Jeff Green | Feb 12, 2009
Back to HomeThe Bridal Issue - February 12, 2009The Bridal Issue
Create A Ceremony that Works for YouBy Rev. Judie Diamond
Managing Wedding Costs: Is it Need or WantBy Connie Howes
How to Save Money & Not Look CheapBy Connie Howes
LegalesesNot Everyone Can Marry
Recession RingsRecession rings
Popping the question can be an expensive proposition at the best of times, and during a recession it might not be easy to finance the purchase of an engagement ring that costs several thousand dollars.
In these times there are some who argue that an engagement ring is not necessary, or, ominously, that the ring “can come later”.
A word to the wise for prospective spouses: the ring might never come later, but that does not mean it will never be thought about, and talked about far, far, into the future. It is a better option to take the plunge and buy the ring before popping the question in the first place.
There are ways to do this without breaking the bank, and one of them is the option of synthetic diamonds. They are marketed not only as inexpensive but as ethically superior as well because of all the controversy about exploitation and pollution in the diamond mining industry.
Diamond Nexus Labs, of Wisconsin, USA, bills itself as the world leader in diamond simulants. The technique they use has its origins in Cold War Soviet technology and the development of the “skull crucible procedure” which produced exceptional results. However, the resulting simulated diamonds were not stable; the skull crucible diamonds were not forever.
Using an “annealing agent” Diamond Nexus Labs claims to have solved this problem. While natural diamonds contain only one element, carbon, Diamond Nexus’s simulated diamonds contain many other elements, so they are not, technically, true diamonds.
Their prices, however, are significantly lower than the cost of diamond rings. One-carat diamond rings run in the $500 range, while the Karma, with a honking 3.05-carat simulated diamond, set off against 50 smaller stones, costs about $2,000.
While $2,000 is a lot of money, a search for rings with real 3-carat diamonds showed a cost of $11,000 - $12,000 and more, although there are deep discounts available these days which could easily cut the price in half.
For those who are interested in spending a lot of money, the King of Jewellery website has a 5.23-carat ring, set in yellow gold, available for the sale price of $19,285, (discounted from $43,000). A luxurious gift box is included for that price
Other options include avoiding diamonds entirely and opting for less expensive gemstones, such as sapphires, rubies, or birth stones.
Finally, there is an option that some might find ghoulish but others might find oddly comforting: Life Gems, diamonds created from the ashes of loved ones. Although generally marketed for surviving spouses, they could bring deceased relatives, literally, into the wedding party. ■