If you’re looking at great diamond alternatives for your engagement ring or wedding ring, Moissanite and Morganite could both be options worth considering, but what are their strengths and weaknesses?
Which is better, Moissanite or Morganite? Moissanite is the best choice, if durability is your main concern. It also has a great deal more sparkle than Morganite. Moissanite can be color treated to look similar to Morganite if desired. All Moissanite is lab made. If wearing a mined stone is important to you, Morganite may be the better fit.
If you’re still on the fence about which stone might work best for your ring, read on. I’ll get into the details that should help you come to a decision that you’ll ultimately be really happy with!
The History of Moissanite and Morganite
Morganite is a rare semi-precious stone mined from the earth. It was originally discovered in Madagascar, and along the coast of California. Madagascar and Brazil have had the largest deposits, but it has also been mined in Afghanistan, China, Africa, Russia and the US.
A Gemologist by the name of George Kunz proposed that the stone be renamed after his friend and client JP Morgan. The change was approved, and the beautiful new stone was given the banking tycoon’s name.
Like Emerald and Aquamarine, Morganite is from the Beryl family. In fact, prior to being renamed in 1911, Morganite was known as Pink Beryl or Rose Beryl.
Morganite is a birthstone for people born between October 22 and November 20. It’s primarily known for its elegant peachy-pink coloring.
Natural Moissanite is far more rare than Morganite. It was discovered in 1893 as a Chemist was studying the site of a meteorite impact. He believed that some small crystals he found were diamond, but years later was able to identify them as Silicon Carbide. The stone that Silicon Carbide forms is an extremely hard, and similar in appearance to diamond. The stone was named Moissanite in honor of this Chemist, Henri Moissan.
The site of meteorite strikes is still one of the only places that Moissanite can be found. When it is found, it’s only found in small quantities. If only natural Moissanite was sold for jewelry, it would be unbelievably expensive because of its scarcity. Fortunately, Moissanite can be manufactured in labs, making it both available and affordable. In fact, 100% of the Moissanite used in jewelry is lab created.
Color Facts and Options
If you want something for your engagement or wedding ring that’s a little non-traditional, Morganite may be a beautiful option. Its color is often a fusion of pink and peach, though it can vary in specific shade. The natural color comes from the influence of the mineral Manganese in the gem.
Morganite can be especially stunning when paired with a rose gold band. The color of the gem and the metal just complement each other so well!
Moissanite is a stone that naturally comes in shades ranging form clear and colorless to some hue of yellow or brown. They can also be colored by various processes to take on nearly any coloring that you’d like. As with Diamonds, the clearest stones sell at a premium.
Neither Moissanite or Morganite should have ring color that fades, or otherwise changes with time. Having said that, Morganite often has an appearance change. It isn’t necessarily a change in color though, and it can be remedied or avoided. Read about clouding below to learn more.
Moissanite and Morganite as Diamond Alternatives
Mined diamonds are expensive. Lab created diamonds cost less, but even those may be outside the reach of many. While some truly can’t afford a the price tag for a diamond, others decide that just can’t justify the cost. There are so many other areas of their life that they’d rather park the money that a diamond engagement ring would require.
The decide instead to purchase a diamond simulant like Moissanite or Morganite that are beautiful in their own right. Either ring costs a fraction of what a diamond of similar size and quality would, so they can use their savings to pay down debt, cover other wedding expenses, get into a home, or save for the future.
For many, Morganite looks like a pink diamond. But there are some differences in the two gems. If you’re looking for a simulant that looks as much like a diamond as possible, Moissanite would be a much better alternative. In terms of appearance and durability, it’s probably the best look alike available.
If you like the color of the Morganite, but otherwise want the brilliant diamond like look of a cut Moissanite, you can purchase a pink Moissanite in the shade you like best. The colored Moissanite is like having your cake, and eating it too!
If you want a sparkly ring, cut is a critical consideration. If fact, it’s the most critical consideration. An Emerald cut is beautiful, but it’s intended to display the clarity of the stone…not sparkle. Make sure you get the cut that accentuates the right the qualities that you want to display most.
Sparkle is an area where Moissanite and Morganite are fairly different. Well cut Morganite is beautiful and sparkles, but not to the degree of Moissanite. My mom is the biggest fan of sparkle I know. She loves glitter, sequins, and anything that flashes brilliantly.
Knowing that, if my mother was trying to decide between Morganite and Moissanite for a replacement wedding ring, I would strongly recommend Moissanite. It has greater fire and brilliance. She would love moving her hand back and forth under light and watching the sparkles dance across her ring.
The Durability of both Gems
In order to objectively talk about durability, we need to understand the hardness of both stones. Mohs Scale of Hardness is a 10 point scale that identifies how hard particular minerals are in relation to other items.
To make the scale, NAME Mohs gathered ten minerals, arranged them in order of hardness and then assigned a number to each mineral, with 1 going to Talc (the softest material) and 10 being assigned to diamond (the hardest) for example.
The system provides a helpful way to communicate about the hardness of a material, but it isn’t perfect. For example an item with a rating of 8.5 seems to be nearly as hard an item that has a rating of 9, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The numbers aren’t evenly spaced.
The scale really just shows arrangement, meaning that higher numbered minerals could scratch lower numbered minerals, but lower numbered minerals can’t scratch higher numbered minerals.
On the Mohs Scale, Morganite is rated a 7.5 to 8, while Moissanite is a 9.25. While Morganite isn’t considered a soft stone, it’s substantially softer than Moissanite. That means that it’s more likely to pick up accidental scratches as you go about your everyday life. I recently heard from an office worker that absolutely adores her Morganite engagement ring, but she was shocked that it collects little scratches as she goes about her normal daily routine.
Moissanite is an incredibly hard gem that’s extremely scratch resistant. Notice that I didn’t say scratch proof. It’s even possible to scratch a diamond, but the harder the stone in your ring, the less likely it is that your gem will get scratched.
In addition to scratching, softer gems are also more prone to chipping. It’s a good idea to look for a setting that will protect your stone as much as possible. Sometimes a diamond halo around your Morganite stone can be both beautiful to look at and functional for protection of your center stone.
Maintaining Your Gem
As small scratches accumulated on the surface of your ring over time, it can have a real muting effect on the original sparkle that you loved about your e-ring. If you go with a Morganite and find that it collects small scratches over time, you can always have the stone repolished down the road. That process should restore the ring to its original beauty.
It’s very common for Morganite to get cloudy. It can happen in just days, but know that it’s a problem that has an easy solution. Dirt and oils are typically the things that cause morganite to cloud up. The best way to address the issue, is to carefully wash your ring at least one every week or two.
Start by soaking your ring for a few minutes in warm water. Warm is best. It starts the process of loosening up gunk without shocking your ring with extreme temperatures. Next, grab some mild dish soap and a soft baby toothbrush (the softer the better). Scrub the ring thoroughly, but gently, with the warm soapy water. Be patient and make sure to get all the way around the gem if you can.
Natural oils from your hands and dirt from your environment combine and get lodged under your stone and all around your prongs. The oil dulls the look of your ring, so taking the time to scrub it out will help bring the sparkle back.
One you finish scrubbing the ring, rinse it well and then dab it as dry as possible with a soft and clean towel. Finally, use a hairdryer on a cool or warm setting to finish drying the ring in all it’s corners and crevices. Cleaning your ring regularly will help it maintain the beautiful color and sparkle that you originally fell in love with.
Here are some other best practices for protecting your engagement ring. They’re valuable regardless of what your e-ring is made of, but the guidelines are especially important if you’re wearing Morganite to keep it from getting cloudy.
- Don’t wear your ring in the shower.
- Take off your ring before doing your hair.
- Don’t wear your ring while doing the dishes or other house work (especially those that put your hand in contact with chemicals or cleaning agents).
- Remove your ring before applying hand sanitizer or hand lotion. Wait 10 minutes or so before putting it back on afterward.
Morganite could be a ring that you wear everyday if you stay on top of maintenance and are careful with it, but many people have chosen to have more than one ring, and to wear theri beautiful Morganite just occasionally when they have a special occasion or it fits a particular outfit well.
As you start shopping for your engagement ring, you’ll notice a wide range of prices. You have to be really careful. Often when something seems too good to be true, it is. If a 6.5mm (approximately 1 carat) Moissanite or Morganite stone is being sold for $12, for example, you’re likely to actually get some form of glass or plastic that looks like the stone, but isn’t. It’s a waste of your time and money.
At the other extreme, you may find retailers that list a similar 6.5 mm stone for $1,200. Some retailers have higher markups than others. Don’t get discouraged if you see some really expensive stones for sale out there. There may be legitimate reasons for the high price of some of the stones you see, but chances are, that you’ll be able to find something that fits your budget well if you keep looking.
I just did a quick search of some reputable retailers and found the following prices for 1 carat stones with size and quality that was as similar as possible.
- Diamond: $4200
- Moissanite: $300
- Morganite: $300
These are pretty average rates for quality stones with good color, but some may be a little higher or a little lower. If you find stones that are way higher or way lower, you should spend a little more time investigating the quality of the gem that you’re looking at and the reputation of the company offering it.
Does Morganite Have Healing Properties?
There’s a great deal of lore in various cultures regarding Morganite. It’s thought of as a gem that facilitates increased relaxation and health. It’s believed to help with energy flow through the body. Based on many years of legend, it’s believed that Morganite can keep you safe while traveling and provide a host of benefits to your emotional and physical well-being, including:
- The ability to maintain a positive disposition during times of extreme stress.
- An increase in emotional connection with others.
- Improving the oxygen supply to the cells of your body.
- Improvement of energy levels.
While you may or may not notice all of those benefits as you enjoy wearing your beautiful Morganite ring, it adds to the charm and meaning of your ring.
Which Diamond Alternatives are Most Durable?
If you want a colored stone, but would like to explore additional options, you may want to also look into Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, and Topaz. While not as hard as Moissanite, all of these gems are at least as hard as Morganite, and are among the more scratch resistant gems available.
How Resistant is Morganite to Heat?
All Beryls seem to sensitive to extreme heat. Their color can fade if exposed to heat above 932 degree fahrenheit. While that won’t affect the way you wear the ring, Jewelers do have to cautious with the use of soldering irons around Morganite and other members of the Beryl family.