Tag Archive: engagement rings

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Time Thinking About Diamonds

blue diamond

A couple of years ago, Ira Weissman, one of the veterans in the diamond industry seriously stirred the waters when he published his article “7 Reasons Why Diamonds Are A Waste Of Money” for Huffington Post. Quickly, a debate started and there were various experts defending the diamond industry, but also plenty others who agreed with Weissman’s ideas.

Although he wasn’t the first one to state this idea, his piece really started somewhat of a mini-revolution among Internet users and the article has become the main motivation for many young couples not to splurge for a diamond engagement ring.

Fact is diamonds are part of our life, whether we like it or not, because these precious gemstones were used for decorative purposes since ancient times. Early references to diamonds come from India in Sanskrit texts. Due to their qualities and because they were rare gemstones, diamonds quickly became a trade item in many cultures. However, diamonds are not meant to symbolize only the social status or wealth. They are symbols of love, purity, power, strength and beauty. Diamonds are rare, beautiful, can’t be easily cut and are impervious to fire, so it’s no wonder ancient Greeks thought they were tears of Gods fallen on earth and ancient Romans believed diamonds were splinters of fallen stars. As a matter of fact, the Romans far not that far away in their assumption, as a recently discovered white dwarf star is made entirely out of diamond.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and let’s get back to Weissman’s article and answer the stringent question: “Are diamonds really a waste of money?”

First, Weissman states diamond engagement rings are just a marketing product of the 20th century. That’s only partially true, because that’s when they became more popular, but engagement rings were not that uncommon starting with the Industrial Revolution, when diamonds began to be sold even by department stores because new diamond mines were found, and they weren’t reserved only for the upper class and those who were wealthy enough to afford them. Noblemen and royals used to offer diamond rings as gifts for centuries. The first diamond engagement ring in the history, is the one received by Mary of Burgundy in 1477. So no, it’s not a new tradition made by marketing agencies, it’s just that diamond rings were not that popular before De Beers and their ad campaign. It’s the same as Santa Claus. Just because Coca-Cola put an old man in a red suit, it doesn’t mean people didn’t have this tradition under different names and meanings for each culture.

Another idea stated in the article is that diamonds are not a real investment because you can’t sell them for exactly the same price. Yes, that may be true if you want to sell your diamonds after a couple of years, but diamonds, and jewelry in particular is always going to be valuable and that’s why jewelry is inherited by children, grandchildren or other family members. So if you were to inherit your grandmother’s diamond ring, you could keep is as a cherished memory or you could sell it for a good amount of money and use it however you want. So no, you don’t get rich by buying and selling diamonds, but the gemstones are still worth a lot of money if you were to sell them.

Spotting fake diamonds is tricky, and yes, many online dealers and even brick and mortar dealers are trying to scam their customers, but now a days, there are so many technological processes used to establish the real value of a diamond, that it’s practically impossible to get scammed. Just make sure you don’t buy anything without getting an expert opinion, best from an independent appraiser, who has no interest in telling you a diamond is worth more or less and will only give you the true facts.

Another controversy related to diamond rings is how much you spend for them. This is a very subjective matter, as for  each individual money has different values. Some prefer to spend it on necessities and save the rest, while other believe you only have one life and you should really enjoy it. When it comes to diamond engagement rings, no woman will tell you a diamond is the only sign of a man’s love and many brides don’t want a diamond. That’s absolutely natural, everyone’s entitled to make their own choices, but fore many brides, a diamond engagement ring is their most precious possession. Some users form the weddingbee.com boards explain it best:

“I wish I could say that I’d be fine with whatever, but honestly I wanted a real one. Its the only “real” piece of jewelry I own and its important to me. I wear it everyday though and I plan to wear it everyday for the rest of my life so I wanted it to be special. To me having the real thing was worth it. ( board user: Mrs.PinkPeony)”

“My husband was able to afford a nice ring and I love it. If we’d been in a different financial situation at the time he got the ring, he probably would’ve purchased a smaller diamond, but still a real one. (board user: QueenBecca037)”

“I would care. I hate saying it, but it’s true.

I got a real diamond, but it’s small. Having a real diamond was important to me because the thought of having a “fake” diamond symbolizing our engagement just didn’t sit well with me. I know, it makes no sense because a diamond doesn’t determine the status of your relationship, but that’s just how I feel (board user: Miss Chapstick)”

On the board, there are plenty of brides who don’t specifically want a diamond engagement ring, but for some, the ring symbolizes something and it was well worth spending the money for it.

Other arguments presented by Weissman in his article or not even convincing enough, he just basically says you don’t need a diamond to prove your love. Yes, that is completely true, but that’s not why people buy diamond engagement rings. Let’s admit it, if someone were to do that, the relationship is doomed from the start. But diamonds are a traditional symbol, whether we like it or not. Diamond jewelry is also practical. Usually the engagement ring is worn for any occasion, every day. Diamonds, unlike other gemstones “go with everything”, so many women like the fact they don’t have the hassle of accessorizing diamond jewelry according to outfits, occasions or events.

Bottom line is diamonds are not a waste if it’s something you really want, just like the latest iPhone is not a waste for those who love the brand and are crazy about these gadgets. Diamond engagement rings are just a choice like any other made in life and no one should be influenced by what the media or anyone else for that matter says about it.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com, user: PublicDomainPictures

The History And Connection Between Diamonds And Engagement Rings

diamond engagement ring history

Engagement rings are common now a days, offering such a special ring is considered to be one of the biggest and most awaited steps in a relationship. In fact, the custom of offering engagement rings is older than you might think, the only difference is diamonds were not the top choice gemstone for this matter.

History of Engagement Rings

Engagement ring history starts from  2nd century  BC, Pliny the Elder notes in his writings that it is custom for the Roman groom to give the bride a gold ring, to be worn at the marriage ceremony and at special events and and iron ring to wear at home. Rings didn’t have a romantic connotation back then, as they were symbols for a woman belonging to a man.

Meanwhile, in Asia, a hundred years later, sultans  and sheiks use puzzle rings to “tag” each of their wives. Just imagine, how many rings a sultan had to buy…

Engagement rings became more and more important over the years, but sadly, just for the women, as it was common practice in Medieval England for men to give girls rings made of rush. Of course, they wouldn’t marry them afterwards, and that’s why the bishop of Salisbury puts an end to this practice by declaring a marriage made with a rush ring as legally-binding.

One of the first recorded uses of a diamond engagement ring dates from 1477, when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposes to Mary of Burgundy with a personalized diamond ring. Thin, flat, diamond pieces were set in the shape of the letter M. 2 years earlier, Constanzo Sforza gave his bride, Camilla d’Aragona a diamond ring on their wedding day. Naturally, only royalties and wealthy noblemen were able to afford the luxury of giving diamond rings as engagement presents.

During the Renaissance, engagement rings are becoming more and more important and their design is also part of their charm, aside from the gemstones. Twin rings were very popular back then, as they were composed of two hoops that slid open to reveal love emblems and inscriptions. Twin rings evolved into faith rings, in which two clasped hands holding a diamond heart represented the unity of love. This romantic purpose of engagement rings was something rather common in Europe, but not across the Atlantic Ocean. Puritans gave their wives useful thimbles instead of rings, but the wives had something else in mind and they cut off the thimbles’ tops and wore them as rings anyway.

After the 17th century, there was again a shift to the gemstones as opposed to the setting for engagement rings, and diamonds were a more and more popular choice, as new gemstones were found during minings in South America.

Queen Victoria played an important part in the popularization of diamonds, as she had a real passion for sentimental jewels. She received an enamel band set with a single diamond as a gift of love from Albert and even her engagement ring was a serpent, ,the ancient symbol of protection and eternity. Victorians often used to make jewelry out of flocks of human hair (usually form beloved ones) and gemstones to spell out names or terms of endearment.

After the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1867, there was a sudden increase in diamond supply, and this lead to even more diamond jewelry and engagement rings, from here starts the history of diamond engagement rings .Cutting techniques allowed diamonds to look perfect and shine brightly in necklaces, bracelets, tiaras and rings. Tiffany & Co. introduces in 1886 the Tiffany setting, a special setting dezigned to maximizie the brilliance and the quality of a diamond. Up to now a days, Tiffany & Co. engagement rings are still the first choice for many brides-to be.

In the last decade of the 19th century, diamond rings were finally not only for the wealthiest people of the world, as they even appeared in mail-order catalogs. Of course, these were affordable, and didn’t have high quality standards, but still, brides were able to dream about having a diamond on their finger.

One of the traditional wedding rings in France, even today is the Cartier Trinity Ring, which has pink gold, white gold and yellow gold hoops intertwined.

In 1920, manufacturers and jewelers tried to sell engagement rings for men. This was a big flop, as men don’t seem to eager to wear them. Only in the 1940’s men started to wear wedding rings too, one them being famous actor Humphrey Bogart at his fifth and final wedding to actress Lauren Bacall.

By the 21st century, a more then third of couples buying diamond engagement rings are saving up at least two months’ worth of a salary to spend on them.

Engagement rings have established their position as symbols of love and faith, which gives them a sentimental value along with the financial one, and that’s why it’s important to treat them as a real investment. AGI New York provides a whole range of services, from diamond appraisals, certifications and insurance, so that our clients can benefit from diamond engagement rings on the long term. Scheduling an appointment is easy, you just need to contact us or pay us a visit and our gemologists will take care of the rest.

Photo Credit: Pixbay.com, user: BurningWell

5 Most Famous Engagement Rings

Are you an antique inspirer?

Do you like to explore or buy antique and expensive jewelry?

Are you a jewelry fanatic?

Are you a ring collector?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you have definitely landed on the right page. This info-graphic introduces you to the five most popular engagement rings in the world. Now this is something of real interest! You must have heard about Kim Kardashian; who hasn’t! Did you know her engagement ring is worth £5.1 million? This may hold you in shock for a while, but yes this is true! And this is just one example of the awestruck facts on this page.

After wedding bands, engagement rings are perhaps the most cherished piece of jewelry that a woman gets in her entire life. And with an engagement ring being that popular, it becomes the most precious item too. Here, have a look at these five lucky ladies and their priceless famous engagement rings. What is more amazing is the fact that not all these ladies belong to the royal gentry. Some are celebrities too, who once belonged to the general public category.

The facts presented here may put you in a trance for while, but it may also give you a beautiful fantasy to relish.

5 most famous engagement rings

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