Finding an engagement ring is a lot like finding a soul mate. Your partner (or you) walks into a jewelry store, looks down at the display case full of diamonds, and waits for one stone to call out your name. There it is! Your perfect ring, the symbol of your perfect love, meant for no one else…
Don’t worry. I’m totally kidding.
In reality, choosing an engagement ring is a complicated process that requires a lot of learning. There’s just so much to consider (the four C’s, mining ethics, etc.)! It’s easy for any shopper to get overwhelmed by it all. Well, I don’t mean to add another thing to your list, but here’s one more thing you should consider: you don’t have to buy a diamond!
There are many alternatives to the classic engagement ring these days, from gemstone options to lab-grown stones. For example, if you want the look of a diamond at a fraction of the price, you might want to take a look at moissanite.
Why Buy a Moissanite Ring Instead of a Diamond?
Moissanite is a naturally-occurring rare mineral (though all of today’s moissanite jewelry is lab-grown). At first glance, the stone is a dead ringer for a diamond: it’s white, sparkly, durable, and incredibly beautiful.
So, what sets moissanite apart? The most obvious benefit is cost. Moissanite stones are much cheaper than diamonds. A 1-carat moissanite stone might cost you around $650, while a 1-carat diamond can cost upwards of $5,000! If you’re a couple on a budget—or even if you’re just interested in saving your cash for other purchases—moissanite can be a great way to get that sparkle without overspending.
Moissanite vs. Diamond
I know what you’re thinking: “Sure, my moissanite ring will cost less—but will it look cheap, too?”
I get it. You’re going to be wearing your engagement ring for the rest of your life—it should look absolutely perfect! Luckily, you don’t have to worry. Moissanite ranks quite close to diamonds in just about every metric!
For example, let’s look at hardness. One of the great benefits of a diamond is its durability, which keeps the stone from breaking or chipping with daily wear. Diamonds score a 10 on the Mohs scale for hardness, and moissanite gets a… 9.25! These two stones are nearly equal in their durability, making them both commendable choices for an engagement ring.
Next, let’s discuss the stone’s “fire” (AKA, how much it sparkles). Diamonds have a high refractive index score of 2.42, which explains why they reflect light so beautifully. What about moissanite? Its high refractive index score is 2.65—just a smidge above diamond! In fact, moissanite tends to appear more sparkly and colorful in the sun, which can make it especially attractive to people looking for a truly glamorous ring.
What to Look for in a Moissanite Stone
As you can see, there aren’t really any drawbacks to getting a moissanite engagement ring. In fact, the cost savings make this stone a major benefit! But how do you know that you’re getting a truly great moissanite? Here are a few tips for buying your stone.
Less Is More
Because moissanite is so inexpensive (at least compared to a diamond), some couples think that this is their chance to go BIG. However, it’s important to remember that diamonds and moissanite do share some subtle differences, and the larger your moissanite stone, the more noticeable those differences will be. Even the extra sparkle in your moissanite ring can look “fake” if you go for a massive rock!
Now, if you really want that 4-carat beauty, don’t let me stand in your way. But, if you want your moissanite to pass as a diamond, keep the stone on the understated side.
Use the Four C’s
The four C’s of diamonds (carat, color, clarity, and cut) are a great metric to help you find the perfect stone for your sweetheart and your budget. But here’s the best part: that metric isn’t just for diamonds! Talk to your jeweler about the color gradations between moissanite (some can be perfectly clear, while others have a slight colored tint) and look at different cut options before you make your purchase. This will help you find the ring that best suits your partner.
Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around
Remember, an engagement ring is a significant purchase. It’s a piece of jewelry your partner will wear for the rest of their life—and it’s a symbol of the love you share! Don’t feel pressured into purchasing anything on your first look around. Visit several stores, compare stones and prices, and make sure you’ve found the perfect piece for the love of your life.