Congratulations, you’re engaged! Or maybe not, though I am! Either way, today I am going to talk about engagement rings. One of the most exciting aspects of getting engaged is gettin’ that big ol’ ring on the finger, and if you’re lucky, your fiancé will choose something perfectly beautiful for you. Or, if you’re also lucky (depending on your personality, obviously), your fiancé has asked you ring shopping, and you’ll be choosing an engagement ring together! Hooray! Either way, you’re about to walking with a slight lean to the left.
Ben and I decided to go shopping together for a ring as we realised pretty quickly that we have very different taste in jewellery. So last week we headed off to Argyll Arcade (Glasgow’s premier diamond district) to see what we could find. Believe it or not, I’m not incredibly fussy when it comes to jewellery: I like things relatively simple, and small as I have quite small hands.
However, I do not like diamonds.
Why don’t I like diamonds?
Well, diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but I’m a woman. I am also a millennial with access to the internet who likes to read, and I appreciate the true value of things. Are you over diamonds too, now? Thought so.
Anyway, Ben had an idea of a brand he wanted to show me before our adventure, but otherwise, he wanted me to have a browse, try a few things on, and see what took my fancy, and after an hour or so of perusing the glittering displays, we had a rough idea of what we were planning to do.
During our adventure though, I learned a few valuable things which I thought I would share with you, just in case you’re currently ring hunting too:
Jewellery has its own fashion trends
Sure, diamonds will always be available, but if you’re not a fan of traditional diamonds or rubies or sapphires, then you should never be afraid to go down the much more affordable semi-precious stone route. Semi-precious stones are available in a wide variety of colours, and in just as many styles as diamonds and other precious stones. In fact, most semi-precious stones will be accompanied by diamonds.
Unfortunately, semi-precious stones will go in and out of fashion, meaning the stone you like the most won’t always be available. Currently, Morganite and Topaz are the current trending stones and were displayed in every shop window. Thankfully, I adore Morganite and was hoping for a peach or pink coloured stone, so this actually worked in my favour.
Remember, Sales People work on Commission
The first store we looked at I tried on a simple little Morganite ring. When the sales lady asked us what the ring was for, we let her know it was an engagement ring. She immediately informed us than a Morganite ring wasn’t appropriate and we should be looking at DIAMONDS! And I immediately informed her I disliked diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, and she can keep her damn ring. Unlike the sales people at other stores, this woman didn’t even congratulate us! That bish just wanted money.
Now, I don’t expect a standing ovation from the world for my engagement, but if I’m about to drop a substantial sum on a piece of jewellery, you might want to roll out the red carpet for me, or you’ll lose a bloody sale and your commission.
Thankfully, as mentioned above, the other sales people we dealt with were simply lovely, respected out choice of stones, and created a warm and friendly shopping environment for us. They informed us of their deals for wedding bands, and even offered us prosecco! Now that’s how you earn those dollars.
Decide how you feel on Second Hand and Antique pieces
Personally, I love the idea of an antique ring, imagining the life of the woman who once wore it, and knowing it only left her finger due to her demise after a long and loving marriage. However, a second hand ring? What if it’s cursed? It’s clearly the result of a broken engagement, or worse – a divorce! How could I possibly wear a ring that has such bad karma attached to it?
This is, of course, are just my thoughts and feelings on antique and second hand engagement rings, but your thoughts may be entirely different and a little less dramatic. Before shopping, have a think about whether or not this is a path you would be happy to venture down as the savings on second hand jewellery can be substantial.
Just a word of warning: The window displays of second-hand jewellers are not for the faint of heart!
Remember, it’s forever
When choosing a ring, it’s important to remember that you’ll be wearing it every day for the rest of your life. Although it may be tempting to get something that matches your current wardrobe, think about what you’ll be wearing next year, who you are at your core, what colours you wear more often than not, is the shape practical, what are the healing properties of the stone (I’m a witch, I need to know these things) and also do you really like that style?
I personally think pear cuts are lovely, but practicality? Given I wear a lot of textured clothing (I’m a Taurus, after all), a pear cut stone would constantly nag on everything I own. I then thought about a black stone for a while, but realised I mainly wear earthy tones, and black simply wouldn’t suit. And although I loved this and that other ring, I knew it’d age poorly, and would be that kind of ring my children would want to pawn off, rather than keep for ever as a family heirloom (a woman can dream, right?).
In the end, we found something very pretty, and I am very excited to share it with you after New York.
It isn’t as easy as you think!
I thought finding a ring would be easy – but it’s anything but! It’s important to try on each ring, to take photos, to look at them over the days, to talk to and converse with your partner about what you both like. Remember, this ring symbolises your relationship so has to be a kind of joint venture, especially as it’s a gift from your fiancé.
Remember that: your ring is a gift and a symbol, not a right and not an entitlement.
Again, congratulations on your engagement and I hope my brief guide on what to expect when ring shopping has helped you somewhat! Just remember, don’t allow yourself to be taken by a whim – this ring symbolises the union of two souls, and deserves careful thought to be put into the process.