When it came to the ring, I decided that I’d play it safe

A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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A recent report suggested that men who spend £600 or less on an engagement ring are more likely to have a stronger marriage than chaps who spend thousands.

When it came to purchasing my wife’s engagement ring, I played it very safe.

We were on holiday in Los Angeles and were visiting a shopping mall.

Whilst shopping I noticed a nice-looking jewellers and I suggested we go inside to look at the rings. Half-an-hour later we came out an engaged couple.

This probably doesn’t sound very romantic, but I wasn’t brave enough to go for a surprise purchase as I know it would have been wrong for some reason.

A colleague at The Breeze was telling me the other day how his wife asked if she could exchange her ring as she didn’t like it. This is exactly what I was afraid of.

There was a surprise benefit of buying a ring in the USA, though. It turned out the pound was strong against the dollar, so my wife ended up with a bargain!

Lou: I’ve never been a huge fan of diamonds. I know, I know they’re meant to be a girl’s best friend!

They’re gorgeous, expensive and sparkly and make you feel glamorous. But for me they’re just a bit boring.

I’m a big fan of rings; I’m currently wearing three which stay on 24/7.

Two have garnets set into them, one was a present from my sister and the second was my mum’s when she was younger.

The third is just plain silver shaped into flowers and it was filthy when I bought it from an antiques market.

But I polished it up and it only cost me £2.50!

When one day I get engaged, I’d be much happier with a sapphire, ruby or emerald than a diamond.

This may not sound very romantic but there are far more important things to spend money on.

I think £600 is still a serious amount to spend on one item of jewellery, so I’d count myself incredibly lucky to be given a ring that cost that much.

I love antique jewellery, so secondhand is also completely fine!

Even better if it’s a family heirloom. For me, that’s far more special than a new rock.