Author Topic: Engagement Ring  (Read 8565 times)

apricity22

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Engagement Ring
« on: May 02, 2017, 06:41:23 PM »
My girlfriend and I recently began sharing expenses and have adopted a frugal budget and an aggressive savings rate by mutual agreement. We have discussed marriage and I am ready to propose to her. I would like the proposal to be a surprise but I am totally conflicted about purchasing an engagement ring. I have done some shopping and found pieces that I like for about $3,500 but that seems like a really big purchase for me to decide on by myself. Also, I'm not sure if she would even like wearing a ring because she doesn't wear them now. We have discussed a wedding and since a ceremony is a very low priority for both of us we've agreed that something formal would be a waste of money. So although she is non-traditional when it comes to a ceremony, we have not discussed a ring and I don't know her feeling about that. I am currently struggling with my desire to remain Mustachian while also making the proposal a special moment for us while keeping it a surprise for her.

Thoughts? Advice?

Mgmny

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 06:57:44 PM »
You said you've discussed marriage - this is good. Does she have a pinterest (or girlfriends) you can look at? If not, just go to the mall, casually walk by a silly jewelry store and ask her what she likes all non-chalantly. That way, you'll get a good idea of what styles she likes.

I always told my (then) girlfriend that i wasn't going to propose for *years* but we liked looking at the rings and pretending we were going to get engaged soon - sorta a fun date night to have someone wait on you at a jewelry store. Little did she know that I was planning on proposing a few months later!

letthelightin

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 07:03:17 PM »
There was recently a similar thread on engagement rings; maybe that will be helpful to you?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/engagement-ring-72020/

bigchrisb

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 07:07:24 PM »
I went the route of a placeholder ring ($50 sterling silver and CZ) for the proposal itself.  Then we got something made together with input from both (at $$$$).  Seems to have worked out well, but my wife is also in the pragmatic/frugal camp.

Laura Ingalls

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 07:51:36 PM »
I would not be too reliant on what she pins on Pinterest.  What I would have pinned would have been very impractical for my life.  I still think that the classic round solitaire in a Tiffany type setting is the prettiest and the bigger the better.  In real life I dig in the dirt, bake homemade bread, and was on a ladder working on gutters just today.  I'm also cheap and would rather DH not spend that much on jewelry.

My advice is to just talk about it and try some things on.

Karinajane8

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 07:55:22 PM »
Congratulations on having found the person you want to spend your life with!
If she is truly onboard with your frugal lifestyle and savings goals, I think it would be a disservice to her to assume she wants you to spend money on a ring for her and to do it without consulting her first.  I did not want an engagement ring (I find it antiquated and a waste of money; read the history on the evolution of the practice and DeBeers ingenious marketing to move the trend to diamonds) and made sure my now-husband knew this (he was fine with the spending and thought I could just buy him a snowmobile!).  He wanted to do something, I told him earrings would be a welcome gift (and much cheaper!).  In the end, I have the earrings AND a family ring passed down to him that is actually perfect for me but I did not wear it as an engagement ring.  If she does want something, there are many less traditional ways to go. 
If you want to have the conversation in a roundabout way to test the waters, perhaps plan a lowkey movie night to watch Blood Diamond and use it to start a conversation about diamonds and engagement rings.
And please give at least as much thought to your proposal as to the ring you may purchase.  In my personal opinion, the words you speak as you propose are much more important than the symbol you offer. 
Good luck!

Shanksy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 08:02:25 PM »
I love my engagement/wedding ring, but I find it's really impractical. The prongs holding the diamond constantly get stuck in my hair. I have to remove it before bed every night because my fingers swell when I sleep. It looks pretty but it's heavy and uncomfortable. After we got married, my husbands brother got engaged and his fiance had her ring custom made, and it's something called a bezel set. Basically the ring is flat and smooth. But also there are those really fun silicon rings everywhere these days, super affordable and very comfortable.

As usual in life, no one talks about anything except what stuff looks like, so you're left to find out on your own that pretty rings which look great in magazines don't always look great when you wear jeans and flannels.

Best of luck.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 08:10:34 PM »
...The prongs holding the diamond constantly get stuck in my hair...

The prongs shouldn't be catching on things; that means they are not flush with the stone(s).  I would take your ring to a reputable local jeweler, not a chain, for a prong check. 

catccc

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 08:36:19 PM »
I think you should ask her.  It can still be a surprise when it happens.  When my now DH proposed, we had been talking marriage and rings for a while.  I was waiting for it to happen, but when it finally did, it was still a total surprise.  Find out what she wants or expects, and go from there.

catccc

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 08:38:23 PM »
Also, I know a couple of ladies that harbor guilt over not loving their rings as much as they feel they should.  Avoid this and just ask her.  You can even preface it with some sort of qualifier, like, "I'm thinking waaay into the future here, so just humor me..." to try to maintain the surprise aspect of it.

Mrs. S

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2017, 11:55:51 PM »
We went out shopping for our engagement rings together and I was sure I bought what I wanted. I loved the ring, it was way smaller than either one of our parents would have liked but today I think it would have been better to just skip the charade.
I stopped wearing the ring some 3-4 years ago and we are still happily married. We do have each other's name tattooed on our fingers though.
To be fair 25 year old me thought way differently about things than 31 year old me today.

CargoBiker

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 03:45:05 AM »
I have done some shopping and found pieces that I like for about $3,500 but that seems like a really big purchase for me to decide on by myself.

$3,500?  Jesus christ. That's how much I paid for our current vehicle.

We got engaged in college. Neither of us had any money. I got a CZ ring for $25 on Amazon, and proposed with that.  She wore it for 7 years, and now would like something a little nicer, at a cost of maybe a few hundred.

In addition to having no money, the movie "Blood Diamond" was in theaters at the time, and the ethics of buying diamonds was something we thought about as well.

CZ is literally a diamond made in a lab.  Why this has any less inherent value than a diamond that was dug out of the ground in Africa is beyond me.

apricity22

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 08:32:33 AM »
There was recently a similar thread on engagement rings; maybe that will be helpful to you?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/engagement-ring-72020/

Thank you everybody for the replies and thank you for the above link which was also really helpful.


$3,500?  Jesus christ. That's how much I paid for our current vehicle.

We got engaged in college. Neither of us had any money. I got a CZ ring for $25 on Amazon, and proposed with that.  She wore it for 7 years, and now would like something a little nicer, at a cost of maybe a few hundred.


CargoBiker, thank you for the most blunt reply and perhaps I appreciated it the most because it was what I wanted/needed to hear. For me personally, I completely agree that $3,500 for a ring is ridiculous but she means a lot to me and I didn't want to be cheap. I really appreciate all of the replies and based on those I think it would be more special (and less stressful for me) to pick something out together and decide from there how much to spend if anything. Honestly, she may be in complete agreement that a nice ring is unnecessary as we have had many conversations about how material things have given us little happiness in life but that our shared experiences have been the source of the most joy.

I've looked at some of the CZ options on Amazon and honestly they don't look much different than the $3,500 rings I saw elsewhere so I really think I am going to go that route for the proposal. I'm glad you mentioned Amazon because it reminded me of a story that I had completely forgotten about. Years ago I decided to buy a necklace as a Xmas gift for a girl I was dating at the time. I went to a jewelry store and was surprised to find that the least expensive options were several hundred dollars. Instead I wound up buying a necklace from Amazon that looked great for under $75 and she absolutely loved it. In fact, I ran into her a couple of years after we had stopped dating and she just happened to be wearing that same damn $75 necklace!

catccc

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 10:07:29 AM »
CZ is literally a diamond made in a lab.  Why this has any less inherent value than a diamond that was dug out of the ground in Africa is beyond me.

CZ is my favorite diamond simulant as it is much optically closer to diamonds than some other lab created stones, like Moissanite.  I specifically requested CZ from my DH (then boyfriend) because it's really the substitute that looks most like a diamond. 

It is not, however, a lab made diamond. 

A diamond made in a lab has a chemical formula identical to one dug out of the ground from Canada or Africa or wherever on Earth.  The chemical formula for a diamond is simple, C.  It is 100% carbon.  A CZ, on the other hand, is zirconium dioxide, or chemical formula ZrO2.  The CZ is a lot less hard than a diamond, registering at 8-8.5 on the Mohs scale, v. a diamond's 10.  It is not a linear scale, so 8 is much much softer than 10.  But 8-8.5 is plenty sturdy for jewelry applications.  As a comparison, periodot is a 7, topaz comes in at 8, and corundum (sapphires and rubies) are 9.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 10:09:24 AM by catccc »

WinterSkies

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2017, 10:31:44 AM »
It's amazing how much people will spend on rings, and how much they sell them for!  For what it's worth, both my husband and I are pretty frugal to being with.  Rather than going the "normal" route, DH went to a local jeweler and had them design and make a ring.  It cost him about $600 CAD (2009 prices).  To me, that was much more special than being given a big flashy ring that I would constantly be afraid of damaging or losing.  Instead, I got something that he put a lot of thought and effort into, and I know that no one else has anything exactly like it. 

He was also able to take my likes/dislikes into account much more easily - the diamond is an artificially created blue (they beam electrons at lower colour quality diamonds to alter the colour), and the top surface of the diamond is flush with the ring (e.g. it's flat, with no crazy mount sticking out to smack on everything).  Just a thought for another route you could take - if you're discussing marriage anyway, find out what she likes and get it made yourself :)

Molzy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2017, 10:41:52 AM »
My husband surprised me with our engagement (we had talked marriage and looked at rings but I thought it was still a ways out). He bought a "promise ring" for the engagement that was $400 I think (white gold with three little diamonds, looks like a wedding band). Then, for our wedding rings, we designed my ring together using a family diamond that I was given (otherwise we would've gone moissanite or CZ because I honestly don't care about diamonds). I wear one ring on each hand now.

Some friends of ours did something similar - he bought the stone for the engagement (a blue sapphire rather than a diamond) and then they designed the setting together. So she had to go a few weeks without the ring.

Either way, I'd say to let her have some say in it. I am not a huge jewelry person, so my ring has a fairly low set stone and isn't too big. My coworkers husband bought her a GIANT diamond, and I think she'd have preferred something else since she is constantly worried about it even four years later (she works outside a lot and takes it off and wears a Walmart ring instead).

MarioMario

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 02:18:47 PM »
I got my wife a watch for her birthday that was engraved "it's time, marry me."

As far as rings go it is not uncommon not to have one when you propose.

I would strongly recommend not purchasing something expensive because you will never truly know if she likes it.

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TimmyTightWad

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 02:57:33 PM »
The opportunity to discuss the ring presented itself when you discussed marriage. Maybe you can bring it back up and squeeze that in there. My wife is equally frugal plus the whole conflict diamond thing plus we have friends from Botswana who basically explained how diamonds are like apples in their country, etc. We ended up getting a moissanite ring mostly for tradition re: family/friends/coworkers who have that expectation.

apricity22

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2017, 04:07:59 PM »
My husband surprised me with our engagement (we had talked marriage and looked at rings but I thought it was still a ways out). He bought a "promise ring" for the engagement that was $400 I think (white gold with three little diamonds, looks like a wedding band). Then, for our wedding rings, we designed my ring together using a family diamond that I was given (otherwise we would've gone moissanite or CZ because I honestly don't care about diamonds). I wear one ring on each hand now.


Thank you all. I've decided to go the "promise ring" direction and call it that if we decide to pick out or design something together or call it the engagement ring if we decide to go that way. I found one that I like on Amazon for $160 with free returns so I don't even have to worry about the size (which was also an issue).

Future Lazy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2017, 04:41:04 PM »
I went the route of a placeholder ring ($50 sterling silver and CZ) for the proposal itself.  Then we got something made together with input from both (at $$$$).  Seems to have worked out well, but my wife is also in the pragmatic/frugal camp.

As a non-ring-wearing married lady, do this. You get to retain the surprise of proposal, but not sour it with "and by the way, I spent $1500 without asking you!" Then you can have an open discussion about what you both want/don't want out of marriage, including if you do/don't want rings. We ended up not having rings, even after 3 years. Sometimes we talk about getting matching tattoos, but neither of us are super committed to that either. Really, it just depends on how you want to show your commitment to each other, and that can be in all sorts of ways. :)

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2017, 05:44:01 PM »
I went the route of a placeholder ring ($50 sterling silver and CZ) for the proposal itself.  Then we got something made together with input from both (at $$$$).  Seems to have worked out well, but my wife is also in the pragmatic/frugal camp.

As a non-ring-wearing married lady, do this. You get to retain the surprise of proposal, but not sour it with "and by the way, I spent $1500 without asking you!" Then you can have an open discussion about what you both want/don't want out of marriage, including if you do/don't want rings. We ended up not having rings, even after 3 years. Sometimes we talk about getting matching tattoos, but neither of us are super committed to that either. Really, it just depends on how you want to show your commitment to each other, and that can be in all sorts of ways. :)

As another frugal woman who is not that in to jewelry, I third this! When we decided to get married, I did not want an engagement ring, and I definitely did not want my partner spending way too much on one (also, I didn't understand why I should get expensive presents and when he doesn't, but that is another topic). We decided to forego an engagement ring and design our wedding rings together, following a budget that we both agreed on. It was super romantic in my eyes, because it made me even more sure that this was the guy for me.

epower

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2017, 09:22:58 PM »
I'm planning to propose in August and am going to get a red rose and bottle of champagne.

We have mutually discussed picking out a ring together. I'm in the same boat as you that if I pick something out for a pricey figure and she doesn't like the look of it, she is the one to wear it, not me. I'd rather she pick out something she really likes. She is frugal minded like me so happy with the decision she will make.

Filliteracy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2017, 08:49:24 AM »
It really depends on your current circumstances. If you have a negative net worth or relatively small savings (10-20K), I personally wouldn't recommend spending 15-30% of that on a 3.5K ring. Then again, if you are in a solid financial situation and purchasing that liability barely dents your savings, it really won't be the end of the world. The whole point of mustachianism is to build a giant pile of fuck you money so that you have the freedom to make decisions and maximize your happiness. Speaking from personal experience, I bought an engagement ring for about 4K in 2015, and yes I thought it was an insane amount of money, but guess what - when your net worth is still increasing at a rate of 60K a year, there's no need to panic about that kind of stuff, especially if it's one time. Just don't buy it on credit and don't buy it if you think it'll compromise other things that make you happier.   

mamagoose

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2017, 09:22:07 AM »
My husband proposed to me with a $3,500 diamond ring, it is beautiful & I love it. On our wedding day he gave me a matching $300 wedding band with diamonds set inside the band. Fast forward two years to our first baby - the spiky setting on the engagement ring scratched our infant and made me so upset I haven't worn it in 3 years now. I still wear the wedding band every single day and love it, but I won't wear the spiky engagement ring until our kid is at least in kindergarten. If I could go back in time, I would have told my husband to skip the $3,500 (and put it towards our first home!), or at least be very thoughtful about the SETTING on the ring (if you're planning on babies later). Several mommies I know don't wear their rings for years when their kids are babies b/c of scratching too. One ring is enough for me!

Laura33

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2017, 09:46:16 AM »
Congratulations on having found the person you want to spend your life with!
If she is truly onboard with your frugal lifestyle and savings goals, I think it would be a disservice to her to assume she wants you to spend money on a ring for her and to do it without consulting her first.

This.  I love my engagement ring.  I love even more the fact that my now-husband knew I had particular tastes and that I would much, much prefer to choose/design the ring itself, so he proposed without one in hand.  It was perfect *for me* and showed that he was thinking of me in particular and not some generic "but everybody does it" approach.

BigHaus89

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2017, 10:02:45 AM »
My wife and I mutually decided to get married and didn't want a formal wedding of any kind(because it would be a waste of money). Also, due to the nature of our work and neither of us wear jewelry, we went with silicone rings. https://ensorings.com/

We had a friend sign our marriage license on a beach and all our friends threw us a potluck reception. We actually made money getting married the way we did. Just something to think about.

DrumAllDay

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2017, 10:15:55 AM »
Every couple has different priorities. My wife and I got engaged in 2015 and married in 2016. Here is what worked for us as a frugal couple.

I knew she wanted something nice as an engagement ring and wedding band. She values the fact that she can wear it everyday, and in that sense it adds value to her life every day. For both the engagement ring and wedding band I think it ended up being a total of about $3500. So definitely expensive but if compared to the average cost most people pay, I think that is on the low end.

We made up our costs by having a very small and intimate wedding ceremony and reception. Still traditional Catholic mass but we had just under 30 people total. The reception hall was like $200 plus $20 or so per person. Way cheaper than feeding 200 people, not to mention you can actually relax and enjoy yourself at your own wedding rather than worrying about countless issues that go along with a large wedding.

For our honeymoon we did a non traditional honeymoon by going to a few National Parks. Again, way cheaper than a Caribbean cruise and way more to our liking.

My point is you should spend on what you think is important and cut out the expansive stuff that you dont care for. Make the whole experience your own! We heard from some upset family members and friends (not a lot) about not getting invited, but in the end, I do not value spending $20,000, or whatever ridiculous amount it is, on entertaining a bunch of people I hardly see for one day .

Good Luck!

little_brown_dog

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2017, 12:47:26 PM »
Okay just to be devil’s advocate here…I LOVED that my husband picked my ring himself and surprised me. The ring was absolutely perfect for me, and I feel like many men can and do accurately gauge their fiance’s personal style and tastes to get a ring she loves. The only thing we did beforehand was get my finger sized (way in advance, so I had no idea when it was coming) and I made sure to casually mention to him what rings I thought were pretty once or twice. Personally, I found it far more romantic and meaningful that he did it himself. There is something really special about your partner putting in that much time, thought, and effort to surprise you. I guess for me, if I was there picking it out too, it wouldn't feel as much like a true gift as it would just another mutual expense we were deciding on together. And as for finances, even though my husband and I have always operated as one financial team, I really like that he went ahead and just spent what he spent on the ring he thought would be great for me. The idea of setting a price point together just seems like a bit of a downer, even to frugal old me. My husband is financially responsible and would never do anything dumb like go into debt for the ring, so I had no problem with him deciding what he was comfortable with on his own. My rings are my most prized material possessions. They were worth every penny and the fact that one of them came completely from my husband (not just financially, but without my input/opinion) makes them even more special to me. I'm not sentimental about much, but my rings and my engagement...absolutely.

I think this is going to come down to you and your fiancÚ…do you know her style well enough to have a good idea of what she will like or not like? Is she the type who prefers romance and surprises or is she more pragmatic and less sentimental about these things? Is she particularly picky about her clothes/jewelry and would she want to have a lot of control over such a decision? Are you in a financial place where you can easily blow a few thousand on a ring without batting an eye? Answers to these questions will help you decide what is best for your situation.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 12:51:32 PM by little_brown_dog »

MandalayVA

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2017, 05:14:04 AM »
Proposing without a ring is perfectly okay if you're not sure what your girlfriend likes; that way you can go shopping together.  Also, you might want to consider a non-diamond gem ring.  Mr. Mandalay and I were both born in September so my engagement ring is a sapphire, September's birthstone.  If it was good enough for Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge, it's good enough for me.  :D

TartanTallulah

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2017, 06:51:36 AM »
It sounds as if you need more information about what your girlfriend would appreciate before going out and laying down a substantial sum of money on an emotionally significant but intrinsically useless trinket. I do like the idea of a placeholder ring or other token if you're keen to get on and surprise her with a proposal.

FWIW, my husband proposed without the question of a ring ever arising, and we then agreed that we would not exchange rings when we married. It was a second marriage for both of us (we'd both done everything conventionally the first time round) and neither of us wears a scrap of jewellery. We weren't making any sort of statement, we were just old and secure enough to say no to those cultural aspects of marriage that didn't appeal to us.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2017, 06:59:51 AM »
When my parents got engaged, they bought their plain, golden wedding rings. I have no idea whether they bought the rings together. But the whole point was that when they got married, they switched their rings to their other hand and whoops, they were married. That is how things went a couple of centuries ago. Nowadays men typically feel the need to buy a diamond ring for their fiancÚ. I would have been very uncomfortable receiving a diamond ring, as I find it a waste of money and wouldn't like to wear a diamond that stocks out. My DH did not offer a ring when he asked me to marry him and I didn't give it a thought at that time.
Our wedding rings we bought together: platinum with gold. Otherwise a very plain ring. What I do regret a big in retrospect it that our wedding ring is not round, but square. It is easy to get blisters under the ring of we do some handy work. We need to take off the ring when shoveling.

Broadway2019

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2017, 07:23:38 AM »
Look into Moissanite. My fiance and I both decided Moissanite was the right choice for us. It's way cheaper than a Diamond, but still more of a real stone (not like CZ, etc.). I love my ring and could not be happier. I found a local jeweler who was willing to do a custom ring w/ Moissanite and was about 1/8 of the cost of a diamond and still really special since it was custom.

https://www.brilliantearth.com/news/moissanite-vs-diamond/
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 07:32:16 AM by kwarden13 »

apricity22

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2017, 08:42:32 AM »
I got engaged on May 21! I wound up buying an inexpensive, low quality (but nice IMO) diamond ring from Amazon for $170. She loves it and has been wearing it with pride. I did ask if any of her girlfriends commented on the quality and she said that nobody would have done that even if they had noticed and secondly she didn't really care what others think. The bad news is she has indicated she would like to pick out something nice together. So far we've been looking at a budget of $2300 which isn't too bad if it isn't something important to her but maybe I'll be able to talk her into saving that money, we will shall see.

msmarieh

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2017, 09:07:58 AM »
My husband and I got engaged 26 years ago, just before he was headed back to his home base out of state.

At first he wanted to propose with a cute little ring - turquoise hearts. While it was really cute, I pointed out that no other guys would think I was engaged if I wore it. I knew he couldn't afford a super expensive ring and wasn't asking for that, but I did insist that it needed to look more like an engagement ring. Enter a cheap cubic zirconia type one for me to wear.

He ended up surprising me by buying a true diamond engagement ring with a more formal proposal before he left. To this day I still love it.

I went cheap on the wedding, doing a ton of things to save money since we were paying for it all ourselves - no alcohol, morning ceremony, afternoon wedding, inexpensive bridesmaid dresses that they could wear again, etc. But there were a few things I refused to cut costs on: 1) the photographer, 2) the dress, and 3) the ring. I wish now with hindsight I had gone cheaper on the dress (spent about $1200 if I recall - cheap compared to what many spent on wedding dresses back then, but way more than I needed to spend for something that would spend the rest of its life in a cardboard mausoleum box in the closet), but I never for a moment regretted that we spent good money on the photographer and ring, both of which were the permanent mementos of that day. 26 years later, I still wear my engagement/wedding ring every single day. It is still as gorgeous today as it was when he gave it to me and it has increased in value from when we bought it. THAT I consider money well spent.

I think we spent about $1200 total for the rings (hard to remember if that was just for mine or all three as we got one for hubby as well).

Like most things in life with me, I go cheap on the parts I consider disposable or that I don't care about, but I spend on the things I want to last a lifetime.

south of 61

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2017, 11:54:30 AM »
I got engaged on May 21! I wound up buying an inexpensive, low quality (but nice IMO) diamond ring from Amazon for $170. She loves it and has been wearing it with pride. I did ask if any of her girlfriends commented on the quality and she said that nobody would have done that even if they had noticed and secondly she didn't really care what others think. The bad news is she has indicated she would like to pick out something nice together. So far we've been looking at a budget of $2300 which isn't too bad if it isn't something important to her but maybe I'll be able to talk her into saving that money, we will shall see.

Congratulations on your engagement and thanks for the update! All the best for finding the perfect ring (at the right price) together. Try to take your time, she has the promise ring as a stop-gap, and a few months of searching / mulling over might help you both come to a reasonable compromise.

nouveauRiche

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2017, 12:18:50 PM »
Congrats!

I requested and received a Moissanite engagement ring, which I love.

The diamond engagement ring "tradition" is the result of a De Beers ad campaign.  The "scarcity" of diamonds is the result of a De Beers monopoly.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/02/how-an-ad-campaign-invented-the-diamond-engagement-ring/385376/
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 12:27:16 PM by nouveauRiche »

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2017, 12:47:52 PM »
Congrats on the engagement!!!

Regarding shopping together for a special ring: don't be too hard on her about the budget if you suspect that gifting might be one of her "love languages" (from the book The Five Love Languages). My DH and I went frugal on the e-ring ($175) because we were in debt. We picked it together which was great - we make so many decisions together, why not this one?

But we crushed our student loan debt and have a big pile of savings... and I'd love to have a more durable meaningful ring. DH doesn't want to spend the money (because he's a good frugal mustachian) but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel a bit sad.

So think of her wishes and feelings, think of the cost-per-wear, and if you're worried about money maybe she could go frugal on the dress or the photography. IMO, rings are special family heirlooms and symbols of love. But everyone is different. Good luck!!!

talltexan

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2017, 12:48:35 PM »
I lucked out by making a deal with my (future) wife's grandmother: I asked for her blessing, knowing that she had a ring that she'd be willing to make available. Grandmother was touched, and wife was pleased that I had bought a necklace to show I was still serious. It was a nice necklace, but not as expensive as many engagement rings are.

pbkmaine

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2017, 01:20:16 PM »
Congrats on the engagement!!!

Regarding shopping together for a special ring: don't be too hard on her about the budget if you suspect that gifting might be one of her "love languages" (from the book The Five Love Languages). My DH and I went frugal on the e-ring ($175) because we were in debt. We picked it together which was great - we make so many decisions together, why not this one?

But we crushed our student loan debt and have a big pile of savings... and I'd love to have a more durable meaningful ring. DH doesn't want to spend the money (because he's a good frugal mustachian) but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel a bit sad.

So think of her wishes and feelings, think of the cost-per-wear, and if you're worried about money maybe she could go frugal on the dress or the photography. IMO, rings are special family heirlooms and symbols of love. But everyone is different. Good luck!!!

Tell him you want a ring to commemorate the birth of your first child, which you want to design.

lifejoy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2017, 01:23:13 PM »
Congrats on the engagement!!!

Regarding shopping together for a special ring: don't be too hard on her about the budget if you suspect that gifting might be one of her "love languages" (from the book The Five Love Languages). My DH and I went frugal on the e-ring ($175) because we were in debt. We picked it together which was great - we make so many decisions together, why not this one?

But we crushed our student loan debt and have a big pile of savings... and I'd love to have a more durable meaningful ring. DH doesn't want to spend the money (because he's a good frugal mustachian) but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel a bit sad.

So think of her wishes and feelings, think of the cost-per-wear, and if you're worried about money maybe she could go frugal on the dress or the photography. IMO, rings are special family heirlooms and symbols of love. But everyone is different. Good luck!!!

Tell him you want a ring to commemorate the birth of your first child, which you want to design.

Haha tried it! He came back with the notion that the birth of a first child is the best time to be saving ALL THE MONEY and it's pretty hard to argue with that ;)

I am the one that turned him on to mustachianism and investing, after all. If I hadn't opened my big mouth we'd have $200k in debt and I'd have a very expensive ring! ;)

He's a good guy. But to bring it back to this thread: I just think you have to be careful when saying to a loved one: "I don't think spending this money on you is the best use of money."

Linea_Norway

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2017, 02:06:33 PM »
I got engaged on May 21! I wound up buying an inexpensive, low quality (but nice IMO) diamond ring from Amazon for $170. She loves it and has been wearing it with pride. I did ask if any of her girlfriends commented on the quality and she said that nobody would have done that even if they had noticed and secondly she didn't really care what others think. The bad news is she has indicated she would like to pick out something nice together. So far we've been looking at a budget of $2300 which isn't too bad if it isn't something important to her but maybe I'll be able to talk her into saving that money, we will shall see.

Then why not buy something durable together, like a set of cutlery if you don't have a nice set yet. This would last for a few decades.

lifejoy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2017, 02:19:28 PM »
I got engaged on May 21! I wound up buying an inexpensive, low quality (but nice IMO) diamond ring from Amazon for $170. She loves it and has been wearing it with pride. I did ask if any of her girlfriends commented on the quality and she said that nobody would have done that even if they had noticed and secondly she didn't really care what others think. The bad news is she has indicated she would like to pick out something nice together. So far we've been looking at a budget of $2300 which isn't too bad if it isn't something important to her but maybe I'll be able to talk her into saving that money, we will shall see.

Then why not buy something durable together, like a set of cutlery if you don't have a nice set yet. This would last for a few decades.

How romantic! ;) haha just pulling your leg.

They'll get cutlery as a wedding present! No need to buy something so practical.

Broadway2019

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2017, 03:17:21 PM »
Sometimes I think the responses on this site are so literal. I understand saving money, but there is more to life than counting pennies, especially when finding the right person to marry. Do what makes her and you happy - $1k-2k if have no debt is not going to make or break retirement. This is something that will last her entire life and something she will wear for a long time. If you take how much you spend and divide by the approximate number of days (say 20 years), her ring would cost you 13-27 cents a day. Not worth skimping if she will have any regrets or want to upgrade later.

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #43 on: May 30, 2017, 08:01:16 PM »
Sometimes I think the responses on this site are so literal. I understand saving money, but there is more to life than counting pennies, especially when finding the right person to marry.

If you think a rock dug out of a mine has more inherent significance than one created in a lab, then by all means, spend thousands.

lifejoy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2017, 08:11:40 PM »
Sometimes I think the responses on this site are so literal. I understand saving money, but there is more to life than counting pennies, especially when finding the right person to marry.

If you think a rock dug out of a mine has more inherent significance than one created in a lab, then by all means, spend thousands.


I didn't see that as the main point of the above comment. But the fact remains we will all feel differently about stuff like this :)

Good to know what kind of person you're dealing with when building a life, and finding a way to get onto the same page!

partgypsy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2017, 07:36:28 AM »
I think the OP has enough information to go on. I know a lot of people who honestly do not care about jewelry and will be happy with whatever their fiancÚ gives them. While I don't wear a lot of jewelry, I am very particular about the jewelry I do wear. For example if it's turquoise I love knowing that it's American turquoise and what mine it came from.
For my first (and so far only) marriage my husband knew how I was so we designed a colored ring together ($640 which was a lot of money for us then). Nine years later I designed a diamond anniversary band for our 10 year anniversary. I ended up wearing that as my engagement ring. Long story but no longer have the diamond ring anymore.

if I ever got remarried, I would much rather have an anniversary style ring with multiple low set stones than a traditional stone engagement ring.
That's why it's important to talk to the girlfriend. She may love you for you to pick something out. She may prefer not to have a ring at all. Or she would like to show you examples, or actually pick the ring. If it's that much money, better to do it right.
If you are getting a diamond ring, while people know the specs of color and clarity, the cut quality makes a huge difference in how the stone performs. It is worth doing some research on this. 

And I also want to say, just because she wants a nice ring, doesn't mean she's a gold digger or financially irresponsible. First of all there are ways of finding nice rings without paying full retail, and 2nd everyone has different priorities and values.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 07:39:13 AM by partgypsy »

apricity22

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2017, 10:11:22 PM »
Sometimes I think the responses on this site are so literal. I understand saving money, but there is more to life than counting pennies, especially when finding the right person to marry. Do what makes her and you happy - $1k-2k if have no debt is not going to make or break retirement. This is something that will last her entire life and something she will wear for a long time. If you take how much you spend and divide by the approximate number of days (say 20 years), her ring would cost you 13-27 cents a day. Not worth skimping if she will have any regrets or want to upgrade later.

I completely agree and I am glad you mentioned this because I am often guilty of looking at things only from the perspective of the bottom line. I can tell it really means a lot to her and she wants something that is special and will last forever. We have the money in savings and she is fine with the budget so it seems like the right move. Additionally, we are not planning a traditional wedding, just a few family and friends on the beach (with one of them serving as the officiant) and then heading to a restaurant afterwards so we are already going to save a lot of money there.

To respond to the other poster we are more than likely going with a lab created diamond because we don't care whether it's dug out of the ground or not.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2017, 11:03:52 PM »
Good idea with the cheap wedding. This might be a just as nice experience, and probably much better. Smart to not burn lots of money for that one day in your life.

Broadway2019

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2017, 06:33:34 AM »
Sometimes I think the responses on this site are so literal. I understand saving money, but there is more to life than counting pennies, especially when finding the right person to marry. Do what makes her and you happy - $1k-2k if have no debt is not going to make or break retirement. This is something that will last her entire life and something she will wear for a long time. If you take how much you spend and divide by the approximate number of days (say 20 years), her ring would cost you 13-27 cents a day. Not worth skimping if she will have any regrets or want to upgrade later.

I completely agree and I am glad you mentioned this because I am often guilty of looking at things only from the perspective of the bottom line. I can tell it really means a lot to her and she wants something that is special and will last forever. We have the money in savings and she is fine with the budget so it seems like the right move. Additionally, we are not planning a traditional wedding, just a few family and friends on the beach (with one of them serving as the officiant) and then heading to a restaurant afterwards so we are already going to save a lot of money there.

To respond to the other poster we are more than likely going with a lab created diamond because we don't care whether it's dug out of the ground or not.

We are in the same boat. Got engaged 8 months ago and neither of us wants a big wedding so we saving there. Thinking of doing something similar where we have 8-10 people on the beach and have dinner after. We are 2 females so bought 2 rings. We did spend quite a bit on the settings as we wanted platinum and ended up with moissanite. We have no regrets and love our rings and will wear these for 40+ years.

partgypsy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2017, 12:55:50 PM »
Sometimes I think the responses on this site are so literal. I understand saving money, but there is more to life than counting pennies, especially when finding the right person to marry. Do what makes her and you happy - $1k-2k if have no debt is not going to make or break retirement. This is something that will last her entire life and something she will wear for a long time. If you take how much you spend and divide by the approximate number of days (say 20 years), her ring would cost you 13-27 cents a day. Not worth skimping if she will have any regrets or want to upgrade later.

I completely agree and I am glad you mentioned this because I am often guilty of looking at things only from the perspective of the bottom line. I can tell it really means a lot to her and she wants something that is special and will last forever. We have the money in savings and she is fine with the budget so it seems like the right move. Additionally, we are not planning a traditional wedding, just a few family and friends on the beach (with one of them serving as the officiant) and then heading to a restaurant afterwards so we are already going to save a lot of money there.

To respond to the other poster we are more than likely going with a lab created diamond because we don't care whether it's dug out of the ground or not.

I just wanted to clarify something, just so you are not paying more for something than need be. There are now lab created diamonds (up until relatively recently, the only lab diamonds were for industrial applications). Look for something with a  GCAL certificate. D.NEA, gemesis sells lab or cultured or man made diamonds. You may be disappointed in that the price differential is not that great from a natural diamond.
Everything else is a simulant diamond (cubic zirconia, amora, moissanite, crystal etc). I just don't want you thinking you are purchasing a man made diamond when you are buying a cz, which are dollars per carat, not thousands of dollars per carat.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 12:57:39 PM by partgypsy »