Diamonds are the most highly prized of gemstones due to their extreme rarity. They make a great investment because their value doesn't fade. Furthermore, they are indestructible. Diamond rings have always been the traditional engagement gift because diamonds represent undying loyalty and devotion.
You already knew all that, right? Think again. Every assertion in the previous paragraph is a myth intentionally propagated by the diamond industry to ensure that the artificial market stays afloat. Read the truth about diamonds and how De Beers created the legend that gives diamonds their lasting allure.
In recent years, great strides have been made in cutting back superfluous expenses with young couples that were often mandated by custom and/or public pressure. One area where there has been much success is the engagement ring. Mercifully, it's now perfectly acceptable in many circles to offer a ring mounted with a synthetic crystal of cubic zirconium. To a layman, "CZ" is indistinguishable from a diamond, yet it costs 1/10 to 1/50 of a diamond. As one jeweler told this writer, "It makes no difference whether the diamond is real or not... until you lose it." That's wise advice to remember about everything in our corporeal lives, but nowhere does it ring truer than when it comes to diamonds.