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Ahlam looks on happily at a jewelry display inside a gold shop in Sidon's old market. She will soon be marrying the love of her life and is looking for a ring, necklace and bracelets that, by tradition, brides-to-be receive as an engagement gift in Lebanon.Sahar Reno, who married her husband 30 years ago, recalls how her engagement jewelry amounted to over $6,000 . In the past, this was a normal amount to spend on an engagement jewelry set, but today this is not the case.According to the dealer, a bridegroom would typically buy half a dozen bracelets, an engagement ring, a marriage ring and a necklace.Now, Jomaa explains that most husbands-to-be who come in, have a budget of $1,500 and "only a small percentage buy between $3,000 to $5,000" worth of gold for their brides.Jomaa says that many engaged couples purchase gold and then get into an argument after a few days. The groom then returns and sells the gold.
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