Should society ditch the idea of buying women expensive diamond rings to wear when they get engaged?
For thousands of years, women have expected that when a man asks them to him, a gift is given if she says yes.
But it is only in recent years that that gift has usually been a diamond ring.
“The idea of the diamond engagement is less than 100-years-old,” Time magazine editor Belinda Luscombe told Moncrieff.
“It was invented by some genius in the jewellery business who thought, ‘How can we sell more of these diamonds that we have so many of? Let’s somehow associate them with marriage and the promise of marriage.’”
Ms Luscombe admits the fact that the tradition persists “befuddles me” and think it is time society reconsidered how it approaches engagements.
“It seems to me this is a tradition that should end,” she said.
“Especially… as that’s the first thing people want to see when you say, ‘I’m getting engaged, I have decided and found the person with whom I’m going to try to spend my life’, the first thing they want to see is some jewellery?
“Like the size of the diamond is some kind of marker of how suitable and marriable this guy is? Can people even hear themselves when they do that?”
Traditionally, a man will try to spend two months’ salary on the ring - another aspect of the ritual Ms Luscombe feels is “antiquated”.
She is not “opposed” to buying jewellery to celebrate the occasion but feels couples should be more creative.
“To me, the diamond engagement ring is super expensive, it’s like buying a house and spending all the money on the doorknob,” she said.
“If you’re going to buy a fancy ring, make it the wedding ring - that’s the most important thing.”
Main image: Bride's hand and ring. Picture by: Alamy.com