For sometimes richer and sometimes poorer

You know what makes you feel rich and poor at the same time? Buying a house. Suddenly, you have all this money in your bank account, and you’re writing these rather large checks. Probably the largest you’ll ever write, in all honesty. The Beard and I have recently been writing many such checks, and every time I’m manipulating another X-thousands of dollars, my first thought is “BLING BLING!”

I didn’t get the big bling when I got engaged… mainly because I didn’t want it! But that doesn’t mean I don’t like looking at (and joking about) ice that is NOT the kind you use to cool a cocktail. On that note, here are some engagement rings that are mainly for those who will be enjoying a lot more ‘for richer’ days than ‘for poorer’ ones.

2 3/4ctw Diamond Comfort Fit Engagement Ring3 ctw Brilliant-Cut Three-Stone Ring in Yellow Gold
1ctw Ultra Canadian SolitaireCush Cut Tanzanite and Princess Diamond Ring

Or maybe not. Go ahead and click on the pics above, but consider that dropping a cool eight thou on a ring for your sweetie likely only makes you feel really rich until you have a gander at your bank statement. Which leads me to contemplate an interesting question: What’s the ice on your finger worth if you can’t even afford to ice up your drink?

23 Responses to “For sometimes richer and sometimes poorer”

  1. class-factotum July 27, 2007 at 6:13 pm #

    I am so glad to learn I am not the only one who feels this way! When my boyfriend and I first began discussing marriage (it is time for him to fish or cut bait on that one), he was astonished to learn that I had no interest in an engagement ring.

    Waste of money, I told him. I don’t like wearing a lot of jewelry. I especially don’t like rings. If we are going to blow a couple of thousand dollars, I’d rather go to Paris in style.

  2. kat July 27, 2007 at 6:20 pm #

    Word. My engagement ring is gorgeous but inexpensive. My wedding ring will probably be the same, as we’d both rather have somewhere to live than bling bling.
    (not that there’s anything wrong with bling)

  3. Twistie July 27, 2007 at 6:29 pm #

    I’m madly in love with my engagement ring. It’s a sterling silver frog prince. Diamonds have never been my best friend, so I gave them a miss.

  4. Sarah July 27, 2007 at 10:14 pm #

    I live in Provo, UT, and there are certainly a lot of newlyweds in debt, paying off the ring for years. I have a platinum setting (metal allergies prevent me from wearing anything else) but have fake stones that could be upgraded to the real thing, or not, I really don’t care. At first my husband was appalled at the idea of buying fake stones, but I finally talked him into it, for which he is now grateful.

  5. JaneC July 28, 2007 at 1:18 am #

    I have an inexpensive ring, too, a sapphire in a gold setting. The sapphire is not considered to be of high quality (it is nearly black), but I love it. It was from the estate jewelry section of the store, and it gives me great pleasure to make up stories about the woman who might have owned it before me, and whether she would be pleased with its current use.

    My fiancé’s mother was very surprised by my choice of ring. She thought that he had chosen it, and that he was being cheap. I had to tell her about three times that yes, I picked it out, and yes, it was exactly what I wanted, and no, I didn’t want him to spend thousands of dollars on something that I will probably hardly ever wear after we’re married. I think she believes me now.

  6. The Jimbles July 28, 2007 at 5:40 am #

    My bridal set is platinum and diamond, but it was on a killer sale and I got it at an auto parts store that had a jewelry counter set up in one corner (and sells for just above cost). Later on, I discovered that the center stone has a fairly large flaw, but it’s a white feather (as opposed to a black carbon spot). That’s probably why it was so cheap, but it’s not that noticeable, so I could care less.

    For fans of vintage and estate jewelry, there’s a fabulous website called Fay Cullen. I originally wanted a ring from there, but I couldn’t pass up the auto parts/jewelry store dichotomy. It has a pretty wide selection of styles and stones, but the prices are quite reasonable. My husband calls it my ‘ring porn.’

  7. Twistie July 28, 2007 at 7:01 pm #

    Jimbles, I would be a total sucker for the auto parts/jewelry store dichotomy, too! That’s awesome.

  8. Pencils July 30, 2007 at 12:08 pm #

    I didn’t want a diamond ring either, and my husband (then boyfriend) knew it–at some point I must have hinted that what I really wanted was an aquamarine. And since he knows me, a vintage ring. (I would have been happy with a sapphire, too.) When my husband proposed, he gave me a pretty silver ring with an aquamarine CZ as a placeholder until we found “the” ring. However, he promptly showed me a ring he had found: a gorgeous 1940s vintage round aquamarine set in platinum with diamond accents. It was at an estate jeweler in CT that he found through Trocadero.com. I loved it instantly. I had, uh, been looking a bit (OK, a lot) at engagement rings–from Fay Cullen, Marlene Harris, Topazery, and others–but this was by far the best one I had seen. I love my engagement ring so much, it’s unique, and very me. And I still can’t believe my luck in marrying a man who found such a beautiful, such a perfect ring for me. BTW, my wedding band is a plain platinum band. For one thing, my engagement ring is a bit “busy” and it would be difficult to put anything with it, and my husband, although not religious, believes in the Jewish tradition that a wedding band should be completely plain, without stones. No bling for my wedding band! But the nice thing is that I haven’t taken it off since we were married. No reason to. (My husband removes his platinum band only for weightlifting.)

  9. Never teh Bride July 30, 2007 at 1:40 pm #

    I sometimes remove my wedding band when washing particularly soiled dishes as my finger starts to feel “icky” if I don’t.

  10. tto July 30, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    i don’t think the purchase of an engagement ring should bust the hub’s bank to the point of indebtedness…but i think it should hurt. at least a little.

    i personally consider the engagement ring to be more than just a token of the hubs-to-be asking for your hand in marriage. it encompasses his hard work, his careful planning, basically his busting his b@lls at an attempt to quantify his love for you in the one gift that you will be keeping for the rest of your life. as his wife. forever. and ever. and, just to be clear, that means depending on his financial situation, the ring could cost $100 or $100000. the actual amount is rather irrelevant. as long as it hurts a little and he had to work hard for it…know what i’m saying?

    as for owning a house and saving for a lavish vacation, etc….those are very honorable goals and goals i hope to reach one of these days. but to me (and remember, every couple is different!), those are goals i’m prepared to face with the hubs together as a couple…and we’d work together as a team, to meet them.

    but the engagement ring…is the one special gift to me from the hubs-to-be. and so…i’d rather it be more significant than not.

  11. Pencils July 30, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    tto–that’s the beauty of it, your engagement ring can be whatever you want it to be. If you want it to be a very special, financially significant gift, then that’s great for you (as long as your guy agrees.) In a lot of ways, I agree with you, I think the engagement ring should be a significant gift–but it’s up to the couple to decide what the “significance” will be. It doesn’t have to be monetary value. As I said above, my ring means a lot to me in that it’s the most beautiful vintage aquamarine ring I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t find it, my husband did! He’s an amazing man. My ring cost only only about half of my husband’s budget for an engagement ring, but I wasn’t interested in the value, I wanted *that* ring. Although I did suggest that he buy me some matching earrings with the rest of the money…for some reason he found that funny, but I was serious. ;)

  12. ML July 30, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    I don’t see how lowering your standards of living to accomplish such a goal or any goal is worth lamenting upon. Anything worth having takes sacrifice and time- you know? It’s all about choices and priorities. House, diamond ring, big SUV it’s all the same thing. My preferred standard of living is to have my double skim latte from starbucks every day, but I end up saving close to 1300 a year if I don’t buy it. And guess what- it goes to our house fund. Little things like that go a long way. My FI made those sacrifices and yes we got a beautiful (and BIG- shocking!!) diamond ring. When I see people getting into tons of debt before entering a marriage that makes me sad. We are a society filled with selfish people that want things right away without sacrificing for them and I must say I try everyday to fight that kind of engrained attitude within myself. It’s the attitude, not how much (or how little) your FI spends on your rings guys. As tto stated, the actual amount is irrelevent.

  13. TG July 31, 2007 at 12:11 am #

    I don’t wear any jewelry, and always lost any I did have, and always hated the idea of wasting money on something so “superficial”. But when I was 12, I saw a picture of a beautifully clean and simple tension set ring. It stuck with me, and 17 years later, after I started dating my future husband I googled tension settings and found a ring I fell in love with. So I sent him the picture, ya know, just to show him how pretty it was. Also, his best friend is a diamond dealer, so while I may have lived without it otherwise, it seemed like I’d be passing up a wholesale bargain. When he gave me the ring, I was blown away- it just sparkled like nothing I’d ever seen and I loved, loved loved it. I only took it off to shower. About 2 weeks after we were married, I took it off in the bathroom, it slipped from my finger and dropped onto the marble floor. THE DIAMOND CHIPPED. It seriously, just, lost an entire little peice. We had not had it insured yet, so now, I wear a once perfect, now chipped diamond. Now I never take it off, and don’t worry about scratching it or handling it with kid-gloves… It has now become a part of me, clearly flawed but still very, very shiny. And definitely tough, but maybe not as tough as one might think. :-)
    … Was it a waste of money? Maybe in retrospect. But at the time, I was surprised that it didn’t. I can’t decide. Knowing he had spent the time and thought to get me exactly what I wanted and spared no expense did make me feel special – but ONLY because he paid wholesale… It would have felt like a waste of money if he got less quality for more money… but now that it’s broken, I don’t think I am going to replace the stone… because mine is broken and thats the just the way it is. Also, it’s super expensive to reset a tension ring, and you have to send it back to the manufacturer, and I don’t want to part with it for an extended period of time.

  14. Jennifer March 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm #

    I didn’t get a fancy diamond ring for my engagement either … but I’m glad he didn’t spend a fortune on me because i knew i would wear it that often after we got married. Before we got married I did a ton of research which i found alot of interesting stuff from these guys, and decided to splurge on my actual wedding band. I don’t like most engagement rings because the diamond sticks out so much and gets caught on everything so instead of doing the traditional engagement ring we just got my wedding band with a small channel of diamond in it which is great because I don’t worry about messing up the diamonds because they don’t stick out and I dont hit them on everything.

  15. Ringless November 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    My only regret in marrying my husband of many years is that I did not get a diamond before I said “I Do”..even a very small one. I live in a world where averyone around me has one while I do not. My husband just won’t do it. I feel completely depressed and unworthy. I was once popular and happy, but now I am just ringless.

  16. Never teh Bride November 19, 2008 at 4:09 pm #

    ringless: I live in a world where many people have many things I do not have, from three-story houses to vintage copper cookware to remote car starters. If I spent time thinking about everything they have that I don’t, I wouldn’t have much time to think about anything else!

    I don’t know why your husband won’t buy you a ring — human rights issues, would rather spend the money elsewhere, prefers emeralds? But I do know that you should never, ever base your self worth on a gift or possession. If it’s a diamond ring you want, then buy yourself one of those right hand rings they advertise everywhere. If it’s that you want your husband to acknowledge your desire for a diamond ring…well, have you tried being frank with him about how important it is to you?

    One more thing, and I apologize in advance for getting preachy. I think we’d all be happier (and maybe more popular) if we spent less time being grateful for what we do have than lamenting what we don’t have. If you’ve been with your husband for many years, he must be a pretty okay guy, right? Why let a diamond or lack thereof get in the way of that?

  17. rabrab November 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    I got my engagement ring two and a half years after we were married.

    It’s a huge oblong miner’s cut amethyst that my husband found in the loose gems cabinet of a pawn shop (he knew that I love amethyst.) Every so often, we’d pull it out and discuss what sort of setting I wanted for it, and he’d sketch possibilities.

    Then his mother gave me an antique pearl ring in the most fascinating setting, and we took both the pearl ring and the amethyst to a jewelers and asked him to design a setting for the amethyst based on the pearl one. He spent several weeks making models and tweaking the design, then, when we were all three satisfied, he cast it in 10K gold (since I am not easy on rings, anything softer would probably be too soft to stand up to wear, and since the set was huge, the price of the gold was a factor, too.)

    The loose stone cost about $40. The finished ring cost about $400. And I have a ring that I know I will never see on another person, that I know my darling put a lot of time and effort and thought into, and that has drawn compliments from strangers an more than a few occasions. It’s the perfect engagement ring.

  18. ringless November 25, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    I really do appreciate all of the great advice, but I must add that part of the frustration is that I have been asking for so many years that it is almost laughable at this point.. thats all. I think I’ve made myself crazy!!!

  19. Never teh Bride November 25, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

    rabrab: That sounds awesome! Good things really do come to those who wait!

    ringless: I say you go buy your own diamond ring as a present to yourself for your patience ;-)

  20. ringless November 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    I that what romance is all about????

  21. ringless November 26, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    I meant to say… IS THAT VERY ROMANTIC???

  22. Never teh Bride November 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    ringless: No, I suppose not, but I wouldn’t say romance is all about diamonds or rings or other material possessions, either. Romance is about love and positive feelings and friendship and fun and companionship.

    I was just suggesting that if it is a ring that will make you happy, buy yourself a ring and be happy. If what’s bothering you goes deeper than a ring, then even receiving one might not make you as happy as you think it will.

    I respect your right to be sad or disappointed that your husband did not and won’t for whatever reason buy you a diamond, but if he’s otherwise a great guy and your ringlessness is making you feel, as you said above, “completely depressed and unworthy” ask yourself if there may not be something else going on there. Those are really strong feelings, after all.

    Whatever happens, I hope you feel better!

  23. Melissa B. November 26, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    Ringless, I think I get how you feel. I really love going out to nice restaurants, and when our anniversary rolls around, I always suggest going out to dinner somewhere special. And my fiance always shoots it down. “I don’t want to go all the way into the city for dinner. It’s cheaper to make dinner at home,” he says. (Yeah, cooking at home like we do every night, that’s special and romantic!) Every year I end up disappointed that he seems so uninterested in our anniversary, and I wish he’d put at least a little bit of effort into being romantic, and part of me wonders if he just doesn’t care (even though I know he does). I’m guessing it’s the same thing with the diamond ring — part of you feels like the reason you don’t have one is that your husband doesn’t care about your feelings or doesn’t think you’re worth it, and that’s a sucky feeling.

    All I can say is what NtB said — if this is the only thing wrong with your relationship, you’re doing pretty well. I’ve kind of learned to accept that my fiance is a practical homebody who doesn’t want to blow a lot of money on a dinner out when we can make something nice at home, light a few candles, and split a bottle of wine without worrying about who’s the designated driver. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me, he just doesn’t show it by taking me to restaurants, and I’m willing to live with that. (This year I’m skipping right to the part where I splurge on a really special wine to go with our home-cooked anniversary meal.) But if you feel “unworthy” or undervalued in your relationship a lot of the time, and not just because of the ring, it might be time for a serious heart-to-heart with your husband about how you’re feeling, because you should never feel that way in your marriage.