Maybe I am showing my age here, but I remember a time when it could take the general public weeks to even hear about a celebrity engagement, much less see pictures of a ring. I am still surprised at the amount of times a day TMZ comes out with 'Breaking News' about a celebrity. I am even more surprised that I click on these links only to read about what celebrity MUST be expecting because she declined a glass of wine and was wearing a loose dress at the same time! Admittedly, I do watch the post awards show fashion specials just to check out the jewelry. I have even been known to pick up a copy of People or US Weekly if there is a feature on celebrity jewelry in the issue. I often do wonder though, what are we so obsessed with celebrity engagement rings?
I think there are several reasons. First, let's face it: money can buy some pretty fancy things. Many celebrities wear engagement rings that cost more than the house most American's live in. I think part of the obsession has to do with just admiring the stunning designs some of the celebrities wear. It almost seems as if each celebrity is trying to top the one before. I honestly did not think that Jennifer Lopez' pink diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck would ever be topped. Then again, being in the jewelry business, I should have known better. Rings like Mariah Carey's and Alexis Bellino's make Lopez's diamond look as if it came out of a gumball machine.
While I think that most women (and some men) like to look at the photos of such monstrous and beautiful rings, I do not think that most would, in reality, buy one even if they could. In my line of work, I talk with many women about shapes, sizes, and cuts of rings. Men who are not in the jewelry business might be surprised to find out that women are actually sort of practical when it comes to rings. I can't tell you how many women have told me that large celebrity style engagement rings are beautiful - but that they would be afraid to wear them in public. Also, the huge celebrity diamonds are just not practical for every day life. As much as I want to believe that Heidi Klum never took off that gorgeous canary diamond ring during her marriage to Seal, I have a very difficult time believing she changed diapers and washed dishes wearing it. Then again, she probably had helpers to do that sort of dirty work.
Maybe that is part of the reason for the obsession with celebrity engagement rings as well. That is, at a time when most Americans are struggling and cutting back, it is somewhat nice to live vicariously through the splurges of others who are seemingly unaffected by things such as a high unemployment rate and floundering economy.
Here's the thing about celebrity engagement rings. Most of my favorite and most exquisite rings are no longer worn because the couple either split before the wedding or divorced soon thereafter. The list of examples are endless: Heidi Klum, Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian, Katie Holmes, Evelyn Lozada... the list goes on. I think it's fine to have an interest - or even bit of obsession - with celebrity engagement rings. However, it is important to remember that a marriage is more than a ring. While some women may dream of an enormous ring that will make them the envy of friends, I think it is more important to focus on building a healthy and solid relationship. As I tell new couples all the time, there is plenty of time to upgrade to a bigger diamond or stone in the years to come, once the partners have a steady income and are more financially stable.
Maybe I am a hopeless romantic, but I hope most women would rather receive an average or even smaller sized engagement ring and have a happy, long lasting marriage, then to receive a rock the size of a golf ball only to be miserable in marriage. Yes, celebrity engagement rings are fun to look at, obsess over, critique, admire, or criticize. But it's also important to keep in mind that celebrities make money by having their name in the news over something such as being gifted a stunning piece of jewelry. So keep looking at your TMZ and US Weekly's in secret, but just remember that true love is stronger and more meaningful than any piece of jewelry could ever be. It also brings more happiness.