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by sitecore\kmcgrigg on January 07, 2010

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask author Phil Villarreal to choose a favorite tip from his new book Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel. His choice was a tip where he advises people to purchase a cubic zirconium engagement ring and claim it is a family heirloom. While some might find that practice shady, it’s hard for me to throw stones. I’ve been pretending my diamond earrings are actual diamonds for the past five years.

I wasn’t planning to lie to my heirs about the fake rocks, but I certainly wasn’t volunteering their true nature when people commented on their size and clarity. You see, when my husband bought me diamond earrings for our 10th anniversary, I promptly returned and replaced with fakes. (Yes, he knows!) I just couldn’t justify the cost nor could I bear the responsibility of having something so valuable (I have a history of losing things).

I haven’t given the earring swap a second thought until now. Since I never want to be accused of being a shady character, I offer this public confession. So does it matter to you that my diamonds aren't actually diamonds?  Would it matter if they were yours?

Posted in:  Frugality, Reflections


Dale Smith says:
August 03, 2011

What you did was beyond tacky and ungrateful. It is not that YOU were unable to justify the expense because the diamond earrings were a gift. Your article is one of the reasons why living frugally gets such a bad rap. In the wrong hands, the practice just appears mean and grubby.

Diamond Earring says:
February 08, 2012

such a nice veiw. Diamond earring is always a lovely gift for valentine couple.

Ellen says:
January 08, 2010

I don't blame you in the least for preferring to wear cz's. Most people in commenting on your beautiful earrings wouldn't say "are they real?" So to respond to a compliment, Thank you is all that is needed.

Kris says:
January 07, 2017

My fiance and i do not have much money so when he was asking me what kind of ring i wanted a few years ago i told him there are some great places that have "lab created" diamonds. they aren't "real" but the quality is amazing. I have a 2.5 ct "diamond" ring and it is absolutely beautiful. I have had actual jewelers come into my office and comment on its beauty. I even asked one to eye ball an estimated price just to see what he would say and he appraised my ring at between $8,500 and $10k. My fiance paid $1100 for this ring and it was worth every dollar. I got the look I wanted for a price we could easily afford. Unlike you, however, I have never felt "shady" or otherwise about it.

Lisa Ashton says:
August 03, 2011

I LOL when I read this and was reminded of a time that I traded a diamond for a computer desk for my five sons. I think you had the last laugh though when no one realized your earrings were not really diamonds.

Megan says:
August 03, 2011

I don't blame you at all for having fake diamonds. If I cared for the look of diamond jewlery at all, that's probably what I would do too. I actually have a family heirloom diamond engagement ring. I never wear it because I'm worried that I will lose it. If we hadn't inherited the diamond, I would have been perfectly happy with a sterling silver and turquoise ring (turquoise is my favorite stone and color), but as it is, I have a diamond ring.

Melanie says:
August 08, 2011

LOL I actually have a yellow CZ as my wedding ring, and I get compliments all the time! But I do get folks who ask if it is real (because its yellow). That's a bit uncomfortable.

Melissa says:
July 07, 2011

Me and my best friend have been trying to convince our boyfriends to do the same when/if they get us engagement rings... later when we have more money we can put the real diamond in... but they don't agree with us!

the Cynical Investor says:
January 09, 2010

'when my husband bought me diamond earrings for our 10th anniversary, I promptly returned and replaced with fakes. ' This is what my wife would do too :)

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