Ladies, a ring is a symbol of your love and commitment. It’s not an exact replica. A big rock does not mean he loves you more, neither is it physical proof of how valuable you are in this world. If you’ve chosen to marry the man you love rather than a balding billionaire, you may have to compromise a little in the one carat diamond stakes.
Best starting point is to dare to be different. If you insist on a platinum ring with a single solitaire diamond (brilliant cut, natch) and then a matching platinum wedding band, the Wedding Industrial Complex will make you pay big time. Diamonds are not the only stone; platinum is not the only metal.
Here’s some less eye-wateringly expensive, alternative ring choices:
1. Don’t wear one. My mother never wore one, and has managed being married for 34 years and counting. Indeed when I was a child, she once told me rings were symbols of slavery (she’s since denied this).
2. Yellow gold is very fashion forward. For some it’s the metal of grannies and gypsies, but it’s half the price of platinum, hardwearing and is making a come-back in the fashion world.
3. White gold. This is basically gold with a coating. You may need to get it re-coated at points, but it’s still cheaper than platinum.
4. Titanium. If you’re an active woman, or star frequently as one of the rollerblading, sports-loving extras in tampax adverts, you may want an unbreakable, unscratchable, lightweight, titanium ring. It also happens to be easy on the credit card.
5. Go vintage. Portobello Market in London has a series of antique jewellery stalls which have hand-cut Victorian diamonds bigger than your iris for much less than a new diamond.
5. Use your engagement ring as a wedding ring as well. The ground will not open up and swallow you up if you have just one wedding band not two.
6. Try semi-precious stones. See my earlier post on this.
8. Embrace flaws. A slightly yellow diamond or one with a tiny flaw goes down in the gemology ratings. If you want a big rock, just get a flawed one. No one will know, unless you’re in a habit of whipping out your gemology certificate and pointing at the clarity rating your stone has. Anyway, slightly coloured diamonds have more character.