Is romance dead with the £1 engagement rings?
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
With Valentine's Day just under a week away, you are perhaps pondering whether to pop the question to your beloved.
If you are strapped for cash, Poundland is offering an engagement ring for, yes, £1.
Is it a nice idea as a placeholder ring, or is it a bit of tat?
Writing for the Huffington Post, Mike Rampton says he understands the popularity of the Poundland engagement rings.
Nobody is planning to keep the £1 rings forever, but they serve as placeholders until a "real ring" is purchased. Poundland acknowledges this themselves by printing "because we promise they’ll want to choose their own” on the box.
Rampton calls the traditional model of buying an expensive ring first "an out-dated, outdated tradition" from the days when "the only way women could be in any way financially secure was by marrying rich".
He finds it strange that the focus of an engagement is on the ring, and not the people. "Aren’t the beaming smiles of a newly-engaged couple more interesting than some metal hanging off one of their fingers?" he asks.
Piers Morgan tried his luck with the £1 engagement ring, proposing to his Good Morning Britain co-host Susanna Reid. She was not terribly impressed, the Daily Express reports.
“You have a funny way of showing you love me,” she jokingly said. “Talk to the hand, because the face ain’t listening."
Piers was not convinced, either. He said he did not want to denigrate Poundland, before calling the engagement ring "some of the worst tat",
He added: “If I had given this to my beloved on when I proposed, that my beloved one would have taken this and thrown it at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where we were."
The Poundland engagement rings have proved to be popular, with the bargain shop selling 20,000 rings in just a week.
The placeholder ring comes in different sizes and it is available in silver and gold. The gemstones on the ring resembles diamond, ruby, and topaz - and it comes in its own red box.
A study by Stevenstone, fine diamond specialists, found that 12 per cent of people are waiting until Valentine's Day to pop the big question. That's around 115,000 men - around five per cent of the male population - choosing February 14 to get down on one knee.
The average man in the UK spends £1,471.01 on an engagement ring, according to a survey by jewellery retailer William May. This price is £383 lower than the £1,854 the average woman said she would like her ring to cost.
Just over half of women (51.3 per cent) said they would prefer to pick out their own engagement ring instead of leaving it up to their partner.