(Closed) Engagement Ring Advice Needed

posted 6 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@catlee:  I too want a big ring, and I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of. I guess though that one has to be realistic. I wouldn’t let a ring take away a house purchase… or make it that I couldn’t have vacations for years, or that it would get us into debt. A ring to me is more important than the wedding, however. I have had many talks w. my bf about the ring… and he is ok with having a small wedding or eloping (this would be his 2nd marriage and I have no interest in a big expensive wedding) so that I can get the ring of my dreams. We also both have good jobs and he is older than I am so way more established in his career. Talk to him about price point. You may be surprised as to what he has to say. I wouldn’t start the convo with “I’m ok with a small diamond”, though. 

I do think it’s important to talk with him about this. It shouldn’t feel too awkward. Go ring shopping and see how he reacts to different prices. The setting and the shape of the diamond can also have a huge impact on how big the ring is perceived as. I didn’t believe my coworker when she said her huge-looking ring was only 1.25 carats.

It sounds like you want a diamond, so I would get a diamond, even if it’s smaller than you had hoped. Yes, upgrading is common, and many jewelery stores offer an upgrade discount if you do the original purchase and they upgrade in a few years.


Post # 4
4714 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1998

When you say big ring what size are you looking at? over a carat? over 2? What size is your finger?

Post # 5
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I had the opposite problem.  I wanted something simple and small (my tastes), and he wanted to get something very valuable. 

Anyway, is there anyway that you can compromise the large diamond by having a beautiful unique design made up?  Something you could design together?  Then you could upgrade later with a larger diamond within the design, or build on it.  The ring with the smaller stone wouldn’t be underwhelming if you design something unique with it.  Of course, if you’re a fan of the simple band, that’s not really an option.

I personally like the idea of upgrading, it symbolizes a good deal as you build your ring as you go through life together.

I don’t think you’re being ridiculous. 🙂 

Post # 6
14486 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

What is your budget right now?  I personally don’t really get the idea of upgrading in the future unless you were buying a very inexpensive diamond right now.  Stones get exponenentially more expensive with size (given you keep the quality the same), and to me, the money spent on any stone that is upgraded is sort of wasted cause you cant get anywhere near what you spent back.. unless you’re buying at somewhere like Tiffanys that has a nice upgrade policy. 

Post # 7
1830 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

What styles of rings or settings are you looking at? Halos can make smaller stones appear larger, and I just love the look of the halo. Three stone rings are also a good way to get more carat weight and better quality without paying through the nose for one large, good diamond.

If you are dead set on a diamond, get a diamond. If you would consider other stones, look at those too. Amora moissanite is also lovely, and there is a chance the Amora GEM will be available by the time you are looking at a proposal. It’s a true DEF color and sparkles like mad. Check it out, and explore your options in terms of nice settings and different gems.

Post # 8
2031 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

If you truly want a big ring, then you should get a big ring.  If you go for a smaller one now, chances are you’ll feel like you’re settling and you won’t like it, and you’ll want to upgrade sooner than planned.  I agree that the meaning behind the ring is important, but you like what you like…ya know?  

If the meaning behind the ring is truly what is important, than upgrading it later on kind of takes that away…since you’re essentially selling / trading in the ring with the sentimental value.  Unless you’re talking about a 5ct diamond (which would be BEAUTIFUL but very very pricey), I think you should just go with what you know you’ll love.  Have you tried rings on??  I ask because I always thought I wanted a huge ring, at least 1.5cts (which is huge to me) and when I tried them on I absolutely hated them on my finger.  I still drool over everyone else’s, but they just aren’t for me.  Something to consider.  

Post # 9
6743 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I, too, wanted a big rock!  Like 2ct minimum.  That’s totally the norm around here.  My sis has a 4-5ct, to clarify.  But, my Fiance and I are not in a position to get something like that.  Well, we are if we wanted to forego everything else in life. 

Fiance and I have been discussing other options.  I’ve decided I want an enhanced Moissanite.  I love the way it’s so sparkly and the fire.  I’m not doing it to pass it off as a diamond, I love the story behind it.  I love that it comes from outerspace, even if it is recreated in a lab.  I love that no one gets killed for it, that it’s practically flawless, that it’s beautiful and has its own characteristics and sparkles like a mofo.  I love it!  And, the price.  I LOVE THE PRICE.  I can get a gorgeous rock for $2k instead of $20k+. 

And, I think about all the money I can save.  The chef’s kitchen in my house I could have instead where I can cook amazing meals with my Fiance and for my kids in the future – memories that will last forever.  And/or a pool in my backyard – again, to create memories that will last forever.  Something that I will use on a daily basis, just like I would wear my ring on a daily basis. 

Also, I read the backstory about engagement rings and diamonds.  First, they used to give a sewing thimble as an engagement ring.  Diamonds weren’t really popular until about the 1930s and that was pretty much started by the diamond industry as a marketing device.  The tradition of a diamond isn’t even 100 years old, yet! 

I’m definitely not against upgrading.  My ex-boss never had an engagement ring.  For her 40th birthday, when her Darling Husband was able to afford it, he bought her a giant flawless rock.  Like 4ct I’m sure, absolutely gorgeous.  It signified all the years of hard work that they put in together to get to where they are in their lives and it looks quite lovely and it meant SO much to her.  He gave it to her on her bday as a surprise in front of all her family and friends.  How sweet is that? 

In the end, I would much rather have NO ring than I ring that I didn’t dream of.  And I’d much rather have a Moissy that looks just like the diamond I always envisioned than spend 10x that much for the type of ring that I want.  I’d much rather have a beautiful home to make wonderful memories with my Fiance than to have a big rock on my finger that puts us in a position where we have to skimp somewhere else.

I feel like sometimes you have to ask yourself what is more important to spend your money on in life.  Keeping up with the Jones’?  Or creating memories with your Fiance that will last you a lifetime? 

Post # 10
1 posts

I was just in your situation a few weeks ago. Everyone I know has huge diamonds, and I had told my boyfriend that I wanted a 3 carat cushion cut diamond. My boyfriend is super fiscally conservative however, and although he makes great money now, he was unemployed for almost a year (he went back to school). I told him that if he couldn’t afford to get me the size/quality of solitaire that I wanted now, I would rather have something unique and different instead. He ended up proposing with a three band diamond ring (when the bands are together they make a design) that he had made for me. The idea was that the 3 bands would be soldered together and later, when we can afford a solitaire, the bands can be separated out. I actually don’t want them soldered together, I love that they have a stacked ring look. One of them will be the setting for the new ring, one ring can be my wedding band, and one can be an extra “fun” ring. I actually love this ring more than I would like a solitaire. It has 3 rows of diamonds to sparkle, and since he saved money by not buying me a huge solitaire, he was able to get the best cut/clarity. Sometimes I look at other girls rings and wish for a second that I had a huge solitaire, but then I look at my ring and I love that it is unique and one of a kind. 

Post # 11
2778 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

What exactly is huge to you?  And which metal would you like this diamond to be set in?  Are we talking a solitaire or just big bling all around?  All this would greatly affect the cost of the ring you would like.  Also like others said if you just want the apperance of something big than different cuts will produce different eye effects so you probably dont need as many carats as you think you do.  I have a round cut if that were compared to a cushion cut or a princess cut of the same carat size they would all look different to the eye.  There are also invisible set quad princess cuts that a lot of ladies get and upgrade later (although this option doesn’t really save you a whole ton of money).  Also your finger size could really affect how big a diamond looks on your finger.  Have you gone shopping and actually seen what an x carat size diamond of different cuts looks like on your finger?  That could really help you figure it out if all you want is the wow factor and not necessarily a specific carat weight.

When Fiance and I were talking about rings I knew I wanted at least a carat or a little over but only as a solitaire and just the one stone.  As I looked I thought maybe I could go for 3 stones that total 2 carats but I was only okay with this if the center stone was at least a carat.  I knew this would be expensive because I also wanted one with decent quality (i.e. eye clean no visible inclusions on the face of the diamond).  And I wanted it to sparkle like crazy.

I tried to look at different styles I tried to look at pink, yellow, orange sapphires, but the heart wants what the heart wants and I wanted a 1 or 1. something carat diamond.  I would also want it set in platinum.  As luck would have it my grandmother’s diamondless platinum setting was laying around so it actually really reduced the cost for him.  Settings are even more way more overpriced than diamonds are.  He was able to find a loose diamond that was perfect for me and perfect for the setting and he spent less than 2k to do it, hes really lucky though because the lowest we had seen was 3k.

It all really depends on what you can live with in a diamond, for instance in my case I thought I wanted a clearer diamond but they were too see through for me and we went with something with a little more color and that really dropped the price.  It also has a visible inclusion on the side that you cannot see on the face of the diamond, I have had mine side by side with better rated diamonds but it looks just the same as theirs does.  If you could live a diamond that is in the I(Included) category and search high and low you could get a really good deal on it.  I would do some research on price points as others suggested and get a general feel for it, I did and sat down with Fiance, he said he really couldn’t afford to spend 3k on a diamond and that was okay with me but I still wanted a 1 carat diamond.  I felt kinda bad about it too and like maybe I was being selfish but like you when I thought about it, its just wanted I wanted and I shouldn’t have to feel bad about that.  I dont ask for extravagant things and it’s something I will have forever and cherish.  And he knew that once I got it I would never want another one or an upgrade.  I am happy and content with my ring and thats an amazing feeling lol.  

I would suggest that if you really really want something that is about two carats to search high and low to find something reasonably priced and realize that this might push back your engagement or if you really want to be engaged with a ring now go with a moissy for in your dream setting and switch it out when you have found and can afford your dream diamond, and who knows maybe you’ll keep the moissy so many bees love thiers that they have kept it and mostly no one knows the difference.  Gemstones like sapphires are often more expensive than diamonds so if you go that route you probably will not be saving any money.

There are also other options like buying a used diamond which makes the price drop lot, seeing if there is a heirloom diamond floating around that is the size you want, or even the pawn shop altough you’d have to kinda know what you were doing there.  Also if you live near NY there is that diamond district.  

Post # 12
4478 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

To echo what the other ladies are saying, I think we need a littl emore info from you before we can help you out.  If you could post a pic of your “dream ring” and give us a budget, that would help.  The style you’re considering, the carat range you want, etc.


I will tell you that there are a lot of options out there if you have an open mind.  There are wonderful sims, there are moissanites, gemstones, and antiques, all of which are great alternatives to a $20,000 diamond.  If you end up choosing a smaller diamond, you can pick a halo or intricate setting that flatters and enhances the stone.  A setting that works WITH the stone size makes for a beautiful ring.  For example, one of my favorite wedding sets on the bee is around a 1/4 or 1/3 carat.  Her set is such a unique design that a larger stone would probably ruin the look of it.  You can also get a blingy wedding band, which will up the bling factor if you end up with something smaller than you dreamed of.

Post # 13
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969


Post # 15
1030 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Most girls want a nice big rock but unfortuantely everything has a price.  I too wanted a big stone (which to me would be anything between 1.5ct – 2ct) but when you take color, clarity, cut etc. into account the cost quickly adds up.  From the get-go my Fiance made it very clear to me that he didn’t want to sacrafice quality for size.   He proposed with an excellent quality 1.3ct.  He got me the biggest best quality stone he could afford and still went slightly over his budget.  I couldn’t ask for a better man <3

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