Thinking of buying a Morganite ring? Morganite is gorgeous and distinctive, but can you afford it?
Are Morganite rings expensive? Morganite costs roughly $300 for a one-carat stone, however quality characteristics regarding color, cut, and clarity will influence the cost of individual stones. Size will also influence the cost of a given stone, but not to the same degree you would find with diamonds or other gems.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of Morganite rings. I’ll address the key influencers of cost below.
What is Morganite?
Before diving into cost drivers, it might be useful to quickly explain what Morganite is, and where it came from. Morganite comes from the Beryl family. Emerald and Aquamarine are two other well-known Beryls. Morganite gets its beautiful range of pink tones from traces amounts of manganese.
In 1902, George Kunz discovered a stone that had color shades ranging from pink to purple, which he called Kunzite. In 1910, he discovered a new stone in Madagascar, with hues ranging from pink to peach, he decided to name it after someone else. George was good friends with J.P. Morgan, the banking tycoon, and enthusiastic gem collector. He delighted Mr. Morgan by naming his new discovery Morganite.
Morganite Supply and Demand
Stones can get quite expensive when there is strong demand for a particular type, but very limited supply. Diamonds are a good example of this. If they could easily find them in your yard, for example, they wouldn’t be coveted or valuable. It’s scarcity that makes us willing to shell out large sums of money for them.
In the case of diamonds, that scarcity is carefully orchestrated and controlled by dominant players in the diamond industry. It’s the sense of rarity and exclusivity, coupled with persuasive marketing messages, that fuels the sale of diamonds at incredibly high prices!
If the market were suddenly flooded with a supply of diamonds that far outpaced demand, prices would plummet and demand would begin to dry up. We would no longer crave diamonds if they didn’t provide us with a sense of exclusivity, and we certainly wouldn’t be willing to pay much for them if they were common.
Recognizing all that, diamond cartels carefully regulate the diamond supply to give the false appearance of scarcity. It works—even small stones can cost thousands of dollars!
Morganite isn’t controlled by a cartel of any kind. It’s essentially provided to the market as it’s mined, cut, and polished.
Morganite demand is strong, and seems to be getting stronger! One popular wedding site conducted a huge survey a couple of years ago. They found that Morganite was one of the most popular non-diamond center stones for engagement rings. Moissanite and Sapphire were also at the top of the list.
Morganite is only mined in a handful of countries. It’s primarily mined in Brazil and Madagascar. Less significant discoveries have also been made in places like China, Russia, Afghanistan, a couple of spots in the US, and few places on the African continent.
The price of Morganite could easily climb much higher in future years as demand continues to increase and some of the limited mines that exist get tapped out. If those scenarios play out, the GENUINE supply and demand imbalance could make Morganite MUCH more expensive.
Be careful when buying Morganite jewelry—especially as prices climb in the future due to the rarity of Morganite. There are always fake stones floating around that are made of glass or other materials. It’s a good idea to verify the authenticity of what you’re buying with a certificate from a trusted gemological institute where possible.
Morganite Price Per Carat
Morganite is one of those stones that you may want to consider if you want something a little different than what others are wearing. It’s also a stone that some turn to when they want a colored gemstone for their ring but can’t afford to go with a colored diamond.
Morganite price per ct. is approximately $300, however, there are a couple of caveats
Value doesn’t always scale with size. Morganite is frequently found in larger fragments, so unlike diamonds and other similar gems, the value of Morganite doesn’t climb exponentially as stones get larger. In other words, a two carat stone will cost you more than a one-carat stone, but not MUCH more—and certainly not twice as much!
Color is king. As mentioned earlier, the price of a particular stone is closely associated with the aesthetic characteristics of the stone (things like color, clarity, and cut). Of those visual elements, color is the most important cost driver! A small Morganite stone with vibrant pink color on a small Morganite stone, could be many times as much as a three-carat stone with pail (weak) coloring for example.
Natural coloring adds value. Untreated stones are much more valuable than treated, or ‘enhanced’ stones. Here again, a small untreated stone with great coloring will be far more valuable than a much larger stone (with even more vibrant color) that has had its coloring enhanced.
In light of all that, you’ll sometimes find a one-carat Morganite stone for far less than $300. That sometimes happens when the stone has less desirable coloring or visible inclusions. Those stones may still work well for some rings.
On the flip-side, you can also find one carat Morganite stones that cost thousands of dollars, because they have unusual characteristics that make them far more rare.
A comparison is often helpful. If you look at Morganite price vs diamond pricing for a similar one-carat stone, white (or colorless) diamonds cost about 10 times as much. Colored diamonds (which are a better side-by-side comparison in some respects) cost a great deal MORE. While a one-carat Morganite stone costs approximately $300, a reasonably colorless diamond of similar size will typically run $3,000 to $5,000.
Morganite Value vs Diamond
We’ve already compared the cost of Morganite and Diamond, but what about the value comparison between the two?
We know that Morganite is much less expensive, but can the higher cost of Diamonds be justified? It’s a polarizing question. You can easily find people that will passionately argue their perspective on both sides. Your opinion matters most when it comes to your ring, but I’ll give you a few issues to consider.
We all use different factors to measure value. Value isn’t ONLY related to what you pay—it’s about what you get for what you pay. Based on that, the cheapest option ISN’T always the one that offers the best value.
To illustrate, think about buying jeans. Imagine buying the 3 pairs described below.
You find a pair of jeans on a clearance rack for $5. They don’t fit quite right, but hey, they’re 5 bucks…and you can’t pass that up! You figure that once the material relaxes a bit, they should work fine. You never wore these jeans out of the house. After putting them on once or twice, you decided that you don’t like them at all. The fit just isn’t right, and you don’t really love the look either. You eventually donate the jeans to Goodwill.
A month later, you come across another pair of jeans that you like. You flip the tag and find that they cost $35. The material seems durable, they fit well, and you really like the look of them. You make the purchase, and are glad you did. They’re one of your favorite pairs—very comfortable. The jeans last you for 9years, before you have to replace them.
After a movie at the mall, you walk through a store and find a pair of name brand jeans that look really nice. The cost of the jean seems like a misprint. Who would drop $300 on a pair of jeans? They look nice, fit well, and you’d love to be seen wearing that name brand. You swallow hard, buy them, wear them frequently. You continue to love the look and feel of the jeans. They last for 10 years.
It’s obvious which pair of jeans was cheapest—but which one represented the best VALUE? Most people would agree it’s NOT the first pair. Both the 2nd and 3rd pair were worn regularly and lasted a long time.
From my own perspective, the second pair was the best value, because of the combination of price and utility (usefulness). Those jeans lasted NINE YEARS! When you do the simple math, you find that she essentially paid $3.89 per year to own and wear those jeans.
The third pair lasted 10 years, so she ended up paying $30 per year for the life she got out of them. They were more durable, but from a dollars and cents perspective, the little bit of extra life they provided wasn’t worth their substantially higher price. The one unique value they did bring is a boost of self-esteem that came from wearing the popular label. Was that worth the added cost? That’s one of those questions people will have different opinions on.
Ok, so what does the example have to do with diamonds and Morganite? I’m sure you already get it, but Morganite probably most closely resembles the second set of jeans. It’s more reasonably priced, and provides lots of beauty and utility! We aren’t talking drab by any means! You’ll likely draw lots of compliments when you wear your Morganite ring.
Diamonds are very much like the 3rd pair of jeans. Some people choose this option because they feel a sense of social pressure, and feel a strong desire to conform—others may just love the look of the stone. Regardless, diamonds carry a message about social status. It’s very important to some people that their center stone be big enough to send the silent message that they’re successful. Diamonds are beautiful and will last a long time, but are they worth the added cost? Here again, different people will have differing opinions.
Why is Morganite so Inexpensive?
Rarity combined with popularity is a recipe for high prices. Diamonds are thought of as rare, but in reality, their rarity is an orchestrated illusion. Oil cartels drive the price of oil up by restricting supply. The diamond industry regulates supply in a similar way. They don’t release all that they mine—they very carefully restrict supply to prop up the high prices that give diamonds the feeling of exclusivity that makes people want them.
Morganite is a rare stone that’s found in very few places, but it isn’t consolidated, controlled and manipulated the way that diamonds have been for many decades now. That’s a huge aspect of why Morganite is so much less expensive than diamonds today.
Another key distinction: Morganite doesn’t have the well organized, and heavily funded, marketing messages that diamonds have long enjoyed, to provide awareness, shape our opinions, and fuel demand.
It’s hard to organize, and fund, a consistent and effective advertising blitz unless you have a monopoly in the market (like we’ve seen in the diamond industry for so long).
Key Drivers of Morganite Value
I mentioned earlier that for Morganite, as with most gems, color is king—it’s the most important criteria. The most sought after color for Morganite is pink. Pinks that have a darker, almost reddish hue to them are also desirable. Morganite that has more of a peach or orange hue is much less valuable.
Another important consideration of value is clarity. Morganite is generally ‘eye clean,’ meaning that you can’t see obvious inclusions with the unassisted eye (without magnification) in most cases. What’s even better is a ‘Clean’ stone, where inclusions are present in the stone at all. The more visible and obstructive inclusions are in a particular stone, the less it’s worth.
‘Treated’ or ‘enhanced’ stones undergo a heating process that reduces the orange and peach tones in the stone, making the pink tones more dominant.
Most Morganite on the market today HAS been heat treated to improve color. That’s nothing to be concerned about, but it’s something you should be aware of. The resulting color change is considered permanent. Treated stones sell better than non-treated stones with undesirable color qualities.
“Heat treatment is not detectable, does not fade, and does not hurt the beauty or value of the gem.” -Laurie Sarah
While heat treading doesn’t decrease a stone’s value, untreated stones with good color qualities are often MUCH MORE valuable because they’re far more rare.
Does Morganite Increase in Value?
It’s unlikely that Morganite will increase in value for years. You’ll lose money on nearly all rings if you resell them shortly after buying them. You’ll still typically lose money if you wait decades before selling most rings (once you adjust for inflation).
Because of growing demand, and the prospect of falling supply in the years to come, it’s possible that the value of Morganite may start to climb (possibly substantially). It’s hard to know just how much the price may go up, or how soon, because of all the variables involved.
Morganite Resale Value
Many people buy diamonds with the false belief that they’re some sort of investment vehicle that appreciates with time. This misguided notion is something that the diamond industry benefits from and even fosters through some of their advertising over time that doesn’t offer full disclosure.
Here’s the fact, diamonds are a TERRIBLE ‘investment.’ In fact, diamonds AREN’T investments—they’re consumables.
Consider this, what happens if you buy a big-screen television and then try to sell it used three months later? Can you sell it? Absolutely, if it’s in good condition and the price is right. Is anyone going to give you what you paid for it? Nope! The same is absolutely true of diamond rings.
Those that don’t believe me may have to learn the hard way, but I promise this is true. If you buy a diamond engagement ring and then try to resell it (even years later), you’re likely to be ‘taken to the cleaners.’ I’m not exaggerating!
In fact, I wrote another article where I summarized research I did around the resale value, and average losses, for used diamond rings. I was careful about the listings that I evaluated. They had to reference the original purchase price—most had pictures of their original receipts to show as evidence. You may find the article interesting.
Here’s the scoop, you’re going to lose 30% to 70% of what you paid for your diamond ring when you resell it. Are there people that would be interested in a used Morganite ring? Absolutely, but you’re also going to have to resell that ring at a discount. The question, when you compare the resale value for Morganite and Diamonds, is which one will you lose more money on?
The math is EASY, you’ll lose more reselling the diamond. That’s true because you paid a lot more for it. The article that I mentioned above will break down the math for you so you can see how things shake out when you compare the resale of a diamond and more frugal ring choice.
The term ‘expensive’ is relative. Morganite certainly brings strong value, and is much less expensive than many alternative gems. Since it’s a fairly hard stone, and has an interesting look, it’s a ring that’s growing in popularity. It’s also a stone with actual rarity, that is likely to get more rare and expensive in the future.
Morganite is a gorgeous stone, but can you really drop to one knee and propose marriage with something other than a diamond in your ring box? Many couples are now choosing Morganite for their special rings—including engagement rings!
Can Morganite be an engagement ring? Morganite can be used for engagement rings. Colored diamonds are incredibly expensive. Morganite is a much affordable alternative. Morganite engagement rings tend to feel warm, feminine, and distinctive. Their tone complements many skin tones and pairs well with a variety of metals.
There’s a lot to consider before settling on Morganite for your engagement ring. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll tell you about the look, durability, and maintenance needs of this stone, so you can make sure it’s a good fit—and buy with confidence!
Wanting Something Distinctive
It’s always nice when someone notices your engagement ring and complements you on it! It’s common to want something that’s somewhat unique and distinctive—something that stands out and grabs attention. A head-turning diamond is something that most can’t afford. It would often consist of either a large diamond or a fancy colored diamond. The cost of BOTH of those alternatives can be STAGGERING!
If you want a ring that your partner can’t take their eyes off of, it helps to get away from the ‘cookie-cutter’ rings that are traditional in every way. There’s nothing wrong with cookie-cutter, or traditional…if those are the designs fit your sweetheart’s style preferences well, or it’s all you can afford.
You don’t have to go into serious debt to find something that stands out. Colored gemstones, like Morganite, can be a great option! They’re eye-catching, but can also cost a lot less than traditional diamond rings.
The warm tones of Morganite are different than what you usually see on engagement rings. It stands out, turns heads, and collects lots of second looks and compliments!
Color is part of the uniqueness that Morganite offers because its tone can fall anywhere along a spectrum ranging from pink to peach. A morganite color chart can help you to identify the shade that might suit you best. While Morganite engagement rings are growing in popularity, they aren’t yet so common that you’re likely to bump into others with the exact same ring, let alone the same stone color and metal pairing.
The Cost of a Morganite Engagement Ring
A morganite solitaire ring will save you a great deal of money over the cost of a comparable diamond ring! While a one-carat diamond solitaire might cost $3,000 to $5,000, a one-carat Morganite stone might cost just $300. The price will vary to some degree depending on the characteristics of each individual stone and retailer considerations.
The precise cost of a Morganite stone will be dependant on three primary variables:
The size of the stone. All else equal, a larger stone will sell for more than a smaller stone.
The vividness of the stone’s color.
The pricing strategy of a given retailer.
Naturally, rich and vivid stones are always rarer, and therefore, more valuable. Because vivid coloring is more desirable and valuable, many stones are ‘enhanced’. The stones get heat-treated to bring out richer color qualities. Enhancements should always be disclosed to the buyer. Enhancements provide the opportunity to have a look you love…and a price you can actually afford.
How Long Will Morganite Last?
The durability of Morganite (or any stone for that matter) has to do with a few key factors.
Hardness means scratch resistance. The harder a particular stone is, the less likely it is to come in contact with harder items in your everyday environment that are capable of scratching it. Diamonds are the hardest stone known to man.
Toughness has to do with how brittle an item is. Hardness has a converse relationship with toughness. Extremely hard items often aren’t tough—they’re brittle and would shatter before they give or bend.
My sister had a diamond solitaire engagement ring that fell off a counter, striking her tile floor. It broke on impact. It was hard (scratch resistant), but NOT tough (It was brittle)!
Morganite is not nearly as hard as diamonds, but it’s also not nearly as brittle. Morganite is ‘tougher’ (less brittle) than diamonds.
Usage relates to how your Morganite ring is worn (how often, how long, and during which activities).
How Hard is Morganite?
Morganite comes in somewhere between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The scale is a comparative tool that shows the relative hardness of stones (which stones are harder, or softer, than other stones).
The scale was originally created by taking ten stones of various kinds and testing to see which were the most scratch resistant. The stones were then ordered bases on hardness. The least scratch-resistant was assigned a grade of ‘1’, while the most scratch-resistant got a ‘10’. All other stones were arranged similarly, based on their relative hardness. An example of the scale follows.
A rating of 8 doesn’t tell you precisely how hard a particular stone is (because this isn’t an absolute measurement). The scale really just tells us that Morganite is harder than Quartz, but softer than Sapphire, for example. That means that Morganite could scratch quartz, but it couldn’t scratch Sapphire (Sapphire would actually scratch Morganite if the two came in contact).
This is why you never want to mix your rings together when you aren’t wearing them—the stones on your harder stones will scratch your softer stones and metals.
Information on hardness is helpful to know, because the harder the stone in your engagement ring is, the less likely it is to get scratched as you wear it in everyday life. Your hands bump into all kinds of things as you move around your home, school, or office daily. The harder your center stone is, the less likely it is to get scratched when it comes in contact with hard objects in your everyday environment.
While diamonds are harder than Morganite, they are also MUCH more expensive (and still aren’t indestructible). Morganite is considered a hard stone. It’s capable of lasting for decades with proper care.
The color range of Morganite often complements Rose Gold beautifully. It also looks nice against neutral-colored metals like silver, white gold, or platinum. Morganite doesn’t look as tied in, or coordinated, when it’s paired with yellow gold. The colors aren’t complimentary.
Some sites allow you to digitally pair your Morganite stone with various ring designs and metal colors to provide a visual of how different combinations of Morganite and metals might look once they’re put together. When rings get to pick all the components of your ring, the ability to preview provides assurance that you’ll like the final look your ring before it’s assembled and shipped.
Genuine morganite rings can be purchased at surprisingly affordable prices. A one-carat Morganite stone, with good color, can be purchased for about $300. Smaller stones, or those with less attractive coloring, would be even less expensive. By comparison, a one-carat diamond would start at about 10 times the price of Morganite (roughly $3,000).
Morganite rings are quickly growing in awareness and popularity. Just as people sometimes sell used diamond rings when relationships end or they decide to upgrade their jewelry, you can also sell used Morganite rings.
While you’ll still have to resell a used Morganite ring at a loss, the same is true for used diamond rings.
Buying Morganite with Confidence
You want your fianceé to LOVE everything about their engagement ring! Guessing the ring design that your partner likes, and getting it RIGHT, can be difficult. Getting that wrong can be expensive and painful. Because of this, I suggest that you check to make sure that a Morganite engagement ring is something they would like. I would have the exact same advice regardless of the type of ring your thinking about buying.
Even traditional diamond rings may not hit the mark for your sweetheart if they have something different (like a colored gemstone) in mind.
If you’re openly exploring ring options, you can spend a little time together, looking at pictures of Morganite rings online. This could help you to have a greater level of certainty about the ring that you ultimately end up buying.
If you’re hoping to surprise your partner with the proposal, you can try to find a more subtle way to gather their opinion about Morganite engagement rings.
For example, you could talk about seeing an interesting ring on someone recently. You might say that you’ve never really seen anyone wearing that kind of stone before, and you’re not sure you like it. You could then look up an image of a morganite ring online and ask what they think.
There are lots of other ways to gather an opinion without showing your cards—get creative!
Here’s another approach—go ahead and guess. Take a chance on the fact that they’ll love a Morganite engagement ring (they probably will)—but hedge your bets by ensuring that the retailer has a solid return policy. Make sure that you understand the limitations of the return policy, so you don’t have any surprises. If you propose, and your fianceé decides that they would prefer something a little different, you can return, or exchange, the ring.
Pros and Cons of Morganite
All gems used for engagement rings have both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages are helpful to be aware of—but they aren’t necessarily a problem in many cases.
By the same token, many of the advantages of a given stone may be nice to be aware of—but aren’t especially important to you. You’ll have to weigh the pros against the cons to determine if Moganite (or any other stone, for that matter) is going to be a good fit for your e-ring.
The Pros of Morganite for Engagement Rings:
It’s an inexpensive colored gemstone
It’s Durable. The stone is relatively hard and is capable of enduring daily wear
It’s a more unique looking ring than your typical diamond allows
It compliments most skin tones
It’ pairs beautifully with Rose Gold
The stone is quite rare
The Cons of Morganite for Engagement Rings:
It’s less scratch-resistant than Sapphire and diamond
The peachy-pink tone can clash with some metals and other colored gemstones
Some brides may want a more traditional looking stone
Morganite makes a beautiful engagement ring! It’s a durable stone that can stand up to everyday wear as long as you care for it. Morganite is a rare stone that can help you to create a distinctive looking ring that grabs lots of attention. Fortunately, all those benefits don’t come with an unreachable pricetag. You’ll actually SAVE money when you choose Morganite over many other gem options.
Moissanite is known for it’s beautiful and active sparkle, but how much will that sparkle diminish with time? If you’re hoping to avoid a flat and dull-looking Moissanite ring, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll talk about the impact that age has on sparkle for Moissanite, and how to keep your stone clean and gleaming!
Does Moissanite Lose its Sparkle? Moissanite will not lose its sparkle as time passes. The clarity and color of the stone won’t change through the years. Dirt and grime are the only common elements that may inhibit a ring’s sparkle until it is cleaned. Damaging the surface of Moissanite can inhibit sparkle, as it would for any ring.
In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll quickly touch on the components (some important elements) of sparkle. We’ll then we’ll look at how you can protect and maintain the full potential of your Moissanite ring to sparkle the way they’re naturally inclined to.
Before going further, I want to make sure that you understand what sparkle is, and the various components, the building blocks, of sparkle. It’s a helpful foundation to have as you study the maintenance and longevity of sparkle. I’ll also talk in a moment about how various elements of sparkle (like fire and brilliance) are different in Moissanite and Diamonds.
What is Moissanite Fire?
Have you ever noticed how crystal from a chandelier, for example, breaks normal light into a bright spectrum of color that it reflects back to your eye? Moissanite does that too. When regular white light enters the ring, it’s broken up as it’s channeled around the inside of the ring. Colorful light is then reflected back to your eye through the table (the top) of the stone. It’s a beautiful effect!
Stones that break up white light into colorful sparkles are said to be ‘fiery’. This ‘Fire’ isn’t something that’s unique to Moissanite. Diamonds and even Cubic Zirconia (CZ) also display fire as they interact with light. What is unique to Moissanite though, is the AMOUNT of fire that it has, and the stone’s durability over time (its ability to preserve its sparkle).
Fire is only ONE element of sparkle, but it’s the one that Moissanite is most known for.
Moissanite vs Diamond Side by Side
Fire is an important component of sparkle, but it isn’t the ONLY one. Brilliance and Scintillation two other elements that you should be aware of. I’ll quickly describe both of those terms for you, and then we’ll look at how Moissanite compares to diamond in terms of sparkle.
Brilliance has to do with your stone’s ability to reflect unbroken white light back to your eye. As light enters the ring, and is channeled about by the ring’s facets, some light will get broken up and reflected as fire, while other light will come back out through the table of your ring as white light. The refractive index of a particular stone determines its brilliance (how much white light it reflects back as sparkle). It’s the combination of fire and brilliance that we typically think of as sparkle. Both components work together and complement each other.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of diamond and moissanite. Notice that Moissanite tops diamond for BOTH fire and brilliance. Because of these characteristics, Moissanite out sparkles diamonds.
Visual Characteristics of Moissanite vs. Diamond
Refractive Index (brilliance)
2.65 – 2.69
Luster just indicates how light interacts with the surface of the ring. You could think of it as the general radiance of the stone.
Moissanite’s sparkle is hard to take down. It sparkles right through the dirt—but still sparkles much more when clean. Have you ever cleaned your windshield, and only realized at that point just how dirty it was? It’s the immediate contrast that you notice. The same will sometimes take place with your ring. Maybe, you’re happy with it and think it’s sparkling well, then you clean it, and BAM—the sparkle cranks up several levels. You had no idea what you were missing until you cleaned it!
Does Moissanite Cloud?
Early Cubic Zirconia clouded with age, but Moissanite won’t. It’s a stable stone that will retain its clarity and beauty long term. It’s considered a ‘Forever Stone.’ Moissanite CAN get a temporary clouding effect though that mutes the natural sparkle of the stone.
Natural oils from your skin, external oils from your environment, dirt, hardwater, and other gunk can collect on the surface of your ring, causing a haze or cloud that can gradually start to block light flow and inhibit sparkle. It may happen so gradually, that you hardly notice a difference from day-to-day as it steadily grows worse.
Fortunately, this condition doesn’t permanently impact the look of the stone. All it takes to restore your Moissy e-ring to its full sparkle is a good cleaning. The most simple, and common, way to clean involves simply soaking the ring for a few minutes in a small bowl of warm water to start loosening up the grime that has accumulated. After a little while, you can pull the ring from the water, add a little mild dish soap (Dawn is a popular brand), and then scrub gently and thoroughly with a soft baby toothbrush. Be sure to get all sides of the rings and clean well around the prongs and along the underside of the stone.
After scrubbing well, rinse completely and dry the ring as well as you can. The entire procedure should take just 5 to 10 minutes. If your ring was fairly dirty going in, it should look SUBSTANTIALLY different now as it interacts with light!
The Impact of Surface Damage on Sparkle
CZ is a significantly softer stone than Moissanite, the ridges where facets come together can get worn down. As those facets get rounded, the ability of the stone to properly capture, break up, channel and reflect light is impacted—which means the stone’s ability to sparkle is permanently impacted. Because Moissanite is so much harder than CZ, the ridges between its facets won’t get worn down and rounded.
As scratches accumulate on the surface of a stone, they can start to block light from entering as it normally would. That’s especially true, when dirt and oils combine in the ridges, further inhibiting the flow of light. Fortunately, the hardness of Moissanite helps prevent scratches better than CZ—and many other types of stones.
Moissanite Solitaire Ring vs Other Styles to Maximize Sparkle
Some Moissanite shapes and setting styles will lend themselves to maximum sparkle better than others. Facets are the flat surfaces that are cut into Moissanite, diamonds, and other gems to reflect light and create sparkle. The most sparkly cut tends to be the brilliant round. That’s because the brilliant round has so many facets, and also because those stones are often worn as solitaires that have more of the stone’s total surface space exposed (sides and top). That exposure allows light to enter the ring from multiple angles, adding to the stones sparkle.
The science of facet placement and angles in the brilliant round channels light through the ring much more effectively than many other styles can. As a result, some stones with less favorable facet positioning can have less light channeled back through the table of the stone to your eye, instead, losing light to leakage out the sides of the ring.
I wrote an entire article evaluating ‘Which Moissanite Cut Sparkles the Most.’ If you’re looking for a ring that dazzles—even through the dirt between cleanings, you may want to spend a few minutes in that article.
Does the Issue of Sparkle Cause Moissanite Regret
I’ve honestly NEVER heard anyone complain about a Moissanite ring that doesn’t sparkle enough. There may be people are out there that have that concern, but I’ve interacted with thousands of Moissanite owners through the years and haven’t met them yet.
There are a few that have the opposite concern. They feel that Moissanite sparkles too much. They worry that all the fiery sparkle will tip people off that the stone on their ring isn’t a diamond. If you’re in that camp, a Moissanite ring may not be for you. While most people will naturally see the ring and assume that it’s a diamond—let’s face it…it isn’t. They look very similar, but not identical. I wrote this article several months ago talking about how diamond and Moissanite are like doppelgangers (strangers that look almost identical—almost). You may find it helpful. It goes into A LOT more detail in that area.
Moissanite is a beautiful and durable stone in its own right. Those that can’t get enough sparkle will LOVE owning Moissanite ring. Keep it clean, and it will keep up the bling!
Moissanite is a ‘forever’ stone that will continue to sparkle just as intensely as decades, and even centuries, roll by if you take reasonable steps to care for it. In order to maximize the sparkle of your ring, you should clean regularly, as outlined above. The good news is that the sparkle of your Moissanite ring won’t be diminished with time, and can be maximized as you strive to keep your ring clean.
Rainbow colored oil slicks on the surface of a Moissanite ring can be shocking to find—and sometimes agonizing to get rid of. In this post, I’ll share techniques that will allow you to break free of the seemingly endless cycle of recurring oil slick stains on the surface of your Moissy.
What is Moissanite oil slick? This stain appears on the surface of some Moissanite, and has the rainbow-like appearance of radiator fluid. It is likely caused by the buildup of hard water residue and exposure to chemicals and oils. While stubborn, and often frustrating, the stain WILL come off if you use the right approach.
Whether you need to get rid of an oil slick stain on your Moissanite ring, or you’re hoping to learn how to avoid it, so you’ll never have to experience the stain, keep reading, You’ll find all the information you’ll need in the paragraphs that follow.
A Rainbow Stain on Moissanite
If you already own a Moissanite ring, you may be living in fear of the dreaded Moissanite oil slick that so many others have struggled with. This oil slick is also sometimes referred to as Moissanite ‘stain’ or ‘staining’. Once it strikes, the oil slick often feels like an incurable disease.
Sometimes more obvious than others, the stain might be fairly prominent, or it might be something you really have to look for and can only see with certain lighting and angles. Either way, once YOU notice it, it will likely drive you crazy until you’re able to get rid of it. If you don’t address it while the stain is small, it’s likely to get bigger and more visible until you take action.
In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll help you understand both how to avoid having issues with the oil slick effect on your ring, AND how to remedy the situation if it does happen. By the time you’re done with this article, you won’t have to live in fear of this rainbow-like intruder.
What Causes the Oil Slick Stain?
No one knows the exact cause of the rainbow stain on some Moissanite, but there are some common-sense theories that are widely believed throughout the jewelry industry. Most likely, the stain comes from contact with the following types of substances over time.
Soaps (hand soaps, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc)
Hair Care products (gel, mousse, hairspray, etc)
Hard water (dissolved minerals in water that can build up gradually each time your ring gets wet)
Chemicals (cleaning products)
Do you remove your ring before cleaning the house with sprays, wet wipes, or other chemicals? Do you take it off before showering, washing your hands, or applying lotion? If you don’t, you’re at a higher risk of eventually seeing an oil slick buildup. I wrote an article about Wearing Moissanite in the Pool, Hot Tub, or Shower. There is information and data in that article that may be helpful.
The Oil Slick on Diamond and Other Gems
You may be wondering if all types of gems get oil slick stains at some point. Would diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, or Morganite, for example? How about man-made stones like Cubic Zirconia? The answer is, ‘no’…rainbow staining is a phenomenon that’s unique to Moissanite.
Please understand that not ALL Moissanite is affected by oil slick stains. Some people notice the rainbow stain on their surface of their Moissanite within weeks, others after months or years. There are also many that are NEVER bothered by it. If you own a Moissanite ring it’s possible, NOT inevitable, that the oil slick stain will eventually appear.
Why Does the Oil Slick Only Appear on SOME Moissanite?
The dreaded rainbow stain is MUCH more common in older Moissanite, but be careful about attributing a direct correlation to age alone—there isn’t one. In other words, the oil slick stain doesn’t show up on an older Moissanite engagement ring BECAUSE the stone is old, it seems to show up on the older Moissanite because of the way Moissanite was made at the time.
Yes, newer Moissanite is affected much less often, but very cheap Moissanite (often imported from China) still frequently has issues. This differentiation likely happens because the manufacturers of cheap, imported, Moissanite cut corners in order to keep prices down. The Moissanite looks beautiful at first, but eventually starts to have issues (like oil slick stains). It’s often true that ‘you get what you pay for.’
The rainbow stain, we’ve been discussing, seems to appear when a susceptible ring comes in contact with particular substances over time. If you wear a Moissy stone that’s less susceptible, it will be more resistant to the stain.
My wife, for example, wears her Moissanite ring all the time (24/7). While she doesn’t intentionally abuse them, she’s not one to pamper her rings. She washes dishes, kids, dogs, and cars with her ring on. She’ll swim, shower, or soak in a hot tub with her ring on too. Even after all that, she’s never seen the slightest evidence of an oil slick stain on the surface of her ring. I’m really curious to see if one ever appears.
If my wife had a really low-quality Moissanite ring where corners had been cut during the manufacturing process, she may have seen an oil slick show up within the first few weeks or months.
How to Remove Oil Slick From Moissanite
The oil slick stain isn’t easy to remove from the surface of Moissanite, but it definitely IS POSSIBLE. Many people have cleaned their ring until they couldn’t see the stain any longer, only to feel defeated and hopeless when it returns a week or so later. I’ve heard from several people that eventually gave up and sold their ring. I’ve also heard from others that purchased a used Moissanite ring only to have an oil slick reappear a short time later.
There’s no need to dump your ring if it’s affected by this kind of stain. It is something you can fix if you do the process properly. I’m going to share some of the specific techniques that have proven successful for removing the oil slick from Moissanite in the past. Most of these remedies require a little patience and some good old fashioned ‘elbow grease.’
While it might LOOK LIKE the stain is gone after a minute or two of work, in order to get rid of it, long-term, you’ll need to devote a little more time. Planning on 10 to 20 minutes of total work should be sufficient. Keep reading, and you’ll learn more about why the additional time is needed (why you won’t want to stop cleaning as soon as the stain APPEARS to be gone). Just turn on a movie and scrub as you watch, then it won’t feel like such drudgery!
There’s No One Size Fits All Solution
You may have heard someone share information on what they did to remove the oil slick stain from their ring in the past, only to find that it DIDN’T work on yours. That’s a common experience. I think that could happen for a number of reasons.
You’re using different products (a different brand of toothpaste or silver polish for example).
You’re using different tools (a brush that’s more or less firm for example)
You’re using a different technique (you’re pressing more or less firmly for example)
Your build-up is heavier than theirs was
Don’t get discouraged if your first effort doesn’t do the trick. We’ve provided a number of solutions that have worked for Moissanite owners around the globe. If one particular approach doesn’t work well for you, try another. You’re sure to find a solution if you don’t give up.
Using a Moissanite Cleaning Cloth
One relatively simple way to clean the oil slick off of the surface of Moissanite, is with a Moissanite cleaning cloth (sometimes also referred to as a Sterling Polishing Cloth, a Sunshine Cleaning Cloth, a Yellow Sunshine Cloth, or a Jeweler’s Rouge Cloth). Many people use the Sunshine Polishing Cloth for Sterling Silver cleaning jobs, but it can also be used to scrub a rainbow film right off of the surface of a Moissanite stone. The process will take a little effort and patience, but it works well.
How do Sunshine Polishing Cloths Work?
A Moissanite polishing cloth is manufactured with a polishing compound (Jeweler’s Rouge) infused on one side. The other side of the cloth is a soft surface used for wiping and buffing once the cleaning is complete. When the cloth is new, it’s typically yellow or orange, but as you wipe your ring with the treated side of the cloth, it will start to turn black—that’s normal. The black marks are a combination of gunk that’s being removed from the surface of your ring, and the visual effect of the polishing compound being removed from the cloth.
A black appearance doesn’t mean that the cloth won’t continue to work effectively for cleaning. The Sunshine cloth residue will continue to work long after the cloth is completely discolored and looking old, in fact, most people find that they can use the same cloth for about 48 months before having to replace it.
How will you know when it’s time to replace your polishing cloth? You’ll know it’s time to replace the cloth when one of two things happens.
The cloth wears through and literally falls apart.
The fabric of the cloth starts to get a lot of pilling (those little clumps of balled up fabric—like sweaters often accumulate).
Whatever you do, don’t wash your polishing cloth! It’s natural to consider washing it when you see the surface of the cloth turning dark. Logically, it seems the cloth is dirty, and that it might work even more effectively after a good cleaning. Unfortunately, during the washing process, you’ll strip the cloth of the cleaning compound that makes it effective. If you washed it along with other towels or clothing items, the buildup and chemicals from the polishing cloth might stain the other clothes that it comes in contact with during the washing and drying cycles.
To clean your stone with the polishing cloth, Rub the treated side of the cloth against the oil slick stain on the surface of your Moissanite stone with medium pressure. Stop periodically to evaluate your progress as you go. You should see the cloth darkening, and the stain on the surface of your Moissanite gradually disappearing.
An Important Word of Caution
Rhodium is a light-colored metal from the Platinum family. Some rings are coated, or ‘plated’, in Rhodium to improve their visual appeal or their durability.
Don’t use your polishing cloth on any surfaces that are Rhodium plated! The cloth will remove the plating. Having a local jeweler replate it for you would probably cost $40 or more. The cloth is safe to use on Gold—as long as it isn’t Rhodium plated. Be careful though, because nearly all white gold Is Rhodium plated. Because of that, it’s probably safest not to use polishing cloths on white gold at all—just in case! You should also avoid using the treated side of the cloth of soft or porous stones. While a hard stone, like Moissanite, is safe, something like Opal or Turquoise, for example, could be harmed by the cloth.
Sterling Silver is safe to use a polishing cloth on (as long as it isn’t Rhodium plated). Platinum is also safe to use the cloth on. If your ring is Rhodium plated, you need to be careful with your technique, regardless of which you choose. Silver polish, toothpaste, and other treatments could strip the Rhodium, especially if you apply too much pressure.
Because of this, it would be best to use highly localized treatments that help you avoid contact with the prongs or any other plated areas—for example, using a Q-tip might allow you to rub the stone while avoiding the prongs better than a toothbrush would.
Using Silver Polish
Another common alternative for removing oil slick stains, involves the use of a silver polish (or silver cream) and a soft toothbrush (a baby toothbrush is ideal). If you don’t already have a baby toothbrush on hand, you can pick them up at a local dollar store.
Apply the polish directly to the surface of the Moissanite stone and start scrubbing. I would suggest scrubbing for at least 5 minutes. Once the stain seems to be gone, rinse the stone well with warm water, and then dry thoroughly. Not all brands of silver cream are equally effective. Wright’s Silver Cream is the brand that’s most trusted for oil slick removal. It’s readily available at Walmart, neighborhood hardware stores, and online.
If you prefer a liquid polish, Haggerty’s Silversmith Polish is a brand that I’d recommend. It’s also one that’s recommended by some quality Moissanite manufacturers.
While one cleaning with a silver polish may do the trick, chances are, you’ll need to clean the ring multiple times to fully remove the visible stain AND to remove the film that ISN’T visible. Try to be patient with the process.
Using a Specific Stainless Steel Cleaning Powder
Another product I’ve seen good success with, is a tool called ‘Bar Keeper’s Best Friend’ that many restaurants and bars swear by for keeping their stainless steel looking great. It’s essentially a cleanser that can be used for a number of different purposes. Fortunately, this product is available for home use too. If you get a Q-tip wet and then dip it in the powder to coat the tip, you can typically scrub the oil slick stain off the surface of your Moissanite pretty quickly. As an added bonus, you can use this popular cleanser brand to clean your kitchen too once your ring is squared away!
Try to just scrub the stone, avoiding the metal portion of your ring (hopefully the Q-tip helps you to do that). When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the ring well and then dry it thoroughly.
The thing that I love about using toothpaste to tackle your stain, is that there’s nothing new to purchase. You probably have toothpaste and an old toothbrush on hand right now.
I don’t think that brand matters much when it comes to the kind of toothpaste that you use for this, but Colgate and Aqua Fresh are the brands that seem to be used most often when I hear from people about a successful outcome using toothpaste alone.
Either a soft toothbrush or a Q-tip can be used with the toothpaste to scrub the stain.
Using Dish Soap
A mild dish soap, like Dawn, and the green side (the rough side) of a new two-sided sponge can sometimes work wonders. Here again, I love this technique because it uses common cleaning products that many homes already have on hand. The dish soap is a cleaning agent, but also a lubricant—it’s the friction of the scrubber side of the sponge that can make the biggest difference. Apply pressure as needed.
Depending on the nature of your oil slick stain, you may see rapid progress, or you may need to stick with it and keep scrubbing for 20 to 30 minutes or more before getting the result that you’re looking for. Again, it might be easiest if you put on an episode of your favorite show to entertain you as you work.
Using a Specific Glass Cleaning Spray
A while back, someone told me about a struggle they had over many months to find a solution to the stain on their Moissanite engagement ring. The process of trying to find a solution was driving her nuts—nothing had worked! She tried all sorts of things that others had recommended and then started experimenting on her own in desperation.
Eventually, she found a combination that did the trick. She used a specific glass cleaner called “Invisible Glass” and the rough side (the green side) of a two-sided sponge. The stain came off, her ring looked amazing, and she was elated!
Using a Dremel
If manual processes aren’t doing the trick, if your hands are hurting, or you have medical issues, like arthritis, that prevent you from scrubbing as long and hard as you might normally need to—you may want to consider a more mechanical scrubbing solution.
Exercise caution here, but tools like electric toothbrushes and even Dremels have may prove to be a lifesaver if you need to speed up the process or spare your hands from extended scrubbing. A Dremel is a rotary tool that can be used for a wide variety of functions, like cutting, carving, sanding, or buffing. The accessory that you attach, determines what the tool can be used for.
A Dremel can rotate the attachment being used at 5,000 to 35,000 RPM (revolutions-per-minute). That kind of speed can save you a significant amount of time and effort when scrubbing!
Buffing and polishing are typically done with a felt wheel attachment. You could either try using the felt wheel alone…or you can use it in conjunction with a silver cream or polish.
What to do if Your Oil Slick Keeps Coming Back
If you’ve cleaned your oil slick in the past, only to have it resurface a week or two later, you may be getting to the point of desperation. It can be extremely frustrating and eventually starts to feel hopeless. Some folks that have been through the cycle several times, eventually decide to sell their Moissanite ring (used) and move on. Unfortunately, that means that a new buyer is going to have to start working through the same issues.
Someone recently told me that they use both silver polish AND polishing cloths to remove the oil slick stain from their Moissanite—but the stain keeps coming back again! They’re at their wits end! If you’re in the same boat, don’t lose hope. The oil slick cycle is sometimes hard to break for good, but it can be done, here’s how—
The tarnish or build-up that forms on the surface of Moissanite as an oil slick has a film that (like algae) has to be removed COMPLETELY or it will grow back. Those that have had the seemingly ENDLESS frustration of a returning oil slick, have probably never cleaned their ring well enough to completely get rid of the film. They have been successful at eliminating the visual evidence of the stain, but some of the film remained, so, within just days or weeks, it grows back and becomes visible again.
Here’s the key: Clean your Moissanite until all visual evidence of the stain is completely gone. When you can’t see the stain any longer, and you’d bet your life that the film is gone from the surface of the stone—clean it again another time or two. It’s these additional cleanings (once the stone already appears to be clean) that help to wipe out the remainder of the film. Once the film’s residue is COMPLETELY gone, it’s very possible that the oil slick may NEVER return. At the very least, it won’t return quickly—and you’ll know how to handle it effectively, if it does reappear at some point down the road.
How to Keep the Oil Slick Away
There’s an old saying that I remember hearing as I was growing up, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While this post shares several very effective methods for getting rid of an oil slick stain on Moissanite, it’s much better to avoid the problem altogether if you can. The following guidelines could help you avoid the hassle of a rainbow stain on your Moissy ring:
Remove your ring to apply lotion, hair care products, or hand sanitizer.
Remove your ring to wash your hands or shower.
Don’t swim or soak in a hot tub with your ring on.
Remove your ring before cleaning with any kind of chemicals.
Clean your ring regularly to so you can remove grime before it really builds up.
Consider using distilled water to wash your ring without concerns about hard water.
When I talk about cleaning your ring regularly, that might mean once a month, every week, or every day, depending on the needs of your ring. Every two to four weeks should be frequent enough unless you’re having a particular problem with build, or staining, on your stone.
Cleaning your ring could be a simple as letting it soak for a few minutes in a small bowl of warm water mixed with mild dish soap, before scrubbing it thoroughly with a baby toothbrush. After scrubbing it down, you would simply rinse it well and then dry it completely.
Another option that’s safe for Moissanite is an Ultrasonic cleaner. These handy devices use sound waves to clean your jewelry. They make frequent cleanings painless! Some people just drop their ring in their Ultrasonic cleaner before going to bed every couple of nights, and then wake up to a sparkling clean ring in the morning.
Ultrasonic cleaners aren’t ONLY available to jewelers. You can actually purchase a unit that’s designed for home use for surprisingly little (less than $50). If an Ultrasonic cleaner makes it easier for you to maintain your ring over the years and maximize its beauty, it’s well worth having.
Warning:Ultrasonic cleaners might not be gentle enough if you have a fairly fragile setting, like a pave settings on your ring. It might also not be the best option if your ring is Rhodium plated. If you have any questions about whether your ring might be too fragile for an Ultrasonic cleaner, talk to a local jeweler or play it safe and wash it manually with soapy water and a toothbrush.
If you buy quality Moissanite from a reputable manufacturer, you’re less likely to have issues with an oil slick stain than you would if you purchase very cheap Moissy—where corners may have been cut during the manufacturing process. Removing your ring before dealing with water, chemicals, soaps, hand sanitizer, or hair care products could help prevent the appearance of a rainbow stain on the surface of your moissanite.
If the oil slick stain DOES show up at some point, you CAN get rid of it if you use the methods outlined above and don’t give up. All of the methods outlined in this article have proven effective for removing this type of stain on Moissanite, but you may find that one of these methods works much faster, and more easily, on your particular stone and stain than the others (which is why it’s important not to give up or lose hope as you work toward a solution). Clean your ring regularly to help prevent buildup and keep it looking its best.
Moissanite is now a popular alternative to traditional diamonds. It’s one of the hardest stones on the market, it looks very similar to diamond, and it’s far more budget-friendly for those that need, or want, to keep their costs down.
How Much are Moissanite Rings? Moissanite is often about 90% less than earth-mined diamonds. The savings on some very large, or fancy colored, diamonds can be even higher. Top-quality Moissanite mounted to a gold ring often starts at less than $750. Stone size, ring design, and metal choice can drive the cost higher or lower.
If you’re seriously considering a Moissanite engagement ring or wedding ring, you may be wondering how you can locate the right one and get your very best value. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll give you advice and information to help shortcut the process for you.
The Main Influencers of Ring Cost
There are a few main components of your ring that influence its cost. One of the most significant is the type, size, and quality of the stone that you choose. If you choose Moissanite as your stone type, you’ll still need to decide between a variety of different colors and other qualities. Completely colorless stones will be more expensive than stones that have a slightly yellow hue, for example.
I’ve priced out loose moissanite stones of various sizes with a reputable manufacturer that’s known for quality. The chart that follows is intended to give you a general idea of cost, each retailer will have pricing that’s a little higher or lower.
Size in Carats
Near Colorless (GHI)
I used this manufacturer for the prices outlined above. Feel free to visit their site if you’d like to take a closer look at their selection of loose Moissanite. Lower-quality stones from some other manufacturers may not look the same or last as long.
The stone isn’t the ONLY consideration for the total price of a Moissanite ring though. Another major component of total cost, is the metal that you choose for your ring. I’ll quickly run through the common options and considerations for some frequently used metals. I’ll also outline the general price difference that you can expect to see when you choose one metal over another.
Sterling Silver is a semi-precious metal that’s used in many very inexpensive promise rings, engagement rings, and wedding rings. As I’m writing this, the cost of precious metals are trading at the following price per ounce:
Cost Per Ounce
There’s a HUMONGOUS difference in the cost of ‘precious’ metals like Gold and Platinum and the cost of Silver! In fact, at these rates, Silver is nearly 99% less expensive than gold! There is a downside to silver though, it’s harder to maintain in a continually beautiful state, because silver tarnishes as it’s exposed to moisture in the air. That means that you need to polish your Sterling Silver ring regularly to keep tarnish away.
Silver is also a fairly soft metal, like gold, which makes them both much more susceptible to scratching than a harder metal, like Platinum, would be. You’ve probably heard of Mohs Scale of Hardness. It’s a 10 point scale that ranks various materials based on their hardness, so it’s easy to compare their relative hardness. The scale arranges materials in order of hardness, assigning it’s lowest number (1) to it’s softest material, and it’s highest number (10) to it’s hardest material. All other materials fall somewhere in-between and are assigned a number that reflects their relative hardness. Here’s how the metals that we’ve been discussing compare.
Mohs Scale of Hardness Rating
Relative hardness is an important consideration because it means scratch resistance, however, hardness obviously has to be a consideration that’s balanced with style preferences, cost, and other factors to find your ideal metal option.
Gold comes in several varieties. There’s traditional yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. It’s common for pricing to be the same (or close to the same) for these color options. There are also different quality levels based on the purity of the gold (the percentage of the metal that is made up of gold versus other metal additives). The common options are 10k (karat), 14k, and 18k, for rings. The higher the number, the higher the quality—and the higher the price!
Jumping from 14k to 18k, for example, will likely cost 20% to 30% more.
Platinum has a beautiful light look and is very hard and scratch-resistant. It’s interesting that gold is more expensive than Platinum when you buy it by the ounce, but Platinum is more expensive than gold when you purchase it as a ring. There are two potential reasons for the strange price discrepancy. First of all, pure gold is very soft. Gold has to be mixed with other metals to make it harder for jewelry applications. By essentially diluting the gold with harder, and less expensive, metals, it brings down the amount of actual gold that goes into each gold ring—and therefore the cost of each one.
Second, it’s very difficult to work with Platinum versus a much softer metal like gold. Platinum typically costs 30% to 60% more than 14k gold, depending on the design of the ring and where you buy it.
If you’d like to explore the best selection of gold and Platinum Moissanite rings that I’ve found, click HERE. They have a really beautiful collection of rings and great prices. After finding a ring that you like on the site, you can click the “See this style in other options” link beneath the ring to view the same ring design with other Moissanite and metal options! Looks like for a limited time, they’re also offering a $75 discount on $500+ purchase, when you use the coupon code DAZZLE at checkout.
Plated rings have a coating of one metal that’s covering a base (or core) that’s composed of some other (typically less expensive) type of metal. Plated rings can have the appearance of being far more expensive than they actually are—because the plating gives the impression that the entire ring is made of the same material as the topcoat.
Plating can help you to ‘have your cake … and eat it too’!
Imagine crafting a ring with Sterling Silver at $18/ounce and then just plating it with whatever precious metal you find most attractive (Rose Gold, Yellow Gold, Rhodium, or Platinum). Or taking an inexpensive, but soft, metal (like silver) and plating it with a MUCH harder metal, like Platinum or Palladium—you end up with an inexpensive ring that’s as scratch resistant as a solid Platinum ring.
Because plating doesn’t use a lot of material, you can have the look of a solid gold or platinum ring without the cost. If the plating is done well, the ring should last you for several years before you’ll have to worry about replating. It’s sometimes the ideal solution for couples on a tight budget.
Here’s a great example, I found this 1-carat (6.5 mm) Moissanite ring that’s mounted on a Platinum plated silver ring (meaning that the Sterling Silver base metal is coated in Platinum). The ring is an incredible value at just $199! When you’re saving so much, a quality plated ring, with great reviews from past buyers, could make a lot of sense.
Some couples also stick with unplated Sterling Silver. That’s a viable option, especially if you’re willing to clean the ring regularly, and you plan to upgrade the ring within the next few years.
Here are a few potential challenges with plated rings:
Thin plating won’t last very long
Cheap and sometimes dangerous metals can be underneath the plating
Plating has to be periodically reapplied
Buy from reputable retailers and manufacturers that have a solid history of happy customers, and reputation to protect. If possible, read product reviews related to the specific ring that you’re thinking of purchasing. Buy from a company with a return policy or a solid warranty if possible. Avoid plated mystery metal at all costs, meaning that you simply shouldn’t buy a ring if you don’t know, or aren’t comfortable, with the base metal that it’s made out of.
I purchased an inexpensive ring last year and gave it to my wife to wear daily. I wanted to see how it would hold up to everyday use. It had a CZ stone that was set on a copper ring with Rhodium plating. I thought the solitaire was really pretty when it arrived. I thought it looked like a much more expensive ring when it initially arrived.
As requested, my wife wore the new ring every day—the same way that she would normally wear her diamond or Moissanite rings. By the time she reached the end of the first month, the Rhodium plating had already worn off the ring, exposing the copper base metal. Not only did it look TERRIBLE, but it also started to turn her finger green!
I don’t mean to say that you should NEVER get a plated ring, there’s definitely a time and place for plating, but you have to be aware of the risks going in.
If you’re on a REALLY tight budget and NEED to save as much money as possible on your ring, a plated ring might make sense, but please follow these guidelines as you shop for the right ring.
Read buyer reviews (especially updated reviews from past buyers that are updating their experience several months or years down the line). If their ring fell apart a few months after buying it, they may come back to warn others.
Make sure that Sterling Silver is the base metal for your ring.
Look for information on how thickly the plating was applied (ie: triple coat).
The plating should typically use a metal like Rhodium or Gold.
Again, just be mentally prepared for the fact that you’ll likely need to replate the ring again in 3 to 10 years (give or take). The cost of replating will depend on the style of your ring, how manual the application will need to be, the material used for plating, and how thickly it needs to be applied. In general, replating will generally run anywhere from $40 to $200.
Strategies For Keeping Costs Down
We’ve discussed some of the components of Moissanite ring cost, so you can better understand the areas where you can save money on your ring if you need to. Here’s a summary of those options (as well as a few additional items that haven’t been mentioned so far).
Choose a thinner band. Less metal means a lower overall cost.
Go with a plated ring. Sterling Silver plated with either gold or Platinum is best.
Use a very small Moissanite center stone to keep things simple and save costs.
Get a smaller center stone, and then add a halo of tiny stones as well if needed.
Buy a used Moissanite Ring (but BE CAREFUL).
Buy your Moissanite stone and your ring separately, then have a jeweler assemble the ring for you. Sometimes you can buy the components cheaper than the finished ring.
Sometimes there important factors unrelated to the physical characteristics of the ring that also influence the ultimate price of your Moissanite ring in a significant way. For example, where you buy your ring. There are some brands that have a lot of public awareness and brand recognition because of effective marketing efforts. Buyers are sometimes willing to pay a premium for products from known (recognized) suppliers because they have familiarity and assume higher quality.
You can sometimes come out ahead when you purchase from a lesser-known brand, if you end up saving money and getting a high-quality piece of jewelry. Reading buyer reviews will help you gauge the quality of the product and the satisfaction level of past buyers.
Part of the premium that you pay with certain retailers covers benefits like generous return policies, warranties, and other perks (like resizing or engraving) that might come with your ring. To view the price objectively, you should determine how important each of those inclusions is to you, and what it might cost you to purchase them separately (if they’re even available elsewhere). In other words, there’s a real value with some of the benefits that some sellers offer, that should be considered.
Of course, these are just ideas. You can pick and choose the suggestions that seem to fit best and get you to your target price range. Some of these strategies can be utilized with the list of Moissanite rings outlined below.
Here are some examples of Moissanite rings that fall in a very frugal price range of $100 to $800:
A 6.5 mm (1-carat) loose Moissanite stone will typically cost between $400 and $600 depending on the characteristics of the stone you select, and where you make the purchase. The cost of a fully finished Moissanite ring of the same size will vary based primarily on the type and amount of metal used, but as seen above, you’ll see rings ranging from under $100 up to several thousand and beyond.. By looking for slightly smaller stones or following the other options mentioned above for decreasing the cost of your Moissanite ring, you can bring your total costs down even further if needed.
Moissanite is much less expensive than diamonds, so it’s often tempting to buy a much larger stone than you could have afforded if you had chosen a diamond. Before you do though, take time to consider the following question …
With Moissanite, how big is too big? It’s best to purchase a Moissanite stone that’s 6.5mm (one-carat) or smaller if you want people to assume it’s a diamond. Very large diamonds are extremely expensive, so they’re often assumed to be fake even if they look real. Color related issues can also be more pronounced for larger stones.
If you want a Moissanite ring that looks almost identical to diamond, keep reading. We’ll discuss the various elements that you’ll want to give thought to so you can find the perfect stone and setting!
Will People Assume Your Moissanite is a Diamond or CZ?
When an ‘A-List’ celebrity walks the red carpet wearing a ring that has a diamond the size of a watermelon, few people question whether it’s real or not. It’s believable that they could own the world’s largest diamond ring because they’re uber-wealthy (or the ring is on loan from some designer). If you wore the same ring to work tomorrow, everyone would instantly assume it’s a Cubic Zirconia (CZ). Why? Because you probably aren’t uber-wealthy, and they know that.
It doesn’t matter how diamond-like the giant rock on your ring appears to be, because you aren’t the Queen of England, they’re going to assume it’s some kind of cheap imitation. CZ is probably what comes to mind first for most people when they think of diamond look-a-likes. There’s nothing wrong with Cubic Zirconia—unless you’re wearing Moissanite—and would prefer that people assume it’s a diamond.
Consider the flip side of the scenario that was just outlined. If you walk into the office tomorrow wearing a beautiful non-flashy ring with a .75 carat Moissanite stone that appears to be a diamond, is anyone likely to question what it’s made of? Nope, probably not! Why? Because a diamond of that size is something very common and believable. If it looks like a diamond, and isn’t an uncommonly-large size, they’ll typically assume that it is. They have no real reason to assume that it might be made of CZ or anything else.
So with that simple understanding in mind, we’ll come back to the question, how big is too big? According to one large-scale study, the average diamond ring is about 1.2 carats (and costs a little over $6,300). Based on those findings, if your ring is 1.2 carats or smaller, your ring is unlikely to stand out as being unusually large (and automatically presumed ‘fake’). I would advise that you even go a bit smaller than 1.2 carats though. Instead, keep your ring to 1 carat or less if it’s important to you that others believe you’re wearing a diamond. I’ll explain why in more detail below.
The stone size also depends on the size of your hands to some extent. If you’re buying online, you’ll want to try the ring on when it arrives to see how it feels and looks. Don’t be surprised if it feels too large (or small) initially. It often takes a week or two to really settle in and get used to your ring. If you have really petite hands, a smaller ring might make sense. A very common ring size can look A LOT larger on very small hands.
The opposite is also true, that larger hands might do well with a larger piece of Moissanite. The size relationship between the size of your hands and the size of your stone does influence size perception. A 2-carat Moissanite, for example, isn’t ALWAYS too large. Too large is often dependant on the specific styling of the stone and ring—and the size of the hands wearing the ring.
Issues With Huge Moissanite Stones
There are three potential issues with wearing huge moissanite stones. What do I mean by huge? At the most basic level, I mean wearing any Moissanite that’s very far beyond the diamond size you would be able to afford, right now, if you were to decide to purchase a diamond instead.
For example, very few people could afford to purchase a 5-carat colorless diamond—it would likely cost around $250,000. This 5-carat Moissanite stone, on the other hand, can be yours for just $479. Can you see why it’s so easy for people to overdo it on ring size, and ultimately buy a, very diamond looking, ring—that no one believes to be diamond? It happens all the time.
Here are three common issues related to oversized Moissanite stones:
Slight overtones and undertones of yellow or brown can be more obvious in large Moissanite stones that aren’t completely colorless. The smaller the stone, the more colorless it will appear to be. If you get an Enhanced Moissanite (something treated to make it more colorless, this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s also less common for round cut rings than it is for more square shapes.
‘Moody’ Moissy qualities are more frequently observed in larger stones. Moissanite (which is sometimes unofficially referred to as ‘Moissy’) can take on a strange temporary color tone when viewed from just the right angle under very bright natural light. Some feel like the change of hue is like a changing mood, so they’ll say their Moissanite is ‘moody.’
When my wife is driving, for example, she’ll sometimes glance as her hand and notice that her Moissanite ring has a greenish hue to it. If she moves her hand or walks indoors, the look of her ring will return to normal. Other people in the car can’t see the same color phenomenon that she can when she catches this effect because they’re seeing the stone from different angles.
Again, this phenomenon is only occasional, it’s only noticeable from a particular angle, and only under certain lighting conditions. This is also something that far more common with Moissanite stones that are larger than 6.5mm (1-carat). Sticking with a Moissanite stone that’s 1-carat or smaller will reduce the frequency with which you notice this temporary change in hue.
These three ‘issues’ are just things that you’ll want to be aware of if you want a ring that ultimately looks as similar to a diamond as possible.
How to Stand Out With a Smaller Moissanite Ring
Here are a few ideas to help your ring stand out without mounting an unusually large stone. If you want a moderately-sized ring that gets noticed, consider buying a colored Moissanite. You can get Moissanite in almost any color you can imagine. These stones essentially look like fancy colored diamonds. I wrote this separate post about all the fancy Moissanite colors that are produced. A pink or blue Moissanite stone could be a beautiful, and eye-catching, piece—without being oversized. For example, This pretty pink Moissanite ring is just under 1-carat and is set against white gold. It’s a head-turner, but costs less than $250! In reality, fancy colored diamonds are typically quite expensive too, but most people aren’t familiar with what they cost—because you don’t see them very often at your neighborhood jewelry store. Fancy colored Moissanite certainly does bring a splash of color and added personality to your ring though.
Creating a halo ring might be another good option to use (with or without colored stones). A halo around your center stone (essentially a circle of small diamonds that wrap all the way around the stone) often makes your ring look a little fancier and bigger, without causing people to instantly assume your ring has a ‘fake diamond’ on it. Here’s a great, and inexpensive, 1-carat Moissanite ring with a halo that I came across, for example.
A three-stone ring is another way to get more total carat weight on your ring (with each one being 1 carat or less), without having an unusually large center stone that screams “fake” at first glance.
What Will YOU Feel When You See Your Ring?
If you LOVE the look of a huge solitaire (something much larger than 1-carat), you should buy one and enjoy it. What matters more than what your ring is made of, and what OTHERS think of your ring, is what YOU think of your ring, and how it makes you feel every time you look at it.
The purpose of your ring really isn’t to impress others or win their approval. It’s something that’s a symbol of your love and commitment. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting your Moissanite ring to look just like a diamond ring. There’s also nothing wrong with being ‘loud and proud’ about the fact that you’re NOT wearing a diamond. Moissanite is a really cool diamond alternative with an incredible backstory and some really rare and interesting qualities.
So, If you really want to wear a softball-sized Moissanite stone, go for it. No, your family and friends won’t believe it’s a diamond, but if YOU love it, and it makes YOU happy to look at—that’s what matters most.
Moissanite stones that are larger than 6.7mm (1.2 carats) or so could appear to be larger than average, and therefore, potentially fake to others. In order to stay in a more common (and believable) size range, I recommend that you purchase a ring with Moissanite stone that’s no larger than 6.5 mm (1-carat). Of course, what you think of your ring is FAR more important than what others think of your ring, so don’t hesitate to purchase a much larger ring if it makes you happy, or you don’t particularly care whether other people assume the stone on your ring is a diamond or not. Your ring is a representation of your love and commitment. If you’re filled with warm feelings every time you look at it—that’s what’s ultimately most important!