Spoiler alert: If a couple gets engaged inside a Tiffany’s store or visits to pick out a ring at the beginning of a film, chances are they will not be together by the end. Yet though these two on-screen romances did not last, the jewellery featured lives on in the real world.
Tiffany’s still sells the diamond flower ring (shown above) used in Meg Ryan’s ill-fated Sleepless in Seattle proposal, as well as the exceedingly large diamond solitaire Patrick Dempsey gave Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama. Tiffany & Co, with its little blue boxes, invented the modern engagement ring and became the jeweller most associated with romantic engagements in the popular culture.
Jewellery selected for film is carefully considered for both its aesthetic as well as narrative value. The use of a traditional diamond ring brand such as Tiffany’s in film is significant. “A diamond solitaire just signifies engagement,” says Laura Lambert, founder of online jewellery start-up, Fenton & Co. Yet, “there’s nothing special about it”.
This stands in contrast to the ring featured in 2018’s blockbuster film, Crazy Rich Asians. In one of the final scenes, the middle-class heroine Rachel, is proposed to by her rich boyfriend, Nick, using a big emerald ring belonging to his mother.
The ring symbolises his mother’s approval after a protracted struggle between the two women. Mary Vogt, the costume designer behind Crazy Rich Asians, says jewellery was an essential tool to communicate the difference between social orders in Singapore: old money and new money. “We had two distinct families.
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