While diamonds will always be a girl’s best friend, other stones might feel more like your soulmate when it comes to your wedding ring. Whether it’s an emerald or ruby or morganite, there are so many diamond alternatives out there to choose from. Which is why moonstone engagement rings have become so on-trend as of late. Before we show you some of our favorite examples, let’s get into the basics of moonstone rings.
What the Heck is a Moonstone?
According to Hindu mythology, moonstone is made up of “solidified moonbeams.” It’s also the birthstone for June babies. However in technical terms, traditional moonstone is made up of minerals from the feldspar group (which make up 60% of the earth’s crust), and more specifically from the”orthoclase” species. Rainbow moonstone, on the other hand, is from the “labradorite” species.
WGM Says: Moonstone is known for it’s soft ethereal glow, which gives it an exquisite shimmering quality when the light hits its’ layers (a phenomenon known as adularescence).
During the Art Nouveau period in the early 1900s, the stone was used by artists such as René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany in their jewelry. But as soon as diamonds and other gems hit the scene during the Art Decor period, it lost favor. It made a roaring comeback in the 1960s, and their glow became a quick favorite of flower children everywhere. It was since followed by another peak in the 1990s (which if you haven’t heard, are “totally” back.)
Despite the on/off trends, moonstone has been cherished for centuries by people (especially during a full moon) and the greeks and romans once believed it brought the wearer good luck and love. Can your diamond do that?!
How Much are Moonstone Engagement Rings?
Overall, a moonstone engagement ring will be much more affordable than other gems. But pricing does vary based on the transparency and thickness of the stone.
For instance, the classic, almost white moonstone is quite thick, and is therefore the most affordable. (You can find natural moonstone set in 14k white gold on Etsy, like this one, for around $360).
The thinner the moonstone, the more transparent (and expensive) it becomes. You’ll also notice that a thinner moonstone will have a beautiful blue adularescence (compared to opaque as noted above). Those can start around $700+ for styles similar to this one.
Your price will also vary based on which type of setting you choose. Rose gold, yellow gold, or white gold will cost more than a sterling silver band. And diamond accents such as a diamond halo will add to the cost as well.
Are Moonstone Rings Durable?
Although moonstones are a beautiful and unique option for an engagement ring, they are not as tough or long-lasting as diamonds. Moonstones grade at a 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which ranks from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest), while diamonds rate at a 10.
In light of this, moonstone rings could be more prone to nicks, chips, or damage, especially with heavy usage. If you or your significant other decide on a moonstone engagement ring, it is crucial to take precautions when wearing it, to refrain from strenuous physical activity while it is on, and to think about taking it off when performing activities that might scratch or otherwise harm the stone.
Because moonstone is considered a soft stone, you’ll also want to pay particular attention to the ring setting which will give it added protection.
Given that it’s softer than other common gemstones used in engagement rings, you’ll want to think about how often you’ll wear it, and if you’re OK taking it off for less-than-ideal activities such as working out, cleaning, etc. If you want an engagement ring you can wear 24/7, moonstone might not be the right stone for you.
How to Care for a Moonstone Engagement Ring
As you can see on the MOHs graphic above, moonstone falls in the middle when it comes to durability. Unlike a diamond (which is a perfect 10 on the hardness scale), moonstone can scratch or lose it’s luster, so you’ll want to avoid harsh cleaning agents and definitely avoid any ultrasonic or steam cleaners. Warm, soapy water will do just fine. Another tip? Some believe that a moonstone can absorb negative vibrations, and suggest a “vibration cleansing.” To do this you simply leave your ring overnight in a bowl filled with half water/salt, then rinse it under cold running water.
Where to Buy Moonstone
It’s harder to find a moonstone engagement ring at a store like Tiffany (though they do have a beautiful cabachon ring from Elsa Peretti with a similar vibe, albeit higher price tag), so you’ll want to look online. Stores we love (aside from Etsy) that have gorgeous moonstone options include:
What to Look for When Shopping for a Moonstone Engagement Ring
While most moonstones you’ll find are in a cabochon shape (meaning they’re rounded and polished), there are a lot of amazing designers that are creating a faceted moonstone ring, much like diamonds. These can come in a wide variety of shapes, such as pear, emerald, you name it.
You should also consider if you want any other stones around it. From opals to diamonds, you can decide which center stone you want and surround it with others that will accentuate that warm blue glow.
Moonstone comes in a range of colors and transparency, which as mentioned earlier, will dictate not only the look of your moonstone, but the price as well. With that said one option is not better than the other when it comes to color. It’s completely up to you and what you prefer.
Because moonstones are not as durable as diamonds, you’ll want a setting that protects your stone as much as possible. Look for a secure four-prong setting or bezel setting, which means your stone is surrounded by metal (instead of prongs). While it won’t necessarily protect your moonstone from getting scratched, it will protect it from cracking more than other settings.
Moonstone Rings We Love
Ready to start looking at moonstone rings? We recently came across these stunners that would be perfect for an engagement ring, below.
Zoe Lev Diamond Moonstone Ring
Pave diamonds surround this handpicked free form moonstone ring, set in 14k gold.
Temple St. Clair Moonstone Temple Ring
This blue moonstone is flanked by a trio of diamonds and set in 18k gold.
Angara Solitaire Moonstone Infinity Knot Ring
This solitaire round moonstone is the highlight of the infinity knot setting, which symbolizes true love for all the romantics out there.
Etsy Emerald Cut Moonstone Ring
For this emerald cut moonstone with natural diamond side stones, you can choose a yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold setting.
Anna Sheffield Pavé Amulet Ring
A grey rainbow moonstone set in 14k gold is surrounded by a champagne diamond pavé.
Moonstone Equilibrium Ring
Set in designer Jennie Kwon’s distinctive equilibrium setting, the moonstone is surrounded by 1 mm diamonds in 14k yellow gold.
Moonstone Rings FAQ
No, using vinegar to clean moonstone is not recommended. Like many softer gemstones, moonstone can be vulnerable to corrosive chemicals and abrasive cleaning agents. The acetic acid in vinegar has the ability to harm the stone’s surface.
The best cleaning solution for moonstone is warm water and mild soap. If necessary, you might use a soft brush to gently clean the jewelry. To avoid any water marks or any damage, always make sure to clean it well and completely dry it.
Keeping away from sudden temperature fluctuations that can cause the stone to shatter is also a good idea. And always remember that the best plan of action for cleaning moonstone—or any sort of fine jewelry—is to get advice from a professional jeweler.
We’re here to fill you in on a little secret: ANY ring makes a good engagement ring. And moonstone rings are no exception. Just keep in mind the fact that it is not as durable as other more popular engagement ring stones, such as diamonds. If you’re good with that and love the way moonstone rings look, then you found your perfect choice.
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