How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby frenchje » Wed May 08, 2013 9:55 am

Technically $0, but in reality $5k. My wife didn't want a ring as she doesn't wear jewelry at all (no wedding bands either), but instead I still saved $5k that we then put into a joint account. The money got used for various things, but mostly went to our wedding photographer and our honeymoon.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby SamGamgee » Wed May 08, 2013 10:11 am

I spent about $300 in 2004. Thank God I couldn't afford to spend more.

Today I'm making six figures and I would want to spend about $100 for a cubic zirconium or something similar.

Expensive engagement rings are an obscenity.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby SpringMan » Wed May 08, 2013 10:24 am

$850 in 1971, I was young and stupid but it made her happy at the time. The smile it put on her face was worth the money. Today she does not wear her jewelry except on rare occasions even though we did pay about $30 a ring to get several of her rings resized a while back. I also have a college ring that is never worn. We are not jewelry people, I don't own a watch. She has a nice watch she received as a retirement gift, gold colored but not gold. For some reason I could not bring myself to sell our gold jewelry even when gold was 1800 per oz. We passed some down to our kids, they will likely get the rest when we pass on.
edit: BTW, $850 was about one months salary at the time.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby allsop » Wed May 08, 2013 10:30 am

market timer wrote:
LFKB wrote:Both of us earn a very good salary so if I applied the 1/3 of yearly salary "rule" (which seems to high anyways) I would be buying an astronomically priced ring. What is a reasonable amount for a high income earner?

We bought what I thought was an astronomically priced ring. I gave my wife 1/3 of my pre-tax salary in cash and let her decide how much ring to buy. The rest went to earrings. She looked beautiful wearing them.


A wedding is a very special occasion, and I'm sure that she would look beautiful whatever ring(s) she had put on her fingers, ears or nose when you married her.

Congratulations!
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TSR » Wed May 08, 2013 10:37 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
OldOne wrote:Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills defensive end, spent $785,000 for a 10.04 carat diamond ring for his fiancee. She decided to end the engagement and refuses to return the ring. Ouch!

http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2013/05/mario-williams-sues-to-get-his-engagement-ring-back/

A gift given in contemplation of marriage (e.g., an engagement ring) must be returned to the giver if the marriage is called off. I think in most states, it is treated as a no-fault situation, so regardless of whose fault it was, the ring is returned.


Yep, a "conditional gift" in most states. The oft-told exception to this rule is that if you get engaged on Christmas or her birthday, it was a non-conditional gift and there is no expectation that it would be returned. I think that's probably not really a "rule" in most states, but rather would be a factor for a jury to look at in the ultimate trial of the matter (can't imagine such a case actually going to trial, however).

Perhaps a better rule would be "don't spend enough that you would be willing to sue to get the ring back."
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby diasurfer » Wed May 08, 2013 11:02 am

Here's a guy who only spent a bit more than a couple of weeks salary on an engagement ring, but wants it back when she called off the wedding.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1632 ... &hpt=hp_t3
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby otbricki » Wed May 08, 2013 11:14 am

diasurfer wrote:Here's a guy who only spent a bit more than a couple of weeks salary on an engagement ring, but wants it back when she called off the wedding.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1632 ... &hpt=hp_t3


He's lucky she called off the wedding.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed May 08, 2013 11:32 am

otbricki wrote:
diasurfer wrote:Here's a guy who only spent a bit more than a couple of weeks salary on an engagement ring, but wants it back when she called off the wedding.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1632 ... &hpt=hp_t3


He's lucky she called off the wedding.

File that under "Bullets - Dodged"
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby researchfiend » Wed May 08, 2013 11:54 am

Zip. I think they are vulgar, and *nothing* is a worse investment than retail diamonds.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Savvy » Wed May 08, 2013 12:55 pm

Honestly, it's only been two years and cannot fully remember...around $2,000 in 2011. I knew what design she was interested in and picked it out myself. She loved it. :D

You'll get lots of advice up until wedding day - here's mine: Plan for the marriage, the wedding will be great regardless of how much time and money you spend planning it.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stjoe56 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:01 pm

$0 on a ring. $1250 (?) for a simple Rolex watch which she wore for 25 years until she gave it to our daughter.

We were going to get married in our back yard with a barbecue. My mother threw a conniption fit (hers couldn't pay) and said that would not do. When I replied we wanted to save the money, my mother and father ended up paying. I have no idea as to how much it cost but it was expensive.

My daughter got married twice. First time to city hall, second in a small wedding done on the spur of the moment. Total cost to me was about $500 for a post nuptial dinner at a local restaurant.

SJ
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby diasurfer » Wed May 08, 2013 1:16 pm

researchfiend wrote:Nothing. I think they are vulgar, and *nothing* is a worse investment than retail diamonds.


Yet another indicator of the strong appeal of this topic. In this case, it motivated someone to register in the forum and make their first post.

Welcome to bogleheads.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed May 08, 2013 1:38 pm

diasurfer wrote:
researchfiend wrote:Nothing. I think they are vulgar, and *nothing* is a worse investment than retail diamonds.


Yet another indicator of the strong appeal of this topic. In this case, it motivated someone to register in the forum and make their first post.

Welcome to bogleheads.

FWIW, they registered even before this thread was started, but it's true that this is the first post.

Whatever; welcome to the forum.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby epilnk » Wed May 08, 2013 2:53 pm

otbricki wrote:Well, I'm still married 39 years later so I guess the answer is to find out what your wife wants rather than asking an online forum.

113 replies and counting, and this right here is the only answer needed.

There is no amount you "should" spend. The ring is objectively worth little, and certainly not what you will pay. There is no way to get a "good deal" on something whose "value" is artificial in the first place. It is worth only what you and she think it is worth. But it is worth that much. So get the ring you want and can afford, and be happy with that choice.

I have an engagement ring with a big honking heirloom diamond lying around somewhere. I haven't seen it for years, though I'm 90% sure it's in a drawer. I don't value it and don't wear it, but someday I'll offer it to my son who is sentimental about heirlooms, and he can have it set for his future bride. So it's worth that much.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby epilnk » Wed May 08, 2013 3:01 pm

TSR wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:A gift given in contemplation of marriage (e.g., an engagement ring) must be returned to the giver if the marriage is called off. I think in most states, it is treated as a no-fault situation, so regardless of whose fault it was, the ring is returned.


Yep, a "conditional gift" in most states. The oft-told exception to this rule is that if you get engaged on Christmas or her birthday, it was a non-conditional gift and there is no expectation that it would be returned. I think that's probably not really a "rule" in most states, but rather would be a factor for a jury to look at in the ultimate trial of the matter (can't imagine such a case actually going to trial, however)

Huh. I always thought that if she ended the engagement she returned the ring, but if he called it off she had the right to keep it. However I believe this might stem from an older convention, in which the engagement ring was hers to keep if the wedding night occurred before the wedding. That used to be a pretty risky situation for the lady.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby xGLORYx » Wed May 08, 2013 3:02 pm

Spent just over $10k about 7 years ago. It was about $8,000 too much :(

Live & Learn, and luckily it didn't drowned us in debt :)
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TheEternalVortex » Wed May 08, 2013 3:18 pm

$700
It's a 1ct moissanite ring. It looks very nice.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed May 08, 2013 3:46 pm

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby johnep » Wed May 08, 2013 3:56 pm

I gave my wife engagement ring in 1967. As best I remember it cost about $250. I guess i was pretty cheap although I did not have much money at the time, but she still loves me.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby frugaltype » Wed May 08, 2013 4:14 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I don't see any point in engagement rings, but if it floats your boat, get something you like at whatever that costs.


I wouldn't want an engagement ring either. Just trouble, taking it off and on when cooking or grubbing in the garden, losing it and the need to have it checked periodically to be sure the stone is secure. A nice gold band wedding ring will do :-)
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby frugaltype » Wed May 08, 2013 4:18 pm

TSR wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
OldOne wrote:Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills defensive end, spent $785,000 for a 10.04 carat diamond ring for his fiancee. She decided to end the engagement and refuses to return the ring. Ouch!

http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2013/05/mario-williams-sues-to-get-his-engagement-ring-back/

A gift given in contemplation of marriage (e.g., an engagement ring) must be returned to the giver if the marriage is called off. I think in most states, it is treated as a no-fault situation, so regardless of whose fault it was, the ring is returned.


Yep, a "conditional gift" in most states. The oft-told exception to this rule is that if you get engaged on Christmas or her birthday, it was a non-conditional gift and there is no expectation that it would be returned. I think that's probably not really a "rule" in most states, but rather would be a factor for a jury to look at in the ultimate trial of the matter (can't imagine such a case actually going to trial, however).

Perhaps a better rule would be "don't spend enough that you would be willing to sue to get the ring back."


I recall reading in Emily Post years ago that if she breaks the engagement, she returns the ring. If he breaks it, she gets to keep the ring. Now I will contemplate for a moment why only women receive engagement rings.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed May 08, 2013 4:20 pm

frugaltype wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:I don't see any point in engagement rings, but if it floats your boat, get something you like at whatever that costs.


I wouldn't want an engagement ring either. Just trouble, taking it off and on when cooking or grubbing in the garden, losing it and the need to have it checked periodically to be sure the stone is secure. A nice gold band wedding ring will do :-)

That's what my wife and I have. Not to get all syrupy about it, but it's the only jewelry I wear (not even a watch any more), and reminds me how much my wife and I love each other. I like the fact that the rings are identical (but different sizes); the "marking" is bilateral :D
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby roymeo » Wed May 08, 2013 4:21 pm

$0 for engagement rings, $0 for wedding rings. (Eloped in an alley while one of the witnesses was on his smoke break.)

We both do things with our hands; not interested.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Blues » Wed May 08, 2013 4:22 pm

frugaltype wrote:Now I will contemplate for a moment why only women receive engagement rings.


That's easy. Our ring is in our nose! :twisted: :oops: (Better get off this thread before the missus sees it.)

BTW, I think I spent about $1200 - $1500 back in 1986 for hers. It appraised for over double from a reputable NYC institution.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed May 08, 2013 4:23 pm

frugaltype wrote:
I recall reading in Emily Post years ago that if she breaks the engagement, she returns the ring. If he breaks it, she gets to keep the ring. Now I will contemplate for a moment why only women receive engagement rings.

That must have been back when you had to prove adultery or something equally dastardly to get a divorce.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby ryuns » Wed May 08, 2013 4:46 pm

roymeo wrote:We both do things with our hands; not interested.

roymeo


Yeah, therein lies the rub. (Ugh, sorry.) But it's a concern. I give it a couple years before my fiancee loses hers because of how often she ends up taking it off. Times 2 for me if I wear a ring because I'm twice as absent minded.

Well-played on the elopement.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby epilnk » Wed May 08, 2013 4:46 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
frugaltype wrote:
I recall reading in Emily Post years ago that if she breaks the engagement, she returns the ring. If he breaks it, she gets to keep the ring. Now I will contemplate for a moment why only women receive engagement rings.

That must have been back when you had to prove adultery or something equally dastardly to get a divorce.

It was because if the lady's waistline began to expand she needed something on her finger that served as proof to the world that a promise was made.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TSR » Wed May 08, 2013 4:58 pm

frugaltype wrote:I recall reading in Emily Post years ago that if she breaks the engagement, she returns the ring. If he breaks it, she gets to keep the ring. Now I will contemplate for a moment why only women receive engagement rings.


Law and etiquette no doubt differ on this subject (as they do often, of course). That said, my legal knowledge about wedding rings is strictly limited to what was described as the rule in a majority of states (and my own state) in bar-study class. Well, I just looked a bit further to confirm and found a helpful ALR article that confirmed this general rule. Some states do, however, inquire into the circumstances of the breakup, but it's more rare than a no-fault inquiry.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TRC » Wed May 08, 2013 5:24 pm

About $5k, back in 2002.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby MrMiyagi » Wed May 08, 2013 5:48 pm

6000. Which was a lot for a broke medical student.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby xram » Wed May 08, 2013 6:30 pm

No engagement ring.

Just a wedding ring.

about 1400 for wife ..... her's was a very lo-key ring. old fashioned looking. no big stone. exactly what she wanted and not too much money spent on peice of glass.....

and 300 for me

as far as i recall
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby market timer » Wed May 08, 2013 8:23 pm

allsop wrote:
market timer wrote:
LFKB wrote:Both of us earn a very good salary so if I applied the 1/3 of yearly salary "rule" (which seems to high anyways) I would be buying an astronomically priced ring. What is a reasonable amount for a high income earner?

We bought what I thought was an astronomically priced ring. I gave my wife 1/3 of my pre-tax salary in cash and let her decide how much ring to buy. The rest went to earrings. She looked beautiful wearing them.


A wedding is a very special occasion, and I'm sure that she would look beautiful whatever ring(s) she had put on her fingers, ears or nose when you married her.

Congratulations!

Machu Picchu is also an impressive site to behold--even more impressive after hiking the Inca Trail for several days. Our esteem for an experience is enhanced by the sacrifices we make to get there. At least, that's my ex post rationalization.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Wed May 08, 2013 8:32 pm

When I married, I suggested that he not further feed the bridal industry monster and that we put the equivalent of whatever he would like to spend, in a vacation fund. That made for a nice two week trip to Alaska, as I recall.

I ended up wearing my great grandmother's emerald ring. Nice tradition they had back then, before people allowed themselves to be duped into diamonds as the standard.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby LowER » Wed May 08, 2013 9:08 pm

.....
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby jridger2011 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:39 pm

About one months net salary. Anything more would have not have made sense. Once again, like others have said, get what she would want to wear and intersect that with what you are willing to pay. An expensive ring will get a lot of praise, and a cheap ring may get some rude comments, but the quality of your marriage has nothing to do with any of that.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby jeffyscott » Wed May 08, 2013 9:55 pm

otbricki wrote:
G-Money wrote:
otbricki wrote:$0. My wife thinks engagement rings are a heteronormative paternalistic anachronism.

I spent quite a bit more than that. It continues to make my wife very happy. :D


Well, I'm still married 39 years later so I guess the answer is to find out what your wife wants rather than asking an online forum.


Also $0, married 30 years.

We did spend about $85 on a couple gold wedding bands. The $85 was about 1% of annual pay at the time...so closer to 2 days than 2 months.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Blister » Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

$450 but that was 39 years ago. Nearly half of my net worth at the time. Marriage and ring seems to have lasted longer than most. :)
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby manyness » Thu May 09, 2013 3:53 am

$9 each. platinum

A ring is NOT an investment. A diamond is marketing frippery from ONE century ago. The pliant or the shallow value this artifically-rare stone.

A man and woman marry for the safe environment to receive the gift of children through their mutual love. Marriage is a relationship of three: a man, a woman, and God.

A ring is an 'enternal' reminder of the vows of marriage.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 09, 2013 7:34 am

Very interesting responses. And I thought I was a frugal [(removed) --admin LadyGeek]. :)
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu May 09, 2013 8:08 am

HardKnocker wrote:Very interesting responses. And I thought I was a frugal [(removed) --admin LadyGeek]. :)


I can't speak for anyone else, but our not having an engagement ring had nothing to do with frugality.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby NHRATA01 » Thu May 09, 2013 10:28 am

In 2004 I spent $7500 on the stone buying it from a diamond trader, which was a decent discount for what it would retail at. I think the setting was another $400.

To be honest I struggled with it. I'm an engineer and it's my nature to be excessively logical, to a fault, yet the wife is one of those who wants the big shiny rock. I really came close to looking into fabricated diamonds at the time, but eventually the one romantic shred buried in me agreed that would be a poor choice. Particularly in light of the fact I had spent at least that much on my car hobby.

I did however, buy myself two identical wedding bands (being they are plain white gold and fairly inexpensive). I figured it would spare me a week of the cold shoulder if I was to ever lose one.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu May 09, 2013 1:08 pm

Where does this notion come from that a ring purchase should represent a certain percentage of income?


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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby rodi » Thu May 09, 2013 1:11 pm

Add me to the non-traditional - and discussed it first for style and budget crowd.

I knew my husband was thinking of proposing.

I knew he'd buy me the typical solitaire diamond in gold setting.

I knew I didn't want that.

I emailed him a few pictures of sapphire rings in platinum. (sapphire is my birth stone, and I've never bought into the de beers hype about diamonds.)

He got the clue. He asked a friend of mine about jewelers... and interviewed a couple - found one down in Center City Philly that had good access to stones... He knew I was a klutz, so he got me a bezel set platinum setting.

He proposed non-traditionally too. He took a picture of the ring with a small caption that had my first name, his last name, and a question mark. He mounted the picture in a view master reel (he makes them as momentos of travels as a hobby)... He said the downside was he couldn't look into my eyes when I read /viewed the proposal - since I had a view master in front of my face.

I don't take it off for dishes... I don't take it off for weeding in the garden... the thing is platinium and the 1ct sapphire is firmly encased and not going anywhere.

Our wedding bands are platinum... just plain bands... mine thinner than his.
Engagement ring was about $1200, bands were $500 and $350. Marriage is/was priceless.

(And we still have that view master reel with the stereo picture... as well as a wedding album view master.)
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Randomize » Thu May 09, 2013 1:21 pm

The wife and I picked out the setting she really wanted for maybe $1300 and then had them put in a diamond from an old, unwanted ring we had around. Throw in the melt value of the old ring and presto!, a $4 or $5K ring that she loves for a fraction the cost.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Thu May 09, 2013 1:35 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Where does this notion come from that a ring purchase should represent a certain percentage of income?


BFG


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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby OnFire » Thu May 09, 2013 1:36 pm

One of the WORST things about my wife was the ring she wanted. I paid WTFM. (Way too F--- Much). As a new dentist, with credit card debt, a downtown high rise apartment, a new car, and $150K in student loans, she begged for a 2CT ring. Me, with a good nut saved, and a little house and two paid off cars, eventually capitulated. It was close to $20K, which, at the time, was close to 25% yearly income. I also loaned her $25K for a dental practice, paid off her credit card debt, paid $15K worth of wedding expenses, $10K for a honeymoon, and paid about $3K of her medical expenses.

Now, the band is too small, and it sits in a box. She wears a fake ring the same size and cut. Meanwhile we pay $300 a year for an insurance rider on it.

If there is ANY way you can talk her into a cubic zirconia, DO IT. I bought her a set of 1 ct. each CZ diamond stud earrings from a place called www.CARAT.com and they were about $250. NOONE (except a trained jeweler with a loupe) can tell the difference between the $20K ring and the $250 CZ. It's a STUPID STUPID marketing scam. I let my wife talk me into it, because I couldn't get it through her head that it was all a BS ploy so she could wear a giant rock.

I would even go so far as to buy a CZ ring and bring it to the jeweler in the mall, etc.. Ask her to walk up two minutes later and pick out the fake one. YOU CAN"T TELL. Then ask her why she wants something that cost $20K that looks identical to something that costs $250. And if you try to sell it, is maybe worth 50%-75% of what you bought it for. It's $20K worth of Dead Money.

Go on a month long cruise of Europe instead. Or Hawaii and Paris. Or buy a house. Or a car. Or all of the above.

(The Happy Ending is that we have rebuilt our savings in 5 years, have two wonderful sons, and are still crazy in love. [And I've mostly converted her to Bogleheadism. It just took me five years.])
Where are all the customers yachts?
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby damjam » Thu May 09, 2013 1:48 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:Where does this notion come from that a ring purchase should represent a certain percentage of income?


BFG


Debeers

Yes, there was an advertising campaign sometime in the 1980's that explicitly said two months salary. I tried to google for it, but alas it was before the internet age.

BTW, no ring here. We wanted to buy a house just that much sooner.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Swamproot » Thu May 09, 2013 2:10 pm

Duckie wrote:Also, the proposal came before picking out the ring. Since the woman wears it, it should be her style choice. I've never understood buying a ring as a surprise before the proposal. If she says no (and it happens) he's stuck with it. And if she says yes, she may not like his choice.


I bought my wife's as a surprise. I think that is the way it should be. In that way it is a metaphor for her husband. She is going to have the husband she gets, not the husband that she wishes for, and happy marriages happen when both partners realize that going in.

If she cares about big rocks and he buys her a little one, that is indicative of issues that may remain throughout a marriage, long after the honeymoon. I imagine fewer women would be upset with a rock bigger than what they wanted, but it could happen.

The one thing I never understood is proposals on Christmas or Birthdays. Seems to me a guy is trying to get off cheap going that route, although I would make allowances for wanting to be around family when it happened.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby MDfive21 » Thu May 09, 2013 2:35 pm

$1500 all in for her solitaire engagement ring and both simple wedding bands.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Ice-9 » Thu May 09, 2013 2:35 pm

I may have missed it while skimming this thread, but are these quotes of "2 months salary" or whatever time period based on your before-tax salary or on take-home pay?

Regardless, I'm feeling a little cheap reading this, having spent one month's take-home pay on engagement and wedding rings. She loves the ring though.
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