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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:

tickingthebox · 03/11/2018 06:42


“Real” synthetic gems are as you say chemically identical, however they are expensive.

Everything that is much cheaper is plastic or glass including tru diamonds, diamonique etc etc. The jewellery industry use the term “synthetic “ to basically trick people into believing what you believe.

Throwing caution to the wind (name change coming up!) i’m a jeweller and the vast majority is diamond coated cz - which is zirconium dioxide Chrystal with a micro mm coating of dlc ( Diamond like carbon ) - looks great when you buy it but loses its sparkle really quickly.

You can easily support the synthetic diamonds straight off. It just doesn’t have the sparkle fire and brilliance of the real thing.


Biologifemini · 03/11/2018 06:47

Well I suppose it depends if you want something that was mined or made in a lab.
Or in the case of CZ or glass won’t last quite as long.
Synthetic jewels are exactly the same but likely without any of the natural imperfections and impurities which add to the colour.
Personally I don’t mind either way. Jewels aren’t anywhere near as rare as the sellers would have you believe though.


tickingthebox · 03/11/2018 06:48

*spot (not support)

I think you would also be amazed by how many people —men— have very expensive rings made with fake diamonds. We made one that would have been a half million pound ring, but he put a fake in it. It’s still cost about £20k, but not what his fiancé thought it cost.


clumsyduck · 03/11/2018 07:01

Can I just ask, people keep saying "investment" but then saying how quickly diamond engagement rings for example lose value . I'm confused which is it ?!

Not that I own many real jewels !


tickingthebox · 03/11/2018 07:05

@clumsyduck Depends on whether you buy right....

Go to a traditional high street jeweller and you will lose a lot of money really quickly.

If you know what you buying and shop around, then yes it is an investment. That you can wear! (but do get it insured)


hendricksy · 03/11/2018 07:07

I have quite a big diamond ring and eternity ring . Someone I was chatting to the other day asked me if they were from Swarovski because they were beautiful. I said no they are diamonds , she nearly fell over ... I don't know much about Jewellery fake or otherwise so I didn't know what she meant but my freind explained about it .
What I don't understand is the love of pandora which for me is expensive costume Jewellery. For me it's either real diamonds or cheap costume . Each to their own though .


clumsyduck · 03/11/2018 07:10

Thanks ticking Smile


kmc1111 · 03/11/2018 07:18

Proper lab-grown jewels are still pretty expensive, assuming we’re talking about the real things and not all the cheap crap that’s marketed as synthetic and lab-grown to confuse people.

If I wanted a giant, in your face cocktail ring then I’d buy a good lab-grown jewel and get it set by someone who knows what they’re doing. That would save a lot of money. But for the most part the monetary difference between buying an antique piece and recreating it with synthetic jewels is neglible, and the ‘real’ jewels come with history and a much greater chance of holding value.


Holidayshopping · 03/11/2018 10:24

I have quite a big diamond ring and eternity ring . Someone I was chatting to the other day asked me if they were from Swarovski because they were beautiful. I said no they are diamonds , she nearly fell over ... I don't know much about Jewellery fake or otherwise so I didn't know what she meant but my freind explained about it

I’m confused-what was it that she meant that you didn’t understand?


SignOnTheWindow · 03/11/2018 10:51


Ah, reading back through the thread properly, I see that the OP was referring to synthetics being much cheaper. Yes, properly lab-created gems/synthetics are definitely not a cheap option!

I was simply addressing the term 'synthetic', so you were right to clarify what I said.

I work for a gemmologist, btw, so am not too badly in danger of being scammed (I hope)!


SundayGirls · 03/11/2018 10:53

Hendricksy - when you got the rings, did you not have the faintest clue about their worth, or have any idea about the difference between real diamonds and crystal glass?


SundayGirls · 03/11/2018 10:55

Apparently diamonds have an age between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old Shock. The youngest ones are 1 billion!

It's unfathomable really.


Holidayshopping · 03/11/2018 11:20

Hendricksy - when you got the rings, did you not have the faintest clue about their worth, or have any idea about the difference between real diamonds and crystal glass?

That’s what I couldn’t work out!


KaroB · 03/11/2018 21:06

I would've happily worn a lab grown sapphire or diamond but DH bought me a beautiful antique ring with a real diamond & I was delighted. Real (mined or lab grown) gems are much much harder than zirconia & should last several lifetimes without chipping or losing their shine. If buying new then I think man made is the way to go as there's no risk of children being involved in the mining etc.


SabineUndine · 03/11/2018 21:23

I’ve got some ‘good’ jewellery that I inherited. It’s just much better quality than most of the stuff you see in the shops. I’ve bought a few small pieces too, always second hand from Etsy. It’s just much better value.


CoachBombay · 03/11/2018 21:32

I think for everyday wear excluding an engagement/wedding ring. Fake is fine, but my love of gems and diamonds is just that. I love them!

I second buying antique jewellery there are some marvelous pieces out there just gathering dust!

My engagement ring is a secomd hand piece l, its made up of a giant mexican fire opal (which is orange/my favoirite colour) and surrounded by baguette, and round cut diamonds. I adore it, and DP must have gone to great lengths to find it which I massively appreciate! It's a rather large ring and people often comment on it which I do like.


bourbonbiccy · 03/11/2018 21:38

I personally love real jewellery. I have worked hard for them and I think they look lovely. I have also (sadly) inherited real jewels that are just gorgeous.

I don't like fake anything though, I would prefer to not have it all rather than cheap imitation pieces. I am the same with designer items. I would prefer a good £40 leather handbag than a fake "wannabe" designer lookalike.

I great place to start with good jewellery that is value for money and won't depreciate is the 2nd hand stores. I used to think of pawn brokers as profiting on people misfortune and refused to buy from there until I met 3 people who pawned jewellery, simply to get a bit of money towards an upgrade on their jewellery not because they were in a dire situation. Now if I want a new piece I nip to the brokers as from the high street your not really getting the best value for money. ( unless it's just bloody lovely and you can't leave it )


bourbonbiccy · 03/11/2018 21:42

@hendricksy I completely agree with you on the whole Pandora thing...I just don't get it, but as you say each to their own.


LemonTT · 03/11/2018 21:58

I like a nice piece of antique jewellery and love trying on pieces at auction sale. They are really unique and unless they have a strong and notable provenance won’t have a high street “new” premium. So you get good bang for your buck and won’t lose money the minute they are bought.

Auction Engagement rings are cheap but I think people see them as unlucky. Otherwise anything in a nice setting, e.g. art deco, are a good investment. Fifties and very ornate settings are getting good prices. I am currently on the hunt for an aquamarine.

Look on, all auctions are listed.


Gwenhwyfar · 03/11/2018 22:00

" Because if you need to leave in a hurry- think political turmoil- they are light to carry. Because they are easy to convert into cash."

Tax evasion, benefit fraud...


SapphireSeptember · 03/11/2018 22:06

Because real gemstones are beautiful and aren't always expensive (I'm thinking about the strings of beads of amethyst, tiger's eye, garnet, rose quartz and others that I own,) although amethyst was once so rare only bishops and above could wear it. Because I want to have something with tanzanite in it before it runs out. I have no idea what it's worth, but I own a silver and amethyst tennis bracelet that I got from a junk/antique shop (yes it's real amethyst) and it's one of my favourite pieces of jewellery. I own a Pandora sapphire ring (created, so I know it'll have the same hardness as a natural sapphire) that I never take off, sitting next to the silver and onyx ring I've had for 13 years. I own plenty of cubic zirconia and crystal costume jewellery, love anything sparkly, and can't afford real diamonds.


PixieBob28 · 04/11/2018 05:24

I love my Moissanite engagement ring. My now husband would have bought me a diamond one if that was what I really wanted but it would have cost in region of nearly 10k for a 1ct diamond with the same cut and clarity that my Moissanite has (My ring cost around £500).

Not only that but I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl so walking around with a ring on that cost thousands when I'm wearing mainly high street clothes just didn't really fit with my lifestyle.

I too didn't want a tiny diamond, or those ones which is just loads of small diamonds clustered together to make it look more expensive. Again that's just my taste and opinion.

I've had nothing but compliments about my ring, mainly because it looks real and isnt over the top. I don't pretend it's a diamond, people do assume but I correct them if asked.

Twice now I've had the ring dipped in gold to restore it's shininess and both jewellers thought it was a diamond too.

I just love the idea that Moissanite has elements of a meteorite that's landed here on earth, even if it is lab made. I'm a huge space nerd so it's perfect to me. It's so sparkly too Grin.


Holidayshopping · 04/11/2018 11:10

I’m intrigued, PixieBob! What is moissanite?

Would love to se me a photo of your ring-it sounds lovely!


Clionba · 04/11/2018 11:18

I always wear real jewellery. There's nothing like it. Plus interest rates have been ridiculously low, so they're a good investment. I recently sold a necklace and bracelet to a jeweller - I hardly wore them, but it's given me a good amount to pay for other things I needed. Pandora stuff won't buy you a car in 15 years time.


BonnieF · 04/11/2018 11:27

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.

It is a load of complete and utter bollocks which has been perpetuated by decades of marketing propaganda by DeBeers, the South Africa based multinational corporation which effectively controls the diamond industry.

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