Do the English, Europeans and Scandinavians find bling vulgar?

(147 Posts)
bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 13:44:09

Here's a nice, tasteful question for you... grin

I saw the other thread asking about the value of people's wedding, engagement and eternity rings, and it got me thinking that quite often I notice big diamonds on American and, to a lesser extent, Australian women, but not so much on English, European and Scandinavian women. The people I am thinking of are all high earners (or married to), so its not to do with money. I am assuming its to do with taste/preference?

I'm not a big earner or anything but I don't like really showy, OTT bling. Nothing wrong with a bit of sparkle or anything and if other people like bling, fair play,. I just don't like it on me.

DrNick Mon 10-Feb-14 13:46:23

mate of mine in sydney says its VERY bling there

bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 13:52:40

Ha ha DrNick - I am Australian and I do like my bling. But I appreciate that some people do think it can be overly showy, like you suggest OneLittleLady. I was wondering if it was a cultural thing, as the English can be quite understated, and more discreet jewellery can fit with that.

Tweet2tweet Mon 10-Feb-14 14:00:27

Large diamond rings are considered crass and to some extent uncultured I'm told. Showy offy is how was phrased to me when I walked near the blingy ones when we were getting engaged, many years ago.

I must admit most people I see with large diamond rings are a bit TOWIE or flash.

bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 14:08:28

Interestingly, though, the aristocracy and the Royal family have traditionally had substantial family jewels (tiaras, earrings, necklaces etc engagement rings etc - you can see some of it at the V&A as well as at the Tower of London), so it seems that at that level, a bit of flash is a Good Thing.

Shallishanti Mon 10-Feb-14 14:10:15

different if you inherit it probably!

scaevola Mon 10-Feb-14 14:13:35

The Royal family only really wear bling on the big dress up occasions though. Pics in more private circumstances show only engagement/wedding rings, small earrings and maybe pearls or other fairly plain necklace. Add brooch and bigger earrings for daytime engagements. And a Crown for the state opening of Parliament.

I see statement jewellery worn widely in Europe. But a lot of it is chunky designs in gold, not flashy stones.

bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 14:24:37

Nobody rocks the opening of Parliament like Her Majesty the Queen! I am not being completely glib, by the way, as I think she is wonderful.

So, then, it seems that large stones themselves, might not be vulgar, depending on how long one has had them and when one wears them. I really do find these sorts of things quite fascinating - what we think and why. And since I am superficial, I tend to limit my parameters to fashion and jewellery.

squoosh Mon 10-Feb-14 14:26:09

From my very unscientific study I would conclude that Americans like BLING of Kardashian proportions, UK people like bling but to a lesser degree, and Scandinavians sniff at bling and generally just go for for a wedding band.

scaevola Mon 10-Feb-14 14:27:52

I'd love to be invited to the sort of ball where you can bling up and look right! Though mine would be Butler and Wilson, not the real thing.

DipMeInChocolate Mon 10-Feb-14 14:30:21

Not that I have any wealth but I prefer to see it in the bank, not wear it or drive it. The fake flashy culture is here in England but I wouldn't consider it to be something to be proud of.

bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 14:30:56

Err, I might not have the real bling required for that sort of ball, either! Although I see that its possible to rent jewellery, is it Bentley & Skinner who do that? it makes perfect sense as who wants to buy a tiara or something like that, when it spends most of its life in a safe?

I think the French and Italians (or at least, some) are Scandi, and dodge the bling, too? I am just throwing generalisations around here, now.

bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 14:32:21

Sorry, "like the Scandis".

Eastpoint Mon 10-Feb-14 14:33:49

From my experience, some nationalities would rather have a 3 ct diamond with visible flaws in a murky colour than a 1 ct D flawless, It depends what you want.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Feb-14 14:34:59

According to my friend, a lot of Americans use cubics instead of diamonds, and if they do have a diamond they'd rather have a larger poor quality than a smaller, good one. That's her experience (lived in a few mc areas there for 18 years this year). I don't know, I'm not there. But in general, yes, too showy isn't really good in British eyes.

bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 14:35:44

Well, since the Kardashians have been mentioned, did anyone notice how yellow Kim's 20 carat engagement ring from that basketball player was? Definitely carat over clarity and colour [bitchy Bunny].

Eastpoint Mon 10-Feb-14 14:39:38

As soon as I posted I remembered that a lot of Scandinavians don't wear engagement rings at all, just a wedding band.

FrugalFashionista Mon 10-Feb-14 14:40:53

Just google 'Lutheran' wink I'm from Scandinavia and yes we do not like bling. My friends there are all highly skilled professionals but they dress down, shop at the recycling center and swap hand-me-downs. A steel ring with a beach pebble is much cooler than a diamond solitaire. People spend money on their boats, summer villas, and living running or biking distance from work. Luxury has a fairly different meaning for us, status symbols are very subtle.

FrugalFashionista Mon 10-Feb-14 14:44:54

We also don't get married any more, except if it's a same-sex ceremony wink

squoosh Mon 10-Feb-14 14:45:02

I'm not one for bling by any stretch but a 'steel ring with a beach pebble is much cooler than a diamond solitaire' sounds offputtingly worthy to me!

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Feb-14 14:45:33

Not feeling the pebble ring, but apart from that, it sounds a lovely way to run your life, frugal. What are the stress levels there?

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Feb-14 14:47:53

Italians love bling. The French not so much.

American engagement rings are generally huge.

tugamommy Mon 10-Feb-14 14:51:06

I would say that English and Scandinavians are European..... or has the definition of Europe changed?....

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Feb-14 14:53:47

The more Mediterranean Europeans I know love a but of bling. I know a few Greeks who can barely move their arm for the weight of gold.

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