Bees with diamonds! Did you go natural or lab (and your age?)

posted 9 months ago in Rings
Post # 2
Member
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - Toronto, Ontario

I’m 32, got married at 29, I have an heirloom natural diamond. Although 2 or 3 months salary would have been a very nice hefty rock I would not be comfortable with my husband spending that much on a ring, I’d rather spend it on home improvement or travel, so if he had to buy a ring I would probably chose a lab grown gem. 

Post # 3
Member
328 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2022

I do agree alternatives are becoming more popular, but also the technology to produce them is becoming more consistent and reliable.

we’re 31F and 33M and went with a 2.1ct lab round and would do it again! For me it was all about getting the same physical characteristics at a lower price. A friend warned me lab diamonds are not as valuable but to be realistic (IMO), unless you have an excellent 4ct+ mined diamond, anything smaller are not really that valuable because they’re not actually rare. So if the resell value is going to be terrible no matter what, get the best deal 😀 

 

Post # 4
Member
4540 posts
Honey bee

I was 28 when I was engaged the first time and received a mined diamond (it was my preference, but he picked everything out on his own).

I was 38 when I got engaged this time around and I went mined diamond again.

 

Post # 5
Member
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I totally agree, first time rocks seem to have gotten way bigger over the years. My now husband and I got engaged in college (both 21) but he is very traditional and wanted to buy me a natural diamond from a brick and mortar jewelry store.

He spent a very pretty penny on my ring, especially looking back now that we make more than the average household income in a very HCOL area, so I’m not sure if we would have done anything differently if we’d gotten engaged later on in life. I did however pick out a lab diamond for my most recent large solitaire ring (now 25).

Post # 6
Member
717 posts
Busy bee

32, engaged in 2019, mined diamond. Yes, social media has heightened the emphasis on finger coverage so lab diamonds and moissaintes are becoming more popular as affordable options for larger rocks.

Post # 7
Member
19 posts
Newbee

I’m 22 and we went with a lab diamond, it was my choice as I could get a larger stone at a better price and not worry about ethical sourcing

Post # 8
Member
475 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado

I’m 30 and I chose a lab diamond in recycled metal. I feel very strongly about this and would have made the same choice even if the price was the same. I love the technology behind lab stones and it freaks me out to think about how mined diamonds are millions of years old. It’s also the only way you can absolutely guarantee the origin of the diamond because there can be loopholes in the sourcing of ethical or conflict-free mined diamonds.

You are right about the age thing. Younger Millennials and Gen Z are changing engagement ring trends. Surveys have showed that we want to spend much less on our engagement rings than previous generations ($2.5k vs. $6.5k average). We tend to care more about individualism, ethics, and sustainability, rather than tradition and reputation.

A lot of people that I know actively avoid traditional rings. My friends have all kinds of stones, from mined diamonds to moissanite to lab gemstones. I feel strongly about my own choice, but neutral about others. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that you love your ring. It doesn’t matter what it’s made of or how much it costs.

Post # 9
Member
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I was 23 when I got enagaged. DH chose an ethically sourced natural diamond. I agree that lab and other stone options have been more popular within the last few years. If I were to get a ring upgrade, I’d definitely consider a lab! 

Post # 10
Member
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

View original reply
@thesugarpop:  I was 37 when I got engaged (40 now, ahhhh) and I have a natural diamond. 

Post # 11
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2020

31 and I have a natural diamond as I prefer them over lab.  My 0.64 faces up like a 0.72 and it is perfect to me.  I could have gone larger but I chose better specs over size.

Post # 12
Member
954 posts
Busy bee

I was 26 when I got engaged (5 years ago) and got a natural diamond. 

Post # 13
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Mine is a 2.85ct OEC (natural diamond). 

Post # 14
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee

I was 23 when we got engaged. He chose a mined diamond but honestly I didn’t know much of anything about diamonds/ rings when we got engaged… didn’t frequent WB till after the proposal. All I knew is that I wanted a heart diamond. 

But if I did it again I’d probably go with a lab diamond. Seems more ethical. Not to mention more cost effective. 

Post # 15
Member
432 posts
Helper bee

I’m 40, and my (few) diamonds are all mined as far as I know. My solitaire is an OEC and I have a very strong preference for actually-old OECs over modern precision cut versions. In terms of modern rounds, I would be perfectly happy with a lab diamond, but my pieces have all been gifts and I have not expressed a preference to the people who gave me those gifts.

Lab diamonds are for sure much more accepted now; I clearly remember that there used to be a much greater stigma against them, perhaps in part because it was presented in many articles over the years as ‘these diamonds are going to be super cheap!’ I suspect they’ve grown in popularity in part because they turned out to *not* be super cheap—they’re less expensive, but it’s not like a $50 engagement ring. People really want them to still feel valuable. When the allure of lab diamonds stopped being presented as ‘cheap diamonds!’ and started being framed as an ethical choice and a rejection of a particular kind of extravagance, things really took off. From what I understand, the profit margin on lab diamonds is much higher than that of mined diamonds on the retail level, so more and more retailers are carrying and promoting them, which also explains why things turned around.

But, of course, even in terms of ethics, things aren’t totally clear-cut. Creating diamonds in the lab is resource-intensive and how environmentally responsible a lab diamond is depends on the specific manufacturer; while the ‘minimal environmental impact’ claims are true for some stones, others have a massive environmental footprint that can be greater than that of a mine. And while labour exploitation is clearly a serious concern, not to mention conflict diamonds, there is more oversight in the mined diamond industry than many are aware and exceedingly few diamonds are now conflict diamonds. But people want to feel really sure. Additionally, many people’s livelihoods and local economices depend on mines, and there’s legitimate concern over what will happen to those communities if/when mines disappear. It’s a lot more complicated than good vs. bad. 

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