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Am I Insane??

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rebeccahm72

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
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7
I may not be on the correct site to ask these questions, but I don''t know who/where else to ask. Here is my dilemma:

My current boyfriend/fiance and I have been together for 5 years. Together we have three kids (he has 2, I have 1) that live with us most of the time. Everything about our relationship feels like a marriage already ... including the mini-van, student loans, house, kids in braces, etc. We have decided that we want to have a small ceremony w/our kids ... nothing too big, or too pricey. We have been looking at rings for quite a while and I''m trying to convince my husband-to-be that natural diamonds are not worth the money! In fact, my ex-husband bought a $4400 ring that I was recently offered $175 for, in a jewelry store. I guess I just don''t understand the big deal about having a ''real'' diamond.

My question: if we were to purchase a man-made diamond (CZ) aren''t there different levels of quality, just as if I were buying a natural diamond? I''ve checked a few websites that grade the hardness of their CZ at 5.5 - 6.8. I found a beautiful ring locally that was graded at 9.5, can cut glass, etc. Isn''t that as good as a natural diamond?

I know it all boils down to what makes me/us happy, but I hate that my man feels pressured to buy the ''real'' thing. Am I crazy for choosing a beautiful ring with a 1.5ct man-made diamond over a ring with natural ''diamond dust''?

I know I''ve rambled, but if anyone can answer my questions RE:CZ I would really appreciate your help. Thanks!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Get what you want!! Many people have CZ's and people can't even tell the difference. I have no idea about the different types of CZ's but there are simulated or lab made diamonds that do look very similar to the real thing. I bought a Signity Star pendant (sells on eBay for like $20 and in retail stores for around $300) which looks really good for a CZ, has great symmetry, carries the arrows like a real 8* stone would etc. But when I got my ring, oh man it blew away the CZ. I had to put away the CZ because it just held no luster for me anymore.

But before I saw my ring, the SS was very nice, to the naked eye it was hard to tell! There are also other ones that people discuss on here all the time, there is also the Moissanite stone that looks very close to a real diamond, has a high hardness level etc. However nothing will be as hard as a diamond. They will only aspire.

Hopefully some other people can steer you in the right direction on a type of CZ to get...but I say get the CZ if you want! Make sure it looks realistic in a nice setting...and you are good to go. I bet hardly anyone will know
Keep it clean so that it doesn't start to look dirty and/or more dull, it may be harder to tell.

Good luck!
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
Van Graff (www.van-graff.com) is said to be one of, if not the best quality CZ. Others, such as Diamondique (sp) are also said to be quite good. You still need to look them over though and make sure you like the stone. Mossanite is a created gemstone that can look a lot like diamond, but sometimes it has a warmer yellow color (j-k) or even a greenish color. You might like the look though.

I have not had any of the above mentioned stones but I have heard a great deal of discussion. Each stone has different characteristics that people are attracted to. None can really replace a diamond if that is what one wants, but in your case, I am sure one of these would be ideal for you.

Also, if you are not concerned about a diamond, why even get a diamond simulant? How about pearl, alexandrite, ruby, emerald, pink saphire? There are many other stones that could meet your fancies just as good as, or better than the diamond. The norm for engagement rings to have diamonds is quite recent. Many other stones, or no stones at all were the norm well before diamonds.

I can understand your fiance's position though. I recently picked out a diamond that is probably way more expensive and better quality than my girl would have even considered. I figured this out last weekend when we went to see a friend who just got engaged. His fiance's diamond (a princess cut) was really not very nice, IMO. Cloudy, thin crown, large table, poor light performance. I was not to impressed especially since he bought it from a mall store (I forget which one) and surely over paid. My girl on the other hand thought it was very sparkly and pretty and said I was being to picky. Oh Well, I guess that diamond I bought will really knock her socks off then.

It is just a guy thing. We always need to buy the best of everything. Even if we don't even want the damn thing, we will buy the best one. Send your guy shopping for some gadget he would never want or use, say a curling iron. He will most likely come home with the most expensive curling iron on the market. AT least on the average for guys, and this is generally how I am. Good thing my girl can keep me under control
 

rebeccahm72

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
7
Well, diamonds are beautiful, but in our situation I wouldn't dream of spending money on a real one. I have looked at other stones, as well. I'm not sure how it will all turn out ... I keep telling him that I'd be happy w/a plain band as long as it was from him (mush, mush). I emailed him some pix of beautiful CZ rings that I have found on-line and he was impressed. Thanks to you both for your input! I'm going to check out VanGraff now!
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441
A few things to get straight:

There are diamonds, and there are simulants. A simulant may look like a diamond, but it's a completely different material. It should not be referred to as any sort of "diamond," and a vendor who does so is violating FTC guidelines. Don't let anyone confuse you on that point.

CZ is a diamond simulant. It is composed of zirconium oxide and has a hardness of around 5-6. CZ is very cheap unless you're buying a designer version, in which case you're paying mostly for the extra marketing.

Synthetic moissanite is another simulant. It is composed of silicon carbide and has a hardness of about 9.25. Moissanite is more expensive than CZ but still much less than diamond. I think it goes for around $200/ct depending on where you get it.

There are also synthetic diamonds, which are true diamonds (crystalized carbon) grown in a lab. Currently, they are only available for jewelry use in various colors like yellow and blue. They are far more expensive than any simulant, though less than natural diamonds, and very hard to find.

Whether simulants are "as good as natural diamonds" depends on your perspective. CZ is fairly soft and will not last anywhere near as long as a diamond in daily use. It will get scratched and abraded, and will need to be replaced in a few years. Luckily, as cheap as they are, that shouldn't be a problem. Moissanite is a lot tougher than CZ and should last as long as the average marriage.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
There is a stone called an Asha that is suppose to be an exceptional CZ, but I haven't seen it in person to verify. . .Check out www.betterthandiamond.com for more info, PLUS, on www.diamondtalk.com many have opted for CZs with beautiful platinum or gold settings and if you ask more there on the similants portion of the site, you should get a flood of responses.

Michelle
 

Caratz

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
222
I agree with you 100% that it is not necessary to buy a diamond -- or any type of jewelry at all for that matter!

Personally, if I decided to pass on a diamond, I would choose a colored stone or a white sapphire, rather than a diamond simulant. I just don't like the idea of buying a a stone that will try to simulate something that it is not.

I have read (and I rely on the pros here to confirm or deny this) that one problem with CZ is that it gets dirty quickly. The molecular surface is such that oil sticks to the stone more than with a real diamond, and they can get a dull look if they are not cleaned regularly. The problem is slightly worse than with a diamond because of the different index of refraction -- a CZ will look dull if there is oil on the pavilion, but this makes less difference on a diamond.

Again, I rely on the pros to confirm or deny that.

I think that might be one of the reasons that the premium simulants include a special coating.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
White sapphires are gorgeous as well.
 

*Monique

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Messages
22
Rebecca,

If it makes him happy to buy you a real diamond, why not let him do it. He just wants to make you happy. I think some men puff out in pride if they can show the world they got you a nice ring.

Many women do have a diamond. It sounds like these synthetics are not all that great.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,144
Hi, Rebecca:

I think there is a good compromise option between his want to give you a meaningful token of his love and your want to be practical with the money.

Instead of getting a CZ or a white sapphire, I'd recommend getting a nice, genuine stone that is in no way resembles a diamond. What about getting a beautiful genuine blue sapphire ring with diamond accents?Or perhaps a nice ruby.Engagement rings historically have been colored gemstones….diamonds only became “the thing” in the last century.]]


I think this is a much more distinctive choice than trying to get a clear stone that imitates a diamond.
 

rebeccahm72

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
7
Thanks for all the help/opinions. I was truely clueless about cz, man-made, simulated, etc... I have always loved blue sapphires, but had never seen a white sapphire. I'm thinking we'll go that route ... maybe a blue sapphire center, with white sapphires on either side! This really is a great compromise!
 

PoopEater

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 17, 2002
Messages
84
LOL @ Rook. You must be an engineer
I know that I'm the same way. I spend hours upon hours pouring over everything I can find about some product, only to have it sit on my shelf, unused, after I buy it. I'm currently in the market for a blender. It's tough to find anything online about them. I hope to find this blender in the next 4 months


It can be a problem sometimes, because I won't buy something unless I'm positive that what I am getting is either:

1. The absolute best on the market
2. The absolute best 'bang for the buck' on the market

If I'm not sure about it, I won't buy...it causes a bit of analysis paralysis, and I fret over many stupid things.

Rebecca, I'm sorry for hijacking your thread
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
Yeah, I am terrible at that. I just made my most spontaneous purchase though. I bought a digital camera after only two weeks of research. But, it was highly recommended with lots of reviews, so it was not that hard, and my girl friend told me just to get the damn thing and to quit obsessing.

Buying a diamond is definately the worst for me. It took almost 10 months from the time I decided to start looking, about six since I decide for sure to buy, and since before x-mas since I first saw the stone I ended up buying. I am amazed that Rhino has put up with me.

Actually, I graduate law school in December. Otherwise I am a tax accountant/law student.
 

PoopEater

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 17, 2002
Messages
84
Rook, at least that attention to detail will help you out in the field of law. It would make for a good accounting trait, too. I know that my tendency to nitpick things has helped me as an engineer.

My girlfriend gets upset with me, too. Just the other day, I must have spent 30 minutes looking in the sprinkler aisle of Home Depot. I wanted to make sure that I got the exact perfect sprinkler head (these things cost around $2). Do I want a 180 deg srapy? How many CFM of water should I get? Hahah, I kept asking her, and she just kept stamping her foot saying to just buy something. Pure hilarity
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
Canon Powershot A70.

So far so good. I have seen some great pictures from other peoples cameras, but I am still learning.

Here is a pic of my fish tank to give you an idea.

Sorry for interrupting this thread.

full tank shot.jpg
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Diamond Talk is a great place to learn about simulates. Van Graff (website address given above) is very highly recommended by the visitors at Diamond Talk.

Another place to check is Trade Shop, a Price Scope vendor. They have some reasonably priced, very nice, ready to ship, diamond and celtic rings on their web site you might take a look at. They will even make you your own special, no stone ring/band to celebrate your very special relationship. Their workmanship is reported to be excellent from other posts in this forum.

My e-ring is a solitaire pear shaped AAA (old rating system), VVS (so clean most jewelers think it's a simulate), Brazilian emerald (liked the color better than Columbian in platinum). Another semi-precious/precious stone, such as sapphire, topaz, amethyst, opal, etc., may be what suits your tastes.

Then there is the old traditional set like my mother had when I was a kid. Very small diamond set in illusion rhodium plated, white gold, or platinum head. Has flash from the diamond with the appearance of a larger stone. Her band was illusion set too with 5 small diamonds. The set was probably in the range of .20-.30 carat total weight. Shanks were yellow gold for a great 2 tone look. Very chic and timeless, circa 1940's look.

You have lots of options. Take your time to find what you really like. When you see it, you will know.
 

rebeccahm72

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
7
Rook and, um, PoopEater ... What the hell??? This is a thread about Cubic Zirconias!! Just kidding! I know what you guys mean -- two fold. The things that my boyfriend obsesses about drives me nuts, but the other day I spent the entire day on-line doing 'homework' (rather than housework) on these damn things. He came home from work to find me STILL in front of my laptop, unshowered, etc. So, I know that my obsessions drive him a litte crazy too. Ain't love grand!!! I'm getting close to putting the kids in the 'vanborghini' and driving to Vegas, with a cigar band, and forgetting about everything else!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Actually the cool thing about not wanting a diamond is that you can get an amazingly large cubic or simulant or white sapphire and not worry about it! It's $500 out of your pocket, big deal. Plus since you may have to replace a sim or cubic every 5 years or so, you have all sorts of different options each time! Do you want a different shape in 5 years or a different setting etc. I love the white sapphires as well. They are a classy way to have a stone similar to a diamond, not spend the kids college funds, and have something that is actually a real gemstone.

Don't get too caught up in the details..its difficult of course...but since the purchase is much less than most, you have more room to be flexible!

To Rook and PE...I guess I am more like a guy because I am the researcher in the relationship. I research EVERYTHING to make sure I am getting the best price and best quality to fit my needs. FI could care less half the time, I am the one who lingers in the garden aisle and/or in the tech store aisle. I'm the one who did 3 months of research on the stone etc. But it's fun. And there's no conflicting opinion! Since he knows how anal I can be, he pretty much knows that I've done enough homework to ensure a great deal.

Wish I could be the same way when I buy clothes...haaa
 

Caratz

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
222
If you are willing to consider colored stones, I suggest you check out Chatham lab-grown emeralds and sapphires:

http://www.chathamcrystals.com/gems/index.html

You can get a beautiful 2 ct blue sapphire or ruby for only $250. And they are the real thing -- lab grown, but still the real thing . . .
 

rebeccahm72

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
7
Mara, you are so 'in my head'! I was just telling my man the exact same thing. If I get a cz, I'll have to change it out in a few years which means I'll have more options! If we aren't in a better financial situation by then God just needs to strike us down.


I am going to check out the site that Caratz suggested too!
 
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