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Here’s how I proposed to Jenny and the myths about engagement rings I wish I’d known back then.
We’re Jenny & Danuka, we became a couple in 2013 and started Nangi together in 2017.
With one foot in Sri Lanka, I’ve always known about the abundance of gemstones found here. But coming from Norway, I was (like most Scandinavian guys) never really interested in jewelry.
So, when I started thinking about proposing to Jenny, I’d hardly ever looked at buying jewelry before.
Naturally, in my search for the perfect engagement ring to Jenny, I was victim to all the myths about engagement rings.
It’s time I bust the three most common myths for all of you who’re planning to propose:
No, it doesn't have to be a diamond. This teal sapphire set in yellow gold is just as great as an engagement ring.
I thought I had to get Jenny a diamond, it was just wired into my brain by default. I didn’t even think to consider any other gemstone options for the engagement ring.
That’s how successfully this myth has been planted in us for the past century.
But the fact is that diamonds weren’t even popular in engagement rings at the beginning of the 20th century; only 10 percent of engagement rings featured diamonds.
That all changed when a company called De Beers came along. They owned most diamond mines in the world and with a wildly effective ad campaign after the Depression, they managed to link diamonds with proposals and engagement rings almost overnight – and so their sales skyrocketed.
Are Diamonds Really a Girl’s Best Friend?
ABOVE: a truly stunning engagement-ring option
I did end up getting her a diamond. But if I had known about the much more sustainable and conflict-free option of lab-grown diamonds back then, that’s definitely what I would’ve opted for. Knowing how much Jenny loves sapphires, I probably also could've gone for a colorful sapphire, but I honestly didn't think it was an option.
Btw! We are very proud that Nangi is the first and only jeweler in Norway offering lab-grown diamonds.
ABOVE: Bohemian Girl & Diamonds, featuring five sustainable lab-grown diamonds
There’s a common belief that an engagement ring must be worth at least three months’ salary. Well, I think that’s bonkers. You shouldn’t have to go into debts to declare your love and commitment to your partner.
De Beers is again the culprit here, spreading the “three-months rule” in their ads. It has apparently stuck as a big myth, since so many people go out of their ways to buy a pricey ring.
ABOVE: A customized Nangi-ring featuring a stunning blue sapphire flanked by baguette cut diamonds
When I proposed to Jenny, I wanted to make it extra special, so I contacted a jeweler in Denmark that I knew she liked. Together with the jeweler we created a ring with a cushion brilliant cut diamond set in white gold.
A guide to Gemstone Cuts and Shapes
ABOVE: Nangi rings with sustainable lab-grown diamonds
But finding a unique ring, with the right cut, the right gem and the right material for your partner, doesn’t mean it has to be custom made. There are plenty of possibilities out there that are more reasonably priced.
You should however place value on high quality in both the gemstone and material, because the ring is a symbol of everlasting love and should also last a lifetime (it's also more sustainable), but there’s no need to get broke in the process. A relationship won’t survive on love and jewelry alone, you need to be a little pragmatic too.
See the Nangi Shop for possible engagement rings.
The actual day of the proposal, I remember feeling partly nervous and partly excited, because I felt it needed to be just perfect.
After a lovely dinner and concert with one of our favorite artists, I asked Jenny to join me for a walk through the park where we decided that we were offically boyfriend-girlfriend four years back. It was February, so it was pretty dark and cold, but it was beautiful. There had just been a snowfall, so everything around us lit up and sparkled.
ABOVE: A customized Nangi ring with sapphire and diamonds
I had prepared a small speech leading up to the big question, and eventually went down on one knee to offer her the engagement ring. I felt like the luckiest man alive when she said yes <3
But I wouldn’t have hesitated to say yes to her either if she’d been the one on her knee. Times are changing and it doesn’t have to the man who proposes to the woman anymore. There's no reason why it can't be the other way around.
A proposal is perfect when it feels right and special for the two of you, and that’s really the only thing that matters.
Read more about our love story and how Nangi came about.