Author Topic: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE  (Read 1084 times)

ol1970

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Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« on: February 12, 2018, 05:33:00 PM »
Ok, so maybe this isnít the right spot for this question, but have any of you gotten engaged/married after you FIRED?  So Iím not a sheep that falls for the whole ď2 months salaryĒ bs that the jewelry industry tries to tell you you should spend, but if you donít have a salary what type of guidelines would you experts suggest?  I struggle only because the actual money I would spend wonít make a difference in any plans since Iím 47 around 8 figure net worth and under a 2% withdrawal rate, but I want to first make sure she is happy but at the same time we are not flashy or extravagant people. Also we are very active in sports and activities so something obnoxious wouldnít work for either of us.  Iím a big believer in the law of diminishing returns with respect to stuff like jewelry and after a certain size/$ amount itís just kind of silly and could be detrimental.  Iím not worried about her because sheís the type who would be happy with a plastic riddle decoder ring out of a Cracker Jack box, but generally speaking what is a ďproperĒ amount to spend to show how much she means to me and our future but at the same time not being ridiculous.  Sorry for this first world problem, but hey itís the internet and opinions are free.

Off the Wheel

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 06:15:28 PM »
If she's the type who would be happy with a plastic ring, stop buying into the BS that jewelry will show her (or, perhaps more a concern, the world) how much she means to you. Jewelry doesn't show that. The lifelong commitment of marriage shows that.

I am not a jewelry person. My husband proposed with a "placeholder" ring that he purchased for less than $100 because the stone was the colour of my eyes, and he respects me and our partnership enough to not make crazy decisions about me (like what I'd want to wear for the rest of my life, or whether to drop thousands of dollars) without me. Almost three years later, I still wear the placeholder ring plus a $200 wedding ring.

lizzzi

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 06:34:55 PM »
You should talk to her and see what she's got in mind. If you want the proposal to be a surprise, and want to present her with a ring, do what Off the Wheel did, and give her some kind of "placeholder" ring. A family ring, your high school or college class ring--whatever you've got that isn't total junk...a ring with a stone that matches her eyes is a good idea. (If it were me, I'd love a ring made from metals mined on Mars, or at least the Moon...but I guess we can't do that yet. Or if it were possible to have a ring made from metal that has been up in space on a satellite or something...) I would never foist something on her that she's going to be stuck with for years to come--she has to be involved in the process. And if she just wants a simple 1-carat round diamond in a plain setting--go and pick it out together. I love my three/quarter carat diamond engagement ring, although I can't wear it much because I'm outdoors all the time--my lifestyle would destroy it. But it's a beautiful memento from my husband, who died three years ago--much love and happiness associated with that ring. (Not that it was ever about the ring--but we found a good deal, picked it out together to go with the family ring that is my wedding band, and easily paid cash.) Some people have said it is too small--well, they can kiss my toe.

Minnowstache

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 06:47:28 PM »
I agree with the above posters - get a placeholder then ask her what she wants. If you are set on a metric though - what about a percentage of yearly expenses - as post fire i assume that is equivalent to income? So a month, or two months of yearly expenses. But do remember the whole tradition both for diamonds and the two month income metric was invented by deBeers to sell diamonds!

ol1970

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 06:56:21 PM »
Thanks peeps!  The placeholder is the perfect idea and then let her pick out what she wants.  Totally agree itís not about a size or number of months thing...thatís just plain dumb!

PKate

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 09:27:53 PM »
My father proposed to my mother with a single rose.  My brother proposed with a fortune cookie.  My husband shopped for the ring together before he proposed largely due to the fact I was working for a jeweler store and it made too much sense to use my employee discount.  It is not uncommon for couples to shop together. 

The ring can be anything that makes both of you happy.  If you don't want to do diamonds sapphires and rubies are durable colored stones.  Other colored stones are great options but they don't take as much abuse if the recipient wants to wear it 24 -7.

RetirementDreaming

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 09:45:57 PM »
My husband proposed with no ring.  We picked them out after we got engaged.  My cost $700.  His was $75.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 01:20:51 PM »
My second husband proposed without a ring.  It was a beautiful proposal.  He re-proposed with a ring a few weeks later.  Although I didn't help pick it out, he chose EXACTLY the kind of ring I would have gotten on my own.  It is not expensive and the antithesis of flashy, but it suits me perfectly.  At the time he couldn't afford much, and he was worried I'd be embarrassed because it doesn't compare to the rings of many women we know.  I'd have been appalled if he'd given me anything like their rings.  Seriously appalled.

Get her a ring that suits her personality and lifestyle, and don't think about how much it ought to cost.  She won't either - and if she does, well....
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

SachaFiscal

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 05:40:07 PM »
My husband proposed to me with a cheap ring from Claire's boutique...haha!  But he put a note in the box saying it was a placeholder ring.  We ended up just getting plain gold bands. Mine was $150 and his was a few hundered more (bigger ring so more gold).  He eventually got me a ring that had a ruby and a couple of small diamonds but I don't really wear it much because it gets caught on everything. A wedding band without a protruding stone is much nicer for everyday wear.

Firehazard

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 07:26:02 PM »
We just got married 10 days ago, and I chose as my wedding ring a beautiful colorless moissanite ring with a 1 ct center and a halo that makes the setting look like a flower.  It's the most lovely ring I've ever seen and it only set us back $800.  The stones will easily last for the rest of my life, just as diamonds would.  Diamonds would not have made me any happier.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 08:28:19 PM »
I second the moissanite recommendation. They are absolutely beautiful and actually outshine a diamond.

PKate

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 08:47:37 PM »
Moissanite is great option as long as the recipient knows it is moissanite.  Working as a jeweler I have been in the position of having to tell someone that the ring they have is not diamonds.  It gets awkward fast but  the stones have to be identified at the time the piece is dropped off for sizing or repairs can be done so the stones aren't damaged when the ring is being worked on.   

PBandJelli

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 09:03:57 PM »
My husband bought me a beautiful 3.3 carat diamond, triple Ex, GIA certified.  Seriously.  All my friends had larger stones, and I like big flashy costume jewelry (like bib necklaces and stuff - not necessarily expensive) and so he felt that was the safest choice.  All of that was when we were new to higher earning incomes, but had no sense.  And hadn't discovered this website or had dreams of FIRE.

All of that to say: I love that ring, but today I would not make the same choice for a few reasons.  First: I would have been happy with something much smaller.  Actually I would have been happier with something of similar size but moissanite.  I also would have been happy with something inexpensive and nontraditional.  (Unusual in design, or material, or whatever.)  Second, I know how painful it must have been for him to part with that cash, and how that much money invested would have been something far greater of benefit to us both now.

Moral of the story: I say follow the advice of others and propose with a placeholder and then ask her what she'd like, and maybe look together.

PS: My friend got matching tattoos.  Not my thing, but also cool.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 04:38:29 AM »
I got lucky, I was told explicitly, no diamonds! Had the ring custom made, was insanely expensive and very meaningful.

BrakeForTurtles

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 05:08:14 AM »
If you know she'd be satisfied with something simple, it's worth using a placeholder and picking out a ring together. As for a rule of thumb...I think whatever makes you both happy and gives you meaning. I'm not at all a ring person and I never wear jewellery, but one option my SO offered for wedding rings when we eventually do tie the knot is to take two quarters from our favourite US state and turn them into rings. I was actually pretty astonished he came up with this idea, as he is not at all romantic but those rings would mean a lot of both of us. The bonus is they would on cost 25c each (plus work time).

I've also considered wedding skis, though my SO pointed out that skis get replaced, so maybe not such a great options for a symbol of permanency.
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Firehazard

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2018, 09:49:18 AM »
One thing I would just mention is that you may feel she'll be satisfied with something plain, but it could be she just hasn't ever had a really beautiful piece of jewelry.  If she's going to wear it for a lifetime, it should be something she enjoys looking at.  I told my first husband that I didn't want an engagement ring.  We were very young and couldn't afford more than a plain band, and I really didn't care about jewelry.  He purchased a diamond anyway (and got us into debit in the process), and even though it was quite small, I really loved wearing it.   

I feel the same way plus 1000 about this new ring so many years later.  It's certainly fancier than I need, but man, I love the way it sparkles and shines.  I can't imagine I'll ever tire of looking at it.   The design and proportions of the stones and the thin band are just right for my hand.  That's what I love about moissanite....it's inexpensive enough that you can get something that looks just right on your hand, you don't have to settle for something tiny to save money or break the bank to get what you want.  We went shopping in a high-end jewelry store to see and try on different styles and sizes of diamond rings to figure out what I'd like, knowing in advance that we wouldn't be purchasing any diamonds.  We could have easily afforded a similar ring in diamonds, and my husband was on board for whatever I wanted, it just wasn't at all important to me to have my ring be diamonds.    I don't feel the need to lead anyone to believe they are either!

Livingthedream55

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2018, 01:59:53 PM »
And when (if) you both shop together, please don't just walk into a store and pay retail. The depreciation once you walk out the door is obscene, much worse than a car!

Look at online sites, consider vintage, estate sales. There's a place in New York (but they sell online) that acts like eBay but they verify that the rings are genuine and they hold money until all is verified.

https://www.idonowidont.com/selling



px4shooter

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Re: Rules for engagement rings post FIRE
« Reply #17 on: Today at 09:16:04 AM »
I would avoid typical retail, as the mark-up is obscene. Keep in mind that you can grab a nice engagement/wedding ring and still have travel/everyday rings. My spouse rarely wears her actual wedding ring and prefers a smaller simple ring.

Bluenile is an online retailer with decent pricing, compared to normal jewelers and big box stores. Having done some wholesale shopping for certain sets, bluenile was with a couple hundred of what my cost was going to be. They are a good price comparison and can give you an idea if you want to actually buy the over-rated diamond or prefer some of the common settings.

Just be careful with some of the fictitious appraisal values (they are all grossly over reality) and certs. There was a rash of fake GIA certs floating around, which were coming from a certain Asian country and being used to accompany fake or mismatched diamonds.