One of the hottest current trends in alternative wedding rings - moss agate! This dreamy stone is perfect for nature-lovers, cottagecore aesthetic weddings, fairies, or those looking for a stand-out stone for their wedding ring! There are many reasons to love moss agate, but one of our favorites is that every single stone is completely unique - no two moss agate stones will ever be the exact same!
What is Moss Agate?
Moss agate is a semi-precious stone that, despite its name, is actually a variety of chalcedony quartz rather than agate. Agate is technically a chalcedony typically characterized by distinct concentric banding and layering, which moss agate lacks. Instead, moss agate has a transparent to milky white field with moss-like light to dark green inclusions. These dendritic inclusions are not actually made up of moss, but instead likely manganese or iron. "Dendritic" inclusions are non-organic metallic oxide inclusions that have a branching appearance similar to ferns, trees, ice crystals, and of course - moss!
Moss agate is formed as a result of volcanic activity and is found in fissures or fragments from weathered volcanic rock. It can be found around the world in places like India, Brazil, United States, Europe, and Uruguay.
A Brief History
Moss agate has been used since ancient times, and was at one point called "mocha stone" rather than moss agate. The name came from the city of Mocha in Yemen, which was the main source for moss agate in the ancient world. According to Lang Antique Jewelry University, moss agate was used by the ancient Romans to crush ingredients for lotions and ointments because the stone possessed "divine" powers. And while moss agate didn't command the attention that precious gemstones like sapphire and rubies did, it was still considered a very fashionable choice throughout history. During Queen Victoria's reign in the 19th century, moss agate as well as other types of agate were very popular in jewelry and collectors value these pieces greatly! Today, moss agate is once again gaining popularity as an alternative gemstone choice for engagement rings. Given the natural beauty and uniqueness of these stones, it's really no surprise!
Moss Agate Care & Cleaning
The Moh's scale ranks how hard and resistant a mineral or gemstone is against scratching. Moss agate ranks around 6.5-7 on the Moh's scale, which is fair-good. In addition, moss agate does not have a defined cleavage, which means it has good toughness against fracturing. Still, moss agate is much softer than diamond or sapphire, and special care should be taken while wearing moss agate jewelry. For this reason, we recommend removing your ring for all manual labor (including sports, going to the gym, gripping items with force such as bicycle handlebars, luggage, etc.) and while doing household chores including washing dishes, laundry, and cleaning. Avoid contact with chemicals (such as chlorine and household bleach), extreme temperatures, perfumes, cosmetics, and other substances which may cause damage to your one-of-a-kind ring. To read more about how to care for your ring, check out our Care Guidelines.
Moss agate jewelry should be stored away from other jewelry containing harder stones like diamond, sapphire, etc. to avoid scratching. Any mineral ranking harder than 6.5-7 on the Moh's scale can scratch moss agate.
The safest way to clean any jewelry, including moss agate jewelry, is with warm soapy water and a soft cloth or brush. Ultrasonic or steam cleaners and chemical cleansers are not recommended for moss agate jewelry.
Choosing or Designing a Moss Agate Ring
As mentioned earlier, moss agate stones are all unique from one another and can vary in appearance. Some stones are more translucent while others are more opaque white. The amount of moss-like inclusions can also vary from just a little bit to almost the entire stone, making the stone appear dark forest green. Because this is a natural material, we cannot control the way a particular stone looks. Please keep in mind that the stones used in our moss agate rings will not look the exact same as the stone in the listing photos. This is one of the great things about moss agate - each stone and ring will be different!
Moss agate looks excellent with all gold colors (yellow, white, and rose), and we offer it in many different cuts including hexagon, elongated hexagon, trillion, round, pear, kite, and oval. Diamond accents are a great way to add some sparkle, but moss agate also looks good against colored gemstones like emerald. The design possibilities are virtually endless!
Our "Sage" ring in 14K rose gold has a kite cut moss agate center stone, diamond accents, and a matching diamond and emerald tracer.
If you're set on a moss agate for your engagement ring, you're in luck! We proudly offer a variety of unique moss agate engagement ring designs which you can see here, or you can start from scratch and work with our designers to design your own!