A couple years ago, my husband and I decided to sell my engagement ring and buy one with a man-made diamond instead. We had paid $2000 for my ring, and sold it for $1150. We then bought a new one from Diamond Nexus Labs for $231. I’ll be honest and say that the number one reason I sold the ring was money – I didn’t like wearing $2000 on my finger, and felt that we could put it to much better use elsewhere (we ended up putting it into our HSA and and an IRA). My husband agreed, and so it was done.
I liked the claims that DNL made on their website about environmentally friendly, and ethically produced jewelry, but money was the primary reason behind our decision. Mined diamonds have no intrinsic value other than their usefulness in industry. Neither do synthetic diamonds, but I like the price of the synthetic ones a lot more. I’ll never buy another mined diamond, although I can’t imagine ever buying another synthetic diamond either. That said, I didn’t do any digging around to find out the scoop on the claims DNL makes regarding ethics and the environment.
I got an email today from a lady who has apparently done quite a bit of digging regarding the various claims that DNL makes. She has compiled her data here on her website (Moment Of Choice), and it’s absolutely worth a read. Given the fact that it looks like quite a few of the articles out there in cyberspace about DNL are pay per post or written by people who are affiliated with DNL, I wanted to make it very clear that I have no association with DNL what so ever, other than being a one-time customer. They have never paid me to write any posts, nor have they ever purchased links on my site. I paid full price for the ring I bought from them, and I have no idea if they are aware of my blog or not. The gift card that I gave away to a reader last year was sent out to all customers – giving it away on my blog was my own idea.
There’s a lot of not-so-flattering stuff about DNL out there. And since I have no knowledge of the workings of their company, I can’t say whether any of it is true or not. I can see how the negative reviews could very well be true. But the skeptic in me can also see how DNL might have some very powerful enemies (all those companies that would like to convince people that it’s perfectly rational to blow tens of thousands of dollars on mined diamonds). And spreading rumors online is even easier than spreading rumors in a 6th grade classroom.
All I know for sure is what I experienced as a customer. I tried on several cz rings before I found DNL. For the most part the bands were silver (or in some cases just a cheap plated metal). None of them could be resized, and all that I tried on were available only in whole sizes. The rings I tried on were much less expensive than the one I got from DNL, but they looked and felt cheap, so I kept looking.
I ordered my ring from DNL using the piece of string method to size my finger. I came up with 5.5 and placed my order for that size. When the ring arrived, it was beautiful, but huge. I went to a local jewelry store and had them measure my finger using a ring sizer, and they got 4.5, which would explain why the ring I ordered was so loose. I called DNL and they told me to just send it back and they would resize it. Within a couple weeks, I got my ring back, and it fit perfectly. As far as customer service, I have nothing but good things to say about DNL.
I have been wearing my DNL ring for nearly two years. It still looks as good as it did when I got it, and I still get compliments from strangers about how pretty it is. I am not a jewelry expert, and I have no idea what the stone is actually made of. But I know that the setting is solid and secure, and the ring itself perfectly matches the white gold wedding band that we bought at the Shane Company when we got married. I have no complaints at all about the workmanship of the ring.
Moment Of Choice has raised some issues that do deserve a second look, and she’s obviously done a lot of research (edit: and judging from the links on her sidebar, she and I have a lot of views in common). Concealing the identity of company officers and having employees write “reviews” isn’t particularly appealing behavior. As far as the incorporation issue, I do know that when my husband and I incorporated our business a few years ago, we read all sorts of stuff about the benefits of incorporating in other states. We were blatently told that one of the primary values of incorporation was that the corporation becomes a separate entity from ourselves, under a concept known as corporate veil. We did incorporate in our home state, but many companies do not, and this is not in and of itself a sign of anything untoward.
I doubt I will buy any more jewelry from DNL or anywhere else. I just don’t wear jewelry other than my engagement and wedding rings, and some funky pieces that people have made for me. I decided to write this post as a clarification, in case there are readers out there who are trying to figure out whether DNL is on the up and up. To reiterate: I have no idea of the validity of the DNL claims about environmental and ethical standards. I have no idea whether the company is shady in terms of business practices that don’t directly impact the end consumer. I have no affiliation with DNL (or any other jewelry company). I have been completely satisfied with my own experience with DNL, both in terms of customer service and product quality.
If you’ve had experiences with DNL – good or bad – please feel free to share.