I’m very much in love with my girlfriend here at school. As graduation approaches, I’m starting to think about making a forever decision. I think we’re on the same page on a lot of this – and on pretty much all of the really important stuff. But there’s one thing that’s at least a little important that has me confused and a little bit worried. I’m talking about engagement rings and diamonds. What’s the rule for spending on engagement rings? I’ve heard about calculations based on months of income, but I don’t have an income right now. And does an engagement ring have to have a diamond?
When it comes to an engagement, the important thing is that you and your intended are on the same page with the “important things” you mentioned. Values, commitment, and your plans for life’s biggest moments and decisions are what really matter. Marriage is a legal and (sometimes) religious matter, and when it comes to traditions and etiquette, it’s important to remember that the “rules” are really more like guidelines. If you and your girlfriend decide to tie the knot, then it’s up to you guys whether or not you care about traditions like engagement rings (and their prices and diamonds).
Since you’re interested, though, let’s talk engagement rings!
Engagement rings have been around for a long time: they have their roots in an ancient Roman custom. And it’s certainly true that, in the Western world, diamonds are a staple of engagement ring designs.
But from that basic description, we can go in a lot of different directions. Prices and styles vary wildly, say the diamond buyers at Luxury Buyers, with supremely luxurious brands like Tiffany & Co. and Cartier sitting at the top.
But you can find engagement rings at every budget, professionals who specialize in designing engagement rings in Brisbane reassure us. And you don’t need to give too much credence to those variations on the “three months’ salary” rule – that rule was invented by some folks at De Beers who really wanted you to spend big on engagement rings and is interpreted loosely – when it’s not ignored entirely – by modern buyers.
So what should you do, and what should you actually spend? As unhelpful as it sounds, the reality is that you can decide these things for yourself. If you’re short on cash, perhaps you have a relative who can pass down a ring, or another piece of diamond jewelry that can be used to create a more affordable ring. Or maybe your girlfriend would appreciate a ring with a less valuable gem in it, such as her birthstone. And there are lots of other ways to save on engagement rings besides just these mentioned here!
If you do decide on a diamond, make sure it’s a conflict-free diamond, rather than what’s known as a blood diamond. You can do this by asking for proof of where the diamond came from and make sure it’s not from a country with a bad history of human rights abuses, such as Angola or Zimbabwe. On the other hand, diamonds from countries such as Canada or that have been created in lab are pretty safe bets as far as ethical diamonds go.
To get a sense of what your girlfriend is hoping for, you could speak to her friends. Or, if you have this type of relationship, you could speak to your girlfriend about the issue directly. It’s not unusual for modern couples to go ring shopping together!
In the end, of course, all that really matters is that you make the right decision about your engagement. Making the right decision about your engagement ring is a lot less important, however stressful it may be! Hopefully our explanations have made things a little bit easier.
“It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.” – Dolly Parton