The big question that faces many couples is how much to spend on the engagement ring and what type of engagement ring to purchase. I love a nice engagement ring but I can not understand people who pay huge sums of money for them. They say a good rule of thumb is to spend two months of your salary on an engagement ring. So if you earn $5,000 a month you need to spend $10,000 on a ring. I think that is an extreme amount and you should have a serious chat with your partner before spending that crazy amount. That money could be spent on something far more useful in your life so don’t go throwing it away. With that in mind, when you do decide your budget, you must now choose what path to go down. Read on to find out more.
The classic diamond
Most people are now aware that the idea of an engagement ring was actually invented by a diamond company. There wasn’t enough demand in the market so they created their own. It is a clever marketing move and we have been falling for it ever since. This has led to the classic diamond ring becoming the staple choice for most brides to be. In recent years though many brides have chosen not to wear a diamond.
The term conflict diamond refers to a diamond that was mined in an area of conflict, most often in Africa. These diamonds are basically causing different factions of a country to go to war with each other over who owns the mine and the fortune that lies beneath. This has led to incredibly high numbers of child soldiers in warring nations and it is disgusting to think of the death and destruction that takes place in one country so that people on the other side of the world can wear something shiny on their finger. This doesn’t make sense.
The only way to stop this conflict from happening is to take the value out of the market. If diamond rings are no longer in high demand then the value will have to drop. The price of diamond rings is allegedly due to the scarcity of this beautiful raw material. However, that scarcity is also false. Diamond companies simply hold back large numbers of diamonds to create a supply shortage in the market. It is basically criminal behavior.
The fake diamond
There are alternatives in place. You could still get a real diamond that is conflict-free. However, you must work very hard to ensure that it is truly conflict-free and not simply mined in one country and smuggled to another to earn its conflict-free stamp. You should also check the history of what company you are purchasing from as supporting a company that once dealt in conflict diamonds doesn’t sound great to me either.
You could purchase a fake diamond. This looks the exact same as a real diamond, is cheaper, and comes with a clear conscience. However, guys if you are reading this, be careful. These are not so accepted in the market yet and you may be called cheap if you offer your girl one of these.
There are other stones that are accepted in the market (because they are very expensive) and appear to be conflict-free (although you should do your research). The blue sapphire is the most popular as it is favored by Kate Middleton and many other famous brides. It is a beautiful stone with a timeless color that looks quite sophisticated on any finger. It symbolizes honesty and loyalty, two great things to bring to a marriage.
Apart from the blue, you could choose emerald symbolizing happiness, red symbolizing love, and passion, yellow symbolizing friendship, pink symbolizing creativity, or blue topaz symbolizing a strong bond. Whatever you choose it is best to have a frank and honest discussion about what you want and to work out if you can afford it together.