As diamond prices fluctuate, inflation continues to plague consumer budgets, and people continue to look into the ecological impact of their purchase power, moissanite is having a moment.
Ring Come True, the accessible direct-to-consumer jewelry brand, launched with moissanite as the focus of its custom engagement ring offerings. Shir Andrews, the company’s founder, told WWD she started the business after discovering moissanites’ many positives during her own search for an engagement ring where cost was a key factor.
Ring Come True, she said, was born out of her passion for teaching others what she had learned about diamond alternatives. Now, nearly 10 years after first laying eyes on moissanite, Andrews is continuing her mission and seeks to normalize choosing diamond alternatives for engagement rings and everyday jewelry. It’s about bringing engagement ring shopping back to choosing a symbol of a couple’s love, she says.
Here, Andrews speaks to WWD about providing education around diamond alternatives and recent changes in consumer behaviors.
WWD: How do you support consumers who are exploring diamond alternatives?
Shir Andrews: At Ring Come True we lead with empathy first and foremost. I figured out fairly quickly how similar my own experience was to that of so many others, and it was almost as if I was called upon to champion this space and become an ally to others. We make it a point to provide every person who walks through our doors with a supportive, judgment-free experience regardless of the budget they give us to work with.
When I discovered moissanite in 2014, my jaw hit the floor. I was mesmerized at the gemstone’s beauty — it wasn’t a diamond, but that was fine by me. I had found the most beautiful gemstone I had ever seen and knew that I was going to be able to get my dream engagement ring without going into debt.
We do not encourage our clients to use moissanite as a way to fool others — we want them to love it for what it is, an incredibly beautiful gemstone. The more people who speak about it, the more normalized it will become to choose moissanite.
We do not sway our clients’ decision to go one way or the other because making people feel bad for buying a diamond (mined or lab-grown) is just as bad as shaming others for not buying a diamond. We do our very best to provide objective information to every client we speak to and allow the ultimate decision to be their own and what they believe will bring them the most joy surrounding this incredible milestone in their lives.
WWD: Are there any misconceptions from consumers when it comes to moissanite?
S.A.: I refer to Ring Come True as a mission-based brand all the time because it truly is our mission to eliminate stigma toward diamond alternatives of all kinds, but specifically toward moissanite given its similarities to a mined or lab-grown diamond. Since Day One, we have been working to have people appreciate this incredible stone for what it is.
A proposal is a romantic gesture, an act of devotion, not a status symbol. It’s a pledge of your undying love for another person — the ring is merely a symbol for that sentiment, regardless of what materials it is made out of.
WWD: What can you tell us about consumer behavior as you’ve seen it when it comes to shopping for jewelry and specifically engagement rings?
S.A.: It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment in time when this specific behavioral shift started to occur but given these more modern times we are living in, it is much more common than ever for couples to shop for an engagement ring together.
It has never been more common for couples to cohabitate and share financial responsibilities well before an engagement or marriage is proposed and because of this societal shift, the financial implications of this purchase are more apparent than ever before.
Prior to this shift, it was a huge faux pas to ask your significant other how much they spent on your ring. Things are much different now in that both parties are often involved in the purchase and conscious consumerism has taken the spotlight away from blind showmanship. Couples want to make smart financial decisions together, individuals want to know where their money is going, what and who their money is supporting, and most important where their products are made.
We’re seeing that 70 percent of Millennials are looking for a lab-grown diamond alternative and this trend is not going anywhere, it’s only expected to grow.
WWD: What does the future hold for Ring Come True?
S.A.: Very soon, we will be expanding Ring Come True with our new sister company, Classy. The company will be a true extension of Ring Come True in that it will apply the same mission-based attitude and principles as Ring Come True, toward everyday fine jewellery.
Moissanite and lab-grown diamonds are growing in popularity more and more each day and we want to be able to extend the joy they bring to others who are looking for other affordable and high-quality fine pieces of jewelry beyond just rings. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, the possibilities are endless. We plan to keep creating timeless pieces of sustainable jewelry.