Is a moonstone engagement ring the right choice for you?
Moonstone engagement rings are super trendy right now but, are they the right choice for your proposal?
Moonstone has us enchanted with its rainbow flash, opalescent hues, and affordable price points BUT there’s a downside to this beautiful gemstone. Before you start shopping, read this post so you can make an informed decision.
I’ll go through a few key points and leave the rest up to you.
What is a moonstone?
Moonstone is a gemstone in the feldspar group – along with other minerals like labradorite and amazonite.
Milky white with an opalescent glow, moonstone is named for its silvery-white reflection reminiscent of moonlight. This opalescence and sheen is caused by light diffraction within its layered crystalline structure.
How durable is moonstone?
Moonstone is one of the softer gemstone grade minerals with a Mohs hardness of only 6-6.5. I usually suggest using only gemstones that are Mohs hardness 9 or higher for engagement rings.
Honestly, I would never make an engagement ring with anything below 8.
If you don’t know what the Mohs scale is, it’s a system that measures the scratch resistance of minerals. The higher the Mohs number, the more resistant a particular gemstone is to scuffs and scratches. Why does this matter? Because an engagement ring is intended to be worn every day, so it’s important to choose a stone that can withstand the wear of daily life.
A moonstone isn’t very scratch resistant – meaning that you will have to take off your moonstone ring whenever you’re doing activities where it might get knocked about or come into contact with abrasives. This includes sports, cleaning, gardening, showering, to name just a few.
Since moonstone has a layered structure, it’s also very pressure sensitive and will crack or chip easily.
Even if you’re very careful with your moonstone ring, since an engagement ring is something that you wear every day, it will start to show signs of wear in a year or two. The facets will soften, the surface will lose its sparkle and shine, and you’ll be looking at replacing your ring.
For something as sentimental as an engagement ring, this can be heartbreaking.
How much does moonstone cost?
Moonstone is a fairly abundant and inexpensive gemstone, though specimens with higher transparency and blue sheen are more sought after and therefore more valuable.
Prices will vary based on size and quality but you can get a high-quality moonstone around the same size as a 1ct diamond in the ballpark of $500USD*.
Please keep in mind though, that even the top quality moonstone isn’t going to be as durable as a gemstone with a higher Mohs rating. What you save now, will mean more cost down the road when it’s time to replace your moonstone engagement ring in a year or two.
That being said, moonstone is still a beautiful choice for an occasional ring or a jewelry piece that won’t get as much wear and tear.
Do I recommend moonstone for an engagement ring?
Short answer: NO.
Here’s the bottom line, an engagement ring is a very precious thing. It is (hopefully) a once in a lifetime purchase and should be built to last.
A moonstone will not stand the test of daily wear so it’s an absolute no for me.
I am super open to alternative ideas when it comes to engagement rings (a diamond solitaire is definitely not your only choice) — but I have to recommend against using moonstones for an engagement ring.
What are some moonstone alternatives?
While there’s nothing quite exactly like the rainbow flash of moonstone, there are some other gemstones that will offer you a similar look with more durability.
Opalescent diamonds are a stunning choice for an engagement ring and are usually less expensive than a standard crystal-clear “flawless” diamond. For reference, a 1ct D colour VS1 diamond will run in the neighbourhood of $14,000USD* while I’ve seen beautiful 2ct opalescents go for around $4,500USD*.
Sapphires also come in a large variety of shades – from muted pastels to vivid pinks, blues, purples and greens. At a MOHS hardness of 9, sapphires and rubies are both great choices for an engagement ring that will last a lifetime.
If you’re on a tight budget, lab-made stones can offer you a little more bang for your buck. There are lots of options in man-made diamonds or you can also choose moissanite for something a little different.
As a jeweler who specializes in custom, one-of-a-kind pieces, I am never going to recommend something that won’t last.
If I’ve managed to change your mind and you want more information about the best choices for engagement rings, feel free to contact me with any questions at all.
On the other hand, if you’ve read all of this information and your heart is still set on a moonstone engagement ring, at least I can rest easy knowing I’ve told you the risks and you’re making an informed decision. ❤️
* prices are for comparison purposes only and will fluctuate