Thrifty couples opt for rubies and emeralds as diamonds lose shine

Cape Times
Diamonds are losing their sparkle as the engagement ring of choice.

When a man proposes, he is now increasingly likely to do so with an emerald, sapphire or ruby.

Experts say coloured stones can look much more expensive than they actually are.

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Experts say coloured stones can look much more expensive than they actually are.

Tradition has it that a young man should spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring.

Kantar Retail analyst Anusha Couttigane said: “A generation of marital age people are now prioritising other things such as weddings, housing and the cost of having children, rather than splashing out on a really expensive ring.

“There is still a lot of demand for solitaire diamond rings, but there has been growth in non-traditional designs which use cheaper, coloured stones too.”

Joanna Hardy, a jewellery expert for the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, told the Sunday Telegraph: “The great thing about coloured stones is that you can buy something really fabulous looking and most people will have no idea how much it cost.

“This is a big selling point for people who perhaps don't have as much to spend on a ring and don't want others to know exactly what they've spent on it.”

Couples have also turned to vintage or second-hand rings, which tend to be around half the price of new pieces.

A John Lewis spokesperson said: “Second-hand engagement rings are increasing in popularity, particularly with people getting married for the second time.

“They are often looking for a simple design having chosen a large stone or statement ring the first time.” - Daily Mail

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