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.
If you need to resell your Moissanite Engagement ring, or wedding set, at some point, what kind of resale value can you expect? Many believe that diamonds appreciate in value over time, but do they? And what about Moissanite?
Will Moissanite go up in value? Moissanite is not likely to increase in value, but neither is a typical diamond. Both generally resell at a substantial loss-especially if they’re resold soon after being purchased. Because Moissanite is much less expensive, the total risk of loss is often lower than it is with a more expensive diamond.
In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll help you understand the factors that influence Moissanite resale value, and what you can reasonably expect to get from your Moissy when you go to sell.
Can you Resell a Moissanite Ring?
Things don’t always go as planned. A ring that you thought you’d keep forever sometimes needs to be resold. Relationships sometimes end, financial circumstances change, or people decide to upgrade and sell off their old ring to help cover the cost of the new one.
Some people claim that diamond simulant rings, including Moissanite, have no value. They imply that diamonds are the only stones that really hold value, and can be resold. It’s a ridiculous claim that has absolutely no grounding in reality.
“The cubic zirconia gemstone—just like other diamond simulants—carries no market value. A diamond, on the other hand, does retain some of its market value, although we are upfront with readers that a diamond isn’t an investment.” -Michael Fried
I agree that diamonds aren’t investments, but keep reading—I’ll debunk every other aspect of this type of claim below.
To start with, here’s the obvious reality…many couples ARE buying Moissanite Engagement Rings, Wedding Bands, Anniversary Rings, and Promise Rings. Some of those couples that are interested in buying a brand new Moissanite Ring, would, of course, ALSO be interested in saving money by buying a similar used ring. How significant that discount needs to be, depends on several factors. Makes sense doesn’t it? How could a ring have NO resale value, if people in your area are paying retail to buy it new? You absolutely CAN resell Moissanite!
Engagement Rings are Not (Financial) Investments
Hopefully, you aren’t buying an engagement ring with the thought of reselling it in the future for a profit. Rings that are given to represent commitment to each other, or celebrate relationship milestones, are relationship investments, not financial ones. There are MUCH better places to invest your money for a financial return.
Engagement rings are TERRIBLE investments because the stones rarely appreciate, but also because no one is going to want to sell a ring that has heavy sentimental value…and they would probably be hurt by the suggestion that the ring should be sold. Engagement rings are a GREAT way to lose money, but I think they’re still worth buying, as long as you look at them as an expense (an object that you’re simply buying to enjoy and consume), rather than as an investment. That shift in mindset will lead to much better decisions around exactly what you buy to commemorate your engagement, marriage, and other relationship milestones.
How Much Can You Expect to Get if You Resell
You will need to offer a discount, over current retail prices, in order to sell a used engagement ring or wedding set. Why would anyone pay a stranger the same amount that the local jeweler would charge for a given ring? The jeweler will, of course, be more trusted. They probably also offer small perks like free cleanings, free resizing, or free repair for a period of time. The buyer won’t get any of those things if they buy from you instead. You’re essentially discounting to compensate for all those factors and the perception of higher risk.
Generally speaking, you’ll need to sell used moissanite rings at a 30% to 50% discount. I did a little research on used Moissanite engagement rings that are currently listed for sale through a local classifieds site, to see if I could find some current real-world examples. There were 3 listings that referenced the original purchase price of the ring (a fourth moissanite ring didn’t mention that information).
Used Rings For Sale:
Total Loss in $:
Moissanite Ring #1
Moissanite Ring #2
Moissanite Ring #3
As you can see, the average used Moissanite Engagement ring is selling at a 31% discount over their original purchase price. This represents an average loss of $338 for each ring.
Moissanite vs Diamond Resale Price Comparison
Diamond snobs often pretend that diamonds, in general, go up in value. They promote this lie HEAVILY. It’s a lie for several reasons that I’ll both expose and PROVE below. Financially, you’re MUCH safer buying Moissanite if you’re worried about the potential for losing money, should you need to resell at some point. That statement is 180º OPPOSITE what everyone else seems to be saying, but it’s the truth, and again, I’ll back up the claim with evidence below.
Rather than just talking about this on a conceptual level, I spent time looking at rings that are being resold on a local online classifieds website that’s similar to Craigslist. There were A LOT of diamond engagement rings being resold. Here’s what I found…
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 average person selling a used diamond engagement ring is willing to accept at least a 58% discount! I say ‘at least,’ because they may end up accepting something even lower than their asking price in order to get the ring sold. NONE of these diamonds have appreciated in value. The rings that I evaluated varied in terms of brand name, their size, cut, color, and clarity. They also varied terms of WHEN they were purchased. Some were only purchased a few months ago. You might EXPECT people to take a loss on those—after all, they haven’t been given time to appreciate, right? What about rings that were purchased several years ago (surely they’ve appreciated)?
I found an interesting listing for a diamond wedding set. It was purchased in 2014 for $7,600. It’s a 1 carat solitaire on 14 Kt White Gold it also features an anniversary band with 13 small diamonds. The asking price is $3,000! The ring has had 5 years to APPRECIATE in value, but they’re trying to unload the thing at a 61% loss, walking away from $4,800!
When the claim is made that diamonds hold their value, insinuating that the diamond in your engagement ring is actually an asset, you’re being lied to. It’s a self-serving lie that could lead you to spend far more on your ring that you can afford to lose if you have to resell at the average .42 cents on the dollar!
The Moissanite rings that I found listings for, were all between 1 and 2 carats. The average loss anticipated on those rings, based on asking price, was $338. A brand new 1-2 carat diamond ring would cost roughly $4,000 to $15,000. Based on my findings, you could expect to lose AT LEAST 58% of that ‘investment,’ on average, if you resell the ring. That means that you would lose $2,300 to $8,700 in total. Moissanite is a MUCH safer bet—if you’re worried about the possibility of reselling your ring at some point in the future! It’s true, that you would still take a loss on the moissanite ring, but it would likely only be 4% to 15 % of the loss that you would realize on a diamond of the same size.
The Reliability of Your Moissanite Appraisal
Jewelry appraisals can’t be taken very seriously. If your ring appraised for $3,000, for example, that doesn’t mean that you’ll actually be able to sell it for $3,000. The appraised value is more commonly an estimate of what it would cost to replace your ring…not someone else would ACTUALLY be willing to pay you for it. Since no one wants to pay retail for a used ring, the true value of your ring (what you could truly sell it for) is typically substantially less than the appraised value.
While searching a local site for the rings referenced above, I came across a 2.1 ctw princess cut diamond ring that’s sitting on a 14kt gold setting. The listing mentioned that the ring appraised for more than $10,000 (they displayed a copy of the appraisal report in the listing), but they were asking just $2,495—a 75% ($7,505) discount! Why would they be willing to sell for so little if their ring was WORTH $10,000? There’s only one reason—the ring is only worth about $2,500 in real-world value.
I also saw the following listing…
“We got it appraised by diamonds direct. They said it’s [worth] about $2,200. We are asking $800 obo.”
Don’t put much trust or confidence in appraisals. They’re frequently inflated. It’s rarely worth your money to pay for one.
The Role of Scarcity on Value
What drives prices up? Scarcity (when demand outpaces supply)! Lab created Moissanite can be produced as quickly as needed to meet demand, so there’s little opportunity for true scarcity.
Everyone pretends that diamonds are scarce, and that this scarcity justifies the extreme price demanded for them, but it’s 100% FAKE scarcity that the diamond industry orchestrates to keep their prices high.
Far more diamonds are mined each year than get are released into the diamond supply. Supply is carefully controlled to keep up the impression of scarcity and value. Without a coordinated and controlled environment, diamonds would cost a fraction of what they do today. In 2015, DeBeers indicated that their costs to bring diamonds to market had come down to just $104 per carat on average! With costs that low, it’s clear that DeBeers has a HUGE markup. Open market competition, real competition, would naturally lead to lower prices. That would be good for consumers, but bad for the mined diamond industry.
I mention all this only because diamond peddlers talk about diamonds as if they’re intrinsically valuable—far more valuable than other stones. In reality, other types of stones just don’t have similar collusion happening, so it’s honestly an ‘apples and oranges’ comparison. To learn a little more about the roots of the scarcity deception, check out this article which I recently posted.
Moissanite isn’t going to go up in value, but neither will diamond. Moissanite is a much safer stone to invest in though. It’s both less expensive to buy and tends to require less significant discounting to resell. It’s also an incredibly hard stone (second only to diamond on the Mohs Scale of Hardness) that looks almost identical to diamond.
If you find yourself needing to resell your ring in the future, you’ll likely only need to discount your Moissanite ring by about 30%, but a diamond ring would likely need to be discounted by at least 58% in order to move it.
You’ve probably known people with rings that have gone cloudy over time. Maybe you’ve even owned rings that turned cloudy in the past. If so, you may be wondering if Moissanite will do the same thing eventually.
Does Moissanite get cloudy? Moissanite will not grow ‘cloudy’ as the years pass by. It’s a very stable and durable stone. There could be a temporary impact on the look of the ring if it isn’t protected and maintained well. Fortunately, though, correction is typically a quick, simple, and inexpensive process once you notice the issue.
Below, I’ll share some important ways that you should be protecting your ring and simple methods for quickly correcting issues when you notice something developing.
Moissanite Engagement Rings Won’t Change with Age
Sometimes exposure to the sun, air, moisture, or other elements can fade, or change, the color of things. Old books and family photos sometimes yellow as they age. Clothing and upholstery can become faded through prolonged sun exposure over time. Some stones, like Rose Quartz, can also have coloring that fades over time, with exposure to the sun.
Fortunately, Moissanite ISN’T a stone that’s known to experience color change as it ages. The coloring that you love today, is the same coloring that your great-great-grandchildren will also be able to enjoy as they look at your ring—long after you’re gone.
Because Moissanite (sometimes called ‘Moissy’ for short) is such a hard stone, it’s sometimes referred to as a ‘forever stone’ or an ‘heirloom stone.’ That’s because your Moissy Engagement Ring should continue to sparkle and look beautiful for many generations—just like a diamond would. Diamond is rated at 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (the relative hardness scale that’s used to communicate about how materials like rocks and minerals compare to each other, in terms of hardness), but Moissanite is the next hardest stone on the scale with a rating of 9.25-9.5.
Sitting near the very top end of the Mohs Scale, Moissanite is, even more, scratch resistant than Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, and all other gems and diamond simulants. Moissanite rings look so similar to diamond, that some people refer to them as Moissanite Diamond Rings—though, in reality, the two stones aren’t related chemically in any way. They’re both very hard, and look quite similar, but they’re made of very different things.
Why Some Stones Get Cloudy
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) has been mass produced for jewelry since the mid-1970s. Most of those early stones would get cloudy with time. They started to eventually take on a milky white coloring that made it obvious that the stones weren’t diamonds. Buyers hated the color change, and manufacturers scrambled to find ways to address the issue. They eventually found stabilizing agents that could be used during the manufacturing process to solve the problem.
Today, quality CZ still doesn’t cloud with age, but buyers of extremely low-quality CZ stones sometimes still complain that they have problems with clouding as months and years pass. That happens because ultra-low-cost providers cut corners on their materials in order to minimize manufacturing costs. It’s one of those instances, where you get what you pay for. The clouding problem with some poorly produced Cubic Zirconia stones is a manufacturing issue, but it’s not something that plagues all CZ stones.
Those that have owned cloudy Cubic Zirconia might be nervous that something similar might happen with a Moissanite stone too, but, again, unlike some CZ, time won’t cause a Moissanite to go cloudy, regardless of how much time has passed.
While AGE won’t make Moissanite cloudy, some oils and chemicals can. Oils and dirt can build up on the surface of stones, blocking light from entering and sometimes making them appear to be a little cloudy. When that kind of thing happens to a Moissanite stone, it isn’t a permanent condition. We’ll talk in a moment about how to fix the issue if you notice the sparkle of your ring diminishing, or it appears less clear than it had previously.
Moissanite has really high dispersion and refraction, that make it sparkle like crazy, even when the stone isn’t super clean. Because of this characteristic, it usually takes A LOT of build-up before you notice any impact. It’s one of the things that my wife LOVES about her Moissanite wedding ring—it just isn’t a very fussy or high maintenance stone!
There are lots of gems, simulants, and colored stones that look beautiful when they’re brand new, but they will look pretty beat up within just a few days if you aren’t super vigilant to guard them and keep them absolutely clean. Fortunately, Moissanite isn’t like that! It isn’t a fragile stone that you have to overly baby. That doesn’t mean that you should juggle rocks or fist bump brick walls with your ring on—let’s not tempt fate!
Even though Moissanite is extremely scratch-resistant, it isn’t scratch-PROOF. If you somehow collect a lot of scratches on the surface of your ring, something I’ve never actually seen, that can also sometimes cause a bit of a clouding effect. That’s because scratches impact the way light goes, and out of, the ring. The scratches also provide another place for natural skin oils and dirt to collect, further impacting light.
How to Prevent, or Fix, a Cloudy Haze on Your Moissanite
The solution for clearing most cloudiness that’s noticed on Moissanite is a good washing. It’s fairly quick, inexpensive, and easy to do. The total process should only take a few minutes.
Grab a small bowl of warm water. Add a little mild dish soap (like Dawn) to the water. Allow your ring to soak for a few minutes to loosen some of the buildup. Use a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the stone. If you don’t have one handy, you should be able to find one at a local dollar store. Make sure to get around each of the prongs and all the way under the stone (scrubbing each exposed surface, and getting in every crevice that you can.
Thoroughly rings and dry the ring when you’re done scrubbing it. You can dab it dry with a clean towel, but it’s also helpful to use a blow dryer to ensure that all corners and crevices are fully dry too.
Another cleaning option, is an ultrasonic cleaner. You can pay a jeweler to use their ultrasonic cleaner, or you can purchase your own to use at home. A quality, home use, machine can be purchased for less than $50 if you find the right model. This is the Ultrasonic cleaner that we recommend. Buyers have raved about the time and money it saves them—and at less than $40, it’s an incredible bargain.
To keep your ring as clean and protect as possible throughout your daily routines and activities, it’s best if you remove your ring before doing any of the following:
Cleaning your home
Working in the yard
Participating in physical hobbies
Showering (also bathing children or pets)
Playing in the ocean
Washing your hands
Using gels, mousse, or hairspray
Using bug spray by hand
All of these activities elevate the chances for impact damage, build up, or loss. I’ve gotten a bunch of questions recently about the safety of wearing Moissanite in water, so I posted an article about a week ago that addresses the risks of wearing Moissanite in the pool, shower, or hot tub. It covers the ways that both your stone and setting can be affected.
While removing your ring for certain activities protects its condition, it introduces a new potential risk—the risk of losing your ring. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories of people that set their ring on the edge of a public bathroom sink to wash their hands, and then forgot to put it back on afterward. By the time they realized, and went back to look for it, the ring was gone. Others have had a toddler grab their ring from a nightstand and carry it off while they were in the shower. The ring sometimes gets chucked in the garbage, and is never seen again.
Because the risk of loss is both significant, and real, women tend to address the risk in one of two ways.
They choose to always wear their ring and NEVER remove it.
They find a system that ensures they never leave it vulnerable.
When women choose to wear their ring 24/7, and never remove it for ANYTHING (other than occasional ring cleaning and repair), they know that they might attract more dirt or damage as a result, but they would rather have that than risk the loss of their ring. Platinum is the ideal metal for your setting if you choose to almost never remove your ring. It’s extremely durable and isn’t impacted by chlorine or saltwater the way that the alloys used in gold are. You’ll pay for that durability. Platinum is a more expensive option than gold.
If you choose to do things like gardening or cleaning with your ring on, it’s still a good idea to wear gloves to help protect both your Moissy and your setting from scratches, dirt, or strong chemicals. If you have a full Moissanite wedding set, you could remove the bulkier, of the two, ring off, leaving the more flush-fitting ring (your band) to wear under the gloves. It’s certainly a lot easier to get gloves on when you were something low profile like a Moissanite Wedding Band (or an Eternity Band) than it is with a large solitaire, but the added protection that gloves offer is worth the extra hassle.
If you choose to remove your ring before engaging in the activities listed above (like washing your hands, showering, or swimming), here are several potential strategies for making sure you don’t lose your ring as a result.
Wear a chain, or necklace, that you can hang the ring on when it’s not on your finger.
Dedicate a small pouch, or pocket, in your purse to holding your ring while you’re not wearing it.
Put your ring in an empty pocket of your pants (always the same pocket if possible).
Place it on a high shelf of your bathroom, or on top of something tall (where others can’t see).
Get a small case that you can put your ring in to protect it and make it more visible.
I found this small waterproof case on Amazon that’s a good option if you’re looking for something compact and protective to put your ring in when it’s not on your hand. At less than $7, it’s a really good option!
Wear an Inexpensive Backup Ring Instead of Your Moissy
Do you hate removing your ring, even for activities that could cause eventual damage, because you feel strange without it on, or want others to know that you’re married (at the gym for example)? You might consider picking up an attractive, but an inexpensive, alternate ring that you can wear in place of your more expensive Moissanite Engagement Ring, or Wedding Ring, on occasion.
Cubic Zirconia probably gives you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to stone options for your alternate ring. It’s nice-looking, but inexpensive. If it gets lost or ruined at some point, you probably won’t cry your eyes out. You can buy a nice ring with a quality CZ for $100 or less. Think of it as a one-time insurance premium. If you had to take your Moissanite ring to a local jeweler for repair work, the total cost would likely come to $100 or more—so buying an inexpensive backup ring to wear during more risky activities makes good financial sense! Here’s an article I wrote on 4 key reasons for buying a CZ even though it could eventually get scratched or damaged.
These beautiful CZ rings are examples of the type of high-quality (and expensive-looking) rings that you can get for $100 or less (… with most under $60). I bought one of these CZ rings for my wife in January. She loves it, and wears it often. The ring is holding up well and still looking as beautiful as the day it first arrived.
Insure Your Ring for Added Peace of Mind
Ring insurance is something you may want to consider for your Moissanite rings as well, particularly if you choose to just leave them on constantly (rather than removing them for more risky activities). Ring insurance policies, are extremely inexpensive, and can provide real peace of mind. Make sure that you’re familiar with the exclusions (the things NOT covered) of each policy that you consider buying.
Ring insurance is something that’s unfamiliar to many, so I created an article that explains the types of policies available, what they cost, and how to obtain them. You may want to spend a few minutes with the article, learning the ropes of ring insurance, if you’ve never held one of these policies before. The article specifically discusses the process for insuring a lab-grown diamond, but the information and procedure is exactly the same for insuring a Moissanite ring.
Moissanite is a low-fuss-stone, that resists scratching and that sparkles right through dirt and oils MUCH longer than other stones typically can. Any precautions you take in removing the ring for high-risk activities will just help to ensure that it remains beautiful for future generations. Ring insurance is an inexpensive backup plan. A frugal alternate ring that you can swap for, and wear, during high-risk activities, will provide a pretty ring as a reminder of your love, while not having to stress about potential, loss or damage—further protecting something with deep sentimental value.
The clarity of stones can help or hurt their value. Clarity involves the quantity, size, color, and position of any inclusions that are in the stone. But what about Moissanite?
Does Moissanite have inclusions? Like diamond, and nearly all other gems, Moissanite often does have inclusions. The presence of inclusions isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Inclusions are natural and vary in terms of size and location. If they aren’t noticeable to the naked eye, they have little actual impact on quality or utility.
What’s the actual impact of inclusions in Moissanite? How are the look, value, and durability typically impacted when inclusions are present? I’ll address all of those issues and more in the paragraphs that follow.
What Causes Inclusions in Moissanite?
Inclusions are essentially any foreign material that got trapped inside the gem or stone as it formed. An inclusion could be caused by minerals, crystals, gas bubbles, or countless other foreign substances or objects. Because of this, inclusions are really a product of the environment that a stone was formed in.
Inclusions are NOT all the same. Inclusions caused by different things can look quite different. When lab created Moissanite (sometimes referred to as ‘Moissy’ for short) forms inclusions, it’s typically due to the growth pattern of the crystals that comprise the stone. Other lab grown stones form inclusions because of the pattern of crystal formation, but also sometimes have inclusions that are caused by the ingredients or processes used to manufacture the stones.
Inclusions are seen as imperfections in stones. They’re usually (but not always) seen as undesirable because gems without inclusions are so much more rare—and because when inclusions are large enough, they can inhibit the sparkle of a stone by blocking light from entering the stone or flowing properly to produce the sparkle effect.
Will Inclusions Affect the Look of Moissy?
The inclusions found in Moissanite are typically very small, in fact, they typically aren’t noticeable without magnification, and won’t impact the flow of light in a way that diminishes sparkle.
The tiny inclusions that are most commonly found in Moissanite are called ‘Needle’ inclusions because of their thin needle-like shape. They don’t have any color to them, so they blend nicely, and don’t detract in any way from the cosmetic appeal of the stone—in fact, they’re generally completely invisible to the naked eye. In the jewelry business, stones that have inclusions that can’t be seen without magnification are called ‘Eye Clean.’ You generally need at least 10X magnification to be able to see the inclusions in Moissanite.
Because the size, shape, and color of the inclusions in Moissanite don’t interfere with its appearance or utility, clarity isn’t graded for Moissanite stones the same way it is for diamonds (which can include a MUCH wider range of inclusion types, sizes, colors).
Do Inclusions Affect the Value of These Stones?
The value of diamonds is influenced most by the 4 C’s (color, cut, clarity, and carat weight). Clarity primarily refers to the presence and nature of inclusions. The following table outlines the system that’s most commonly used for grading clarity (and communicating the clarity derived value that should be attributed to them):
Can't see inclusions using 10X magnification
Difficult to see inclusions using 10X magnification. Can't see them without magnification
Can clearly see inclusions with 10X magnification, but can't see them without magnification
Inclusions are easily seen without magnification (with the naked eye)
** The number 1 or 2 is used to further segment some ratings. A grade with a 1 beside it means the inclusions are less severe than when there’s a 2 beside the grade. For example, a VS2 could be more substantial inclusions than a VS1.
Because the inclusions in Moissy are only visible under 10X magnification (they can’t be seen with the naked eye), Moissanite would typically fall in the VVS or the VS clarity categories if you were applying the same grading scale that’s most commonly used for diamonds.
I priced out two diamonds through a popular diamond retailer in an effort to show what a difference inclusions can sometimes have in the value of some gems. The information from the above table could be useful here as you see the difference in price and clarity grade. For the two diamonds listed below, all key characteristics were identical—except the clarity grade for the gem. Both diamonds weighed in at exactly 1 carat, had an ‘Excellent’ cut grade, and had a ‘D’ (the most colorless) color grade.
FL (flawless) = $14,180
I1 (Included) = $4,530
That’s a price difference of $9,650, that is 100% attributed to the clarity (inclusions) of the gem! That information on the way inclusions impact many gems is an interesting contrast for the way inclusions influence the value of Moissy.
The value of Moissanite typically isn’t negatively impacted by the presence of inclusions. It also isn’t typically increased when there’s a lack of inclusions, simply because typical Moissanite inclusions don’t impact the quality and value of the stone as much as it does for gems like diamonds.
How do Inclusions Impact the Durability of Moissanite?
Generally speaking, inclusions can have a big impact on durability, but that’s less common for Moissanite than it is for diamonds and other stones that more commonly have larger inclusions. Inclusions can be weak spots that make the stone more likely to break if struck in the right spot.
My younger sister saw a real-life example of this when her diamond ring fell off a counter and struck their tile floor. She picked it up and immediately couldn’t believe her eyes! Here beautiful diamond had cracked. It wasn’t just cosmetic damage either, the gem had cracked nearly all the way through!
Diamonds are fairly brittle because they’re so extremely hard, but it’s still unusual for a diamond to crack from a fall like that. It happened to her ring because her diamond had a large inclusion that didn’t severely impact light flow, but it did create a weak point in the gem.
If struck in the right spot, it was more likely to break from the force than it would be if it were struck on any other surface. My sister’s ring landed on the weak spot and it destroyed the gem. Fortunately, the diamond was insured, so she had the ability to replace it. She replaced it with a diamond simulant and pocketed the rest of the insurance money.
Because Moissanite most commonly has tiny needle inclusions, they generally don’t create substantial weak points in the stone. It would take an unusual concentration of those needle inclusions in one small area before your stone experienced any real weakness.
Are Inclusions in Moissanite Ever a Good Thing?
Believe it or not, inclusions AREN’T always bad! Inclusions make some types of stones more valuable (some Sapphires for example). For Moissanite and other stones that have them, they offer unique characteristics that can be used to identify your stone if it’s ever lost or stolen.
Because inclusions come in so many shapes, sizes, colors, and positions, they’re essentially as unique as a fingerprint. Your jeweler, or one of the grading laboratories, can map the inclusions for your ring so you have a record to help you identify your stone if you ever need to have that information in order to recover it.
Do Lab Grown Diamonds or Cubic Zirconia Have Inclusions?
Like Mined Diamonds, lab grown diamonds have inclusions that come in a variety of types, sizes, and colors. These man made diamonds are typically categorized as ‘synthetics,’ which doesn’t mean it’s ‘fake’ (though that’s what it sounds like to an industry outsider).
Inclusions can be really helpful for couples that need to find the most frugal diamond possible, in order to match a very limited budget. While lab created diamonds are significantly less expensive than mined diamond, the cost can still be significant compared to the cost of alternatives like Moissanite. If your heart is set on a diamond, you can easily save money by shopping for a diamond that has THE RIGHT kind of inclusions—inclusions that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Why would you care if there were hidden inclusions in your ring that aren’t impacting the ring’s beauty…if you can get that ring at a significant discount?
Instead of buying a diamond with an FL or VVS clarity grade, you might wisely choose to settle for a ring with a VS grade. As the chart above mentions, you can’t see the inclusions in a VS clarity diamond without 10X magnification. When was the last time that you saw someone pull out a magnifying glass to inspect a friend’s ring? It doesn’t happen, so who cares if there are a few hidden inclusions that bring the cost down?
Notice the cost difference for the same 1-carat diamond mentioned earlier that had an ‘Excellent’ cut grade, and had a ‘D’ color grade.
FL (flawless) = $14,180
VS21 (Very Slight) = $6,120
You could save $8,060 on your gem, by choosing the VS2 ring, and still not have any inclusions that others can see! I recently posted an entire article dedicated to inclusions in lab-created diamonds. It’s worth reading if you want to explore the topic further.
‘Diamond Simulants’ are another category of lab created stones that are intended to resemble diamonds. Unlike a synthetic diamond (which actually IS diamond), a diamond simulant is not made of Carbon, and is NOT diamond. Cubic Zirconia (or CZ) is the most famous and widely used diamond simulant in circulation. CZ is an optically flawless stone. Its qualities are carefully controlled during the creation process to ensure uniformity. Because of all those factors, Cubic Zirconia does not contain inclusions. If you’d like to learn more about CZ, and the various ways that it differs from Moissanite, you can read the article I posted outlining the pros and cons of both stones.
Moissanite generally will always have tiny clear inclusions that are invisible without magnification, and that don’t impact the use and beauty of the ring in any way. Because the inclusions are so common to the crystal growth pattern of Moissanite, and because the inclusions don’t negatively impact the look of the stone, so clarity typically isn’t graded.
No one likes to lose money. When something you spent a bunch of money on breaks, it makes you sick to your stomach. That’s especially true of your Engagement rings and wedding ring because of the added sentimental value. So, you may be wondering…
Can Moissanite scratch, break, chip, or crack? Moissanite is extremely hard (9.25-9.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness), but it isn’t indestructible. As with Diamonds, it is possible to scratch, chip, crack, or break them with a harder item or a big enough impact. Still, Moissanite is considered a ‘forever’ stone, which can last for generations.
What kinds of activities and impacts are capable of damaging your Moissanite? We’ll address that and some of the things you can do to protect your ring through the remainder of this article.
How Hard is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a very hard stone. It’s not the absolute hardest—that claim-to-fame belongs to diamond, but it is the second hardest stone known to man. Moissanite is harder than other, much more expensive, gems that are also considered to be ‘very hard’, like Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.
The Mohs (pronounced like “Moe’s”) Scale of Hardness is the most common way to communicate regarding the hardness of various stones. More than two hundred years ago (1812), a German mineralogist named Friedrich Mohs selected ten minerals that clearly had different levels of hardness. Through a series of simple tests, he then arranged those minerals in order from softest to hardest, and then assigned a number to each based on its order in line (it’s relative hardness). Each mineral is capable of scratching the minerals that have lower numbers assigned to them, because the smaller the number, the softer the material. In other words, a mineral that’s a 6 could scratch a 1,2,3,4, or 5, but couldn’t scratch a 7,8,9, or 10 (because anything with a higher number is a harder material). The 10 minerals that were originally selected and used are listed below, in order of hardness (with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest).
The Mohs Scale of Hardness:
That background will help us to communicate more effectively on the hardness of materials from here on out. Using the numbered minerals outlined above, other materials could then be tested against the known minerals to measure the hardness of almost any material. Moissanite, for example, is rated 9.25-9.5 on the scale. Obviously, Moissanite wasn’t something that Fredrich Mohs originally tested, but we know it’s score because of the minerals that it can scratch (as well as those it can’t).
Why Hardness Even Matters
Hardness matters because it means scratch resistance. Scratch resistance means longevity for your ring. The desire for longevity is about more than the cost of replacement, it’s about the sentimental value that can’t be replaced. You want your special ring to remain a beautiful reminder of your vows and relationship for generations. You can only hope to leave that kind of memento for future generations when you choose to use one of the hardest stones available for your ring.
A moment ago, I mentioned a widely used relative scale of hardness. Well, every solid object in your environment could be put somewhere on that scale. A nail, a paper clip, the corner of a desk, your keys they all could be assigned a relative hardness rating based on Mohs Scale. Anytime that one object is harder than another object it can scratch the surface of the softer item. That means that if your keys are harder than the stone in your ring, they could scratch the stone when you reach in your purse or pocket to grab your keyring. The same is true for a flower pot, stone, pan, or any other object that it comes in contact with.
Having a hard stone helps to ensure that the daily accidental bumps and scrapes that you hardly even notice, don’t gouge and scar the surface of your beautiful ring. The harder your ring is, the less likely that this kind of accidental damage could possibly happen.
What Can Scratch Moissanite?
The list of items that are harder than 9.25 in your everyday environment is pretty short. That means that simple brushes against most of the items that you come in contact with daily shouldn’t harm the beauty of your Moissanite ring. Glass, nails, staplers, door frames, and countless other things are softer than Moissanite when assigned a number from Mohs Scale.
Again, diamond IS harder than Moissanite, so diamond can scratch the stone, but little else can. Because of the risk that diamonds can pose to Moissanite, you need to be sure to keep a Moissanite ring from coming in direct contact with a diamond.
Having said all that, I wouldn’t advise tempting fate and by intentionally rubbing your ring against things through the day to test hardness. While most things simply can’t scratch diamond or Moissanite, you’d hate to find something that can, and only realize the danger after the damage has been done. Also, there could be some slightly different results based on the pressure applied to the ring. In other words, if I lightly drag a diamond along the surface of a sidewalk, I may not see any marks or scratches. If I put all my weight on the diamond as I drag it a second time, I might find that I collected some surface scratches. The hardness of the surface didn’t change, but the pressure I put on the diamond did.
How Tough is Moissanite?
Hardness (scratch resistance) ISN’T the only important consideration when it comes to the durability of your Moissanite stone. The other critical component is ‘toughness’. Hardness and toughness aren’t the same. Toughness has to do with how resistant the stone is to cracking, breaking, or chipping.
The extreme hardness of diamonds makes them brittle. That means that they’re a lot more susceptible to cracking, chipping, or breaking than Moissanite is.
How to Protect Your Moissanite Ring?
If you’re still shopping for the perfect Moissanite ring, you can intentionally select a setting that’s more protective of the stones that are mounted. Some solitaires leave the diamond very exposed to bumps and scrapes on almost all sides. Other settings naturally protect the stone much better. Protection shouldn’t be your primary consideration, but it could be something you think about as you narrow the field of options and try to select your e-ring or wedding ring from your collections of a few favorite final contenders.
Prevention is the best form of protection. Ideally, you would remove your ring before engaging in work or hobbies that could introduce threats. Yard work and house cleaning are two activities that rings are often removed for. If you want to wear a ring during higher-risk activities, you might consider getting an inexpensive Cubic Zirconia ring, or a simple Silver or Stainless Steel wedding band. All of those options are so inexpensive, that you can work, or play, without stressing about protecting the ring. To read more about choosing CZ rings as an inexpensive option that won’t set you back much if it gets damaged, check out this article that I recently posted.
When you remove your Moissanite ring, it’s important that you put it somewhere that it can’t harm, or be harmed by, other rings. Because diamonds are harder than Moissanite, if you put the ring in a pile of other jewelry that included some diamonds, it could easily be scratched when you pull it back out. Similarly, the Moissanite could scratch the surface of any other stones that might be sitting in the pile (other than diamond).
Ring insurance is one other element of protection that’s worth considering. Even when you do everything in your power to protect your ring, unanticipated things can happen that could lead to ring damage. Insurance is a really inexpensive source of peace of mind. I know many people that own Moissanite or Diamond rings that never remove them and don’t worry at all about damage. Their ring is insured, so if the ring gets damaged, they simply replace the stone with the money collected from the insurance claim. Some of those people have already filed claims in the years since they originally purchased the policy.
My younger sister had a diamond ring that cracked in half after falling from their counter onto a tile floor. That kind of thing typically wouldn’t crack a diamond, but in this case, it did. Fortunately, the ring was insured, so my sister got a check that allowed her to replace the stone. A similar kind of unexpected accident can happen with Moissanite or any other stone. A good insurance policy means that you’d be covered if the unexpected happened and left your ring damaged.
I recently posted an article on how to insure a lab-grown diamond ring, but the process and considerations are exactly the same for insuring Moissanite rings. There’s a lot of really helpful information there. I’d suggest that you take a moment to read the article, so you have a better understanding of how it works and what the common limitations are.
Scratching, chipping, cracking, and breaking are all possible, but they’re very unlikely given the characteristics of Moissanite and the natural tendency that most people have to protect a ring that’s special to them. Moissanite is absolutely hard enough to be an heirloom stone that’s passed down to your children and grandchildren if you don’t abuse it.