Whether it?s an 10-carat marquise diamond such as the one worn by Catherine Zeta-Jones when she promised to wed Michael Douglas, or the 5-carat oval shaped ring in pave setting, such as the one given by Tom Cruise to Katie Holmes, celebrity engagement rings are as much a testament to the Hollywood glitz and glamour as any other piece of jewelry.
Just what exactly makes celebrity engagement rings so alluring? Other than the fact that they are glimpses into the intimate lives of larger-than-life individuals, their existence in this real, 3-D world we ordinary mortals live in makes us all believe that fairy tale endings might just be possible for us, too, after all. Celebrity engagement rings transcend the pomp and circumstance of Hollywood and strike at the very expression of real and enduring love. Or at least the illusion of it. Indeed, one can argue that celebrity engagement rings and this new breed of commercialism are responsible for the malaise that grips the present state of marriages, especially Hollywood ones. Still, these rings are no longer just Hollywood props. They are real, they?re right here and they don?t come at a cheap price.
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump gave Melania Knauss a $1 million 13-carat emerald cut engagement ring. Britney Spears flashed not one, but two engagement rings: a $40,000 4 carat cushion-cut diamond ring in a platinum pave setting and another one that was given to her by (now ex) husband Kevin Federline. Not to be outdone, Paris Hilton sported two engagement rings herself: a 24-carat canary diamond ring given by erstwhile fianc? Paris Latsis which came at a whopping $5 million, and another one, a cool $2.1 million 15 carat white diamond ring.
Despite the current trend in engagement rings that says bigger is better, celebrity engagement rings demonstrate otherwise. Just look at the 18-carat deep blue oval sapphire worn by Lady Diana Spencer when she promised to wed Prince Charles. We all know how that turned out. Or the much-talked about $3-million 6-carat radiant shaped pink diamond Jennifer Lopez sported when she was engaged to Ben Affleck. Jennifer Lopez went on to marry Latin superstar Marc Anthony and Ben Affleck trotted off to domestic bliss with another Hollywood actress, also named Jennifer.
Nowadays, a simple diamond ring just doesn?t quite cut it anymore. According to the Diamond Information Center, the new three-stone diamond ring is fast becoming the engagement ring of choice within the Hollywood circles. The three stones on Madonna?s 5-carat Edwardian ring with bezel settings given by husband Guy Ritchie represent mother, father and son Rocco. Prince Charles gave Camilla Parker Bowles a platinum ring with an emerald-cut center diamond and three diamond baguettes on each side. Originally belonging to the Queen Mother, the ring is believed to be valued at over $1 million.
Celebrities have long dominated consumer affairs and popular culture. When Marilyn Monroe purred the now infamous line ?diamonds are a girl?s best friend,? sales in the diamond engagement ring market skyrocketed. Since not everybody can afford the services of jewelers-to-the-stars Neil Lane or Harry Winston, some have opted to have replicas created instead. Replicas of Lopez?s rare 6-carat pink diamond ring currently retail at a more affordable price. The cost of the replicas depends on the quality of the stones and the materials used in reproducing it. Replicas can transform an ordinary bride-to-be into the likes of Elizabeth Taylor or Jackie Kennedy. Indeed, the secret to the publics endless fascination with celebrity engagement rings lies in its appeal to make us still yearn for that elusive happily-ever after.
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