Sunday, March 16, 2008

E-Ring Hunting

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be hurtful, or make you feel bad about your own engagement ring. If you love your ring, I love it for you. Remember, this is just my opinion (and I have a lot of them!)

Image via MSNBC

There are a lot of things that That Groom and I are doing the untraditional way, and the engagement ring is definitely one of them. For us the process involves him giving me a figure, and telling me that all of that money is mine to do whatever I like with. When I first started daydreaming about rings I wanted to spend all of it on the ring, I was so excited that my frugal boyfriend realized that I would want the special at Zales as the ring I would be wearing and showing off to everyone for a long time.

However, as I became more and more engrossed in the wedding planning process I realized that I was a little bit turned off by the whole process. Why do I NEED a diamond to prove his love for me? I am disgusted when I read message from women in forums on theKnot and Weddingbee with ladies saying things like "I told him Bigger is Better, and I know he loves me because he spent so much money on it." The more I read up on the history of the diamond industry, the more I felt a little sick to my stomach at supporting the giant pigs at DeBeers.
Image found here

It IS just a rock. One that I will probably want to exchange for something different down the road anyways. So I decided to start looking at "used" rings, and realized that I could still get something amazing and feel okay with it sitting on my finger. Unfortunately I am really picky, so the choices for me are few. I think I have found a ring, and I even sent it to him with a plan on how to get it (I am a little queasy about buying something for so much $$$ sight unseen). If things don't work out with this ring, I have a few more ideas in mind.

If you would like to do a little alternative research on your own, may I suggest a few sites to peruse?

I Do...Now I Don't
This site was created by a guy who proposed and then had his fiance give up on the engagement and leave him the ring. He realized that there wasn't really a great way for him to get rid of the ring (because buying a ring online from a person is really scary, how do you know if the ring is made of glass?). An e-bay like site where people can auction off rings they don't want anymore. The buyer sends their money to the company in New York, and the seller sends the ring to the company in New York and after the ring is certified as real the seller gets the money and the buyer gets the ring.
The Natural Sapphire Company
A sapphire is a great diamond alternative because you are still getting a gemstone, and you can even get it in white (which is what I will do if I go with a sapphire). Thanks to laragale for this link!
I have heard good and bad things about this man-made diamond alternative. I have a ring with moissanite on my right hand and I think it's really pretty, but I have read comments by other brides that it can discolor over time.
Diamond Nexus Labs
Lab grown diamonds at $79/carat! If the diamond in the antique ring I want is too discolored I am going to order a diamond from here.
If you can't stand the though of not having a real diamond on your finger, here is an eco-friendly diamond site.

What are your thoughts? Anyone know of someone who got a fake ring and then regretted it later on?


ClaysJenna said...

Ya know I feel somewhat the same way about rings. I have a gorgeous ring dont get me wrong, but its not HUGE. I am not even sure if it is even a carat. (I think its like 7/8ths) But I love it. And to me, its perfect!! I dont think the amount of money in a ring shows love at all...rather a lust and worldy greediness :) I wouldnt have minded a huge ring...but I love my ring!! And if I ever upsize my ring, my diamond will become a pendant that I wear around my neck...too much sentimental value:)

The Clarkes said...

Hey Jenna-
My ring is from Diamond Nexus Labs and I have really liked it- I like not being terrified of losing a diamond and I have only had it for 9 months but I haven't had any discoloration or anything...It has been a really great ring and I've been happy with it. But- I would be nervous about ordering a ring online without trying it on- Diamond Nexus has like a 30 day return policy so that's nice too...
Good luck!

Jenna said...

claysjenna-I love the idea of changing your old diamond into something sentimental when you upgrade. If I ever upgrade, and I do end up getting a gemstone instead of something fake, I will turn that old stone into a sweet 16 ring for one of my daughters. I love recycling things.

allison-thanks for helping to ease my mind about not regretting the choice ot go fake, I hadn't even considered how great it will be to not have to be stressed about losing the stone (like so many other women I read about). I think that 30 day return policy will come in handy, ordering something so expensive without trying it one is so scary.

ally said...

hi jenna! i followed you over to this blog too. i love it. it is slowly starting to get me excited for my own wedding (someday). i appreciated this post because i have very strong feelings about diamond rings and ALWAYS appreciate talk of the alternatives. i can't wait to see what you come up with.

Jenna said...

ally-I can't wait to see what you plan for your own wedding, it's going to be so alternative and chic I think. I know that your fam thinks it's ridiculous that you don't want a real diamond, but after seeing the children working in the mines, how could you ever want to support that?

Lynn said...

I think the key to having a lab created diamond is to keep it small. I know some are tempted to go for a giant 3 ct. but to me that screams "I'm a fake".
I do know a woman who regrets her less than real ring. I think they had an understanding that it would be upgraded to real after a few years, but due to kids and a house (both very costly)etc. They could not afford a real diamond the size of the fake one, so it had never been replaced. It ended up being a disappointment to her.

Jenna said...

lynn-I think you make a great point I want to point out that I am NOT considering going fake in order to have a bigger ring. I don't want to be flashy or gaudy, especially in a place like Poland where life is much simpler. I never want to be known as the "spoiled American girl". Thanks for the example of your friend, I will keep that in mind.