At the weekend I half listened to a chat on BBC Radio Five Live about the British supermarket Tesco that was selling a cheap range of engagement rings for fifteen quid.
Once upon a time I used to travel through the Hatton Garden area of central London on a regular basis. It is the diamond and jewellery centre of the city. A friend who had bought a ring from her friend-in-need asked could I get it valued for her. I took it to a jewellers who offered me around 100 pounds. I protested that I had a valuation from the shop that sold it for 1,500 pounds and the man with the eye piece just laughed. He explained that was the price he had probably sold it for but the stone and the ring were worth just 100 pounds to him.
Well I checked with other jewellers and then went to a pawn brokers who offered the best price – 125 pounds.
The moral of this story is the price you see attached to the flashy gem in the jewellers window bears no relation to the actual value of the piece. Therefore those who spend several months’ salary on the engagement ring of their dreams in the belief that it will also be an investment are just deluding themselves.
Which brings me back to the radio programme because the consensus of the views expressed – admittedly by highly paid radio presenters – was that only a cheapskate would buy such a tatty ring.
Well I would say even fifteen pounds was too much. Now if you have money to spare and want to make a statement then fine buy an expensive ring – but do so in the knowledge it is worth around a quarter of the asking price.
Yet many of those who splash out on an engagement ring – out of social pressure – start their married lives unable to even afford basic furnishings for their home – because they’ve spent all their cash on rings and the wedding. That’s presuming they had any money in the first place.
Love isn’t a fancy piece of jewellery and you won’t find it on your finger. It’s in your heart and soul – and if anybody tells your different, I’m sorry - but it simply doesn’t ring true!