Diamonds, in modern culture, have become a status symbol. Glossy magazines almost always report first and foremost on the size of a celebrity’s ‘rock’ when a pop star or actress gets engaged. The thinking seems to be – the bigger the diamond, the bigger the love, as if a person is an investment or can be bought – and, as if the price a person is willing to pay symbolises the depth and intensity of their love or desire to claim that person as their spouse or lover.
The popular UK tabloid The Daily Mail appears almost obsessed with the cost of the celebrity engagement rings. One just has to read their 2013 article, ‘How Does Kim Kardashian’s Ring Measure Up?’. The title alone says it all.
Recently, I came across a feature on the Who What Wear celebrity e-zine too, titled ‘The 20 Most Expensive Rings of All Time’. It sticks in my head because the opening paragraph contained the statement: ‘A ring that cost $150,000 is no longer considered worth a second glance when you compare it to one that cost $8.8 million’. The statement demonstrates, starkly, what we see when we gaze upon the likes of a diamond ring. Not its brilliance. Not the intricacy of its cut. Not its history – the reason it came to be, the story behind how it find its way to your hand…just ‘wow, that must’ve cost an arm and a leg?’
Too often, this is the case. It is sad that we weigh up the love a person has for us by the amount they are willing to pay for us. It is sad and degrading. It is sad that the size or carat of a diamond ring is testament to its price tag, as a pose to its price tag being (if relevant at all) testament to an item’s beauty and worth. And, it is sad that so many of us are wearing, buying and gifting diamonds without any depth of understanding as to why we even desire them, beyond the fact they cost the earth and happen to look pretty.
One way to show your love with a diamond ring is to take the time – after all, if it’s true you only get one life there is nothing more precious than your time – to acquaint yourself with the mythology of diamonds, and not just the cost of them.
Legend has it that Pluto, god of the mines, called upon his courtiers to find and collect all the most beautiful gem stones in the world. Upon receiving a wealth of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and the likes, Pluto inspected them.
Despite each stone being unique and beautiful, Pluto failed to find any one stone with which he was entirely satisfied. Something was missing. Hence, Pluto, in a fit of frustration, balled his fist around the stones until his mighty strength had crushed them all. Upon opening his hand though, Pluto was struck; in place of fragments, was one perfectly compressed and truly astounding stone. It was as unbreakable as true love, as pure as a tear and yet despite its clarity, its brilliance winked magically with every colour of the rainbow; hence, the diamond was born into the world.
Being able to share the history and understanding the in itself beautiful lore of the diamond is both romantic and as well testament to the time and thought you are willing to go to show your love for somebody.
Choosing a Diamond Ring
We almost unconsciously these days see a price tag or weigh up the value of a diamond ring based on its price tag as a pose to the ring itself. A fantastic, romantic and ethically far more friendly way to avoid falling into this trap or thinking superficially about something as deep as love is to consider choosing an antique diamond ring.
The stories and history attached to an antique diamond ring only serve to emphasise the everlasting and unbreakable love diamonds signify and celebrate. What’s more, and as jewellers such as Antique Rings Online prove, it is not just the stone that should be celebrated or which celebrates a person’s love for another; I’m singling out Antique Rings Online because one can instantly see via their website a number of examples that prove the style, arrangement and design of each individual ring is itself a labour of love.
Further, the way in which Antique Rings Online organise and showcase their jewellery via age, period and the stones they contain makes browsing fun, informative and not so overwhelming, but perhaps most importantly it forces a person to re-think about what they are searching for, and why. When you shop with your loved one’s sense of style, personality, likes and dislikes at the forefront of your mind, as a pose to price, you are shopping with that person in mind – you are asking yourself what matters to them, what style makes their eyes light up, what period turns them wistful or captivates their imagination; suddenly, you are showing you love a person, and then when you find the ring that ticks all of those boxes – you are giving a symbol of that love, not just parting with a chunk of money.
At the end of the day, love isn’t a financial investment and neither does its worth or beauty begin or end with simply aesthetics. Hence, do yourself, your partner, the folk who mined the rocks you’re looking to buy, and the earth (quite literally and ecologically speaking) a favour; say ‘I love you’ with an antique diamond ring…not just ‘this is how much money you are worth to me’.