By Amy Brenan, director of Heirlooms Jewellers, 21 South Street, Wareham.
February 14 is Valentine’s Day, continuing a tradition that began before the time of the Roman Empire.
Gifts include flowers, especially roses, and chocolates, but the most lasting gift of love is jewellery, which actually didn’t become really popular until the 1980s.
However, this date has become a favourite day for proposals of marriage and the diamond has become the gemstone associated with an engagement ring.
Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring in 1477 for Mary of Burgundy, and so a tradition was born.
The diamond is an excellent choice for this type of ring, which one would hope would last a lifetime, as it is famously durable, and, of course, very beautiful.
When it comes to style, a single stone is popular and can look really elegant, as well as three stones, cluster or halo, set in yellow or white gold, or platinum.
Designs range from the classically simple to the wildly elaborate – it really is down to the personal preference of the recipient, so it’s wise to check beforehand!
It is said to expect to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring and this is where considering buying antique can become a very attractive option.
For instance, the ring pictured above is a French Edwardian diamond ring that we were delighted to buy in and costs £665.
A pre-loved or antique diamond ring can be considerably cheaper than a new ring and has a story all of its own.
Couples we have met at Heirlooms have particularly enjoyed the fact that they are continuing a love story!
And that’s really romantic, don’t you think?