For centuries couples around the world have worn wedding rings as a symbol of their love and the commitment to each other. Although diamonds were at times used for engagement rings, it wasn’t until the discovery of the Kimberley diamond mine in South Africa in 1870’s that diamonds became widely available, and not until the 1940’s that the DeBeers company cemented society’s fixation on one particular stone: diamond. Although many women want diamonds, some may not want a diamond or may not be able to afford the cost. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can help.
Before you think you can’t afford an engagement ring, consider moissanite. This lab-created mineral looks like diamond, can have the same brilliance as a diamond, and is almost as hard as a diamond. Yet moissanite costs just a fraction of a diamond’s price.
What Exactly are Moissanite Engagement Rings?
Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral, silicone carbide. It was discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan in a meteor. Since there are almost no supplies of this mineral on earth, scientists set out to create synthetic moissanite in a lab. In 1995, jewelers realized that Moissanite would make an ideal gemstone, and the rest, as they say, is history. It’s such a good substitute for diamonds that many jewelers cannot easily tell the difference.
Are Moissanite Engagement Rings Right for You?
The biggest pro of moissanite is the cost. If you are on a budget, definitely look into this gem.
Pros: less expensive than a diamond, but more durable, and some say more brilliant than a cubic zirconia (cz). Moissanite is actually more refractive than a diamond, giving it more brilliance and fire than either a diamond or c.z.
Cons: Can be slightly green or gray rather than colorless, especially in bright daylight. Make sure you examine a potential moissanite stone under a variety of lighting conditions, and that you know your store’s return policy. While cheaper than diamond, it is still more expensive than cubic zirconia. Also, although incorrect, some still characterize moissanite as a “fake” diamond, giving it a cheap feeling.
Purchasing Moissanite Engagement Rings
First of all, remember that moissanite is not a diamond, but rather a mineral that looks similar to diamond. You wouldn’t call pink tourmaline “fake pink sapphire” would you? So think of it as a moissanite engagement ring, and lose the negativity. That said, buying an engagement ring is a very personal thing, and every couple has different priorities. Why not propose without a ring, and then later discuss all of your options, and what you can afford? She may prefer having a tiny diamond ring to a large moissanite ring, or may love the idea of saving money on a gorgeous ring. If you really want to propose with a ring in hand, talk to her friends and family about the matter.