Author Topic: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?  (Read 7201 times)

meyla

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How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:23:18 PM »
Curious about married/engaged mustachians and their engagement "item". My SO proposed during new years and he knew I wanted a plain-jane traditional ring, so he spent a third of his bonus and bought a 14k white gold plain solitaire with a 1/3rd carat oval diamond. It's perfect for us - simple, plain, easy, understated. However, I know if I were to be acting 100% mustachian, we probably should have gotten a gemstone or even nothing to represent our engagement. The full bonus should have gone into investments. However, I'm sure he spent less than $1k and I am so thrilled with it, so I feel like it's worth it because it's what we both wanted.

So what about you? Did you go for a ring? How much ring? Did you decide to take a different route - no jewelery? Please share your story with me!

Jags4186

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 01:27:16 PM »
$1000 for something you might wear for 60+ years doesn't sound like a bad deal.  Imagine how much money has been spent on shoes for you that are now in the trash since you were born!

neo von retorch

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 01:36:32 PM »
I searched "engagement" on the forums and found a lot of related posts about this topic. It sounds good that your SO kept it lower. My SO and I started thinking about rings, and if she was going to get her "dream" ring it would easily be $3000-4500 but we talked about it and we're finding something in between "spending nothing" and spending too much. While it's "mathematically" correct to spend nothing at all or not get a diamond, there are emotions involved, too - you can't 100% undo a lifetime of programming telling you otherwise, but you can make great strides in a reasonable middle ground.

FLBiker

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 01:42:50 PM »
My wife wanted a traditional ring.  I just looked in Mint, and it looks like it was $1800.  I would have been perfectly happy to bypass rings entirely, but it's about compromise.  And we eloped, so there weren't a lot of other wedding expenses.

TerriM

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 01:46:58 PM »
My mother gave me her engagement ring which was her mother's engagement ring.  She was so nervous about making sure it would be handed on to me, that she didn't want to give it to my boyfriend to use it to propose but straight to me.  LOL.

It's beautiful, but I don't wear it much, and it doesn't fit on the same finger with our wedding rings.

When I mentioned this to a friend (male friend), he got upset that my husband hadn't bought me a ring.  This friend knew that I was an avid reuser, he'd piece together computers from spare parts, and I'd do the same with printers to get them working again, so it was funny--I just felt like it fit my lifestyle, especially since I don't wear jewelry except on special occasions.


As for our wedding rings, we spent $900 on the pair.  Gold/platinum combo.  I think it was a lot to us at the time, but the right decision especially since neither of us has lost them yet :) 

gimp

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 01:49:58 PM »
I'm just posting here before the thread inevitably turns into a shitshow. Do you want 500 posts of fucking engagement ring politics, and bickering back and forth, and anecdotes from people who have $5 rings and $50000 rings and how all of them are justified? Because that's what you're going to get. Enjoy!

Jack

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 01:53:05 PM »
No engagement ring, "free" (+ shipping) tungsten wedding bands; wife is perfectly happy with it.

I'm just posting here before the thread inevitably turns into a shitshow.

Ring anecdote or GTFO! ; )

ysette9

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 01:54:38 PM »
This is one area where I think your emotions matter a lot. I am absolutely against something flashy as a status symbol, but I don't think there is something terribly wrong about spending money on something beautiful if it is meaningful to you and you can afford it. As someone else said, you're going to wear it for the next 50+ years.

My engagement ring was around $7K and the wedding band $1k. I adore them both. They are beautiful and my husband gave them to me so they are more meaningful than any other jewelry I have (a heck of a lot nicer too!). Aside from a pair of very plain gold earrings I got as a xmas gift in high school, my wedding rings are the only jewelry I wear. When I look at my diamond I often think we could have that money in the bank instead, but I am always glad I have it on my finger. :)

BarkyardBQ

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2015, 01:59:28 PM »
I turned one of these http://www.gainesvillecoins.com/products/166708/2014-dont-mess-with-me-copper-round-1-avdp-ounce.aspx into one of these http://www.samabbay.com/photos-platinum-bullion-coin-wedding-rings.html with a rounded finish not hammered. It was a test for trying to make our own rings. She took it as her engagement ring when I proposed. She wanted some stones set, which I couldn't do in the backyard, so we spent 3k making ours with a jeweler out of platinum, with some birth stones on hers. She still wears the engagement ring on her right hand.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 02:10:21 PM by zdravé »

NumberCruncher

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2015, 02:00:20 PM »
My husband and I didn't get engagement rings and both have simple bands. I got a thin, gold band that's perfect for me because I never have to take it off and can thus never lose it! I am not to be trusted with small, expensive things.

Future Lazy

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 02:02:39 PM »
As a child/teenager, my parents bought several pieces of jewelry for me. I even got a ring of my own for my father's engagement. I promptly lost pretty much everything that was ever given to me. :)

I really suck at jewelry, rings in particular, and told DH I would much rather have a down payment on a house than a ring. We're still working toward that goal together.

Bonus answer:  No wedding ring either. My marriage souvenir is the license issued to us by the state.

KMMK

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 02:11:33 PM »
Spent about $900 for two wedding rings. No engagement ring. I dislike the implication that I can be "bought" or that I'd go with the highest bidder- re engagement ring cost.  Don't mind what other people do, but I'm generally non-traditional and the engagement ring thing makes me a little ill. Why is it one sided? Shouldn't the man get a ring too?  And I certainly don't need a man for his money.

meyla

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 02:15:41 PM »
I'm just posting here before the thread inevitably turns into a shitshow. Do you want 500 posts of fucking engagement ring politics, and bickering back and forth, and anecdotes from people who have $5 rings and $50000 rings and how all of them are justified? Because that's what you're going to get. Enjoy!

I think that entertaining opinions other than your own is a fun learning experience that doesn't have to devolve into arguments unless you allow it to...

I turned one of these http://www.gainesvillecoins.com/products/166708/2014-dont-mess-with-me-copper-round-1-avdp-ounce.aspx into one of these http://www.samabbay.com/photos-platinum-bullion-coin-wedding-rings.html with a rounded finish not hammered. It was a test of us making our own rings. She took it as her engagement ring when I proposed. She wanted some stones set, which I couldn't do in the backyard, so we spent 3k making ours with a jeweler out of platinum, with some birth stones on hers. She still wears the engagement ring on her right hand.

Those look awesome even without stones!! I will have to show them to my SO - I think even he would wear one.

My husband and I didn't get engagement rings and both have simple bands. I got a thin, gold band that's perfect for me because I never have to take it off and can thus never lose it! I am not to be trusted with small, expensive things.

I was actually really concerned about this. I took my ring to the jeweler to get it sized down to a bit tight because I was scared to lose it! I have lost every other ring that anyone has ever given me. (SORRY MOM)

TerriM

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 02:21:48 PM »
No engagement ring, "free" (+ shipping) tungsten wedding bands; wife is perfectly happy with it.

I'm just posting here before the thread inevitably turns into a shitshow.

Ring anecdote or GTFO! ; )

+1 

I think this is more interesting than hearing about cars again.

wtjbatman

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 03:44:23 PM »
Bought my fiance an engagement ring from http://www.idonowidont.com that is "worth" $11k. Spent a lot less than that, but a hell of a lot more than most mustachians would. She absolutely adores it, and gets tons of compliments which she loves.

I save money on my cell phone bill, lack of new car payment, eating at home instead of eating out, etc etc etc. I splurged on the one thing she will own for the rest of our lives together. Worth it to me :)

belgiandude

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2015, 04:13:15 PM »
I did not buy an engagement ring, only a wedding ring.

RangerOne

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2015, 04:24:18 PM »
There is definitely no right amount of money. I firmly believe that diamonds hold no intrinsic value, and aren't worth the carbon they are made out of. I think diamond engagement rings are mass marketing bullshit.

But let me tell you an anecdote as to why, even having this position, you may want to spend too much money on something like this.

Having recently been married I can say not much of this matters. Had I married a woman who believed the exact same as I did we probably would have gotten tungsten wedding bands and saved a tone of money. Maybe splurged for gold just so that could be re-sized.

    I happened to marry a women who is not terribly materialistic, but she was the daughter of a jeweler and was basically brought up in a middle class family that places much more value on luxury items like jewelry.

    As we discussed getting married this subject came up a number of times. My wife was really set on a tasteful but very extravagant ring. Here initial budget in mind was 17k. Through reason I convinced her a more reasonable number for my savings was 7k max.

    I initially went down the road of this is crazy and you really shouldn't want this. At one point I even got her to say that if it were a deal breaker, she would rather be married without any ring than to someone else. That is all I really wanted to know.
    In the end I realized I was just hurting her feelings and she knew the desire wasn't 100% reasonable. So I agreed to put in 7k of my savings and she put in 3k of hers. With her family connections she was able to get the ring she always wanted.

    Now we have moved on, we are married and have been able to work out our financials reasonably well. She actually made a remark a few months ago that we would be closer to buying a house if we just sold the ring, but I know she still values it and isn't really ready to do that yet. We made a tenative agreement that if we are still together at age 50 we can sell the ring a take a killer vacation.

    In the end if you end up buying a really nice ring it will likely maintain value so its not the money goes into a total black hole like an overpriced car. Then again it may get stolen or lost so you never know. I definitely don't want to claim that bad body on my insurance, though i might ask what the charge would be :/

I reason that 7k out of my savings at the start of our marriage is a small token to show that I am committed to her and willing to make sacrifices. In the end the money is not the issue. Almost every female friend I have known including my wife has said that one important thing to do is first find out what she really wants, then for me it was important to understand why she wanted it and what it meant to her. Everyone will be different. Some women hate diamonds and would rather have something cheaper and unique. Others are okay with something small, and still others want the 2 carat standard or beyond.

I have since tried to become much more frugal since we got married, and though I think I scared her with a few MMM articles early on she has been receptive a willing to make things work. Didn't start reading this site till after we were married.

midweststache

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 04:42:42 PM »
My engagement ring/wedding band (same item) was a family heirloom (my great-grandmother's). While it was free, I spent $300 to have it sized and cleaned, as well as getting the gold band thickened up (it was very thin from wear).

Though my partner and I ended up deciding via conversation to get married, rather than via a formal proposal, we always joked that the best engagement gift for me would be a cardigan (since he know about the family ring).

If I hadn't had a family heirloom, I probably just would've wanted a nice band; I'd be so scared of losing it or hitting my hand on something and losing a diamond!

TerriM

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 09:50:06 PM »
One question on how much to spend is whether a woman values/likes/wears jewelry at all.  My mom is really into jewelry--real stuff--nothing fake--and when I was younger, she gave me some very nice rings and necklaces.  I bought some diamond/ruby earrings when I was 11 with my allowance.  My tastes were generally conservative--small stuff, nothing flashy, but my mother always said "When you get older, you'll wear bigger stuff."

When I went to college, I lived in a big city.  I'd regularly pass beggars/homeless, and I didn't want to be funding a drinking habit, so I would politely decline to give them anything.  But I would feel horribly guilty if I was wearing any jewelry--I just felt like I was just slapping them in the face "hey, I'm willing to wear some useless expensive rock around my neck, but I can't be bothered to help you get lunch" so I stopped wearing jewelry altogether. 

After my senior year in college, most of the jewelry was stolen from my parent's house, and I used the insurance money to buy a laptop.  I've never regained any comfort wearing anything other than my wedding ring except for weddings and fancy dinner parties.  My mom occasionally gives me jewelry, but I never wear it.  It's kind of a bone of contention with her--she wants me to inherit her jewelry, but she's afraid that when she dies, I'll sell everything (which she believes would be at a loss), so she's threatened to give it to someone else (probably my daughter).   But there's no way I'd ever feel comfortable wearing her stuff. 

So if you are marrying a woman who values, wears, and loves jewelry, then it probably makes sense to get her something "expensive."  But if you have someone who would feel uncomfortable walking around with a 2 karat diamond ring, then get her something small.

But be aware, that whatever you did this time, will probably continue long-term.  A woman who likes to get gifts of expensive jewelry isn't going to stop liking it after marriage.

LouLou

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2015, 09:55:23 PM »
i only wear a wedding band. Simple white gold with no gems that we bought on Amazon. I love it.

I didn't want an engagement ring at all, but DH insisted. We spent $260 on a ring with an aquamarine solitaire. It's around the house somewhere.

dividendman

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2015, 10:10:11 PM »
I think we have a lot of wasteful traditions that add no value to humanity and the engagement ring is one of them. So, to answer the OP, no engagement ring.

PEIslander

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2015, 06:40:05 AM »
Way back in 1987 my girlfriend & I had just graduated from university. One of her friends from high school was getting married across the country and my girlfriend wanted to go. We had no jobs yet so the timing seemed perfect -- except we also had no money. As a little graduation present my girlfriend's father paid for bus tickets for us to travel to the wedding. On our return 5-day bus ride (yikes! It is uncomfortable just remembering) we talked about getting married ourselves. When we arrived home we told our families we were engaged. My mother showed my girlfriend her jewellery box to see if there were any rings she might want. She picked a white gold ring with featuring a pearl and two tiny diamonds. That was her engagement ring. Showing her own mother the ring prompted the opening of another jewellery box as her mother noted she had a modest but nice white gold wedding band that had belonged to the grandmother. That was her wedding band. I decided I didn't want a wedding band myself as I don't like wearing rings.

We were married a month or so later in a small service officiated by my father who was a minister. It was a small church wedding but we bucked tradition and had no best man or bridesmaids. We had decided that if we were married soon after engagement then we could have a small wedding. We knew if we delayed, the planning would take over and it would grow to be an expensive elaborate affair. I realized afterwards (never thought about it much at the time) that when we were married we had no jobs and less than $200 in the bank! Young love gives you rose coloured glasses! Any-ways it all worked out. My bride & I are still married 27.5 years later and still plan to live happily ever after. It was smart of us to start our life together without a costly wedding.

Regarding rings, remember that although rings might solicit a comment or two occasionally, nobody really cares what ring you have or don't have. Get rings only for yourself - not for show. Make yourself happy. The old saying applies -- "Who could care less - NOBODY"
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 06:42:37 AM by PEIslander »

Greystache

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2015, 04:09:39 PM »
Here is something to consider. A study has shown that the price of the engagement ring is inversely related to the length of the marriage
http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/expensive-engagement-rings-linked-to-higher-divorce-rates

HalfDollar

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2015, 06:50:10 PM »
1/3rd of bonus for a ring you love is mustachian. Congrats on your engagement!

TerriM

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2015, 09:37:00 PM »
Here is something to consider. A study has shown that the price of the engagement ring is inversely related to the length of the marriage
http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/expensive-engagement-rings-linked-to-higher-divorce-rates

OOof.   But it does make sense....  More expensive tastes mean more  money related stress.....

RunHappy

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2015, 08:45:20 AM »
I think it depends on the couple's style on what type and how much to spend.  It is such a personal decision. 

I recently got engaged and we ended up picking out the ring together.  He set the budget (also 1/3 of his bonus) and we went shopping together.  I am not a solitaire ring type person so I wanted something with some design (think art deco).  I managed to find one that was over the max budget but negotiated down to $500 under max budget.  Since I plan on wearing it every day for the rest of my life, I was looking for something very particular -- stylish, but not too high up so it won't snag on my jeans when I put my hands in my pocket.

I'm not planning to wear a wedding band* after we get married as the ring I picked out looks bridal enough.  We were both very happy with it.  Surprisingly he wanted to go with a bigger version (more carats) than what I ended up with, but I talked him out of it because the bigger version looked ridiculously large on my hand and didn't fit my putting-my-hands-in-pockets criteria.

*I sometimes have to travel in non-western countries for work so years ago I bought a plain gold band because I would get harassed less as a married woman than as a single woman.  I plan to use this band (he is fine with it) for occasions when wearing my engagement ring would be inappropriate.

Red Beard

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2015, 09:37:51 AM »
I think it goes back to using the money you have in a way that truly maximizes happiness. I spent over half of my bonus on a one-of-a-kind ring that my fiance absolutely adores. Did I spend too much? Maybe. But the happiness derived from it is much greater than the happiness of having a second car, a larger house, or retiring at 39.5 instead of 40.

hodedofome

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2015, 10:20:25 AM »
It makes a difference where you go to buy the ring. I went through a wholesaler and paid half what I would have paid in retail. It was a designer ring and the lady designed one exactly like it for a fraction of the cost. Engagement ring was like $3500 and wedding band was $1k but what she got was incredible.

My mom just got her first diamond last year, her wedding ring probably cost $50.

Lanthiriel

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2015, 07:11:34 PM »
I got engaged young (19) and my husband spent what felt like a fortune at the time on my engagement ring ($800). I loved it the whole time we were engaged. I bought our wedding rings ($300 for me for two pave-set bands, $200 for him for tungsten inlaid with gold). None of these are worn on a regular basis 8 years post-engagement. When we got our dog, I was terrified of wearing my rings to the dog park (so dirty!), so I got a $100 tungsten band that I now wear for everything but special occasions, and my husband works in the field so rarely wears his for fear of losing it. I wish I could go back and tell our young, dumb selves that these trinkets would be pointless long-term. Honestly, though, I love my set and really it wasn't a crazy investment. Long story short, I think OP did the right thing buying an affordable ring she loves. You'll wear it enough to make it worth it. And congratulations!

mm1970

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Re: How Much Engagement Ring (if any)?
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2015, 08:03:32 PM »
meh, I think this is a personal choice.  I was much more traditional in my younger days, so I have an engagement ring, that I almost never wear.  (I wear latex/ nitrile gloves at work, it's not fun to put it over a diamond).

If I were doing it today, I'd opt for no ring or certainly no diamond.  Maybe moissanite.

As it is, we got it back in 1995, so I have no idea what it cost.  $2-3k?  Certainly no more than that.  3/4 carat princess cut diamond. 

My wedding band was $100.