- 5 years ago
Hey bees. After almost a year poking around the Bee, I thought I would finally share my engagement ring story. I am that girl who didn’t like the gorgeous Tiffany’s solitaire her fiance bought her. Go ahead and hate. I promise you I was filled with plenty of self-loathing myself.
That said, I’m the one who has to wear the ring, and I think it’s important it fits me. I’m sharing my story to help any other Bees who might be in a similar situation of loving their man but not quite loving their ring. I advocate speaking up. It’s uncomfortable but necessary, I think.
Here’s the back story. When my then-BF and I began discussing marriage and engagement, we had a conversation about rings. I specifically said that I did not want him to spend a lot of money on a ring. As the only grandchild on both sides of my family, I have been blessed to inherit some beautiful pieces of jewelry that have been in my family for generations. There was one ring in particular that belonged to my great grandmother, then my great aunt, and then my grandmother. Although I had owned it for a couple of years, I had never worn it because it looked like an engagement ring. I told my boyfriend that I wanted to wear that as my engagement ring, and he only had to ask my mother to get it out of storage. His exact words were, “Say no more. It’s taken care of.” And so I said no more.
Fast forward a couple of months, and he’s on his knee proposing. Only the ring he has is not the family ring we had discussed. It’s a gorgeous Tiffany’s solitaire.
I was totally thrilled to be engaged, and deeply touched that he had gone out of his way to pick a ring for me and spend his own money on it. It was gorgeous and thoughtful… and not what I wanted. Cue the massive guilt.
I angsted over this for a week (that may not seem like a long time, but I knew any exchanges on the ring had to be made within a month of purchase, and he had already had the ring for 2 weeks before proposing… Tiffanys in the US has a more relaxed exchange policy, but we live in Switzerland, where there is no flexiblity). I so wanted to love the ring he picked for me, but that was outweighed by the sadness of not to be able to wear my beautiful heirloom ring.
At this point, I should acknowledge that the heirloom ring is a three-stone ring and has more bling and CW than the ring he purchased. While this wasn’t the main factor in my decision, I have to admit that was on my mind when I raiased the topic with my now-fiance. This girl does love her sparkle.
I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but it was something along the lines of me saying “I love this ring and the investment you made in our relationship, but it’s not the ring I want to wear. Would you be ok if I looked at other options?”
Although I’m sure it bruised his ego a bit, Fiance was great about this. He told me the most important thing was for me to be happy and that the most important thing to him was that I had a permanent symbol of our relationship.
Ultimately, I exchanged the engagement ring for a fancy-schmancy wedding band. The wedding band is 1000x nicer than what I would have bought had I not had so much Tiffany’s credit, but I’m wild about it. It represents the permanence of our relationship and is gorgeous. I wore the heirloom ring as an engagement ring, and it gave me tremendous pleasure each and every day. Now that we’re married, I tend to wear my wedding band alone and break out the heirloom ring only for special occasions (it’s almost too blingy for daily life, which must be the universe’s way of teasing me for not being satisfied with my Tiffany’s bling).
I guess the moral of this story is to speak up if you don’t like your ring. Be honest in your words and empathetic in your delivery. Since engagement rings are typically “forever” pieces of jewelry, I think it’s really important that the person who’s wearing it loves it and feels it fits them. If I hadn’t said anything, I would always have looked at the solitare with a feeling of “it’s beautiful, but…”, and I know that’s not the sentiment my now-husband would take pleasure in.
Whew! Long post. I’ll end with picture of the heirloom ring and the wedding band.
I hope this story is useful to someone. If not, just enjoy the ring porn 🙂
This is the gorgeous heirloom ring that’s been in my family for three generations. The jeweler who appraised it said the diamonds were likely cut in the 1850s. I feel so humbled to wear something that has been worn by so many cool women.
And this is my awesome wedding band. I fell in love with it because it has diamonds on the top as well as the sides. It’s so sparkly. Oddly, it’s most sparkly when I’m on the bus to work.