Author Topic: Engagement rings  (Read 9808 times)

connor

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Engagement rings
« on: January 06, 2016, 01:46:13 PM »
So I debated putting this in the Wall of Shame, but it's my girlfriend so I figured I'd post it here instead. I think I've just fallen out of favour with her over our opposing views on engagement rings.

I love her and she's pretty good with money when it comes to groceries etc. but she has a ridiculous clothes habit and now this with the ring. I honestly think it's just 'what on earth would my mother/friends/people I don't even know or care about think if I were to not keep up with the Joneses, so I don't know what the best thing to do is.

We were talking about engagement rings, and she mentioned that she liked the 8ct size, I then showed her how much they cost (100k/$150k is how much I saw), she then said she'd like a act one minimum (Bargain at 40k/$60k) which made me debate whether she understands the value of things at all. I told her I really don't understand the point of a diamond engagement ring when diamonds are inherently worthless and have had such a detrimental impact on the world, especially Africa (She even grew up in South Africa!). I then got 'You're making it so depressing, knowing you don't even want to get it, you should be excited to', and then 'Fine don't buy one then, it's your money so it doesn't matter if you don't want to buy it'

Very stuck, any suggestions? I should add that we're both 19 so that could explain her naivety over prices.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 02:15:24 PM »
Diamonds are not inherently worthless, being the hardest material on the planet they make a very useful tool for machining and other uses. That being said, it seems she is currently too young(or too immature) to get married. I recently had a wedding ring made by David Klass and he did an excellent job. I used an Amora Gem which is more brilliant and has more fire than a diamond, the fine people at David Klass Jewelery put my Amora gem on a platinum band for me, I think it's a great ring and a great choice for stubborn women who want nice rings. I would recommend doing something like this for her when she grows up. You can get a 5ct Amora Gem for $3,500(I got a .8ct for $850) and David Klass will probably charge about $750-$1,500 to put it on a nice platinum band.

ysette9

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 02:19:00 PM »
My first reaction was that you seem to be incompatible with such drastically different views on money and spending.

Then I saw the part about you both being 19. I agree with you that there is likely a big immaturity component going on here. 19 is really young. I didn't have any idea about how much things cost, how much money is reasonable to earn, priorities in life, and so forth at that age. Wait 5-6 years or so and then revisit the idea of marriage and engagement rings.

connor

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 02:21:40 PM »
Diamonds are not inherently worthless, being the hardest material on the planet they make a very useful tool for machining and other uses. That being said, it seems she is currently too young(or too immature) to get married. I recently had a wedding ring made by David Klass and he did an excellent job. I used an Amora Gem which is more brilliant and has more fire than a diamond, the fine people at David Klass Jewelery put my Amora gem on a platinum band for me, I think it's a great ring and a great choice for stubborn women who want nice rings. I would recommend doing something like this for her when she grows up. You can get a 5ct Amora Gem for $3,500(I got a .8ct for $850) and David Klass will probably charge about $750-$1,500 to put it on a nice platinum band.

Point taken about the 'inherently worthless', I think you understand what I mean though. I wasn't planning on proposing right now anyway, but it was just a conversation that shocked me a little and I was curious about what others here thought. But thanks for the advice, definitely seems like a good option when the time comes!

My first reaction was that you seem to be incompatible with such drastically different views on money and spending.

Then I saw the part about you both being 19. I agree with you that there is likely a big immaturity component going on here. 19 is really young. I didn't have any idea about how much things cost, how much money is reasonable to earn, priorities in life, and so forth at that age. Wait 5-6 years or so and then revisit the idea of marriage and engagement rings.

Definitely agree, and like I say above, I'm not thinking of proposing right now so no need to come up with a solution immediately, I should have made that clearer. Thanks for your advice!

BeanCounter

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 02:30:19 PM »
Can I ask- at 19, where would you get that kind of money to put down on a ring??? What would you have to sacrifice to purchase it?
Met my husband at 22 yo, at 26 yo he proposed with a .75 carat diamond solitare. He worked hard for that ring. We are much, much wealthier now, 11 years later and I would never, ever trade that ring in for anything bigger. Its a symbol of our love and the very best that he could do at the time. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I think it's beautiful for those reasons.
Please wait until she grows up or find someone else.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 02:40:43 PM »
So I debated putting this in the Wall of Shame, but it's my girlfriend so I figured I'd post it here instead. I think I've just fallen out of favour with her over our opposing views on engagement rings.

I love her and she's pretty good with money when it comes to groceries etc. but she has a ridiculous clothes habit and now this with the ring. I honestly think it's just 'what on earth would my mother/friends/people I don't even know or care about think if I were to not keep up with the Joneses, so I don't know what the best thing to do is.

We were talking about engagement rings, and she mentioned that she liked the 8ct size, I then showed her how much they cost (100k/$150k is how much I saw), she then said she'd like a act one minimum (Bargain at 40k/$60k) which made me debate whether she understands the value of things at all. I told her I really don't understand the point of a diamond engagement ring when diamonds are inherently worthless and have had such a detrimental impact on the world, especially Africa (She even grew up in South Africa!). I then got 'You're making it so depressing, knowing you don't even want to get it, you should be excited to', and then 'Fine don't buy one then, it's your money so it doesn't matter if you don't want to buy it'

Very stuck, any suggestions? I should add that we're both 19 so that could explain her naivety over prices.
Eight carats? Am I reading that right? Eight? Because Justin Timberlake's engagement ring for Jessica Biel was eight carats.

Also, you're 19. I hate to say what a bunch of others will say but you're too young to be thinking about getting engaged or married. Slow down. If you're meant to be then you'll stick together and you can get married whenever you're ready.

connor

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 02:48:02 PM »
Can I ask- at 19, where would you get that kind of money to put down on a ring??? What would you have to sacrifice to purchase it?
Met my husband at 22 yo, at 26 yo he proposed with a .75 carat diamond solitare. He worked hard for that ring. We are much, much wealthier now, 11 years later and I would never, ever trade that ring in for anything bigger. Its a symbol of our love and the very best that he could do at the time. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I think it's beautiful for those reasons.
Please wait until she grows up or find someone else.

I don't have that kind of money at all, I have $10k from a side gig while at university, but I'm not touching that.
I agree with everything you posted, on my wavelength 100%.

Also more generally I think I need to point out again I'm not thinking of proposing. It's come up in conversation numerous times and I thought it'd be interesting to explore it and was just shocked at what came from it, that's all. I know that marriage at my age isn't what I should be focussing on.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 03:00:41 PM »
Can I ask- at 19, where would you get that kind of money to put down on a ring??? What would you have to sacrifice to purchase it?
Met my husband at 22 yo, at 26 yo he proposed with a .75 carat diamond solitare. He worked hard for that ring. We are much, much wealthier now, 11 years later and I would never, ever trade that ring in for anything bigger. Its a symbol of our love and the very best that he could do at the time. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I think it's beautiful for those reasons.
Please wait until she grows up or find someone else.

I don't have that kind of money at all, I have $10k from a side gig while at university, but I'm not touching that.
I agree with everything you posted, on my wavelength 100%.

Also more generally I think I need to point out again I'm not thinking of proposing. It's come up in conversation numerous times and I thought it'd be interesting to explore it and was just shocked at what came from it, that's all. I know that marriage at my age isn't what I should be focussing on.

Then I wouldn't even debate it. Let life take its course. Your GF will get a job and learn the value of money when she starts paying for everything on her own. Her own expectations will adjust as she matures.

okits

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 03:48:15 PM »
Non-serious answer: tell her you expect an engagement gift of equivalent monetary value before you will consent to marry.

Serious answer: do not contemplate marrying anyone until you are on the same page, with your values and financially.  You might not be ready to marry, now, but be aware if experience and maturity don't seem to bring your priorities and expectations closer together, over time.

lbmustache

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 04:18:51 PM »
So I debated putting this in the Wall of Shame, but it's my girlfriend so I figured I'd post it here instead. I think I've just fallen out of favour with her over our opposing views on engagement rings.

I love her and she's pretty good with money when it comes to groceries etc. but she has a ridiculous clothes habit and now this with the ring. I honestly think it's just 'what on earth would my mother/friends/people I don't even know or care about think if I were to not keep up with the Joneses, so I don't know what the best thing to do is.

We were talking about engagement rings, and she mentioned that she liked the 8ct size, I then showed her how much they cost (100k/$150k is how much I saw), she then said she'd like a act one minimum (Bargain at 40k/$60k) which made me debate whether she understands the value of things at all. I told her I really don't understand the point of a diamond engagement ring when diamonds are inherently worthless and have had such a detrimental impact on the world, especially Africa (She even grew up in South Africa!). I then got 'You're making it so depressing, knowing you don't even want to get it, you should be excited to', and then 'Fine don't buy one then, it's your money so it doesn't matter if you don't want to buy it'

Very stuck, any suggestions? I should add that we're both 19 so that could explain her naivety over prices.
Eight carats? Am I reading that right? Eight? Because Justin Timberlake's engagement ring for Jessica Biel was eight carats.

Also, you're 19. I hate to say what a bunch of others will say but you're too young to be thinking about getting engaged or married. Slow down. If you're meant to be then you'll stick together and you can get married whenever you're ready.

I saw this and was flabbergasted too. I could maybe understand if one or both of you are coming from very wealthy families where this is the norm. Is she aware how large (and expensive) an 8 carat ring is?

If she likes the look of bigger rings - and you are moving forward with this relationship - you can get a ring made with smaller stones around the larger stone. It gives the illusion of it being a bigger ring. Not sure what this is called (halo?).



White sapphire or mossanite are also cheaper alternatives to diamonds, without carrying that "fake" stigma. But still. 8 mfing carats!!!

pbkmaine

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 04:44:54 PM »
There's a lot of research to support the idea that the happiest relationships spend the least on things like engagement rings and weddings.

woopwoop

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 05:17:56 PM »
Eight carats? Am I reading that right? Eight? Because Justin Timberlake's engagement ring for Jessica Biel was eight carats.
That's probably where she saw it in a magazine. I mean come on, she's a teenager, I'm surprised she didn't ask for the goddamn Hope diamond.

Nthing the idea that you two are incompatible but whatever, you're nineteen, either she'll grow up or you'll find someone better suited for you who'll be happy with a moissanite or other gem. I personally had a glass engagement ring passed down from my grandmother that had a ton of sentimental value and I was perfectly happy with it. If you ever decide to propose, OP, (in ten years) I'd suggest asking the parents if there are any heirloom [whatever gem your gf likes] in the family that they know of. Getting an heirloom reset into an engagement ring is cheaper and has so much more meaning.

lizzzi

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 05:33:55 PM »
I was engaged when I was 17. He gave me a lovely, vintage family diamond ring--just a little diamond and some chips for sparkle. (think it belonged to a grandmother or a great-aunt). I was perfectly happy with it. We did end up going our separate ways--he went to work, I went to college and traveled--and I did give the ring back, since it was a family piece. I wouldn't have felt right keeping it.

But as others have said--the OPs girlfriend needs to grow up a bit. She might never mature, though. Could still be asking for a multi-carat stone when she's 30.

gReed Smith

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 05:53:59 PM »
Fake diamonds are gorgeous.  I buy them for my wife and she loves them.

halfshellmeijin

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 05:59:09 PM »
I got a .5 ct white gold ring for ~$500. Which was more than I really wanted to spend but I could compromise on that. She got me my ideal ring. Surgical steel so 1) shines like a precious metal ring 2) can be cut off in a medical emergency so they don't have to cut my finger off 3) $7. The ring that fits my values. But as far as an actual response, I think the conversation you had already should be enough. She will think about it and hopefully realize buying a ring for the price of a house is not reasonable.

Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2016, 06:08:23 PM »
Met my husband at 22 yo, at 26 yo he proposed with a .75 carat diamond solitare. He worked hard for that ring. We are much, much wealthier now, 11 years later and I would never, ever trade that ring in for anything bigger. Its a symbol of our love and the very best that he could do at the time. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I think it's beautiful for those reasons.

It sounds like a noble sentiment to be happy with "the best that he could do at the time" - but on the other hand it's a shame that in our society, a financially unwise (and possibly contributory to global suffering) purchase is expected and even celebrated.

galliver

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2016, 08:37:00 PM »
I don't think a couple necessarily has to agree 100% from the get-go, inherently, on any/every issue including engagement rings. But I do think it bodes well for the relationship when the people in it are willing to meet in the middle and see each other's point of view. Engagement rings aren't just about actual value; receiving it and wearing it is cultural tradition (just because it's only been a few generations and not millenia that this has been widespread beyond the upper classes doesn't make it feel less traditional for those whose mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers did it). And if that tradition is important to someone, for their partner to straight up say "that's a silly waste of money I won't do it" is...well...pretty rude and inconsiderate.

Then again, I think women picking out/making demands about their engagement rings is kind of tacky, too? It's supposed to be a gift, after all. I feel like it cheapens it to ask for specifics.

Incidentally, I'm a woman and I didn't really want a ring (my parents didn't even wear wedding bands, I find rings uncomfortable, I'd have to remove it/them for my job as at times they can be a safety hazard) but it was important to my bf so I'm willing to concede (within a reasonable budget). Because it's important on a more-than-financial level.

lizzzi

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2016, 09:07:00 PM »
Yeah, when I got married for the first time at age 25, all I wanted was a plain gold band. (Like my grandmother had had.) But it was important to my fiance to buy me a diamond engagement ring (control issues started early...hem, hem...should have seen the red flag.) Anyway, I got my diamond to flash around, but it was modest in size and certainly affordable.

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2016, 09:08:36 PM »
If you're both 19 and not planning an engagement, maybe she wants you to indulge her with a fantasy? My (35) year old boyfriend and I spend hours talking about the luxurious romantic vacations we are going to take each other on. But barring a lottery win, we will likely go on one romantic trip that is less luxurious in the next few years. After that, I expect all vacations for many years to be kid focused, preferably hot, and just as love filled but not what we talk about.

If she actually wants and thinks she's getting a $100k ring, she should leave you and leverage her youth to get a rich spender.

aperture

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2016, 09:40:05 PM »
These guys do a great job making real jewelry with CZ stones.  My beloved wife (who was very happy with her 0.75 ct pawn store diamond) wanted an anniversary ring, so we got a three stone beauty that is just big enough to look amazing without being so large that people know its fake. 

http://www.ziamond.com/rounclastifs.html

We have had friends get jewelry from these guys and satisfaction has been 100%.  Highly recommend - win win for you and the girlfriend - she gets a fat stone and you get off for less then a grand.  -Ap

JLR

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2016, 10:20:02 PM »
What sort of income or upbringing does she have, to ask for a ring like that?

My husband and I decided at age 15/16 (me/him) that we would marry in the future. At 19 we found a nice ring and announced our engagement. I don't know how many carats it is, not many. Maybe even 0.25 or 0.5. Cost just under $1000, but we got a 10% student discount on it! :)

Married at 20, fast forward 14 years after buying it and I find that I never wear it, as I do so many messy/hard jobs with my hands. I lost a diamond from it a few years ago, had it fixed then put it in a drawer. I still like it and think it is very pretty, but wearing it just doesn't suit my current daily life. I get by with my wedding band and no one has ever noticed I'm not wearing an engagement ring. But I bet there would have been a lot of comment when we announced our engagement, if I was entirely sans engagement ring at that point.


1967mama

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2016, 01:07:46 AM »
This made me think of Michael Scott!

galliver

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2016, 01:51:50 AM »
Yeah, when I got married for the first time at age 25, all I wanted was a plain gold band. (Like my grandmother had had.) But it was important to my fiance to buy me a diamond engagement ring (control issues started early...hem, hem...should have seen the red flag.) Anyway, I got my diamond to flash around, but it was modest in size and certainly affordable.

Heh. I definitely don't think it's a control issue for bf, just an aspect of a life/relationship event he was expecting and looking forward to. Like bringing an SO home for the holidays or traveling or moving in together. Also to his credit, entirely not set on diamonds.

BeanCounter

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2016, 03:43:21 AM »
Met my husband at 22 yo, at 26 yo he proposed with a .75 carat diamond solitare. He worked hard for that ring. We are much, much wealthier now, 11 years later and I would never, ever trade that ring in for anything bigger. Its a symbol of our love and the very best that he could do at the time. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I think it's beautiful for those reasons.

It sounds like a noble sentiment to be happy with "the best that he could do at the time" - but on the other hand it's a shame that in our society, a financially unwise (and possibly contributory to global suffering) purchase is expected and even celebrated.
I don't think it's financially unwise if that's what you want to do, and you save up and pay cash for it. I can get on board with not buying diamonds because of "global suffering", but my husband didn't think that way- 11 years ago. It was a gift from him.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2016, 05:58:57 AM »
as others have mentioned, your gf sounds like she has a few screws loose if she genuinely thinks a regular person can buy an 8ct diamond.

 that being said, i personally feel that if you can afford a very nice ring worth thousands, then go for it. my ring was expensive, but my husband was able to buy it without going into debt or negatively impacting us financially, so it wasn't a problem. i love my rings - my band and engagement ring are the most precious material items i own both emotionally, and financially, and i never take them off. yes, many mustachians consider an expensive ring a waste, but wastefulness is a pretty relative concept. even mustachian american lifestyles are considered very wasteful by those living in developing nations. as far as the global diamond trade, it certainly is brutal...but most people eat meat and buy cheap clothes, and agriculture and the fashion industries are just as vicious and morally deplorable. you gotta pick your battles.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 06:03:06 AM by little_brown_dog »

MrsPete

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2016, 07:52:03 AM »
She's a teenager.  I'm sure she has little experience with earning money and doesn't understand the cost of things.  I'm thinking of a student of mine who just the other day was saying that she's about to turn 16, and if her parents don't buy her a pink Hummer she's going to pitch a fit.  This is a kid from a poor home. 

The OP, on the other hand, seems to have his head on straight. 


I'm a red panda

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2016, 07:59:03 AM »
I just would ignore it.  If she's wanting an 8 ct ring, she has no clue how money works. Give her some time to mature a bit.

However, if you are someone who could never buy a diamond, you might have a problem.  I don't think you will ever talk this girl out of a diamond, and she will probably want a 3/4 or 1 ct when she gets engaged. (Sizes that I think are entirely reasonable for people with decent paying jobs.)


I wish I had thought to get a fake diamond. But I love the ring I got- .7 ct. (Husband picked it out, I had no say in the size or style)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 09:19:42 AM by iowajes »

Jack

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2016, 08:12:47 AM »
as others have mentioned, your gf sounds like she has a few screws loose if she genuinely thinks a regular person can buy an 8ct diamond.

+1. No, wait... +$150K!

Either you guys are proverbial "one percenters" or the girlfriend in question has completely divorced herself from reality.

FWIW, my wife doesn't have an engagement ring at all and our wedding bands are (cheap) tungsten. It's worked for us so far, at least!

elaine amj

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2016, 08:37:53 AM »
I wish I had gotten a cheap, non-diamond engagement ring. But when I got married (21), I would not have had the strength to buck convention like that. My mom in particular places a lot of importance on appearances. I went ring shopping with DH (yes, I am a control freak like that and we both knew it then too) and while I really wanted a more subdued ring, I'm thankful he insisted on getting me a flashier ring (I still miss the ring I really wanted though). It know it's hopelessly traditional - but it did confirm to my family and friends that he had the money to provide for us and that I would be in good hands. It made my mother happy and went a ways to calming fears that i was marrying so young.

Looking back, it's all rather silly since we would certainly be further ahead if he didn't pay so much for a ring. But, honestly, it helped in so many ways that I'm happy he pushed for it. Also, it was only 1 month's salary, so reasonable and he had the cash for it. 15 years later, I've developed a rash when I wear it so both my rings are packed away. Both of us would prefer if I wore them but neither of us care enough to take it to a jewelers and see what can be done so I can wear it comfortably.

Thinking about this...I think I'll set it aside for my kids and encourage them to turn it into an heirloom engagement ring when the time comes. It would make me happy to help future generations save a bundle :) Or we'll use one of my mom's pieces for that (since hers are nicer lol).

Retire-Canada

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2016, 08:54:56 AM »
Very stuck, any suggestions? I should add that we're both 19 so that could explain her naivety over prices.

When the time comes buy her what you think is reasonable ring and offer it to her as you propose. If she declines because the ring isn't expensive enough...especially if the difference is 1100% [$5K vs. $60K] that's a clear sign you shouldn't marry that person.

Personally I wouldn't spend more than $1K on a ring and I earn between $90K - $130K a year. In fact I am going to spend zero on a ring because I won't marry my GF. She's had her ring, engagement, marriage and divorce already. It's time to get on with life.

BeanCounter

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2016, 09:13:54 AM »
Very stuck, any suggestions? I should add that we're both 19 so that could explain her naivety over prices.

When the time comes buy her what you think is reasonable ring and offer it to her as you propose. If she declines because the ring isn't expensive enough...especially if the difference is 1100% [$5K vs. $60K] that's a clear sign you shouldn't marry that person.

I think this is the best advice yet. I would also add that if she starts planning a lavish and expensive wedding and you don't want that, especially before you've even given her the ring, you should reconsider.
Isn't there some statistical data that says the bigger the ring and the more expensive the wedding the less likely the marriage is successful?
My grandparents, married 60 years had a .25ct diamond engagement ring and cake in the church basement. Their estate is now worth $4M. I try to use their choices as my guide as much as possible.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2016, 09:21:50 AM »
OP - please heed this advice:  a woman who is so concerned about the size of her ring that she is going to actually try to guilt you into buying her a big diamond, is not marrying you because she wants a marriage. she is marrying you because she wants a wedding. i know you are young, but marrying the wrong person is quite easily one of the worst things you can do to yourself. marrying the wrong person when you know they are not a good choice is like a form of self abuse. please know you deserve a woman who would be thrilled to marry you with 0 diamond strings attached.

i also don't buy the naive argument - a 19 year old can easily tell that a massive ring is probably prohibitively expensive. and i also don't buy the argument that young women are naturally into really expensive things...the true keepers are probably not the ones obsessed with status symbols. there are tons of 19 year old women who don't care if they get a huge ring, they just want to find a partner who loves them.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 09:28:07 AM by little_brown_dog »

I'm a red panda

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2016, 09:22:36 AM »
I wish I had gotten a cheap, non-diamond engagement ring. But when I got married (21), I would not have had the strength to buck convention like that. My mom in particular places a lot of importance on appearances.

I think this is one of the reasons I didn't think to really press with my then-boyfriend that I didn't want a diamond at all. It's really hard to go against the grain; I got engaged when I was 21.

My Mom is like that too. She wanted to pick all the rhinestones off my wedding veil because "people will know they aren't real diamonds".  Yeah, no shit I don't have a diamond encrusted veil. People will say 'ooh, sparkly'.  (I wish she had let me seen the price tag on the damn veils though. I can't think of any wedding item with more markup. I could have made almost the exact same thing for 1% of the price since I know how to sew!)

little_brown_dog

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2016, 09:47:23 AM »
I wish I had gotten a cheap, non-diamond engagement ring. But when I got married (21), I would not have had the strength to buck convention like that. My mom in particular places a lot of importance on appearances.

I think this is one of the reasons I didn't think to really press with my then-boyfriend that I didn't want a diamond at all. It's really hard to go against the grain; I got engaged when I was 21.

My Mom is like that too. She wanted to pick all the rhinestones off my wedding veil because "people will know they aren't real diamonds".  Yeah, no shit I don't have a diamond encrusted veil. People will say 'ooh, sparkly'.  (I wish she had let me seen the price tag on the damn veils though. I can't think of any wedding item with more markup. I could have made almost the exact same thing for 1% of the price since I know how to sew!)

Hehe my mom hated the idea of serving vegetarian food at my wedding because she thought it would look cheap and that guests would think we didn't want to pay for the really expensive meat dishes...i'm a vegetarian.

smella

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2016, 09:50:51 AM »
a) dont marry this girl

b) my engagement ring cost about 1% of my spouse's salary, and its a beautiful unique ring that i love.   and then we put 10k in our future child's college savings acct. win win.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2016, 10:16:41 AM »
Just to go play devil's advocate against my previous post and against some of the things being said in this thread: it's okay to spend a little on an engagement ring, so long as you budget for it and it's reasonable considering you and your spouse's income.

I get tired sometimes of people (on here and in general) bragging about how cheap their wedding or engagement ring is. "My wife's ring is made of solidified dust from the attic and cost us $4." Great, but you do you, and don't pass judgment on others.

I just recently purchased my GF's engagement ring in December and paid $2,100 for it. It's a beautiful, classic solitaire ring with a .5 carat diamond. The diamond is the top cut, top clarity, top everything. This is the ring here: https://eshop.gabrielny.com/product/ER6672W4JJJ

I saved for that all year by putting $200/month in an account my GF had no idea about. I paid cash for it.

And I was okay with the expense because (a) we make about $115k combined so it was reasonable considering our joint income, and, more importantly, (b) we never, ever, ever do expensive things for each other. We've been dating for more than two years and have maybe gone out to eat 10 times. The most expensive thing I've bought for her is a Mickey Mouse/Pittsburgh Steelers blanket (two of her favorite things in one!) for like $30. The most expensive dinner we've had together was for my birthday, and that was like $115 up in Cleveland. We put a $50 cap on birthday and Christmas spending.

Given all that, I felt all our savings and discipline elsewhere allowed me to splurge a little on her ring.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you do you. If you want to treat your GF and it's within your means, go for it. An eight carat ring is still absolutely ridiculous, though.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 10:18:46 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

lizzzi

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2016, 10:59:28 AM »
Good for you, ReadySetMillionaire. That is a beautiful, classic style (and will look great down in Heinz Stadium, or on the shores of Lake Erie.)

Kitsunegari

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2016, 12:11:56 PM »
it's okay to spend a little on an engagement ring, so long as you budget for it and it's reasonable considering you and your spouse's income.

you do you, and don't pass judgment on others.


Thank you for this!
I don't have an engagement ring, but I like jewels and my DH likes to gift me jewels, so I appreciate that someone defends the shiny things.
If people have the cash and are sensible with their money, buying jewels is a little indulgence not worse than buying a nicer car, or going to eat delicious food in an upscale restaurant. Plus, jewels and watches make nice inheritance gifts!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2016, 12:37:05 PM »
Plus, jewels and watches make nice inheritance gifts!

Funny, I just turned down my grandmother's diamond ring and took a postcard collection instead. The diamond ring is not something I'd ever wear, and it is not something I'd ever be able to sell (the family would flip out!)- so it had no value to me at all. But I love reading and collecting old (and new) postcards.


galliver

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2016, 01:46:06 PM »
Isn't there some statistical data that says the bigger the ring and the more expensive the wedding the less likely the marriage is successful?
My grandparents, married 60 years had a .25ct diamond engagement ring and cake in the church basement. Their estate is now worth $4M. I try to use their choices as my guide as much as possible.

There was a study and a slew of articles that came out a few months back about this. However, there was one other element, that people who had lots of people at their wedding had more successful marriages. However, none of this is causal--inviting more people you don't really want there won't make your marriage better, and buying a ring doesn't inherently make it worse. Rather, it's suggesting that underlying personality traits and values determine the outcome. More guests is a sign that the couple puts effort into sustaining relationships over time (even though they increase the cost of the wedding through possibly food, possibly venue, etc). Whereas spending lots on ring and a wedding likely indicates lavish choices and placing value on things rather than people. The one potentially causal link is that spending beyond the couple's means for a wedding could lay the foundation for financial strife early in the marriage, and I'm sure everyone here knows finances are one of the biggest causes of marital strife and divorce! 

snuggler

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2016, 03:32:32 PM »
We were talking about engagement rings, and she mentioned that she liked the 8ct size, I then showed her how much they cost (100k/$150k is how much I saw), she then said she'd like a act one minimum (Bargain at 40k/$60k) which made me debate whether she understands the value of things at all.

Did you mean to say that she said she'd like a 1 carat minimum? You can get a 1 carat ring for much less than $60k. $8-15k is probably average for that size, but if you buy used or buy one lower on the "c" scales you could probably get one for even less.

Although I agree that you two need to be on the same page with regards to finances before you get married, I do want to point out that if you did marry, she would plan to wear this ring every day for the rest of her life. She needs to like it, and not resent it. It is also a reason to consider more durable materials, unless she would prefer to pay less and deal with maintenance and possibly having to replace it later. Everyone has different priorities, but it really isn't that absurd to spend $5-10k on something you will literally wear every day for the rest of your life.

partgypsy

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2016, 09:28:54 AM »
So I debated putting this in the Wall of Shame, but it's my girlfriend so I figured I'd post it here instead. I think I've just fallen out of favour with her over our opposing views on engagement rings.

I love her and she's pretty good with money when it comes to groceries etc. but she has a ridiculous clothes habit and now this with the ring. I honestly think it's just 'what on earth would my mother/friends/people I don't even know or care about think if I were to not keep up with the Joneses, so I don't know what the best thing to do is.

We were talking about engagement rings, and she mentioned that she liked the 8ct size, I then showed her how much they cost (100k/$150k is how much I saw), she then said she'd like a act one minimum (Bargain at 40k/$60k) which made me debate whether she understands the value of things at all. I told her I really don't understand the point of a diamond engagement ring when diamonds are inherently worthless and have had such a detrimental impact on the world, especially Africa (She even grew up in South Africa!). I then got 'You're making it so depressing, knowing you don't even want to get it, you should be excited to', and then 'Fine don't buy one then, it's your money so it doesn't matter if you don't want to buy it'

Very stuck, any suggestions? I should add that we're both 19 so that could explain her naivety over prices.

I agree with what you wrote, except I would have couched it differently. Saying "Don't understand the point of a diamond engagement ring when diamonds are inherently worthless and have had a detrimental impact on the world" is a way of invalidating something important to her. It's true of almost everything pple buy (cars, watches, phones) they all have an adverse environmental impact and if not worthless depreciate in value very quickly, yet pple don't make the same negative value judgment about owning those objects. 

I would chill. I'm assuming you are young, have a number of years before seriously considering marriage. Hopefully you will have many more conversations about overall goals and plans, financial priorities etc before considering marriage. If you are serious, I would say something like, I love you I would like to plan a future with you, but what we spend on a ring has to fit within our overall financial priorities. With my income, other goals, x is what I feel comfortable spending.

I agree with another poster. If she was saying 1 carat they cost much less than 40-60K. If she says 3 carat min or whatever, and does not want a fracture filled or sim stone, then you can say, if that is a dealbreaker I'm not the man for you.

neo von retorch

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2016, 12:41:06 PM »
It's important for you to fully understand what you value. We grow up sort of valuing what our parents value, and as teenagers, valuing what our friends value... with a heavy helping of valuing what pop culture tells us to value. A lot of these things are "pleasure" at best - short-term shots of dopamine that leave us chasing more. As we mature, particularly if we seek education and growth in all we do, we are likely to discover "joy" in very different things, accomplishment, overcoming challenges, reaching milestones. Comparing ourselves to ourselves a year prior more and more, comparing ourselves to the neighbor, co-worker and pop icon less and less. Each of us falls somewhere different on such a spectrum, and you have to find comfort on it for yourself. Only then can you make decisions that come really close to aligning with your values.

When those decisions are for two people, for their entire lives, they really need to both know their own values and each other's values, and be able to make an informed decision on whether the decisions made will align to both well enough for the sacrifices and compromises to be made.

MrsPete

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2016, 07:46:57 PM »
Personally I wouldn't spend more than $1K on a ring
I think $1000 is a reasonable amount to spend on an engagement ring.  Figuring she'll wear it every day for the rest of her life, it is the most important piece of jewelry a woman ever owns.  $1000 is a nice compromise between "it's a luxury item" and "it's forever". 

pagoconcheques

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2016, 03:07:06 PM »
Start by moving away from the default notion that an engagement ring has to include an expensive jewel. 

Find a small, custom jeweler.  Bring your girlfriend.  Tell the jeweler you want something unique made out of metal (yellow or white gold or platinum).  Chat together and actually design it yourselves with the professional who will actually make it for you. 

Your fiance will have something really cool (complete with a story) and you can keep it under $1,000 if you stay away from rocks.

pbkmaine

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2016, 04:01:39 PM »
Maybe you could use the reply a friend of mine gave to his girlfriend: "If that's what you want, you will have to find someone else to marry. The most I am willing to pay is X." She very quickly found a nice ring for X.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2016, 05:11:38 PM »
I'd really like to how you couched the question, OP. Did you make it clear you were going to use her answer to make judgements on her basic personality and values?

When I was 19, I liked boats. If my then-GF asked me what kind of boat I wanted, I would have grinned big and rhapsodized about mega-yachts. Not because I was too immature to recognize I'd probably never own a mega yacht, rather I knew those kinds of purchase and decisions were far away. So why not talk big about something that probably wouldn't happen?

But if that same GF had made it clear she was asking about my principals, I would have talked about small sail boats. From your post, it doesn't sound like you gave your girlfriend a very level field.

FeelingRosie

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2016, 08:07:05 PM »
Firstly, I got engaged when I was 20, so I don't think that 19 is to young when you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life together. I would explain to her that you want to take that money and invest it in your FUTURE, like buying a house together or however else you want to live your lives together. My husband bought me a very modest $300 ring with 3 little diamonds that I love (I picked it out with my best friend and then she told him the one I wanted). I've gotten numerous compliments about it, but the best part is that it doesn't catch on anything. I have a friend who's (rich) fiance bought her a huge engagement ring (at least a carat or two - I'm not sure) and she's always catching it on things - ripping her clothes and getting stuck on things. She even leaves it behind when she goes on trips (like her honeymoon) because she's so afraid of it getting stolen. You don't want a ring that you're too afraid to wear.

tobitonic

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2016, 09:15:53 PM »
Maybe you could use the reply a friend of mine gave to his girlfriend: "If that's what you want, you will have to find someone else to marry. The most I am willing to pay is X." She very quickly found a nice ring for X.

Love it.

aFrugalFather

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Re: Engagement rings
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2016, 09:23:37 PM »
I know a couple that lives near me where the guy bought his future wife a VW camper instead of a diamond ring.  Seems like the way to go to me.