I have a beautiful “diamond” ring that I bought for $50. People compliment me on it all the time. It’s crystal and actual silver (that’s the only reason I paid so much for it), and most people can’t tell the difference between it and the real diamond I have on my engagement ring. Pretty cool. All the envy and none of the price.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love jewelry. I may not wear it often, but I adore having it available when I want to. I just stopped buying mined jewels a while ago. Aside from the ethical problems, lab created jewels are cheaper and just as pretty. I will buy real jewelry that’s used (pawn shops or antiques), and lab created jewels that are new. I get the wow factor without having to pay wow prices. A 2 carat diamond diamond ring of the exact size and style as the one I bought costs $3300 on Amazon. I got mine for $50. Yay for savings!

I know that some people aren’t comfortable with used jewelry – like it’s jinxed or something. Pooh. I have sold jewelry before just because it didn’t fit and wasn’t quite worth the price to me to get it resized. People sell jewelry for all sorts of reasons, none of which attach a curse to the jewelry itself. Or, maybe they feel that lab created gems seem cheap. They are chemically identical to the mined stones, just grown in a lab instead of underground. As for antique jewelry, some of it is as expensive or more expensive than newer jewelry. A nice Art Deco piece is worth a lot!

One further advantage to cheaper jewelry is that I don’t feel as vulnerable wearing it. Because the real stones are so valuable, I feel conspicuous wearing them. Like I am somehow showing off. With the cheaper stones I paid less, so I don’t feel as vulnerable. If I were to get mugged, I’d have no compunctions about giving them up to get away. It wouldn’t cost me a minute’s sleep to give up my $50 crystal ring, but I’d definitely lose sleep if I’d paid the $3300 for it.

Thrifty, green, and ethical, all in one. Not to mention pretty. You can buy a lot more stone for a lot less money if you go the fake, lab created, or used routes.

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