- 1 year ago
Sorry this is so long! I created an account because this is weighing on me, but I also feel silly when so many more important things are going on in the world.
My wonderful boyfriend and I have been shopping for rings for the last month or so. After shopping around, we are working with a local jeweler to create a custom design and want to use a lab diamond (a genuine diamond made in a lab, not a simulant). We could afford a mined diamond, but why not pay less? Plus, you have the environmental and ethical issues. No judgment if you have a mined diamond! I’m kind of being a hypocrite here, because it’s not like I only buy ethical and environmentally friendly products. But again, the fact that the diamond is made in a lab is cool to me, and I don’t care that it won’t be old or formed naturally.
Of course, the timing is weird. Ever since the De Beers announcement about their new line of Lightbox Jewelry, I’ve been wondering about the future of lab diamonds. If you don’t know, they announced that in the fall that they will start selling costume jewelry (earrings, necklaces, no rings) made with lab diamonds. The lab diamonds will cost $800 for 1 carat, and they’re only going up to 1 carat at this point. They won’t be sold loose and they won’t be graded (but they’ll be “high quality”).
The people over at Pricescope think this is hilarious and brilliant marketing. They’re trying to drive the makers of lab diamonds out of business, drive down the cost and the prestige. They want people to view them as cheap and not special. Like a knock-off handbag.
I really don’t think I would care if people started viewing lab diamonds as inferior (more than they do now). It doesn’t matter what they think, and it’s still a freaking diamond. I am aware of moissanite (and other alternatives, sapphires, etc.) and think it’s really awesome. I started going in that direction and just couldn’t do it. It’s honestly a self esteem thing that I’ve discussed with my therapist at length! Call me a sucker and I will totally agree with you. But again, I’m very lucky and money isn’t an issue.
Now I feel like the smart thing to do is wait for De Beers to start selling them to see what it does to the market. They’re not selling engagement rings, but I would have to think that this will affect things. What happens if we spend $5,000 on a stone today and the value drops drastically in a few months? That would sting. I’m not worried about resale value or an investment, or even passing it down to my children. I always assumed the prices would slowly drop as the technology gets better and they get easier to make.
It’s just that obviously I’m super excited to get engaged. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Europe in the fall and he was thinking of proposing there! We’ve been together for almost 4 years. I’m only 27 and he’s 34. I don’t want him to be too old if/when we have kids. I have a lot of anxiety about one of us dying or the world ending (working on it in therapy!), and the waiting sucks. We’re already planning to have a 2020 wedding and I don’t want to push that back. On the other hand, we are sensible and logical and don’t want to make a big financial decision based on emotions and excitement.
Some options we discussed were just waiting until they are sold and addressing it then. But what if it gets delayed? Also, his brother got engaged last Christmas and I don’t want it to happen around that time. If we waited, he couldn’t propose in Europe. Not a huge deal, but what a missed opportunity! We had both been thinking that bringing an expensive piece of jewelry overseas and having me get used to wearing it there seemed scary. Maybe he could propose without a ring and not tell anyone until we get the actual ring. Then it could be our little secret for a few months. That might be fun! We also may just go forward and accept whatever happens. I’ll be asking the jeweler for her opinion when we go look at diamonds on Saturday, but she is trying to make a sale. We have to take it with a huge grain of salt.
I realize the whole proposal thing can be a little weird if we’re already committed to getting married, but I don’t care! The moment doesn’t need to be perfect or elaborate and we both want it.
Has anyone else been thinking about a lab diamond? Are you weighing this news? What would you do in my situation? Has anything similar happened to you while making other big purchases? Thank you for reading this novel!