I'm a diamond expert and this is what you should spend on a ringDecember 31, 2022
I’m a diamond expert and this is how much you should REALLY spend on an engagement ring
- Diamond expert revealed what you should really spend on an engagement ring
- Laurie Wickwire, from California but living in London, said it’s ‘all marketing’
- She admitted that how much you spend on a ring is all personal preference
- Read more: Revealed: The world’s most extravagant (and expensive) proposals
It’s long been said you should be looking to spend three months salary on an engagement ring for a partner.
But an expert has now revealed whether it’s truly worth splashing out thousands on the bling.
Laurie Wickwire, who is from California but is living in London, admitted that the salary strategy on an engagement ring is ‘all marketing’.
Here she tells everything you need to know about proposing this festive season – from how much to spend on the ring, to the best way to find the perfect diamond.
Laurie Wickwire, who is from California but is living in London, admitted that spending three months salary on an engagement ring is ‘all marketing’
Do I really need to spend three months salary on the ring?
Laurie explained that the perfect engagement ring doesn’t have to have a big price tag.
She said the experience is all about personal preference.
Laurie revealed: ‘As a private client jeweller I have never subscribed to the mantra ‘spend three months salary on the engagement ring.’
‘What if the ring you love is well below this industry mandated budget? Would you never be given the opportunity to view the lower priced ring, as the price did not equate to ‘three month’s salary?’
Laurie explained that the perfect engagement ring doesn’t have to have a big price tag (pictured)
‘I prefer to listen to what the client envisions, and then work with that knowledge to best meet their dream.
‘As diamonds are not commodities, nor are diamonds fungible- there are many options where I can steer my client, in order to achieve their dream ring.’
So, where does the whole rumour come from in the first place?
The clever campaign was actually created by an international corporation that specialise in diamond mining, diamond exploitation, diamond retail and trading, De Beers Group.
In order to create new markets for the DeBeers diamond stockpile, Harry Oppenheimer, son of DeBeers Chairman Ernest Oppenheimer, asked his father if he could go to America to target the American consumer- to teach them that a diamond engagement ring was a ‘psychological necessity’.
From this 1947 trip to the US, Harry and the advertising agency NW Ayer created the slogan that would go on to be voted advertising ‘slogan of the century’ by Advertising Age magazine – A Diamond is Forever. And this changed the rules of romance forever.
She added: ‘Whilst all jewellery is special, the engagement ring is a one off for each relationship.
‘So much is represented in this item of jewellery, so emotions factor in hugely.’
How do I find the perfect diamond?
Laurie said: ‘With diamonds, there are over 16,000 variables of what one diamond can be- and this is not even factoring in carat size!’
Meanwhile she revealed how shoppers can usually manoeuvre the price of the diamond.
She said price often depends on changing categories regarding colour, which ranges from D to Z or clarity, from Internally Flawless to Pique.
Laurie explained how often clients end up selecting between clarity and colour in order to find the perfect diamond for the best price.
She said: ‘If they moved away from D colour on the colour chart, D being the best colour grade for a diamond, meaning colourless, they can purchase more diamond for their money.
‘If they changed clarity grade- they could again get more diamond size for their money.’
She went on to explain there were also other types of parameter necessary when looking to buy different types of ring.
She said: ‘We then have cut parameters – EX, VG, G, F . These parameters, if cut well, deliver the sparkle, fire and brilliance.
‘Cut poorly, the facets do not line up and light then does not get bounced back out the top of the diamond called the table.
‘This means the diamond doesn’t sparkle as much as a well cut diamond.’
She explained that a diamond ‘cut poorly’ can mean it ‘loses 35 per cent of the diamond’s value.’
She is a graduate of the DeBeers Institute of Diamonds and is an on air Diamond Expert for QVC UK since 2007 (pictured on QVC)
Is it worth buying a ring from one of the big jewellery brands?
Laurie explained that many people covet a ring from big jewellery brands, like Tiffany’s or Harry Winston.
She said that can also make a difference to the overall cost of the diamond.
Laurie revealed: ‘Not only do newly engaged brides want a beautiful diamond, they also have to contend with purchasing from a branded jewellery house, or non branded.
‘This might not seem like much of a decision, but if you have always coveted a Tiffany ring, or Harry Winston- well then we must factor in the uplift in price for branding, and that coveted T or HW box.
‘So, how much is that blue box worth to you?’
Laurie is a private client jeweller with a GIA Certificate of Diamond Grading and IGI Pearl Grading credentials and 35 years in the diamond and jewellery industry
How can I ensure I stay within my budget?
The diamond expert also revealed it can be easy to get swept away in the excitement of the proposal – and ultimately overspend on the ring.
She explained that when the engagement ring is purchased, the young couple need to ensure it fits within their budget expectations from the outset.
Laurie revealed that can often change over a lengthy period of time – and the ring ‘needs to reflect the success level of the couple’ at the time.
She said: ‘Obviously when purchasing an engagement ring, as with any purchase- a house, car or holiday, a client needs to stay within their budget.
‘It is so easy to get caught up in the moment of getting engaged, and in planning a wedding.
‘Many of my clients come to me with spreadsheets in play- ready to map out every dollar/or pound spent- and often I have been asked for their advice on the wedding planning!’
Laurie said she has been ‘extremely fortunate’ to lecture on luxury cruise lines about this ‘fascinating industry’ whilst sailing around the world to exotic locations
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