$275 engagement ring hack revealed
ENGAGEMENT rings don't come cheap - unless you follow the "pro tip" shared online recently by a former jewellery store worker.
The unnamed Tumblr user, who explained they once worked at North American jewellery chain Jared, said there was an easy way of scoring a rock for a fraction of the price of the real thing.
And the best part is, almost no one will be able to tell you've done it on the cheap.
The secret? Replace an expensive diamond with a lab-grown white sapphire.
"Pro tip from a former Jared's salesperson: You want a sparkly white rock that will look like a diamond to the untrained eye and will literally cost the price of a nice dinner for two? Created white sapphire," the post begins.
"They're lab grown and cost pennies to make, so you can get a one or two carat white sapphire for like … $US30-80 ($A40-110) probably.
"You can get one as huge as you like, perfectly clear, perfectly flawless. And no one will ever be able to tell the difference except a professional appraiser."
The poster continue, claiming lab-grown sapphires were the second-hardest gemstone after diamonds, meaning they are "very durable" and unlikely to chip or crack.
They explained a created sapphire set in a sterling silver band should cost less than $US200 ($S275), unless you want a "fancy band with a lot of extra stones".
"Of course, created sapphires come in every colour of the rainbow, so if you want something more exciting than plain white, you TOTALLY CAN," the post continued.
"Created sapphires and silver: The poor Millennial's engagement ring."
According to the New Daily, the average cost of an engagement ring in 2017 was $6143.
But despite that staggering figure, in recent years diamond sales have been on the decline - even prompting the Economist to ask in a June 2016 viral tweet "Why aren't millennials buying diamonds?"
The publication claimed Gen Ys were opting to "shun the taint of conflict and exploitation" associated with so-called "blood diamonds" taken from developing countries.
And while big jewellery houses such as De Beers and Tiffanys have claimed diamond sales have been consistently dropping in recent years, lab-grown diamond sales have been growing.
In May this year, CNBC spoke with Amish Shah, the president of synthetic diamond producer ALTR Created Diamonds, who said lab grown diamonds could become a $1 billion industry by 2020.
Synthetic diamonds are almost identical to those formed naturally, but are man-made in labs, meaning the environmental and human impact of mining them is slashed.
They also cost a fraction of the price of "real" diamonds.