The Fifth C

Tiffany Bezel Set

With the pound staying around $2, it's wise to think about how to exploit the benefits of being an individual with GBP funding. We follow somebody who is about to propose to his girlfriend in his exploits of making the most of inter-continental exchange rate gaps.

As everybody knows who has ever contemplated popping the question, a diamond is in fact the girl's best friend. Since I am not from this country but rather from the continent (and a country which - at least regarding diamond engagement rings - is much more rooted in modesty) this took some getting used to.

But it turns out, heritage does not count as an excuse to not pull a rock out of your sleeve when the time comes.

Hence, once I had made up my mind that she was in fact the one I would like to keep around, I started expanding my knowledge on the four C's that diamonds are all about - cut, clarity, colour and carat.

We had come to the - very modern - agreement that I would not impose my taste in diamond rings onto her for the rest of her life, and we would choose the ring together. With my own budgetary constraints in mind I spend a lunch break in the Royal Exchange to see what this (what I thought was a tidy) sum would get me.

I ended up with thoughts on my mind, and none of them got anywhere close to meaning "good value for money".

Wanting to save money on an engagement ring is a very slippery slope: Your beloved one wants to know that she is valued and isn't ending up with a cheap penny-pincher. This makes me believe that a lot of men just grind their teeth and get on with it, keeping a lot of upscale jewellers in business.

But as I recalled two friends, there seemed to be ways you can pull off the trick, save money, come across as being very business-savvy and extraordinarily romantic. As with everything, nice packaging is almost as important as the gift itself.

With the surge of business-class only carriers to New York, the two of you can get to New York (£2000), stay for the weekend in a hip hotel like the Gansevoort (£400) and have two nights out at appropriately stylish restaurants. (If you feel adventurous, take the trip to Brooklyn to have steak at Peter Luger's).  The cost for a really nice weekend break in New York adds up to be less than £3000.

So where is the deal in this?

If we are considering Tiffany's, a diamond ring in New York will cost about the same in USD as does in GBP. That is, amongst friends, a 50% discount just like that.

So, if you are willing to spend more than £6000 on that engagement ring, you are already better off wrapping up the deal to include a weekend break to NYC.

And, as opposed to being able to say that you have saved a ton of money on the engagement ring which makes you look like a cheapskate, you will actually be able to brag about your romantic streak, the great breakfast-in-bed you had in The Meatpacking District and the best Prime Rib you have ever been served.

Not at all a bad start to the wedding planning that is about to come down on you.

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