Tradition would imply that you should be spending about two months’ wages on your engagement ring, but tradition is not always a reasonable thing. In 2012 the average money spent on an engagement ring stands at around £1,800 – a tremendous figure for most people, especially in the current economic climate.
Whether you’re looking to splash out on a ring that’s above and beyond that average, or sticking to your budget as you look to find something special and unique, this week’s wedding blog is focusing on wedding rings and might tell you some interesting facts you didn’t know before.
Your wedding or engagement ring will be defined by a number of factors, from what kind of metal your partner wants to the diamond size, diamond cut, diamond colour and clarity. Even the shape of the diamond will be a variable here. The price range will vary wildly across all of this, of course.
All that matters is that you find a ring that fits your budget and reflects your feelings: something that will be timeless and cherished forever.
The below is just a collection of interesting bits and pieces, but if you’re looking for further advice or just don’t know where to start, go and have a chat with your local jeweller. They’ll discuss your options with you and give you tips on where to start with your personal tastes and preferences.
The two most respected diamond grading labs in the world are IGI and GIA. They provide certificates that grade diamonds so you know exactly what you’re buying when you go to purchase your wedding rings. However, it’s possible for a jeweller to have a grading certificate for one ring and try to pass it off as being for another. Wherever you go, be sure you’re buying from a retailer with a strong reputation for great products and good, durable jewels. If a jeweller doesn’t have a certificate it doesn’t necessarily mean their diamonds are bad quality either, so your best bet is to talk about the ring with its jeweller and make your own informed decisions.
Similarly, buying online isn’t always a bad idea. Online retailers can often have cheaper prices as they have lower overheads, but in the current economy high street retailers are trying to keep up, so don’t limit yourself to either/or. Shop around and get a feel for the style you’re after, then start taking note of the prices and check the credibility of both online and high street stores.
Originally, the tradition of the engagement ring was created in 1477, when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave his bride-to-be, Mary of Burgundy, a gold ring set with a diamond as a token of his love. Ancient cultures also believed that the third finger on the left hand had a special vein of love that ran straight through to the heart called the Vena Amoris.
And while we here in Britain wear our wedding rings on the left hand, just like the United States, France and Canada, the tradition is to wear it on the right in Germany, Russia and India.
Platinum and white gold are the most popular metals used in engagement rings, but as these two metals soar in price a new material is on the rise – Palladium. It’s a precious metal that serves as a great luxury alternative that comes at a significantly lower cost. Many new rings are being designed with unique and innovative alternate styles to the old traditional ones, so if you’re looking for something a bit different it’s worth hunting through various designers rather than sticking to mainstream retail, albeit at a slightly greater expense.
Although diamonds were first discovered in India in around 800 B.C., they weren’t used in rings until the 15th century. The youngest diamond is 900 million years old, but today scientists are able to grow synthetic diamonds with an average of 2.5 carats in just four days. Some experts suggest shining an ultraviolet light on a diamond to see if it glows in the dark for a few seconds is a good way of testing its authenticity.
So there you have it! Just a few odd bits about engagement and wedding rings but hopefully interesting and informative all the same. If you’re searching for the perfect wedding ring it can be really difficult. There’s a wide range of choices and prices, but it takes some real searching to find the perfect ring. Sometimes it can be even harder than finding the perfect wedding dress, as a ring is to be worn for a lifetime. Make sure you talk to your local jewellers and do as much research as you can so you can be sure you’re getting exactly what you wish for.
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