The popularity of diamonds as a regular in just about every proposal is not the product of tradition; rather, it is the result of marketing.
The myth of the valuable diamond
The diamond invention – which would have you believe that these stones are rare and command astronomical value, and therefore symbolize esteem – came courtesy of New York advertising agency N. W. Ayer. The leading American firm was commissioned by De Beers, a company whose name is synonymous with diamond, to protect their investment by having people believe its rarity and value.
The price of a diamond ring – that ring you would proudly hold in your hand as you get down on one knee and present it to your lady – can set you back a few months’ pay. Yet if you ever try to sell the same diamond ring, you would be lucky to get an offer of 80 percent of the money you paid for it. Don’t be too surprised if the ridiculously expensive diamond jewelry you bought from Tiffany & Co. cannot be sold back to them. That’s because those deep in the trade know well that diamonds are neither rare nor truly valuable.
An incredibly priced diamond is either of the perfect variety, large and without a setting, and which is not likely to be in the possession of a private citizen; or that which has been imbued with “special value” by its owner, who is either a Hollywood star or a member of the royal family.
An alternative to diamonds
The diamond vs. moissanite argument has been making the rounds for decades, and it would probably be a long time before it would even show signs of dying down.
Moissanite, the original one discovered by Henri Moissan, is not of this earth. He discovered particles of the gem in a meteorite crater in Arizona. For his efforts, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Fortunately for the rest of us, moissanite is now created in laboratories.
Moissanite has more brilliance than a diamond. As the moissanite you’re looking to buy was made in a laboratory, you can be sure it bears no imperfections. There’s a difference in brilliance, some variations in color, and a slight difference in hardness (diamonds are just a bit harder), but a moissanite is hard to tell from a diamond. The best part is, you can buy a breathtaking moissanite ring for a small fraction of the price of a comparably designed and set diamond ring.
If you’re in the market for an engagement ring, before dropping thousands on a diamond ring, consider a beautiful moissanite counterpart. Besides, as far as jewelry is concerned, there’s no such thing as forever.