What is Moissanite Oil Slick? | Fixing the Rainbow Stain

What is Moissanite Oil Slick? | Fixing the Rainbow Stain

Rainbow colored oil slicks on the surface of a Moissanite ring can be shocking to find—and sometimes agonizing to get rid of. In this post, I’ll share techniques that will allow you to break free of the seemingly endless cycle of recurring oil slick stains on the surface of your Moissy.

What is Moissanite oil slick? This stain appears on the surface of some Moissanite, and has the rainbow-like appearance of radiator fluid. It is likely caused by the buildup of hard water residue and exposure to chemicals and oils. While stubborn, and often frustrating, the stain WILL come off if you use the right approach.

Whether you need to get rid of an oil slick stain on your Moissanite ring, or you’re hoping to learn how to avoid it, so you’ll never have to experience the stain, keep reading, You’ll find all the information you’ll need in the paragraphs that follow.

A Rainbow Stain on Moissanite

If you already own a Moissanite ring, you may be living in fear of the dreaded Moissanite oil slick that so many others have struggled with. This oil slick is also sometimes referred to as Moissanite ‘stain’ or ‘staining’. Once it strikes, the oil slick often feels like an incurable disease.

Sometimes more obvious than others, the stain might be fairly prominent, or it might be something you really have to look for and can only see with certain lighting and angles. Either way, once YOU notice it, it will likely drive you crazy until you’re able to get rid of it. If you don’t address it while the stain is small, it’s likely to get bigger and more visible until you take action.

In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll help you understand both how to avoid having issues with the oil slick effect on your ring, AND how to remedy the situation if it does happen. By the time you’re done with this article, you won’t have to live in fear of this rainbow-like intruder.

What Causes the Oil Slick Stain?

No one knows the exact cause of the rainbow stain on some Moissanite, but there are some common-sense theories that are widely believed throughout the jewelry industry. Most likely, the stain comes from contact with the following types of substances over time.

  • Lotions
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Soaps (hand soaps, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc)
  • Hair Care products (gel, mousse, hairspray, etc)
  • Hard water (dissolved minerals in water that can build up gradually each time your ring gets wet)
  • Chemicals (cleaning products)

Do you remove your ring before cleaning the house with sprays, wet wipes, or other chemicals? Do you take it off before showering, washing your hands, or applying lotion? If you don’t, you’re at a higher risk of eventually seeing an oil slick buildup. I wrote an article about Wearing Moissanite in the Pool, Hot Tub, or Shower. There is information and data in that article that may be helpful.

The Oil Slick on Diamond and Other Gems

You may be wondering if all types of gems get oil slick stains at some point. Would diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, or Morganite, for example? How about man-made stones like Cubic Zirconia? The answer is, ‘no’…rainbow staining is a phenomenon that’s unique to Moissanite.

Please understand that not ALL Moissanite is affected by oil slick stains. Some people notice the rainbow stain on their surface of their Moissanite within weeks, others after months or years. There are also many that are NEVER bothered by it. If you own a Moissanite ring it’s possible, NOT inevitable, that the oil slick stain will eventually appear.

Why Does the Oil Slick Only Appear on SOME Moissanite?

The dreaded rainbow stain is MUCH more common in older Moissanite, but be careful about attributing a direct correlation to age alone—there isn’t one. In other words, the oil slick stain doesn’t show up on an older Moissanite engagement ring BECAUSE the stone is old, it seems to show up on the older Moissanite because of the way Moissanite was made at the time.

Yes, newer Moissanite is affected much less often, but very cheap Moissanite (often imported from China) still frequently has issues. This differentiation likely happens because the manufacturers of cheap, imported, Moissanite cut corners in order to keep prices down. The Moissanite looks beautiful at first, but eventually starts to have issues (like oil slick stains). It’s often true that ‘you get what you pay for.’ You can find information on the manufacturer that I trust to provide the highest-quality Moissanite here.

The rainbow stain, we’ve been discussing, seems to appear when a susceptible ring comes in contact with particular substances over time. If you wear a Moissy stone that’s less susceptible, it will be more resistant to the stain.

My wife, for example, wears her Moissanite ring all the time (24/7). While she doesn’t intentionally abuse them, she’s not one to pamper her rings. She washes dishes, kids, dogs, and cars with her ring on. She’ll swim, shower, or soak in a hot tub with her ring on too. Even after all that, she’s never seen the slightest evidence of an oil slick stain on the surface of her ring. I’m really curious to see if one ever appears.

If my wife had a really low-quality Moissanite ring where corners had been cut during the manufacturing process, she may have seen an oil slick show up within the first few weeks or months.

How to Remove Oil Slick From Moissanite

The oil slick stain isn’t easy to remove from the surface of Moissanite, but it definitely IS POSSIBLE. Many people have cleaned their ring until they couldn’t see the stain any longer, only to feel defeated and hopeless when it returns a week or so later. I’ve heard from several people that eventually gave up and sold their ring. I’ve also heard from others that purchased a used Moissanite ring only to have an oil slick reappear a short time later.

Woman wondering how to Remove Oil Slick From Moissanite

There’s no need to dump your ring if it’s affected by this kind of stain. It is something you can fix if you do the process properly. I’m going to share some of the specific techniques that have proven successful for removing the oil slick from Moissanite in the past. Most of these remedies require a little patience and some good old fashioned ‘elbow grease.’

While it might LOOK LIKE the stain is gone after a minute or two of work, in order to get rid of it, long-term, you’ll need to devote a little more time. Planning on 10 to 20 minutes of total work should be sufficient. Keep reading, and you’ll learn more about why the additional time is needed (why you won’t want to stop cleaning as soon as the stain APPEARS to be gone). Just turn on a movie and scrub as you watch, then it won’t feel like such drudgery!

There’s No One Size Fits All Solution

You may have heard someone share information on what they did to remove the oil slick stain from their ring in the past, only to find that it DIDN’T work on yours. That’s a common experience. I think that could happen for a number of reasons.

  1. You’re using different products (a different brand of toothpaste or silver polish for example).
  2. You’re using different tools (a brush that’s more or less firm for example)
  3. You’re using a different technique (you’re pressing more or less firmly for example)
  4. Your build-up is heavier than theirs was

Don’t get discouraged if your first effort doesn’t do the trick. We’ve provided a number of solutions that have worked for Moissanite owners around the globe. If one particular approach doesn’t work well for you, try another. You’re sure to find a solution if you don’t give up.

Using a Moissanite Cleaning Cloth

One relatively simple way to clean the oil slick off of the surface of Moissanite, is with a Moissanite cleaning cloth (sometimes also referred to as a Sterling Polishing Cloth, a Sunshine Cleaning Cloth, a Yellow Sunshine Cloth, or a Jeweler’s Rouge Cloth). Many people use the Sunshine Polishing Cloth for Sterling Silver cleaning jobs, but it can also be used to scrub a rainbow film right off of the surface of a Moissanite stone. The process will take a little effort and patience, but it works well.

How do Sunshine Polishing Cloths Work?

A Moissanite polishing cloth is manufactured with a polishing compound (Jeweler’s Rouge) infused on one side. The other side of the cloth is a soft surface used for wiping and buffing once the cleaning is complete. When the cloth is new, it’s typically yellow or orange, but as you wipe your ring with the treated side of the cloth, it will start to turn black—that’s normal. The black marks are a combination of gunk that’s being removed from the surface of your ring, and the visual effect of the polishing compound being removed from the cloth.

A black appearance doesn’t mean that the cloth won’t continue to work effectively for cleaning. The Sunshine cloth residue will continue to work long after the cloth is completely discolored and looking old, in fact, most people find that they can use the same cloth for about 48 months before having to replace it.

How will you know when it’s time to replace your polishing cloth? You’ll know it’s time to replace the cloth when one of two things happens.

  • The cloth wears through and literally falls apart.
  • The fabric of the cloth starts to get a lot of pilling (those little clumps of balled up fabric—like sweaters often accumulate).

Whatever you do, don’t wash your polishing cloth! It’s natural to consider washing it when you see the surface of the cloth turning dark. Logically, it seems the cloth is dirty, and that it might work even more effectively after a good cleaning. Unfortunately, during the washing process, you’ll strip the cloth of the cleaning compound that makes it effective. If you washed it along with other towels or clothing items, the buildup and chemicals from the polishing cloth might stain the other clothes that it comes in contact with during the washing and drying cycles.

To clean your stone with the polishing cloth, Rub the treated side of the cloth against the oil slick stain on the surface of your Moissanite stone with medium pressure. Stop periodically to evaluate your progress as you go. You should see the cloth darkening, and the stain on the surface of your Moissanite gradually disappearing.

An Important Word of Caution

Rhodium is a light-colored metal from the Platinum family. Some rings are coated, or ‘plated’, in Rhodium to improve their visual appeal or their durability.

Don’t use your polishing cloth on any surfaces that are Rhodium plated! The cloth will remove the plating. Having a local jeweler replate it for you would probably cost $40 or more. The cloth is safe to use on Gold—as long as it isn’t Rhodium plated. Be careful though, because nearly all white gold Is Rhodium plated. Because of that, it’s probably safest not to use polishing cloths on white gold at all—just in case! You should also avoid using the treated side of the cloth of soft or porous stones. While a hard stone, like Moissanite, is safe, something like Opal or Turquoise, for example, could be harmed by the cloth.

Sterling Silver is safe to use a polishing cloth on (as long as it isn’t Rhodium plated). Platinum is also safe to use the cloth on. If your ring is Rhodium plated, you need to be careful with your technique, regardless of which you choose. Silver polish, toothpaste, and other treatments could strip the Rhodium, especially if you apply too much pressure.

Because of this, it would be best to use highly localized treatments that help you avoid contact with the prongs or any other plated areas—for example, using a Q-tip might allow you to rub the stone while avoiding the prongs better than a toothbrush would.

Using Silver Polish

Another common alternative for removing oil slick stains, involves the use of a silver polish (or silver cream) and a soft toothbrush (a baby toothbrush is ideal). If you don’t already have a baby toothbrush on hand, you can pick them up at a local dollar store.

Apply the polish directly to the surface of the Moissanite stone and start scrubbing. I would suggest scrubbing for at least 5 minutes. Once the stain seems to be gone, rinse the stone well with warm water, and then dry thoroughly. Not all brands of silver cream are equally effective. Wright’s Silver Cream is the brand that’s most trusted for oil slick removal. It’s readily available at Walmart, neighborhood hardware stores, and online.

If you prefer a liquid polish, Haggerty’s Silversmith Polish is a brand that I’d recommend. It’s also one that’s recommended by some quality Moissanite manufacturers.

While one cleaning with a silver polish may do the trick, chances are, you’ll need to clean the ring multiple times to fully remove the visible stain AND to remove the film that ISN’T visible. Try to be patient with the process.

Using a Specific Stainless Steel Cleaning Powder

Another product I’ve seen good success with, is a tool called ‘Bar Keeper’s Best Friend’ that many restaurants and bars swear by for keeping their stainless steel looking great. It’s essentially a cleanser that can be used for a number of different purposes. Fortunately, this product is available for home use too. If you get a Q-tip wet and then dip it in the powder to coat the tip, you can typically scrub the oil slick stain off the surface of your Moissanite pretty quickly. As an added bonus, you can use this popular cleanser brand to clean your kitchen too once your ring is squared away!

Try to just scrub the stone, avoiding the metal portion of your ring (hopefully the Q-tip helps you to do that). When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the ring well and then dry it thoroughly.

Using Toothpaste

The thing that I love about using toothpaste to tackle your stain, is that there’s nothing new to purchase. You probably have toothpaste and an old toothbrush on hand right now.

I don’t think that brand matters much when it comes to the kind of toothpaste that you use for this, but Colgate and Aqua Fresh are the brands that seem to be used most often when I hear from people about a successful outcome using toothpaste alone.

Either a soft toothbrush or a Q-tip can be used with the toothpaste to scrub the stain.

Using Dish Soap

A mild dish soap, like Dawn, and the green side (the rough side) of a new two-sided sponge can sometimes work wonders. Here again, I love this technique because it uses common cleaning products that many homes already have on hand. The dish soap is a cleaning agent, but also a lubricant—it’s the friction of the scrubber side of the sponge that can make the biggest difference. Apply pressure as needed.

Depending on the nature of your oil slick stain, you may see rapid progress, or you may need to stick with it and keep scrubbing for 20 to 30 minutes or more before getting the result that you’re looking for. Again, it might be easiest if you put on an episode of your favorite show to entertain you as you work.

Using a Specific Glass Cleaning Spray

A while back, someone told me about a struggle they had over many months to find a solution to the stain on their Moissanite engagement ring. The process of trying to find a solution was driving her nuts—nothing had worked! She tried all sorts of things that others had recommended and then started experimenting on her own in desperation.

Eventually, she found a combination that did the trick. She used a specific glass cleaner called “Invisible Glass” and the rough side (the green side) of a two-sided sponge. The stain came off, her ring looked amazing, and she was elated!

Using a Dremel

If manual processes aren’t doing the trick, if your hands are hurting, or you have medical issues, like arthritis, that prevent you from scrubbing as long and hard as you might normally need to—you may want to consider a more mechanical scrubbing solution.

Exercise caution here, but tools like electric toothbrushes and even Dremels have may prove to be a lifesaver if you need to speed up the process or spare your hands from extended scrubbing. A Dremel is a rotary tool that can be used for a wide variety of functions, like cutting, carving, sanding, or buffing. The accessory that you attach, determines what the tool can be used for.

A Dremel can rotate the attachment being used at 5,000 to 35,000 RPM (revolutions-per-minute). That kind of speed can save you a significant amount of time and effort when scrubbing!

Buffing and polishing are typically done with a felt wheel attachment. You could either try using the felt wheel alone…or you can use it in conjunction with a silver cream or polish.

What to do if Your Oil Slick Keeps Coming Back

If you’ve cleaned your oil slick in the past, only to have it resurface a week or two later, you may be getting to the point of desperation. It can be extremely frustrating and eventually starts to feel hopeless. Some folks that have been through the cycle several times, eventually decide to sell their Moissanite ring (used) and move on. Unfortunately, that means that a new buyer is going to have to start working through the same issues.

Someone recently told me that they use both silver polish AND polishing cloths to remove the oil slick stain from their Moissanite—but the stain keeps coming back again! They’re at their wits end! If you’re in the same boat, don’t lose hope. The oil slick cycle is sometimes hard to break for good, but it can be done, here’s how—

The tarnish or build-up that forms on the surface of Moissanite as an oil slick has a film that (like algae) has to be removed COMPLETELY or it will grow back. Those that have had the seemingly ENDLESS frustration of a returning oil slick, have probably never cleaned their ring well enough to completely get rid of the film. They have been successful at eliminating the visual evidence of the stain, but some of the film remained, so, within just days or weeks, it grows back and becomes visible again.

Here’s the key: Clean your Moissanite until all visual evidence of the stain is completely gone. When you can’t see the stain any longer, and you’d bet your life that the film is gone from the surface of the stone—clean it again another time or two. It’s these additional cleanings (once the stone already appears to be clean) that help to wipe out the remainder of the film. Once the film’s residue is COMPLETELY gone, it’s very possible that the oil slick may NEVER return. At the very least, it won’t return quickly—and you’ll know how to handle it effectively, if it does reappear at some point down the road.

How to Keep the Oil Slick Away

There’s an old saying that I remember hearing as I was growing up, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While this post shares several very effective methods for getting rid of an oil slick stain on Moissanite, it’s much better to avoid the problem altogether if you can. The following guidelines could help you avoid the hassle of a rainbow stain on your Moissy ring:

  • Remove your ring to apply lotion, hair care products, or hand sanitizer.
  • Remove your ring to wash your hands or shower.
  • Don’t swim or soak in a hot tub with your ring on.
  • Remove your ring before cleaning with any kind of chemicals.
  • Clean your ring regularly to so you can remove grime before it really builds up.
  • Consider using distilled water to wash your ring without concerns about hard water.

When I talk about cleaning your ring regularly, that might mean once a month, every week, or every day, depending on the needs of your ring. Every two to four weeks should be frequent enough unless you’re having a particular problem with build, or staining, on your stone.

Cleaning your ring could be a simple as letting it soak for a few minutes in a small bowl of warm water mixed with mild dish soap, before scrubbing it thoroughly with a baby toothbrush. After scrubbing it down, you would simply rinse it well and then dry it completely.

Another option that’s safe for Moissanite is an Ultrasonic cleaner. These handy devices use sound waves to clean your jewelry. They make frequent cleanings painless! Some people just drop their ring in their Ultrasonic cleaner before going to bed every couple of nights, and then wake up to a sparkling clean ring in the morning.

Ultrasonic cleaners aren’t ONLY available to jewelers. You can actually purchase a unit that’s designed for home use for surprisingly little (less than $50). If an Ultrasonic cleaner makes it easier for you to maintain your ring over the years and maximize its beauty, it’s well worth having.

Warning:Ultrasonic cleaners might not be gentle enough if you have a fairly fragile setting, like a pave settings on your ring. It might also not be the best option if your ring is Rhodium plated. If you have any questions about whether your ring might be too fragile for an Ultrasonic cleaner, talk to a local jeweler or play it safe and wash it manually with soapy water and a toothbrush.

In Summary

If you buy quality Moissanite from a reputable manufacturer, you’re less likely to have issues with an oil slick stain than you would if you purchase very cheap Moissy—where corners may have been cut during the manufacturing process. Removing your ring before dealing with water, chemicals, soaps, hand sanitizer, or hair care products could help prevent the appearance of a rainbow stain on the surface of your moissanite.

If the oil slick stain DOES show up at some point, you CAN get rid of it if you use the methods outlined above and don’t give up. All of the methods outlined in this article have proven effective for removing this type of stain on Moissanite, but you may find that one of these methods works much faster, and more easily, on your particular stone and stain than the others (which is why it’s important not to give up or lose hope as you work toward a solution). Clean your ring regularly to help prevent buildup and keep it looking its best.

Related Posts:

Does Moissanite Get Cloudy Over Time? – How to Protect it!

Will Moissanite Last Forever? | Frugal Family Heirloom Rings

Wearing Moissanite in the Pool, Hot Tub, or Shower

How Much are Moissanite Rings? | Finding Inexpensive Options

How Much are Moissanite Rings? | Finding Inexpensive Options

Moissanite is now a popular alternative to traditional diamonds. It’s one of the hardest stones on the market, it looks very similar to diamond, and it’s far more budget-friendly for those that need, or want, to keep their costs down.

How Much are Moissanite Rings? Moissanite is often about 90% less than earth-mined diamonds. The savings on some very large, or fancy colored, diamonds can be even higher. Top-quality Moissanite mounted to a gold ring often starts at less than $750. Stone size, ring design, and metal choice can drive the cost higher or lower.

If you’re seriously considering a Moissanite engagement ring or wedding ring, you may be wondering how you can locate the right one and get your very best value. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll give you advice and information to help shortcut the process for you.

The Main Influencers of Ring Cost

There are a few main components of your ring that influence its cost. One of the most significant is the type, size, and quality of the stone that you choose. If you choose Moissanite as your stone type, you’ll still need to decide between a variety of different colors and other qualities. Completely colorless stones will be more expensive than stones that have a slightly yellow hue, for example.

I’ve priced out loose moissanite stones of various sizes with a reputable manufacturer that’s known for quality. The chart that follows is intended to give you a general idea of cost, each retailer will have pricing that’s a little higher or lower.

Size in Carats
Colorless (DEF)
Near Colorless (GHI)
.23
$129
$99
.33
$169
$129
0.5
$269
$179
0.6
$349
$249
0.8
$459
$319
1.0
$599
$419
1.2
$789
$549
1.5
$1,049
$699
1.9
$1,349
$899
2.2
$1,609
$1,099
2.7
$1,909
$1,299
3.1
$2,319
$1,599

I used this manufacturer for the prices outlined above. Feel free to visit their site if you’d like to take a closer look at their selection of loose Moissanite. Lower-quality stones from some other manufacturers may not look the same or last as long.

The stone isn’t the ONLY consideration for the total price of a Moissanite ring though. Another major component of total cost, is the metal that you choose for your ring. I’ll quickly run through the common options and considerations for some frequently used metals. I’ll also outline the general price difference that you can expect to see when you choose one metal over another.

Silver:

Sterling Silver is a semi-precious metal that’s used in many very inexpensive promise rings, engagement rings, and wedding rings. As I’m writing this, the cost of precious metals are trading at the following price per ounce:

Metal Type
Cost Per Ounce
Silver
$18
Gold
$1,490

Platinum
$934

There’s a HUMONGOUS difference in the cost of ‘precious’ metals like Gold and Platinum and the cost of Silver! In fact, at these rates, Silver is nearly 99% less expensive than gold! There is a downside to silver though, it’s harder to maintain in a continually beautiful state, because silver tarnishes as it’s exposed to moisture in the air. That means that you need to polish your Sterling Silver ring regularly to keep tarnish away.

Silver is also a fairly soft metal, like gold, which makes them both much more susceptible to scratching than a harder metal, like Platinum, would be. You’ve probably heard of Mohs Scale of Hardness. It’s a 10 point scale that ranks various materials based on their hardness, so it’s easy to compare their relative hardness. The scale arranges materials in order of hardness, assigning it’s lowest number (1) to it’s softest material, and it’s highest number (10) to it’s hardest material. All other materials fall somewhere in-between and are assigned a number that reflects their relative hardness. Here’s how the metals that we’ve been discussing compare.

Metal Type
Mohs Scale of Hardness Rating
Silver
2.5-3
Gold
2.5-3
Platinum
4-4.5

Relative hardness is an important consideration because it means scratch resistance, however, hardness obviously has to be a consideration that’s balanced with style preferences, cost, and other factors to find your ideal metal option.

Gold:

Gold comes in several varieties. There’s traditional yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. It’s common for pricing to be the same (or close to the same) for these color options. There are also different quality levels based on the purity of the gold (the percentage of the metal that is made up of gold versus other metal additives). The common options are 10k (karat), 14k, and 18k, for rings. The higher the number, the higher the quality—and the higher the price!

Jumping from 14k to 18k, for example, will likely cost 20% to 30% more.

Platinum:

Platinum has a beautiful light look and is very hard and scratch-resistant. It’s interesting that gold is more expensive than Platinum when you buy it by the ounce, but Platinum is more expensive than gold when you purchase it as a ring.  There are two potential reasons for the strange price discrepancy. First of all, pure gold is very soft. Gold has to be mixed with other metals to make it harder for jewelry applications. By essentially diluting the gold with harder, and less expensive, metals, it brings down the amount of actual gold that goes into each gold ring—and therefore the cost of each one.

Second, it’s very difficult to work with Platinum versus a much softer metal like gold. Platinum typically costs 30% to 60% more than 14k gold, depending on the design of the ring and where you buy it.

If you’d like to explore the best selection of gold and Platinum Moissanite rings that I’ve found, click HERE. They have a really beautiful collection of rings and great prices. After finding a ring that you like on the site, you can click the “See this style in other options” link beneath the ring to view the same ring design with other Moissanite and metal options! Looks like for a limited time, they’re also offering a $75 discount on $500+ purchase, when you use the coupon code DAZZLE at checkout.

Plated rings:

Plated rings have a coating of one metal that’s covering a base (or core) that’s composed of some other (typically less expensive) type of metal. Plated rings can have the appearance of being far more expensive than they actually are—because the plating gives the impression that the entire ring is made of the same material as the topcoat.

Plating can help you to ‘have your cake … and eat it too’!

Imagine crafting a ring with Sterling Silver at $18/ounce and then just plating it with whatever precious metal you find most attractive (Rose Gold, Yellow Gold, Rhodium, or Platinum). Or taking an inexpensive, but soft, metal (like silver) and plating it with a MUCH harder metal, like Platinum or Palladium—you end up with an inexpensive ring that’s as scratch resistant as a solid Platinum ring.

Because plating doesn’t use a lot of material, you can have the look of a solid gold or platinum ring without the cost. If the plating is done well, the ring should last you for several years before you’ll have to worry about replating. It’s sometimes the ideal solution for couples on a tight budget.

Here’s a great example, I found this 1-carat (6.5 mm) Moissanite ring that’s mounted on a Platinum plated silver ring (meaning that the Sterling Silver base metal is coated in Platinum). The ring is an incredible value at just $199! When you’re saving so much, a quality plated ring, with great reviews from past buyers, could make a lot of sense.

Some couples also stick with unplated Sterling Silver. That’s a viable option, especially if you’re willing to clean the ring regularly, and you plan to upgrade the ring within the next few years.

Here are a few potential challenges with plated rings:

  • Thin plating won’t last very long
  • Cheap and sometimes dangerous metals can be underneath the plating
  • Plating has to be periodically reapplied

Buy from reputable retailers and manufacturers that have a solid history of happy customers, and reputation to protect. If possible, read product reviews related to the specific ring that you’re thinking of purchasing. Buy from a company with a return policy or a solid warranty if possible. Avoid plated mystery metal at all costs, meaning that you simply shouldn’t buy a ring if you don’t know, or aren’t comfortable, with the base metal that it’s made out of.

I purchased an inexpensive ring last year and gave it to my wife to wear daily. I wanted to see how it would hold up to everyday use. It had a CZ stone that was set on a copper ring with Rhodium plating. I thought the solitaire was really pretty when it arrived. I thought it looked like a much more expensive ring when it initially arrived.

As requested, my wife wore the new ring every day—the same way that she would normally wear her diamond or Moissanite rings. By the time she reached the end of the first month, the Rhodium plating had already worn off the ring, exposing the copper base metal. Not only did it look TERRIBLE, but it also started to turn her finger green!

I don’t mean to say that you should NEVER get a plated ring, there’s definitely a time and place for plating, but you have to be aware of the risks going in.

If you’re on a REALLY tight budget and NEED to save as much money as possible on your ring, a plated ring might make sense, but please follow these guidelines as you shop for the right ring.

  • Buy from a retailer/brand you trust. This is my favorite source for silver rings that are sold as-is or plated.
  • Read buyer reviews (especially updated reviews from past buyers that are updating their experience several months or years down the line). If their ring fell apart a few months after buying it, they may come back to warn others.
  • Make sure that Sterling Silver is the base metal for your ring.
  • Look for information on how thickly the plating was applied (ie: triple coat).
  • The plating should typically use a metal like Rhodium or Gold.

Again, just be mentally prepared for the fact that you’ll likely need to replate the ring again in 3 to 10 years (give or take). The cost of replating will depend on the style of your ring, how manual the application will need to be, the material used for plating, and how thickly it needs to be applied. In general, replating will generally run anywhere from $40 to $200.

Strategies For Keeping Costs Down

We’ve discussed some of the components of Moissanite ring cost, so you can better understand the areas where you can save money on your ring if you need to. Here’s a summary of those options (as well as a few additional items that haven’t been mentioned so far).

  • Choose a thinner band. Less metal means a lower overall cost.
  • Go with a plated ring. Sterling Silver plated with either gold or Platinum is best.
  • Use a very small Moissanite center stone to keep things simple and save costs.
  • Get a smaller center stone, and then add a halo of tiny stones as well if needed.
  • Buy a used Moissanite Ring (but BE CAREFUL).
  • Buy your Moissanite stone and your ring separately, then have a jeweler assemble the ring for you. Sometimes you can buy the components cheaper than the finished ring.

Sometimes there important factors unrelated to the physical characteristics of the ring that also influence the ultimate price of your Moissanite ring in a significant way. For example, where you buy your ring. There are some brands that have a lot of public awareness and brand recognition because of effective marketing efforts. Buyers are sometimes willing to pay a premium for products from known (recognized) suppliers because they have familiarity and assume higher quality.

You can sometimes come out ahead when you purchase from a lesser-known brand, if you end up saving money and getting a high-quality piece of jewelry. Reading buyer reviews will help you gauge the quality of the product and the satisfaction level of past buyers.

Part of the premium that you pay with certain retailers covers benefits like generous return policies, warranties, and other perks (like resizing or engraving) that might come with your ring. To view the price objectively, you should determine how important each of those inclusions is to you, and what it might cost you to purchase them separately (if they’re even available elsewhere). In other words, there’s a real value with some of the benefits that some sellers offer, that should be considered.

Of course, these are just ideas. You can pick and choose the suggestions that seem to fit best and get you to your target price range. Some of these strategies can be utilized with the list of Moissanite rings outlined below.

Here are some examples of Moissanite rings that fall in a very frugal price range of $100 to $800:

Moissanite SizeRing Construction
Ring Price
1 Carat Modern
Sterling Silver, plated in Platinum.
$59
Click Here
1 Carat SolitaireSterling Silver, plated in Platinum.
$89
Click Here
1 Carat HaloSterling Silver, plated in Platinum.
$99
Click Here
2 Carat SolitaireSterling Silver, plated in Rhodium.
$149
Click Here
1.5 Carat SolitaireSterling Silver, plated in Platinum.
$159
Click Here
1 Carat Solitaire10K White Gold.
$199
Click Here
1 Carat Solitaire10K Yellow Gold.
$199
Click Here
2 Carat SolitaireSterling Silver, plated in Platinum.
$299
Click Here
2 Carat Solitaire10K White Gold.
$299
Click Here
1.25 Carat (CTW) Half Eternity Band14K White Gold.
$399
Click Here
2.7 Carat Solitaire14K White Gold.
$449
Click Here
1 Carat Halo14K White, Yellow, or Rose Gold.
$498
Click Here
.75 Carat Moissanite + .25 in diamonds14K White or Yellow Gold.
$565
Click Here
1.5 Carat Solitaire14K White Gold.
$648
Click Here
2.7 Carat 3 stone ring14K White Gold.
$674
Click Here
1 Carat Cushion Cut Halo14K White Gold
$684
Click Here
2.4 Carat Cushion Cut Halo10K White Gold.
$799
Click Here

In Summary

A 6.5 mm (1-carat) loose Moissanite stone will typically cost between $400 and $600 depending on the characteristics of the stone you select, and where you make the purchase. The cost of a fully finished Moissanite ring of the same size will vary based primarily on the type and amount of metal used, but as seen above, you’ll see rings ranging from under $100 up to several thousand and beyond.. By looking for slightly smaller stones or following the other options mentioned above for decreasing the cost of your Moissanite ring, you can bring your total costs down even further if needed.

Related Posts:

Will Moissanite Go Up in Value? – What it’s Worth Used & Why

Where Should I Buy Moissanite? – 6 Benefits of Buying Online

Is Moissanite Good for an Engagement Ring? | 8 Useful Facts

 

Moissanite, How Big is Too Big? | Balancing Big & Believable

Moissanite, How Big is Too Big? | Balancing Big & Believable

Moissanite is much less expensive than diamonds, so it’s often tempting to buy a much larger stone than you could have afforded if you had chosen a diamond. Before you do though, take time to consider the following question …

With Moissanite, how big is too big? It’s best to purchase a Moissanite stone that’s 6.5mm (one-carat) or smaller if you want people to assume it’s a diamond. Very large diamonds are extremely expensive, so they’re often assumed to be fake even if they look real. Color related issues can also be more pronounced for larger stones. 

If you want a Moissanite ring that looks almost identical to diamond, keep reading. We’ll discuss the various elements that you’ll want to give thought to so you can find the perfect stone and setting!

Will People Assume Your Moissanite is a Diamond or CZ?

When an ‘A-List’ celebrity walks the red carpet wearing a ring that has a diamond the size of a watermelon, few people question whether it’s real or not. It’s believable that they could own the world’s largest diamond ring because they’re uber-wealthy (or the ring is on loan from some designer). If you wore the same ring to work tomorrow, everyone would instantly assume it’s a Cubic Zirconia (CZ). Why? Because you probably aren’t uber-wealthy, and they know that.

It doesn’t matter how diamond-like the giant rock on your ring appears to be, because you aren’t the Queen of England, they’re going to assume it’s some kind of cheap imitation. CZ is probably what comes to mind first for most people when they think of diamond look-a-likes. There’s nothing wrong with Cubic Zirconia—unless you’re wearing Moissanite—and would prefer that people assume it’s a diamond.

Consider the flip side of the scenario that was just outlined. If you walk into the office tomorrow wearing a beautiful non-flashy ring with a .75 carat Moissanite stone that appears to be a diamond, is anyone likely to question what it’s made of? Nope, probably not! Why? Because a diamond of that size is something very common and believable. If it looks like a diamond, and isn’t an uncommonly-large size, they’ll typically assume that it is. They have no real reason to assume that it might be made of CZ or anything else.

So with that simple understanding in mind, we’ll come back to the question, how big is too big? According to one large-scale study, the average diamond ring is about 1.2 carats (and costs a little over $6,300). Based on those findings, if your ring is 1.2 carats or smaller, your ring is unlikely to stand out as being unusually large (and automatically presumed ‘fake’). I would advise that you even go a bit smaller than 1.2 carats though. Instead, keep your ring to 1 carat or less if it’s important to you that others believe you’re wearing a diamond. I’ll explain why in more detail below.

The stone size also depends on the size of your hands to some extent. If you’re buying online, you’ll want to try the ring on when it arrives to see how it feels and looks. Don’t be surprised if it feels too large (or small) initially. It often takes a week or two to really settle in and get used to your ring. If you have really petite hands, a smaller ring might make sense. A very common ring size can look A LOT larger on very small hands.

The opposite is also true, that larger hands might do well with a larger piece of Moissanite. The size relationship between the size of your hands and the size of your stone does influence size perception. A 2-carat Moissanite, for example, isn’t ALWAYS too large. Too large is often dependant on the specific styling of the stone and ring—and the size of the hands wearing the ring.

Issues With Huge Moissanite Stones 

There are three potential issues with wearing huge moissanite stones. What do I mean by huge? At the most basic level, I mean wearing any Moissanite that’s very far beyond the diamond size you would be able to afford, right now, if you were to decide to purchase a diamond instead.

For example, very few people could afford to purchase a 5-carat colorless diamond—it would likely cost around $250,000. This 5-carat Moissanite stone, on the other hand, can be yours for just $479. Can you see why it’s so easy for people to overdo it on ring size, and ultimately buy a, very diamond looking, ring—that no one believes to be diamond? It happens all the time.

Here are three common issues related to oversized Moissanite stones:

  1. It isn’t financially feasible that you have a real diamond ring that’s so large—so the ring must be fake. We’ve already discussed this, so I won’t spend more time on the idea here. Here’s a good example of a ring with a nice 1-carat Moissanite stone that most people would probably assume is a diamond. This beautiful Moissanite ring is slightly larger, but still very believable.
  2. Slight overtones and undertones of yellow or brown can be more obvious in large Moissanite stones that aren’t completely colorless. The smaller the stone, the more colorless it will appear to be. If you get an Enhanced Moissanite (something treated to make it more colorless, this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s also less common for round cut rings than it is for more square shapes.
  3. ‘Moody’ Moissy qualities are more frequently observed in larger stones. Moissanite (which is sometimes unofficially referred to as ‘Moissy’) can take on a strange temporary color tone when viewed from just the right angle under very bright natural light. Some feel like the change of hue is like a changing mood, so they’ll say their Moissanite is ‘moody.’

When my wife is driving, for example, she’ll sometimes glance as her hand and notice that her Moissanite ring has a greenish hue to it. If she moves her hand or walks indoors, the look of her ring will return to normal. Other people in the car can’t see the same color phenomenon that she can when she catches this effect because they’re seeing the stone from different angles.

Again, this phenomenon is only occasional, it’s only noticeable from a particular angle, and only under certain lighting conditions. This is also something that far more common with Moissanite stones that are larger than 6.5mm (1-carat). Sticking with a Moissanite stone that’s 1-carat or smaller will reduce the frequency with which you notice this temporary change in hue.

These three ‘issues’ are just things that you’ll want to be aware of if you want a ring that ultimately looks as similar to a diamond as possible.

How to Stand Out With a Smaller Moissanite Ring

Here are a few ideas to help your ring stand out without mounting an unusually large stone. If you want a moderately-sized ring that gets noticed, consider buying a colored Moissanite. You can get Moissanite in almost any color you can imagine. These stones essentially look like fancy colored diamonds. I wrote this separate post about all the fancy Moissanite colors that are produced. A pink or blue Moissanite stone could be a beautiful, and eye-catching, piece—without being oversized. For example, This pretty pink Moissanite ring is just under 1-carat and is set against white gold. It’s a head-turner, but costs less than $250! In reality, fancy colored diamonds are typically quite expensive too, but most people aren’t familiar with what they cost—because you don’t see them very often at your neighborhood jewelry store. Fancy colored Moissanite certainly does bring a splash of color and added personality to your ring though.

Creating a halo ring might be another good option to use (with or without colored stones). A halo around your center stone (essentially a circle of small diamonds that wrap all the way around the stone) often makes your ring look a little fancier and bigger, without causing people to instantly assume your ring has a ‘fake diamond’ on it. Here’s a great, and inexpensive, 1-carat Moissanite ring with a halo that I came across, for example.

A three-stone ring is another way to get more total carat weight on your ring (with each one being 1 carat or less), without having an unusually large center stone that screams “fake” at first glance.

What Will YOU Feel When You See Your Ring?

If you LOVE the look of a huge solitaire (something much larger than 1-carat), you should buy one and enjoy it. What matters more than what your ring is made of, and what OTHERS think of your ring, is what YOU think of your ring, and how it makes you feel every time you look at it.

The purpose of your ring really isn’t to impress others or win their approval. It’s something that’s a symbol of your love and commitment. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting your Moissanite ring to look just like a diamond ring. There’s also nothing wrong with being ‘loud and proud’ about the fact that you’re NOT wearing a diamond. Moissanite is a really cool diamond alternative with an incredible backstory and some really rare and interesting qualities.

So, If you really want to wear a softball-sized Moissanite stone, go for it. No, your family and friends won’t believe it’s a diamond, but if YOU love it, and it makes YOU happy to look at—that’s what matters most.

In Summary

Moissanite stones that are larger than 6.7mm (1.2 carats) or so could appear to be larger than average, and therefore, potentially fake to others. In order to stay in a more common (and believable) size range, I recommend that you purchase a ring with Moissanite stone that’s no larger than 6.5 mm (1-carat). Of course, what you think of your ring is FAR more important than what others think of your ring, so don’t hesitate to purchase a much larger ring if it makes you happy, or you don’t particularly care whether other people assume the stone on your ring is a diamond or not. Your ring is a representation of your love and commitment. If you’re filled with warm feelings every time you look at it—that’s what’s ultimately most important!

Related Posts:

When Does Moissanite Look Fake? | The 3 Main Giveaways

Is Moissanite Good for an Engagement Ring? | 8 Useful Facts

Will Moissanite Pass a Diamond Tester? | Best Test Options

 

Can Moissanite Rings be Resized? | The Cost, Process, & Risk

Can Moissanite Rings be Resized? | The Cost, Process, & Risk

Wearing a ring that’s the wrong size can be unsafe and isn’t comfortable. Some metals and stones are more easily resized than others. If you already own, or are considering, a Moissanite ring, you may be wondering …

Can Moissanite rings be resized? Yes, Moissanite rings can typically be resized, however, there are certain ring designs that don’t lend themselves well to resizing (like rings with channel set stones). Any difficulty resizing these rings has to do with the ring design, and not the type of stone that is mounted to the ring. 

While Moissanite rings typically can be resized, finding a jeweler to do the work on your Moissanite ring can sometimes be challenging. We’ll talk about why and how to get your resizing done below.

What is Ring Resizing and Why is it Done?

Jewelers resize rings by making them larger or smaller so they can more comfortably fit their owners. Resizing might need to be done for several different reasons:

  • Your partner guessed your ring size— but guessed wrong.
  • You’ve gained weight.
  • You’ve lost weight.
  • Your ring is a family heirloom from relatives with different sized fingers.
  • You purchased a used ring, and it doesn’t fit quite right.

Rings can typically be resized within a reasonable margin of 1 to 1.5 sizes or so pretty easily. Making a ring smaller is less expensive than making it larger. That’s because reducing the size of a ring involves removing some of the metal in the ring, while increasing ring size requires the addition of gold, platinum, or some other metal to increase the circumference of the ring. That work is more difficult, and the extra metal comes at a cost, so increasing a ring’s size can become expensive—depending on the amount of increase and the metal type. You can typically only enlarge a ring by a maximum of 2 sizes when extra material is added as part of the process.

Another option is stretching the ring when the needed expansion is only half a size or less, but stretching leaves the ring thinner and weaker, so it’s not always the ideal solution, and won’t work with all ring styles.

When I proposed to my girlfriend (now my wife), many years ago, I wanted it to be a surprise. I took a BIG risk and went shopping for her ring alone! I could have gotten it wrong on so many levels, but as it turns out, she loved the ring and it fit her well. Buying a ring to surprise someone with is a gamble. You don’t want to insult them by buying a huge ring or make them feel awkward when the ring you bought won’t fit on their finger. There are LOTS of ways that you can try to figure out their ring size before you start shopping if you plan to surprise them. Above all else though, if you’re going to guess, it’s better to get a ring that’s too big than to get one that’s too small.

Because increasing the size of a ring costs more than decreasing the size of a ring, it’s better to err on the side of buying a ring that’s too large if your guess is off.

Which Types of Moissanite Rings Can’t Safely be Resized, and Why?

Moissanite is a typically a highly durable stone that it’s known to be fussy or difficult, however, not all types of Moissanite rings can be safely resized. In fact, these same ring styles can’t be safely resized regardless of the type of stone that is mounted to them. The inability to resize is linked to the ring style and its ability to safely retain the stones that it holds after resizing … not the nature of the stones themselves. The following rings are styles that jewelers typically won’t resize:

  • tension set rings (or ‘tension rings’)
  • Channel set stones
  • Eternity bands (& half eternity bands)

Tension set rings, contain a gem (or stone) that’s held in place by tension. These rings essentially have a free-floating stone that’s pinched, and held in place, by the two sides of the ring that are applying opposing pressure to the stone that’s pinched between them. Resizing a tension ring could disrupt the tension and lead to a loose or lost stone.

Channel set stones are simply stones that are set in a channel that wraps around a portion of the ring. The stones are typically arranged to be side-by-side in a line. Because the stones are sitting down in a channel, only the top of each stone is visible. Channel set stones are held very securely by a channel that’s cut to very precise dimensions. Resizing can alter those dimensions, which could result in loose stones, so jewelers are often hesitant to adjust the size of these rings. The image below shows a couple of examples of channel-set stones.

Channel Set Moissanite Rings

Eternity Rings (or eternity bands) are often channel set, but the stones can also utilize prongs. Eternity bands are nearly impossible to resize. These rings feature stones that are side-by-side all the way around the outside of the ring. The ring on the left in the image that’s above is an Eternity Band. Resizing these rings is so difficult because stones can easily come loose, or the spacing between stones can become uneven if the ring size is adjusted.

Half Eternity Rings have diamonds that are aligned side-by-side around the surface of the ring (just like eternity rings), but on Half Eternity Bands, those diamonds only wrap halfway around the ring. It’s possible to resize these rings—but only to a very limited extent. Here again, the biggest risk with resizing this type of ring, is potential misalignment of the stones or uneven gaps after the resizing is completed.

Rings made of extremely hard metals—like Stainless steel, tungsten, or titanium. Those aren’t common metals for Moissanite to mounted to anyway, but I wanted to point out that because of their extreme hardness, they’re very difficult metals to work with for resizing.

Rose gold rings are often difficult to resize as well (especially when you need to make it larger). Rose gold can come in a wide variety of shades. Because of this jewelers often have trouble matching the color of the new material being added to the ring during the resizing process to the color of the original rose gold used for the ring. This type of gold is also much more delicate and subject to cracking.

Note: Stretching a ring to enlarge it will mess up any engraving that you have carved into the inside of your ring. It’s important to be aware of that. You can always pay a minimal fee (typically about $20) to have the engraving redone after the ring has been resized if you’d like.

Which types of Moissanite Rings Can Safely Be Resized?

Any Moissanite ring style, other than those referenced above, should be pretty straightforward and simple to resize (either up or down). Moissanite is generally very heat resistant. Some seasoned jewelers will tell you though that not all Moissanite is equally heat tolerant. When you buy low-quality Moissanite, it can more easily be damaged by heat applied during the resizing and repair process. One jeweler mentioned to me that much of the Moissanite that he sees people buy from direct sellers on crafting and auction sites is junk that he doesn’t feel safe working with. Because of a similar sentiment, many jewelers that you contact may tell you that they don’t resize or repair Moissanite rings. Don’t be surprised if that happens.

Moissanite from this manufacturer tends to have the best reputation for quality. If your jeweler knows that you purchased your ring from this source, they’ll likely be less concerned about heat tolerance. I found that if you enter the coupon code BRILLIANT100 at checkout, you’ll save an additional $100 off a purchase of $700+ right now. Here’s one other source for rings from the same manufacturer. By comparing prices between these two sources, you’re sure to find the very best value on a really high-quality Moissanite ring.

The other reason that some jewelers might refuse to resize or repair a ring that has Moissanite (or some other diamond simulant) on it, is that they’re worried a customer might accuse them of swapping stones and putting the simulant there. It’s helpful to understand their concern and where they’re coming from.

If you call a jeweler that tells you they don’t work on Moissanite, it’s nothing personal. They likely have one of the concerns listed above. You may be able to share information or find a solution to their concern if you have some understanding of the issues that concern them. Otherwise, you can just call another jeweler. Quality Moissanite is a ‘forever stone’ that’s highly durable and easy to work on.

The Typical Cost and Timeline

The exact cost that you’ll be quoted for resizing depends on your location and where the jewelry store is located that you contact, as well as the specifics of your ring (the style, the thickness of your band, the type of metal your ring is made of, whether you’re increasing or decreasing the size of the ring, how much you need to adjust the size, and more).

Having said that, we’ll give you a rough estimate that should be in the ballpark. Complication and cost of materials used is influenced by the type of metal that the jeweler is working with, so I’ll try to give you a cost estimate that’s specific to different types of metals.

  • Sterling Silver = $25 to $50
  • Yellow Gold = $50 to $100
  • White Gold = $60 to $150 (this cost includes reapplication of a Rhodium plating that most white gold has).
  • Platinum = $100 to $300 to increase the size (decreasing by one size would likely run $60 to $100).

The best place to have a ring resized may be the place where you purchased the ring. Some offer free, or heavily discounted resizing. You’ll also often have a period of time (typically 30 to 60 days) where you can return your ring for a refund or exchange if it isn’t fitting well from the start. That means, that you could guess on the ring size and then resize or simple exchange for a size that will fit better after your proposal if needed.

If you don’t have the time or money to get your ring resized at a certain point, there are other temporary solutions that could be helpful. For example, you can purchase these rubber ring size adjusters that simply twist around the bottom of your ring to make it fit more securely. They can make the fit of your ring up to 1.5 ring sizes smaller and cost less than $10! A metal version is also offered, but those can end up scratching your ring, so I’d recommend sticking with the rubber version (which works great)!

In Summary

Moissanite rings can typically be resized, except with the structure of a particular ring design won’t allow for safe resizing—regardless of the type of stone that’s mounted to the ring. Remember that buying high-quality Moissanite helps to ensure that your ring will be more heat resistant and durable through resizing and repairs than cheaper Moissanite can sometimes be. Again, if resizing isn’t practical at the moment, you might try adding some rubber size adjusters to your ring to help it fit morehttps://frugalrings.com/moissanite-for-an-engagement-ring/ snuggly until you can get the ring properly resized.

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Does Moissanite Get Cloudy Over Time? – How to Protect it!

Will Moissanite Last Forever? | Frugal Family Heirloom Rings

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