Dear Dr. Boli: I was looking at some jewelry because I’m thinking of proposing to my girlfriend, although don’t tell her that because I’m still weighing my options here, but I noticed that this jewelry was really cheap, and that made me suspicious. So I asked the guy who was selling it down on the corner of Penn and 19th in the Strip, and he said it was cheap because this jewelry was made of paste. What kind of paste do they make jewelry from? That’s what I want to know. —Sincerely, Cheapskate Might-Be Fiancé.

Dear Sir: Different types of paste are used to produce different types of stones: tomato for rubies, library for pearls, tooth for diamonds, and so on. Naturally, jewelry so produced is not as durable as that produced from minerals dug up out of the earth or yanked from an understandably irritated oyster, but it is an option for the gentleman on a budget. Dr. Boli would add the caveat, however, that, while budget-priced jewelry may purchase you a budget-priced fiancée, better quality may be more economical in the long run.