As younger customers search online for unusual gemstones and designs, jewelry brands say they are seeing a surge of interest in moss agate, even for engagement rings.
“We went from selling virtually no moss agate in 2020 to it being one of our top five colored gemstones in terms of sales this year,” says Ty Wilson, cofounder of CustomMade, a jewelry e-tailer that specializes in custom engagement rings and fine jewelry.
CustomMade offers moss agate in earrings, pendants, and rings. Wilson says shoppers like it for showcasing their personal style and having a stone that is different than those on their friends’ hands.
“Customers keep us up to date on the trends, so they’re coming to us to find this stone,” Wilson says. “Gen Z grew up with social media, and that exposed them to the whole world. So when they get to something like an an engagement, they want something unique and stands out from everyone else.”
Moss agate has become part of the trend of using alternatives to perfectly clear diamonds in engagement rings—couples have also opted for salt-and-pepper diamonds, opals, and pearls, among other nontraditional stones. Jewelry brands are also making other kinds of pieces with moss agate, promoting its nature-inspired look and reputed soothing or calming properties.
Rosie Ray, the sister brand of ring jeweler Manly Bands, recently debuted its moss agate collection, showing off the stone to engaged couples as something different and to outdoor enthusiasts as an appealing addition to their ring stack, the brand says. Rosie Ray’s moss agate line comprises five rings with special cuts, such as the kite-shape Aspen. A few of the styles have diamond side stones, and all can be made with the band in either platinum, yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold.
“We were drawn to the moss agate stone due to its rare and exclusive appearance, along with its supposed properties of abundance,” says Michelle Luchese, cofounder and co-CEO of Manly Bands.
“Not only is it eye-catching and each stone entirely unique, but it’s considered to be a grounding stone that could help bring in abundance and a fresh start,” Luchese says. “This would make a wonderful holiday gift for someone who loves the outdoors or someone who feels at peace in nature.”
Wilson says the stone’s name refers to green inclusions that look like mossy webs, vines, or branches. People are attracted to the stone for its color, which can vary from a darkish brown-green to gray-green to a softer, more open green, he says. Green chromite creates the hue, and its inclusions give texture to jewelry pieces. Moss agate is a type of chalcedony quartz, a relative of onyx, amethyst, and citrine, Wilson says.
Wilson says moss agate works well in custom looks—his brand’s specialty—because it’s opaque so it doesn’t need to be cut in a specific way to make it sparkle. CustomMade offers it in an array of shapes, including round, hexagon, and kite.
The stone also makes a fantastic statement or cocktail ring that goes great with a ball gown, Wilson says. His company has created a signet-style ring with moss agate as the primary stone, for customers who want that cool, fresh look.
“Moss agate is durable enough for careful daily wear or for occasional wear by folks that are hard on their rings,” Wilson says. “For those customers [in the latter category], we recommend a protective bezel setting to limit wear and chipping on the edge of the stone.”
Top: Moss agate has gained fans among younger consumers seeking unique stones for jewelry, with CustomMade—which created these pieces—one of the brands noting a rise in the market. (Photos courtesy of CustomMade except where noted)Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine