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Old kaylagee

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Diamonds in France? - cultural differences?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 04-30-03 , 05:53 AM


I'd really like to hear more about the difference between the US and France re: engagment rings, diamond jewelry in general...


I'm married to a French man & my e-ring(I did have to tell him about this alien cultural practice ) is pretty traditional for the USA... 1.08ct round, premium cut, J color... 'Tiffany' style four-prong setting, 2.5 mm band. we got it at Mondera.com(*don't buy from them if you plan to upgrade... they discontinued their upgrade option in February*)

even though i'd never buy from them again, it is beautiful and my ring size is only size 4.0 - so it doesn't feel that small, but of course, it will be nice when we can get something larger. i'd like a 2.0 -2.5 ct. round or emerald shape, same band style.

OTOH, i've yet to see any major e-rings on anyone else here in Paris. i've read and heard that it's a cultural thing in France(& Europe in general?)...

they don't seem to have the diamond engagement thing hardwired like we do the US.!?

also here diamonds are ridiculously expensive *and* low quality at the same time.

i've been told that it's best to get them from the US if possible or be sure to have a GIA cert. i've read that EGL certs are often shady.

From what i've noticed here, many women only wear bands or fashion style mixed-stone rings as their wedding rings, with no E-rings given at all.

A couple of our friends have diamond rings/bands but nothing over.30-.40? so, many times, a one-carat is a 'rock' here. weird.

Diamond Search:

Carat:  to  Color:  to  Clarity:  to  


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So how's the food in Paris?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 04-30-03 , 10:18 AM


i've never been to france. how's the food?
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 04-30-03 , 10:24 AM


Same situation in Australia but not so extreme. 1 ct is considered a rock! Gee Whiz.

Beth


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 04-30-03 , 10:44 AM


Beth,

I don't want to speak for all French-resident women but I have been really doing some hand-watching and, so far, that's what I've noticed.

OTOH, I just found this...

So maybe it's no so different after all, check this out!

"...THE MAGICAL ONE CARAT
You've no doubt heard or seen the marketing slogans, "A diamond is forever;" "Say you'd marry her all over again with a diamond anniversary ring;" and "A one carat diamond is one in a million." These all come from ad campaigns by DeBeers, the world's largest diamond conglomerate. Through their clever marketing they have established the one-carat diamond as the minimum size to buy. That's one reason for the substantial price jump when a diamond reaches one carat. Another reason is that a good one-carat diamond is one in a million. But don't be swayed by advertising. There's no magic in size, and the average diamond purchased in the U.S. is 38 points — just over 1/3 of a carat. "

http://www.diamondcuttersintl.co m...rat_weight.html

Last edited by kaylagee : 04-30-03 at 10:54 AM.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 04-30-03 , 10:48 AM


mars,

I can't say I've really eaten a lot of French food. My favorites are Indian, Thai, Chinese and some of the African cuisine. I've had only a few tradtional French meals, mostly at the in-laws, but I haven't sampled enough to judge, I guess.

The desserts, breads and cheeses are wonderful though!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 04-30-03 , 04:01 PM


We live in Canada, but we got married in the Philippines because my husband is from there and engagement rings are rarely given or not that important in parts of Asia. No one really wears them just their wedding rings and most of the time some married couples don't even wear them. When I was 16 years old my mom gave me a diamond ring and people here in Canada thought that I was engaged already. Engagement rings are only popular, because of the expensive advertising that De Beers does to make them sell.

Last edited by diamondstar : 04-30-03 at 04:17 PM.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 04-30-03 , 07:49 PM


There's definitely a cultural difference with regards to diamond engagement rings around the world. I travelled around the world as a kid because my dad is a diplomat. We've lived in 4 different continents, and most people around the world either 1) don't wear an engagement ring 2)wear very tiny gemstone rings or 3) no rings at all. Only in North America and South Africa (major diamond producer, and debeers home) did I see the "diamond engagement" being the norm. My mom bought 3 major diamonds when we lived in South Africa, they are all over 1 ct, I believe they are 1.04, 1.24 and 1.52. She now lives in Taiwan, and does not wear any of them they are all in a safety deposit box. She only wears her wedding band, and that is the norm in Taiwan. When we were in Germany, it was the same thing...wedding bands only.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 05-02-03 , 01:46 AM


No flames please

Just my honest opinion here, I think the popularity of diamonds (and big diamonds) here is definitely cultural. We American women can be very spoiled/superficial/materialistic about diamonds here and I think the advertisers and the culture are mostly to blame.

I think pop-culture and keeping up with the Jones' is very important and alive here. Just like the desire to own a large single-family home on a nice plot of land and drive a Mercedes SUV, people here desire a large "rock" for their lady/themselves. It plays into the psychological desire to own things relecting one's status or place in the world. It has made getting a "good" diamond a very top priority in most engagements (and, while it can be a nice symbol, I do think too much is based on this now). The diamond is just a token of the love, a detail. They are certainly fun, beautiful things to own and not everyone is oblivious to the bigger picture. I still think the status factor of it plays a big part in it, subconsciously or not. It has become a cultural tradition HERE and this is a big part of that reason. Most people on DT recognize diamonds as a piece of jewelry and I think that's healthy.

I do think if other countries were as prosperious they might be tempted to spend more money on diamonds like we do here, but I still don't think it would be to this degree. As a rule (cultural comparison) we are very greedy here and expect luxury. Our wealth affords us that luxury, and if you put it in perspective diamonds really are ridiculously expensive for what they are.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 05-06-03 , 08:28 AM


synicgrrl,

i do agree w/you for the most part. tho' overcoming the US media & cultural conditioning is easier said than done.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 05-11-03 , 01:57 AM


It's funny, but I was thinking about this the other day.
I have family in France, by marriage and I don't know if it's a "french" thing as opposed to an "asian" thing or maybe in my case, an "in-law" thing, but I remember when I first married into my husband's family, they made a big deal about the quality of a diamond (clarity and color) rather than size. I don't even know if they cared about cut(ideal) at all.
I just remember hearing a lot of "oh, g or h, no good. VS2 no good, better get VVS1 or VVS2".
In a way, they sort of influenced my decision when buying my new diamond.
I think it's more of an "in-law" thing, now that I think about it.
I did not get my e-ring until a few years later, and I remember they took out loupes (of course, I knew nothing about diamonds, and chose a very vintage 3 diamond platinum setting from the 1920's because I loved the setting) and told me that the diamond I picked was not too good. It was an H/I VS2(now it's a SI1, due to a chip on the girdle) and the other two side diamonds were H VVS2.
Of course, I got so embarassed that they told me it was not a good diamond,especially because we were at a PARTY!!!, but the truth is that I loved my ring, because I had never before seen anything like it and have never seen anything since, and even though it was an H/I color diamond, I didn't notice and could care less.
Anyway, the women in my husband's family who are engaged in France make a big deal about their diamonds. Everyone knows how much everyone else spent, and often you will hear conversations(GAG) such as "OH, so and so spent x dollars for her diamond, E color, VS2, second best color, but quality not so good". They wear up to a carat form what I gather, and at least F color VS1 clarity. My SIL got an anniversary diamond two years ago, but for some reason, only knows the price ($7000), and nothing else. When I asked her about the cut, color or clarity, even the size, she is very evasive. And the diamond keeps getting bigger, back then it was 1.04, then 1.15, now it's 1.4. I swear, I am not making this up!
As far as my family, I am filipino, they could care less about diamonds. I think I am the only one who wears an engagement ring.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 05-11-03 , 02:52 AM


kaylagee,

I completely agree with you. I got very interested in diamonds a year ago, and if I break it down inside it basically comes down to the tradition of it here. It wasn't so much about status (though it is related to that) as much as it was about fitting in for me. I am weird because I am well aware of society working on me, but I still do what they want me to anyway. I know what's going on but I don't overcome it. My boyfriend thinks I am weird.

I am with the guy I am probably going to marry and one day I decided (the same year many of my friends and coworkers were all talking about getting "commitment rings" from their S/O) that I should get a ring too (decided on a ruby - everyone and their mother were getting sapphires and a diamond is redundant as I'd get one for an E_ring amnyway. So I started perusing pages of auctions and information sites on diamonds for fun, knowing I'd have to start somewhere down the road and because it was enjoyable. While the reasons that led me to be interested in them in the first place were based on the culture and social conditioning, I am now in my own right a true lover of diamonds. I have even flirted with the idea of taking GIA classes in the future and going down that path because it interests me so much. If for nothing but irony's sake, I also love sociology and the general public's/culture's reasons for desiring diamonds (which played a big part in the reason *I* wanted one in the first place as I am a part of society too) get on my nerves if I break it down in my head. Then I feel guilty for my passion now and think it might be better to steer clear of it as much as possible because I will be making myself a part of an industry that feeds off consumer perception of status, wealth, and competition.

Honestly, some days I just want to take up anthropology and go live in the boonies of South America. But I probably wouldn't be happy with that either. I need to find my middle ground. Sigh.

My boyfriend is from Uruguay and I always tell him when things get crazy here I want to move there with his family and eat beans and rice and be happy with the warm family. I'm just joking and being an when I say this of course, and it really isn't like that over there. His family is in the top 5 percentile for wealth there, whereas in the US they are just maybe upper middle-class. The beans and rice comment is a throwback to something I read an anthropology case study book about poor South American immigrants in the late 80's-mid 90's facing difficulty with the new culture in the US and how the notion of reciprocation doesn't really exist here. We exchanges goods for services where in many of these countries community bonds were so strong that if the x family had no food for the week they would just take up with family y and share the beans they had. It's a romantic notion that appeals to me on a pure level but as with anything, there are sacrifices in any lifestyle, and I would rather deal with some of the here than turn my world upside down or live in poverty. I am not that naive. Ideal and liberal, maybe, but not naive.

Speaking of "stuff", I get 6 hours of sleep before I go in to my shittay retail job. Fun fun.

Last but not least..

Elizabeth, you bring up a good point about culture. Isn't it funny to see how one over the other weighs the worth? I have heard that before. That certain counties are "quality snobs" whereas others (coughcough ours) will poo poo you unless your purchase is for a rock at 1ct +.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 05-11-03 , 08:31 AM


synic - i'm quite torn on the topic too, part of me feels sad for even owning a diamond, OTOH, if you catch me at another time I feel wistful that I don't have a larger one. especially when it's so hardwired that the size of the e-ring stone is connected to how much your guy loves you and/or how financially successful he is, etc.

meanwhile, here's an interesting article-commentary to keep the mental wheels spinning!

http://www.dashes.com/anil/index.ph...ives/004817.php

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 05-11-03 , 08:41 AM


Elizabeth,

So far no one has even commented to/questioned me about my ring expect for my MIL.

I'm not sure if they assume it's a CZ (maybe we look more like a .30-.50 type of carat couple heehee)or it's just not important to them - it doesn't show up on the radar?

It would make sense the the quality should trump size ultimately here in Europe.

Being American, I went for a combination of the two/split the difference of priorities.

We chose my ring after marriage too.

*I would have been embarrased /felt weird too if she had asked in the middle of a party or dinner. Luckily, my husband & I were the only ones there.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 05-11-03 , 07:46 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by kaylagee
synic - i'm quite torn on the topic too, part of me feels sad for even owning a diamond, OTOH, if you catch me at another time I feel wistful that I don't have a larger one. especially when it's so hardwired that the size of the e-ring stone is connected to how much your guy loves you and/or how financially successful he is, etc.


kaylagee,

This sounds just like me. I'll go back and forth with myself on the issue. If I listen to my noble/intellectual side I feel like I should buck the system and be better than the game. But I am human, I am not immune to the power of culture or advertising when it is such a part of everyday life. I enjoy diamonds, and I want to have fun with them, as well as enjoy the social benefits they reap -just like the next person. Why should I suffer and tell myself to do without when everybody else gets to have all the fun? Granted maybe they don't analyze it like I do so consciously they have no beef with it, but they're still the ones that get to have the fun. I'd rather have that than just convince myself each night that I am in the noble highground. After all, nobody is going to know that but me. It's kind of like why be a martyr when no one even notices your martyrdom?

Also, interesting commentary. I have seen some of those ads sometimes that seem both really lame and uncreative and at the same time, insulting on some levels but they are always cleverly worked in very well in a cheeky, if traditional, way.

It's funny too when you think of how common it is here now, but the tradition basically started in the 50's when DeBeers first started campaigning. We seem to hold this idea as a culture that the diamond engagement ring is the gold standard that has just been around forever but it is fairly recent. Also, diamonds back in the day were much smaller. The engraved platinum styles of early diamond circulation in the 20's were beautiful, but the rocks that graced these rings were certainly humble.

I wonder what will happen when they start mass producing synthetic diamonds that have the same chemical properties but are created and not mined. They are already starting it but it is supposed to get much bigger and drastically reduce the cost of natural diamonds. Though part of me still isn't so sure how well it will work - I still think there will be a stigma since the stones aren't "natural" and I bet very well that the old diamond sellers will really push this sentiment to ensure their sales.

It's a fascinating topic and it's interesting to see peoples stances on the issue.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 05-19-03 , 05:00 AM


here's a section from an article I downloaded recently...

"Marketing according to culture

As we have stated, De Beers does not market to its sightholders, it markets for the end product so as to drive demand. In order to do this De Beers has had to take into account the different cultural aspects of the various markets around the world so as to understand their buying behaviour.

Historically diamonds have always held a symbolic status. For example in India, they are instruments of diplomacy. They are valued for their talismanic as well as aesthetic qualities. Europeans viewed them for their practical usefulness. However in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD the Romans wore rough diamonds to protect themselves from illness and evil spirits. Another typical example of the symbolic status of diamonds can be seen in the crown jewels of the British Royal family.

The following is a brief analysis of the elements that play a role in the various markets.

US Market:
With the advent of the career woman, and dual family incomes, a large quantity of women in America are buying diamonds for themselves. The acquisition rate is infact higher amongst single women than those who are married. It is also a well recognised tradition in the United States to give diamond jewellery on special anniversairies.

Japanese Market:
During World War II, Japanese women had to surrender their diamonds for use in industry. It was only in the mid-sixties that diamonds again became legally available. As a result there are very few inherited amongst japanese women. Through a highly successful marketing campaign, De Beers managed to instill the sentiment that diamond jewellery was the perfect gift for specific people on prescribed occasions making it almost socially obligatory.

Studies have shown that it is important to give expensive gifts on a number of traditional ceremonial occasions marking important life events refered as “notches on the bamboo of life”. Given that pearls are associated with death and usually worn at funerals, they are therefore unsuited as gifts on these occasions. Diamonds on the other hand fitted very well with the symbolism of Shintoism. This is a philosophy that emphasises the virtues of beauty, purity, clarity and brilliance.

The wedding is the most suitable notch on the bamboo of life for the reintroduction of diamonds. The size of the diamond was regarded as an index of the groom’s worth and the value he placed on his marriage. Japanese men were expected to purchase a wedding ring worth three times their monthly salary.

Unlike American women, who have numerous occasions to wear diamond jewellery, home-bound Japanese women only wear their diamonds at special family events. When they do, it is a statement of “face” and many japanese women acquire diamond jewellery in anticipation of such events. They also discuss the four C’s (Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carats) as men would their cars – Brand will be an important factor in the decisional process.

European Market:

The European market is less developed than its American counter part. Jewellery, especially gold jewellery, has long been a part of European tradition, but the diamond was not seen as a seperate item of the culture as it was in the United States. Largely an Anglo-Saxon tradition in Europe, the diamond engagement ring is as popular in the United Kingdom as it is in the United States. In Germany and the Nordic countries, only a tiny proportion of brides acquire diamond engagement rings, compared with some 25% in Spain and France and 50% in Italy. Diamonds are nevertheless seen as a symbol of love representing the ideology of stability.
It has been noted in Northern Europe, and in particular Germany, that people did not want to be seen as rich, often going to shop in another towns for expensive jewellery."

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 05-19-03 , 10:52 AM


Very interesting article... I have a client from Norway and you are right, theydo not wear a lot of diamond ering. She had a 3 stackable eternity ring on her finger - One when she got engaged, ( it is round saphirre ) the middle one was when she got married ( all round diamonds ) and the third one was for her 10th anniversary and it is like her 1st one, all saphirres ). Really pretty. I am sure her rings are worth more than some solitaire erings....and she is so proud to show it off and explain the meaning behind her rings. I think every ring tell a very unique story...


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cultural differences?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 05-19-03 , 11:33 AM


This is my first time posting a reply...
I am Filipino married to an East Indian. When we got engaged, he asked me if I wanted a ring. I said not really and don't really care for one. He asked because he noticed that I don't wear jewelries. Eventhough my friends wear big rocks, I didn't really care if I have one or not. Before the wedding, he presented me with a 2 ct and said that he will return it if I didn't like it. Wow, I have never seen anything like it. Now I'm hooked on jewelries. I threw away all my fashion jewelries and my husband has been giving me different kinds of jewelries. My husband loves jewelries on women (lucky me) and think that it's beautiful on them. I am not complaining!!!

Elizabeth, it's funny but all the Filipinos I know love jewelries esp big rocks. That is all they talk about at parties or show off their latest purchase. I thought I was the only Filipino who do not like jewelries but now I am hooked.

I do not think we wear jewelry for status or your materialistic or whatever. I see it as putting on our make-up. It makes us look prettier...

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born2shop,
Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 05-19-03 , 10:15 PM


I am just like you, I love jewelry, too.
I wasn't trying to generalize my statement to include all filipinos, I was simply saying that I am filipino, and in my particular family, no one has an engagement ring. My grandmothers, aunts and even my mother didn't receive e-rings. They received a diamond band instead.

"As far as my family, I am filipino, they could care less about diamonds. I think I am the only one who wears an engagement ring."

I honestly think it's an American thing. My filipino friends all have diamond e-rings. And we were all either born here or came here as infants or toddlers.
And as far as other filipinos that I know, I am a nurse, so I know many, I have never been to a party were they were showing off their lastest purchase, etc.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 03-25-04 , 06:30 AM


Even if this thread has been deserted for a longer time, I tought it might be interesting to bring in the point of view of a native German in this discussion. I'm not sure, but I seem to be the only one here and this seems to be a bit characteristic for the attitude Germans have in relation to jewelry.

In Germany, we don't have this e-ring tradition and it would be very unusual for a young man to spend thousands of Euros to buy a e-ring for his future wife. Nevertheless, until some years ago, it was very unusual for German women to buy jewelry for themselves, so most women (until today) have only small jewelry and very tiny diamonds.

This might be the main reason that women in this country don't wear big rocks, because men won't spend so much money on jewelry and women won't buy it for themselves.

If you look into the windows of big jewelrystores in Germany there are almost none of really big stones displayed (with exception of the high street addresses like Wempe or so) and I think the prices are much higher than they are in the USA.

I always had an affinity to everything that glitters and traveling to the USA showed me that it is possible to wear big jewelry. So I'm really very happy to have this forum here, where my passion for jewelry is shared by so many.

In Germany, you don't have tha opportunity to buy high class jewelry with simulants. The sims you see here are almost all cut poorly and set into tacky and flimsy settings that scream "simulant" right away.

So it's a real bliss to me to be able to have substancial settings and well cut sims and I enjoy them so much (even if no one in my neighborhood or family can understand it ).

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 03-25-04 , 11:11 AM


I just wanted to thank you for your perspective! it's hard to get that sometimes, from our friends who live in other countries, and i find it interesting.

If you like sparkly things, this is the place to find them. Many good diamond vendors, and vendors of gemstones and simulants. I own one heirloom diamond and a vintage diamond band. I no longer buy diamonds due to the political stuff- I like moissanite and sims better.

Welcome!
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 03-25-04 , 11:27 AM


Just another cultural perspective. I am half Korean and half Japanese and grew up in both countries. My mom loooooves diamonds/gems/jewelries. Her safe is full of sparklies. When it comes to diamonds, she and her Korean/Japanese friends are very focused on the color and clarity. If it's not D/E/F and IF/VVS1/VVS2, it's a piece of to them. Of course, they also believe in the magic number of 1 ct and definitely prefer something bigger than a carat.

Their preference for ruby is also very bright red ones, not the darker kind that American women seem to like.

As for jewelry, most of them prefer higher k yellow gold. I can understand their preference for yellow over white, since white gold is more fragile? But, it doesn't make sense to me why they prefer higher than 18k yellow gold jewelry. It seems sooooo yellow and yucky to me. Besides, I think it's too soft.

My mom made me lots of gold jewelries when I was little. They are all severely bruised now because of their softness. I complained to my mom and she said, "that's ok. you can always melt it and make something else. besides, if an emergency strikes, you can sell it and make good money, b/c it's real gold."

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 03-25-04 , 12:59 PM


hi to everyone!!!

Thanks for the German perspective myhoney! To update..I'm still wearing the ering and guard set, but I'd like something vintage or cushion cut over 2cts. It's not a high priority and I doubt seriously that I'd want to make payments at this point. I'd rather wait and buy.

I also considered upgrading(using my current stone as partial payment) but I've become a bit attached and would love if ds could use it to propose one day.

I missed dt, even though my time is limited, it's awesome to see the great jewelry!

All my best,

Kayla

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 03-26-04 , 05:13 AM


Can I just add that in Malaysia/Singapore color is certainly the most important 'C'. A hint of yellow is enough to bring a sneer from round the table (sad but true). Generally the priority here would be color, carat, clarity then cut.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 03-26-04 , 06:28 AM


Kayla and Marsmannix,

thanks for the warm welcome.

It's very interesting to see the different attitudes and opinions in different cultures.

I think its great that today we can have beautiful and classy looking sparklies without robbing a bank or starving and and I enjoy it very much. Thanks to DT I've seen lots and lots of different settings and cuts and it's wonderful to have fun wearing the jewelry and being able to change jewelry according to moods. That seems to me one of the big advantages of high-class sim jewelry - even if you not part of the Vanderbilt- or Rockefeller-Clan, you can have more than one stlye to wear.

If I had spent thousands of $$ for a really great diamond, I would feel obliged to wear it for years and years to come.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 01-09-05 , 10:58 PM


bump

L'Officiel Magazine and French Vogue(Dec-Jan issues) had beautiful diamond features! I'll try to scan some pages soon...


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