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I mean, I’m all for subtlety in most areas of life, sure – but when it comes to rings, I’m more of a “the bigger, the better” kind of a girl, and there’s just no point in denying it.
Unfortunately for me. though, when Terry and I got married, our budget was neither bigger nor, er, better, really. Terry had just had his kidney transplant, and, after two years of dialysis, during which I’d had the bright idea of quitting my job to work for myself, our finances weren’t exactly in the best of shapes. We just couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on jewellery, so, in a rare moment of good sense, we spent as little as possible instead – the idea being that, at some point down the line, when we were filthy rich, and without a care in the world, we would upgrade our rings to something that looked a bit more like Rhett Butler might have bought them on a cheeky little trip to Atlanta, sometime.
I suspect that probably sounds pretty unromantic to some of you. Wedding/engagement rings, after all, have a huge amount of sentimental value to most people, and I’m no different in that respect. I love the rings I have: I would never part with them. As time has gone by, though, I have found myself occasionally wishing that we’d been able to invest just a little bit more in the jewellery I was going to be wearing for the rest of my life: particularly my wedding ring, which I started having second thoughts about almost as soon as we bought it.
As for my engagement ring, meanwhile, I love it, but one of the claws on it has broken, and is going to have to be repaired. I keep telling myself I’ll take it in to get it fixed, but then I figure I should probably get it professionally cleaned while I’m at it, and you know, if I’m going to be spending money on a ring anyway, maybe I’ll just have a quick look at some potential replacements, and WOW, is THAT how much a diamond costs? And then I’m backing away from the screen slowly, telling myself my rings really aren’t that bad, and maybe I’ll just file this one under, ‘Very expensive things I will probably never buy,’ and do my best to move on, yeah?
The thing is, though, diamond rings are crazy expensive (WHO KNEW, right?). And, despite our best efforts, we never DID manage to become filthy rich, and the kind of people who could just swan into the jeweller’s store and not have to ask the price, unfortunately. So, instead of delivering on our promise to one day upgrade our rings, we bought a new house. And had a kid. And went on a few really great holidays. Oh yeah, and had to fix our car about eleventy-one million times, but I’m trying not to think about that, because the pain of the most recent car-related drama is still too fresh. Where was I? Oh yeah: I don’t for a second regret all of the things we’ve chosen to spend our money on instead of diamonds. I DO, however, still kind of long for something a little more me to wear on my finger, so when Lily Arkwright offered to send me this beautiful moissanite engagement ring to play with, I really curious to see it:
01. This is not a diamond. It’s moissanite – a naturally-occurring gemstone which is even rarer than diamonds, and, arguably more beautiful, too. This one is lab-grown – as almost all moissanite is, these days – so it has minimal environmental impact, and is significantly less expensive than the equivalent diamond would be, too, as well as being a more ethical and sustainable option. For those reasons, it’s becoming more and more popular as an alternative to diamonds for engagement rings and wedding bands, and, as it’s almost as hard as diamond (Moissanite scores 9.25 on on the Mohs scale, compared to 10 for diamond), it’s a very durable stone which you can wear every day, without having to worry about scratching it. You can see some more about the differences between diamond vs moissanite here, on the Lily Arkwright website, and the brand also has their own UK showroom, if you want to go and take a look for yourself. They offer a 12 month warranty and have a 30 day returns policy AND they offer 0% interest, so if you’re in the market for something sparkly, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Would you ever replace your wedding or engagement ring?
If money was no object, I’d definitely do it, controversial though I suspect that admission may be. As I said, I would never get rid of my existing rings, so I think I’d either wear them on my other hand, maybe, or possibly on a necklace, but I would like an upgrade to my wedding ring in particular, and I’m thinking of possibly having the stone in my engagement re-set at some point, given that the ring needs to be repaired anyway. On that subject, Lily Arkwright offer a bespoke ring design service, which is the kind of thing that really appeals to me: back when we chose our wedding bands, we literally just walked into the jeweller’s store closest to us, and picked out something from the selection there, but if I were to do it all over again, I’d definitely want to spend much more time on it, and get something much more personal. (Oh, and they also offer free engraving, which is another thing we decided not to do with our rings, but which I’ve always regretted.)
What about you, though? Would you replace a ring, and, if so, what would you go for?