Moissanite is the stone that’s most similar to diamond in terms of its look and other key characteristics. While your friends may not be able to tell your Moissanite from a diamond, can trained professionals with some common tools of the trade?
Will Moissanite Pass a Diamond Tester? Moissanite will often be misidentified as diamond by basic diamond testers because they only test heat conductivity and Moissanite is very similar to diamonds in that area. Testing electrical conductivity is a more certain way to distinguish the two stones. Some multi-testers can measure both.
Will your local jeweler or pawn shop have the right kind of tester on hand to positively distinguish Moissanite from Diamond? In this article, I’ll share the tools that can accurately distinguish the two stones—and those that simply can’t.
What Makes Moissanite Unique?
Moissanite is a natural material with a background that’s almost too incredible and mysterious to believe. The stone was first discovered in tiny fragments at the site of a meteor impact in an Arizona desert. Most natural Moissanite is still found at meteorite impact sites around the world—so it has obviously traveled quite some distance through space before making impact with earth. Moissanite is made of Silicon Carbide (SiC). There is evidence that the SiC grains that comprise most natural Moissanite “originates around carbon-rich Asymptotic giant branch stars. SiC is commonly found around these stars as deduced from their infrared spectra.” The French scientist that discovered it thought the specimen was diamond for many years. Eventually, it’s true nature was discovered. Synthetic production started soon after.
Moissanite is incredibly hard, in fact, the only stone that’s known to be harder is diamond. That made synthetic Moissanite a great (and more affordable) choice for many industrial applications (like industrial abrasives). Moissanite has been used in jewelry since the 1990s, but today’s quality standards are much younger. Over the past ten years or so, technology has advanced to the point that synthetic Moissanite can be truly colorless. This makes it a great diamond alternative for many jewelry applications. It has a beautiful diamond-like appearance and durability, but costs 90% less!
Moissanite has other characteristics that are worth noting. It conducts heat very similarly to diamond—but conducts electricity MUCH BETTER than diamond can. The difference in electrical conductivity is a more certain differentiator that can positively distinguish between Moissanite and Diamond.
The Value, and Limitations, of a Diamond Tester
The Diamond Tester has become standard gemological equipment. Your basic diamond tester only tests one thing—thermal conductivity, which means it can distinguish diamonds and moissanite from other stones, like Cubic Zirconia (CZ), but it typically CAN’T tell Moissanite and Diamonds apart (it registers both as diamond).
Heat conductivity isn’t exactly the same for Moissanite and Diamond, but it’s really close. Many diamond testers can’t perceive the small difference, others are fooled because they aren’t calibrated properly to pick up the slight difference in conductivity. Even with their limitations, Diamond Testers are still valuable tools for jewelers and gemologists, they just can’t be trusted to tell the full story. In order to differentiate diamonds from Moissanite, a second tool (or functionality) is required.
Moissanite is (very slightly) electrically conductive—so slightly, that you need specialized equipment to detect it. A device called a Moissanite Tester has been designed for that very purpose. Moissanite testers only measure electrical conductivity—so they can easily distinguish between diamonds and Moissanite because diamonds are not electrically conductive.
Moissanite isn’t unique as a stone that’s electrically conductive, there are a number of gemstones that share that quality, but, again, diamonds are not one of them. Having access to BOTH a Diamond Tester and a Moissanite Tester allows you to positively identify whether a particular stone is a diamond, Moissanite, or something else more consistently. If your Diamond Tester identifies a given stone as “diamond,” you’ll know that it’s either diamond or Moissanite. As a subsequent test, If your Moissanite Tester indicates that the stone is ‘Moissanite,’ you’ll have a positive identification (that it is, in fact, Moissy)—otherwise, you can be certain it’s diamond.
Again, because of the limitations of the standard Diamond Tester, you’ll also need to purchase a stand-alone Moissanite tester in order to get conclusive results.
The Advantages of a Multi-Tester for Identifying Moissanite
Multi-testers are the combination of a diamond tester and moissanite tester in one compact tool. They measure BOTH thermal AND electrical conductivity. Multi-testers are obviously more expensive, but there’s a convenience to only needing to have one tool on hand in order to get the information that you need on a particular stone.
As with all the tools that I’ve referenced so far, quality matters A LOT! You’ll find a wide range of instruments being offered. Accuracy and durability are obviously important considerations. The cheapest one isn’t always the one you want. On the flip side, the most expensive one isn’t always the best route either. Reviews from past buyers can be a huge help a lot. As you read those, you’ll be able to quickly weed out the models that won’t be a good fit.
Basic diamond testers start at about $15. A quality tester runs about $120. Here’s a link to the diamond tester that offers the best overall value. It’s available on Amazon and is accurate, small, and durable.
Moissanite only testers will likely cost a little more than $100. A multi-tester is probably a better way to go, overall, but this is the standalone Moissanite tester that I like best.
Most multi-testers start at about $250. Check out my favorite multi-tester on Amazon. It comes from a manufacturer with a solid reputation and offers the biggest bang for your buck, in my opinion.
Other Options for Testing Your Moissanite
You don’t always have to have a Diamond Tester and a Moissanite Tester (or a Multi Tester) in hand in order to differentiate diamond and Moissanite. There are a few simple tell-tale signs that you can look for to help you spot Moissanite when you don’t have your instruments with you.
You can look for signs of ‘double refraction’ through a jeweler’s loupe, for example, if you know what to look for. Double refraction happens when light is slowed, bent, and spit in two as it travels through certain stones. You only notice this characteristic when a trained eye views the stone under at least 10X magnification from the right angles (knowing what to look for). Double refraction makes the lines between facets look blurred and multiplied. When you look through a similar diamond, for example, from the same angle, you’d see one clean, sharp, line on the other side instead of multiple blurred lines.
Moissanite is intentionally cut so that it isn’t doubly refractive through the top (the table) of the stone. When you look through the table of a Moissanite stone, you’re viewing a singly refractive stone (from that angle). In order to witness the effect, you have to look just a little lower, through the crown-facet (the angled surface around the top portion of the ring … just below the flat table of the stone).
Moissanite isn’t alone in this interesting characteristic. The following stones are ALSO double refractive:
Critics of Moissanite (usually those selling diamonds or Cubic Zirconia), often talk about the double refractive properties of Moissanite as a bad thing. This is because double refraction is, at least partially, responsible for the abundance of colorful sparkle that Moissanite is known to produce.
The saying, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ comes to mind, because many faithful fans of Moissanite LOVE the fire (the colorful sparkle effect) that Moissanite produces. My mother is one that can NEVER get enough sparkle. Any characteristic that causes more sparkle is something she’s a big fan of! Double refraction doesn’t impact or diminish the beauty and charm of Moissanite in any way.
Another way to distinguish Moissanite from diamonds, without costly equipment, is by observing the amount of ‘fire’ that each stone has. In gemology, the term ‘fire’ refers to the colorful sparkles (or flashes) that you observe as you move the ring under light. A ring with a lot of colorful sparkles is said to be ‘fiery’. Diamonds have fiery properties, but they aren’t nearly as fiery as Moissanite.
Moissanites refractive index is considerably higher than diamond’s which is why Moissanite is more fiery.
The fiery nature of Moissanite is best observed with larger stones, as they’re being exposed to natural lighting. Some people (again, like my mother) LOVE the added colorful sparkle, but others aren’t fans because they think it makes their diamond look a little different than diamond might under certain lighting conditions. Some people refer to the fiery nature of stones as the ‘disco ball effect’ or the ‘rainbow effect.’ Identifying Moissanite, based on the amount of fire displayed by a given stone, becomes much more difficult as the stone size decreases.
One other, fairly low-tech, way to distinguish diamonds from Moissanite, is by comparing weight and size measurements.
The size of diamonds is communicated in terms of ‘Carats,’ which is actually a weight measurement. One-carat equals 200 milligrams (mm). Moissanite weighs 15% to 18% less than a diamond of equal size. This difference in stone density is why the size of Moissanite is typically communicated in mm rather than carats. If both were communicated in carats, then a 1 carat Moissanite would always be physically larger than a 1-carat diamond, for example.
Based on all of this, if you weigh and measure a diamond or Moissanite, you should be able to clearly distinguish the two.
Standard diamond testers can’t be trusted to accurately, and reliably, identify Moissanite. You’ll need to add a separate Moissanite tester, or get a multi-tool that tests both thermal and electrical conductivity, in order to get a dependable identification. If all else fails, there are also several low-tech ways that you can distinguish diamonds from Moissanite.
Is it possible to get a ring that will last for generations without taking on debt to buy a diamond? In this post, we’ll talk about buying a ring that will stand as a symbol of your love long after you’re gone—something you can pass on to future generations.
Will Moissanite Last Forever? Moissanite is considered a ‘forever stone,’ meaning that it’s hard enough to resist damage and wear over the long-term if properly cared for. It is the second hardest stone known to man, with a hardness rating of 9.25 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, but just like diamond, the stone isn’t indestructible.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a ring that’s intended to be handed down through multiple generations. In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll talk about the materials that are most durable, and the things that can be most destructive to your special ring.
The Sentimental Value Attached to Heirloom Rings
If you’ve done much reading about diamonds online, you’ll find the same general talking point rehearsed over-and-over. We’re told that diamonds are an investment. It’s insinuated that they hold their value—and even appreciate over time. The further insinuation, is that other stone choices are essentially worthless and have no resale value.
This has always been a frustrating contention to deal with because there is SO MUCH that’s wrong with it. This could be the subject for an entire post (a long one), but I’ll spare you my soapbox for now.
For now, I’ll just say that the typical diamond that’s used for jewelry DOESN’T even hold its value (much less appreciate). You’ll lose AT LEAST 30% of what you originally paid for your expensive diamond ring when you turn to resell it. That’s true whether you resell several weeks…or even several years after buying it. The appreciation line is pure garbage, to be honest. It’s a bald-faced lie that many people are surprised by this reality when they go to resell a diamond for the first time.
But wait … don’t diamonds appreciate? A SMALL portion of diamonds do (technically), but most won’t even be able to keep pace with inflation. If you buy a very unusual diamond (and these typically cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars) you may see some actual appreciation. If you’re not playing in that league, then you almost certainly won’t. If you want to learn a little more about the actual resale value of diamonds, and why they make TERRIBLE ‘investments,’ take a look at this article that I wrote on the subject.
Here’s my point, you CAN’T count on much monetary value from the ring that symbolizes your love, but you absolutely can build up a sentimental value that future family members wouldn’t trade for anything.
One aspect of the diamond lie regarding appreciation that has always bothered me, is that the monetary value of the diamond likely wouldn’t matter anyway. Why would you EVER sell your engagement or wedding ring? Why would your kids sell it if you left happy memories of love that they associate with it. It’s much more valuable as a symbol of the love that your kids and grandkids saw you share with your spouse.
Fortunately, Moissanite can hold that sentimental value as well as any diamond on the planet, and for a MUCH lower cost too!
An heirloom ring is one that’s passed down from generation-to-generation. It carries special significance because it represents the love of the people that future generations come from. That extra dimension of significance is truly priceless.
If a child, grandchild, or great-grandchild wants to make your heirloom ring part of their engagement or wedding, they could use the entire ring—or just the Moissanite stone in a setting of their choice.
The Greatest Threats to Ring Durability
While Moissanite is a hard stone, there’s no stone or gem that’s indestructible. With that in mind, here are the biggest threats to the longevity of most engagement and wedding rings.
Clouding (haze)/Oil slick
The hardness of Moissanite makes it more scratch-resistant than all stones other than diamonds. Since diamonds are harder, and can, therefore, scratch Moissanite, you have to be careful not to store diamonds and Moissanite together. If you mixed those stones together, the Moissanite could end up scratched. My wife has a diamond ring, a moissanite ring, and a CZ ring. When she takes them off, they all have to be stored in different drawers of her jewelry box so they never come in contact with each other.
Chipping or Breaking:
The harder a stone is, the more brittle it becomes. Hardness helps with scratch resistance, but makes the stone more vulnerable to damage from impacts. If you hit a diamond with a hammer, you can break it. You would actually have a more difficult time breaking a piece of Moissanite because it’s not as hard (brittle) as a diamond. By the same token, Cubic Zirconia would be more difficult to break with a hammer than Moissanite, because it’s a softer material.
Resistance to both scratching and breaking are, obviously, important. Since Moissanite is more scratch-resistant than any stone other than diamond, and less vulnerable to chipping and breaking than diamond, it strikes a good balance with the key qualities of durability.
This occurs when a stone takes on a white haze over time. The original Cubic Zirconia stones that were sold in the 1970s, for example, would cloud up, taking on a milky appearance, as they aged. That haze robbed the stone of its sparkle and cosmetic appeal. CZ manufacturers soon found stabilizing agents that corrected the issue, so that’s no longer a common problem for the stone. Moissanite is a stable stone that doesn’t cloud over as it ages.
A temporary clouding, or haze, can affect any type of stone as dirt and oils collect on the surface of the ring. A good cleaning is all that’s required in order to restore the original sparkle of the stone. Exposure to harsh chemicals can also affect any stone in various ways. It is possible for certain chemicals to etch, or affect the color, or some stones. Both Moissanite and Diamond are typically pretty fuss-free rings that aren’t extremely sensitive, but it’s still a really good idea to remove your ring before exposing your hands to cleaning agents and other chemicals.
A variation of clouding that can happen with Moissanite, is surface haze that looks like an oil slick on your ring. This isn’t common … but can happen. It’s believed that it’s caused, most commonly, by exposure to chemicals. The oil slick is a temporary condition. There’s a specific cleaning process to follow if you ever notice that developing on the surface of your ring. After following it, the ‘oil slick’ will be gone. We’ve never had this happen with my wife’s Moissanite ring, so again, it’s something that happens frequently, or that’s extremely common.
Weak prongs can lead to lost stones and a big replacement expense. The type of metal that you use for your ring will have a big influence on how strong and long-lasting the prong are that hold your stone in place. When prongs get caught on things (clothing, countertops, and other everyday items) it can bend them over time, leading to metal fatigue—especially if some sort of chemical reaction has already weakened it.
I recently posted an article about the damage that saltwater and Chlorine can do to some rings (particularly gold rings). You can find that here. Both saltwater and Chlorine can attack the connection points of your prongs, weakening them, and leaving your Moissanite susceptible to slipping out and getting lost.
A friend of mine told me a story recently about a diamond that he found lying in the middle of the floor in a busy airport. Some poor passenger much have had prongs bend or break, allowing her diamond to slip out of its setting. That kind of thing happens all the time!
How to Protect Your Moissanite Ring
In order for a ring (any ring) to continue to look new for generations, you need to take some reasonable precautions.
Take your ring off before engaging in yard work or physical activities. This prevents accidental bumps and scrapes, but will also keep it much cleaner.
Remove your ring before using strong chemical cleaning agents.
Insure the ring (or self-insure) to protect the ring from loss, theft, or damage. Here’s an article I wrote on insuring lab-created diamond rings, but the process and information really works the same for Moissanite.
Buy a cheap CZ ring to wear when you head to the beach or engage in physical activity.
Clean your Moissy regularly and then dry it thoroughly.
Ring Metals That Can Stand the Test of Time
This isn’t a good place to cut corners if you’re looking for a ring that will really pass the test of time. You want something low maintenance and durable. Your best best is Platinum, but it can hardly be considered a ‘frugal’ ring option. Even though this metal is rather expensive, you may be able to fit it into your budget because of the money you’re saving by going with Moissanite instead of a more expensive stone. Platinum is a beautiful silvery metal that isn’t negatively impacted by many of the chemicals and agents (like saltwater) that Gold is.
Gold would be a less expensive option that’s still a good bet. It’s a softer metal that’s more susceptible to scratching, but gold rings can last for generations if properly cared for.
I would avoid buying any kind of plated ring if you’re looking for an heirloom legacy piece, simply because those will need to be replated occasionally (every 3 to 10 years). If you want a ring that can be handed down to future generations, it’s important to choose something that will be low-maintenance for you—and for them. For this same reason, I would also avoid Silver for rings you intend to keep in the family. Silver oxidizes over time, so it needs to be cleaned regularly in order to remain beautiful. Plating it in Palladium or another metal can be a good way to get a more expensive look on a less expensive ring, but again, we want to avoid plating for rings that you hope to keep in the family for generations.
Your beautiful Moissanite ring can become a family heirloom that future generations treasure, but you have to take reasonable steps to protect and care for it—so your ring can look its best through the decades. ‘Diamonds are forever,’ at least that’s what industry marketers want you to believe, but so is Moissanite. In reality, Moissanite can provide a similar multi-generational durability for roughly 10% of what the diamond typically costs!
Moissanite can provide a gorgeous ring, at an incredible price—but where can you buy with confidence, knowing that you won’t end up paying too much or regretting the purchase? This article will help you avoid wasting time and money on this really important purchase.
Where should I buy Moissanite? It’s best to purchase Moissanite online if you can find a trustworthy site. It’s often difficult to find local jewelers that carry Moissanite because it detracts from more lucrative diamond sales. Even if you find it locally, prices, selection, and return policies will likely be much better online.
The popularity of Moissanite engagement and wedding rings is exploding, so more retailers than ever offering it. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll guide you through important considerations that will help you find the right ring and your best overall value.
Buying Moissanite Online is Your Best Option
Not all online retailers are not created equal, but you’re generally going to be much better off buying online. I’ll help you find the ideal online retailer a little later, so you can avoid the pain of a poor purchase.
Online beats the in-store experience for the following six reasons:
I’ll provide more information on each of those benefits below, but I first wanted to mention that I’ve done extensive research to find the best online source for Moissanite. Click here to find out specifically who we trust to deliver the very best value and why we chose them. This is the group that I buy my Moissanite from. Hopefully, this saves you many hours of research time.
When you find the right ring, you know it! The ring just feels perfect—like it matches their personality. With something as special, and long-lasting, as an engagement ring or wedding ring, you don’t want to just ‘settle.’ This is why the amount of selection available is SO important.
You want the shape and color of your Moissanite stone to be perfect. You also want a band design and material that will be durable, but that also feels like a perfect styling for the person that’s going to be wearing it.
Even local jewelers that carry some Moissanite, typically don’t have much variety on hand. When you’re choosing from a selection of 5 or 10 rings, you probably won’t find a ring that feels like THE perfect one. The online retailers that carry Moissanite vary wildly in terms of selection, but Moissanite is a side business for most—just ONE of the things that they offer. Yes, their selection might be better than your local jeweler, but they’re FAR more limited than some retailers that focus EXCLUSIVELY on Moissanite.
Again, when I talk about the importance of selection, that relates to the size, cut, and color of the Moissanite stone—but also the band that the stone is mounted to. When you’re given the option to choose from materials like silver, gold, and platinum, you can match your style and durability preferences with your budget. Retailers that ONLY offer silver or gold, for example, may not have what you really need.
The actual styling of the ring is also a HUGE consideration for finding the RIGHT one. A robust selection means that whether you want something traditional or unique, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for.
While some jewelers might carry a limited selection of pre-assembled Moissanite rings in their showroom, they’re unlikely to offer the loose Moissanite stones that you can buy without the ring that it’s normally set in. Loose stones provide the flexibility to set a new beautiful stone into a setting that might have been inherited or purchased separately elsewhere. Buying your stone and mounting separately can sometimes provide additional savings. I posted an article about buying loose lab-created diamonds. It’s worth reading because loose Moissanite really works the same way. You’ll learn the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of buying a loose stone instead of a pre-finished ring.
Buying online can also provide a lot of additional flexibility to customize the look of your ring. Instead of choosing among finished rings, you can pair the stone that you like with the metal type and color that you prefer. You can then choose the color of the side-stones and other accent stones that adorn other parts of the ring. If you want a colorless center stone with pink side-stones, for example, you can have it! These customizations leave you with a very affordable ring that feels completely unique and stylized by the time you’re done designing it online.
Local jewelers have to pay for spacious showrooms, displays, local advertising, and sales staff. They sell to a local crowd. Online retailers can benefit from economies of scale. That essentially means, that since they can sell to buyers around the globe, and therefore deal in higher volumes, their cost can be driven down. They also don’t need showrooms or sales staff. The savings that online retailers realize can be passed on to their buyers in the form of lower prices.
In some cases, buying online can also save you from having to pay the sales tax that you would normally need to pay if you purchased a ring locally. The sales tax rate where I live is around 6.85%, so if I purchased a $1200 Moissanite ring, my taxes would end up costing me an extra $82.20. That’s a big deal if all your wedding-related expenses are adding up and you’re on a tight budget. It might be nice to put that $82 toward the cost of your cake or invitations, right?! Buying your ring online could allow you to realize those tax savings (depending on the laws where you live).
For those that live in really rural areas, buying online allow you to avoid excessively high prices at local establishments. Because some of these stores in very small areas serve a fairly captive audience (people without many local businesses to choose from), They can sometimes get away with inflated prices. Shopping online gives you much more affordable options and a great deal more choice.
Product reviews from past customers can give you insight into common problems that have surfaced over-time with a particular ring. Positive reviews might touch on what they love most about the ring and offer reassurance. Negative reviews might point out issues that you weren’t aware of and never considered.
Not all online retailers collect and display reviews for individual products. While I wouldn’t necessarily avoid shopping with an online retailer that didn’t have them, I’d certainly favor buying from one that did. Even the sites that collect and display reviews may not have them for every ring style. A relatively small percentage of buyers tend to leave reviews. It’s typically only buyers that are extremely happy or very angry. Lack of reviews on a particular ring isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I tend to feel like no news is good news. In other words, if there are no reviews on a particular ring, at least I know that none of their buyers have been so disappointed in their purchase that they felt compelled to leave a review about it.
Reviews are less commonly available through a local retailer. They just aren’t as important when clients come into your store to buy. Couples try on rings until they feel comfortable with a particular ring style and then buy it. It’s far more common for the online buyer to want to take time to read about the thoughts and experiences of past purchasers before buying. Local retailers often serve a much smaller audience, and also have different dynamics. If someone buys in their store, that customer is unlikely to take time to go online to find and review the same product later.
Have you ever purchased some clothing item off the rack that you LOVED in the store, but hated once you got it home and actually tried it on? The same thing often happens with rings. Whether you purchase online or in a store, you might have second thoughts in the days following your purchase—maybe the ring your picked ISN’T the right one. It’s in these moments that return policies are important.
Did you know that jewelry stores often use special lighting in their showrooms to make their rings look more appealing and sparkly? Knowing that, is it any wonder that your feelings about a particular ring might change once you get it home (under normal lighting conditions)?
Policies definitely vary by store, but oftentimes, local jewelers won’t accept returns on their rings once you leave the store. Online retailers, on the other hand, almost always allow returns if you aren’t satisfied. That only makes sense, when you make your buying decision based on the pictures. You may need to SEE the ring in person, or try it on, to see if you really love it as much as you thought you would.
The return policy protects you in case you (or your sweetheart) doesn’t love the style of the ring after all, but it also could protect your money in the unlikely event that things don’t work out and you no longer need the ring.
TIP: Pay for your ring with a credit card…even if you can afford to pay cash. Paying with the card, and then using your cash to pay off the card gives you some added protections. If you later find that there’s a serious quality issue with the ring, that the ring isn’t made of what they told you it was made of, or the ring breaks in some way, you might be able to force a refund by disputing the transaction through your credit card company. It’s not a certain route to a refund, but it’s a great back up plan, and helpful added protection.
Driving from store-to-store shopping a thin selection of Moissanite rings can be nerve-racking and time-consuming. Buying online allows you to shop and compare several reputable online retailers before choosing your ring. Once chosen, your ring is shipped straight to your door—you literally never have to leave your home to access to the largest inventories, and best values, available anywhere.
If you make a mistake on the size, returns and replacements are also incredibly easy and efficient! Even if you just end up wanting something like a different stone color, shape, or type of metal you can return the ring you have to get the ring that you want.
Avoid Risky Sellers Online
The larger and more established the retailer that you’re buying from online, the better. Ok, you’re not necessarily safer with a company that’s been open 7 years over a company that’s been open 5 years, but you may be taking a risk if you purchase from a fairly new or unknown organization.
I would also STRONGLY recommend NOT buying from individuals online (rings being shipped from other locations after you pay an individual for them). There are a few platforms that act as intermediaries for private sellers (verifying that the product is what the seller claims it is), I’d be much more comfortable in that type of transaction. I wouldn’t want to buy a ring off an auction or crafting site though—I’ve heard too many horror stories! Sometimes sellers on those platforms intentionally deceive their buyers, delivering a different stone or material in the ring they deliver than what they advertised. The problem is that few people are going to have a Moissanite ring graded…so they may never learn that their ‘Moissanite’ stone is actually made from thick glass or CZ for example. Buyers might think they scored the deal of a lifetime, but they may have actually been taken advantage of.
Some sellers on these platforms accidentally sell something that isn’t a genuine product. They source their rings through China just believe that they received the product that they purchased (high-quality Moissanite rings). I’ve seen this happen a lot actually. Individual resellers don’t always do the due diligence that they should on the inventory that they buy. There are two victims when this kind of scam surfaces, but that’s little consolation because you’re still out whatever you spent on the ring.
Warranties for Moissanite Rings
When you purchase from small or independent sellers, the item that you get may not look like the images on their site. If you aren’t happy with the look, you might find yourself stuck with a ring that the seller refuses to exchange. If it breaks or you discover a manufacturing defect, you may find it difficult to get help and support to resolve the issue.
You’ve heard the expression, a warranty is only as strong as the company that issues it, right? Well, small independent sellers generally aren’t strong or stable, so it’s very much a roll of the dice when you purchase from them. Again, I’d suggest that you stick to buying from larger, more well known, and reputable sellers.
The Disadvantages of Buying Online
While there are MANY advantages to purchasing online, there are a few inconveniences too. For example, you can’t go down to a local business location to deal with a problem in-person if an issue arises when you buy from an online-only retailer. You probably wouldn’t want to do that anyway—but when you buy online, you typically don’t have a choice other than email (and possibly phone) communication.
For those that are either spontaneous…or major procrastinators, a shipping delay of even a day or two can be an issue. In those cases, you might be willing to pay more or choose from a more limited selection in order to have immediate access to your ring.
The inability to see and feel the ring on your hand immediately might also be considered a disadvantage of buying online. While the images, and sometimes even videos, of rings that you’re interested in, are incredibly helpful, nothing beats seeing and feeling the ring in person. The compensating factor for online buyers is the fact that they can easily return a ring if they don’t love the way it looks or feels, but that requires a little shipping time. If you’re planning to propose in a day or two, you might not have time for returns and replacements (unless you present the ring you have when you propose and exchange for the more ideal ring afterward possibly).
You can probably find something RIGHT NOW at the mall or a local jeweler, but you’re more likely to find something RIGHT when you shop the much larger selections and lower prices available online. You’ll also have greater peace of mind when you purchase online because return policies are typically much more generous than you’ll find with a local retailer. You can find info on the online Moissanite retailer that we trust most here. I purchase rings from them. They offer the highest quality Moissanite that you can find anywhere, a great selection of loose stones and beautiful settings, really fair prices, and the most solid reputation in the industry!
If you’re concerned about getting a Moissanite ring that has a yellowish tint to it, you want to find ways to make a Moissanite that you already own to look more colorless, or you’re worried that your stone might yellow over time, keep reading, because we’ll address all fo those issues (and more) below.
Why does Moissanite look yellow? Stones made in nature, or in a lab, often have a yellow hue to them. Moissanite is no exception. The cause is often elements, like Nitrogen, that get trapped as the stone forms or the extreme heat and pressure of the creation process. More colorless versions are often available but sell for higher prices.
If you prefer Moissanite that’s colorless, or near-colorless, keep reading. We’ll help you understand how to steer clear of the more tinted stones.
Different Eras and Classes of Moissanite
Just like lab-created diamonds, Moissanite has seen major strides in product quality and selection over the past 10 years. Older Moissanite more commonly had a yellow overtone to it. The technology just didn’t exist to produce truly colorless stones.
If the stones from older Moissanite rings were graded on the same D to Z color scale that diamonds are generally graded on today, they would likely fall somewhere in the range of ‘G’ through ‘J’ (at best).
Today, Moissanite is available in a wider range of shades and colors than ever before. You can now purchase a Moissanite stone that could rate ‘D’ or ‘E’ (completely colorless or nearly colorless) on the diamond color scale…and STILL save a BOATLOAD of money over the cost of a comparable diamond!
A Yellow Hue is Common in Many Types of Stones & Gems
A slightly yellowish hue to some stones isn’t unique to Moissanite. In fact, the vast majority of natural diamonds have a yellow hue to them too. Even lab-grown diamonds often have a yellow tint, in fact, I published an article about this several months ago. Most diamond buyers don’t buy “colorless” (DEF) diamonds—especially when they’re looking to wear a larger stone. Colorless diamonds (particularly larger ones) are much more rare and expensive. Want proof? I just researched prices with a trusted online diamond retailer. Here’s what I found…
A two-carat diamond with VS1 clarity, an Excellent cut, and a J color-grade starts at about $12,000. If you’re determined to get a colorless version (a D grade) of the same diamond, it’s going to cost you just over $24,000. That’s 100% more expensive, based only on the difference in the gem’s color.
Again, Moissanite also offers you the ability to choose a slightly colored option at a lower price or a completely colorless stone for a higher price. A 2.2 carat Moissanite that falls in the G, H, I spectrum is about $1,100. The same 2.2 carat stone in a D color (completely colorless) runs $1,600.
Colorless Moissanite is 94% less expensive than the colorless diamond that’s also .2 carats smaller in this case! My purpose in sharing this pricing is to illustrate how color impacts price. The fact that some Moissanite stones have a little more yellow tint than others is often a good thing—because it gives buyers greater ability to make ‘strategic trade-offs’ in order to get the ring they want—at the price they NEED. If they want a larger stone, they might be willing to take a slightly tinted center stone in order to get the look of the larger stone size that they’re after, while still staying within the confines of their budget.
When I mention a yellow tint to some Moissanite, please don’t misunderstand. The distinction between various color options is typically pretty slight. Check out the side-by-side comparison of three different grades of Moissanite in the following video. You can see a difference if you look closely, but it’s a fairly subtle distinction between each stone.
If you want to save money on your stone, but also want to minimize the yellowish appearance of a particular stone that you’re considering, the color of your band could make a really a big difference. If you get a stone that has a slight tint to it, you’ll probably want to avoid light-colored metals like white gold or platinum. Using yellow gold, for example, will help to camouflage any color that’s in your ring. It really does make a difference.
On the flip side, you may be wasting your money, if you spend extra to get a completely colorless ring Moissanite and then set it on a yellow-gold band for example. The color of the gold can reflect off of the stone, making it look slightly tinted. Colorless stones often look best when they’re set against a light-colored setting.
When you place a Moissanite stone that has a yellow overtone against a light-colored band (as shown below), the color that’s in the stone becomes far more prominent.
Will Moissanite Gradually Yellow Over Time?
There are several varieties of stones with coloring that’s impacted by exposure to the sun or other common elements, but Moissanite isn’t one of them. It’s a stable stone, so its colors won’t change as time passes. The color that you see when you first buy or receive your Moissanite, is the exact same color that you’ll see when you look at it decades from now.
Tips for Buying Colorless Moissanite & Keeping it Colorless
If you like the look of colorless Moissanite, I have several buying tips that should help.
Buy high-quality Moissanite from trusted retailers. Don’t go for the cheapest stone that you can find. Quality often costs just a little more, but it’s a small investment when you’re talking about a lifetime of usage, and the difference in quality can be substantial. We share information on the company that we like most HERE.
Purchase smaller Moissanite stones. Small stones always look more colorless than larger stones. The same is true with mined diamonds. Clustering smaller stones with poorer coloring can be a strategy for saving money, while still having the look of colorless stones.
Stick to brilliant round cut or cushion cut Moissanite. The cut can make a real difference in how colorless a given stone appears. Brilliant round cuts channel more light back up through the table of the stone, which can help it appear more colorless that it would be if it were cut in some other shape.
Remove your ring before cleaning with harsh chemicals! While Moissanite is a pretty fuss-free stone, you should avoid contact with harsh chemicals. Not because of potential color change specifically, but just because you never know the kind of impact that contact with those agents might have on any given stone. I wrote a whole post on protecting your Moissanite that may want to review.
Temporary Yellow or Gray Hue on Moissanite
Because we’ve only been talking about inherent, or permanent, color qualities to this point, I wanted to take a moment to let you know about temporary (and fairly infrequent) color variation that can happen because of certain lighting conditions and viewing angles with Moissanite. This is a very temporary color phenomenon that’s common to Moissanite where the stone takes on a short-lived yellow undertone.
I gave my wife a Moissanite ring for our anniversary about six months ago. She has mentioned several times over the past six months that she has seen the stone take on a light yellow undertone while she’s driving with her hands are sitting high on the wheel. It only seems to happen on very bright sunny days, and only from a very particular angle. When she moves the position of her left hand, or heads into different lighting, completely normal coloring returns.
Again, the effect is the result of lighting and angles, meaning that if someone were beside you looking at the same ring, they may not see an undertone that you spot for a brief moment, because they’re viewing the ring from a different angle. Here’s a picture of my wife’s ring.
I took pictures of the ring, from lots of different angles, for nearly an hour, trying to catch glimpses of the yellow hue that I mentioned above. It’s not an easy thing to do, but my wife confirmed that the following image is a good representation of the yellow undertone that she sometimes catches sight of as she drives. Again, once she moves her hand, the ring returns to fully normal coloring.
Many happy Moissanite owners that I’ve communicated with through the years actually love this characteristic of their Moissanite ring. They feel like it’s something fun and unique about their stone. Since it’s temporary, and because it’s something distinctive and special about Moissanite, they really enjoy it when they catch those moments.
You can now purchase Moissanite that has a slight yellow hue, or completely colorless versions of the stones. You can even find fancy colored options (check out the related posts section below for more information on those). Because you can count on the color of your ‘Moissy’ to stay the same throughout the years, and because Moissanite is such a scratch-resistant stone, it makes a wonderful forever stone that doesn’t have to come bundled with a mountain of debt!
If you like the look of diamonds, but need something less expensive, Moissanite might be the perfect fit!
How much cheaper is moissanite than diamond? A one-carat diamond with reasonable cut, color, and clarity will typically sell for $4,000 to $5,000 or more. A Moissanite of similar size and quality will typically sell for about $600. That’s a savings of at least 85%. Total savings of 90% are actually very common when buying Moissanite over Diamond.
Moissanite looks very similar to diamond and it’s also an incredibly hard stone. So, why would it be so much less expensive? Six key reasons for the substantial price gap are outlined below.
The Current Cost Gap for Diamonds and Moissanite
The cost difference between Diamonds and Moissanite is significant. In fact, I just checked with a well-respected diamond retailer that typically offers very competitive pricing. If I’m looking for a mined diamond that is a ‘G’ or better for coloring, a VS1 or better for clarity, and a ‘Very Good’ or better for cut, the least expensive diamond that they offer right now is $5,490.
A 1 carat (6.5 mm) Moissanite stone, with characteristics that are similar to the diamond mentioned above, costs about $600. That’s an 89% savings, totaling $4,890! Getting married is often an expensive proposition. Between the reception, the cake, the dress, the honeymoon, and much more—the costs pile up fast. If you can save almost $5,000 on your ring while still getting something that’s beautiful and durable (that looks very similar to diamond), you may be able to more easily cover all of the OTHER expenses that are also important components of your special day.
Six Key Reasons that Moissanite is Cheaper than Diamonds
First, What’s NOT to Blame: Production Costs
Diamonds are most commonly exhumed from the earth through mining operations. It’s estimated that 1750 tons of earth has to be excavated, on average, for every carat that’s found. While much of the work can be done with assistance from dynamite and large earth moving machinery, a great deal is still manual labor with picks and shovels.
On the surface, it’s easy to dismiss the high cost of diamonds as a simple function of the costs associated with finding and mining a diamond. When you look into the public record reports of industry giants, it’s often shocking just how low those costs actually are. After all, labor is incredibly inexpensive in most locations where these operations are taking place.
In 2015, De Beers released information showing that their average cost per carat had fallen from $111 the prior year to just $104! Remember the retail price on that 1-carat diamond that I mentioned above ($5,490)? Where is the other $5,387 going? It’s obvious that mind diamonds enjoy incredibly healthy profit margins! Costs may be a little higher for some producers, but this is probably a good ballpark representation of production cost for most mined diamonds producers.
Moissanite is a natural stone, but it’s so scarce that 100% of all Moissanite being used for rings is laboratory grown. Moissanite manufactures don’t publish their production costs, so it’s unclear how much lower they actually are than the cost of mining a diamond (if at all), but it’s clear that while production cost might account for a very small part of the cost difference between these two stones—it only has a minimal impact because diamonds are relatively inexpensive for the large mining companies to acquire.
Think about it this way, if diamonds typically cost about $104 per carat to mine (as noted above), and Moissanite only costs $4 per carat to produce (which it doesn’t … just using easy numbers for illustration purposes). That’s a large production cost difference ($100)—but not nearly as large as the price difference when they’re sold at retail (thousands and thousands of dollars). That’s how we know that production cost isn’t a big factor. We know what diamonds cost to produce, and while we don’t know exactly what it costs to produce a comparable Moissanite, it can’t be less than $0 … so the production cost gap can’t be large enough to explain the large gap on the retail end.
So if production cost isn’t the thing that makes diamonds so much more expensive, what is?
Reason #1: Moissanite Doesn’t Have Collusion or Artificial Scarcity
Folks in the diamond industry, often point to the rarity of diamonds as one of the major reasons that they are better and more valuable (in their eyes) than quality simulant stones like Moissanite. They point to the pricing trends for diamonds, over many decades, as evidence of their rarity and value.
In reality, the rarity of diamonds is mostly contrived. It’s about as real as WWE wrestling (sorry for the spoiler, if you’re a fan that didn’t know yet)!
Here’s the deal, the laws of supply and demand tell us that prices go up when supply is less than demand. Knowing this, the diamond industry (led by De Beers and its related companies) has strategically controlled the quantity of diamonds that they release into the market every year. In that sense, they operate very much like the oil cartel. When gas prices go up, it isn’t necessarily because oil has become rare—it’s because the cartel decided to drive prices up by releasing less oil. Whenever they choose, they can release more of their reserves to bring costs back down too.
Here’s an interesting case study in using supply and demand as weapons in another industry. These same tactics are being used by key players in the mined diamond industry as they try to ward off the threat of competition.
The oil cartel also uses the principle of supply and demand as a weapon to chase off unwelcome competition when needed. Several years ago, companies in states like Utah and Colorado began producing crude oil from oil shale. Technology had improved, and prices had risen, to the point that the economics of the process made sense. The oil cartels took notice and decided to release a lot more oil into the market, for a time, to drive prices down. Yes, that means they get less per barrel in the short term, but it also means that oils share production will become unprofitable.
Over a relatively short period of time, fuel prices fell from more than $3 per gallon to about $1.60 per gallon. With prices that low, the companies producing oil from oil shale were losing money on every barrel that they produced. The cartels were sure that they would soon close up shop and be driven out of business. In reality, that period of economic struggle just made those producers more dangerous. They were forced to get leaner and more efficient. Once the cartels slowed the flow of their oil, prices were, of course, driven higher again. the shale oil producers were more profitable and resilient than ever.
I mention that because De Beers is fighting against the exploding lab created diamond industry in a very similar way. About a year ago, they shocked the industry by announcing that they were going to start producing and selling lab-grown diamonds under a new sister-brand. Their aim is to scale production of lab grown diamonds, so they can flood the market with them to drive costs down (making supply outpace demand). Does the strategy sound familiar? As a side benefit, De Beers is able to profit from the production and sale of lab created gems for bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and such in the meantime.
If they’re successful in ruining the lab grown diamond industry, the very same tactic could potentially be used against other less expensive offerings that they find threatening—like Moissanite.
As you can see, scarcity often has more to do with gaming and perception than reality. Moissanite is produced and distributed freely without industry interference or collusion to artificially raise prices. If diamonds were released into the market as quickly as they were mined, without strategic throttling, the price gap between diamond and Moissanite would be MUCH smaller.
Reason #2: Moissanite Has Lower Overhead and Sometimes Fewer Middlemen
Before the internet, if you wanted to purchase a diamond ring, you had to visit a local jeweler. The jeweler doesn’t buy directly from the mining company, or diamond cutters, in most cases. The diamond supply chain has several layers, and each one adds cost to the final product. That’s true even when diamonds are purchased online. Buying online adds convenience, but it doesn’t always eliminate the layers of middlemen involved in the process of bringing a diamond to market.
Producer: Mines rough diamonds
Cutters & Polishers: Turn rough pieces into the gems you recognize as diamonds
Manufacturer: Creates finished rings by combining diamonds and various settings
Reseller: Sells diamonds at retail prices to end users
Moissanite generally costs less to run through those various stages. Cutting and polishing can be less expensive, for example. Resellers also typically don’t need ornate displays, fancy showrooms, or commissioned salespeople when they sell Moissanite. A great deal of Moissanite is now sold online, rather than through the neighborhood jeweler, and manufacturers sometimes save money by pulling cutting and manufacturing in house, or by selling direct-to-the-public online. All of these efficiencies create opportunities to be more competitive with other providers in terms of price.
Reason #3: The Diamond Industry DOESN’T WANT Diamonds to Become Widely Affordable
Because of the psychological implications of diamond pricing on our desire to own them, the diamond industry WANTS them to be extremely expensive. If they weren’t, people wouldn’t desire to have them as a status symbol.
Because of this, if any layers of middlemen were cut out of the diamond supply chain somehow, the savings would likely benefit the seller—not you. Their diamonds would still sell at highly inflated prices, and the seller would have even healthier profit margins. When De Beers sells diamonds direct to the public, through their retail locations, they aren’t 25% less than when you buy a De Beers diamond for through another jeweler for example (even though they own the full supply chain when they sell direct-to-the-public).
Reason #4: Diamond Marketers Link Diamonds to Strong Emotions and Desires
Prior to The Great Depression, diamonds were rarely given as part of the engagement or marriage process. Other stones, which were much less expensive, were far more common. Women weren’t even interested in getting diamonds. They were just stones, like crystals, in the eyes of many. They certainly didn’t have the same ingrained meaning or significance that they carry today.
In the wake of The Great Depression, most women preferred far more practical gifts. They would prefer something useful like a car, an electric washing machine, or a new oven to a diamond ring. It wasn’t until De Beers hired the N. W. Ayer advertising agency, and started linking diamonds to feelings of love, self-worth, and significance that sales took off.
The agency made a detailed marketing strategy to lead to broad adoption of diamonds in the U.S. for engagements and weddings. As part of that plan, he observed that because “young men buy over 90% of all engagement rings” it was “crucial to inculcate in them the idea that diamonds were a gift of love: the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. Similarly, young women had to be encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.” Their aim to carefully ‘romanticize diamonds’ called for “subtly altering the public’s picture of the way a man courts — and wins — a woman.”
A detailed plan was then laid out to accomplish this and drastically increase demand for their goods. Diamonds were given to movie stars to wear. These stars of the silver screen were idolized and emulated. This would help diamonds to be seen as symbols of love and status. They also leveraged the popular newspapers and magazines, of the day, to print pictures and stories that would “reinforce the link between diamonds and romance. Stories would stress the size of diamonds that celebrities presented to their loved ones, and photographs would conspicuously show the glittering stone on the hand of a well-known woman.”
Diamonds soon became a way to express your love, value, and commitment. Before long, if you didn’t give a diamond when you proposed, it was a sign that you don’t love her very much, or that your prospects as a provider aren’t very good.
Here’s the key—once deep emotions and elements of self-worth are culturally tied to a product like diamonds, we become less price conscious. People that are normally very frugal will spend thousands, and even borrow if necessary, to meet societal expectations and avoid internal or external judgment.
As diamonds became more culturally integrated, a small and simple diamond ring was no longer acceptable. The diamond had to be big enough to impress—preferably something larger than any of the bride’s friends have. A strong cultural expectation became ingrained in our society as a result of constant marketing efforts. As that expectation became more established, men found a way to buy diamond rings in order to meet those expectations and prove themselves.
The messaging was incredibly effective. In fact, over the three year period that spanned 1938 to 1941, diamond sales increased by 55%!
Diamonds aren’t something that we, as a society, just organically decided to start giving as part of engagements and weddings. We were conditioned to associate very intentional and specific meaning to them. In his book, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success, Joe Vitalie says
“Cosmetic companies don’t sell lipstick; they sell romance (and sex). They know women want to love and be loved. Lipstick is a device to attain the desired end.”
De Beers and the marketing agencies that they’ve used since 1938 have understood and exploited those deeper needs that we all have. The meaning and emotion that they successfully link to diamonds make us feel that we NEED them, regardless of cost. The marketing tactics that changed our thoughts, opinions, and buying habits are now, very successfully, being directed toward countries like India, China, and Japan as well.
Diamond alternatives, like Moissanite, allow you to present a beautiful and durable ring without incurring debt or blowing your budget. They also allow you to push back against marketing manipulation—choosing the stone that works best for you, rather than the one they’ve tried to condition you to see as your only real option.
Reason #5: We Fear Labels and Judgement (Ring shaming)
Fear is a STRONG motivator! It can guide important purchase decisions (even if only subconsciously). Recently, there have been a number of stories popping up across the web about ‘ring shaming.’ This happens when someone rejects and embarrasses someone else for trying to give them a ring that doesn’t live up to their expectations. We probably hear more about this type of thing today, because YouTube can be a really effective medium for publicly shaming others.
I recently read the story of a woman that found a ring box in her boyfriend’s nightstand. When she opened the box to see the ring, she threw a fit. The three stone diamond ring was far more simple and smaller than she was expecting. Instead of addressing it directly with her boyfriend, she went on YouTube to publicly call him out and seek advice on how to confront him about the ring. As you can imagine, there were some pretty strong responses to the video, but the most common theme to the responses was disgust over how shallow and materialistic she was being.
Ring shaming is a growing trend, so is it any wonder that people often feel incredible pressure to impress with the rings they present? If their ring is disappointing, they risk judgment, rejection, and shame—things we naturally want to avoid (at almost any costs).
A recent state-by-state study found that the average engagement ring that’s given in the state of California, is now more than $10,000! Fear of rejection (shaming), combined with a desire to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ is certainly fueling that average to climb steadily higher.
A Moissanite ring that has the look of that $10,000 diamond, could be purchased for roughly $1,000. The bigger issue though, is probably being careful about the person you’re giving a ring to. Marriage isn’t about the ring. It’s about the union (love). When that isn’t the focus (the very most important thing) for both people in the relationship, it could be a real warning sign.
Reason #6: Diamonds Are Treated Like ‘Investments,’ While Moissanite Isn’t
Consumers can often justify spending $5,000 or $10,000 if they look at the expenditure as an investment that will appreciate over time. The misconception, that all diamonds appreciate, can be dangerous and is FAR from reality.
The first, and most major, issue with the insinuation that the diamonds in a typical ring are investments that will grow in value (outpacing inflation), is that it’s simply not true. The type of diamond that comes on your typical engagement ring won’t see appreciation. If you have hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars to invest in extremely rare and unusual diamonds, then you might see some worthwhile appreciation over time. Outside of those unusual circumstances, buyers tend to lose money when they resell. Even if they hold on to their rings for many years before selling.
You will end up losing value on your diamond ring when you go to resell. How much? I actually did some research to find out. I also looked into how much of a discount sellers might have to provide when reselling a used ring. I evaluated both Moissanite and diamonds separately. I analyzed local listings for previously owned rings that could give me insight into the kind of discounting that sellers were having to do in order to move their rings. The findings were really interesting!
Here’s what we observed for used diamond rings.
Real Examples of Diamond Resale Value
Used Rings For Sale:
Total Loss in $:
Diamond Ring #1
Diamond Ring #2
Diamond Ring #3
Diamond Ring #4
Diamond Ring #5
Diamond Ring #6
Diamond Ring #7
Diamond Ring #8
Diamond Ring #9
Diamond Ring #10
Diamond Ring #11
Diamond Ring #12
Diamond Ring #13
The following table outlines our findings for the Moissanite rings we found.
Used Rings For Sale:
Total Loss in $:
Moissanite Ring #1
Moissanite Ring #2
Moissanite Ring #3
This process made two things very clear for us. First, diamonds (the kind that most of us have in engagement and wedding rings) are terrible “investments.” They’re an almost sure way to lose SIGNIFICANT money if you buy believing that they’re going to appreciate (or even keep up with inflation).
Second, that the MUCH lower cost of Moissanite means you’re taking on less risk from the very start, and as you can see, average discounting is also lower. In the end, it looks like you would come out further ahead buying, and later reselling, a Moissanite ring than you would buying, and later reselling, a similar diamond ring. Your loss as both a total and percentage are likely to be lower with a Moissanite ring, based on our findings.
To be fair, Moissanite isn’t the right fit for every person. There could be scenarios where someone may want a diamond in spite of the cost difference. To acknowledge some of those instances, I’ll cover the advantages that each of these ring options could offer.
Advantages of Diamond Over Moissanite
Diamonds are more well-known and more culturally ingrained. Diamond is a harder stone, which makes it more scratch resistant (but also more brittle). Diamond gives some people a sense of self-worth and exclusivity that they may not be able to get from a less expensive ring like Moissanite.
Because diamonds are the ‘norm’ that’s been hammered into us since the end of The Great Depression, it’s often easier to show your ring off to friends and family when you can tell them it’s a diamond. Again, going with the flow of cultural expectations is, of course, the path of least resistance.
There’s a sense of history and wonder when you think about the conditions and time that it took for the earth to form a diamond. Some people genuinely love that aspect of the gem.
Advantages of Moissanite Over Diamond
Moissanite typically costs about 90% less than mined diamonds. While it isn’t as hard as diamond, it is the second hardest stone in existence, which means it’s both extremely scratch resistant, but also less brittle than diamond.
Moissanite is a pretty incredible stone with a really unique and interesting history, but it’s often thought of as a diamond simulant. While the two stones are composed of different things, they do look remarkably identical. Moissanite can provide a diamond-like look and durability, combined with a price that won’t blow your budget or lead you into deep debt.
As mentioned above, resale value is also an important advantage of this stone. While no one buys an engagement ring with the belief that they’ll end up reselling, a short time later, that does happen on occasion, for a variety of reasons. The evidence that we shared earlier, suggests, that you would lose a lower percentage of your original purchase price reselling a Moissanite ring, than you would reselling a diamond ring.
Less Expensive Rings Can Lead to Longer Marriages
Spending less (not going overboard) is more than practical for your budget—it seems to protect your relationship. A study came out of Emory University, that tracked how much couples spent on their rings and overall marriage, and then how long their marriage ultimately lasted. Guess what they found. Frugal marriages lasted longer.
Advertising agencies, and our society, seem to suggest that the bigger our diamond is, the more our partner loves us, and the happier we’ll be in our relationship. While that’s the programming that we’re given, consciously, most people realize that can’t be true. Many Hollywood marriages (with multi-million dollar rings), for example, seem to fall apart as soon as they begin.
This study found an inverse relationship between wedding-related spending and marital success. The LESS you spend on your rings and wedding, the better your odds for ‘making it’ as a couple. If Moissanite is 90% less expensive than a traditional diamond of comparable size—that seems like a much better start to matrimony, in light of the findings from this study.
Moissanite is drastically less expensive than diamond, but has many impressive qualities. Because it’s beautiful, durable, and affordable, it isn’t really a sacrifice, it’s a choice that comes with many attractive rewards.
The hard reality, is that the composition and size of your ring, really says nothing about your individual value—and means absolutely NOTHING regarding the depth of your love or the quality of your relationship. If you can see past the self-serving advertising messages of the diamond industry, you may find Moissanite to be a better overall fit.
There are many reasons that someone might need to resell a Moissanite ring. Change of plans, break up, financial need, upgrading, etc. Regardless of why you need to sell, I’ll show you where to get top dollar—based on how quickly you need to move your ring.
Where can i sell my moissanite ring? Selling to an individual through a local, private party, transaction will often yield both the highest resale price and the lowest selling fees, but it typically isn’t the fastest way to sell. If you have to sell quickly, you’ll need to discount heavily. You’ll essentially trade cash for transaction speed.
If you’re thinking of reselling your Moissanite engagement ring, wedding ring, anniversary ring, or promise ring, and want to maximize the amount of cash that you walk away from the transaction with…I’ll show you how. I’ll provide plenty of real-life current information and examples throughout, so keep reading!
Getting as Much Cash as Possible When You Resell
Maximizing the cash that comes from the resale of your Moissanite ring involves several key elements:
Identifying how quickly you need the cash, and choosing the most appropriate selling channel given your time frame.
Minimizing transaction fees (platform selling costs) and shipping costs
Avoiding middlemen as much as possible.
Generally speaking, the more time that you have until you really need to sell your ring, the better. You’ll be able to find the buyer that’s willing to pay the most if you’re able to wait for them. When you need to sell right away, you typically can’t maximize your sale price. Instead, you incentivize potential buyers to act quickly by deeply discounting your ring.
I posted an article about the value of used Moissanite several days ago that you might find helpful. To review that, CLICK HERE.
Before diving into specific opportunities for selling, I want to take a moment to provide a little more insight into the three important considerations that were outlined above.
Identifying how quickly you need the cash:
Would you rather have less money now or more money later? Sometimes you don’t have any good alternatives to accepting whatever you can get right now. In that situation, you might happily accept 20% of what you originally paid in order to get some immediate cash in hand.
When you don’t need the money NOW, but you will need it soon (within the next 2 or 3 weeks), you have the ability to hold out for a different kind of buyer—one willing to pay a price that’s a little closer to retail.
If you want to get as much as you can out of the ring, but don’t particularly NEED the money immediately, you’re in a great position to attract that ideal buyer. Your patience will allow you to maximize the resale value of your ring. You won’t feel pressured to accept the first low-ball offer that comes along.
Minimizing Transaction Fees:
Anytime that you pay a fee and/or commission to list your ring with a particular platform or merchant, it’s eating into the money that you ultimately walk away from the transaction with. Paying fees isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it puts you in contact with the right buyers, but you have to remember to account for that selling cost while comparing your selling alternatives.
Some selling platforms might charge a fee on the frontend when they list your item for sale. Occasionally, that may be the only fee that’s required, but in most cases, you’re going to be charged a final value fee, of some sort, that’s a percentage of whatever your ring ultimately sells for. Some companies will ONLY charge a fee on the backend (once the ring sells), that’s a percentage of the selling price. You’ll want to add up all the various fees charged to see if you’re comfortable accepting the overall costs of the service. Some are worth the cost, others really aren’t.
There are really only two reasons that justify paying a fee to list, or sell, your ring:
You gain access to significant visibility. They have thousands, tens of thousands, of people on the site every day. That exposure will allow you to sell faster and for more money.
Convenience. You need to sell, but you don’t have time to make a part-time job out of it. In some cases, it may be worth paying platform or consignment company that does most of the work for you in exchange for a fee that you’re comfortable with.
The Christies Auction House, for example, sells high ticket jewelry to wealthy individuals from all over the world. Many of those auctions are now done online, which expands their global reach even further. When you sell through them, they put your item in front of a mass of very wealthy individuals. Since it’s an audience of highly qualified buyers, their sellers are happy to pay a healthy commission in order to gain access to their community.
Again, Christies is just an illustration of the value of the buyer communities that some platforms have. You won’t be selling your Moissanite ring through a Christies auction, but hopefully, that helps you to see where paying platform fees might make sense.
Middlemen always come at a cost. Sometimes they bring real value that fully justifies their cost, and sometimes they don’t. If you’re aware of this, and doing the math, you can ensure that you aren’t using them at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
For example, if a particular consigner charges 50% of your sale price as a selling fee, they had better be able to sell the ring for A LOT more than you could on your own in order to justify the expense. If they sell the ring for $800, you’ll get $400 (net) once their fee has been accounted for. If you’re able to sell on your own for $500 (without any kind of selling fee, you would come out $100 ahead. The real question, is would it be faster or easier to sell the ring yourself for $500 or through a consigner (or some other platform) for $800?
Hopefully, you get the general concept—selling channels, or platforms, need to produce more value than they cost in order to be justifiable.
How Much Will I Need to Discount my Ring in Order to Sell?
Here are some basic guidelines for discounting on various platforms. This comes from my own research, as well as many years of personal experience selling through these channels. Generally speaking, I would anticipate needing to discount a Moissanite ring as outlined below for each type of platform. The actual discount needed ultimately depends a great deal on the quality of your listing (we’ll talk more about that below).
Pawn Shop: 80-90% discounts
eBay: 80% discount
Local Online Classifieds: 30% discount
There are MANY factors that determine how successful a particular listing through local classifieds or eBay is going to be. The quality of the images matters A LOT, as does your description of the item being sold. Many years ago, I had a whole business that was focused on buying items that weren’t listed well (through various platforms) and then reposting them with better listings at higher prices. Improving the pictures, titles, and descriptions got my ads noticed and kept inventory moving. Of course, your reputation (feedback rating) also has an important impact on how you sometimes fare in the short term with the buyers from certain platforms like eBay.
“It’s astounding how much more you can sell an item for when you put a little thought and effort into the pictures and description.”
Best Selling Options Based on Time frame
Selling Time Frame
No Big Rush
* Only if DEEPLY discounted.
Will Pawn Shops or Jewelry Stores Buy Moissanite?
Pawn shops will buy just about any item that they’re certain they can resell at a profit. They’re a middle man, in the sense that they’re going to turn and resell your Moissanite ring to an end user. They’ll want a decent profit, and their ultimate buyer is going to want to get a steal on the ring too—after all, no one goes into a pawn shop to buy jewelry at full retail value. Because of the simple math involved, they won’t be able to pay much.
In reality, the pawn show will likely be more interested in paying based on the value of your setting than the Moissanite. Gold and Platinum, for example, as materials that they can easily move, and profit from, in various ways. Don’t be surprised if their offer doesn’t attribute much value to the stone that’s mounted to your setting. They play it safe with their bids and love to lowball. They may, or may not, be very familiar with Moissanite. You would likely get different offer amounts from multiple pawn shops, so if you consider selling this way, it’s worth visiting more than one.
Pawn shops are in the business of preying on people in desperate situations. Like it or not, that’s what they do. Much of the inventory that fills their shelves wouldn’t have been sold to them for pennies on the dollar if the seller wasn’t desperate.
When I was growing up, my parents struggled financially and pawned some things. Even minimum payment became difficult and they lost many of the items they pawned. It’s a common story. While pawn shops don’t pay much, they do pay immediately. That immediate liquidity is the ONLY real value that they bring for people in desperate situations. I’d suggest that you NOT sell to pawn shops if you can avoid it.
Selling Rings on eBay
Ebay offers a fairly quick sales cycle (assuming your ring sells). Selling your ring on eBay could take anywhere from a few hours to 7 days on average (again, assuming you find a buyer). Finding a buyer has to do with the following dynamics:
Where you set your starting bid
The pictures added to your listing
Your item description
Whether you set a ‘Buy it Now’ price
Whether you set a reserve (a minimum amount that the auction must reach)
Whether you allow potential buyers to submit lower offers
The category that you put your listing in
Your feedback rating
Whether you promote your listing
Fraud is one of the major challenges that indirectly affects you as a seller on eBay. Because some sellers scam buyers by mailing rings that weren’t properly described, or that don’t include the stone that was promised, buyers are often understandably a little cautious. Because there’s some level of risk involved in the transaction, buyers demand a discount to compensate them for the risk.
In general, eBay shoppers come to the platform expecting big savings on used items. If your asking price isn’t set low enough, your item just won’t sell. To validate that, I searched the completed auctions for used Moissanite rings. Out of the last 100 completed auctions, only 36% ended in a purchase (64% of listings expired unsold). Not all of the ‘successful’ transactions were completed at the full asking price. In fact, 50% of the listings that ended in a sale, accepted an offer for a lower amount than they were originally asking. This means that only 18% of listings ended in a sale at the original asking price!
Not all sellers disclose the amount of the discount that they granted when they accepted the lower offer (most prefer to keep that information hidden), but for those that didn’t hide it, the average discount was 22%. That’s not an insignificant amount for the seller to have to give up, but when 64% of rings go unsold, they likely feel forced to accept less now instead of getting nothing at all if the buyer goes elsewhere.
Let’s take a closer look at just one of the ‘successful’ auctions that I came across. There was a Moissanite engagement ring that was originally purchased for $1,615 (They provided a copy of their receipt). I was also able to find a new version of the same ring online to verify the cost. The ring ultimately sold for $315.
In my experience, the fees paid to eBay for selling, combined with the fees paid to Paypal for receiving funds, total approximately 13% of the sale amount. After deducting those selling fees from the proceeds of the sale, we can see that the seller only netted $274 in total. That means that they took an ENORMOUS 83% loss on the sale (recovering just 17% of their original purchase price). That’s a TERRIBLE result!
Because of overall buyer mentality, the frequent need to discount pricing further for haggling potential buyers, and heavy platform fees, I’d stay away from eBay if I’m trying to maximize the cash that I get out of my ring. The only way that I’d feel comfortable using eBay, is as a backup plan. If you list for a reasonable price, and then try to sell through other channels in the meantime, there’s no real harm in it. You might get lucky. If not, then you might ultimately end up wasting a little time, but it can’t hurt you to use the platform in this way otherwise.
Online Used Ring Consigners
There are several ring consigners online that draw shoppers to their sites through online and offline promotion. Believe me, I’ve investigated MANY of these platforms but the one I’m most impressed with, at this point, is I Do Now I Don’t. Years ago, the founder of the site got stuck with a ring that he had trouble reselling for a fair price. Pawn shops and all other available outlets at the time were offering him pennies on the dollar—for a ring that was valuable and in excellent condition. That difficult experience led him to create an online platform where sellers could unload quickly and be treated much more fairly.
Creating a ring listing on the site is free. Many types of rings are offered through the site. In addition to Moissanite, you’ll find diamonds (both mined and lab-grown) and an assortment of colorful gems. After creating your listing, you’ll get an offer from the site to buy your ring directly if you’d rather sell to them immediately rather than waiting a little longer for an individual buyer to purchase. If the ring ends up selling to a buyer through the platform, you’ll end up paying 10% to 20% of the ultimate purchase price as a selling commission to the platform. Watch the total fees carefully, as you compare with other services, because they’re important! Most other consignment platforms charge multiple fees that combine to total 40% or more.
Another thing that I REALLY love about the platform, is that they validate the authenticity of the rings that sell through their platform, so buyers can purchase with real confidence. When buyers feel confident that they’re buying a genuine item, they’ll typically bid more generously. On most auction sites, for example, you never know for sure if the item you receive will be genuine, so buyers shop and spend much more cautiously.
These guys are the very best I’ve found for helping sellers that want to go the consignment route. The site is worth checking out if you have a ring that you need to sell.
Local Online Classified Ads Sites
My favorite place to resell Moissanite rings is through local classified ad sites. Craigslist.org, kijiji.ca, and UsedEverywhere.ca are two quick examples of the type of site that I’m referring to. Some areas also have listing sites run by a local newspaper, media company, or private organization. These local classified sites can be really great selling platforms when they’re available. The get your ring in front of people in your city and surrounding areas, that are looking to score some savings on a new ring.
To find new local sites that might be worth listing your ring on, search the name of your state or city (or a major city that’s nearby), followed by words like ‘free online classifieds.’ For example, if you lived in Fairfax, Virginia, you could try searching ‘Fairfax Virginia free online classifieds’ or ‘Virginia free online classifieds’ to see what comes up.
Only the larger classified sites are typically worth your time to list rings on. I just looked at a small classifieds site with coverage in my area, that I have never heard of before. They only had one listing in the office furniture category and three in the home furniture category (which is simply an indication of just how tiny they are). Their listing base was super small, which tells me that they don’t get much buyer traffic.
Facebook can actually be used like a free local classified ad site not. There are both public and private buy-and-sell groups and local exchange groups where you can post used items that you’re wanting to get rid of. Some of the groups might specialize in things like clothing or jewelry, but others will accept posts containing almost anything. There are LOTS of people that watch the items that are posted to these groups LIKE A HAWK! It’s not uncommon to get messages about your item within moments of posting.
As a side benefit, you’ll be able to review the profile of the prospective buyers that you’ll meet up with so you recognize them and can make sure that you feel good about connecting with them to complete the transaction. If you’re planning to post through classified sites, Facebook should absolutely be one of the channels that you use! To find these groups in your area, search for groups using a combination of your city or county name along with other words like ‘sale’, ‘for sale’, ‘exchange’, ‘yard sale’, ‘swap’, etc.
Listing new items for sale is generally free on classified ad platforms. Because you have no selling fees with most of these platforms, you’re able to pocket more cash when you sell. You also have greater flexibility to decrease the price a little, if needed, without giving too much away.
You will almost always get, and KEEP, the most money when you cut out the middlemen and sell directly to the end-user. If a couple has been shopping for Moissanite Engagement Rings that costs $1,600 or less, for example, and you can offer them a beautiful used Moissanite ring (that looks brand new) for $1,100…they may be extremely interested. They could save significant money, but you might also end up with more money for your ring than you could have gotten in any other way—everyone wins!
Remember that, recently sold, Moissanite engagement ring that I referenced earlier? The seller lost 83% of the amount that they originally paid for the ring! They only recovered 17% when all was said and done. I love selling through local online classified ads because when I sell directly to the end-user, I get more net cash (higher sale price and no fees to pay).
To illustrate the impact that those factors make, I searched a local classifieds site, in my area, to see how many Moissanite rings they have listed right now. I found 4 current listings in total. Three of those listings mentioned the amount that they originally paid for their rings—and most of those listings displayed pictures of the original purchase receipt. Here’s what I found…
Used Rings For Sale:
Total Loss in $:
Moissanite Ring #1
Moissanite Ring #2
Moissanite Ring #3
Based on all of the listings that provided data, it looks like the average ring is being sold at just a 30% discount. That’s a significant improvement over the kind of loss that our eBay seller incurred. In fact, if the eBay seller, which I highlighted earlier, had been able to sell through a local classifieds platform like this, with only a 30% loss, they would have been able to walk away with $1,114.35, instead of $274!
I’ve had A LOT of experience selling through local classified ad sites. Here are some important lessons that I’ve learned.
Picture quality, background, and lighting are important. You don’t need professional equipment, but you do need to avoid dark or unfocused pictures, as well as cluttered backgrounds. Likewise, you don’t want pictures that are overexposed, making ring detail difficult to see. This is common sense stuff, but many people don’t take the time to do these simple little things right, and it often ends up costing them big money in lost revenue or extra time.
You’ll also want to make sure to take pictures of the ring from several different angles and distances. I often take 15 pictures, or more, and then post my favorite 4 to 5. Make sure that your main listing image is the one that sells the ring best. That picture will have a lot to do with whether someone clicks on your listing or not.
Carefully craft your listing title and description. Like your main image, the listing title helps people quickly determine whether your ad is worth clicking on. You need to try to create a title that’s descriptive, but also interesting and enticing. The worst thing you can do in a listing title or description is to be too brief, ultimately saying little to nothing about the item. An overly brief title like ‘Engagement Ring’ sells the listing short. If you instead write something like ‘The Most Perfect Moissanite Engagement Ring Ever!’ or ‘Gorgeous Moissanite Engagement Ring – An Inexpensive Option!’) you might describe the item, and entice clicks, a little better.
The language in your listing helps prospective buyers get a better sense for the ring, but it also helps them to get a feel for whether they trust you as a seller. If you tell them about the ring and why you’re selling it, they’re more likely to see your offering as safe and legitimate (rather than a potential scam).
Protect yourself from scams and danger. Online Classified sites are happy hunting grounds for scammers. There are a number of ways that they’ll try to separate you from your money, and/or your ring if they can. You’ll stay safe if you follow a couple of basic rules religiously.
Accept Cash ONLY (absolutely no exceptions for anyone or any reason … regardless of their story)
Local pickup ONLY (no shipping for ANY reason).
It’s also a good idea to make sure someone else is with you when you meet the prospective buyer to exchange their money for your ring. It’s common to have a buyer come to your home to pick up an item they’re purchasing, but it’s probably safer to meet them in a public place. I’ve met people inside a McDonald’s restaurant to buy or sell things on a number of occasions, for example. They aren’t always the quietest spots, but you’re pretty safe, with are other people around, and security cameras rolling in most areas. I don’t want to scare you with all of this talk of safety, but it’s important to be careful and take precautions where possible.
How you sell your used Moissanite rings, will make a huge impact on the amount of cash that you’re able to walk away from the transaction with—and the difference isn’t small. Being able to keep 69% of the original purchase price, instead of just 17% is a big deal for your bottom line! Based on all that was outlined above, My favorite way to sell Moissanite rings is through local online classified ads (which are free). My second choice is working through an online consigner, like the group mentioned above. I would personally avoid selling through pawn shops, online auctions, or similar outlets if I can avoid it.