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Getting married

SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I went to visit my mother. When she asked how things are with me and my girlfriend, I replied “Things are great, I think I’m going to propose to her actually”

“That’s great news! When?” she said
“Im thinking sometime next fall” I said
“THAT’S TOO LONG!!” she said
“Well I just don’t have the spare $$ for a ring right now” I said

She assured me that I shouldn’t worry about money if I want to get married. (I didn’t quite understand that). So she has offered to give me a bunch of her old jewelry from her first marriage to help pay for my wedding ring.

Awesome. Now what?

I figure I should probably get them appraised before I try to sell.
I found two independent appraisers here in town. One charges $50 for the first item, then $40 for each additional (ACK!). The other place charges $200 an hour. (ACK ACK!!)

Ok…..then…what next? I guess I should stay away from skeezy pawn shops….but I have no idea where the hell to sell jewelry at.
Ebay maybe?

HELP!!

Sakebomb on

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    truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    if the jewelry is gold you may want to look into somewhere advertising to buy gold right now. It is fetching good prices.

    truck-a-sauras on
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    radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    You could propose with a very simple ring and then get a "nicer" one later. Really, it's the gesture more than the ring that matters

    You can also remain engaged for as long as you two decide if you want to wait to save money before getting married.

    radroadkill on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Well, you're likely to get the most for them if you sell them as jewelry pieces. If you sell it as gold you'll likely get some fraction of the melt value of the precious metal components (I've no idea what that fraction might be for jewelry, gold coins can fetch the full spot price of the gold content, unless the numismatic value is higher of course). If it had stones set you'd want to have them removed so you could sell those as loose stones, but it might be hard to unload since you aren't a jeweler.

    Independent appraisers often buy and sell jewelry themselves; instead of asking for an appraisal, ask the appraiser what he'd pay to take them. You shouldn't have to pay to get that answer, though he may not be interested in buying them from you. And even if he is, you won't get a great deal as he's going to want to make a profit when he sells it. An independant appraisal of jewelry is often for insurance purposes, so he'll give you a "retail" value* or how much it would cost you to replace it if you went to a jewelry store (or how much he'd charge you if he sourced it himself for you). If you weren't interested in that kind of appraisal, you might could negotiate a flat rate on an eyeball estimate, assuming there are makers marks indicating metal purity and few/no stones to grade; but this would be dependent upon the generosity of the appraiser.

    You'd fetch the most selling them individually as whole pieces of jewelry on ebay/craigslist or something, but then you're back in the situation of having to determine what you've got and how much its worth.

    Perhaps your mum can instead part with her first marriage engagement ring (if she received one and still has it) so that you can offer that to your GF? IMO this has added cachet as the piece becomes a family heirloom, though I suppose it's an unlikely scenario as I'd think she would've offered it if she was OK with parting with it.


    *Edit: It would be unlikely you could get the "appraised for insurance" value when selling the piece at auction, unless you were a jewelry vendor. If they were really nice pieces you might look at listing at christies/sothebys, but they will charge a sellers fee (typically a percentage of the sale price).

    Djeet on
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    OskiOski Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    You could propose with a very simple ring and then get a "nicer" one later. Really, it's the gesture more than the ring that matters

    You can also remain engaged for as long as you two decide if you want to wait to save money before getting married.

    What he said

    Getting married isn't about having a nice ring.

    Propose to the girl and buy her nice shit later. She'll love you more for it.

    Oski on
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    ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oski wrote: »
    Getting married isn't about having a nice ring.

    Propose to the girl and buy her nice shit later. She'll love you more for it.

    What he said.

    Oh, also if you do end up selling this stuff and have a good amount of money...

    Do you know if one of the pieces has a particularly nice diamond?(assuming you want diamond engagement ring)

    If it does you could see about perhaps resetting it into another ring? That probably wouldn't cost that much, but what do I know :-P

    Thylacine on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    If your girl says no to your proposal just because your engagement ring isn't a stunning flawless bazillion carat diamond, then she might not be ready for marriage, n'aw mean? :P

    Still, your mom sounds awesome. If you want to make a nice gesture and impress your girl, then go for something mid-range... classy, but not outlandishly extravagant. It shows you tried, for one thing!

    But a simple, inexpensive ring is also a good idea, because as many have said, it's a gesture! It's not unheard of for people to get "better" rings later on in a marriage, too. Plus, if she asks, you can also push the idea that you didn't want to spend too much on the ring because most of it is going to be saved up for, you know, marriage and all that... which ultimately is more important and will probably impress her more than a diamond ring.

    Vivixenne on
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    grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Anyway, for jewelry avoid pawn shops. And do not sell it as metal, much of the price of jewelry is for the craftsmanship, not just the material. I would consult jewelry wholesale merchants in the area. If they won't buy your wares, they might be able to direct you to someone who will.

    grungebox on
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    ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    as an aside, do you know what style of ring she likes? This might be something to investigate as slyly as possible. That said, I straight up picked out my ring and told my fiancee which one I wanted. But, uh, I'm opinionated like that. But some gals are very opinionated about these sorts of things, ie I think solitaires look hella ugly on my hand therefore they are completely the wrong ring for me

    ihmmy on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    oh yeah that's a good point

    style of ring is important too based on how long her fingers are, how slender they are, etc.

    it may not even be that she's opinionated, it's just nice to know that a ring will look good on her finger

    definitely poke around (ask YOUR mom, even, as she would have more experience in buying rings of all styles and types) and see what kinds of rings she already wears and what looks good on her finger, too!

    Vivixenne on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oski wrote: »
    You could propose with a very simple ring and then get a "nicer" one later. Really, it's the gesture more than the ring that matters

    You can also remain engaged for as long as you two decide if you want to wait to save money before getting married.

    What he said

    Getting married isn't about having a nice ring.

    Propose to the girl and buy her nice shit later. She'll love you more for it.
    He would be my wife thank you very much.

    Still right though.

    Quid on
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    GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Second to the idea of maybe prying a stone out and resetting it. My wife's mom had a good deal of extra jewelry and loose stones. So we went to Jared's, bought a wedding band with diamonds in it. Had them pop one of them out, modify it to hold a stone, and put one of her mom's loose diamonds in. I ended up only having to pay around $1000 total for engagement ring and wedding band, and it was appraised for $3000. Worked out like a charm, and I've been told the rest of the stones we didn't use are at my disposal if I ever want to use them for more jewelry. Score.

    Also, keep in mind that all jewelry stores are going to let you make payments. But don't let them sell you for too much. We went to a local store first, told them our budget, and they kept trying to get me to double it because I can just make payments. No thanks.

    And money shouldnt really matter, within reason. Meaning, if you know that you won't be able to afford rent, food, gas, etc, then don't do it, stay engaged. But if it just means maybe not being able to buy yourself a new game or book every few weeks, then by all means go ahead. My wife and I have been married for almost three months now. We may not be able to spend money like we did when we were single, but it is definately worth being poor.

    Guffrey on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Try contacting insurance agencies to know if they have a place that does it at a reasonable price.

    Blake T on
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    Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    You might also consider materials other then gold and diamonds. To me a diamond ring just screams "generic", you can probably find something that has more meaning.

    Also keep in mind that they can make synthetic diamonds that are equal or superior to the ones dug out of the ground for a fraction of the price. There are also a bunch of ethical reasons to use synthetic gemstones: you're not dealing with the diamond cartel that artificially inflates the prices; no slave or child labour is involved; you're not going to get a conflict diamond; and there is no environmentally problematic mining process.

    Draco_Auric on
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    radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Definitely get an idea of what kind of ring she would like, but it doesn't have to extravagant. I don't now exactly how much Quid paid for mine but eeriely enough he picked a simple setting I love without having any idea what I wanted beyond "white gold" and "a diamond", but a lot of places have basic settings like mine that range from 300-500, maybe less.

    A nice, simple ring gets the message across. I love my ring; I know he got it because he loved me and knew I wanted something but we were both very realistic about how much we could afford. My friend has an insanely gorgeous and unique engagement ring that I adore but spending 3000+ on a ring is ridiculous, especially at this point in our lives. Maybe years from now if we have excess money and absolutely nothing else to do with it I would consider getting one like hers, but it's not important.

    A lot of places will let you "custom" build rings as well. And, again, as thers have said, you don't have to use a diamond but I would definitely find out somehow what she may or may not like. Some girls can be incredibly picky about what they want and some don't care or only have a few "general" ideas.

    I like alternate stone rings, but right now I wanted a simple diamond band. And I HATE yellow gold so it was wonderful that he knew that.

    Getting a stone reset is a good idea too. You can buy a band that will fit it and just have someone put it in for you and that would save a lot.

    radroadkill on
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    SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Forgot to mention, she hates gold and diamonds (I luv her)
    I very smoothly brought up the subject of jewelry one day at a festival, and discreetly found out she likes white gold and sapphires.

    Thanks for great advice so far guys.
    Its good to hear different perspectives on the subject. I'll look into having a the diamond removed from my mothers first engagement ring and having it reset on a new band, and see what it would cost to have two sapphires set on the sides.

    Oski, radroadkill , qiud: very good point. She be much happier if I went that route.

    Thanks again!

    Sakebomb on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I proposed to my fiance with a ring that belonged to my grandmother. We then bought a new ring later, together. She loved being able to help select it.

    Fallingman on
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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I like white gold and sapphires, too.

    However, do consider that you don't absolutely have to propose with a ring. My fiancé proposed with a spoon (welsh love spoon, adorably silly) and we'll go look at rings together when money isn't so tight. I don't consider his proposal any less romantic because it didn't include a ring, or because he didn't do it in front of the Eiffel Tower, etc.. Rings are just props.

    If you think she'd be disappointed not to have the whole "down on one knee, ring box open," why not use one of your mom's rings as the prop and then take her shopping to find a ring later? She's going to be the one wearing the thing forever and ever, so she might be a bit particular about it. I know I am.

    Trowizilla on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Sakebomb wrote: »
    I'll look into having a the diamond removed from my mothers first engagement ring and having it reset on a new band, and see what it would cost to have two sapphires set on the sides.

    While the stone is loose is the best time to get the rock graded (assuming the stone isn't already graded, and if you want an appraisal), as while the stone is set there are areas which may not be directly visible even under a loupe. A good appraiser would have to cap the high end of the appraisal if he could not directly see areas, and the meat of an appraisal is usually the stone(s).

    I'll echo what others are saying in that you don't need to propose with a ring, and certainly not the one she's going to end up wearing. Especially if you want it to be a surprise, I'm not sure how you'd go about trying to size her and pick/design something you'd think she'd like without tipping her off.

    If she has allergies to some metals present in lower purity gold (10K or 14K) going higher purity (18K+) might result in no skin reaction, but the metal is noticeably softer.

    Djeet on
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    mugginnsmugginns Jawsome Fresh CoastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I ordered my fiancee's ring from BlueNile (online) and she loves it. I paid something like 40-50% less for it than I would have paid in the store, and I got to build it from what stones I wanted and what ring I wanted, not just what the store had.

    mugginns on
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Another few ideas to try are to get a metalsmith to make a ring so it's more unique than what you'd get at a store. If you take a picture of her hands and tell them her preferences they'd be willing to work with you.

    Also, I read some article that said that if you don't mind where you're getting it from you can get some really great deals on wedding rings from people who divorced who want to get rid of them. I can't find the link in a quick search but I was positive that there was a site mentioned that was sort of a wedding ring recycling central thing.

    Hypatia on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    My wife is similar, in that she prefers silver/white metals and non-diamonds. I proposed to her with a ring sizer, so we could pick out our rings together and make sure they'd fit.

    She actually ended up getting 22k yellow gold (with a sapphire) because she felt that all her other jewelry was white/silver, and she wanted the wedding ring to stand out and be unique among her other stuff.

    It sounds like your girl already has some ideas of what she wants. Perhaps you should propose (or just ask her to marry you in a non-proposaly way) and tell her that you want to shop for rings together.

    My wife didn't like the idea of a separate band/engagement ring, for instance, so she has a single ring. And the style matches my ring (w/ a hand-hammered texture) with the addition of the gem.

    EggyToast on
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    NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    some good jewelry stores will appraise your stuff and purchase it for you. The place i got my wife's rings did for us. We still see him all the time and he knows exactly who we are. Just find a good jewel and he/she will help you.

    NakedZergling on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oh, the other good thing about just asking her, even w/o a ring, is that it gets the ball rolling. I decided to ask her (we'd been together for 6 years, living together for 4 of those), and 6 months later we were married. Small wedding of about 60 people total, and it was really nice not having this big event looming. Some people love planning and weighing options. Others just want to get it over with. Make that decision together.

    EggyToast on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    mugginns wrote: »
    I ordered my fiancee's ring from BlueNile (online) and she loves it. I paid something like 40-50% less for it than I would have paid in the store, and I got to build it from what stones I wanted and what ring I wanted, not just what the store had.

    I have to second Blue Nile. Got my wife's engagement ring from them, and also got our wedding bands from them. Their prices are very reasonable, and my wife gets compliments all the time on her rings--you'd never know we got them off the internet.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    if the jewelry is gold you may want to look into somewhere advertising to buy gold right now. It is fetching good prices.

    Good prices if you're purchasing gold, not if you're selling. Gold prices tend to drop low early fall, then pick up again after December.

    The price is 741.03 per troy ounce right now.
    In December 27th 2007, the price was 1049.95.

    In fact, since the beginning of October, Gold prices have dropped around 30-40 dollars in the US.

    You might also consider materials other then gold and diamonds. To me a diamond ring just screams "generic", you can probably find something that has more meaning.

    While they may match diamonds in some respect, they usually are lacking in others. Moissanite has far superior clarity and brilliance, however, for the most part VS quality diamonds are found superior.

    If you aren't aware of minor gem differences and aren't looking at it under an optivisor, I doubt a normal person will be able to tell the difference between a diamond and a well cut Moissanite or CZ.

    Forbe! on
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    Dulcius_ex_asperisDulcius_ex_asperis Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Sakebomb wrote: »
    Forgot to mention, she hates gold and diamonds (I luv her)

    I'd recommend greenkarat.com. They don't have a massive selection, but they are quite awesome.

    Sapphire rings:

    http://greenkarat.com/detail.asp?product_id=AFR002

    http://greenkarat.com/detail.asp?product_id=RCG002

    Blue diamond rings:

    http://greenkarat.com/detail.asp?product_id=RCG009

    http://greenkarat.com/detail.asp?product_id=RCG008

    http://greenkarat.com/detail.asp?product_id=RCG003

    This company sells *my* favorite rings. They company only uses recycled products, and you can send in your mom's white gold and have it melted into the ring, and the value of the gold deducted from the price. They are super environmentally conscious, so if she's into that, she'll love it.

    I've never bought anything from them (yet!!) but I've drooled over their stuff for about a year now (ever since my bf and I started talking about marriage).

    If she doesn't like diamonds, and she told you that right out, why would you put in a diamond? If it's because of the whole "blood diamond" factor, this company uses created of recycled diamonds and maybe you could get away with it. If she doesn't like the look of diamonds, though, I'd recommend just going for white gold and sapphire. Give her what she wants :)

    Dulcius_ex_asperis on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    My rings are from greenkarat. My wife's ring is a Quetico. Highly recommended.

    EggyToast on
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    SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    GreenKarat looks great, and my girl definately appreciates conflict free and environmentally friendly jewelry! I Think Ill send in my mothers jewelry to them and get a quote! Thanks again guys, ya'll are awesome!!

    Sakebomb on
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    radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Sakebomb wrote: »
    GreenKarat looks great, and my girl definately appreciates conflict free and environmentally friendly jewelry! I Think Ill send in my mothers jewelry to them and get a quote! Thanks again guys, ya'll are awesome!!

    They do look awesome and I love companies like this. I want their stuff.

    That's really great though; she's bound to love it no matter what but this might make it that much more extra special.

    radroadkill on
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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    It depends on the opportunity to do so, but you could try making one. There might be local silversmithing course (or night-class or something) that you can attend and make a ring in. It will take time and effort but comparatively little dough.

    My missus isn't too fussed about rings on the whole, didn't want me blowing money that could better be spend on a house deposit, but does appreciate something that took time, effort and care to make. The one I made her is just a plain silver band, but it's my plain silver band.

    Bogart on
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    November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Depending on what jewelry your mom gave you, you might be able to have one or more of her diamonds reset.

    November Fifth on
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    SlickShughesSlickShughes Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Sakebomb wrote: »
    I'll look into having a the diamond removed from my mothers first engagement ring and having it reset on a new band, and see what it would cost to have two sapphires set on the sides.

    This is spot on exactly what I did for my wife's engagement ring. She loves it, gets complimented on it all the time, and I got major points for coming up with it on my own. I got the sapphires from my mother as well, 2 teardrop shaped dark blue ones. It cost me about $250 for the setting and the work.

    SlickShughes on
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    Gopherboy128Gopherboy128 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    If the person you're proposing to is going to care about the ring used, then is this the type of person you want to be married to the rest of your life? If she loves you, she'll understand the situation and the symbolism of the ring and what it means is what will matter to her, and not how big/expensive it is.

    Gopherboy128 on
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    Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    If the person you're proposing to is going to care about the ring used, then is this the type of person you want to be married to the rest of your life? If she loves you, she'll understand the situation and the symbolism of the ring and what it means is what will matter to her, and not how big/expensive it is.
    Hang on, now. There's a difference between caring about how much a ring cost or how many carats the diamond is, and caring about what the thing looks like or what it's made of. I'm personally opposed to diamonds on both ethical and aesthetic grounds - I don't want to support an artificial monopoly that has been responsible for more deaths than cholera over the past couple hundred years, and I think the damned things are just plain ugly to boot. I also associate them with my mother, who wears 2 karat diamond earrings while doing yardwork, just in case someone she knows stops by. So, if my boyfriend proposed to me with a diamond solitaire, you're damned right it would matter to me: it would show me that he didn't respect my moral position on the issue, and didn't care about my personal taste.

    An engagement ring is something she's going to wear (or at least treasure) for the rest of her life. She's allowed to care about it, very deeply. Yes, symbolism, yes, significance, etc... but it's still a tangible object that she will be displaying on her finger, and if she doesn't smile every time she looks down at it because she thinks it's beautiful, you fucked up. Caring about what her engagement ring looks like doesn't make her some sort of scrabbling gold-digger; it just means she actually possesses a sense of style. Frankly, I'd be more worried by someone who didn't give a damn what the ring looked like.

    If money is tight, you don't need to buy her her heart's desire up front. Proposing with a ring sizer or a simpler version of something she really likes is just fine. But please, none of this "only shallow greedy women care about what their rings look like!" bullshit.

    Kate of Lokys on
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    Gopherboy128Gopherboy128 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    If the person you're proposing to is going to care about the ring used, then is this the type of person you want to be married to the rest of your life? If she loves you, she'll understand the situation and the symbolism of the ring and what it means is what will matter to her, and not how big/expensive it is.
    Hang on, now. There's a difference between caring about how much a ring cost or how many carats the diamond is, and caring about what the thing looks like or what it's made of. I'm personally opposed to diamonds on both ethical and aesthetic grounds - I don't want to support an artificial monopoly that has been responsible for more deaths than cholera over the past couple hundred years, and I think the damned things are just plain ugly to boot. I also associate them with my mother, who wears 2 karat diamond earrings while doing yardwork, just in case someone she knows stops by. So, if my boyfriend proposed to me with a diamond solitaire, you're damned right it would matter to me: it would show me that he didn't respect my moral position on the issue, and didn't care about my personal taste.

    An engagement ring is something she's going to wear (or at least treasure) for the rest of her life. She's allowed to care about it, very deeply. Yes, symbolism, yes, significance, etc... but it's still a tangible object that she will be displaying on her finger, and if she doesn't smile every time she looks down at it because she thinks it's beautiful, you fucked up. Caring about what her engagement ring looks like doesn't make her some sort of scrabbling gold-digger; it just means she actually possesses a sense of style. Frankly, I'd be more worried by someone who didn't give a damn what the ring looked like.

    If money is tight, you don't need to buy her her heart's desire up front. Proposing with a ring sizer or a simpler version of something she really likes is just fine. But please, none of this "only shallow greedy women care about what their rings look like!" bullshit.

    All I was saying was that if he puts his heart into it, and doesn't have $5,000 for the biggest, most diamond covered ring ever, that she should still love him regardless, and if she doesn't than is that really who he wants to marry.

    Gopherboy128 on
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