Whether we like to admit it or not, the current trend for “bigger is better”, particularly when it refers to the diamond engagement rings worn by celebrities, is having an impact on what we are buying.
According to Celeste Ohrens, from New York Diamond Traders, “In the six months following J.Lo’s engagement to Ben Affleck, we sold more pink diamonds than we’d sold in the previous six years!”
And despite the fact that THAT engagement ring has been replaced with another equally stunning jewel, copies of J.Lo’s six-carat pink diamond are still selling well at many Internet jewelers.
When Marilyn Monroe breathlessly purred “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” (as if we didn’t already know!), I have no doubt women everywhere secretly coveted the baubles Ms Monroe wore, but such flamboyant displays of excess would have offended the sensibilities of any self-respecting 1950s homemaker.
Not so nowadays. We’ve come to expect the ultimate in quality and quantity, and if that equates to wearing a 3-carat diamond ring similar to that worn by our favorite celebrity, more power to us!
Whether celebrities are seen as the arbiters or slaves to all that is considered stylish, the engagement rings gracing the left hand of such stars as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Madonna and Ashley Judd attest to the fact that their choice of ring design is influencing (or is influenced by) current trends.
Jewelers like David Feinstein from Feinstein & Co, Boston, say “The hottest look in engagement rings at the moment is the revival of antique cut diamonds and we are trying desperately to meet demand”, making Catherine Zeta-Jones’s antique-style 10-carat marquise-cut diamond ring, Madonna’s 3-stone Edwardian-style ring and Ashley Judd’s antique pave-set diamond ring hot favorites when it comes to replication.
The size of the diamond is also influencing current styles, and according to the Diamond Information Center, the traditional one carat solitaire diamond engagement ring has now grown to three and four carats.
One only had to witness the jaw dropping display of jewels at this year’s Oscars – some $40 million worth – to reinforce the notion that in the minds of most celebrities “bigger is better”. Never mind that their cherished booty had to be returned to the vaults from whence they came next morning.
But our ever-increasing fascination with all things “bling” begs the question “What about the poor sucker who has to PAY for this excess?” The traditional measurement for any would-be suitor to determine how much he should be willing to part with for the engagement ring was arbitrarily set at three months’s salary, which is fine if he’s earning a healthy six-figure salary. But try telling Joe Schmo, whose monthly budget doesn’t extend much beyond the local Thai take-out, that he’s up for what could be many thousands of dollars, and you’ll see his face (not to mention his wallet) crumble.
Which brings me to my final point. The value of your engagement ring is not simply measured in monetary terms. nor is it measured by whether your best friend’s diamond is bigger, or whiter, or more extravagant. And it’s certainly not measured by whether it looks just like J.Lo’s most recent accessory (and I mean the ring, not the husband!)
Your engagement ring is a measure of the value of your relationship and what it means to both of you, now and in the future. It’s a symbol of all that the two of you share, whether you’re wearing a 2-carat rock or a dime-store copy.
Just remember, your local jeweler is probably a whiz at re-modelling, so you can always upgrade later!