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to not understand why people buy "real" jewels?

113 replies

trob22 · 02/11/2018 18:56

I'm not in the market for expensive jewellery, lol, just curious

I have just learnt that you can buy "lab created" saphires which are literally exactly the same as a "real" saphire in terms of what they're made of, but a fraction of the price. In fact they are better than real saphires because they don't have the imperfections that come from growing in the ground. With this in mind, why would anyone buy a "real" sapphire when they are so much more expensive? What is the point? Apparently nobody apart from professional jewellers can tell them apart.

OP posts:

OpalIridescence · 02/11/2018 20:44

Natural stones are incredible because of their history and all the factors that go in to creating them in the first place. The conditions have to be right and then a human has to stumble across them.

If you are into this stuff then it's a fascinating world of its own, full of chemicals and colours and optics. Natural stones are incredible.

However, lab grown stones are also interesting for all the science and human determination that goes into them.

Same as everything else really, get what you want/ can afford and enjoy it!


Nacreous · 02/11/2018 20:47

I think the key thing with lab gems is they have to be small enough to be able to be real and set well enough to appear expensive. Otherwise they just look cheap.


Fashionista101 · 02/11/2018 20:53

For me. Real tends to be something I will never remove. Engagement ring. A the fennel necklace my parents bought me for my 21st. A pair of diamond studs my DF bought me after our DS was born and my most recent obsession my Maria Tash ear piercings. All these things are never taken off. If I had some lab created version I simply wouldn't appreciate them as much.


SD1978 · 02/11/2018 21:10

Because it feels nice, to have something nice. I saved up for a pair of diamond earrings. There was no need. I could have bought a lovely pair cheaper. But I wanted it for me. It makes me feel special, regardless of the cost of them being a social construct. Costume jewellery, which looks the same, doesn't have the same feelings to it.


Fashionista101 · 02/11/2018 21:17

@SD1978 yes, that's it. You know it's special because of the value and therefore has a sentimental value


Skittlesandbeer · 02/11/2018 21:26

I like the idea I’m wearing a ‘fossil’ that’s likely between 1-3 billion years old.

But I think that synthetic diamonds (the lab grown ones) will rise in popularity. Not going to happen fast though, lots of people will see them as a cheap, second rate option. That’s not the ideal message when giving important jewellery to a loved one, is it? Wouldn’t most people prefer the message of a rare, traditionally discovered ‘buried treasure’ gem (ethical mining aside)? It speaks to how they value the relationship with the recipient.

I know that this current culture of making men ‘dig deep’ to buy an engagement ring has very little to do with the sparkle of the stones. It’s a way to show committment, and a measure of self-sacrifice. Things we want to see hard evidence of in a potential marriage partner!


trob22 · 02/11/2018 21:45

I see your point but I think it is very unfair on men that they "have" to fork out loads of money before they are "allowed" to propose. Obviously it is personal opinions but to me the sign of a good potential partner is spending money on important things eg. house, savings, experiences together, I don't want someone who thinks it's a good idea to sacrifice a load of money on something that is pretty but basically useless.

Some people on here are very snobby about "I would never wear costume jewellery"!! Bully for you if you can afford the real stuff but not all of us can!!

OP posts:

CathKidneyston · 02/11/2018 21:52

I don’t think people are being snobby at all! OP asked why you would buy real jewels and people have given their reasons. I’ve saved and put some legacy money towards mine so I dont feel I need to apologise for it


3WildOnes · 02/11/2018 21:56

When I was looking at buying a pair of diamond earrings and did look at lab grown diamonds but they were only very marginally cheaper. Add to that they were unlikely to hold any value I decided to go for real diamonds. I’ve heard that the cost of lab grown diamonds will come down substantially in the next decade and if they do I will buy instead of real.


havingabadhairday · 02/11/2018 22:02

"You know it's special because of the value and therefore has a sentimental value"

Surely sentimental value is completely separate to how much was paid for it? I have a piece of jewellery that's worth next to nothing, silver and marcasite, damaged, but it was given to me by my grandmother and that's where the sentimental value lies.

I have a much more valuable white gold ring that is lovely, it's beautiful, the stones are beautiful, but no sentimental value at all.


MorningsEleven · 02/11/2018 22:02

The mining and cutting of natural gemstones is hideously unethical. Most people can't tell the difference and there's a real change of direction in the good, bespoke jewellery world towards synthetic stones.


Chanelprincess · 02/11/2018 22:05

men that they "have" to fork out loads of money before they are "allowed" to propose.

Who said that men have to do this?


SputnikBear · 02/11/2018 22:09

In terms of cz or other substitutes vs diamond: there’s a visible difference. Cz very quickly becomes chipped and cloudy, and it doesn’t sparkle the same.

In terms of lab created stones vs natural: they are the same material but natural stones are unique like a fingerprint because of their imperfections. It’s the same reason why a handmade item with all its imperfections costs more than a mass produced item.

In terms of designer clothes: they are absolutely NOT better quality than non-designer. In many cases they’re absolute rubbish and you’re paying for the name.


selepele · 02/11/2018 22:11

real jewels are probably the only thing I would buy.
I use to buy real bags and shoes now I wear a lot of fakes, they are very good quality I recently got a "burberry scarf" which looks exactly like the original


Bluntness100 · 02/11/2018 22:11

Well that took a turn. You asked why people bought real jewellery and then when they answered attacked them and called them snobby.

Men don't "have" to buy expensive rings before they are "allowed" to propose. That's nuts, they should buy what they can afford only. No one thinks otherwise.


Spankyoumuchly · 02/11/2018 22:27

I think that jewellery takes an imprint of its owner , because of the sentiment it was bought for and they wear it for a long time, and that's what makes it unique. I'm a bit woo and fanciful. I wonder how many second hand rings are the product of a divorce. Will they carry that with them? Also sometimes they will be for sale because the owner died and didn't have anyone to leave it to or they didn't like it. It's heavy with all the sadness of the end of a marriage due to death. It brings up all the feeling I have about old census records. I feel sad at all those dead families.
To get back to the subject, I like new jewellery. I like real diamonds. They remind me that I'm special to someone and that they love me.


OrdinaryGirl · 02/11/2018 22:40

The real diamond in my engagement ring reminds me that sometimes, against all odds, beautiful things are created naturally from conditions of intolerable pressure. Always appropriate given family life these days. 🙄


itsbritneybiatches · 02/11/2018 22:40

It's romantic.
I love my real engagement ring. I don't care if it loses value.


SpitefulMidLifeAnimal · 02/11/2018 22:46

I know that this current culture of making men ‘dig deep’ to buy an engagement ring has very little to do with the sparkle of the stones. It’s a way to show committment, and a measure of self-sacrifice.

Is it though? Any arsehole with a credit card can go to the jewellers.


MorningsEleven · 02/11/2018 23:02

Any arsehole with a credit card can go to the jewellers

Too right. And the " flaws make them special" chat is bull. An internally flawless, D colour, perfectly cut diamond is worth having if you can ignore the fact that its production has probably relied on the input of children in developing countries. The shite that most high street jewellers peddle is an abomination.


Henrysmycat · 02/11/2018 23:07

I can tell the difference. Maybe it’s the cheapness of the setting that they put a lab-made jewel. I’ve seen some copies and while pretty, something is off. I’d like to spend when I can afford it. For me it’s a cross of investment and heirloom. I come from a poor family and they didn’t even have a tin ring to give me so I want to give something to my kid.
I I have some crackers and I bought some myself.
My favourite is my 9ct unheated Ceylon sapphire that I had made for me into a ring with small diamonds around it. Unfortunately, Duchess Cambridge got the Diana ring shortly after so people think, I copied her. Hmm


IdblowJonSnow · 02/11/2018 23:18

Interesting thread. I have a real diamond engagement ring that I love and will always treasure but no other 'real' jewels. Would love an emerald synthetically grown, can anyone suggest where i could get one with a white gold setting please? - That doesn't look cheap.


Londongirl888 · 02/11/2018 23:21

Because they can and it is their choice. Real gems are unique, not manufactured and individual. Pay for your choice and enjoy 


Aroundtheworldandback · 02/11/2018 23:33

My husband recently had a pair of diamond earrings made for me for a special occasion which cost him around the same as a small flat. They are beautiful but I do feel self conscious wearing them. I value the coffee he brings me in bed probably more than I value those though!


SignOnTheWindow · 02/11/2018 23:41


I'm not confused! Synthetic is another term for created. It means the same thing.

Synthetic is the term used by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America):

'A synthetic gem material is one that is made in a laboratory, but which shares virtually all chemical, optical, and physical characteristics of its natural mineral counterpart, though in some cases, namely synthetic turquoise and synthetic opal, additional compounds can be present.'

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