Engagements, nowadays, are big deals calling for huge celebrations and not to mention, expensive. I think that some engagement announcements or parties can already cost a wedding. Some hire photographers and videographers. Some even like it with a photoshoot. While others enlist help from not just friends and families but also strangers. Some do it with a little prank or drama. Amazing!!! With too many gimmicks for a grand proposal I’ve seen on the Internet and have gone viral, I can no longer recall what’s my most favorite.
Anyway, all I can say is that I’m lucky I got engaged before all these fuss and trends. I didn’t have to post my engagement ring! Not that I am obliged to do it if it happened now but it has become what is normal these days, you know, sharing your happiness online. My husband, on the other hand, is luckier because he did not have to spend too much on his marriage proposal to me. Other than the staged engagement with all the props, set-up and invited guests, the most-awaited and priciest component of an engagement is, of course, the ring! I can only imagine how much pressure this digital-age brings to men who want to pop the questions to their girlfriends. A man is expected to give his girlfriend a ROCK, or if not a rock, it should be at least something that is IG-worthy or something the girl can show to her friends and family (oftentimes, online). Everyone wants a piece of the engagement ring and I, myself is guilty of that as I love looking at celebrity engagement rings.
Speaking of engagement rings, here are my thoughts on other good options for an engagement ring:
Of course, DIAMONDS are always on top of the list. Although I read somewhere that in reality, diamonds are not as rare as we thought them to be or as compared with other gems, diamonds being the hardest stone on earth have successfully ingrained in our culture that they are for FOREVER. In buying diamonds, always remember to consider the 4Cs: clarity, cut, color and carat. Diamonds, especially the FINE kinds are expensive. However, you can always go for NICE ones which won’t cost a fortune like a modest, simple and yet classic round cut solitaire .5 carat diamond ring, with at least J in color and VSI (very slightly included). Learn more about diamonds, here. But, since diamonds have become generic unless it’s HUGE and with the pressing concerns of a moral dilemma (blood diamonds), other gems and stones are taking their share in the engagement department.
Other than diamonds, you can also choose from different semi-precious stones with great symbolism. Sapphire, which was popularized by the late Princess Diana (and is now worn by Duchess Kate) symbolizes faithfulness. Rubies have been a consistently good option as well as they symbolize love and passion. Emeralds, which was part of the late Jacqueline Kennedy’s engagement ring symbolize hope.
Tanzanite is a good alternative too as it is one of the top best-selling colored gemstones on the market today and it is rare, as in it can only be found in Tanzania. As a matter of fact, according to this Forbes article, it is 1000 times rarer than diamonds. Also, this is considered a young gem which was discovered only in 1967.
Moissanite is not just an alternative to diamonds which I think have been overvalued through the years considering its abundance. What’s amazing about moissanite is that they are very rare and scarce mineral discovered in meteor crater in 1893.
Family heirlooms make great engagement rings too. Weddings and engagements are highly traditional and a well-taken care of heirloom makes these traditions more personal and special. The rare rose-cut garnet ring given to me by my mother which is older than me (I am in my 30s, by the way) would soon be an heirloom I’d pass on to my daughters.
Vintage or antique rings. Old-cut diamonds in each era have their own character and if your girl likes vintage stuff or history then this is a perfect choice! You can choose from Edwardian, Victorian, Art Noveau and Art Deco. I personally like to have one from each era. However, if your girl likes modern stuff, skip this option.
Eternity rings. Half or full, it does not matter since I find both very appealing. Although eternity rings as I understand are now more prominent as the brides’ counter wedding ring/band. What could be more romantic than the idea of a love until eternity, right?
Before I end this post, I just like to share my own humble engagement rings. Yes, with “s” because I got three! I received the first one on my husband’s impromptu proposal on our first monthsary as a couple. Story, here. It was more like a “promise ring” and it was a solitaire cubic zirconia. I will update this for the picture. Then, one month before our 2011 wedding, he gave me my choice of a dainty ring with diamond studs for our rather more formal engagement. Unfortunately, the said ring was lost. See the picture below. Isn’t it lovely? I still feel sad whenever I think of it. (Sorry for the crappy photo, smartphones are not in yet at that time. I think I was still using old Nokia.)
Disheartened me received another one a few weeks later as my husband wants to lighten up my spirit before our wedding, a set of ruby jewelry set.
Engagements and proposals, no matter which way you want to celebrate it, meaning; simple or grand, intimate, isolated or public, are always, always blissful celebrations of love. Between two lovebirds who are genuinely in love with each other, they don’t really matter, as a matter of fact, nothing else matters. So, for onlookers like me, just share their joy! Period.