Diamonds: A Girl's Best Friend?

No, I'm not engaged or anywhere NEAR engaged, but I'm a girl, and occasionally I think about these kinds of things. And since I also believe in ethical consumption, things like engagement rings are complicated.

Once upon a time, I had decided that if I ever were to get engaged, I wanted a princess cut diamond from Tiffany's with a platinum band.

Looking back, I can't really believe that that was actually what I wanted. I mean, clearly it's what I wanted because it's what *everyone* wanted. But the truth is, that's not really me. Even if I didn't care about the cost, or the environmental factors, I think that I'm probably not a Tiffany's kind of girl.

Now, the non-consumer in me has a preference towards second-hand, err, I mean antique, rings. I'd guess an antique diamond would be insanely expensive, but there are other cool stones out there. If I ever wind up getting married, that would probably be what I would lean towards. I'm not particularly set on a diamond anyway.

But if you like the diamond look, what do you do? My friends were having this discussion, and I think people generally agreed that antique diamonds were great if they were affordable. A lot of my friends have diamonds that have been passed on from generation to generation so that's an EXTREMELY affordable option! And it's more meaningful to be wearing your grandmother's ring, I think. (Unless your grandmother had a horrible marriage, in which case I'm not sure if it is better, you know, symbolically.)

The other options are, of course, conflict-free diamonds and synthetic diamonds. Conflict-free diamonds, are again, somewhat expensive. Synthetic diamonds have the advantage of being cheaper, and as one of my incredibly wise friends pointed out, it reduces the general demand for natural diamonds which is probably a good thing. It's funny to think that natural is bad, and artificial is good, but diamonds are probably one of the few things where artificial really is the more environmental option by far.

Of course, there is a bit of me that is sternly chastising the rest of me (what can I say, it's hard being me.) Because, the truth is, engagement rings can hardly be classified as a need. Presumably, you're going to be getting a wedding ring soon enough, so the real non-consumer answer is probably to just forgo the engagement ring entirely. BUT, the tiny mushy romantic in me is hard pressed to give up entirely on engagement rings. I know it's unnecessary, but I freaking LOVE seeing my newly engaged friends' rings, and I love seeing them beam as they proudly extend their hands. I'm eco, but I'm not a grinch.

So for you married peeps, what kind of engagement ring did you get? Would you get a different one if you were making the decision today? Did any of you get your husbands engagement rings? And for you single folks, if you ever decide to tie the knot, do you have any thoughts as to what kind of ring you'll get?