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Cubic zirconia and other diamond “simulants” have a bad rap, in part because they are easily dulled and scratched and won’t stay perpetually shiny like a real diamond, one of the hardest substances on earth.
Enter moissanite, a crystal that naturally occurs in meteorites, is nearly as hard, dense and scuff-resistant as a diamond, and actually has greater brilliance and fire (gemologist jargon for sparkle and light-dispersion).
Some footage courtesy of Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau Visit our historic sites, amusements, special events, great shopping, dining, lodging and wonderful parks.
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Another band with traditional meaning is the “true lover’s knot,” an ornamental (and difficult-to-untangle) knot once tied by sailors separated from their beloved.
A great deal of evidence shows that spending money on experiences tends to generate more happiness than spending the equivalent amount on material things.
The higher price tags on mined diamonds have more to do with sentiment and clever marketing than intrinsic value. Cultured diamonds also have less negative impact on the environment.
Replacing one diamond mine’s annual production with man-made gems would eliminate the equivalent of more than 480 million miles’ worth of car emissions.
Here’s another piece of evidence that there’s little rhyme or reason to the pricing of diamonds: Even though tanzanite is one of the rarest gems on earth (1,000 times rarer than diamonds) a tanzanite stone can cost nearly 10 times less than a comparable diamond.
Jilted women had previously been able to sue former fiancés for damages to their reputations and future marriage prospects, since premarital sex was increasingly common among engaged couples—but women were still valued for their chastity. The saying, now being revived for millennial buyers, “a diamond is forever”?
Once the bans eliminated that option, rings began to serve as a sort of “virginity insurance.” The other key force behind today’s demand for diamond rings is De Beers, the cartel that has spent the last century artificially limiting supply while inventing a “tradition” through brilliantly manipulative marketing. That was the brainchild of a De Beers adwoman in 1947 (and one reason why diamonds have terrible resale value).
If you’d prefer a colorless stone (for that “traditional” engagement ring look), a white sapphire is actually even cheaper than a blue one, despite being rarer.
If you want to offer an engagement ring with real cultural significance and history, skip the diamond and instead consider proposing with a truly traditional piece of jewelry.