Moissanite has become a really popular choice for engagement rings and wedding rings over the past few years. Awareness is spreading quickly! But you want your rings to be perfect, so …
Is Moissanite good for an Engagement Ring? Moissanite is an excellent engagement ring option. It’s also fantastic for wedding rings, anniversary bands, and promise rings. It’s a durable stone (9.25-9.5 on Mohs Scale of Hardness) that should continue to look beautiful for generations. It looks very similar to diamond but is far less expensive!
If you’re trying to decide if Moissanite is right for you, and especially if you’re debating between Moissanite and diamond, you may find the following 10 facts to be enlightening and helpful!
We’re all heavily influence by marketers. You may think that you’re not, but the clothes you wear, the car you drive, and products you consume are heavily influenced by marketing message that you directly engage with, or that your social circle engages with and then eventually pass on to you.
1. Most People Can’t Tell Diamond From Moissanite
Moissanite is almost identical to diamond. It isn’t made of the same thing (it’s NOT diamond) but has similar qualities. Many believe Moissanite to be the simulant that’s most similar to diamond.
There are some minor physical differences between the two, but they aren’t things that most non-professionals would likely ever notice. Even professionals have trouble distinguishing Moissanite and Diamond at times.
Take a look at the following images and see if you can tell whether the center stone of each ring is diamond or Moissanite.
Do you notice a difference? It’s tough to see one. I was examining both rings side-by-side last night, before taking these pictures, and they honestly look almost identical. I’ll tell you a little later which of the rings contains diamond, and which is Moissanite.
2. Moissanite is About 90% Less Expensive Than Diamond
Cost savings are the most common reason for couples to consider Moissanite as an alternative to diamonds for their engagement ring. On average, Moissanite rings are about 90% less expensive than comparable diamond rings! Since Moissanite is extremely durable and looks almost exactly like diamond, it’s a source of SERIOUS savings that comes without a kind of real sacrifice—brides get a beautiful, sparkly, and durable ring that looks just like diamond to others for a fraction of the cost.
The lower cost of Moissanite could make it possible for you to get a larger stone than you could afford if you purchased a diamond. If you always dreamed of a 1.5-carat diamond, for example, but can’t afford to buy one—you might be able to get the equivalent of a 1.5 carat Moissanite that looks exactly like diamond to your friends and family.
Aside from a larger center stone, the lower cost of Moissanite could also allow you to get a fuller set of wedding jewelry while still saving significant money. For example, you might end up buying a Moissanite engagement ring, wedding band, necklace, and earrings, that all coordinate, for less than a comparable diamond engagement ring, alone, would typically cost.
A local jewelry manufacturer, and retailer, in my area, made the following statement while talking about the benefits of Moissanite during an interview.
“I’ve always had a problem with this big company (we all know who they are). They sell diamonds all over the world, telling everybody, ‘if you REALLY love her, you have to spend two months salary on a diamond.’
“Well, when you’re young, getting married, you don’t have all that money to spend on diamonds—you’ve got things that your money is probably a lot better spent for: getting out of college debt, buying a washing machine, getting an apartment, all kinds of stuff other than diamonds.”
“Don’t get me wrong guys. I own a jewelry store, I love it when you buy diamonds—but with the internet and everything, the markup on diamonds has just become ridiculous.”
Moissanite can allow you to save significant money during a time when you have LOTS of other demands—weddings can get expensive fast! You can use those savings to upgrade your reception or honeymoon, pay down debt, save toward a down payment on a home, or add to your ‘rainy day’ savings.
3. Moissanite is Harder Than ALL Gems Other Than Diamond
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known to man. It rates 10 (the highest possible score) on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The next hardest stone after diamond on the Mohs Scale is Moissanite at 9.25-9.5. That makes it harder than other famously hard stones like Sapphire, Rubies, and Emeralds.
Hardness is important because it’s synonymous with scratch resistance and overall durability. Other diamond simulants, even those that are considered relatively hard stones, are still significantly less hard than Moissanite. They might last years or decades, but Moissanite is hard enough to continue looking beautiful for generations. Because of that, like diamond, it’s known as a ‘forever’ stone.
With extreme hardness, comes serious brittleness. Diamond is both harder than Moissanite and much more brittle, which means that it’s more susceptible to certain types of damage—like chips and cracks.
4. Moissanite is Conflict Free!
The term ‘Blood Diamond’ has been around for a while, but it hit the radar of a much broader segment of the population when Leonardo DiCaprio starred in a movie by the same name in 2006. The film drew attention to a horrifying reality that people in certain regions of the world have been living for many decades. Blood diamonds are also commonly referred to as ‘Conflict Diamonds’.
There’s significant money available in diamonds—the kind of money that can buy heavy and sophisticated weapons and ammunition for gorilla militant groups that want to do ethnic cleansing or topple local government leaders. These groups sometimes confiscate a mine and then round up people to dig for the diamonds, as forced slave labor. Those that don’t work, or don’t work hard enough, are beaten, mutilated, or killed to help keep the others fearful and working.
The working conditions are one significant aspect of the atrocity, but the other is what they DO with the weapons they amass with diamond revenue. Sometimes bigotry causes them to mow down tribes, villages, Christians or other groups. Their brutality toward men, women, and children is stomach-turning.
The Kimberley Process is international legislation that was created to help keep Conflict Diamonds out of the international diamond supply. While the aim is praiseworthy, time has proven the legislation to be fairly ineffective. Determined organizations have altered their processes to skirt regulatory roadblocks. They smuggle their diamonds across borders and then slip them into the diamond supply from other countries. Those blood diamonds appear to be legitimate stones because they came from a country not known to have a problem with trading in blood diamonds. The problem hasn’t gone away, it’s just become more difficult to detect and stop.
I wrote a post all about Conflict Diamonds that you can check out if you’d like to learn more about the issue.
Blood diamonds can end up in local jewelry stores across the country or around the world. The jeweler would have no idea that a particular diamond is a conflict diamond because of the way it enters the market. Unwilling to risk buying blood diamonds, many have turned to alternatives like lab created diamonds or Moissanite.
Lab created stones give them the durability and beauty that they wanted from a diamond, without the possibility that violence was used to bring the gem to market. If you’re looking for a frugal ring that’s always 100% conflict free, but also has the look and durability that’s the most similar to diamond—you’ll be very happy with Moissanite!
5. Moissanite Has MORE Fire, Brilliance, & Luster Than Diamond
One of the areas where Moissanite outperforms diamond, is SPARKLE! If you look to look the white and colored flashes reflecting from your ring as it moves under light, you’ll love Moissanite. It has more fire (colorful sparkles), brilliance (white sparkles), and Luster (the general radiance of the stone) than diamond. That’s not an opinion, it’s based on actual measurements.
Visual Characteristics of Moissanite vs. Diamond
|Refractive Index (brilliance)|
Many women get lots of compliments on their rings while wearing Moissanite because it’s so vibrant and radiant! Because the stone is so great at dispersion and refraction, it sparkles well even when it’s dirty. Not all stones are like that. Some can very quickly get muted by the buildup of dirt and natural oils until they look dull and lifeless. That visual impact can happen in just days, meaning that you have to clean some rings every few days to maintain their sparkle. Moissanite is much more low maintenance. It’s still good to keep it clean, but Moissanite will continue sparkling in between cleanings.
6. Natural Moissanite is FAR RARER Than Diamond
Most natural Moissanite is extraterrestrial, in the sense that it was delivered to earth directly from outer space! Moissanite was first discovered at a meteorite impact site, and these impact sites are where it has typically been found ever since. These impact sites are scattered around the globe. Not all of them have Moissanite present, but some do.
Diamonds, on the other hand, are found in veins and pockets. We’ve learned how to find the regions and areas where diamonds might be located. Worldwide, we currently mine about 150,000,000 carats (roughly 33 tons) of diamonds every single year, yet we probably don’t find enough natural moissanite to fill a shoebox each year if it were all combined.
Large diamonds are regularly found that tip the scales at 100 carats or more. In contrast, the largest piece of natural Moissanite ever found was just 4.1mm along it’s longest dimension—most are MUCH smaller than that. They’re typically tiny fragmented crystals. To put that in perspective, 4.1mm is approximately ⅛ of an inch…so the largest piece of natural Moissanite ever found is still pretty small!
After hurtling through space and colliding with the earth, natural Moissanite isn’t in the best of condition, in fact, no jewelry quality natural Moissanite has ever been discovered and reported. Still, Moissanite has some amazing properties, and it’s a beautiful stone, so we’re fortunate that we can produce jewelry-grade stones in a lab, and make them large enough to meet the needs people have for jewelry applications.
If natural Moissanite were sold at a value that was based on its rarity, it would be something that almost no one could ever hope to afford.
7. Moissanite is Incredibly Heat Resistant
Believe it or not, diamonds actually begin to vaporize (literally turns to vapor) at about 763° Celsius (1405° Fahrenheit). That’s some pretty good heat resistance, but Moissanite does even better. It can be heated all the way to 1093° Celsius (2,000° Fahrenheit) before it begins to vaporize.
Both stones can resist the kind of heat they might experience on a beach, or in a hot car, for example, but a jeweler’s torch brings a much more intense heat—the kind that can damage certain stones. The torch used to repair jewelry can easily damage it if the jeweler isn’t familiar with the properties of the stone they’re working on and extremely careful. Depending on the type of torch, and fuel source, a jeweler’s torch is generally capable of reaching temperatures ranging from 2,000° to 4,000° Fahrenheit.
Because of the incredible heat resistance of Moissanite, the stone is almost never damaged by jeweler’s torches during repair work.
8. Couples That Spend Less on Rings Stay Married Longer
Choosing a frugal ring isn’t JUST about saving money. It’s about honoring the aspect of your marriage that’s really MOST important (and it isn’t the ring on your finger). Your Spouse (or spouse-to-be), and the commitment you’re making to each other is what really matters. It isn’t important what others think of your ring—it’s there to remind you of the person that you love and your commitment to each other.
When you choose a frugal ring option over an impressive ring that you can’t really afford, you start your marriage on more solid financial footing. You set the tone for future financial decisions. Instead of, ‘we’ll just borrow money and figure out how to pay for it later,” you start your marriage with ‘let’s get the best ring we can afford now and upgrade later when we can afford to.’ That ability to delay gratification seems to be a characteristic of marriages that last.
A study came out of Emory University that illustrates this reality well. They found that there was a strong correlation between the amount of money that couples spent on their wedding rings and how long they stayed married. The same was true of the amount spent on their overall wedding. The more the average couple spent on ring and wedding, the shorter their marriage. Conversely, the LESS they spent on their rings and marriage, the longer they stayed married.
That certainly doesn’t mean that ALL you need to do in order to experience never-ending marital bliss, is buy inexpensive rings and control wedding costs. The real message is two-fold.
- You don’t NEED fancy and expensive rings that impress others. They don’t improve your prospects for a long and happy marriage.
- The maturity required to live within the bounds of your budget benefits you financially, but also has spillover benefits that influence other areas of your life and marriage.
With a national divorce rate that’s hovering at about 50%, and with most couples citing money issues as the cause of separation, starting out more frugally doesn’t show a lack of love, it shows much greater love and commitment to beat the odds and make the marriage and finances work.
Moissanite is an excellent Engagement Ring option for all the reasons stated above…and many others. Were you able to tell which of the two rings shown earlier in the post was Moissanite? The Moissanite ring was the one with three stones. The Solitaire is a diamond ring. If you got that right based on the look of the stones, you’re much better at this than I am.
Moissanite is a beautiful stone that’s amazing in its own right—not JUST because it looks so similar to diamond. Having said that, friends, family, and coworkers are unlikely to be able to tell that your ring is made out of Moissanite. The ring will probably catch their eye though. They’ll admire its dazzling sparkle and will likely assume that you got the most beautiful diamond they’ve ever seen.