by Dave Greene | Feb 19, 2022 | Moissanite
For many decades, diamonds have been the traditional choice for engagement and wedding rings. However, other stones have recently become a much more visible and popular option for these rings. Moissanite is currently one of the most popular diamond alternatives available. Those considering Moissanite often have questions about the look, durability, and color options—but cost is also top-of-mind.
Is Moissanite expensive? Moissanite isn’t expensive when compared to the cost of diamonds. A loose Moissanite stone will often be 80-90% less expensive than a loose diamond of comparable size and quality. Total savings on a completed ring will commonly be in the range of 40-60%.
Many factors influence the price of a particular Moissanite stone. We’ll outline some of the factors that affect cost most directly in the paragraphs that follow.
Factors That Influence The Price Of Moissanite
Like diamonds, Moissanite has various grades and qualities of stones available. If you’re shopping for a Moissanite ring, you’ll want to look at the stone’s size, cut, color, and clarity. Those are the factors that can influence the cost of individual Moissanite stones most. We’ll take a look at each of those below.
How Size Influences the Price of Moissanite
Larger stones are typically more expensive than smaller stones of comparable quality. The size of many gems, like diamonds, is communicated in carats (a measurement of weight); the size of Moissanite, on the other hand, is expressed in millimeters (mm). A 6.5 mm Moissanite stone is about the same size as a 1-carat diamond. Moissanite isn’t measured in carats because it weighs about 10% less than diamonds. As a result, a one-carat Moissanite would be about 10% larger than a 1-carat diamond. To solve this, people typically use a carat equivalency based on size (ie. a 6.5mm Moissanite is the same size as a 1-carat diamond).
Because Moissanite is so much less expensive than diamonds, you could purchase a much larger Moissanite center stone for your ring than you could otherwise afford if purchasing a diamond of similar color and clarity. Some decide that they would rather have an 11.25 mm moissanite ring (equivalent to 1.5 carats), for example, than settle for a .5 carat diamond.
How Cut Influences the Price of Moissanite
Moissanite’s cut influences its light refraction and brilliance. The position and angle of cuts determine how light enters and exits the stone. As a result, the cut can enhance or destroy sparkle. A Moissanite stone with a high cut grade will refract light optimally, producing the flashes of brilliant sparkle that Moissanite is famous for. Conversely, a Moissanite stone with a low cut grading will have far less sparkle.
Dull and lifeless-looking Moissanite stones won’t retail for newly as much as well cut stones that dance with lively sparkle.
How Color Grading Influences The Price Of Moissanite
Like diamonds, some Moissanite can have a slightly yellow undertone. Colorless stones are typically the most desirable, so the more colorless a Moissanite stone is, the more expensive it will be. Moissanite stones are graded according to their color as follows.
- A grading of ‘D’, ‘E’, or ‘F’ is considered colorless.
- A grading of ‘G’, ‘H’, or ‘I’ would be referred to as near colorless.
- A grading of ‘J’ or ‘K’ would indicate a stone with some color.
As mentioned above, colorless and near-colorless Moissanite will be more expensive. Still, because Moissanite is so much cheaper than diamonds, the quality upgrade is something many couples can afford—while still saving significant money.
How Clarity Influences The Price Of Moissanite
The clarity of a Moissanite refers to its perfection. Like diamonds, Moissanite can have small internal imperfections, known as blemishes and inclusions. These inner flaws can seriously impact the way light travels through the stone. The number, size, and position of these imperfections influence the degree to which they’re able to rob a stone of its ability to sparkle normally. Because these internal flaws are typically too small to see with the naked eye, they usually don’t impact the general beauty of the ring beyond their impact on sparkle.
The clarity of Moissanite is graded on a scale of ‘AAAA’, ‘AAA’, ‘AA’, ‘A’, and ‘B’. The B rating has the most imperfections, while AAAA has the fewest. Unfortunately, AAAA Moissanite is tough to find, so a Moissanite with a clarity grading of AAA is typically your best option if you want to minimize imperfections.
I wrote another article that goes into much greater detail on how inclusions impact Moissanite. While they can impact appearance, they also have the ability to impact durability—depending on size and location. Hopefully, the post is helpful in providing better awareness as you shop and compare stones.
As expected, the higher the clarity grading of a particular Moissanite stone, the more it will cost. As you’ve just seen, many factors influence the price of a Moissanite. While you could find a cheaper option by selecting a stone with lower gradings, there are real advantages to choosing a higher quality stone—even though it’s a little more expensive.
The Advantages Of Choosing A More Expensive Moissanite
Moissanite with higher grading will ultimately be more beautiful and something you’ll likely be happy with long-term.
There are many unbranded Moissanite rings available at a lower price. However, when buying one of those stones, there’s also a lot you don’t know. Some well-respected Moissanite producers provide a certificate of authenticity. In addition, they include valuable detail regarding the size, cut, color, and clarity of the stone you purchase—and a warranty that provides peace of mind. When you click on the following link, you can find information on the Moissanite producer that we trust most, and save $100 on your purchase!
Moissanite with higher gradings will naturally have more sparkle. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to upgrade your Moissanite stone’s quality. If you’re buying Moissanite instead of a diamond, you’ll be able to get larger, and much better quality stone, while still saving an enormous amount of money! While you shouldn’t break your budget, remember that you’ll wear this ring for many years to come.
Because you’re buying something that you’ll wear and look at frequently for many years to come, the relatively small cost of upgrading to a better color, cut, and clarity will likely be well worth it. The quality of your stone is important enough, that it might be worth buying a smaller stone that has better grading, instead of getting a larger stone with poor grading.
How Much Should You Save For Your Moissanite Ring?
There’s no shortage of opinions on how much you should feel obligated to pay for your engagement ring. Some pretty standard advice is 2 to 3 months salary. For example, if you earn $5,000 per month, many would suggest that you spend $10,000 to $15,000 on your engagement ring. In reality, you shouldn’t feel obligated to spend any particular amount. It really should be more about what your partner likes and what lines up with your budget best. For most Moissanite rings, that could mean spending anywhere between $1,000 and $3,500—though a huge component of the total cost has to do with the metal chosen for the band and the additional stones used to embellish its surface.
Rather than saving and spending based on a 2 to 3-month salary expectation, you should decide the size, cut, and clarity that you want for your Moissanite ring and then shop accordingly. Because Moissanite is so much less expensive than diamonds, odd are—that your Moissanite engagement ring won’t anywhere close to 2-3 months salary.
Many factors influence the price of Moissanite. The stone’s size, along with cut, color, and clarity gradings, for example. Even though higher gradings come at an increased cost, Moissanite is still far more affordable than many alternatives, like diamonds.
You can purchase a larger Moissanite with much higher gradings for far less than you would spend on an event remotely comparable diamond. Because of this, Moissanite is an excellent option for anyone wanting a beautiful ring at a more affordable price.
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by Dave Greene | Feb 14, 2022 | Moissanite
Moissanite is one of the top diamond alternatives available currently. It comes closer than any other stone to the most desirable qualities of diamonds yet costs significantly less! Savings certainly aren’t the only important factor to consider when planning an engagement ring, wedding ring, or anniversary band. In this post, we’ll look into the differences in appearance and sparkle (any compromises) that may accompany the big gap in cost.
Does Moissanite sparkle like a diamond? Both Moissanite and Diamond are sparkly, but they aren’t identical. Moissanite processes light differently. It has a higher refractive index, which causes it to throw off more sparkles as colorful flashes than diamonds can. They look very similar, but there are a few distinguishing characteristics.
In preparing to compare the sparkle of Moissanite and diamond, it’s helpful to understand that the two stones are different in some important areas. They’re cut differently, formed differently, and handle light in very different ways. We’ll explain more below.
Can You Tell a Difference Between Moissanite and Diamond?
Moissanite looks very similar to diamond, but they aren’t identical. My kids have some friends in our neighborhood that are considered identical twins. My children can tell them apart pretty well after spending lots of time with them, but I still can’t. Even ‘identical’ twins aren’t actually identical. In reality, their physical similarities are significant, and any distinguishing physical characteristics are minor enough that they’re hard to notice and remember (unless you spend enough time with them comparing and contrasting to notice subtle differences).
Moissanite and Diamonds have a similar relationship, they look almost identical to an untrained eye, but they aren’t. Moissanite has more sparkle than diamond because It’s naturally double refractive. Because of this, Moissanite is cut differently than diamonds are, to work with the natural characteristics of the stone.
Part of the reason for Moissanite’s increased sparkle has to do with its dispersion properties. Moissanite has twice as much dispersion as diamonds. Dispersion relates to the way that light enters a ring, is bent, broken up, and reflected back toward the eye. Dispersion presents itself as colorful light flashes (commonly referred to as ‘fire’) that dance across the surface of the stone as it’s moved around under direct light.
All the extra Fire becomes far more distinctive, and apparent, in larger Moissanite stones. If you’re wearing a 1 carat (6.5 mm) Moissanite stone, for example, the difference in fire won’t be nearly as noticeable as it might be if you’re wearing a 3 carat (9 mm) stone. If you’re thinking of purchasing a Moissanite ring, you may want to give some thought to size. After hearing questions like, ‘Do moissanite rings look fake?’ repeatedly over time, I wrote an article titled, When Does Moissanite Look Fake? that might be worth reviewing as you decide on the right stone size for your ring.
The rainbow-like effect of light that Moissanite delivers in abundance sets it apart from diamonds—which reflect less color, but larger amounts of white light. Because more white light is refracted in a diamond, the resulting sparkle is somewhat different. These sparkle tendencies are further enhanced by the different ways that Moissanite is cut (the facet pattern).
The refraction index refers to the speed at which light can travel through the material. Moissanite’s refraction index reading is 2.65, while diamonds have a refraction index of just 2.42. It’s because of this distinction that Diamonds tend to have lower levels of rainbow color refraction and higher white light refraction.
Diamonds reflect light in three different ways—through brilliance, dispersion (the rainbow colors), and scintillation (the surface sparkle).
Will Moissanite Pass a Diamond Tester
I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when I was around the twins I mentioned earlier and their parents. Their father bent down slightly to take a close look at one of them. He then hesitantly said, you’re Landon, right? His son confirmed his identity (like that’s not an unusual exchange).
I was a little shocked because I had always assumed that the parents of identical twins would be able to tell them apart instantly and effortlessly. I learned that isn’t always the case. The same is true with Diamond rings and Moissanite rings. Sometimes even the jewelry professionals that study these materials and know them best, can’t tell them apart by sight. Because the two stones are so similar in appearance. Because of this reality, sophisticated electronics (Diamond testers and Moissanite testers) have been created to reveal what the trained eye sometimes can’t discern.
A quality Diamond tester will be able to tell its operator that a Moissanite engagement ring isn’t a diamond engagement ring, for example, but it won’t reveal the identity of the non-diamond stone. Diamond testers typically just answer that one question for their handler, “is this stone a diamond?” After finding out that a particular stone isn’t a diamond, a Moissanite tester could be used to either identify the stone as Moissanite, or rule that possibility out as well. There are testing units available that combine a Diamond and Moissanite tester in one unit.
Does Moissanite Lose its Sparkle?
Diamonds are considered an heirloom stone, because, with proper care, they should last forever and maintain their original beauty as they’re handed down from generation to generation. Maintaining sparkle is an important part of that enduring beauty.
Fortunately, Moissanite is also an incredibly hard stone that could certainly be considered a forever stone if cared for. Moissanite and Diamond can both lose their sparkle if oils and dirt collect on their surface and block light from entering and exiting the stone. Any muting that’s caused by this type of buildup is temporary. Once the ring is cleaned, it should sparkle just like new again!
Which Moissanite Shape Looks Most Like a Diamond?
Round-cut Moissanite tends to look most similar to diamonds. As mentioned earlier, size is also an important consideration if you want your Moissanite to be able to look as similar to a diamond as possible. Size matters both because wearing a center stone that’s way oversized for your income is a quick giveaway that your stone isn’t diamond, but also because distinctions in sparkle qualities are more apparent in larger Moissanite stones.
The Color of Moissanite vs the color of Diamonds
Even though Moissanite is lab-created, it still comes in a variety of shades. A grading scale is used to communicate the color qualities of individual stones. That scale uses a range that runs from ‘D’ to ‘Z’. Perfectly colorless stones are assigned a ‘D’ grade, while on the other end of the spectrum, stones with a yellow hue might end up graded as a ‘Z’.
Diamonds also come in a wide range of shades. Those containing some amount of yellow or brown shading are most common, while completely colorless diamonds are much more rare and expensive! The same ‘D’ to ‘Z’ color scale mentioned above is also used to communicate Diamond color.
Moissanite and Diamonds are incredibly similar on the surface, but they aren’t the same. A trained eye can distinguish the two stones based on sparkle. Today’s electronic gadgetry can certainly distinguish the two stones when subtle visible qualities alone aren’t enough.
Moissanite’s lively colorful sparkle, incredible durability, and reasonable cost have made it a popular choice for engagement rings, wedding rings, and more casual jewelry pieces.
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by Dave Greene | Jan 22, 2022 | Moissanite
While Moissanite rings are far less expensive than comparable diamond rings, the overall investment can still be significant. That sizable investment can often lead couples to wonder if insurance is an option for them.
Can you insure a Moissanite ring? Moissanite rings can be insured, the same way that diamond rings often are. Once rings are insured, claims can often be filed for loss, theft, or physical damage. The cost of coverage will depend on the amount of insurance needed and the specific insurance channels that you seek coverage through.
In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll share information on the cost and process of insuring your Moissanite rings. Certain insurance channels are typically cheaper than others, so we’ll explain your options below.
Insurance Isn’t Just For Diamond Jewelry
It’s common for me to get questions about whether Moissanite engagement rings or Moissanite wedding rings can be insured. There’s a common feeling that it makes sense to insure expensive diamond jewelry, but Moissanite owners aren’t sure if insurance companies would even cover their less expensive Moissanite jewelry. They also worry that the cost of insurance might be too high for coverage to make sense. Neither of those assumptions are true. Coverage is available for Moissanite, and the insurance provides incredibly inexpensive peace of mind!
Whether your Moissanite ring was $800 or $5,000, ring insurance can protect you from the common issues that might lead to loss and replacement.
What Could Go Wrong?
It’s really hard to anticipate the loss of a ring due to damage, theft, or misplacement. Even if you’ve had your ring for decades without any problems, your track record could change quickly.
When my wife and I had been married for about 5 years, we had a window company install new replacement windows in our home. Earlier that day, my wife had been doing some cleaning and removed her diamond ring to protect it. She set it on a window sill nearby and fully intended to slip it back on a few minutes later when she finished cleaning.
Later that afternoon, my wife went looking for her ring, but the window sill was bare. The empty sill sat next to a brand new window. My wife couldn’t believe that the ring was missing, so we scoured the area both inside and outside of the window, guessing that it got knocked to the ground accidentally. When our search turned up nothing, we called the window company to see if they had seen the ring. At first, they seemed to think we were off our rocker but said they hadn’t seen anything…but the owner later found that one of his employees had knowingly brushed the ring into one of his tarps. In a moment of poor judgment, he apparently took the ring to see if he could sell it. Fortunately, we got the ring back, because we had no insurance, and it would have been painful to come out of pocket for a replacement ring at the time.
Jewelry insurance typically covers your ring against loss, theft, and physical damage. That type of protection is reassuring because even if your ring just slips off your finger while you’re playing in the ocean, you’ll be able to get a replacement!
Why You Need Insurance
Hopefully, you’ve never lost or damaged a special ring in the past. When your ring is uninsured and the unthinkable does happen, it’s painful in two very different ways. First, you have the emotional pain of losing a ring with deep sentimental value. Second, there’s the financial impact. It can really hurt to shell out thousands of dollars to replace a ring! It’s like adding insult to injury in many ways. If you can’t afford a comparable replacement, you sometimes end up with a very different kind of ring to tide you over, which can also be sad.
My younger sister once damaged her beautiful diamond ring. She had it sitting on the bathroom counter while she showered. When she later reached for it, the ring somehow got bumped off the counter and hit their tile floor. As she picked up the ring and examined it, she noticed something horrifying…the diamond had cracked right down the middle! She learned that day that diamonds are incredibly hard (scratch resistant), but extreme hardness also makes them very brittle (susceptible to cracking or breaking with the right kind of impact)!
Moissanite is the second hardest stone known to man—it’s even harder than Sapphire! That means it also has great scratch resistance but it may be more brittle than many other types of stones too. Don’t get me wrong, diamonds and moissanite don’t crack or break easily, but it certainly can happen… and that’s the very type of unexpected damage, and loss, that ring insurance can help protect you from.
Fortunately, my sister’s ring was insured! Their business was going through a slump at the time and money was tight, so her options would have been extremely limited without the insurance payout.
Ring Insurance Options
You have a few different options when it comes to insuring your Moissanite ring. I’ll briefly explain all of them so you can decide what fits your finances and coverage needs best.
Adding Your Ring as a Rider to an Existing Policy
You can often get coverage for jewelry items under your existing homeowner’s or renter’s policy. Coverage amounts and exclusions (exceptions to coverage) vary by insurance company, so please ask your insurance agent, or broker, for those important details. Here’s some general information on how this type of coverage normally works.
Some policies have a small amount of built-in protection for jewelry. That provision often covers losses up to $1,500 or so. If your ring would cost less than about $1,500 to replace, this coverage option may be a fit for you. There are some potential downsides though, which I’ll cover in a moment.
If your ring costs more than the minimal amount of coverage that’s included, you would need your agent to add a personal property rider to your existing policy. Again, this would be the case for both homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance.
Potential Problems with Using a Homeowners or Renter’s Policy
Insuring through an existing policy isn’t always the best option. This type of coverage may protect you from theft or damage, but probably won’t protect you against loss (where you just misplace it), for example. That additional coverage is important for peace of mind. Sometimes, you may suspect theft, but you have no evidence of theft (no signs of forced entry and no police report). Your homeowner’s policy may or may not cover such a situation, but you’d likely have broader and better coverage through a dedicated jewelry insurance policy through a company that specializes in those (I’ll talk more about this option in a moment).
If you need to add a personal property rider because your ring is worth more than $1,000 to $1,500, the cost of that coverage will likely be slightly more expensive than coverage through other channels might be. If you file a claim under a policy that’s connected to your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, it might increase your premiums going forward—which is where this type of coverage could get really expensive!
I once filed a claim against my homeowner’s policy to cover about $6,000 worth of property damage. It was nice to get the check from them, but that payout was followed by years and years of higher premiums. At the end of the day, it felt like I simply got a loan from the company that I had to pay back in installments (higher premiums) over time. What’s worse, is that simply filing that claim labeled me a higher risk, so as I shopped for different providers, they all quoted me higher policy pricing. It was a situation that I couldn’t shop my way out of. I learned through that experience to only use my homeowner’s policy for catastrophic losses (significant damage caused by earthquakes or major storms for example).
Check with your agent to see how a claim against your rider would be handled by your insurer (whether it could potentially raise your rates following the claim). If that’s a possibility, I would personally avoid going this route.
Coverage Through a Jewelry Insurance Company
When you insure through a dedicated jewelry insurance company, you separate your ring coverage from your homeowner’s or renter’s policy. That means that if you have to file a claim at some point, that claim won’t affect the cost of your other policy in any way!
My favorite ring insurance company offers really nice benefits. They cover 125% of the value of your ring, for example. That’s important because we see inflation happening all around us. It would be sad to find that you have to replace your ring with something lesser because the cost of an identical replacement has gone higher than the amount you originally insured it for. This also protects you against the risk of a poor appraisal that pegs the value of your ring lower than it should have actually been.
In addition to coverage for physical damage, loss, and theft, they offer coverage for “Mysterious Disappearance,” which essentially means that you have no idea what happened to your ring…it’s just gone and you’re not sure when it happened or how. I love that their coverage has no deductible of any kind. I also appreciate the fact that they allow you to get your repair or replacement from a local jeweler that you trust…rather than having the insurer decide what to send you as a replacement. You can go back to the same jeweler that you originally purchased from to get something truly identical if you’d like!
Fortunately, the process is incredibly simple. It only takes about 3 minutes to get the quote and start coverage online. It’s also very affordable! Most policies are less than $5 a month ($60 a year)! You can review additional information on the benefits they offer and get a free quote, here.
One final option that’s worth a quick mention in self-insuring your ring. If paying for a replacement ring wouldn’t cause much financial turbulence in your life, then self-insuring might be a possibility. This simply means that you’re ready, willing, and able to essentially write a check for a new ring if needed—so you opt to not pay for traditional insurance.
Sometimes some simple math is helpful when making decisions about potentially self-insuring. If you have a $3,000 Moissanite ring that would cost $4.17 a month ($50.04 per year) to insure, for example, it would take almost 60 years for you to end up saving money by self-insuring—if you had to replace the ring even once over the span of those years. That assumes though that the cost of comparable replacement rings stays flat over a 60-year period, which is certainly unlikely. It also assumes that you only have one instance of loss, theft, or damage. If you had more than one instance, self-insurance could end up being many times more expensive.
After looking over some basic calculations, even those that could afford to self insure, often see wisdom in purchasing a policy to protect their ring.
Factors That Influence Your Cost of Coverage
The value of your ring and the amount of insurance coverage you’re seeking will be the most basic factors, but your location is also a component of pricing. There are two common-sense factors that location plays into. First, the likelihood of crime. Second, the cost of jewelry where you live. Both crime and the cost of replacement jewelry would likely be higher in Los Angeles, California, than it would be in Huntsville, Alabama for example. Location doesn’t cause wild swings in the cost of coverage, but it can have a mild impact.
The specific materials your ring is made of (Diamond, Moissanite, Sapphire, gold, platinum, etc) will have no real bearing on cost, other than establishing value. The value of your ring will typically be established by an appraisal.
Where to Get Your Ring Appraised
Reputable local jewelers are often a good place to go for ring appraisals. You’ll likely pay $50 to $75 to have an appraisal done, but it’s valuable information to have because an independent expert documents the value of your ring, but also so you can know some of the important details about your stone that you might not otherwise be aware of. The appraisal may provide information on the cut, color and inclusions for your specific stones. The unique combination of those details will help you to identify your stones in case of theft, but they will also help you to get the most similar replacement possible if that’s ever needed.
How Much Will It Cost to Cover a Moissanite Ring?
I’ll provide some general pricing information—but you can get a quote that’s specific to your exact ring and location here. The process is really quick! Within about 30 seconds, you’ll have your quote and can then decide if it’s a good fit.
In my experience, coverage for most Moissanite rings will hover around $50 per year (roughly $4.20 a month). Your quote may be slightly higher or lower, based on your ring value and location, but I’d guess that it comes in pretty close to that number.
If you have valuable earrings or other jewelry that you’d hate to lose, they can cover those items inexpensively as well!
Things to Watch Out For
There are a few potential pitfalls related to insuring your ring. I’ll quickly address them so you know what to look for and ask questions about.
Some appraisers frequently overvalue the rings they assess. When that happens, you can end up paying for more coverage than you really need. What’s even worse, is that once a claim is filed, your insurance company may push back on your ring’s value, claiming that the appraisal isn’t accurate.
On the other end of the spectrum, if a ring is undervalued, you may not get a large enough payout to cover your actual replacement costs. The risk of a poor appraisal is one of the reasons that I strongly prefer the insurance company that I linked to above. Their 125% coverage protects you if you should ever find that you didn’t have as much coverage as you ultimately needed in order to be made whole following a claim.
Your homeowners or rental insurance policy has lots of fine print, in fact, all insurance policies do. Those details matter when it’s time to file a claim. Part of the fine print that we often gloss over has to do with exclusions—or the specific scenarios where the insurance company won’t have liability for a claim under the policy. An example might be the exclusion that some life insurance policies could have for extreme activities, like Skydiving. If your policy has that exclusion, and you die while skydiving, they won’t pay a benefit, whether you remember seeing that exclusion or not.
It would be sad to pay for a policy believing that you have coverage, only to learn that there’s an exclusion in your policy that excludes coverage for loss or damage which takes place while you’re traveling abroad. Unfortunately, most people only learn about the exclusions after filing a claim. Understanding the exclusions while your shopping for a policy will help you to ensure you’re getting the best value, and most comprehensive coverage, possible
The initial portion of any loss that you’re responsible to absorb before insurance begins paying on a claim, is your deductible. Most home insurance policies might have a deductible of $500, $1,000, or $1,500 for example. If you were to file a $2,000 claim for your damaged ring, but you had a $1,500 deductible, the insurance company would only end up paying you $500 to help you replace your ring. That might come as a frustrating surprise if you weren’t initially aware.
The price you’re quoted for adding coverage for your $2,000 ring to your homeowner’s policy might seem fantastic until you realize that the only insurance you really have, is the amount that’s the difference between your deductible and the full value of your ring. In light of the small amount of potential payout, you may find that the coverage offered by your homeowner’s policy turns out to be your most expensive option in some cases.
The insurance provider that I linked to above has no deductibles, so you’re never asked to personally absorb any portion of the accepted loss.
Getting Your Replacement:
If you file a claim, will you have the option of getting a replacement ring, or simply getting a check? Will you be able to pick the retailer that you purchase the replacement ring from? Will you be able to pick your own replacement ring, or will the insurance company decide, on their own, what they think is most comparable and force you to accept it?
Hopefully, you can see that while price is an important consideration, it certainly isn’t the only consideration. It’s really not even the most one. In order to have real peace of mind, you need to make sure that you won’t have unfortunate surprises when the unthinkable happens.
You Shouldn’t Wait Until Tomorrow to Insure Your Ring
Unfortunately, you can’t buy life insurance from the back of an ambulance while you’re racing to the emergency room, and you can’t buy fire insurance once your house is already on fire. Similarly, it’s too late to protect your ring once unexpected loss or damage has taken place.
Procrastination often costs us dearly. We have every intention to take care of dozens of important things “later.” Unfortunately, we often eventually regret not acting sooner.
The process of securing insurance coverage for your ring almost couldn’t be simpler or more affordable. It’s something you should do now, so you can live with greater peace of mind and not add one more thing to your ever-expanding to-do list!
You have numerous options for insuring your Moissanite engagement or Moissanite wedding ring. Get a quote, ask questions, and secure a policy. It’s something you won’t regret!
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by Dave Greene | Dec 29, 2021 | Moissanite
Engagement rings and wedding rings should be special and durable. You want something your partner can be proud of, so as you initially learn about Moissanite, it’s natural to wonder if it might be considered cheap or tacky.
Is Moissanite Tacky? No, despite what well-paid diamond marketing firms work hard to make you believe, there’s nothing Tacky, or shameful, about giving a beautiful Moissanite engagement or wedding ring. Moissanite looks very similar to diamond. It’s incredibly durable, and yet significantly less expensive.
In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll give you all the information you’ll need in order to decide if Moissanite is the right choice for your special ring.
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite (which is sometimes referred to as ‘Moissy’ in casual conversation) is an ultra-rare naturally occurring stone that was first discovered in 1893 as a scientist combed the impact site of a meteorite in an Arizona desert. The fragments that were found there were originally misidentified as Diamond. Years passed before the French scientist that made the discovery realized that they weren’t diamonds, but something else—something new. Moissanite was eventually named after the French scientist (Henri Moissan) that discovered it.
Naturally occurring Moissanite is far rarer than Diamonds. Diamonds are mined in countries around the globe. The illusion of scarcity supports high prices, which both create a sense of exclusivity that’s a critical part of the industry’s marketing strategy. Diamonds certainly are difficult to extract from the earth, but they aren’t nearly as rare as we’re led to believe through carefully controlled supply channels.
There are no Moissanite mines where large quantities of the stone are extracted from the earth. It’s most commonly found at meteorite impact sites even today, though tiny fragments of Moissanite are also infrequently found in a few other locations as well. Natural Moissanite is always found in tiny pieces that are far too small for jewelry. It’s often broken up as the meteorite which it was part of makes impact with the earth. Because of this, all Moissanite used for jewelry is recreated in a lab.
Moissanite is incredibly hard, so it was originally utilized as an industrial abrasive agent because diamonds and other gems that might serve a similar purpose were far too expensive. Moissanite’s natural hardness makes it a durable choice for jewelry that can withstand the abuse of daily wear.
Moissanite naturally looks almost identical to diamond, but that doesn’t make it a ‘fake diamond’ any more than having a strong natural resemblance to Julia Roberts makes you a fake Julia Roberts. Moissanite is an amazing stone on it’s own merits, and can be a wonderful choice for a wedding or engagement ring!
Does Moissanite Look Strange or Stand Out?
Most Moissanite owners would tell you that their ring stands out in a positive way. Moissanite really sparkles, which catches the eye! I’ve heard many Moissanite owners comment that they’re constantly getting compliments on their Moissanite ring. They sometimes add that they never got so many nice comments about the diamond rings they wore in the past.
Moissanite is typically a clear stone, like diamond (though fancy colored options do exist), so it certainly doesn’t look strange or stand out in a negative sense.
How Common are Moissanite Rings?
Moissanite has become much more commonly used over the past ten years or so. Internet search data shows that it’s searched more than many alternatives like Lab Diamonds, Morganite, White Sapphire, and Cubic Zirconia for use in rings. You may have seen many Moissanite rings without even realizing it. Most often, people that aren’t professionals in the industry see a Moissanite ring and assume it’s a diamond ring. Even professionals might have a hard time identifying a Moissanite ring without a closer inspection, and perhaps testing equipment, in many cases.
The use of Moissanite rings is growing rapidly, so If you ultimately decide to go with Moissanite, you’ll certainly be in good company!
What’s Most Important to You and Your Partner?
Our tastes and preferences are constantly being shaped by marketing companies that shape our opinions through ads and product placements. It’s a subtle process. We aren’t even conscious of the fact that we’re being manipulated to associate certain ideas and feelings with a particular product. These campaigns aren’t a guessing game or gamble for the diamond industry. It’s an investment, and the marketing firms they hire are masters at programming our biases and impressions to desire their product and to think of all others as a poor personal reflection on us. Too often, we bite and accept the meanings and associates they carefully feed to us.
Did you know that Americans haven’t always given diamonds when they got engaged or married? Prior to the 1930s, other gems were far more common. It was only through heavy marketing campaigns that the tide began turning, and people began associating Diamonds with engagement, marriage, and love. An expectation of a diamond was created over time, but that didn’t happen organically—it was programmed into us by the industry that would directly profit from the shift. They caused us to feel a sense of failure if the diamond wasn’t big enough. They caused us to question if it was real love at all if a diamond wasn’t presented. It’s all nonsense in reality, but many still buy into the conditioning that we’ve received through marketing.
When you choose Moissanite, you get a ring that looks almost identical to a diamond. You also get a stone that’s harder than all gems and stones other than diamonds. Moissanite rings are durable, so they can be worn daily and don’t need to be babied like softer stones. When you choose Moissanite, you save significant money, because the supply of Moissanite isn’t centralized and manipulated. You’ll typically save 85% over the cost of purchasing a similar-sized diamond! That means thousands of dollars in savings that you can apply to paying down debt, a better honeymoon, a down payment on a home, etc.
So what’s most important—having a durable and equally beautiful stone that you save thousands of dollars on or maintaining a self-serving tradition that the diamond industry created in order to build demand and support exorbitant prices?
How Durable Is Moissanite
The Mohs Scale of hardness is a comparative scale that essentially ranks materials in order of hardness. It’s ‘comparative’ because it doesn’t measure their hardness as much as it shows us, numerically, which stones are harder than specific types of other stones. From the scale, we learn that Talc has the lowest possible rating at just 1. Diamond (the hardest known rock) is on the other end of the scale, with a hardness of 10. All other rocks fall somewhere in between those two points. The Mohs Scale rates Moissanite between 9.25 and 9.5. That tells us that it’s not as hard as diamond, but it’s still really hard (even harder than sapphires).
That hardness means that Moissanite is scratch-resistant. Most of the light bumps and scrapes that might scare a Cubic Zirconia or topaz won’t blemish a Moissanite. This means that, unlike many diamond alternatives, Moissanite can stand up to the harsh conditions of daily wear without quickly wearing out.
Does Moissanite get cloudy over time?
The passing of time won’t cause Moissanite to get cloudy, however, it can accumulate build-up from things like soaps and lotions that can begin to block some sparkle. If that happens, a simple cleaning should restore your ring’s full beauty. The good news is that Moissanite is so sparkly, that it can reflect light flashes through build-up that would leave most other stones looking completely dull and lifeless! That means that cleaning requirements are far more relaxed for Moissy than it often is for other types of rings.
How Much Does Moissanite Cost?
The cost of Moissanite will vary, depending on who you’re shopping with, but the equivalent of a 1 carat stone (7mm) typically costs around $300, while a diamond of comparable size would typically cost $3,000 to $5,000. Again, the potential savings are significant!
How Can People Tell Moissanite and Diamonds Apart?
In reality, your friends, family, and co-workers would have a hard time telling Moissanite and Diamond apart. A professional jeweler would have an easier time distinguishing the two stones, though they sometimes have to resort to high-tech devices for identification when appearances aren’t distinctive enough.
The quickest way to alert people to the fact that your Moissanite ring isn’t a diamond ring is to go too big with the stone that you choose. You could buy a 3-carat Moissanite stone for a minimal cost, but a 3-carat diamond would likely cost at least $30,000—something your friends, family, and co-workers might know you couldn’t possibly afford. Their immediate assumption with an unusually large stone is that it’s a diamond simulant of some kind (like Cubic Zirconia).
A one-carat diamond isn’t something that’s unusual for most rings, so if you stick to a Moissanite stone in that range, it’s much less likely that anyone would have reason to assume that it might not be a diamond that you’re wearing. Professionals frequently move the stone under light to observe the sparkles. Moissanite has more fire (light dispersion) than diamonds, which can be one way they distinguish Moissanite from diamonds. Fire presents itself as rainbow-colored sparkles of light that reflect back from the ring when exposed to light. Most of your friends would admire the way your Moissanite ring dances with sparkles, but they wouldn’t know that those sparkles are a little different from what they might observe in a comparable diamond.
Should You Let People Think Your Moissanite is a Diamond?
You should never mislead the person that you’re offering a ring to about what it’s made of. If you talk about what Moissanite is before you buy it, hopefully, you’ll get a read on how they feel about it. Like most people, they may be unfamiliar initially, but as they learn more, they may come to appreciate it for its beauty, incredible origins, and savings.
I personally feel that Moissanite is a pretty remarkable stone, and I’m not embarrassed at all for someone to know that the solitaire in my wife’s ring is made of Moissanite, not diamond. Having said that, I also don’t feel that I need to go around proactively telling everyone who sees my wife’s ring that the stone is Moissanite. If they ask, I’ll tell them. If they don’t ask, I probably won’t mention it either. You can handle this in whatever way feels best to you, but again, Moissanite is such an incredible stone, that it’s nothing you should feel ashamed to let others know about.
There are a few issues that Moissanite owners sometimes experience. First, when they don’t remove their ring to apply hand sanitizers, lotions, sunscreen, etc, they sometimes experience some build-up on their ring that may dull its ability to sparkle until it’s properly cleaned.
The build-up of the oils and chemicals, mentioned above, can also create a rainbow stain that can be difficult to clean off for some people. The stain can be removed, but it’s sometimes challenging for those that are experiencing it for the first time.
The other issue that’s fairly common, is that Moissanite seems to temporarily take on a grey hue in certain lighting conditions. My wife has seen that happen when her hands are on the steering wheel and she’s driving under a grey cloudy sky. Her Moissanite ring simply reflects the color of the sky, but it looks at the time like it’s actually taken on a greyish tone. Once she gets to her destination and has different lighting in her environment, the ring looks normal again. This illusion makes Moissanite interesting, but it’s nothing lasting that should cause concern.
If you need something less expensive than a traditional diamond, but ultimately decide against a Moissanite, for whatever reason, you may want to look into either buying a lab-grown diamond or a used diamond ring.
Lab grown, or man made, diamonds look exactly the same as mined diamonds and are equally durable, however, they cost much less. I wrote this article explaining more about the benefits and savings of lab grown diamonds.
You can save money on mined diamonds, and lab-grown diamonds, by buying them 2nd hand through Pawn Shops or sites that act as consignment agents. Specialized sites frequently have rings tested for authenticity and provide greater assurance that you’re getting what you think you’re buying. You can find one of my favorite second-hand retailers here. They also have a good selection of loose used diamonds that you can mount to your own band if you’d prefer that.
A Moissanite ring will serve as a symbol of your love and commitment just as effectively as a diamond ring will. It comes down to which stone has the beauty, durability, and price that works best for you. Buying Moissy isn’t tacky or cheap, it’s smart. It’s frugal.
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Lab Created Diamond vs Moissanite | Look, Durability, & Cost
by Dave Greene | May 23, 2020 | Moissanite
Moissanite rings look very similar to diamond rings, but does that make them nothing more than diamond knockoffs?
Is Moissanite considered fake? Moissanite isn’t “fake.” It’s a real, naturally occurring, stone. Natural Moissanite is much rarer than Diamonds. Because of this, the Moissanite in all jewelry is lab-created. Moissanite looks very similar to diamond, but this doesn’t make Moissanite a fake diamond—or diamond a fake Moissanite.
Why do some people refer to Moissanite as fake? I’ll explain some of the more common reasons below.
Is Moissanite a Fake Diamond?
Diamonds peddlers (and sometimes those that paid way too much to purchase a diamond…and want to justify the decision) occasionally refer to Moissanite as fake (usually implying that it’s a ‘fake diamond’). The label “fake,” understandably, doesn’t sit well with many people that are shopping for a ring to mark an important occasion in their lives. Those that throw the term around recognize this, which is, of course, why they do it.
There are three very common reasons that critics of Moissanite often use to justify claims that it’s fake.
- Moissanite is made to look like diamonds
- Moissanite is a manufactured stone
- It isn’t always presented as Moissanite
I’ll provide more context for each of these claims and address them in the paragraphs that follow.
Moissanite is Made to Look Like Diamonds
Again, Moissanite is a naturally occurring stone, but it’s rare—far more rare than diamonds. Moissanite was originally discovered in 1893 by French scientist Henri Moissan. Henri was investigating the site of a meteor impact in the deserts of Arizona. During his exploration of the area, he found some small crystal fragments that he believed to be diamond. It wasn’t until several years later that he discovered that they were something entirely different than diamond. The stone was eventually named in his honor.
Interesting, right? Moissanite naturally resembles diamond. The fact that the two look so similar is no reason to refer to Moissanite as a fake version of the other. In reality, they’re just two distinct stone types that have some level of commonality in terms of look and durability (yet they’re very distinctive in other areas).
In another article, I referred to Moissanite and Diamond as doppelgangers (two people that almost look like identical twins, but who aren’t related to each other).
Alligators and Crocodiles look almost indistinguishable to those that haven’t learned the physical characteristics that distinguish them. Just because the two reptiles have a lot in common and look fairly similar doesn’t mean that a Crocodile is a fake Alligators, or that an Alligator is a fake Crocodile.
This same scenario applies to Moissanite too. It does look similar to diamond, but that doesn’t make it fake. White Sapphire can also look similar to diamond, but here again, it’s a natural stone that happens to somewhat resemble diamond (the same way that alligators and crocodiles resemble each other without being identical).
Moissanite is a Manufactured Stone
I mentioned earlier that Moissanite is much rarer than Diamonds. We don’t find large deposits of Moissanite in pockets around the globe that we can continue mining for years (as we do with diamonds. In fact, Moissanite has primarily been found at the site of meteor impacts. The force of the impact typically ensures that only small fragments remain. In the extremely rare instance where naturally occurring Moissanite has been discovered on earth, it’s been found in very small sizes and quantities.
Because Moissanite is a fascinating, functional, and beautiful stone that’s so hard to find naturally, we’ve been creating it in labs for many years. We first started manufacturing it in 1903 so we could use the stone as an abrasive for manufacturing. Moissanite is incredibly hard and much less expensive than other alternatives at the time.
Today, many types of stones are created in labs around the globe. Diamond is another lab-created stone that’s growing in popularity today. The diamonds that are manufactured are made of carbon. They aren’t fake diamonds. They’re real diamonds (in every sense of the word), and have the exact same characteristics as diamonds that were formed in the earth.
As you can see, being lab created doesn’t make a given stone ‘fake.’ Moissanite wasn’t imagined and made up to look like diamonds—it’s a real stone with its own qualities, characteristics, and history.
It Isn’t Always Presented as Moissanite
Because Moissanite and Diamond look so similar, it’s definitely possible for someone to assume that the Moissanite ring you gave them is a diamond ring if you don’t inform them otherwise. Disclosure and honesty are especially important when you present a ring to someone you care about to mark a special moment in the relationship.
If you propose with a Moissanite ring, for example, you really SHOULD find an appropriate way to tell them. The fact that it’s a Moissanite ring doesn’t have to be said before opening the box, while you’re still on one knee, or before they answer your proposal, but you should be open and transparent with the information. Sooner is probably also better than later.
Please don’t get me wrong, this disclosure isn’t an apology. Moissanite is an interesting and impressive stone in its own right. There’s just no need to pretend that a Moissanite is anything other than what it is. Moissanite truly ISN’T a fake diamond. You can be open, honest, and proud of your ring for what it is.
While we’re on the subject of appropriate disclosures, I should mention that Moissanite isn’t intentionally sold by reputable jewelers as diamond—it’s sold as Moissanite. I say ‘intentionally’ just because it’s sometimes hard to tell the two apart without specific testing. I recently wrote an article describing the type of testing and instruments that can be used to distinguish diamonds from Moissanite.
It’s easier for dishonest people to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers on sites that connect private party buyers and sellers (online auction sites, for example). I would exercise real caution when purchasing ANY stone from an individual seller (even through online platforms that you’re familiar with) or online retailers that you’re unfamiliar with. The larger, more established, and more reputable a retailer is, the more certain you can be, that you’ll get what you paid for.
Yes, there may be some situations where Moissanite isn’t disclosed to be Moissanite. When that happens, people frequently believe the stone to be diamond. That clearly shouldn’t happen. When it does, it doesn’t mean that Moissanite is a ‘fake’ stone— it means that people are sometimes dishonest. Again, they may try doing the same thing with a stone like White Sapphire or a number of other similar stones.
How Does it Moissanite Compare to Diamond?
I’ve mentioned several times that Moissanite and Diamond have both common and distinctive characteristics. I thought it might be helpful to quickly highlight some of those issues so you can better understand the similarities and differences.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Hardness
Both Moissanite and Diamond are very hard stones, but they aren’t equally hard. Diamond rates at 10 (the highest score) on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, while Moissanite comes in at 9.25.
The numerical between those two seems small, but the actual difference in hardness is actually pretty significant. Diamond is much harder than Moissanite. That extreme hardness is both good and bad. On one hand, it means that diamonds are incredibly scratch resistant. On the other, it creates a major vulnerability that you’ll learn about in the next section.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Toughness
Hardness and toughness are not the same things. Hardness has to do with scratch resistance. Toughness essentially has to do with break resistance. The harder materials become, the more brittle they get. Diamonds are therefore very resistant to scratches, but also fairly susceptible to cracking or breaking.
My younger sister once had her diamond ring fall off a counter onto a tile floor. As she picked up the ring and examined it, she found that the stone had fractured all the way through.
Because Moissanite is less hard, it’s also less brittle. This makes Moissanite tougher than diamond (less likely to break as the result of an impact).
Moissanite vs Diamond: Durability
Hardness and toughness are both factors that play into durability. Because of that, it’s really hard to say whether diamond or Moissanite is the more durable stone overall. Fortunately, both stones are durable enough to be considered ‘forever’ stones, which means they are capable of being used as family heirlooms, that get passed down from generation-to-generation.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Sparkle
Moissanite is capable of displaying far more sparkle (particularly colorful sparkle—commonly referred to as ‘fire’) than diamond can. This is one of those characteristics that is naturally different between the two stones. Some absolutely LOVE all the additional sparkle. It makes the ring look so vibrant and tends to draw lots of compliments!
When it comes to sparkle, Moissanite is pretty low maintenance. Some stones start to look muted and dull pretty quickly as they collect dirt from daily wear. Moissanite surpasses diamond, and most other stones, in its ability to sparkle right on through some pretty substantial grime.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Cost
The cost difference between Diamond and Moissanite is significant. A 1-carat diamond will likely cost at least 10 times as much as a Moissanite stone of the same size.
A Moissanite stone of that size will cost $300 to $600. A 1-carat diamond of reasonable quality will typically cost $5,000 or more.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Insurability
Both stones are equally insurable. I wrote an article discussing the options and costs for insuring a lab-grown diamond ring. The same options and approximate costs would also be applicable to Moissanite rings, so that post may be worth reviewing if you’d like to understand your options a little better.
One of the benefits of purchasing a ring with a lower cost stone (like Moissanite), is that you may not need to purchase insurance coverage because the cost of replacing the stone may be low enough that you can essentially self-insure. That saves you money that you might otherwise have to pay every month to cover a more expensive ring.
Moissanite vs Diamond: Resale
All used rings are going to sell at a discount. No one wants to pay anything close to retail for a used right—even if it’s in ‘like new’ condition. The size of the discount that’s required to sell your ring will depend on many factors. There are a couple of important differences to keep in mind when comparing Moissanite and Diamond.
First, you risk a lot less when you buy a Moissanite stone. That reality certainly runs against the grain of the beliefs that advertisers have tried to instill in us over the years. We’re led to believe that the diamonds in our engagement rings and wedding rings are an investment of some sort—that hold their value and even appreciate. Unless you’re buying a truly rare diamond (sizes and colors that typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more) it’s all really fiction.
If you purchase a diamond for 6,000 and have to sell it used for a 50% discount, you’ve lost $3,000. If you purchase a Moissanite stone for $600 and have to sell it for a 70% discount, you would only lose $420 in total. That’s why I say you risk a lot less when you purchase Moissanite. You could essentially toss your Moissanite stone in the garbage and lose A LOT less money than you would after SELLING your diamond ring.
I mention that just to highlight the issue, but in reality, there’s no reason that you wouldn’t be able to sell your Moissanite at a discount that’s similar (and most likely even less) than the discount you would have to offer in order to sell a diamond.
I evaluated a number of used diamond rings and moissanite rings that were being offered for sale in my area to figure out the average discount that was being offered on each. I outlined the results in an article titled Will Moissanite Go Up in Value? Sellers are, naturally, only going to discount as much as they need to in order to draw buyers to purchase their ring instead of a new one, so it’s interesting to get some insight into how low they need to go to accomplish that.
Moissanite is not a ‘fake’ stone—and certainly isn’t a fake diamond. It’s a naturally occurring stone that’s been reproduced in laboratories since the late 1800s. Natural Moissanite is rare on earth, but it also exists in space and has often been found at meteor impact sites (which is where Moissanite was first discovered).
Moissanite does happen to look very similar to diamond. While it isn’t quite as hard as diamonds, it is tougher. Moissanite is a durable “forever” stone that’s capable of lasting for generations. Couples that can’t, or don’t want to, spend the kind of money that diamonds demand, often save 90% on the cost of their stone by choosing Moissanite! Years later, many tell me that they couldn’t be happier and would make the same decision all over again!
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