POLL!!! Why Do we Still Get Diamond Engagement Rings?

posted 2 years ago in Engagement
  • poll: Why Do We Still Get Diamond Engagement Rings?
    Because it is tradition : (84 votes)
    26 %
    Because of a successful marketing campaign from De Beers : (106 votes)
    33 %
    Because there isn't enough info on alternative stones : (26 votes)
    8 %
    Because they are beautiful and no other stone compares : (108 votes)
    33 %
  • Post # 76
    2401 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    mrstodd2bee :  if I were to get a moissanite & I was *hoping* that folks would think it was a diamond, there’s no way I’d go for the huge round solitaire. They just don’t pass. Get a 1 “carat” oval. Put it in an intricate setting. But that seems like a lot of $$$, still,  to spend on a simulant. IDK

    Post # 77
    656 posts
    Busy bee

    I think the reasons people get any stone, or any symbolic trinket for an engagement, are highly personal. I doubt there’s a one size fits all. 

    However, diamond engagement rings have been around since 1477. It drives me nuts when people rattle off “BUT IT’S DEBEERS” without any context of the larger history of the tradition of engagment rings. The tradition of an engagement ring, often with a precious stone, goes back much, much farther. The DeBeers campaign was to convince people that diamonds made the best engagement rings (as they noted in their pre-campaign research, wealthy people wanted to be different and so wanted rings with stones other than diamond, while lower class people wanted a larger stone for their money). To conflate it with the fact that they ‘invented’ the diamond engagement ring is wrong. 

    I have a sapphire, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the beauty of diamonds, aquamarines, emeralds, or anything else someone wants to stick in a ring.  I think moissanite is cool, but the Charles and Colvard advertising campaign to justify the price gouging on a stone made in a lab is analagous to the DeBeers campaign. Every single stone has ethical complications. Sapphires are as damaging to human rights as diamonds, and human rights violations in sapphires continue to grow as demand increases (ironically, because sapphire is mistakenly considered an ‘ethical’ stone). Gemstone mining is incredibly destructive to the environment, gold and silver mining even more so. 

    Even rhodium plating an allegedly ‘ethical’ ring is about the most destructive thing you can do to Mother Nature. 

    People are free to make their own choices, but singling out diamond rings as the product of “brainwashing” or the source of all human rights conflict is patently false. Especially since so many people are currently reading and typing on iPhones, iPads, or computer processors created in a manner that has as much blood on its hands as any diamond cartel. Silicon Valley has as much to answer for in terms of human rights as the diamond industry, if not more. 

    Judging anyone’s preference for an engagment ring, unless you are living a truly zero impact lifestyle, is a fool’s errand. 

    Post # 79
    1391 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2020

    Creeping on your threads here, but I’ll throw my two cents in.

    Starting a few years ago, when my boyfriend asked (in a dreaming about the future way) what I would want for a ring, I had no care nor want for a diamond, at all. Still don’t.

    Told that to my mother, and she emailed me the youtube video for “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” saying I needed to listen to it. (she has never been married lol). I still didn’t want a diamond. They’re unneccssarily expensive and I would much rather put that money towards something I would value more; such as a vacation/honeymoon.

    Come to this spring as we’re seriously talking about engagement, and I still have NO desire to have a diamond, nor does he have funds for one. So, my mother offerred to give me my Grandma’s ring that I was set to inherit anyway, and to use the diamond from that for my ring, for free.

    We accepted the offer and my dear boyfriend actually had the ring for over three weeks before I realized he had even asked my mom for it. (he was playing the “I’m too scared to ask” card to lead me on). Hence, I will have a lovely heirloom diamond, and we/he didn’t have to spend any money for it! 🙂

    Post # 80
    246 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I’m always confused by this question… Diamonds aren’t suddenly pieces of trash just because we’re now aware of how inflated the prices are. They are still natural, beautiful gem stones, just like rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc. So why wouldn’t people still want them?? 

    Also, DeBeers is responsible for making diamonds the stone for engagement rings, but diamonds were prized and enjoyed for their beauty well before DeBeer’s marketing campaign. 

    Post # 81
    2342 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    I love the durability of diamonds, as well as the scintillation and fire. I’m sentimental and want to wear my rings all the time. 

    I also love coloured gemstones and chose a Ceylon sapphire in a diamond halo for my first engagement ring. My second husband has a preference for diamond solitaires, and since my mum had given me her three stone diamond and sapphire ring a few years previously and my ring from my first marriage had been sapphire too, a diamond only ring was a good choice. 

    I wear my mum’s ring almost every day but I do remove it more than I remove my diamond solitaire. The diamonds in this heirloom ring are around 100 years old and they are immaculate even though mum gardened in this ring without gloves! The sapphire, which ranks very close to moissanite  in the MOHs index has had to have scratches polished out and the edges of the facets have blunted a little over the years. We think the sapphire dates from the 1940s or 1950s, when the ring was first set. 

    Gemstones have fascinated many different cultures over the millennia and been highly valued. They are extraordinary things to occur in nature. The age and formation of diamonds and other gemstones adds to their allure. 

    I think people overdo the “diamonds aren’t rare” thing. Industrial grade diamond is common and cheap, but only a tiny proportion of rough diamond is gem quality, and a tiny proportion of that is capable of being cut to high performance stones, so GIA Excellent or AGS 000 diamonds are very rare, exponentially so as you go up in carat size. Diamond producers may still attempt to maintain prices through controlling supply to a degree for all I know, but De Beers lost its monopoly many years ago. I think it even lost its position as the largest producer a couple of years or so ago. 

    I’m sure diamond alternatives will continue to increase their market share as they now offer fantastic performance for the price and some (moissanite) offer good durability, although diamond is still more than 3 times harder.

    My favourite alternative on looks alone is well-cut CZ, it’s just a shame the durability is dismal. 

    I hope we see a return to more coloured gemstones in engagement rings (UK Bee here), I adore diamonds but I do love to see a lovely sapphire, emerald or pigeon’s blood ruby and I’m a bit bored of the ubiquity of diamond or colourless stone solitaires or halos among the under 35s. In my mum’s time, coloured gemstone with diamond engagement rings were the norm. The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex have all diamond engagement rings, but the Duchess of York, Princess Anne and Princess Diana all had coloured gemstone rings. 


    Post # 82
    128 posts
    Blushing bee

    Personally i didnt care about inflated prices or any marketing campaigns. I simply had to have a diamond. I absolutely love them, they are so imperfectly “perfect”. Nothing compares and I couldnt imagine wearing a diamond sim for the rest of my life. 

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