Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

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IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:21 pm

If it makes her happy, it is not a "complete waste of money." Just make sure it is what she wants and that you can afford it.

DW was happy getting her grandmother's stone put into a new setting for $260 (including wedding band) back in 1979. She probably wouldn't have married me if I had spent more.....

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knpstr
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by knpstr » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:16 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm
I've spent many months on Blue Nile and I can't push myself to pull the trigger on an engagement ring. :|

Although I'm sure my girl would be extremely happy. To me, it's a complete waste of money.

How can I get over this? The current ring I'm looking at 1.1 Carat, round diamond, color I, VS2, Perfect Symmetry, Polish, proportions, in a beautiful Solitaire is going to run me nearly $7800. very minimal inclusions; eye-clean. The ring is perfect!! I love the ring and I'm sure she would, but I can't do it.

Any advice? Will this purchase seem like peanuts as time passes?
Picture yourself saying: "Hunny I really love you but those expensive big diamonds seem like a total waste to me so here is this ring instead"

This purchase is about her. Not you. Besides, what is $7,800 in the grand scheme of things for something she will wear/cherish for the rest of her life and likely pass down the family line for generations?
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

MrJones
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by MrJones » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:16 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:38 pm
For some reason, a diamond just feels like a big scam thanks to the De Beers.
If you feel this way, you'll probably have buyer's remorse for a long time. Buy something much less expensive that you will be at peace with.

I'm speaking from personal experience. I feel *exactly* the same way. The diamond industry has convinced everyone that one's love is measured by the price tag. Such BS that I'd feel like a sucker falling for. Hopefully, your gf sees things similarly. Good luck!

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knpstr
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by knpstr » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:27 pm

MrJones wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:16 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:38 pm
For some reason, a diamond just feels like a big scam thanks to the De Beers.
If you feel this way, you'll probably have buyer's remorse for a long time. Buy something much less expensive that you will be at peace with.

I'm speaking from personal experience. I feel *exactly* the same way. The diamond industry has convinced everyone that one's love is measured by the price tag. Such BS that I'd feel like a sucker falling for. Hopefully, your gf sees things similarly. Good luck!
Just to add: I think diamonds are a total waste too. My wife does not. She loves her ring. 5 years later she still will out of the blue say: "I love my ring" as she watches it it sparkle in the light.

Women are strange creatures -- they like shiny things (even if she tells you she doesn't, she does). But shoot -- if she is going to appreciate it for the rest of it her life and will be passed down to our daughter it is worth it. Buying a cars, now those are a waste of money. :beer
Last edited by knpstr on Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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ResearchMed
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:34 pm

I'll be blunt and 'fess up if it hasn't been obvious previously.

I *like* my "big ring".
After many years, I still enjoy looking at it, and especially right after I've cleaned it.

It's a custom ring that I designed, with help of jeweler.
Actually it was a choice of an unusual center stone, with a pre-made setting that had to be ordered.

Did I mention I really like it?

No "needs" went unfunded, so... why not?
It was a choice of discretionary money, which is what OP is dealing with.
It's NOT a case of "needing to retire later". It's a case of "less spending on a few other things for the near future".

The engagement ring you are going to purchase is for HER to wear, EVERY DAY.
Do help make it something that is very special to HER.

This assumes that she does indeed want one, obviously. Not all women do (more than abundantly obvious here on BH!), but I'm *not* alone here in wanting and *enjoying* having a "big ring".
And you should like it too, so speak up if there is something about the style that you don't like (hard to imagine, but one never knows... could remind you of someone else's ring, or whatever.......).

Note: I am NOT referring to a humongous stone. I've been to some gatherings where many women had unbelievably sized diamonds, and in these cases, we have no doubt they were easily afforded (although some keep the "real one" in "the vault", in which case... what's the point, but I digress...).
I suppose given their vast wealth, the "percent" of income and/or wealth might be no different that our situation or one common for those in similar situations to us.
But again, what matters is that is what she/they *wanted*, and they could afford it.
Same as with many purchases.

RM
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pepperz
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by pepperz » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:38 pm

Hypothesis: Maybe she also doesn't 'want' a ring that's so expensive.

Has your girlfriend communicated that receiving a diamond engagement ring is important to her?

If so:

1.) Has she been communicated what "kind" she wants? (Do you know specs that are important to her?)

2.) Have you gone 'looking' together so she can point some rings our that she likes & loves?

Atilla
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Atilla » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:49 pm

Get the girl the ring. Assuming you know the answer will be "yes".

She will love it and get to flash it around to friends and family.

20 years later (hopefully) she will still love it. Now is not the time to get all cheap and reasonable.

Put a ring she already has on any finger (pinky) of yours where it fits and you can guarantee you get the right size straight off.

The ring and your proper attitude going into the marriage together will be priceless. :beer

I got a decent 3/4 carat ring - round ideal cut in white gold - and gave it to her while proposing on the white sand beaches of Sandestin Florida. Never looked back.
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Finridge
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Finridge » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:02 pm

bligh wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:08 pm
Can you afford it? Sure. By the usual guidelines of spending ~2 months paycheck on the engagement ring. I wouldn't do it though.

Okay, I am going to go heavily against the prevalent culture here even though I might end up getting flamed for it.

Please consider that this marriage tax was not present (or atleast was much lower) prior to the De Beers marketing campaign managed to make it part of our culture.

It's a shiny rock. It sits on a finger and does nothing more. Do you need that rock to symbolize your love for her? Does that rock have to be more than 1 carat? Does that rock have to be a natural diamond or can it be manufactured? Can it be any precious stone? Can it be any shiny stone?

At your current income it looks like you'll end up working for 2 months (after tax) to pay for this ring. 2 months you will never get back. Have you considered all the alternatives? How about you spent that $8000 more on your honeymoon with your wife? Put that $8K towards a new car? Give $8K to an orphanage or some other cause you care about? Save the $8K and boost your retirement accounts by almost 10%? Invest the $8K and at a 7% return, it is going to be $65K when you retire @ 65. I am sure she will enjoy looking at the ring every now and then, and I am sure a lot of women will compliment it every now and then. Is that worth $65K when you retire to the two of you?

Yes I am happily married. Yes I spent a small fraction of the amount you are looking to spend. It was a diamond ring but it wasn't flawless, 1 ct, extra super special cut with brilliant fire dazzling powers.

Anyway, You asked for advice, I gave you mine. If it makes you and her happy, ignore me and go for it. Every person is different with different goals and priorities. As long as they are happy.

Either way, Really happy for you guys, Best of luck! Hope she says yes. :sharebeer
I'm glad it's not just me. Early in our relationship we established the precedent that we won't try to show or prove our love by buying each other expensive stuff. If I gave her a $8,000 ring, or even an $80 ring she'd wnat me to return it. We just don't value that kind of thing... But for people who do, they should go ahead. It's all about what you value. We spend money on the things we value. Speak to her--see if she wants a ring like this, or if she'd rather you spend the money to go on a nice vacation or something else instead.

By the way, if you were to invest the $8,000 and get an 8% return a year, you'd have over $80,000 in 30 years.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:11 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:27 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:25 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:22 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:19 pm
Two Words: Cubic Zirconia

And one more: Elope
I'd be more than happy to get married in Vegas and plan an after-wedding party in a Hall or our House. I really feel like the Engagement ring and a Wedding are for other people.
Yes, but is your prospective fiance one of those other people? If not, why consider a ring at all?
I doubt it... She probably wants the fairytale wedding and ring... Every girl's dream.
Did you ask her what she wants?

You think this is an expensive purchase? Just you wait.....

This is the cheapest purchase you will make. Buy it if you are ready to pop the question. Wait too long and you may find someone else might beat you to the question
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

squirm
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by squirm » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:54 pm

Don't know anything about your girl, but my wife went with me to pick out rings. That was many years ago, it was nice to go as a couple (about a year before we got married), and we both decided what we like. We chose her ring together, it was a nice experience. She loves her ring and it signifies a lot for her, that's what counts. We didn't get anything top of the line, just modest.

Don't make it a $$$ thing and think it's a waste of money....no way.

J295
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by J295 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:32 pm

Absolutely purchase it

kacang
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by kacang » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:00 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:27 pm

I doubt it... She probably wants the fairytale wedding and ring... Every girl's dream.
Ask her if you're not sure, not every woman wants that. I'd have been very disappointed if DH had gotten me a DeBeers-sanctioned ring. Luckily he gave me a cheap but very sentimental ring that belongs to his family. I cherish that and DH's thoughtfulness.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Arinbjorn » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:11 pm

Moissanite.

Not as cheap as CZ, but just as good as diamond (perhaps slightly better in some regards, such as light refraction.)

My wife's engagement ring has a 2 carat moissanite round center stone, expertly cut, set in platinum. She loves it, other people love it. They assume because I work in the medical field that I paid huge money - really, couple thousand dollars. An equivalent ring in diamond would cost as much as my modest Midwest home.

We both like that moissanite is lab manufactored, avoiding ethical issues with diamonds. I researched this hard - it seems there is no way to absolutely be positive that your symbol of love (if diamond) wasn't mined by some starving kids being run by a local warlord.

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MortgageOnBlack
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:12 pm

Well, after much agonizing over the past few months, I went with my gut and called up BlueNile tonight and made the purchase. I'm glad I went through with it and didn't back out. My girl is very deserving and worth the purchase. I honestly feel I went with my absolute max with this purchase I'm glad I did. I could have spent more and could have cheaped out and bought a lot less, but I didn't budge on any of the 4 C's... I also love the solitaire I went with and I believe she will as well. The great news is they will ship on 8/13 and I will have 30 days from that date to decide on a return. My planned proposal is 8/22 which gives me some time with her and the ring to decide on what to do.

:sharebeer

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ResearchMed
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:19 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:12 pm
Well, after much agonizing over the past few months, I went with my gut and called up BlueNile tonight and made the purchase. I'm glad I went through with it and didn't back out. My girl is very deserving and worth the purchase. I honestly feel I went with my absolute max with this purchase I'm glad I did. I could have spent more and could have cheaped out and bought a lot less, but I didn't budge on any of the 4 C's... I also love the solitaire I went with and I believe she will as well. The great news is they will ship on 8/13 and I will have 30 days from that date to decide on a return. My planned proposal is 8/22 which gives me some time with her and the ring to decide on what to do.

:sharebeer
Good :happy

Best wishes to both of you!

RM
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:22 pm

Make sure you have a personal property rider that covers jewelry- like engagement rings for actual replacement cost.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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ResearchMed
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:22 pm
Make sure you have a personal property rider that covers jewelry- like engagement rings for actual replacement cost.
Good reminder.
Call your homeowner's insurance co.
Ask about a separate valuable items rider.
Then ask about faxing/emailing the receipt so you have coverage before it arrives.

RM
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MortgageOnBlack
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:33 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:22 pm
Make sure you have a personal property rider that covers jewelry- like engagement rings for actual replacement cost.
Are there any other good insurance outside of home owner's? Curious if anyone has had experience with Jeweler's Mutual?

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MortgageOnBlack
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:34 pm

Biggest concerns with ring:

Accidental Damage (chipping diamond)/stone falls out
Mugging/theft/forgotten/lost

I'm hopeful Insurance has coverage for such things that isn't an arm and a leg (or a finger)

PhysicsTeacher
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by PhysicsTeacher » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:56 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:27 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:25 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:22 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:19 pm
Two Words: Cubic Zirconia

And one more: Elope
I'd be more than happy to get married in Vegas and plan an after-wedding party in a Hall or our House. I really feel like the Engagement ring and a Wedding are for other people.
Yes, but is your prospective fiance one of those other people? If not, why consider a ring at all?
I doubt it... She probably wants the fairytale wedding and ring... Every girl's dream.
I just want to add my voice to the chorus of women letting you know that this is NOT every girl's dream. I was delighted with the $450 gemstone ring my husband and I picked out together. We had fewer than a dozen wedding guests. A dear friend officiated. Our honeymoon was one night in a fancy hotel. It was perfect for us. It might not be perfect for you, but you should take the time to talk and figure out what will make the two of you happiest rather than blindly following the cultural script.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:25 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm
I've spent many months on Blue Nile and I can't push myself to pull the trigger on an engagement ring. :|

Although I'm sure my girl would be extremely happy. To me, it's a complete waste of money.
When I proposed to my girlfriend way back when, I had no money to buy her an engagement ring. She didn't care. To her (and to me) at the time, the marriage was more important than the trappings of the wedding. We didn't have a big wedding (in fact we eloped and only had three friends present as best man, maid of honor, and witness). We just celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary last week. The marriage indeed has been much, much more important than the wedding.

That being said, I'll pass on one bit of wisdom that has seen me through these forty years (in the words of stand-up comedian Jeff Allen): "Happy wife -- happy life!" If you're sure she will be happy without an engagement ring, that's one thing. If there's any doubt, and if you have the funds, pull the trigger. :wink:

ETA: Well, I guess I'm as big a rube as some others here, I also did not read all the way through the thread before posting. Congratulations on your decision. Please come back here after you pop the question, and let us know how it turned out.
:beer
Last edited by oldcomputerguy on Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:28 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:33 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:22 pm
Make sure you have a personal property rider that covers jewelry- like engagement rings for actual replacement cost.
Are there any other good insurance outside of home owner's? Curious if anyone has had experience with Jeweler's Mutual?
You want a coverage without restrictions, one that includes "mysterious disappearance" without requiring a police report.
Sometimes things just "get lost".

We've always had it with homeowners.
But I called Jeweler's Mutual after reading about it here.
First: WARNING: They will NEVER leave you alone again. I had to contact management to stop the calls and emails. Worst such over the top marketing ever.

Second: They will only replace the item. You don't get the choice. That might be okay if it's nothing custom, but if you want your own design or such... you want a check so that YOU can select the jeweler and also the precise stone or design... just like you are doing now!
The JM rep couldn't stop pointing out that they would select the replacement item; I *had* to wonder why the incredible, repetitive emphasis...

We've had a few losses over several decades, and it's *always* been a check.
When one of a pair of diamond stud earrings went missing (and it had a special safety back... so much for that!), the insurer suggested: "We recommend that you return the other to us, and we'll send you the full amount instead you your keeping one, getting half the insurance money, and then trying to 'match' it. You'll get a better matched pair if you buy them together."
So they sent half the money right away, and when they received the FedEx'd second diamond (FedEx at their request and their shipping packet; FedEx was quite a surprise to us!) they sent a check for the second half of the amount.
Interestingly, there was no requirement to actually GET the earrings (or other piece in the past).
Their point was, you insured for a specific amount ("full replacement value") and we pay that value.
Some, like JM, do not do it that way, obviously.
For diamond stud earrings, new earrings rather than a check would work better than with something like a custom ring.

The Valuable Items Policy years ago used to automatically "inflate" (unless one opted out).
No more. Now, one must pay for new appraisals if one wants to increase the covered amount.
This reminds me that we are years overdue on that, for a couple of key pieces, especially.

Good luck again; enjoy the entire process!

RM
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by GoldenFinch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:32 am

BolderBoy wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:35 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm
Any advice? Will this purchase seem like peanuts as time passes?
Yes, it will.

Suggestion: make the proposal be the surprise and take her to the jewelry store to pick out the ring of HER choice (not yours).
I agree with BolderBoy.

Good luck! :happy

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:42 am

OP, what are your girlfriend’s attitudes about the norms surrounding the giving of engagement rings? Unless she shares your scruples, I would suggest that this is a case in your relationship where her wishes should dominate: you are, after all, the supplicant asking her to marry you, and the social norm is for you to provide her with an engagement ring as a symbol of your love of her and commitment for your marriage to her.

Is this social norm rational? Norms rarely are. Are you feeling to flaunt it? Of course! Could there be negative consequences if your girlfriend expects you to follow these norms but you choose not to? Yes!

So, I respectfully recommend that that you consider your partner’s wishes and not your own.

Andy.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Fletch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:45 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm
I've spent many months on Blue Nile and I can't push myself to pull the trigger on an engagement ring. :|

Although I'm sure my girl would be extremely happy. To me, it's a complete waste of money.

How can I get over this? The current ring I'm looking at 1.1 Carat, round diamond, color I, VS2, Perfect Symmetry, Polish, proportions, in a beautiful Solitaire is going to run me nearly $7800. very minimal inclusions; eye-clean. The ring is perfect!! I love the ring and I'm sure she would, but I can't do it.

Any advice? Will this purchase seem like peanuts as time passes?
I'm going to take a different route to answer the questions.
Premise: Engagement rings are to make your future spouse joyful. Does she want one? Type? If so, the answer is a no-brainer, get her what she wants.

I'm reading between the lines a bit, but your questions indicate you may not be ready to sacrifice EVERYTHING to benefit another person, even one you intend to marry. Are you sure you are ready to marry this person? Would you lay down your life for her? Or do you value your self happiness/reason/choices more highly (spiritually, financially, emotionally)? Are you the type to throw in the towell when things do not go according to your wishes or reason? Better give this some heavy duty consideration before pulling the trigger as there will be many, many struggles in a marriage far more challenging than what type of ring to purchase, if at all. Best wishes. My wife and I have been married over 50 years and it is not a 50% - 50% deal, it is 100% - 100%, seriously. You both have to be willing to give all at any time.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Therapist Investor » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:16 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:34 pm
Biggest concerns with ring:

Accidental Damage (chipping diamond)/stone falls out
Mugging/theft/forgotten/lost

I'm hopeful Insurance has coverage for such things that isn't an arm and a leg (or a finger)
Insurance for the ring should cover that. My wife's engagement ring is in the mid 1000s and we insure it for like $80 per year. Check with your renters/homeowner's insurance. They will be able to add that as a rider. I'll put in another vote for Blue Nile. You may be able to find a better deal through them.

There are MANY posts in this thread about better financial decisions you could make other than buying this ring. You could also go full Mr. Money Mustache on your budget, live in one of those small houses for like $10000, bike to work, and eat rice & beans until you are FI. Or not. An engagement ring is money well spent IMO. You only live once.

Ask yourself what you think your girlfriend will be happy with. Would she like cubic zirconia or does she want a real diamond? Are we falling prey to brilliant marketing? Yes. But you are not alone!
"Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold." | -Benjamin Franklin

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Tamarind
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Tamarind » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:18 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:27 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:25 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:22 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:19 pm
Two Words: Cubic Zirconia

And one more: Elope
I'd be more than happy to get married in Vegas and plan an after-wedding party in a Hall or our House. I really feel like the Engagement ring and a Wedding are for other people.
Yes, but is your prospective fiance one of those other people? If not, why consider a ring at all?
I doubt it... She probably wants the fairytale wedding and ring... Every girl's dream.
I think it's worth checking that assumption before you drop a chunk of change. Worse than giving your prospective fiance no ring is giving her a ring that doesn't suit her and makes it obvious you are ignorant of what she prefers. "Every girls dream" is just a cliche and does not help you.

My wife is also a Boglehead. We didn't do engagement rings. Instead we talked about what parts of the wedding tradition we actually liked and saved the budget in cash. That meant a courthouse wedding with only immediate family, and a party a couple months later at a nice local restaurant so we could wine/dine extended family and friends. Total guest list was 50 people. We did get custom wedding rings, but with no stones. All in budget for all things wedding related including rings was $15k (over 1/3 on food and drink because we wanted to).

I would strongly suggest talking to your fiance about what she wants. If an engagement ring is important to her, consider taking her with you to shop for it unless she tells you she wants a surprise. This is very common and makes a lot of sense. If you're going to have a long and successful marriage, you had better be able to talk and negotiate about finances.

ETA: Oops....I see I missed the boat and you've already bought it. Best wishes to the both of you! Do let us know if she likes it. :twisted:

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by njdealguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:35 am

SelfEmployed123 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:16 am
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:34 pm
Biggest concerns with ring:

Accidental Damage (chipping diamond)/stone falls out
Mugging/theft/forgotten/lost

I'm hopeful Insurance has coverage for such things that isn't an arm and a leg (or a finger)
Insurance for the ring should cover that. My wife's engagement ring is in the mid 1000s and we insure it for like $80 per year. Check with your renters/homeowner's insurance. They will be able to add that as a rider. I'll put in another vote for Blue Nile. You may be able to find a better deal through them.

There are MANY posts in this thread about better financial decisions you could make other than buying this ring. You could also go full Mr. Money Mustache on your budget, live in one of those small houses for like $10000, bike to work, and eat rice & beans until you are FI. Or not. An engagement ring is money well spent IMO. You only live once.

Ask yourself what you think your girlfriend will be happy with. Would she like cubic zirconia or does she want a real diamond? Are we falling prey to brilliant marketing? Yes. But you are not alone!
So if its about $80 a year to insure a $1k ring, insuring a $5k ring may cost about $400 a year? Seems kind of steep to me, almost like 10% of the ring's purchase cost to insure it per year.

Therapist Investor
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Therapist Investor » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:58 am

njdealguy wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:35 am
SelfEmployed123 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:16 am
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:34 pm
Biggest concerns with ring:

Accidental Damage (chipping diamond)/stone falls out
Mugging/theft/forgotten/lost

I'm hopeful Insurance has coverage for such things that isn't an arm and a leg (or a finger)
Insurance for the ring should cover that. My wife's engagement ring is in the mid 1000s and we insure it for like $80 per year. Check with your renters/homeowner's insurance. They will be able to add that as a rider. I'll put in another vote for Blue Nile. You may be able to find a better deal through them.

There are MANY posts in this thread about better financial decisions you could make other than buying this ring. You could also go full Mr. Money Mustache on your budget, live in one of those small houses for like $10000, bike to work, and eat rice & beans until you are FI. Or not. An engagement ring is money well spent IMO. You only live once.

Ask yourself what you think your girlfriend will be happy with. Would she like cubic zirconia or does she want a real diamond? Are we falling prey to brilliant marketing? Yes. But you are not alone!
So if its about $80 a year to insure a $1k ring, insuring a $5k ring may cost about $400 a year? Seems kind of steep to me, almost like 10% of the ring's purchase cost to insure it per year.
The last I checked my wife's engagement ring is valued at around $7k.
"Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold." | -Benjamin Franklin

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midareff
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by midareff » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:02 am

randomguy wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:15 pm
Sort of depends on if 7800 is 25% of a years savings or 200% of a years savings. Compared to the rest of the cost of marriage, it is noise. Being married will either cost your or make you orders of magnitude more than that.
LOL, it's probably less than one door of your next SUV.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by mancich » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:06 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:22 pm
Make sure you have a personal property rider that covers jewelry- like engagement rings for actual replacement cost.
Good reminder.
Call your homeowner's insurance co.
Ask about a separate valuable items rider.
Then ask about faxing/emailing the receipt so you have coverage before it arrives.

RM
+1 Good idea

Leemiller
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Leemiller » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:13 am

Congratulations! I used to insure through Chubb, now we would just replace if something happened. I have met women who aren’t interested in engagement rings, but so far they all live on the internet.

BuckyBadger
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:28 am

Lady speaking here!

I love my ring. It's more than a carat but less then one and a half, it cost more than what you're considering, and it makes me happy every day. When i drive my car with my left hand at twelve o'clock on the steering wheel the sun catches it and throws a rainbow of sparkles on the roof of my (reasonably priced eminently practical pre owned) car, and that makes me smile every time.

But a few caveats!

We were in a different financial situation than you were, and we actually decided on the budget together.

And most importantly, we went shopping for the ring together. He proposed with a funny plastic thing and we planned on buying the ring together.

We were living near Chicago at the time, so we went to the diamond district and picked out a beautiful stone together and a setting that i loved that suited my lifestyle so i could wear it every day.

The other great thing was that i learned that I'm super sensitive to the color of a diamond, and even a little bit of yellow really stands out to me, so i was willing and happy to trade off a better color (E, which is quite unusual) for a more occluded stone (VS2), and by shopping for loose diamonds first I was able to find one where the occlusions would be hidden by the setting, so in my mind I wasn't really losing out on anything.

So i think shopping with your girl, with a budget in mind, is the way to go.

And honestly, you really should have an idea about what kind of wedding she wants based on her reactions to movies, television, and any weddings you two have been to together. If you haven't, pay more attention! Because her reactions to those things will tell you a ton!

ETA - well, serves me right for only reading 2.5 pages of a 3 page thread! I see you've already bought the ring. Good luck! I hope she loves it!!
Last edited by BuckyBadger on Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:45 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by FireProof » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:35 am

What's the point of insuring a ring? Insurance, of necessity, is a losing proposition, but allow you to meet sudden high expenses. Replacing an $8000 ring doesn't seem to meet that definition. One, it's not a tremendously high cost, or at least it shouldn't be for a Boglehead who's presumably not living paycheck to paycheck. Second, it's not really sudden - if you really needed to save up for a couple of months, there'd be no problem.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:35 am

SelfEmployed123 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:58 am
So if its about $80 a year to insure a $1k ring, insuring a $5k ring may cost about $400 a year? Seems kind of steep to me, almost like 10% of the ring's purchase cost to insure it per year.
Data point: I have a ring appraised at $15k insured for $108 per year through Amica. So it doesn't go up linearly.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:36 am

Meg77 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:48 pm
I wanted a larger stone (around 2 carats) to stay in the range of my my age/income and peer group, but made it clear to my husband that a fake diamond was perfectly fine. He wasn't comfortable with that, but I told him I'd rather have it a bit bigger but lower quality.
Be very careful about focusing on just size. My wife's best friend does exactly that and exchanged her engagement ring, 20 years on for a much larger one. When I saw it, my first thought was "rock salt". That's what it looked like.
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windaar
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by windaar » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:48 am

Smart buddy gave me good advice when I bought 15 years ago: “ a good ring will cost at least 6K, and get at least a full carat.” I did my homework to learn about grading, and bought on Blue Nile with a GIA report. In a world of constantly shifting cultural sands, it was a meaningful traditional statement. My wife loves it and loves it and it was worth every penny.

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Shackleton
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Shackleton » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:54 am

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:44 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:27 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:25 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:22 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:19 pm
Two Words: Cubic Zirconia

And one more: Elope
I'd be more than happy to get married in Vegas and plan an after-wedding party in a Hall or our House. I really feel like the Engagement ring and a Wedding are for other people.
Yes, but is your prospective fiance one of those other people? If not, why consider a ring at all?
I doubt it... She probably wants the fairytale wedding and ring... Every girl's dream.
"Every girl's dream"? Hahahahahahaha...

If she is not on the same financial page as you are, better to know it now. Have you discussed finances and priorities for when you are married?
You need to realize that it really isn’t “EVERY girl’s dream”. Although thanks to reality TV it might be more than it used to.

When we went shopping, we were able to get into a specialized gem/mineral show where we could buy direct from wholesalers. Even at those prices, we both immediately decided that CZ was fine (no one can tell the difference when it’s in your hand in normal situations) and so we spent $800 for engagement and both wedding rings. And was the wife truly happy with that decision? Well, I’m the wife and I can honestly say I’ve never regretted it. I only wear the wedding band these days (after 28 years!) and it’s still in perfect shape.

But then, I’m the woman that used to tell my husband “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a tractor!”
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton

Thegame14
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Thegame14 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:21 am

The two worst investments you will buy are a new car and a diamond. They say a Diamond loses 50% of its value after you buy it and a car 30% when you drive it off the lot. Also not really anything you can do. Our culture but really the de beers advertising has made it so you need to but a diamond ring to get engaged. $7,800 is a lot of money and then the average wedding costs about $40K in my area of the country, so you have to either just find ways to cut back like getting a slight less perfect clarity diamond, and don't get the expensive flowers or a less expensive wedding venue, or you have to just accept that it is the price of admission into a marriage and just budget and save for it.

mak1277
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by mak1277 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:29 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:21 am
The two worst investments you will buy are a new car and a diamond. They say a Diamond loses 50% of its value after you buy it and a car 30% when you drive it off the lot. Also not really anything you can do. Our culture but really the de beers advertising has made it so you need to but a diamond ring to get engaged. $7,800 is a lot of money and then the average wedding costs about $40K in my area of the country, so you have to either just find ways to cut back like getting a slight less perfect clarity diamond, and don't get the expensive flowers or a less expensive wedding venue, or you have to just accept that it is the price of admission into a marriage and just budget and save for it.

I think that neither cars nor engagement rings are investments. They are expenses. At least you can be hopeful you'll never have to buy another engagement ring...cars, not so much.

SpaceMonkey
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by SpaceMonkey » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:35 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:27 pm
I doubt it... She probably wants the fairytale wedding and ring... Every girl's dream.
I got married earlier this year. When I proposed to my wife, I gave her a modest semi-eternity band diamond ring that cost about $1,800. It was, technically, in the store's "wedding band" section.

Why did I buy this ring? Because we went to a store together and she picked it out for herself about 2-3 months before I formally popped the question. I probably would never have gone with this ring if I had tried to guess what she wanted. Did it ruin the surprise? Not really. The surprise is in the moment and the circumstances that you seal the deal. It's a good idea to be on the same page about the other stuff -- do you see marriage in your future, what does that future look like, finances, etc. -- before you try to make anything official.

Figure out what she wants. This should not be the toughest purchase of your life!
Last edited by SpaceMonkey on Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

bob60014
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by bob60014 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:43 am

The ring from the box of Cracker Jack suits us both just fine! :) It's not about the "bling".

mlz
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by mlz » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:11 am

FireProof wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:35 am
What's the point of insuring a ring? Insurance, of necessity, is a losing proposition, but allow you to meet sudden high expenses. Replacing an $8000 ring doesn't seem to meet that definition. One, it's not a tremendously high cost, or at least it shouldn't be for a Boglehead who's presumably not living paycheck to paycheck. Second, it's not really sudden - if you really needed to save up for a couple of months, there'd be no problem.
I strongly second this. It never even dawned on us to insure the engagement ring, though admittedly it was a fraction of cost. I think if you're so worried about the financial burden of losing the ring, perhaps you should buy something cheaper.

I just quickly looked at marketing materials for jewelry insurance. They really try to take advantage of your emotions, with statements like "An insurance policy is a way of honoring not just their financial value but what they represent" or "Every reason why you treasure a piece of fine jewelry is a reason why it should be insured." These kinds of statements make no sense to me. Either the sentimental value is tied to the exact ring you lost --- in which case, you cannot replace it --- or it is just tied to whatever ring happens to be on your finger --- in which case, all that matters is the monetary value.

Insuring your ring should be a purely financial decision, not an emotional one. And insurance, almost by definition, is a money losing proposition.

AnonJohn
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by AnonJohn » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:14 am

Arinbjorn wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:11 pm
Moissanite.

Not as cheap as CZ, but just as good as diamond (perhaps slightly better in some regards, such as light refraction.)

My wife's engagement ring has a 2 carat moissanite round center stone, expertly cut, set in platinum. She loves it, other people love it. They assume because I work in the medical field that I paid huge money - really, couple thousand dollars. An equivalent ring in diamond would cost as much as my modest Midwest home.

We both like that moissanite is lab manufactored, avoiding ethical issues with diamonds. I researched this hard - it seems there is no way to absolutely be positive that your symbol of love (if diamond) wasn't mined by some starving kids being run by a local warlord.
Nice! We did something similar, with a man-made diamond (flawless/ smaller than most; company went out of business; tough to make diamonds with CVD), also set in platinum. A lot of the money went into plus-uping gold -> platinum, which was well worth it to us.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Maverick3320 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:34 am

knpstr wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:16 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm
I've spent many months on Blue Nile and I can't push myself to pull the trigger on an engagement ring. :|

Although I'm sure my girl would be extremely happy. To me, it's a complete waste of money.

How can I get over this? The current ring I'm looking at 1.1 Carat, round diamond, color I, VS2, Perfect Symmetry, Polish, proportions, in a beautiful Solitaire is going to run me nearly $7800. very minimal inclusions; eye-clean. The ring is perfect!! I love the ring and I'm sure she would, but I can't do it.

Any advice? Will this purchase seem like peanuts as time passes?
Picture yourself saying: "Hunny I really love you but those expensive big diamonds seem like a total waste to me so here is this ring instead"

This purchase is about her. Not you. Besides, what is $7,800 in the grand scheme of things for something she will wear/cherish for the rest of her life and likely pass down the family line for generations?
Do people actually pass down wedding rings through the generations? If so, what are they doing with them? Obviously most of them aren't being re-used as wedding rings, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:35 am

mlz wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:11 am
FireProof wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:35 am
What's the point of insuring a ring? Insurance, of necessity, is a losing proposition, but allow you to meet sudden high expenses. Replacing an $8000 ring doesn't seem to meet that definition. One, it's not a tremendously high cost, or at least it shouldn't be for a Boglehead who's presumably not living paycheck to paycheck. Second, it's not really sudden - if you really needed to save up for a couple of months, there'd be no problem.
I strongly second this. It never even dawned on us to insure the engagement ring, though admittedly it was a fraction of cost. I think if you're so worried about the financial burden of losing the ring, perhaps you should buy something cheaper.

I just quickly looked at marketing materials for jewelry insurance. They really try to take advantage of your emotions, with statements like "An insurance policy is a way of honoring not just their financial value but what they represent" or "Every reason why you treasure a piece of fine jewelry is a reason why it should be insured." These kinds of statements make no sense to me. Either the sentimental value is tied to the exact ring you lost --- in which case, you cannot replace it --- or it is just tied to whatever ring happens to be on your finger --- in which case, all that matters is the monetary value.

Insuring your ring should be a purely financial decision, not an emotional one. And insurance, almost by definition, is a money losing proposition.
It's "also" an emotional decision.
I am able to relax so much more, knowing that important jewelry is insured.
(I have "the ring" and several other what could be called costly jewelry items. Some were gifts a long time ago, a couple were purchased.)

Over the years, a few things did indeed get lost, and the insurance paid without any problem.

One of the pieces had very significant emotional value, and that makes "insurance" a bit tricky. Obviously "that" piece can't be replaced.
I used the insurance money to design something quite similar, and it still holds the memories.
It it "the same"? No, of course not. But it's much, much better than not having that remembrance at all.

We are not "even" with the losses, but that's never been the goal.
Insurance buys peace of mind, among other things.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

BuckyBadger
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:40 am

Maverick3320 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:34 am
knpstr wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:16 pm
MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:13 pm
I've spent many months on Blue Nile and I can't push myself to pull the trigger on an engagement ring. :|

Although I'm sure my girl would be extremely happy. To me, it's a complete waste of money.

How can I get over this? The current ring I'm looking at 1.1 Carat, round diamond, color I, VS2, Perfect Symmetry, Polish, proportions, in a beautiful Solitaire is going to run me nearly $7800. very minimal inclusions; eye-clean. The ring is perfect!! I love the ring and I'm sure she would, but I can't do it.

Any advice? Will this purchase seem like peanuts as time passes?
Picture yourself saying: "Hunny I really love you but those expensive big diamonds seem like a total waste to me so here is this ring instead"

This purchase is about her. Not you. Besides, what is $7,800 in the grand scheme of things for something she will wear/cherish for the rest of her life and likely pass down the family line for generations?
Do people actually pass down wedding rings through the generations? If so, what are they doing with them? Obviously most of them aren't being re-used as wedding rings, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.
A lot of people do - but often through the male line, at least as I've seen. We bought mine, but my brother used a family stone in the one that was for his intended. It was our grandmother's stone. I wouldn't say it's the majority, though. Most do buy new rings.

I think a lot of people are buried wearing them, so the diamonds disappear from the market. Many other rework them into other pieces - necklaces or non-engagement-type rings.

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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by Info_Hound » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:48 am

Why must it be a diamond? They are actually a fairly common stone. DeBeers has the market controlled.

My personal choice was a natural London Blue Topaz with 1/3 carat diamonds on either side of the very large Topaz with a checkerboard/cushion cut. The Topaz is stunning. Cost less than a large diamond and even years later I see other women eyeing my ring with interest. Sometimes they ask me if it is a Sapphire (yes, the London blues look very much like dark blue Sapphires).

If you are looking for something stunning (and noticeable!) take a look at semi-precious stones and consider diamonds as a side attraction to the main attraction. It will be beautiful and cost less. No one will ever know looking at it.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:04 am

Info_Hound wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:48 am
Why must it be a diamond? They are actually a fairly common stone. DeBeers has the market controlled.

My personal choice was a natural London Blue Topaz with 1/3 carat diamonds on either side of the very large Topaz with a checkerboard/cushion cut. The Topaz is stunning. Cost less than a large diamond and even years later I see other women eyeing my ring with interest. Sometimes they ask me if it is a Sapphire (yes, the London blues look very much like dark blue Sapphires).

If you are looking for something stunning (and noticeable!) take a look at semi-precious stones and consider diamonds as a side attraction to the main attraction. It will be beautiful and cost less. No one will ever know looking at it.
Hadn't heard of that color topaz.

If the color is accurate on the computer screen, that is a *gorgeous* color!
No wonder your wife gets lots of "looks"; it's just a stunning color, in addition to being unusual.

Very nice!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

investingdad
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Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Post by investingdad » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:05 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:12 pm
Well, after much agonizing over the past few months, I went with my gut and called up BlueNile tonight and made the purchase. I'm glad I went through with it and didn't back out. My girl is very deserving and worth the purchase. I honestly feel I went with my absolute max with this purchase I'm glad I did. I could have spent more and could have cheaped out and bought a lot less, but I didn't budge on any of the 4 C's... I also love the solitaire I went with and I believe she will as well. The great news is they will ship on 8/13 and I will have 30 days from that date to decide on a return. My planned proposal is 8/22 which gives me some time with her and the ring to decide on what to do.

:sharebeer
Let us know how it goes.

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