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Thursday 7 June 2012

Beautiful Rings For Whatever Finger

I read the most extraordinary article this morning. In years of reading women's magazines, I don't think I've ever read a piece about women who have fake engagement rings, and are perfectly happy with it. It was absolutely delightful to read and made a lot of sense: real jewels are incredibly pricey. You might lose it - what then? And then in the comments, a real shocker from a woman whose friend had a massive rock (real), went into Forever 21 and was asked by an assistant if she'd bought it there! Oh how she must have laughed.

I guess I'd always assumed that if I ever got engaged, I would go down the same route as everyone else and get my first real piece of bling. But why? Especially when I once proposed to Sian with an Orient Express napkin ring.

Accessorize St Marcasite leaf ring, £14 Accessorize's leaf rings are wonderful. I've always owned at least one (before losing it at a party)
My preferred type of jewellery is costume - the bigger, more colourful and glamorous, the better - and a real equivalent of that would cost a bajillion. Plus, I'm prone to losing things. I cannot find a beautiful, totally '70s ring made for my mum by her dad in Singapore - fake stone, gold setting, given to me by mum a couple of years ago. My lovely pearl earrings, a confirmation present from my parents two years ago, have long gone thanks to a) pinging off my ear, into the bath and sliding down into the plug hole (seriously) and b) being pinged off my ear by the elastic of my fancy-dress bandit mask, and falling into the grate of the pub flooring. Oh, and there was that one time where my gold signet ring fell off in Camden and had to be replaced, as well as ordered in a much smaller size. It's all terribly embarrassing

So, not so good with the losing jewellery. But aside from that, and the cost - and if you've got the money and want to, you go for it! - I loved the sentiment that the real jewel is the marriage. It made me go all gooey and lovestruck. The thing that I admire most about my married friends isn't the rock on their fingers, it's that bit where you're watching them get married, and at the reception afterwards, and the love is just palpable. The only rock you care about then, is the one they're marrying.

So, with that in mind, here are some lovely cocktail, statement and costume jewellery rings that I might just wear on every single one of my fingers, all at once.To save time on inserting pretty much every one from the V&A shop, just go straight there.

Vintage peacock glass cocktail ring, Etsy, £12
God I love glass. I love the mix between the gold of the peacock, and the glass of the ring. So pretty.
Art Deco 9ct gold, silver and paste ring, £65, eBay
Who says vintage has to cost a bajillion quid? The extra paste on the sides of the ring are incredibly sweet, like buttons for a ring. This is 1920s - 1930s.

Etsy, Sapphire ring (I know, real, therefore a cheat, but it is so pretty and only £50!)
This ring is placed on a book and is therefore 5,000x more desirable.
1980s vintage ring cluster, £11, ASOS Marketplace
I could quite happily wear that red one on its own. I am such a sucker for red gemstones and gold. #Smaug
QVC Diamonique open cluster ring, £31
I'm not a massive fan of huge diamonds or huge diamond clusters, as whether they're real or fake, they all look fake. This emerald-ish ring is just the right side of preposterous.

Accessorize Swallow ring, £4

Etsy Swarovski emerald cocktail ring, £25
I love this! It's like an umbrella for your hand!

Want something real for not much? Stack up these babies below - two emerald and diamond rings, and an amethyst and paste ring - they're on auction at Fellowes on June 26th.

Estimated £80-£120, Fellowes auction

PS - this piece about a hate cake is hysterical as well.


  1. Another great alternative/middle ground = synthetic diamonds. I learned about them when I was studying jewellery design in Singapore. They're structurally identical to geological diamonds - even experts would not be able to tell the difference without an industrial grade microscope, because they are exactly the same structure - if anything they're actually more clear because they have no natural flaws. They're grown in a laboratory, so no human or environmental costs (unlike a lot of mined diamonds). And they're a fraction of the price. I'm kinda gutted my engagement ring isn't synthetic!

    1. Oh gosh, thank you little macaroon, that sounds amazing!

    2. While I'm all for cheaper stones, I just can't bring myself to wear a synthetic diamond. It feels cheaty. I'd happily wear a cheaper gem stone, but while no one else would be able to tell the rock on my finger was a 'real diamond', I'd know. I don't know why it would bug me so much, but it really would.

    3. little macaroon7 June 2012 at 19:23

      That's certainly the standard response I've come across. Thing is, they're not artificial, they really ARE diamonds in every way except where they came from. I suppose there's probably some sort of symbolism tied up in a rock that took millions of years to form or something. But I'd sooner have a massive sparkler so big it made me walk in circles for less money. And that no one died digging a cubic kilometer per carat for... (guiltily looks down at tiny sparkler on left hand!!!)

    4. Oh I know I'm being totally silly. I think you're right - it's the natural formation of them that fascinates me. I'm also a massive fan of these:

      I really think they're beautiful - there's something equally special about them being raw.

  2. Baffled by the use of the word 'fake' in that article. Fake would be buying moissanite and silver and telling everyone it's diamond and platinum, but the article just seems to be about the apparently novel idea that maybe that piece of massively expensive jewellery that various interested parties are trying their hardest to convince us we all want might not be right for you after all. It's not a 'fake engagement ring' just because it's not diamond and one that was would be no more 'real'.

    1. Jack, those are completely spot-on points - particularly that last sentence. One of the reasons I found the article so interesting was because since I can remember, I have been led to believe that engagement rings should be made of precious stones and gold or similar. However it was phrased, the article was a proper wake-up call about how over the top this can all get. You see tons of people taking great pride in having DIY weddings and buying dresses of eBay so why shouldn't it be the same with rings? It seems so obvious, it arguably *is* so obvious, but I've not read a stitch about this before now. Cray-cray.

  3. This is a great article on the subject:

    Diamonds Are a Girl's Worst Friend

  4. LOVE this piece. I remember once reading my friend tweet that she'd turn down her man if her engagement ring was less than four figures (he.. erm... dumped her). The weighting she (quite literally) put on the rock on her finger always bothered me.

    It's such a strange concept, but one that I think harks back to more traditional times of a dowry and social standing. The jewels you were given years ago weren't yours - they belonged to your family. Diamonds were used as a symbol of purity, not just wealth.

    I do love a good rock. Especially an unusual one. But if I'm going to wear my engagement ring all the time, it can't be one I'll be scared of losing. I gesture a lot when I'm tipsy. I fiddle with the ring on my hand when I'm nervous. I'm not sure that doing that with a ring that cost 2 grand is a good idea.

    That art deco ring is bloody lovely, if anyone fancies proposing. Open to offers.


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