We’re finally going engagement ring shopping tomorrow!! I love the look of diamonds but I just can’t justify the expense at this point in our lives. Any suggestions on alternative stones?

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I just got an engagement ring. 1. Rarecarat.com is the BEST and CHEAPEST by far (I searched far and wide) 2. Seriously consider a lab grown diamond it’s the exact same thing as earth mined (the difference is none - just sourcing - and like glacier ice vs kitchen ice). You can get a 1.5 carat VVS2 E triple excellent for $5,800 18k setting and all. A natural mined stone would be $28kish. The difference comes from overriding the debiers monopoly. Feel free to DM me and I’ll get you a link with the exact specs I searched. Also, diamondscreener.com and click the cut estimator tool. It can tell you if the stone cut is perfect (find a true perfect and it’ll be legit awesome).

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Lab grown diamond? Exactly like a diamond, can only tell the difference if it is tested. And much cheaper and environmentally friendly

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I don’t necessarily agree with D1. I can tell the difference between Cubic zirconia and synthetic stones (understand exceptions as some fake stones can be higher in quality). Usually, The more you shop for diamond jewelry, the easier to spot as your eye becomes trained. If you want something fake, the more power to you but don’t do it assuming people can’t tell the difference. Lab made diamonds have a high mark up on price, people always say “I saved 40%” but the reality is “I paid 200% mark up on this ring”. You can’t compare prices between the 2, as they are 2 dif things despite looking the same.

Moissanite

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You can also call your local shops and have them ship a few sizes in to look at and try! They might not have moissanite in the show room but they should be able to make it happen if you call ahead and ask 😊

I have a moissanite ring and absolutely love it!!!! And have gotten so many comments on it!

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I have a moissanite engagement ring and it’s very sparkly. It catches your eye and get compliments from strangers all the time. I love it! And love that it was 20% the price of a diamond.

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Sapphire

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My grandmother had a sapphire engagement ring and it was beautiful.

Ring pop?

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Vintage shopping at antique stores and jewelers that have heritage collections. I wouldn’t trade my hundred-year-old ring for the world.

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The settings are also superior in design and quality. Great suggestion @Pres1.

Silicone rings - <$25

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Literally anything that looks good to you. Almost no one will know the difference, and even fewer people will care by the time you walk down the aisle.

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I cannot recommend lab grown diamonds enough. I got my wife’s ring for $7k and it looks like a $25k ring and she loves it

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Same here, spent $7k, but have CZ. The platinum Verragio setting with a semi-pavè was almost all of the cost. The equivalent stone would put it near $25k total. We don't hide that it's CZ and thought we'd put a diamond in it one day, but no one has ever noticed or asked, so not gonna bother.

Try going to the diamond district and seeing if there’s any pre-loved jewelry you like!

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“Estate” jewelry is the way to go! Such cool stuff.

Second moissanite. It's lab grown diamond. Cheaper in price, but looks identical to diamond and is the same hardness and brilliancy. Go on the Charles & Covard website as it's a good starting point to finding moissanite dealers near you if you want to see them in person.

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Moissanite is a lab grown stone similar to diamond - it is NOT a lab grown diamond.

I was actually there a few weeks ago..ended up just trying on fantasy rings 🤣

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That thing was 8ct and cost more than my house 🤣

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So what we did was try out rings at stores and understood all C’s what they mean. Once figured out what we liked, ordered from Blue Nile - online - at least a few thousand cheaper than buying the same quality/size diamond at a store.

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You get to pick your own engagement ring? Doesn’t that take away the whole surprise factor out of the equation when the man is proposing? Does he even need to propose after that?

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Yes VP1, I started my first post with a comment about how out if touch I am because things have changed. I don't think there is any disagreement that I am out of touch with what you and your friends value. I was merely trying to explain that we had different priorities all of 20 years ago and it was still nice. You might not know this but often you go through a 10 year period where you go to a bunch of wedding and the a fallow period where there are few close friend or relatives getting married before the next generation starts the cycle. My busy period ended about 10 years ago before the Instagram engagement took off. So I was literally commenting " wow it has changed a lot" You can call it bitter or whatever but I don't think it is a secret that there is a stark generational divide around people who are currently 30 or so with those younger seeming embrace online personal branding by making major milestones into broadcast event to boost status. As an aside, every generation gets to define their culture and "normal" and the previous generations get to make fun of them for it. It is natural. Have the courage of your Instagram convictions and just laugh it off.

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Jewelry is an investment like stocks, it holds its value. It’s also something to pass down to generations. Totally get not wanting to spend a lot, but I wouldn’t consider paying for fake stones (that’s the actual rip off, costs a few $s to produce them, I worked in a store). Instead of a traditional ring, you can pick a pretty wedding band with diamonds. Most people end up only wearing the band anyways. Otherwise pink, yellow or blue sapphires are gorgeous. A high quality ruby is also great.

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The minute you walk out of the store, that jewelry has lost value.

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CZ

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I have a gray diamond and I love it. Unique, more “me,” and less expensive than the same size in clear

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a friend of mine got a pearl engagement ring and it is lovely

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Are you in NYC? Frank Darling is the place we bought from. They were great to work with and have a sustainable and ethical focus for their diamonds. They have natural, lab-grown, and moissanite and you can set up in-person or virtual appointments with them

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Or go to the Diamond District in midtown NYC. You can buy high quality diamonds at wholesale price

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