Let’s talk engagement rings. I don’t have one nor do I want one, but I do like to admire them. Who doesn’t like to look at pretty things? Half of the accounts I follow on Instagram are pretty people donning pretty things, and to me, a diamond engagement ring is a pretty thing I don’t need. Although, that has not always been the case: Not until recently has my diamond desire dwindled from wanting a big rock, nothing less than a karat because I deserve it, or so the jewelry ads led me to believe, to not wanting anything at all, except a simple yet elegant wedding band.
I mentioned this to a girlfriend over tea one evening, the horror and shock of what I said was clearly expressed on her face; it was the look you would give your friend if they told you they robbed a bank. “What?! What do you mean you don’t want a ring? Of course you do!” Followed by the predictable, “You deserve one!” Here, I thanked her for nonchalantly saying I am a queen that deserves all of the jewels in this world, but the truth is I don’t deserve a ring – I don’t deserve something that my partner has to save three months of his salary to buy; I don’t deserve something I can’t reciprocate back. Reader, your response of, but you are giving him your love forever is valid, but then why isn’t my boyfriend’s love enough, why does he have to buy me a ring – a ring to prove our love with undertones of class, status and wealth. To me, it just doesn’t make sense.
A bit of diamond engagement ring history loosely cited from the Atlantic: In 1938 Harry Oppenheimer, the De Beers founder’s son, hired N.W. Ayer, an ad agency, to polish the image of diamonds as the price of diamonds was falling. N.W. Ayer set out to persuade young men that diamonds (and only diamonds) were synonymous with romance, and that the measure of a man’s love (and even his personal and professional success) was directly proportional to the size and quality of the diamond he purchased. There we have it folks, the genesis of diamond marketing – the bigger the rock the deeper your love.
Dear reader, my intention is not to make you self-conscious as you read these words while glancing at your beautiful ring that was handpicked just for you by your SO, nor do I think the love my partner and I share defies commercialism (you should see all of our stuff!). The truth is, the older I get the more jaded I become, scratch that, the more practical I like to believe I’ve become. For example, let’s use that money to pay down some debt (boring!) or put it towards our dream honeymoon (better!).
I can’t say I know for certain what’s in store for my ring finger, but I am not putting that added pressure on my partner to propose with a diamond so big that even the Jones’ will be jealous. The big ring is just not for me, however I will still oooh and awww over other peoples’ engagement rings and I’ll honestly be happy for them, because diamond ring or not, the next step is the happiest of all!