Conflicted about Ring Cost

posted 4 years ago in Rings
  • poll: Random Ring Cost Stuff (you can vote on more than one)
    I expected my SO to spend a certain amount of money on my e-ring (ex. 2 months paycheck rule) : (24 votes)
    8 %
    I expected my SO to spend whatever was necessary to get the quality ring I wanted : (43 votes)
    15 %
    My SO could easily afford my ring : (93 votes)
    33 %
    My SO saved for a long time to afford my ring : (33 votes)
    12 %
    My ring was cheap (relative to income) because we opted/needed to spend the money on something else : (49 votes)
    17 %
    My ring was cheap (relative to income) because we plan to upgrade soon : (4 votes)
    1 %
    My ring was cheap (relative to income) because we don't care about jewelry : (22 votes)
    8 %
    My SO didn't give me a ring when we got engaged : (5 votes)
    2 %
    There are too many options here, so I'm just going to comment with my thoughts. : (12 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 2
    4238 posts
    Honey bee



    I voted “too many choices, I’ll just comment” 😉

    I had to convince my guy to spend less than he planned, in part because I wanted a smaller ring more in keeping with lifestyle/career as well as my personal preference of having an a-band stacker as opposed to a solitaire/larger center stone. He’s gifted me plenty of other sparklies through the years, so, he’s certainly showered me with marital bling but I do appreciate wearing less $$ on me at any given time.



    Post # 3
    1167 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’m confuse.  You are budgeting pretty low, and I understand that part–but you also seem slightly disgusted budgeting low. 

    why not have a conversation with your Fiance about expectations and reality and meet in the middle.  Also the “rest of your life” blurb is not true anymore–just see how many women here do “upgrades” every year or so. 

    So your concerns are created by YOU–you budget low and then get slightly disgusted by it.  Why not budget around what you and your Fiance compromises and look again. 

    Post # 4
    495 posts
    Helper bee

    Can you get a setting that you like with a CZ or different less expensive stone and upgrade to a diamond later? $40 is pretty inexpensive for an engagement ring. It is not about the money spent but with it being a symbol of your lifetime together I think it is important that it hold up. Personally I would get a good 14k gold or white gold setting and upgrade the stone later so I could still keep the original ring!

    Post # 5
    4238 posts
    Honey bee


    <– raises hand about having just switched out CZ for diamonds in a 14k yg ring received when our budget was smaller


    Incidentally, if eBay had been around, I totally could’ve seen us take the budgeted amount and pounced on whichever ring fit my criteria. That would’ve been a fun treasure hunt to add to our e-ring story, I think. 


    Post # 6
    5534 posts
    Bee Keeper

    You are justified in your conflict. At the end of the day it shouldn’t matter if you have one or ten, if it’s a diamond or a gemstone. As long as you are happy wearing it. 

    Post # 8
    6278 posts
    Bee Keeper

    As others have mentioned, talk to your SO about his budget if you’re involved in the ring picking process (it seems that you are).

    he may have certain ideas in his head about what he wants to spend, and if he feels it has to be diamond or whatever. 

    Then once you know his budget, get the best you can out of everything you like. 

    You sound sensible. And it seems like you may want to keep your e-ring as a forever ring so work with what works for him too. 

    My Fiance chucked a lot of cash at my ering (and I totally adore it btw) but there was moments where I got in a right flap about the outlay so I do understand why you’re thinking about what the cost implies.  But – he said the way he saw it was a) he wanted to get me something I totally loved b) something I’d wear everyday for the rest of my life and therefore cost per day or even as a lump sum over a lifetime it’s really neither here nor there.  

    For me also all his research and time and effort he put in to it meant so much as well  

    So to sum up – don’t dwell on the cost. Talk to your SO about his expectations/ideas. Make sure you feel happy with the way he values you that’s got nothing to do with a ring BEFORE you marry him. Get the best quality for your money. Try lots on as what you think you like you may not actually love on your finger. Have fun shopping – it’s a great time.  

    Post # 9
    151 posts
    Blushing bee

    My ring was cheap (relative to income) not because I don’t care about jewelry, but because what I really wanted was relatively affordable. We also went half/half to pay for it. If there was something I really wanted that cost significantly more then we would have waited to save up for it up to a point. There’s no way I’d want to pay more than a year’s mortgage payments (for example) on a ring because it’s just not that important to me. What was important to me was that we were comfortable with the expense (which was easy, it was more than comfortable — it would have had to be three times the cost to be out of our comfort zone) and I had to really like it, and both goals were met.  Everyone prioritizes these things a little differently, however.

    Post # 10
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    If $40 bought a quality engagement ring, I’m sure most people would go that route. “Cheap” in the sense that it won’t hold up over time seems the concern, not the money. 

    Before we got engaged, my husband knew that I wanted a few rings, and he was/is okay with that. At the time, we were broke, I was in college and he was working a full time salaried position that paid him literally half of what he was worth, but it was all he could get, and we bought a $425 CZ and 14k white gold engagement ring that I love to this day. Income during this time combined: ~ $45k pre-tax. 

    CZ won’t last forever, so I wanted to avoid damaging it, and we bought an OEC moissy (roughly 7.5mm) and a setting, and the whole thing cost about $1.4k. Income at this time combined: ~$45k after I was graduated but working at Starbucks trying to find a job in my field. 

    Amora finally came out, and I got an OEC cut, then half a year later a custom setting costing ~$4k total. Both of us have full time jobs in our career fields. Later same year I bought anther amora in a setting second hand for $1.4k. Income at this time combined: ~$150k. 

    We’ve never spent more than two weeks combined income on a ring, so I’m now in “cheap realtive to income” because I fell in love with stones that make it affordable for me to have everything I want. Quality is very important to me, and objectively, moissanite and other SiC gemstones have everything I value: durability, sparkle, and excellent cut. We don’t have anywhere else we “need” to spend the money relative to income, so more expensive jewelry is doable. The cheap relative to income for the purpose of upgrading doesn’t really apply either, I don’t really “upgrade” so much as “add to my collection”. 🙂 

    So, here’s the deal: Talk to your SO about what a realistic budget is for you guys, what the qualities  you want are (cheap one you’ll scrap later to upgrade, or something you’ll wear for a long time?), and go from there. 

    I would probably have been upset with a $40 ering, because what I wanted would not strain our finances when we were living paycheck to paycheck, knowing some day I’d get another ring. You say you’re upset with yourself for equating spending money with caring, but the way I see it, seems more like you’re upset with the idea of a low quality ring being the symbol for your future together. It is a type of investment, and again, it isn’t so much about the money as it is the quality, sadly, quality just costs more than $40. 🙂 Accept that’s the way you feel and move on, with a discussed budget in mind. You’ll both be happier that way!  

    Post # 11
    4238 posts
    Honey bee

    This bears repeating, imo:

    “So to sum up – don’t dwell on the cost. Talk to your SO about his expectations/ideas. Make sure you feel happy with the way he values you that’s got nothing to do with a ring BEFORE you marry him. Get the best quality for your money. Try lots on as what you think you like you may not actually love on your finger. Have fun shopping – it’s a great time. “

    Props to you, UK-bee:; that was well said.  

    Post # 12
    6309 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    I chose the last option because at the time we were engaged, he had no money – nor did I. I am pretty sure he financed the ring (which I completely disagree with, but our finances were not combined so it was none of my business), despite it being relatively inexpensive.

    I don’t blame you for your thoughts on the matter. Comparing rings never even occurred to me until I had mine (and I was overjoyed) and realized a woman I worked with had just become engaged. Her ring was everything I wished mine could be, but since we had no money at the time I never breathed a word of that to anyone (most especially FI). If you don’t want to upgrade your ring, then I wouldn’t feel too guilty about the cost, especially if your Fiance can save/pay for it. I wish comparison didn’t play any part in things, but I understand your feelings. I knew we had no choice, and I was positive Fiance was worth it, and I lived with the ring for 15 years (honestly, I never really thought about it again after the wedding). Darling Husband upgraded after that many years without me ever saying a word. He told me the new ring was what he had wished he could give me all along. 

    Post # 13
    2017 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    gbee:  I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t think it’s “materialistic” to want a nice ring that you’ll wear for a million haha years! I wouldn’t feel guilty for hm spending $1000 unless it’s a hardship? For us right now it would be too expensive, so I have a diamond simulant (moissanite) and down the road we will upgrade to a nice quality 1 carat real diamond.

    Post # 14
    1617 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May

    Cheap works when it’s what both of you want. Darling Husband set a budget. I agreed that we should only use half of his budget because it seemed too high. Darling Husband required that I wear a forever stone rather than a temporary placeholder. We were able to make all of that work because we communicated. I knew his budget and his one request. He knew my desired setting. We chose everything together.

    Post # 15
    275 posts
    Helper bee

    Find what you love on etsy and then have it made with diamonds and gold or mossy and gold by a Jewler. It’s a forever relationship, get a forever ring. 

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