Tuesday, November 5, 2013


If you are thinking of proposing marriage to someone you love, you may want to read this post first.

Here's the story: you fall in love and decide to share your life with someone. Once you start talking about making that commitment public, a subtle pressure begins to mount.  Even if it's unspoken, the spectre of a diamond ring begins to loom.  Now, this diamond ring that's hovering is not a symbol of your mutual love and trust.  It's more of a commodity, and that commodity takes on a life of its own, which has nothing whatever to do with your relationship, your love, your commitment and your future life together.  It has everything to do with satisfying a societal pressure, and it's fuelled by advertising, friends, social media, family and a deep psychological need to "measure up" to a standard that shifts like sand.

Six years ago, our friend T received a marriage proposal from her beloved, Z. He'd chosen a white gold and diamond ring by Ivaan - a ring of modest proportions, of a style that would look excellent on T's long slim hand.  As soon as he saw it, Z knew that was the ring.  And it was.  T absolutely loved it.   Recently, T and Z dropped by with their children.  I offered to give her engagement ring a quick polish to make it look brand new again, and I was struck by how gracefully that ring had stood the test of time.  It looks beautiful with her wedding ring, and on its own it looks as fresh and current as though Z had slipped it on her finger the day before yesterday.

In those six years, I've also seen people buying engagement rings with large diamonds of inferior quality, planning to 'upgrade'  after the wedding to a better quality stone.  Sometimes they upgrade the setting as well.  I often wonder if they have plans to upgrade their spouse.

Ivaan's acerbic quip, "Girls are a diamond's best friend" definitely applies to the 'upgraders', but I don't think it applies to the people who fall in love with what Ivaan's rings are:  pieces of small sculpture with which the wearer develops a deep emotional bond.  These sculptures go on to be a symbol of the love between life partners, but first and foremost they are stand-alone works of art.

My modest proposal, therefore, is that if you are considering a ring as part of your marriage proposal, or your wedding ceremony, that you choose a ring that is truly a work of art, not a mere commodity.  Ivaan's diamond rings feature beautiful gold settings with small, excellent diamonds. They stand on their own as works of art; they cost hundreds, not thousands, and there is nothing to upgrade.  I rest my case.
14 kt white gold Eve Ring, one tasteful, beautiful diamond, size 5
(c) Atelier Ivaan
14 kt white gold Wave Ring, three
tasteful, lovely diamonds, size 6
(c) Atelier Ivaan

Wave Ring: the other side

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