Secrets shhh

A member of my family recently bought a piece of jewellery at a store called Secrets shhh, a new franchised retailer with stores all around Australia. The business offers cubic zirconium jewels (diamond simulants) in quality settings at a fraction of the cost of real diamond jewellery but I think they have a large marketing problem.

Although there are good savings to be made, it smacks of compromise at a time when people want to demonstrate a commitment. Most of us are stupid enough to believe that this means spending more than we can really afford.

A jewellery purchase is usually a symbol of love or commitment. These sorts of decisions are made in the limbic system of the brain. Rational decisions like saving money and notions of societal norms reside in the neocortex. For most people, a business proposition like the Secrets shhh one is going to cause cognitive dissonance. Equals purchase resistance.

It’s kind of the opposite to what you try to do in marketing. You want to align your business proposition with what the customers already believe. Then you try to inextricably link your brand name with the proposition.

Normal consumer purchase behaviour is to show off when you score a bargain. People are subconsciously seeking respect and relationship with others by offering someone what they perceive to be valuable information. “I have valuable knowledge. I am clever. I am willing to share my knowledge with you”.

Probably the best example of this in recent times is the eBay story. Initially some highly sought-after goods (mostly electronic goods) were sold very cheaply and “word-of-mouse” did the rest.

Word-of-mouth is critical. Secrets shhh do not have this working in their favour. An important component in word-of-mouth is making yourself look good. Few women will tell their friends about this store. If their husband funded the purchase they would make their husband look bad. If they funded it themselves they are proud of the bargain and they devalue their cleverness by making the bargain more common. Their closest friends may be told. Maybe.

After my relative and I discussed the purchase and the concept of the store I asked her if she would tell anyone about the store. “No,” she said. “No way.”

It’s an interesting case study. I think they’ve got it wrong. I don’t think that anymore, having read the comments. Thanks commenters for fascinating input.

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63 Comments

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  2. My thoughts are of confusion. I suppose I’m split in my decision due to past experience and my own beliefs.

    I see the value of ‘real’ diamond over cubic zirconium, but my own heartfelt ideas are that if something is well designed, well produced and looks beautiful – that is the point – the item isn’t imitation. We know that it isn’t a diamond; but we should consider whether it was ever meant to be a diamond.

    I would never have something so expensive advertising my wealth – that is to say – my other half walking around with a rock on her finger is one thing, but I have issues with this:

    a) You are asking someone to mug you;
    b) You are asking for a costly insurance policy;
    c) It is a symbol of your love and commitment – not how much you ‘love’ someone;
    d) Family and true ‘friends’ wouldn’t care if someone happened to have an imitation diamond on their finger instead of a real one;
    e) I’m from a traditional Northern English background..

    Where I live, we’re brought up that having things for show is waste. I suppose this way, we look on the capital (London) and its upper class residents as being strange – if we were given a lottery win in the North, I’d like to think that most people of modest means and background would not flitter it away on a few stones and holidays. They’d invest it in businesses or perhaps enable themselves a more comfortable life by paying off the mortgage for themselves and family.

    Perhaps where this would fall foul is when the young people (I’m only 23) enthralled by a culture of bling and extravagance would spend it all on a Ferrari and a bit of glass for their other half. Similarly, a wealthy person might – proportionally – see the diamond not as extravagance but a reasonable gift.

    If these stores opened in the UK, it would probably take off; maybe because the bling-hungry masses don’t know the difference when they see it on someone else’s finger and also if you’re a girl with a fake-rock and you tell your friends about the stone’s origin they’ll feel a hell of a lot closer? I’m not a fan of show – I’m a fan of design and elegance – there’s a difference. If the beauty is all in the price of the rock, we should all wear Pound notes and Visa cards?

    Maybe I’m way off on this, but there’s my ten-pence worth.

  3. I was intersted by Bret’s and Barry’s views and comments here. I generally agree with Bret’s view that zircons are a poor substitute for the fantastic physical strength, and for the traditional emotive force of diamonds in romance. I’m helping my pal British master jeweller Paul Hatton build his blog harddiamond.com, and have watched Paul work and deal with couples buying his jewellery for 8 years. Morally, I agree with Barry, that if you’re in love and engaged and you take your best girl to the jeweller to commission an engagement ring, she should say: “Barry, this is not about money, I know diamonds are expensive albeit traditional. Therefore, let’s get a nice gold ring with a zircon in it, and save the money you might have spent on our future”. BUT, in 8 years of watching couples come in, I’ve never seen anyone do that. Fiancees either want a diamond engagement ring (however small the diamond, they just want the cachet of saying it’s a diamond, and some have been Yorkshire girls); OR, they see the prices of diamonds, and decide to have a beautiful ring made with another semi-precious stone: maybe their birthstone to add to the thoughfulness of the gift.

    Of all the precious and semi-precious stones, the zircons have the least romance or talismanic associations for people. They don’t have the great reflective quality of diamonds however they are cut (even I can spot the difference). I also agree with Barry that designs are what matter too: it’s great watching people collaborate with a jeweller to get a ring made, with a stone or an arrangement of stones, or precious metals that mean something to them. It’s such a personal and memorable thing to bind them. And it does not have to cost a fortune (the mark-up in high street jewellery chain stores is incredible and the quality is not always great, as Ratner’s comments a while ago confirmed).
    So I agree with Bret that to have some set high street designs, that 58 others may be wearing in the same town, with what are viewed (rightly or wrongly) as poor man’s diamonds set in them, is no recipe for success. Also, I’d have to ask Paul Hatton, but certain settings, e.g. the ‘pressure set’ where no claws are used, might not be possible: this may only be possible with platinum and the hardest substance on earth, a diamond.
    Also, we must remember that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’, as that lyric still gets played. If things go belly-up romance-wise, a 2ct flawless white diamond is a good bit of collateral in a gal’s back pocket. When divorce settlements weren’t so equally weighted, in former days, those jewels were indeed a girl’s best friend….this feeling may still be around, who knows?

  4. Hi , I find all your comments very interesting, and all seem to be be from the male gender (apologies if they are not) I discovered Secrets in an Airlines magazine while flying overseas. A store has since open here and I have had a chance to not only see what secrets have to offer but learn more about how their rings are made. All rings are in 14ct Yellow Gold or white gold. Each ring and stone come with a lifetime guarantee. If that stones dulls or falls out it will be replaced at no charge. If the setting is loose it too will also be repaired at no charge. This is a LIFETIME GUARANTEE the rock will always sparkle exactly like that of a diamond. Diamonds are the hardest substance being 10. The stones in Secrets rings have a hardness of 8.5 there are fewer substances on earth harder. The simulant stones are grown in a laboratory & only the most perfect materials is selected for cutting.

    My husband the other day surprised me and took me ring shopping wanting to “update” my engagement/wedding set. THE one ring I tried and both loved was a 1 1/2 carat totalling to $10k. It come not with a lifetime guarantee at that price but only a 5 year guarantee (Providing I had not mistreated it that I believe are fighting words alone) As I stood in the store admiring what was on my hand and feeling like a queen the sales assistant said to me Don’t worry you will be safe wearing it no one would know the difference between that and a zirxonium. I was shocked & $10k to be confused with a fake. Of course that comment did not leave my mind the whole time. We left the store no ring on hand.

    As we walked past Secrets today I dragged my husband in and made him take the time to just look & compare. The girl showed us the exact styles we had previously been looking at (less the price tag), my husband was amazed, he could not believe that the rings had no difference in look. The sales girl was even able to convince him that a matching flat band of diamonds would make the piece even more impressive.

    Today I am admiring the plans for our home extension and a beautiful set of eternity rings. If I had my time again I know what engagement and wedding bands I would be wearing and how much easier the start of our mortgage would have been. Girls / Guys don’t be blinded by love of a price tag, because all I see on my fingers is LOVE.

  5. Hi, I have read all of the interesting comments above. I think it is a mistake to think that a Secrets shh ring would potentially replace a diamond engagement ring or key item that you acquire in a lifetime. However the benefit of being able to mix cubic zirconium diamonds with the real MCoy can not be underestimated.

    The benefits
    Insurance purposes, for those who’s jewellery is of significant value
    Updating old styles by adding a modern item
    Affordable alternative to the real thing
    To accessorise your bridesmaids etc….

    I would equate it to mixing and matching haute couture with ready to wear. We are in an era where this is perfectly acceptable and admired.

    And for all you traditionalists out there….live a little, go out buy an item in Secrets shh, have fun…who knows …you may even be even able to have a new item sooner than you think..and not have to worry about breaking the bank.

  6. It’s interesting to hear the differnt types of responses to the concept store… I hope i can bring a new perspective on this topic … I am a Jewellery Desginer and maker… and as such, am aware of the standard of Jewellery in Australia’s commercial market. Lets just say it isn’t too flash.

    Tis true traditionalists have a point in stating that a diamond can’t be replaced, but the notion of a diamond simulant taking over the role of a real diamond is acceptable in this age… not everyone finds fortune, though many dream of it… Secrets is an affordable substitute. The Jewellery that is offered at Secrets out wieghts many of the ‘Mac Donalds’ of the Commercial Jewellery industry and thier quality is set at a relatively high standard… only using 14ct white/yellow Gold and quality settings!

    And for me thats is where the line is drawn … quality of work and asthetics is always a major part in a Jeweller’s practice… And their garantee on thier stones is like no other, only more than happy to replace any stones if anything goes wrong under normal wear conditions …. But if you happen to like diamonds (real) and jewellery which comes with a price tag…which. . . there’s nothing wrong with that …then go out to Linneys or Rosendorffs and get one… it really comes down to personal choice!

    But as a Maker,quality and asthetics are my major concern and Secrets has a little bit of both!

  7. I bought a beautiful ring from secrets the other day. It is jut beautiful the weight of the ring and the quality is just like a real engagement ring!!!! I have not told any one that it is not a diamond as everyone thinks it real because we have been saving for a real diamond for the past year so not only do i have now $6,000 in our bank account to buy furniture for our new home i also have a stunning 1ct rock on my finger!!!! LUCKY ME…. I would not hesitate buying from them again……

  8. Totally agree my friend. Now!!! How can I convince my wife? Bought her real diamond on engagement, but now on our 10th anniversary she insists I go to Secrets. For which I tried in vain to bring myself to go in, but for me going inside this shop is the same as lying to myself and my partner (even though she doesn’t mind on this occasion.
    I sincerely believe that this shop appeals to a particular region of the female brain, which in turn makes them act on impulse on those “must have it today/now” moments.
    Women don’t realise but this is just another scam imposed on their female psyche, just like the diet fads that never work, now we have Zircon as Diamonds.
    Final Thought: Be happy with real love and sincerity than a momentaneous smile with fake stones and lies.

  9. Here’s a bit of food for thought – how about you and your significant other got for a Secrets ring and out the money into some real estate instead – sensible investments. As far as being asked if they are real? For those that have the real thing – anyone ever asked you if it is in fact real – didn’t think so.

    Youngsters just starting out in life could put that money to good use – that’s what we did.

  10. Very interesting this discussion. Where do those who comment about marketing find their information to support the many sweeping generalisations about “what women want”.
    My partner and I are early thirties, professional and have a combined income of 200k AUD. We both agreed to a Secrets ring without any hesitaion and I have never thought about it again. We both have mortgages and plan to buy more property and a ring just is not a priority nor ever will be.
    My Secrets ring is gorgoeus, everyone comments on it and noone knows it’s not real. I wouldn’t care if they did. Do women still really value themselves and their relationship by the amount spent on their ring? Goodness.
    I guess whatever works for you is the right answer but to those who say that Secrets has a marketing problem – I think you have a problem with your brandishing of your narrow perspective and presuming others will feel disappointed by simulated diamonds. Not true.

  11. I agree with you Jane. When is enough enough. There will always be someone with more money more diamonds and more ‘stuff’. You should have what you like because who decides if $100 or $100 000 is enough. In the end many everyday women sometimes just wear their wedding band. A ring is a symbol of a marriage or commitement not a measure.

  12. I wanted an eternity ring, told my partner that i didn’t care if it was zirc or real or what size, just as long as it was shiny & looked nice.
    I told him about Secrets & he took care of it from there.
    We have been together for 14 years- through long years of child maintenance & a mortgage from scratch. I don’t need a lot of money to be spent to know his commitment, but we girls do like a bit of bling & this fits the bill perfectly.

  13. I find I have the opposite problem! My partner is moving to where I live next year after he graduates from medical school. As we won’t have an excess of money for a couple of years, I’ve suggested that we go to secrets and pick out a ring from there, as I don’t believe in going into debt for an engagement ring – yet he is the one who doesn’t like the idea! His responce was ‘I’m only ever asking this question once in my life and I want you to have your dream ring..’. Here I was thinking I was being a modern helpful girlfriend! In the end we probably will go to secrets and then update with a real diamond years down the road.

  14. Yes I think the ‘we can always update later’ model is going to sell a lot of zirconiums. In most cases however, I think people will find other ways of spending that sort of money later. Why swap what you have for something that looks identical but costs a packet extra? The alternative is buying something you don’t currently have.

    The other argument for not upgrading is the terrifying fear of losing something so valuable. I have seen women looking for lost, highly valuable pieces of jewellery, it’s a very stressful and unpleasant experience for them.

    I am calling diamonds a SELL stock.

  15. This has been very interesting reading. It seems to me that there is more ego involved with the male point of view. Many men would not want people to know that their partner is walking around with a fake, especially something under 1 carat.

    However, some men & women are very secure in their relationship and truly don’t put unnecessary monetary value on finger decoration.

    I have a large wedding ring with a 2 carat sapphire and many diamonds around it. For our upcoming 18th anniversary, we have also recently commissioned a right hand ring from a world renowned jeweler that costs more than many cars. This is a piece that represents “past, present, future” and also our three children. The design is such that we can divide it amongst the three when I am no longer around. Yes, it is bling, a very expensive piece of bling. But I guarantee it will be one of the last pieces of “real bling” we purchase.

    That said, I do love Secrets. I have purchased pieces for my daughters and never hesitate to stop and window shop there. I am currently looking at a pair of earrings and bracelet they have.

    I think women like balance. Who said it all has to be real? Who said you have to make a lifetime comitment to every piece of jewelry? Variety is the spice of life. I have actually gotten more of a kick wearing my 3 carat “fake” then any real piece I have owned. And yes, when people ogle at it, I tell them it is not real, it’s just some of my “fun” jewelry.

    Women make of it what they want. Men can make of it what they want. Secrets has come up with the solution to balance those wants. It’s all individual. If you want a simulated piece for your wedding ring, great. If you want a “nature made” piece for your wedding ring, great. Secrets is the first I have seen that allow those choices.

  16. I would just like to try and put those people straight with what they think about simulated diamonds. They are NOT cz’s and they do come from the diamond family. There made from the hardness of 8.5 points in hardness. Which is only 1.5 points away from a natural piece. This is what i believe and have had confirmed from working as a secrets shh employee. So all you guys that think secrets is selling cz’s at a really expensive price get yourselfs down to your local store and check them out.
    THEY ARE REALLY GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY COME ON WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR A COUPLE OF HUNDRED POUNDS (THE NATURAL THING) X X X X X

  17. What people fail to realise when they purchase a real diamond,is that unless you are buying a diamond that is guarranteed to be conflict free,chances are your diamond has come from war torn sections in africa.entire villages and communities have been enslaved and slaughtered to be taken as slaves for diamond mining.Even small children are taken as slaves and all human rights are abused.so before you even consider buying the real thing,perhaps do alittle research first on diamond mining.

  18. What’s all the talk for??? Buy it if you want or don’t! But I know alot of people who have the “real thing” in a bank safety deposit box and never wear it! What a waste! PS Secrets will also clean your purchase for free, whenever you happen to wander past the store! Now that’s what I call service!

  19. Hi,

    I am so glad this page exists, the other day i was talking with my boyfriend “if” we get married which is awhile off , how much money would be acceptable for spending on the ring, to tell you the truth i wouldn’t feel ripped off if he got it from secrets because seriously as sublime said who seriously asks if your engagement ring is a real diamond !!! it’s not about how much he paid for your ring, once your married everything is equal so it’s not your partner just being cheap i think it’s a great idea as you can put your money towards so many better things, your engagement ring isn’t an investment either its a symbol of marriage i would wear it to my grave i wouldnt sell it. so if you don’t need to spend thousands why do it??

    If it has the same look and feel as a real diamond, as long as the gold band is genuine and doesn’t tarnish like a fake its the real thing to me i know how to keep a secret and i’m sure my boyfriend does too 🙂 I was looking on this page to see people who have made a secret purchase if it is exactly like a real thing, and i am going to go to the store tonight and check them all out i’m convinced!

    so thanks everyone for your input !!

  20. My engagement ring and wedding ring are both from this store.

    When my (then) fiance asked me to marry him, and asked me to go ring shopping, this was the only store on my list. I went and found the “perfect” ring, but then went to some jewellery stores as well, mainly to placate him as he was feeling guilty about only spending $800 on my e-ring and wedder set, even though it was my idea in the first place.

    To purchase anything even close to the attractiveness of my ring using a “real” diamond would have cost us $3,000 for the e-ring and $1,200 for the wedder. So now I have a gorgeous set, that is still just as much a symbol of our commitment to each other and everlasting love, and we have $3,400 that we wouldn’t have had if we’d gone the traditional diamond route.

    Honestly, I’ve told everyone. After they’ve admired the ring and ooh’ed and aah’ed over how much it “must have cost”. I make no secret of where it came from, and the main comment I receive is that it looks just as good as the real thing. Honestly, most people can’t tell the difference between a high quality and low quality diamond anyway, let alone a real diamond and a created one.

    Like mamamia and others mentioned, I have a lifetime warranty on my rings. If any stones fall out they replace them for free. Every time I walk past the shop I go in and get my rings cleaned – again for free. You can’t argue with that sort of service!

  21. myself and my fiance went into a secrets store yesterday and we have picked out a ring and i get it this week i already have a existing engagement ring but my other half wanted to upgrade! and may i say the service there was excellent and my ring is gorgeous 14ct white gold known as the “audrey hepburn” ring you cant even tell the difference a ring with real diamonds like that would have cost thousands!!

    p.s i dont understand some ppl that go on about how expensive your ring should be its the thought that counts!!!! not the $$$ spent on it! some ppl are still so materialistic in this world of ours!! (im only 22) but.. then again everyone is different!!

  22. Good on Kelly for pointing out the important issue when choosing between a man made or natural diamonds. Even if you try to do the right thing, the systems in place that say they guarantee diamonds are not ‘blood diamonds’ or ‘conflict diamonds’ have been found to be inadequate. Choose man made and sleep well at night knowing you are not supporting crimes against humanity.

  23. Hi everone,
    This page made for some very interesting reading!! I love Secrets and think that they are very good value for money. What some people may or may not know is that Secrets was originally set up by 2 men who worked in the jewellery industry.

    They set out to try and make jewellery attractive & affordable for everyone. They create these pieces of jewellery with just as much ‘attention to detail’ and passion as any ‘exquisite’ jeweller would with ‘real’ diamonds, and personally I think they have created a wonderful thing with their stores.

    I found my ‘perfect’ engagement / wedding ring at Secrets and I wouldn’t change them for the world. If people ask me, I will gladly tell them that they were bought from Secrets. I believe (as a previous reader mentioned) that the rings are not a symbol of your love, but they are a symbol of your committment to each other. Again, personally, I would rather save my money for something that is of ‘more value’ and ‘more useful’ to the both us, then go out and spend thousands of dollars on rings. But really, who goes around asking you if your ‘diamonds’ are real or not?? (Not many people).

    I love my rings from Sectrets and now I love my new kitchen that I am about to get as a result of not spending $10-$15K AUD on diamonds. I now have ‘the best of both worlds’ and I am able to ‘have my cake and eat it too’.

    At-the-end of the day it’s an individuals personal choice and I chose to use my hard earned money on more practical things than just rings on my finger. It’s perfect if you ask me!!

  24. I found this whole discussion very interesting. My boyfriend recently bought home the advertisement for this store, and suggested it as an alternative to spending thousands that we can’t afford on an engagement ring. I scoffed, and said “maybe some earrings or something for my birthday, but not an engagement ring!”

    I thought about why I had this attitude. Was it what other people thought? Partly. But also about me knowing that what I had on my finger was a real diamond, like I’d always dreamed of.

    But why? Because that’s what everyone else does. They buy a diamond for an engagement ring. Why do I need to be like everyone else? Does is matter whether the rock is a diamond or not? Either way, it’s a symbol of the fact that this man wants to marry me. Isn’t that the important thing? And if saving a few thousand dollars means that we can have a better life- perhaps a holiday with money left over to put towards the mortgage- then I’m all for it.

    Almost. Perhaps we’ll have to visit the store to try a few on and see what they’re really like.

  25. All this carry on about ‘real diamonds’ (secrets diamonds are real anyway, they are just man made) here is some food for thought. There is really an excess of diamonds that if released on to the market would reduce the cost dramatically, but they are being held back by big diamond companies to keep the price high. Do a google search on ‘Glitter and Greed – the secret world of the diamond empire’, and you will find eye opening reading.

  26. I got my Secrets ring last night!!!! I am so please with it, it sparkles like mad and is perfect. They made the ring from scratch to my perfect sizing and it has a guarantee that lasts forever! We spent just $450 and i can tell you what; I feel a whole lot better having a ring on my finger that didn’t cost thousands of dollars. I absolutely didn’t want a ‘real’ one….and we could afford it! I just couldn’t justify spending that much money, it also means i can put money towards my good friends sponsorship fund that she has set up for the people of Kibera:
    http:web.mac.com/ale_ray69/Jeck
    and i can tell you now they can certainly use a few thousand dollars, it goes a long way!!!
    plus after going to the Australian diamond company i couldn’t help but think that the secrets rings looked better, My partner and I have a commitment to each other that is strong and we don’t need an expensive ring to prove that!
    I guess the only qualm i have is the name of the company, they should change it, for such quality something like this shouldn’t be kept a secret, we should support our Australian companies and look after our pockets a little more.

  27. Actually, the Shhh Secrects diamonds are not cubic zirconias. They are lab created diamonds. They are created in a simulated enviroment and have the same properties as a real diamond. The only difference is that they’re not natural diamonds created in a natural enviroment. Cubic zirconias are different. Get your facts straight before you dish out negativity.

  28. Amber, if they’re lab-created diamonds, how is it they have a hardness of 8.5 instead of the 10 that diamonds have? (Info from the Secrets web site).

  29. Hello to Everyone and thanks so much for your helpful comments.

    My boyfriend and I have just decided to get married. A friend of mine who is doing her masters in sociology on diamond trading mentioned sssh secrets to us. After researching the dimond market extensively , she herself said that she would never buy or accept a diamond as a gift. According to her research, the entire industry has been carefully controlled and manipulated by a few large diamond companies.
    She brought up an interesting question of why diamonds are such a status symbol and a symbol of enternity. She would argue that it is only because they have been marketed to mean that to us.
    I am proud to say that I will be the second of my friends to have a lab created diamond as my engagment ring. I know my boyfriend loves me and am not buying the lie that we MUST buy a diamond to make out engagement legitamate.
    I would encourage any wise couple who are willing to think for themselves and not swallow everything advertising says, to buy a sssh secrets or lab produced diamond ring.

    PS As far as I know, cubic zirconias are the raw material in producing lab created diamonds.

  30. This has made for great reading! i find it all very interesting as i too have a Secrets e-ring and wedder set. when my husband and i got engaged we could only afford a very modest ring and my husband, as many do, promised that we would upgrade. well, a couple years later i stumbled upon Secrets and was truly amazed! i dragged my husband in there and snapped up a beautiful 1 carat solitaire ring and matching eternity ring that i also wear as a wedder. i am more than happy with my pieces, am always being told how beautiful they look and “what a lucky girl’ i am, noone has guessed that they are not real. as someone else pointed out, these are diamonds, they are just man made ones. i recently went back to my home town for a visit and all my old schoolfriends were green with envy over my rings with one commenting “you can tell its real by the way it sparkles” i let them think what they wanted. i think that Secrets are great value for money and just because my husband didnt spend something rediculous like $50k doesnt mean he’s not committed to me. for those who only think a real diamond ‘will do’, get a life please!

  31. For all you people out there that think that girls wont tell there friend about Secrets Shhh you are totally wrong. My best friend got her engagement ring from there and is going back to get her wedding band as well. She has told everyone and any one about this great store. And upon her recomandation me & my partner are taking the hour and a half drive to check this store out.
    I can vouch that if she didn’t tell me it wasn’t man made I wouldn’t know. Its actually better quality then a lot of the other rings I’ve been trying on lately for a fraction of the price.
    Times have change, with rising cost of houses and everyday living more and more people are looking to save a buck or two. I don’t know about anyone else but if my partner spent $20 000 on an engagement ring I would lose the plot. Thats a deposit for a house. I would also be so scared of losing it and would not want to wear it in public. this way he spends a fraction of the price and if I lose it I wont be so worried. Sure it will have alot of sentimental value but it wouldn’t feel like I’ve just lost the winning lottery ticket

  32. Hi Sharna,

    Thanks for the comment – the success of the business suggests you are right and I was wrong. I guess I had taken a male perspective on it. I’ve certainly learned a lot reading through what people have said. What I would still like to see is some positive story about the product rather than ‘saves money’.

    I actually think it says a lot about the brilliant ingenuity of humans in replicating something that nature takes a couple of billion years to form and push to the surface of the earth. It says something wonderful about science.

  33. Hi there,

    My partner and I decided to wed in private over our december holidays, and after i dragged him around to multiple jewellers, i remembered seeing a secrets catalogue whilst flying jetstar. I suggested we go and check them out, needless to say within 30mins of arriving at the store i was ordering my engagment and wedding band set. I think they are gorgeous, and there is room to get a matching eternity band for christmas next year 🙂
    I think a lot of the responses to this article have raised the most important point that its not what you spend, its how committed you are to one another. I know id prefer to have a simulated diamond and a loving partner than have a 20K ring and be dating someone who treated me poorly.
    If people ask me I will probably tell them it is not a “real” diamond, but considering my mother wed my father with an emerald ring, im sure no one will care 🙂

  34. Hi there
    I have been telling everybody about this great store and their beautiful “diamonds.” I took my sister and best friend in there too to show them. You can get the most amazing rock that looks no different from a real diamond for a fraction of the price. And as an engagement ring i’d be more than happy to wear one of their rings…BUT…i am really torn between a much more affordable ring from Secrets or the design i’ve fallen in love with worth around $5000. Its THE ring for me, so beautiful. If Secrets could make my design I would not hesitate. I am considering possibly buying a diamond earing from Secrets and using that diamond to get my ring made somewhere else. Has ayone ever done that? My boyfriend just wants me to be happy, so he’ll spend more money for the real diamond if I want, (its the DESIGN i love, not about the diamond) but we could definitely use that money on the wedding or honeymoon. I would appreciate any advice.

  35. I have a secrets ring that I purchased as my engagement ring I see it simply as a choice. I chose to have the best ring and enough left over to put a back deck on my house. As I sit on my back deck with the sun glinting on my extremley impressive engagement ring I know that I have chosen wisely

  36. Thats it! After much agonising over whether to part with a few thousand $$ for a diamond ring, I’ve decided to go for a Shh Secrets ring. Why should we put ourselves into debt just so we can spoil ourselves every now and then? I think the diamond industry is rich enough without me adding to their wealth!!

  37. For the past 6 months we have been looking and looking at engagement rings and i had made up my mind on purchasing from secrets as i could not justify spending all the money on a ring when we have a mortgage and are currently renovating, my partner did not agree with me on this and was adamant in purchasing a “real diamond” until we went to the secrets store and was explained exactly what it was and saw the beautiful rings now he is not interested in looking at “real diamonds” however i started to hesitate wondering if i would regret my decision as all the information i could find on secrets was from the secrets website (if anyone can recommend any other websites with further information it would be appreciated)…. until coming across this site i have realised i am not the only one being realistic in the purchase of an engagement ring and now am having no hesitations in purchasing my ring from secrets

  38. Today I am waiting for my ring to be delivered from secrets.Soo excited, Im going to go to the jewellery store today to see the difference side by side with their rings.My ring was $540.The one that is exactally the same at a high end jewellery store was $7000.mmm bit of a difference.Ill let you know how it looks!

  39. when my husand and i married 25 years ago we couldn’t afford a diamond ring and now people are saying you must spend at least 4/52 of a guys wage to buy a ring! what ever happened to true love, where you live through the good times and bad. who cares what your engagement ring cost, isn’t your future husband you love? or is it the new house and cars you lot have . by the way as a 25th anniversary present my hubby brought me a 3 carat engagenment ring………patience and you will get what you want

  40. I totally agree with you Maree.( Congratulations on 25 years)
    Thats why we went to this store,because even the wedding bands are more expensive elsewhere than at this store.
    My partner was happy to pay for the $7000 ring as we have paid off our house and have no other debts.(It didnt come easy,I worked 6-7 days a week and so did my partner)We changed our mind after seeing the beautiful rings at this store.
    I dont get into all the arguments of whether the stone is lab,cz etc.They have a great guarantee,are well made and my ring is fabulous.
    I did go into the high end jewellery store and my ring looks heaps better and more sparkly.mine is d colour,whereas I was looking at a ring that was a k colour.Big difference .After a bit of research i found out a D colour solitaire like mine would retail for between $18000 and $25000.So i am quite happy with my $570.The one we saw was $7000.(k colour)
    Im hoping no-one questions me,pretty rude if they did,but im thinking i might just be honest about it,Im not too worried .
    I am in absolutely love with my ring,thats all that matters isnt it?

  41. I have been with my partner for eight years now and have one gorgeous little boy together. I am currently training for a degree and my partner is training for the police. We would love to own our own house one day, travel and live a comfortable life…… why go and spend thousands on a ring that could be used towards our first home?
    We visited secrets in the weekend and I insist my partner buys my engagment ring from there, it will still mark his love and mean the same to me.
    Maybe later when we can afford it we will get real diamonds to replace but for the meantime I would be more than happy.

  42. Mmm, I read everyone’s comments on this site and suggested to my husband we go with Secret’s jewellery instead of the diamonds he had planned for Christmas 2008(needless to say he thought that was a great idea) but I am sorry to say my half carat diamond earrings (bezel set with a french clip closure) were so flimsy the catches both broke in a matter of weeks (one the first week, the other at four weeks) and they constantly slipped out of my ears.

    I also felt the ‘diamond’ in those wasn’t discernable from junk jewellery away from the smart lighting in the Secrets store and they lwere pretty unspectacular all up. I called the store about the fault and they asked me to bring them in and that they would “probably send them off to be repaired” which I wasn’t happy with, I felt for a $250 pair of earrings that were faulty at four weeks, a new set should have been offered straight off – it’s a big trip for us to get back to the city to bring these in only to be reparied, requiring another trip back to collect them. I emailed the head office too, considering the marketing hype about customer service, but have not received a reply.

    We purchased a pendant and chain at the same time which I was happier with even though it spent more time around the back of my neck than at the front because the gold framing the diamonds is beaten into shape rather than solid and it is a very lightweight arrangement. That broke yesterday (March 23), So not a piece of my Secret’s jewellery is wearable 3 months after purchase.

    Needless to say we no longer plan on buying a Secret’s ring, we’ll go for the real thing. If you are considering buying a piece of Secret’s jewellery, I urge you to have a look at other zirconium jewellery first and try it under the same lighting as Secret’s. You’ll not notice the difference plus you’ll find it priced appropriately. I feel the Secret’s pricing means you are paying for the marketing, packaging and store fit out, not higher quality fake jewellery!

  43. After reading the book blood diamonds, (about how a war-torn state in Africa where ppl are being mutilated for the search of diamonds) i am going to purchase my engagement ring from secrets.. I had no idea on how the diamonds were found and in what manner. Purchasing diamonds encourages the diamond trade thus encouraging mutilations in Sierra Lione, Africa.
    Who will know the difference between the real thing?? I’d rather wear something that was made in the lab, and have that xtra $ towards our house or honeymoon, Having your man give u a at least 10K ring these days is cliche..

  44. Yes, I don’t hold any romantic ideals about the way they’re mined and the effect the industry has on local people. I also think it’s a wonder about human ingenuity that we can synthesize almost anything nature creates, even something as rare and complex as diamonds…

  45. My friend brought a ring from Secrets and told me straight away, she was proud that she had found a 2ct ring for a steal at $600 and something dollars!!

    I have taken my fiance into the store as he wants to upgrade my original ring and i loved the idea. As previously stated they are stimulant diamonds which means they are man made, therefore not fake. So if anyone asks you the question \Is it real\ you can confidentally answer yes it is!

    I found my dream set engagement ring for $975 dollars, it is 14ct white gold with over 1ct diamond and it sparkles like any so called \real\ diamond! I have ordered it in and will have it in a few weeks, I cant wait.

    And yes this store appeals mostly generation Y and Z but these days with the economy the way it is, we dont have thousands to spend on a ring only to scatch it or lose it later on.
    Even if I wanted a \real\ diamond ring, I couldnt afford it because we are trying to build a house which I feel (and I think everyone will agree) is more important than an overpriced \statement of love\.

    Why waste needed money on exactly the same product with a higher price tag?

  46. I’m all in favour of stimulants; as long as you’re responsible about it. Thanks for stopping by Amanda 🙂

  47. @Administrator
    Secrets stones are made from Zirconium oxide, the same as a CZ, but in a process that prevents them from ever losing their sparkle or shine in the way that the old CZ would. They are not ‘lab diamonds’ as they do not contain carbon as a real diamond does. But at 8.5 in hardness they are harder than many gemstones. The service is excellant .

  48. I have a lot of Secrets Shhh jewellery, including rings, earrings and pendants. I am thrilled with my purchases, which have been bought over a 2 year period. I ALWAYS get lots of comments on my gorgeous rings and jewellery, and nobody would ever guess they are not “real” diamonds or stones (I also have “acquamarine” and “Ceylon sapphire” on rings). I have only ever had a problem with one ring, where a stone fell out, and it was exchanged for a different ring with a “safer” design, without any problems whatsoever. The only fault however is that I think some of their jewellery should sell for less. Even though they are 14k gold they still should not cost quite as much as they do. My engagement ring and some other jewellery are “real” diamonds as I was married over 30 years ago. But, I wish I hadn’t wasted money on “the real thing” before I found this store, as Secrets jewellery is a fraction of the price and looks as good, if not better, than real diamonds. I say “go for it” if you want stunning jewellery without the mega price. I also agree that buying natural diamonds is only encouraging the large diamond merchants and miners who do not care who or what they exploit to get their product. Buy a Secrets Shhh piece of jewellery and let your conscience rest easy!!!!

  49. @Janine Wilson

    are you really sure that noone can tell the difference? from what I have seen, the secrets stones look very “glassy” and I think many people would be able to tell they are not diamonds but may be too polite to say it to your face!

  50. I don’t think that’s the case Rebecca. I obviously have a Secrets ring (25th anniversary)and just found out last week that my niece does too (after seeing it for 3 years!) Our rings don’t look ‘glassy’ they sparkle like diamonds. Mine was examined by a jeweller who considers himself an expert at picking ‘fakes’, and his comment was along the lines of making sure I have damned good insurance because my 1.3ct central diamond is a beauty! As Secrets go, my ring was expensive at $900 AUD, but the design is amazing and is 2 rings tension set together with a channel of 7 smaller diamonds down one side. I have had it cleaned once in 2 years, and it still sparkles like new. Zircons tend to go cloudy/foggy after a while, like glass.
    And the 8.5 strength is still enough to accidently cut a wine glass when washing up!

  51. I have a Secrets ring and had it cleaned at a jewellery store because I couldn’t get down to Secrets and as I was leaving he very loudly said “you do know it’s a cubic zirconia don’t you?” Well luckily for my boyfriend who got it for, me I did know, but the whole store didn’t need to know!!!! Also it came with a lifetime guarantee to never discolour or lose its brilliance (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and this week I noticed some small scuffs and a huge scratch on my 1.5ct stone so I rushed to Secrets with my lifetime guarantee and was told that it only guarantees the brilliance inside the stone!!! Well what the hell is the use of that? My stone is not brilliant!!! It looks like a piece of glass with scratches all over it!!!
    But I was told that I could send my ring in to get the stone replaced for $40 yes that’s right $40!!!!!! So in conclusion my ring seems to be worth at most $55
    I would be only too glad to tell people to stay away from this store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. I was thinking about the real versus fake issue and remembered what a jeweller freind of mine who was also a opal miner told me . “If you think about how many diamonds are mined and worn by the women of the world in all their shapes and sizes especilly as symbols of commitment and everlasting love the sheer quantity does not make them rare at all and really they are as common as many other semi prescious stones, it is only the diamond cartels that keep the prices high. I had to have a diamond replaced in a real diamond ring a liitle while ago and the actually cost of the diamond (0.14K G S1) was onky $46.00 the actual cost of the labour was 63.95 so if I times the(the amount of stones in my ring) 18×46=$828.00 plus the gold which = $467 + making $450 final total $1745 the ring cost me $3250.00inc GST which makes a profit of at least $1180.00 to the jeweller. I guess what I am trying to say if you think about how much a real diamonds should really be worth and what it takes to bring them to us (the suffering of those in 3rd world countries) I have opted for the Secrets way this time around. I wont feel ripped off by the cartels and I know noone has died or suffered to bring it to me.

  53. I bought a pave band in July which I had resized smaller for free a process which took 4-6 weeks. The first day I wore it a stone fell out which is apparently not uncommon with this design if it is resized. The company took it back to fix it and apologised. Fixing the ring was supposed to take 4-6 weeks but at the end of this i got a call to say the Master jeweller was not happy with it and that he recommends a total remake which would take another 4-6 weeks. I was pretty dissappointed and said so. I was then offered a pair of diamond studs to ease the dissappointment. I gratefully accepted and they arrived the by post next day! 2 weeks later my ring was remade and I am delighted with it. At every point of contact the staff treated me politely and aknowledged the inconvenience to me that had come from the faulty ring. Very impressed despite the initial delay in wearing the ring. People comment that the ring is pretty. No one has asked if it is real.

  54. @karen
    These stones are definitely cubic zirconia – the hardness is a good charactertistic to look at – and CZ has a hardness of 8.5. If it was diamond it would have a hardness of 10.
    It is possible to make diamond in the lab – with the same chemical makeup as natural diamond – but I understand to make a gem quality diamond it is actually more expensive than a mined diamond – the diamond mining/marketing companies would be sure to control the price so they wouldn’t loose their market!
    I have recently been looking at diamond rings for engagement. Looked at a lot of diamonds, and then went into the Secrets shop. I was told that the stones were actually diamonds, and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t have the same fire as the diamonds I was looking at earlier. I put it down to my glasses I’d just bought. I felt a bit silly after doing a bit more research.
    If they were real diamonds made in a lab, I don’t think I’d have an issue buying and telling (I was looking with my finacee), but some of the details (ring design, quality of the cut) looked a bit cheap to me.

  55. I have several rings and ear rings from Secrets – have had some of them for over 7 years and they still look stunning. I have yet to have anyone tell the difference between the Secrets jewellery and the real thing – I wear a combination of both most of the time. I love their products – and could never afford the equivalent in the ‘real’ thing. Every chance I get I show off my jewellery and people comment on them all the time.

  56. i’ve had a very different experience to those mentioned above, although I suppose a lot depends on the person who serves you on the day. I’ve bought 4 Secrets peices over the years – two rings, a pendant and a tennis bracelet and they have never lost a stone or been damaged, although like all jewellery I treat it with respect. The store I we got them from always cleans them for free and they didn’t say they were diamonds, I was told they are made in a lab using ‘zircononium’ -?? There’s lot of info on the website about how they are made. At first I kept mine a secret, but after a few months of getting so many compliments (especially friends who would say ‘I wish my husband would buy me diamonds like yours’) that I decided I was being fake by caring whether people knew or not, and so I started to tell people, and now many of my friends now shop there too. I reckon we should be loud and proud about it….at least we know no poor African communities have been destroyed in mining them, and we can have 10 rings for the price it would cost to buy one diamond ring! That’s something to sing about in my books!!!!! I don’t care if it was made in the ground or a lab, as long as they look good!

  57. I have had such pleasure from my pave ring (see entry Dec 20) however on anzac day this year I lost a stone from it. I’d like to have it repaired but fear that it will just keep happening. Alot of prople commented on my ring and I love having it. Admitted it was fake if people admired it,and I didn’t wear the ring all the time. Feel sad it lost a stone. Anybody got any advice re a safe design to buy.

  58. Sorry to hear! Sounds like you’ve had two losses. Maybe best to go back to the store; they’ll probably be sympathetic. Incidentally, I don’t think of the zirconiums as ‘fakes’. They’re an example of human engineering brilliance.

  59. I would like to comment on a ring I received for Christmas 2013.It was advertised as a sterling silver but after only wearing it for 2 weeks it started to tarnish and has black scratch marks all over the under side of the ring.My husband paid $280 which is not overly cheap for a sterling silver.When it came in the mail it came with a information card.But on the card they describe there sterling silver as Platinum on silver plating.Sooooo I think we have been ripped!!!!.I do have another ring and a pair of earings in gold which are beautifull.But not happy Jan about S/Silver ring

  60. I used to work for them and i can tell you their product is cheap and nasty. The stones wont last and they are a rip off. Dont waste your money

  61. I have had one of their diamond rings for at least 5 years, I love it, and have had many many comments on it and alot of them from Jewellers, last year the stone came out, and I took it back to get it replaced they were brilliant, took a couple of weeks but hardly cost anything. I am presently thinking of buy my bridal rings from them as I would rather spend the difference on having a great life while still having a beautiful rings for many years to come. But it is such a minor part of a marriage really and I am sure alot of couples would be better spending thousands of dollars on counselling before they got married rather than on a shiny diamond ring, and then maybe more marriages would last longer than 5 years.

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