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When Hubby proposed (back when the earth was cooling and dinosaurs no longer roamed the earth), he didn’t have a ring…He was a poor graduate student…and I didn’t care!

We picked out 2 rings together…one at a jewellery store – it cost the equivalent of 1-2 months rent. The other one was at the kind of store with one clerk behind the counter, and tables with catalogues. You give the clerk your item number and she disappears into a black hole for a long time, finally returning with the little cardboard box. After we picked out rings, Hubby took me home and returned to buy the one that he wanted to buy me. I made him get down on one knee and propose again when he gave it to me. It was 2 weeks before the wedding and my ring cost a whopping $200!

When exactly did the phrase “go big or go home” apply to an engagement ring, rather than “this is a symbol of my undying love”? Like most girls, I wouldn’t have minded if more money had been spent on my engagement ring, but reading that the average sale is between $7,000-8,000 is absurd! Why would I want to wear around a ring that cost the equivalent of a reasonable down-payment on a car? Jennifer Anniston is now sporting an 8-carat emerald cut solitaire diamond that cost as much as $500,000. Angelina Jolie’s ring is 16 carats! Do you have any idea how much that ring would interfere with playing the piano and video games? I’d irreparably scratch my Guitar Hero controllers!

For those who are still in the market and want the oversized look without the inflated price, go for the new trend of multiple diamonds. Try the Embrazo ring with 4-9 princess-cut diamonds arranged in a square to look like one diamond. Or what about the Passionate Heart ring with 2 diamonds surrounding by two rings of small diamonds. Better yet, purchase a ring with coloured stones – because they are more affordable, you can upsize the carats.

Personally, if the size of the ring or the designer tag on the wedding dress is of the utmost importance, then perhaps your priorities are in the wrong place. It’s not that I’m against “bling” – I wouldn’t mind sporting something sparkly from time to time – but I wouldn’t trade it for the ring I’m sporting now. The band is plain yellow gold with scroll-work cut into its sides. The 4 diamond chips are so small that the settings they are in sparkle more…and instead of diamonds or other precious gems, my ring has 4 garnets. Hubby scraped his pennies together to buy it for me – and that’s how I know he loves me. Most brides would find it engagingly absurd, but for me, it’s perfect!

References: Keeping Up with the Annistons by Rosemary Counter, McLean’s Magazine

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