Thursday, September 11, 2008

my engagement ring

Engagement ring

This is my engagement ring. It belonged to my maternal grandmother, and was made around 1930. It has one diamond and several diamantes in the setting. I am surprised to find myself with a diamond ring on my finger, because I've never been interested in diamonds. When Robert started hinting that he wanted some help finding a ring, I looked around a lot, but nothing seemed right. I asked my mum if she had any old family rings, and when she showed me this one, I immediately knew it was the right one for me. Robert paid for it to be resized and fixed (there was a microscopic break in the setting) by a lovely local jeweller and the entire thing cost $60.

Buying a diamond ring new from a jewellery store is an incredibly wasteful way to spend money. Most large jewellers don't make their own stock: they travel around the world picking up cheap stock and then come back to their stores and sell it an outrageously inflated prices (often more than 300%). Once it has been sold once, it is instantly worth much less. If you really want a diamond ring, consider buying second-hand, from a reputable pawn shop or antique dealer. You might also want to consider the source of the diamonds you're buying, and whether they've been ethically mined. Buying second-hand means that you are not adding to the environmental cost of mining, as well.

There are also lab-made diamonds which are indistinguishable from mined ones. These are much, much cheaper, and for that reason have a stigma attached to them. The stigma attached to lab-made diamonds, like the status accorded to diamonds in the first place, is based on price and conspicuous consumption, not use-value.

But there's no law that states that you must have a diamond engagement ring. You can find some really beautiful rings on Etsy, with beautiful stones and interesting designs. Best of all, you're buying directly from the creator.

How about a unakite stone, like the ring above (from TreAnelli)? Or garnet? Or moonstone?

Or you might decide not to have both an engagement and a wedding ring, but one ring which serves for both. You might not even want a stone in your ring, but it doesn't have to be boring.

This lovebirds ring from Shere Design is so adorable!

If this baby octopus ring (from the incredible VeraMeat) had been available when I was looking around for rings, this could very well have been The One. I LOVE this!

This is a ring that you'll be wearing for the rest of our life, so of course you want it to be the right one. But beautiful doesn't have to mean expensive, and expensive definitely doesn't always mean beautiful. Ignore what's expected of you and find something that you love.


Suzanne said...

not to mention the fact that I haven't seen a brand new engagement ring yet that hasn't been hideous.

Theres some beautiful places in Subiaco who specialize in antique jewelry - the downside being in the olden days ladies had tiny dainty hands and you'll have to get the thing resized. And even better, theres lots in silver, which I love because i hate the look of gold jewelry. And all this information is by the by, because you already have a very lovely, elegant ring. good work, grandma!

Engaged & Enraged said...

first of all - i totally agree - i feel SO lucky that i got a family ring too!! yours is beautiful! my fiance proposed with his grandmother's ring with a pear shaped diamond which is so different looking. and second - holy moly - I LOVE THAT OCTOPUS RING! must have!!

Alice said...

those rings are all so cuute !!

Bridget said...

Your diamond engagement ring is absolutely beautiful. The fact that it was made around 1930 and hasn’t lost any of its perfection just shows how the beauty and symbolism of diamonds transcend time. I hope that you are able to pass this ring to the next generation as what previous generations have done for you!

-- Bridget Rossi