CZ in sparkle.
Moissanite vs CZ: Retaining Facet Shape
Center Stones are carefully cut with very precisely positioned surfaces. Both the flat surfaces (Facets) and the ridges in between those facets help to create the sparkle effect. If the facets, or ridges in between facets, are damaged, it could seriously inhibit the stone’s ability to sparkle.
Unfortunately, CZ isn’t hard enough to hold it’s shaping indefinitely. As rings are worn daily, they come in contact with various things that can wear down softer stones—like Cubic Zirconia. This means that over the years, the ridges in between facets can start to become rounded instead of having crisp and defined edges. When you compare a new CZ stone against a new Moissanite stone side-by-side, the cuts all look similar. It’s hard to imagine that the two stones could wear so differently over time—but they do.
That change has a major impact on the look of the stone. The stone that once dances with sparkle starts to look dull and lifeless. Moissanite is hard enough to hold its angles and edges despite years of abuse from daily wear.
Fact #3: The ridges between facets will wear down and round over time on CZ. Because Moissanite is significantly harder, it retains its original shape over time.
Moissanite vs CZ: Anticipated Life Span
Because of the difference in hardness between these stones, their anticipated useful lifespan is quite different. A Cubic Zirconia will typically last 3 to 10 years before needing to be replaced—depending on how frequently it’s worn and how carefully it’s protected. Of course your CZ stone won’t turn to powder, or fall off your finger, if you wear it longer than the approximate useful life mentioned above—but after years of wear, the stone often looks dull and tired. It doesn’t sparkle like it once did, and surface scratches may be visible.
A Moissanite stone, on the other hand, should be able to last for many decades. Like diamonds, Moissanite is considered a ‘forever stone’. That essentially means that it’s durable enough to be an heirloom piece that’s handed down to future generations.
Being a ‘forever stone’ doesn’t mean it’s indestructible—just that it’s destruction resistant. Diamonds are the hardest stone on earth, but they can still crack, break, shatter, or even scratch, given the right circumstances. Moissanite is similar. You don’t have to baby it as much as softer stones, but you need to exercise some reasonable caution. If you go white water rafting, for example, it would be a good idea to remove your ring, whether it’s Moissanite, Diamond, or CZ.
Fact #4: The typical useful life of CZ is 3 to 10 years, while Moissanite can last through multiple generations.
Moissanite vs CZ: Resale Value
When you sell a used ring, expect to take a loss. That’s going to be the case whether you’re selling a diamond, a Moissanite, or a CZ ring. If your buyer wanted to pay retail, they would probably prefer to purchase a new ring from a jeweler. Used ring buyers are looking for a deal (savings).
Having said that, CZ is typically inexpensive to purchase new, so it’s essentially valueless on the used market. People can afford to purchase a new CZ, so selling a Cubic Zirconia used is hardly worth anyone’s time in most cases.
Moissanite is more expensive. A one carat Moissanite stone typically costs $300 to $600 depending on the color and where you purchase it. I did some research for a recent article, comparing the resale value of Moissanite to the resale value of used diamonds. I compared real second-hand rings that were being offered for sale in my area to compile that data. You can review my findings HERE.
Fact #5: Moissanite resells for more, but also costs much more to purchase new. CZ costs very little and isn’t as durable, so it can sometimes be harder to resell.
Moissanite is certainly the far more durable stone that can symbolize permanence for engagement rings, wedding rings, and anniversary bands. It’s the better choice if you’re looking for something that’s as diamond-like as possible without having to cover the hefty cost of diamonds.
CZ can be beautiful in rings. While it isn’t as scratch-resistant or long-lasting as Moissanite, it’s still the right choice for some couples. Cubic Zirconia can allow couples with extremely tight budgets to get a ring that should last, and look beautiful, for several years without incurring ring debt. Several years later, once the couple is better prepared for the expense, they can upgrade to something like Moissanite or a diamond if they want to. Another affordable option, is to simply replace the CZ stone with a new CZ stone when the stone starts looking too worn. There’s nothing really wrong with that approach either.
For couples that can afford just a little more, Moissanite offers incredible value. It can provide you with a forever stone, and lots of beautiful sparkle, at a frugal price.
When Does Moissanite Look Fake? | The 3 Main Giveaways
Why Buy Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings?
Which is Better Moissanite or Cubic Zirconia?
If you’ve been wondering how well your ring might hold up over time, you may have wondered, or worried, about the haze or cloudiness that some stones can take on as a result of age or exposure. Will the same type of thing happen with your ring? You, no doubt, want your Morganite ring to always look as warm, clear, and vibrant as the day you first slipped it on?
Does Morganite get cloudy? Morganite can get cloudy and dull as it accumulates oils and dirt from your daily environment. A careful cleaning should be able to remove that film to restore its color and clarity. Cleaning needs will vary, but If you’re wearing the ring daily, it wouldn’t be unusual to clean it every week or two.
The accumulation of dirt and oils is one path to a cloudy appearance, but there are other ways that Morganite can attract a milky haze. I share more information on what cloudiness is, how to avoid it, and also how to fix it in the paragraphs that follow.
When Good Stones Go Cloudy
Morganite isn’t the only stone that can look cloudy under certain circumstances. It can really happen to any stone—though some tend to cloud faster than others for reasons I’ll explain a little later.
Early Cubic Zirconia is an example of a manufactured stone that commonly clouded with age. Manufacturers went in search of a solution and found stabilizing agents that they were able to incorporate to address the issue. Today, Cubic Zirconia isn’t known for consistently clouding, however, corners may have been cut on some of your cheapest CZ stones (like using less effective stabilizing agents, or skipping them altogether) to save money. On the surface, the purchase price may look attractive, but the clarity of such a stone won’t endure for long. Without the right type and quantity of stabilizers in it, the CZ stone could end up cloudy.
So, why is Morganite any different? Morganite isn’t a manufactured stone—it’s mined from the earth (so no stabilizing agents aren’t added or needed). It’s a naturally stable stone that should not experience clarity changes as the direct result of the passage of time.
What Makes Morganite Cloudy
There are several primary factors that could cause Morganite to occasionally take on a cloudy appearance over time.
Buildup on the surface of the stone: Again, build up most frequently comes from the natural oils on your skin, as it combines with the dirt that your hands come in contact with every day. Some of that dirt is on things you pick up or touch, and some is simply floating around in the form of dust. It’s pretty unavoidable if you’re wearing your ring regularly.
Hand creams and lotions can be a source of additional oils, speeding the process of build-up. At a minimum, you should remove your ring until any topical treatments have been rubbed in well.
Water can also lead to buildup on the surface of your Moissanite. Most water has dissolved minerals in it. After the water has evaporated and the surface has dried, a coating of minerals can get left behind.
These mineral deposits are commonly referred to as ‘hard water buildup.’ Hard water deposits can obstruct light flow for your ring, which can change its appearance, making it feel more dull and lifeless.
Fortunately, the cloudiness that comes from these forms of buildup is usually temporary. A good cleaning should be able to remove the accumulated residue.
One further risk related to hard water buildup is that any mineral grit that settles on the surface of your ring could potentially cause scratching over time as your ring rubs against materials or objects that cause friction between the mineral grit and your Morganite stone. Carefully cleaning your Morganite ring, on a regular basis, helps to protect your ring from both types of danger.
Contact with harsh chemicals: Certain chemicals could potentially react with Morganite in a way that leaves a white haze on the stone. Depending on the nature of that reaction, the cloudiness could be a temporary inconvenience that just requires a good cleaning…or a permanent marring of the stone.
Because of these risks, it’s best to simply remove your ring before handling chemicals.
Even diamonds can get damaged through contact with harsh chemicals, so it’s wise to be careful—regardless of the type of stone that your ring contains.
Heavy scratching: When I say heavy scratching, I mean multiple scratches that could eventually combine to block light from entering or moving about the stone. Light flow is a critical component of sparkle.
Scratches are convenient places for dirt and oils to accumulate and hide. The effect of overlapping scratches, combined with the harboring of dirt and oils, can rob your stone of the sparkle it once displayed with ease and abundance.
Yes, Morganite is considered a hard stone, but it’s softer than some alternatives like Sapphire or Diamond. There are things you can do to reclaim your ring and restore its’ original beauty if it gets overly scratched through years of use. I’ll address those potential remedies below.
How to Keep Morganite From Getting Cloudy
My Grandma used to say that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It essentially means that a little precaution is a lot less expensive (and painful) than the effort to fix something once it’s broken.
In this section, we’ll focus on simple things you can do to protect your ring (prevention). In the next section, we’ll talk about the things you can do to reclaim (cure) a cloudy ring. Grandma’s wisdom is certainly true when it comes to Morganite care as well—it makes a lot more sense to focus our effort and attention on preventing damage, rather than correcting it.
The easiest way to protect your ring from damage, is simply to remove it before doing, or handling, things that could potentially harm it. That may sound easy, but it’s often not top-of-mind or convenient. This simple solution takes awareness and discipline.
Remove Your Ring Before…
- Engaging in some hobbies or recreation
- Cleaning with chemicals
- Washing Hands
- Using hand lotion
- Applying hand sanitizer
“Etc.” ends that list, because it’s impossible to make a list that covers every potential risk or scenario—individual interests and circumstances vary a lot!
If you need to remove your ring for long periods of time (as you travel abroad for example) it might make sense to get an inexpensive alternate ring to wear instead of risking potential damage to your Morganite ring. Beautiful rings with a Cubic Zirconia center stone, for example, can often be purchased for $100 or less.
You can wear your ‘alternate ring’ when it’s simply too dangerous to risk wearing your Morganite. Here’s an example of an inexpensive ring that might work well for this type of application. Here’s another good example.
Some people really struggle, emotionally, with the idea of removing their ring—even for a little while. They may feel like they’re breaking a commitment to their partner, or they don’t want to unintentionally send a signal that they might be ‘available’. Some people are also just more comfortable with a ring on their ring finger after years of wearing one. An inexpensive alternative ring is a great, and affordable, solution for all of those circumstances.
Finally, Clean your Morganite regularly to keep it looking its best—and to clear away any grit or residue that could potentially lead to scratching. I’ll talk about HOW to safely and effectively clean a Morganite ring in a moment.
Fixing a Cloudy Morganite Ring
Again, when Morganite starts to take on a cloudy appearance, it’s typically because the ring is dirty, or because of heavy scratching. I’ll address effective methods for cleaning your Morganite ring in the next section.
If scratches are causing a cloudy appearance, you’ll need to have a jeweler repolish the stone for you. The polishing process will make your Morganite look like new again—but be aware that the stone will be slightly smaller after the procedure. You probably won’t be able to visibly notice a size difference, but if you repolish too many times, the stone may no longer fit in its original setting. If that eventually happens, you might need to get a replacement stone…or buy a new band with a smaller setting that fits the new size of your original stone a little better.
Typically, repolishing is only done a time or two over the life of a particular stone. If that’s the case for your ring, you likely won’t have any issues with the stone no longer fitting securely in its original setting.
How to Clean a Cloudy Morganite Ring
The simple use of warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft toothbrush can work wonders! I like this method best because it’s simple, gentle, and inexpensive.
Morganite can be temperature sensitive, so you want to avoid extremes. Moving a Morganite stone from a hot state to a cold state too quickly (or vice versa) could actually cause it to crack. Warm water is a safe middle ground.
Start by dipping a soft infant toothbrush in your bowl of soapy water. Gently scrub your Morganite with the bristles of the soft toothbrush, ensuring that you thoroughly work around each prong and the underside of the stone if it’s accessible.
Infant toothbrushes can often be purchased at a dollar store in many areas. If you don’t live near a dollar store, you’ll likely still be able to find them for only a little more elsewhere.
After cleaning the stone to your satisfaction, rinse it well in warm, or cool, water, and then dab, or blot, it dry with a soft towel.
The final step is to use the cool setting on a hairdryer to fully dry all the cracks and crevices that the towel can’t reach.
As a slight variation on the simple process described above, some have found that adding just a little vinegar to the soap and water mixture described above, seems to help cut through the grime better—and keep their ring clean longer—than soap and water alone.
Vinegar can be a very effective cleaning agent, in fact, many families that favor more natural cleaning products use diluted vinegar, instead of chemical-based spray cleaners, to clean their house.
As a final word of caution, be careful about how you clean your Morganite. If you use diamond cleaner—or a variety of other chemical solutions, you might just damage your ring.
Morganite is softer and more porous than diamonds, Sapphires, and rubies. Some of the cleaners that may be safe and effective for other gems, could potentially harm Morganite. Safe, simple, and effective is best. Warm water and mild dish soap is a good balance of all three.
Morganite is a stable stone that won’t go cloudy as a result of age alone. Getting dirty, collecting a heavy covering of overlapping scratches, or a chemical reaction are the most likely causes of Morganite clouding. Fortunately, most of those issues are correctable. A good cleaning or re-polishing the stone can make most Morganite look good as new.
If you take precautions with your Morganite ring, it should look as beautiful as the day you got it for many years!
Are Morganite Rings Durable? How Long Can They Last?
Can Morganite Get Wet? The Main Dangers & Key Precautions
Are Morganite Rings Expensive? Cost Per Carat vs Diamond
Your hands come in contact with water many times every day. If you want to keep your Morganite ring looking as beautiful and new as the day you got it, you’re probably wondering …
Can Morganite get wet? Water can dull or damage your Morganite ring, especially when exposure is frequent and prolonged. Morganite doesn’t discolor or fall apart as an immediate result of water contact, but regular exposure can have an impact over time. It can cause loss or damage in a variety of ways.
Different types of water can affect Morganite in different ways. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll explain how water from various sources can potentially cause damage to your ring. I’ll also share information on how you can safely use water to keep your ring looking bright and new.
Protecting your Morganite Ring
The hardness and the toughness of your stone are at the heart of durability. I won’t go into any major detail about either aspect right now, because I have other articles that address each of those areas more deeply.
To quickly summarize, hardness has to do with scratch resistance. The harder a stone is, the less likely it is to get scratched. As scratches accumulate, they can rob a stone of its ability to gather and channel light, making it look old and tired. Diamond is the hardest gem known to man. It has incredible scratch resistance. That doesn’t mean that it CAN’T be scratched, but it isn’t easy for your diamond ring to get scratched up as you go about your daily routine because it’s so hard.
Some stones, like diamonds, are extremely hard, but not equally tough. Toughness has to do with their ability to absorb impacts and pressures without breaking or shattering. Diamonds are so hard that they become brittle. If a diamond falls onto a tile floor, it’s very possible that it will crack or break. I’ve seen it happen. Whether a particular diamond beaks when it falls on a hard surface has to do with a lot of factors (how far did it fall, where was the point of impact, the nature and placement of inclusions, etc). My point is, that hardness isn’t all that matters when it comes to durability.
All rings have to be handled with care. While diamonds are hard, they certainly aren’t indestructible. Protecting your jewelry from damage DOESN’T mean that you have to leave it in your jewelry box constantly. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect your ring from damage.
- Keep your Morganite ring away from other rings (they can scratch each other if they make contact).
- Be present and aware. Try not to bump or brush against things accidentally as you go about your daily routines.
- Keep the ring away from water as much as possible (take it off first).
We’ll talk about the specific threats that water from different sources can pose in a moment. Before diving into that, I want to quickly point out that some diamond enthusiasts might argue that diamonds are worth their high cost because of their incredible hardness (durability). That has SOME validity on the surface, but there are a couple of important points that should be considered:
- Diamonds also aren’t indestructible.
- You can easily purchase multiple Morganite stones for the cost of one diamond. This means that you probably can’t save money by purchasing a diamond—based on durability logic.
Some might contend that they DON’T WANT a replacement stone (for sentimental reasons). I get that—everyone will need to make their own decisions on this issue. In my mind, a replacement stone from your spouse is just as special as the original stone they provided for your ring. Both symbolize the same commitment, and can do it equally well.
This is all just contemplation of a ‘worst case scenario,’ it’s hypothetical, but again, if your Morganite got damaged at some point, you could buy another (maybe even a stone with better coloring) and STILL save a boat-load of savings over purchasing a diamond center stone instead.
The Dangers of Treated Water: Sinks, Showers, Bathtubs, Hot Tubs & Swimming Pools
The treated water that your hands come in contact with as you shower, wash your hands, or swim, could damage your morganite over time. The biggest risk comes from chemical exposure. Chlorine is added to the water you shower and wash your hands with. It’s also added to most pools and hot tubs to help keep the water sanitary.
Can you wear Morganite in a pool? It’s really not a good idea, but the ring won’t instantly fall apart either. Even diluted Chlorine probably isn’t great for your Morganite stone, but the bigger problem is the impact that Chlorine has on some metals—like gold. Chlorine can attack and eat gold. It frequently weakens the prongs on these rings, causing them to bend or break more easily. That’s not an impact that you’re likely to see right away, it takes repeated exposure over time before any damage will likely be noticed.
The toll that Chlorine takes on gold isn’t visible to the naked eye—it’s microscopic. Because of this, some people believe their ring isn’t being harmed. They may continue believing that until the day they finally lose their center stone because a prong bent or broke. Even then, they may have trouble connecting the loss to water exposure because the damage was so gradual.
A good friend of mine found a large diamond on the floor in an airport. There are lots of potential reasons that prongs holding that diamond may have failed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if damage from repeated water contact was a contributing factor.
In addition to the damage that’s sometimes caused by Chlorine, you can also encounter mineral deposits from hard water that form on the surface of your Morganite. These deposits are simply dissolved minerals that are in our tap water. They get left behind as the water dries. They can leave your stone looking dull and lifeless until it gets cleaned well.
A related risk that can also make your Morganite look dull and muted, is build up from the various soaps, shampoos, and conditioners that we use while showering or washing our hands. It’s a really good idea to remove your ring before bathing, showering, soaking, or washing your hands. Some people really don’t want to take their rings off. They feel like they’re breaking a commitment to continually wear their ring, they’re concerned that they might forget the ring and leave it behind somewhere…or the extra step just sounds inconvenient.
Is it Common to Remove Your Ring Before Showering?
Some feel like it’s overkill to remove their rings before doing common practices like washing their hands, washing dishes, or showering. It’s a polarizing issue. Some habitually remove them, others never do. Which camp are you in? Want to hear how others approach the issue? I published an article recently where I share findings from research that I did on this issue. Take a quick look—you may find the data interesting!
The Dangers of Untreated Water: the Ocean, Lakes, Rivers, & Streams
There’s no Chlorine in lakes, rivers, streams, or the ocean, so what’s the real danger of water in those environments? Simple contact with water won’t cause your stone to fade, crack or break. The common dangers can be quite different for these outdoor water sources in some cases.
Salt: Saltwater can be hard on some ring components. Like Chlorine, it’s especially hard on gold. Repeated exposure can damage your rings over time. Here too, the damage isn’t immediate or visibly noticeable, so it can be unnoticed and overlooked for quite some time. The impact of the damage often comes first in the form of weak or broken prongs. Fragile prongs mean that you could potentially lose your Morganite at some point in the future. Because of those risks, it’s best to remove your ring before jumping in.
Shrinkage: Water can make your ring fit differently for a while. When our hands soak for long periods of time, the diameter of our fingers can change. That happens because our skin starts to shrivel with prolonged exposure, and because cold water causes some temporary shrinkage.
If your ring fits more loosely in the water, there’s a greater chance that your ring could slip off and get lost.
Motion: As you splash and play, rapid movement of water around your stone could potentially loosen the setting.
Outdoor water is also often hard to see through (it’s murky), so you sometimes run the risk of bumping or brushing against something hard, like a rock, a shell—maybe even a watch that someone near you is wearing. That contact could potentially scratch or loosen your Moissanite.
Between poor visibility, silt or sand, and the movement of water, If your stone happens to slip out of its setting while you’re in the water, chances of recovery are slim-to-none.
Spotting: The movement of water in Rivers, Streams, and the Ocean break things down and then move that debris along in a tide or current. Dissolved minerals can dry to form mineral deposits on the surface of your Morganite stone. The deposits only mute the look of your ring until it’s cleaned—but they can also leave a grit on the surface of the ring that could potentially lead to scratches.
How to Make Morganite Sparkle
Over time, the natural oils from your skin can combine with dirt and dust in your everyday environment to create a film that coats the surface of your ring, making it look dull. The film blocks light from entering and moving around inside the ring the way it normally would. Removing the grime isn’t difficult or expensive. All you really need is water, mild dish soap, a soft toothbrush, and a clean towel.
Add a few drops of dish soap to a small bowl of warm water. Dip your soft-bristled toothbrush in the water and then scrub the surface of the Morganite very gently with it. Be careful to get the brustles under the stone and around all prongs as well as possible. When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the ring well, and then dry thoroughly by dabbing carefully with the towel. If possible, it’s a good idea to use a blow dryer on a cool setting to ensure that the ring is fully dry. Without the blow dryer, It can be very difficult to dry the crevices around the prongs and the area beneath your center stone.
Morganite can be a wonderful addition to your ring. It’s beautiful, hard enough for daily wear, and distinctive. In order to keep it looking it’s best for the long term, it’s best to avoid contact with water—except when you’re cleaning it. When it does get wet, gently dry it as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Are Morganite Rings Expensive? Cost Per Carat vs Diamond
Are Morganite Rings Durable? How Long Can They Last?
How Can You Tell if Morganite is Real or Fake?