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Choosing Between Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds | Interview with Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry | Wedding Secrets Unveiled! Podcast

If you’ve been following our podcast for awhile, then you’ll know that Janina from Baxter’s Jewelry in Warwick, RI is BACK for a second episode! We’re so happy to welcome her back to the Wedding Secrets Unveiled! Podcast to talk about lab grown diamonds, what to consider when you’re looking at jewelry, and Bridal Month at their shop. On her first episode, we talked about all things diamond, so make sure you take a listen to that here and then join us for her new episode! 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

Meet Janina.

My family owns Baxter’s Fine Jewelry in Warwick, RI! I’m the third generation helping to run the business. My dad owns it now but my grandfather started the business in 1960. They started making different gold hoops, parts and it expanded into a full warehouse. As manufacturing went overseas, my father Paul became the owner of the business and we moved into the retail business. So now, we sell jewelry like engagement rings, wedding bands, watches, and so much more. Our motto has always been “If you can dream it, we can make it.” We love serving Rhode Island when it comes to jewelry! Honestly, we take so many designs from start to finish and we’re able to serve some amazing people because of it. 

So, let’s jump in. Tell us about what “lab grown diamonds” are! 

It’s a very interesting concept that’s kind of new to the market. But, honestly, it’s just confusing for consumers because they want to know if it’s a real diamond. Experts will say yes, hesitantly, because it tests, acts, and looks like a diamond. But it was not grown or created like a natural diamond. Your natural diamond is mined from the earth and takes years to grow and mine. But, a lab grown diamond has similar properties but is not grown the same way. They mimic the environment but the growth process is accelerated. 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

If you show someone a natural diamond and lab grown diamond, they wouldn’t be able to tell them apart?

Correct! I actually just made a three stone ring for someone with lab grown diamond in the center and her genuine diamonds on the side. And it would you would never know.

Amazing. Well, then why doesn’t everybody just go out and get lab grown diamonds?

It’s a good question. So there is a huge incentive to buy lab grown diamonds, because they look the same and they cost a lot less, which we’ll talk more about. But people want  the rarity factor  – so something so special, like a diamond that is going to symbolize your love and a special gift. This stone took millions of years to grow in the ground and it’s one of a kind. 

Now, a lab grown diamond will give you a bigger look for the same amount of money. However, long term your value is very different. If you go to trade in a genuine diamond later, you won’t exactly get what you paid for it. But you’ll get something for it. Lab grown diamonds do not hold their value. You can make as many as you want, so there’s just no rarity factor coming into play. But, if you’re looking for a better bang for your buck, lab grown is the way to go. 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

I know you said if you put them side by side, they look the same. But out of curiosity, how does the sparkle hold up?

It’s the same! If you’re looking for another option outside of diamonds, people are using Moissanite. They’re not diamonds, but they’re an imitation stone and have a very rainbow effect to them. They don’t look the same or clean the same. So don’t get confused and think that’s a lab grown diamond, because it’s not. A lab grown diamond will still have the same physical properties of a diamond, so it will still sparkle and look the same! 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

People talk about the ethics of a lab grown diamond. Can you tell us about that?

Yeah, so when people talk about lab grown diamonds, we hear about the ethics a lot. Many people think lab grown diamonds are a better option because in their mind, they think of the old type mines that were setup for diamonds. But, these days, the plans and protocols in places for mines are so much better. There’s reforestation plans, there’s a plan for the animals being dislocated, there’s a closure plan, and so much more. Lab grown diamonds certainly do help the environment but, as far as the ethics, it’s not really better or worse. Just different. 

Is there anything else our listeners should know about lab grown diamonds?

I would just say that if you’re confused about lab grown diamonds, go to a jeweler you trust. We’re more than happy to help you navigate all of the ins and outs of genuine vs. lab grown diamonds. And I would say that if you want a bigger stone, and that budget is not there, which is completely fine, lab grown diamonds are the way to go. 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

We’re switching gears now! Can you talk about what’s going on this month for local couples at Baxter’s Jewelry?

Of course! A few years ago, we started doing what we call “Bridal  Month.”. It’s a month all about wedding bands! So for couples who are newly engaged and planning their wedding day, we have a promotion running for wedding bands. So come get what you need for a great price! 

What kind of deals are we seeing this month? 

For the entire month, you can receive 10% off all wedding bands and then 15% off all custom bands. It’s all March long, so come take a look! 

Throughout the month, we also have different vendors bring in their lines of jewelry. They bring additional bands we don’t carry in store, so it’s a great time to find something unique to your wedding day! 

We also have raffles throughout the month too. I think most people like those the best!

Tell us about the raffles! 

We raffle wedding vendors, like hair and makeup, food, dresses, and tuxedos because we’re partnering with a lot of local vendors around the area. It gives them some great exposure and helps our couples find who they need, too! On March 31st, we’ll announce our winners for all of the month’s raffles. 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

We’ve been to your bridal month before! You have tons of fun stuff going on beyond the discounts, trunk show, and raffles. Can you tell us about some of it all?

Sure! This year, we have a candy bar which is super fun. They’re becoming popular at weddings and we thought it would be neat to do. We also have a fun photo wall and a surprise gift purchase – you’ll have to come see what it is! No appointments needed, just come in sometime this month! 

Wrap-Up Question

What should couples be considering when they decide if they want lab grown or genuine diamonds?

Size and budget is the first thing! Figuring out what your budget is and what size diamond you want will determine which kind to go with.

Long-term value. If you plan to upgrade every few years, consider a genuine diamond because they’ll retain some value. 

Look at the difference. Come into a shop and compare diamonds so you can see if you notice anything that is different between the two! 

Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds: How to Choose for Your Jewelry, tips from Janina Messerlian of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry

Links Mentioned in the Episode

You can find Baxter’s Jewelry: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Visit Baxter’s Jewelry at 200 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick RI 

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