What to Do If You Don’t Like Your Engagement Ring

by TTMK on February 11, 2013 · 74 comments

A proposal, with the guy getting down on one knee and asking for marriage while showing the ring, is one of the more romantic events in the lifeWant a Different Engagement Ring of men and women.  The engagement ring itself is a symbol of love and committment between two people.

As we know, the guy buys the ring and really hopes she says “Yes” when he proposes with it.  When she gets the ring from the guy she loves, and sees that he loves her and wants to spend his life with her, she’s overjoyed and does agree to marry him.  Both people are thrilled and so excited for the future!

Amidst the mutual glow of getting engaged, people often start to assess the ring.  Sometimes, unfortunately, there is dissatisfaction with the ring that was purchased.  Maybe a certain type of ring has always been something she envisioned – but didn’t get when the big moment arrived.  Sure, he’s a great guy and one from whom she’s thrilled about have been proposed to.  But why couldn’t the ring have been one that was exactly that she liked?

Here are 3 ways to handle it – with the caveat that this is coming from a guy’s perspective:

Tell Him You Prefer Another Ring

If this is something you’ll have to wear every day, it might motivate you enough to simply ask him to get another one.  Now, this of course would have to be done with extreme tact.  Maybe not with every guy need that, but many men of normal means would.  After all, he bought it with feelings and realizing that this is supposed to be a lifetime purchase and maybe the biggest purchase he’ll ever make.  Obviously not the biggest purchase in terms of dollar amount, as houses cost tons more.  But in terms of importance? Hard to imagine bigger.

Maybe he can return the ring, and you can go shopping together.  This way, you get what you truly want.  If it’s more expensive than what he bought originally, it might put him in a sticky situation or cause wounded pride.  Hopefully not a broken engagement! But maybe it could all work out and you both could be happy if you’re happy with the ring you’ll be wearing.

Ask For an Upgrade Years Later

There are plenty of couples who have spent money on ring upgrades years after the marriage.  Maybe it’s on the 10th anniversary, or maybe it’s after the first child is born.  Whatever the case is, the ring is upgraded later on.

With this approach, the original ring is a part of the couple’s life together from the beginning, and nobody’s feelings get hurt up front.   If the ring isn’t substantial enough in terms of the stone, or just doesn’t look the way you want it to, it’s a way to compromise feelings.  You politely keep the ring as is for a while, and then ultimately get something better.  Maybe this can also coincide with having additional financial means.

Forever Keep the Original Ring He Gave You

With this approach, whatever your specific dreams were for the ring you wear, they will be cast aside.  The ring you get is the ring you will keep forever.  Maybe it might seem that you could be “stuck” with it, or you might not view it that way.

Of course, this also means that the ring he gave you as a symbol of love is the one that would be kept forever.  This way, the priority is the symbolism and personal meaning of the ring, as opposed the liking the actual physical presence of the ring.  Love trumps materialism.

Plus, he’ll always know that what he gave you is something that you’ll always be happy with.  He’ll feel respected.

My Thoughts on Which Approach is the Best:

I think that the best long-term approach is the third one above.  Keep the ring that was given to you.  It was purchased with love, and is a symbol of one person’s commitment to another and it’s given in a very romantic way.  Thus, sentiment is thus prioritized over materialism.

Maybe, just maybe, the ring could be upgraded later.  Perhaps he knows up front that he couldn’t buy you a great ring, and might be motivated to upgrade later.  Doubtful he really thinks this way, but it’s very possible depending on the guy.  In this case, again – nobody’s feelings get hurt, and everyone is happy.  Depends on the couple and their situation.

I just can’t stand the notion of rejecting a ring and expecting a different one.  Should be a big red flag for the guy, in my opinion.  I know that might be a massively unpopular statement for some, but it’s what I think!

All of this came to mind when I was reminded of a meeting at a former workplace years ago.  There were outside consultants that came in, and we met with them on some project.  Anyway, toward the end of the meeting, the topic came up that someone on our team got engaged, and of course everyone said “oh CONGRATS!!”  Then the ladies asked to see the ring.   Honestly, it never crossed my mind and I’m certain it didn’t cross the minds of any other guy in the room.  I guess we’re wired differently 🙂

Anyway, the ring must have really been nice, because there were a lot of “ooooh!” and “wow!” and “it’s gorgeous!” types of comments.  Which I’m guessing is a nice and polite thing to do.  However, one woman seemed especially impressed, the point of openly saying that she wished her fiancée had bought a ring like that.  She actually compared the size of the newly engaged woman’s ring to that of her own ring, and proceeded to complain that she wished her fiancée wasn’t so cheap.

When the meeting was over, we all walked out of the room.  I can’t forget the eye contact a colleague (and friend) and I made after that.  Both of our jaws dropped, we looked at each other with eyes wide open, saying “WOW!”.  Along with shaking our heads.  We just couldn’t help but feel horrible for the fiancée that wasn’t there to defend himself.  The guy bought a ring, and behind his back it was getting  trashed.  Couldn’t she just be happy for the commitment, feel fortunate and lucky, and not worry so much about comparing to others?

That whole scene was an eye opener for me.  It really got me thinking at the time about what might be some good ways to handle that type of situation that would be classy.  Being reminded of this past situation got me thinking that it would fun to write about it and share my thoughts.

Now I’m really interested in hearing yours!

What Do You Think?

What do you think the best way to handle this type of situation is?

Why do you feel that way?

Have you known a couple where something like this happened?

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ evolvingPF February 11, 2013 at 9:14 am

I think it’s best to be honest early on – preferably BEFORE the ring is purchased. Certainly trashing your husband down the line is unacceptable.

When my husband proposed, he made it clear that he was giving me a diamond and that we would design the setting together. That worked out perfectly for us as I had some specific ideas about how I would like the setting (though whatever diamond he purchased was fine by me, which is mostly what people seem to judge), which we had discussed prior to our engagement, and we had the setting custom finished just in time for our wedding.

I think it depends on how much time the fiance has invested in the purchase. If he didn’t take much time and the ring is more of a token, I think it’s fine to request some changes if there is a return policy. If he spent a lot of time, perhaps you should hold your tongue.

When we were shopping for wedding bands, my husband saw a certain designer online that he really wanted a ring from. As they were way out of our price range, we decided that we would get one for him for our 10 year anniversary. I won’t mind if he switches out his current ring down the line – I just want him to be happy with something he wears 24/7! As for my rings I have no intention to change them at all and I’m happy I had input on them.


TTMK February 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I totally agree that trashing the guy is uncacceptable. I couldn’t fathom how the lady in the story I shared could have the temerity to do that!

The way you describe your engagement, it sounds like a team effort that he was taking with respect to the setting. In that case, you got something you liked and that’s great! Win-win.


eemusings February 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Ha. I didnt like mine originally but it grew on me. It’s a family heirloom so means a lot and was frugal! I’ll find my ideal ring (ruby, birthstone) and make it my wedding ring.


TTMK February 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

That’s a great example of how things can work out – the ring grew on you, and it’s also an heirloom. Great stuff!


chubblywubbly February 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I actually did not want a engagement ring at all because I knew I was never going to wear it because I have never worn any type of rings my whole life. But my husband, parents, friends, insisted. So now I have this ring sitting in the safe deposit box.

This was a good but expensive learning experience for me. I no longer give in to others opinions so easily. I will always have the costly ring as a reminder!


TTMK February 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

There’s something to be said for doing things our own way!


Christopher @ This that and the MBA February 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

Wow, my wife loved hers initially, but as she saw more of her friends getting white gold and platinum she wanted to change the metal on hers. What do you think about that?? I told her I didn’t want to get her another one because I bought her the yellow gold originally and that was the sign of our commitment. Kinda put that sob story on so she would stop bringing it up..And platinum is ridiculously expensive…


TTMK February 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I think your thinking here is very reasonable, understandable, and fair!


Emily @ evolvingPF February 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

My husband and I have yellow gold rings that we bought in 2009/2010. 90% of the people I see getting married today have white gold or platinum, but I think yellow gold is timelessly attractive whereas white gold and platinum are a fad.

I think I would encourage her not to look so much at what her friends are doing! Envy breeds unhappiness.


TTMK February 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Well said, Emily – envy can breed unhappiness! You said it better than me (I’m not envious though, lol!)


Christopher @ This that and the MBA February 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

Thanks for the great comments…I am trying to convince her….I agree with you on the timelessness of yellow gold…I have a yellow gold ring too..


Lis July 19, 2016 at 2:18 pm

I know this was from a long time ago but if this is still ongoing- just advise her to have the ring dipped in white gold. Any jeweler could do this and it’s a relatively inexpensive way for her to get her way. The white gold will eventually fade and the ring will return to gold if she doesn’t keep dipping it every few years but it’s a great way for her to get her way AND keep the symbol of your relationship.

amanda February 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

I think she should stick with it, unless by some chance she really dislikes gold in general. Out of all my fellow females that I’ve talked to, only two of us dislike gold jewelry. I own exactly one pair of gold-tone earrings and two gold-tone necklaces, and virtually never wear those. So I would eschew a gold ring, and my boyfriend knows that. But I also was unaware that the current trend was away from gold, so I’m coming from a different side than your wife it sounds like. If she just wants it for the trend, I’d tell her that you’d like to keep the original ring, but then perhaps surprise her with an anniversary ring in the style she likes (though don’t spend a fortune on it). My parents exchanged simple gold bands for their wedding, no stones, no engagement ring, so for their 15th anniversary, he got her an eternity ring, and she loved it. But he waited until he had plenty of money to do so.

Though I’m also nerd-forward and fashion-unaware – I want a tension-set ring, probably CZ in titanium, for an engagement ring, and possibly a spinner ring for a wedding band.


Gin April 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm

A good way to fix this is to get it plated in white gold or something similar. it is much less costly, although you have to get it replated every few years.


Jenn February 27, 2013 at 10:15 am

My husband got me exactly what I wanted without me being there to pick it out with him. We had a few discussions before we got engaged about what I like and don’t like, so he knew that I don’t like diamonds (and I like the diamond industry even less) and that I think sapphires are far prettier. It also helps that stones like emeralds and sapphires are priced more according to their actual worth, unlike diamonds, which are grossly overinflated because of the “rarity” scam. Why spend two months’ salary on a stone like that? I think my final engagement ring cost him about $400, and we managed to get matching wedding bands that also have a streak of blue so they all go together.
The point is, if you want the big expensive diamond, make sure he knows, and if you’d rather he saved money, make sure he knows that too.


amanda February 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

Very well put. My boyfriend knows basically exactly what I’m looking for, and it’s cheap. I do like clear stones, but I’ve told him I don’t want diamonds, especially big ones. He knows CZ (or white sapphire) is not only “fine” but what I want. He was shocked, after his last girlfriend made him buy expensive jewelry on a regular basis, that for his “big” jewelry purchase for me, all I want is $40 ring…. maybe $50 by the time we get engaged depending on prices. So yeah, talk to people, it’s important.


Jamie February 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

If my dude proposed, I would be so excited I don’t think I’d even notice the ring! Mostly I’d just worry that he spent too much.

If it were one that I really found hideous, I would still love it and consider it a symbol of my Grandma’s old adage, “Never lose your sense of humor.”

But, I understand that not everyone is such a fashion victim as I am– I like the idea of just holding onto the engagement ring and picking out your actual wedding ring.

However, I do understand the women who would prefer to just let the guy know that she loves him and is totally excited about marrying him, but that the ring is not quite what she envisioned. Guys (And I apologize for the sexist analogy here): Imagine that as a symbol of your love, your girlfriend buys you a video game. It cost several thousands of dollars and you HAVE TO play it every single day. And you hate this game. Wouldn’t you rather just let your girl know?


Catherine February 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I am no engaged (yet), but I have made it clear to my boyfriend that if he proposes, I do not want a ring. This is for various reasons – personal preference (I don’t wear jewelry & I don’t see myself wearing it in the future) and for monetary and for environmental reasons, etc. However, my fear is that when “the ladies” in my life find out about my engagement & ask to see the ring, it will bring up lots of questions & they will look down on me (and my boyfriend). The whole thing has me pretty paranoid and anxious and we’re probably a few years away from tying any knots. 😛 Stupid social expectations!


Anna February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

My fiance and I picked out my engagement ring together. We’ve purchased matching ceramic wedding bands from Amazon for a *very* reasonable price. I will be wearing the engagement ring on a chain around my neck or on my right hand after the wedding, as the ceramic bands don’t go with it at all. The wedding band, to both of us, is more important than the engagement ring. 🙂


Emily February 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

I’m with you Catherine – I’ve talked to my boyfriend about not wanting a ring, especially not a diamond engagement ring. It all seems like commercialism more than a statement about our commitment. I’d much rather have the money go towards a retirement fund, the mortgage on our house etc… something that will truly enhance our stability and lives together. We’ve made jokes about him getting peagravel set in a ring instead of a diamond (he does landscaping)… which I think I would be very proud to show off if I did get. True, most people would not understand. But I would know that I am lucky enough to find somebody who shares my values and doesn’t feel the need to spend money due to social expectations. And if years down the road I decided I didn’t like the peagravel and wanted to switch it out for limestone… If I was truly unhappy, it would be worth ‘upgrading’ but I really have a hard time imagining that it would be that big a deal. The focus should be on the relationship and love and commitment between two people, not on the material goods they buy one another. In my opinion


Tina February 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

When I got engaged at age 15 (almost 30 years ago), my fiance could only afford a $12 plain gold band. I loved it and wore it with pride and great affection for him. Many friends would “cringe” at seeing the ring after they asked to see it, and I just smiled at them because they showed themselves to be shallow by dissing my ring.

My advice to those newly engaged or soon to be engaged is this: the physical attributes of the ring will only matter for a year or two, if that long. Once you are married, the focus is on the marriage, not the engagement ring or even on the wedding. You will cherish the ring as an extension of your husband and his love for you.

I’ve been married almost 25 years and can’t even wear my wedding ring anymore because it no longer fits. My husband can’t wear his either for the same reason. But our marriage is solid as a rock, and if I may say so, those who scoffed at my ring are now divorced, some more than once, and not nearly as happy as I am. The cost of a ring or the design thereof is not what makes a marriage happy.

Disappointments happen all the time in life. He will disappoint you and you will disappoint him. How you handle those disappointments will define your marriage. Treat each other with grace and kindness and don’t focus on the disappointments. If you choose to, you can be happy no matter what your ring looks like.


TTMK February 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Great comment. Everyone can learn from those wise words in the last paragraph.


Christine February 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

I’m a rock climber and told my sweetie up front that while I would very much like being his spouse, I didn’t want a ring that I would then destroy on the cliffs, thank you very much. Our wedding rings are carbon steel (try to scratch that finish!) and honestly I don’t wear it either.

We’re happily together for 10 years and counting now.

My main thought: if you plan on staying together you’d better start communicating NOW! And if you’re in it for the cash or status symbols perhaps a life partner isn’t really what you’re looking for.

PS Do a little research on the diamond and gold trade: you might not want a symbol of slavery and oppression to be the marker of your commitment to each other either.


Barbara Turner March 13, 2013 at 4:34 am

I had no input in my ring at all. My mother in-law told my husband that she had a ring for him to give me, and not to spend the money on a ring for me. When he proposed (very unromantically), he told me that he’d buy me a bigger diamond in a few years. The diamond was the color of urine,and the setting was in disrepair. To top that off, it never even occurred to him to have it sized! I had to pay money to have a ring that I did not like be reset and resized. I fully expected a “nice” ring for our tenth…no dice. When I told my husband my feelings, I expected a ring for our eleventh…no dice. Now we are upon our twelfth, and its clear that it will never happen. Looking back, I never should have accepted the original ring.


ash June 26, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Im kind of late on this response but listen, I know EXACTLY how u feel. The same thing happened to me last year with the addition of him not even getting down on one knee. Ive never been so hurt and disappointed in my life. I had dreamt of the perfect proposal my whole life. What do ya do? How do u cope?


TTMK July 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hey, if the guy loves you and wants to spend his life with you…and gave you an engagement ring from the heart, isn’t that great! How does not getting down on one knee take away from his interest in making such a huge commitment? I’d suggest embracing the positives.


Elise July 19, 2013 at 1:00 am

My partner and I looked at rings and had a beautiful one chosen out even got a half price quote I loved it .it made me smile and feel very strongly special then yesterday out of the blue he proposed with a totally different ring .to say the leadt I was surprised but also disappointed that is wasnt the ring we chose together I feel ungrateful n rude but I really want the original ring


CarolinaHearts July 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I am unfortunately dealing with this situation now. My fiancé ended up giving me a ring that was given to a member of his family as a gift. It was never previously used as an engagement ring and he didn’t even know it existed until a month before he gave it to me. He had taken me ring shopping prior to proposing so I assumed he would be giving me a ring we had selected together. When he proposed he gave me the ring he got from his family member and said it was just a place holder. I was disappointed he hadn’t just waited to propose since it wasn’t my forever ring. However, several months later I’m still wearing this ring that I really don’t like, that he didn’t purchase, and that doesn’t really mean anything to him. I don’t like asking about a different ring, but I’m very eager to have my real ring. How do I talk to him about this without making it seem like I’m materialistic or like his proposal wasn’t good enough?


TTMK July 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm

He said it was placeholder, so perhaps it might be safe to very nicely/jokingly ask when the forever ring will be on your finger? All the while insisting no rush, etc. What does everyone else think?


Roxs August 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Last Dec my long time boyfriend purchased a inexpensive Ring (what he could afford) and asked me to get “hitched” :). The Ring is very beautiful, but after 8 months it’s looking a bit run down. Our wedding is next June, on my bday we decided to find our wedding bands. The jewelers did their job let me tell you. When placing bands with my current ring, it didn’t make any sense at all. She then “showed” us an set that was inexpensive. I think he didn’t really understand the buying ring process back in Dec. He liked the new set more then the one he bought me. We tried out a few different wedding sets. Then money came into talk and we are in a better place today then in Dec. We got preapproved and not only purchased our wedding bands, but also a new Ring for me! I did not accept to buy a new ring with out being 100% sure he was okay with it. He did choose the first one, and it has meaning to us. I LOVE my new ring and can’t wait to get it, but I love my first ring. I will continue to wear it on my right hand when I get my new one. I’m still buggin’ him if he is okay with it lol. I think he is more excited about his own wedding band! Personally, I think if he would not have been a chicken and looked with me prior we would have known the “ring” before the first purchase.


JustMe August 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I’m in a slightly different boat. After being told years ago that he would never buy an engagement ring without the ladies’ voice, he presented me with a ring. I love him, know he is the one for me since almost day one but honestly that ring makes me rethink it sometimes. I don’t like white gold (I’m very fair and it looks harsh on me), don’t want diamonds (sapphire please!) and for the love of mike, nothing expensive! I don’t want to wear something that costs a lot of money! Since he had told me I’d get a say, I really didn’t talk much about rings. He presented me with an expensive white gold diamond wedding band (half eternity band). I’m uncomfortable wearing it because it was expensive but he got that because he wanted me to be able to wear it all the time. The problem? I don’t wear jewelry all the time. Never have. I adore him and haven’t told him I don’t like it. I don’t want to hurt as he did put a lot of thought into it. It’s not his fault I’m horribly uncomfortable wearing expensive things.


Sue September 2, 2013 at 8:23 am

My husband asked me to marry him in a store and wanted to look at rings. I was so excited at the time so we looked at rings. I saw a set that I liked at the time and he bought it but I rushed into it. It wasn’t very expensive. Two years later I asked if I could get a different ring (I’m asking for a larger band, maybe some small diamonds, nothing real expensive) I would like a larger band and no engagement ring. He said no. I don’t understand because it’s not a family ring, it’s not like he took a lot of time finding the “perfect” ring. There really isn’t any emotional attachment to it. I think it would be more meaningful if he did pick it out. Yes we got married in the rings but I love him regardless. So I am not wearing the rings. Am I being ungrateful or insecure? That’s what he says I am. I guess I learned a lesson, I rushed into the rings.


Dan September 4, 2013 at 8:01 am

I guess another married man can weigh in on this issue and explain how it seems to us. To be honest, having gone through this scenario just a few nights ago with my wife of 10 years, I feel bad for how society shapes our way of seeing things nowadays. Granted, it was during an argument that she came out and trashed the ring I gave her way back when we were graduating high school. Since things have been a bit rocky as of late for one reason or another, she decided she wouldn’t wear her rings anymore. When asked about this through email she replied, “I’m not putting those rings back on until they have diamond on them.” Now, she’s by no means ever been an overly materialistic person, or perhaps just cleverly disguised, and while I give her credit for the legitimate complaints she has about me, I don’t think it was right that she trashed my ring just because society tells women that a ring is not important unless it has a diamond rock on it. What I gave her for engagement was a gold ring with two hands holding a heart which is diamond crusted. The heart symbolized My heart. That’s what caught my eye about it and that’s why I picked it out. Making matters worse is that she’s always had a problem with affection. Saying or doing things that require closeness ex. hand holding, hugging… things like that. I happen to love those things so the whole ring issue is making things worse. The point is, mainly for the women out there reading this, don’t trash your husbands ring. He may not have paid a lot for it at the time and it may not be what you envisioned yourself having, but HE gave it to you because he loved or loves you. In my opinion, asking for an upgrade isn’t really sugar coating what you’re really saying which is “I never liked this ring.” I understand women might see jewelry like men see…… golf clubs… ( even though I hate sports ) but these are two different things. One is symbolic and stands for a commitment and love in a marriage that you’ll have until you die ( hopefully ) the other is a recreational “nice to have” thing. I don’t think the two can be compared. I definitely vote for option 3. My dream was to be an airline pilot, but I’ve had to cast that dream aside because it’s so expensive to pay for. Now, I have to choose a different career that I’ll probably be less happy doing. She has that expectation of me. If I’m willing to cast my dream job aside to satisfy her requirement of security and stability, she should be willing to cast her materialistic dream aside and not scoff at the ring I gave her when we were deeply in love. Always remember, There might be many other women out there that would happily wear that very ring just to have a great relationship, which from what I hear is hard to find these days.


PAM February 10, 2016 at 6:06 am

I agree with what you said. To me it isnt the cost of the ring. It was given to me with his love and his comittment to me. Some of these women and their comments are so unkind and unfair to their husbands and fiances.


Miranda December 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Today my fiance presented me the engagement ring he picked for me. To say that I didn’t like it is to put it really lightly!It’s expensive but It’s absolutely not what I hoped to get though we have discussed the subject before. I smiled and said it was nice and that I really liked it.. What could I possibly say at the moment?! He said, ”I know it’s not what you wanted but I just want you to wear something special and different from others. I don’t want you to be like others.” Well what if I WANT to be like others!!!
True.. I wanted a princess type ring that any girl dreams about and would want to wear. He thinks that those rings are ”a dime a dozen” and absolutely not special with which of course I don’t agree!

Actually, I was surfing the net trying to find some posts that would comfort me and here I see that I’m not alone 🙂 reading all those posts really made me feel better. I look at my ring now and see that it’s special not because of its stone or price but because of what it symbolizes.. It’s not what I wanted but.. at least I’ll be the only girl with such ring, isn’t it great to know that no one ever will get an engagement ring similar to yours?

First I was afraid that my friends would talk about the ring not being the engagement type, but now I don’t really care. That’s what makes the ring special. It may not be pretty enough or large enough but it’s unique in it’s own way and it will bring lots of memories in the future.

Look at me! I’m defending the ring I hated 5 minutes ago lol Unbelievable! But really.. It’s not the ring, it’s how you see it!

Thanks for this post. It made me see things from absolutely different perspective and now I love my ring 🙂 Yay!


TTMK December 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Miranda – thanks for sharing. What an great perspective! I’m happy for you that you’re looking at what he bought as unique and special, which is how he must have intended it based on what you indicate. And, which is what the ring must really be the way you personally see it. Good for both of you.


Megan Coleman January 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm

My fiance and I were recently engaged. The ring he proposed with was GORGEOUS!! The only problem was that since the ring was wavy, when we started shopping for wedding bands the only ones we could find that could be worn with the ring were WAY out of our price range and we would still have to pay to have the ring sautered so they could be worn together. We have decided that because I do love the original ring so much, I will keep it as a right hand ring and we will find something to replace it that can be worn with an affordable wedding band.


CaliGirl February 15, 2014 at 5:31 am

I would, generally, agree with you; however, I’m in the unusual position of considering whether to ask my fiancé for a less extravagant ring. The ring he gave me is beautiful, in fact, he choose it in large part because I admired a similar ring. But, admiring is different than owning, and I’m concerned that in wearing this ring I may be making a statement to the world that I don’t want to make – I.e., “hey, come look at me!” I’m not a very materialistic person and wonder if a simpler ring may suit me better… Then I think of how the love of my life put so much thought and heart into picking THIS ring and I hesitate.


NorthwestGeekGirl March 6, 2014 at 1:00 am

I’ve been married since October and took off my engagement ring because it looked exactly like what my ex-partner, whom I was with for 13 years, gave me – it was a yellow gold ring with diamonds and emeralds. That partner and I never married, but he and I were considered common-law and may as well have been married.

My new husband and I discussed how I didn’t like diamonds (before he proposed) and that a small sapphire ring (that didn’t break the bank) would be fine.

Imagine my shock, if not surprise (when he proposed), the ring he bought me not on it looked like the ring my ex-partner gave me but that his mother not only picked it out but paid for half of it. Some of my friends said this is shouldn’t be a problem as I’m no longer (obviously) with my ex, but I had to take it off because that’s who if reminded me of but it also reminded me of how much control my MIL exerts on my husband. We are both in our late 30s and before he moved in, she told him that he needed to propose because it was wrong if we weren’t engaged.

Needless to say, the ring sits in its box and sad that my husband and I have a third wheel in our life who wants to insert herself into everything of ours.


Apprehensive groom June 30, 2014 at 8:31 am

I recently proposed to my fiancée. We had talked about rings before hand because I didn’t want to screw up. She told me she would like something 2 carats and she pinned some designs she liked on Pinterest. I found what I thought was the perfect ring it was 1.7 carats but the design was exactly like what she had pinned. I bought and she said yes to my proposal. Now she’s upset because the solitaire isn’t 2 carats. She has called off our engagement party because she is ashamed of the ring size. She doesn’t want me to upgrade the ring but she won’t stop shaming me for not getting her what she wanted after I had asked her for her input.


TTMK July 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

Wow. That’s unreal to be upset over a ring being 0.3 carats less than what was expected (not that I understand that expectation anyway). I just have trouble understanding that line of thinking. You have nothing to be ashamed about.


Apprehensive Groom July 4, 2014 at 2:25 am

I think it’s was even smaller than advertised. There are small diamonds along the band that I think they used as part of the weight. She never asks for much and she is not a bridezilla by any means. Thank you for reply and your support. I want to upgrade the ring and redo the whole proposal. I love her and I want her to take her breath away.


Nervous bride to be August 13, 2014 at 3:17 am

My boyfriend just proposed today and it was super cute. I just wish he’d asked me what I wanted first. He went and bought a ring on amazon and it was actually quite cheap. It feels like he bought me a cheap ring that doesn’t mean a lot. I know he spent time looking at rings but I don’t feel like a $50 ring is acceptable as an engagement ring that I will be wearing for the rest of my life. I’ve been dreaming of a diamond ring for years and cubic zirconia just cannot compare. My mom saw a picture of the ring and thought it was a diamond so she approved. Tonight when she saw it, she wanted to cry. I’m not going to lie, my first thought was “oh, the stone is so big that has to be fake” on top of the fact it doesn’t have the same sparkle. I don’t know what to do. I feel bad that I don’t like it because I know he picked it out just for me, but it makes me feel like our relationship isn’t worth a “real” ring. I found a ring at a local jeweler that I love, with a similar ring for him that I want to get for him. I just don’t know how to bring it up without hurting his feelings.


newly engaged November 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

Did you ever bring it up? How did you handle it?
As for the ring you found for him… read your 2nd sentence. He might feel the same way. Ask him what HE wants. I agree with you that he should have talked to you first to find out what it is you actually want to wear your whole life. Engagement rings and wedding bands are not like earrings or sweaters. You have to wear it EVERY DAY. It should be something you are proud of, not something you cringe at when someone asks to see your ring. If you haven’t talked to him and you still feel the same way, you do need to talk to him instead of keeping it bottled up.


newly engaged November 6, 2014 at 9:59 am

Just got engaged last night. I don’t like the ring. I feel like he didn’t take into consideration what I want and have to wear the rest of my life at all. Yet, before the night ended, he told me what kind of wedding ring HE wants. That doesn’t seem fair. I didn’t get to choose! I feel like I’m wearing the ring a 20 year old would wear. I’m 46. My fiance spends all kinds of money on boats and motorcycles and drum sets… but its obvious to me he skimped when it came to me. I asked where he bought it and was told he “bought it from someone” – which means craigslist… which to me means its a ring from a broken marriage. He told me after proposing (not romantically and in a way that I can’t even TELL anyone how he proposed because it was in the bathtub!) that he wished the diamond was bigger and he said he would get a different one later… but knowing him, that won’t happen (he purchased a “total weight” diamond instead of an actual and that does make a difference in the stone…and he doesn’t even know what the T.W. is – but it looks like the center stone is .5ct). Also, the stone might be ok but the setting is horrible. It makes the diamond look much smaller than it is because it is surrounded by prongs. It’s just not what I want to wear every day for the rest of my life. Advice to men, include your girlfriend in the process. You wouldn’t want to wear something you don’t like everyday for the rest of your life, so why should she? Also, at least get on one knee and give her a moment to remember and share with everyone when they ask how she was proposed to. Now I have to LIE. I will have to tell him because he bought the wedding band too…and that looks just like the wedding band I wore for 13 years when I was married before. I don’t want that either. I want something unique that I can be proud of and that shows he actually cares about my feelings. It’s not just about the size of the diamond, but the setting is bad and the wedding band is like the one from my ex-husband and this set came from a broken marriage. I feel like it’s got bad karma attached to it.


Tia November 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm

When my then-boyfriend proposed to me, he’d bought what I fear most would consider a low-quality, low price bridal set. Myself? Sure, I was happy that it was in the cut I liked, if not the exact color and design. What meant even more to me was the fact that he’d done his best to pick out something that A) he hoped I would like, and B) symbolized his affection and intention, both of these factoring in what he could feasibly afford. He scored a home run on both counts; even though he kept telling me he was ashamed that it was all he could give me, and even bought me another ring last Christmas, I still treasure the original bridal set, and all the love that’s come with it in the past 2 1/2 years – and I always will.


Amelia November 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I was given a family diamond for my birthday and told I could do anything with it. Then my boyfriend pressured me to use it for my engagement ring. I do not like the stone or its history and the meanness my boyfriend used to cajole me into wearing it every day. It reminds me of extractive Dutch colonialism, of apartheid, greed, and slavery. It also reminds me of the controlling, stupid, petty man who told me “beggars can’t be choosers,” who refuses 15 years later to put his wife’s ring ahead of his attachment to myth. He never knew the grandmother this stone came from or if it even came from her. But he would rather shove that Family Heirloom down my throat than have something we both get to choose. And yes, he’s still married to Mommy so no kids…


ash December 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm

My boyfriend of 6 years bought a ring four days after I told him I felt we were in a dead-end relationship. We love each other very much, but honestly he hasn’t shown any signs of having plans about any aspect of his/our lives and it makes me angry and nervous. He proposed to me on Christmas the next week with all of our friends in the room, and I instinctively said yes.
Later that day he asked if I wanted to know the cost. I said no, but a few days later saw the receipt. He spent 4x more than I would have wanted on the diamond and white gold band. We couldn’t afford rent or even really groceries, so I asked him to return it and buy something less expensive.
He said he was hurt and we got in an argument about it. Really though I work in a kitchen, dont care about expensive things, and only wanted the promise of commitment/future planning – not to feel guilty about that costly ring sitting in a box – unworn for the majority of most of my week. I can’t wear it at work, dont want to show it off or lose it, and would just be happier with something simple.
Now his feelings are hurt and I’m not sure what to do, so I’m just looking foe solace here.


Frustrated January 18, 2015 at 6:54 am

My fiancé and I got engaged in April last year. We had been together for 8 years, marriage is very important so it had been hard to wait so long. We spoke about the ring before had and I was VERY clear about what I wanted. Even to the point of sending him a link to the exact ring I wanted. I have always wanted a big diamond, so I stressed that I didn’t want him to go to a high end jewlers because he wouldn’t be able to afford what I wanted. He offered to take me shopping for it, but I didn’t want the surprise of when it would happen to be ruined. In the end he went to tiffanys, which is the shop I soecifically asked him not to go to. I’m frustrated because I was so clear about what I wanted and he ignored everything I said. For me, I still love the ring he chose, but I can’t get over the fact that he ignored what I wanted. It makes me question if he even knows me. He knew how important the whole thing was to me. My proposal was him down on one knee in the bedroom while I was in my pajamas. This was meant to be the most romantic moment of my life and I only look bad with disappointment. I hust can’t get over it. Any suggestions?


TTMK January 20, 2015 at 11:08 pm

I think the relationship itself is infinitely more important than how a proposal is done, or if the ring isn’t exactly what one is dreaming of.


engaged yesterday, to be married by may February 15, 2015 at 3:00 am

OK, I love my man and the fact that he wants to marry me asap, but the ring looks exactly like what my ex gave me, plus the setting is too high. The ring still has to be sized, I would marry him tonight in my pjs, I just want to be comfortable wearing it. I work retail clothing and he wants me to wear it every day but I just see it getting snagged everywhere and the reminder that its like my old ring. I’m hoping I can get something else when we go to size it. Is that an emotional option? Help


engaged yesterday, to be married by may February 16, 2015 at 12:31 am

He was totally cool with it, he said its better cause I can pick out exactly what I want. I was a nervous wreck before, super happy now he’s a keeper!


Christina February 24, 2015 at 12:00 am

I love my guy to death. We’ve always talked about getting married and the engagement. His proposal was awesome and totally unexpected! But the ring was so not me. It was too big for my finger and not just size but width it rubs the inside of my fingers and is overall uncomfotable to wear. I feel terrible for not liking it but since I plan to wear it for the rest of my life I figured I’d tell him and maybe go pick another one together. He didn’t take it well at all, I explained to him why and he got totally offended. I understand he had good intentions and was proud he picked it himself, but it still doesn’t change the fact that its too big for my bony fingers and rubs the inside of them. I just don’t know what to do now…


Katie March 9, 2015 at 4:20 pm

When my FI purposed, he wanted it to be a complete surprise. He knows how much I love surprises and hes also not the best at keeping them a secret because he gets so exited about seeing me smile. So he purposed with a ring that made me gasp when he opened the box because it was so beautiful. The only thing was, the bank was platinaire, not white gold which is what I wanted, but the specific ring only came in platinaire…than of course, as a lot of us girls do, I started to worry “Im going to wear this forever, maybe Id like something else…but how would I tell him?..should I say something?…I dont want to hurt him what do I do..?” so I told him that we should browse the internet to see if we could find a ring enhancer to go with it and I typed in “heart shaped e-ring enhancers” in google images. Well There were hundreds of different rings and as he looked at the different engagement rings he said “you know maybe we should go browse Sam’s store and see if we can find another ring.” So it became his idea…..After a few days I started thinking…..”He thought this ring was perfect and he put a lot of work into making the night he purposed perfect in every way.” Changing the ring would be like changing the memory of his proposal. if I decide its not hat I wanted he may not be confident enough to surprise me anymore and his pride would be damaged. After all, love is about compromise.


Mike May 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

I bought my g/f a nice expensive ring. I gave her the perfect proposal over looking the ocean on our balcony at in the Dominican republic. I got on one knee and it turned out to be a very special moment and trip. I thought the ring was beautiful and I looked at it with such pride. It was a symbol of my love and commitment and my promise to her. I lit up every time I saw it on her. She talked to me about the band not being quite her. I didn’t think anything of it because I had it engrained in my head, by society and the jewelers, “that its about what she wants and what makes her happy and she’s the one who has to where it”. I agreed! She exchanges it with me there aNd everything. Next week we went to get it and I even put it on her finger. And then something hit me. I got sick to my stomach I even started to tear up and I didn’t know why. Unwittingly, she had crushed my heart. She did not do this on purpose and I sighned off on it. I cannot even look at the ring now with out seeing it as a simple piece of jewlerey. She had innocently exchanged a pricelesssymbol of my promise and love for her for a really expensive piece of jewelry. Even thanking me for it means nothing more than thanking me for paying for it to me now. In the past it meant thank you for this token of your love. Lady’s I urge you not to do this to your husband and to yourself. You and he may not realize it but it will be detrimental. Even if she gets the old band back. It will forever be tainted with the fact that she is dissatisfied with the gesture of my love. Learn to love your ring even if it’s not perfect just like you learned to love your fiancé even though he is not perfect. Because it’s the love that it’s the love it represents that is to be cherished not the jewl itself. And it came from His heart not your mind.


Lily June 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm

With my fiance, we knew we had found the right person and we wanted to get married. So it was a matter of time before he proposed. (He had hinted at it to see whether I’d say yes.) So we compromised in that I would choose a few ring settings and he would ultimately choose the ring and plan the proposal. This way, I’m sure to like the ring and be somewhat surprised. (And he’s sure he won’t get a no!) Like our love and relationship and hopefully our marriage, it would be a joint effort. It’s not the most romantic way in that it’s not a complete surprise and it’s somewhat practical, but it worked for us.


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Samantha July 1, 2015 at 12:45 am

My problem with this is that the ring I want would hundreds of dollars cheaper than any diamond. I really strongly dislike diamonds and absolutely don’t one. I prefer a different, cheaper, and in my opinion, much prettier stone. The problem is, I’ll probably never know when he’s actually starting to shop around so I can’t tell him what I’d prefer without appearing presumptuous.


lola August 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm

My fiance got an engagement ring without knowing what I liked , he never asked. I never told him I didn’t particularly like it because it was a token of love, right?. I did ask about a combination of white and yellow gold on the wedding band and he purchased them without me and they were just yellow…., so much for talking with your fiance! … I was very upset because he already got an engagement ring that I didn’t care for and I am going to be wearing for the rest of my life and then he didn’t give a crap about my desire, I accepted them as for what he wanted so he didn’t get offended…. But then in the future he brought up a comment that he got me that engagement ring because “I didn’t need more”…..
Since then I see my rings as NOTHING!!, they were not even a token of love for him, he just got them because that’s what people do. So, yeah women can be a little crazy sometimes but guys are jerks!! too.
I think people should be up front on every thing, is not that all ladies want the most expensive stuff, but we should have a word on what we like, why are we going to be wearing a ring that we don’t like?… why do guys get offended??…, we should get offended because in that case the guy doesn’t know our taste, doesn’t know us, we should get offended.
I think guys should please the lady on the engagement ring, they guys can get their own wedding band as they like.
That’s just my opinion.


Vicky September 2, 2015 at 9:17 pm

I totally agree with you, we are the ones wearing it!! Why are we going to wear something we don’t like but if we tell them they might think that we are materialistic which is not truth!! I want a bigger ring because it’s what I always dreamed of and what I got wasn’t closed enough to my expectations…. now I am stuck with a ring that I don’t even feel proud of 🙁 and I can’t tell him because he might take it in a different way. I’ll make him use golf clubs that he doesn’t like and make him understand… I’m so disappointed…. I want a bigger ring!!!!!


Vicky September 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm

I just got engaged on the weekend and it was wonderful, I love him very very much but the ring he gave me is not what I was expecting it’s cute and it’s princess style which I like but it’s not as big as I wanted. I wanted a bigger one and I know that he can afford a better one, I don’t know why he picked such a small ring that I am going to wear for the rest of my life. I don’t know what to do, we went to resize it and I thought I’ll have the guts to tell him so maybe I can pick a different one but I couldn’t and I feel very sad that I didn’t get the ring I wanted for the rest of my life, I don’t even want to show it 🙁 I’m happy to marry him very happy but I could be happier if I get the ring that I want. I don’t want to seem materialistic it’s not about that it’s about the ring I’ll wear forever!!!! And the ring I dreamed about. It makes me feel that Im not worth a big ring… Does somebody thinks there is a way to fix it or should I just get stuck with this little ring….. ? What are your thoughts about this…?


Kathy September 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Talk to him. That is the only way that you will be able to resolve this matter. I was in a similar situation with my fiancé and I spoke to him about it and we were able to compromise of when I will get my dream ring. Approach it delicately and make sure you remind him that it wasn’t the work he did on picking it out or designing the ring he gave you, but you just have always dreamed about a certain style ring for so long and that it’s important to you.


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joe September 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Again with the wedding ring’s. It amazes me how pre programed you all are lol hilarious. You all are like helpless little mindless puppets. OK, ok I’m done…wait hahaha haha haha hahaha. Ok I’m good. Sorry. The concept of spending a ridiculous amount of money on a wedding or engagement ring is archaic and financially irresponsible (as are most weddings). When you purchase a ring that costs over five bucks you are definitely making a statement and it goes like this; Hi my name is …… I’m gullible and can’t think for myself at all. I’m horrible with money and if my bride to be is as stupid as me she will oooh and awe at my overt display of ineptitude as a man. The only reason anyone cares about spending money on these things is because of years of propaganda campaign’s (marketing) by the jewelry industry. Purchasing an expensive ring doesn’t make a better marriage it just put you and your new wife to be at a economic disadvantage as does weddings. So no if a ring size or cost matters to your gold digging wife to be call off the wedding and get a hooker because they are both the same. Only difference a hooker will be cheaper and you’ll get what you payed for.


Kathy Schobert October 3, 2015 at 11:04 am

We just got engaged on 10/1/2015. We had gone ring shopping together so he bought the exact ring that I wanted. I love the style. The problem is that one of the stones in the channel setting seems a little bit darker/not as sparkly as the others in the row.

Do I say anything to him since this is the ring he had proposed with (that alone makes it so special!) or do I mention the flaw that is noticeable to me and address the jeweler? If so, do we go to the jeweler together, or do I just go to the jeweler without saying anything to my fiance to ask if they can fix this flaw? The most important thing is I don’t want to hurt his feelings by bringing it back to the jeweler to get fixed.



Kathy October 3, 2015 at 11:31 am

I would just mention it to him that you want to take the ring to jewelers bc it seems they got the stone quality for one of the diamonds confused and you want them to all match as close as possible.

At the end of the day he wants you to be happy with it & once you’re married you’re going to have tougher conversations than the style, quality, size etc.. of an engagement ring.


Ceridwen October 21, 2015 at 9:06 pm

If you can’t communicate about a ring, then how will you communicate about big issues, such as where to live, what kind of house you want, how many kids you want (if any), money, in-laws, your future?

I think both men and women get caught up these myths–that she is supposed to be surprised by both the proposal and the ring he bought in advance of the proposal (too many men get sucked into thinking this is how it is supposed to be) and for women it seems to be all about the kind of ring. Yes, it is a symbol of your commitment to eachother, of your future plans together. Too many men I know not only hate shopping but the thought of shopping for jewelry (especially for a female) makes them break out in a cold sweat, develop the shakes and twitches, and they’d rather have root canal without novocain than shop for an engagement ring.

I’ve been engaged twice, and I’m all for no surprises and for having a say in the ring. If you’re at the stage in your relationship where you’re discussing your future together, then I don’t see anything wrong with going shopping together. At least this way he’ll have an idea of what kind of ring you like. And ask–about the kind of metal, size, shape, and cut of the stone, and especially about the budget. The whole “three months’ salary” is successful marketing by the diamond and jewelry industry, in cahoots with the wedding-industrial complex. If you can’t afford it, then ask her how she would feel about a promise ring or even a smaller ring with the idea to upgrade when your finances permit it.

The first man I was engaged wasn’t the most romantic guy, which was fine. I never expected grand gestures or a showy proposal. We had lived together for 12 years prior to getting engaged. I didn’t expect a huge Princess of Wales style engagement ring (nor could we afford the price tag that goes along with a big, showy ring). But was I ever surprised when he gave me the ring (he should have known better after 12 years of living together), and not in a good way. The ring was huge, with a big cigar band style and round diamond sticking up, set in 18k yellow gold. Not only was it too big for me: the ring was a size 10; I wear a size 4.5, it overwhelmed my hand and the setting meant that the stone would catch on everything and I’d bang it on things. Even worse was the yellow gold setting. I’m allergic to yellow gold. I learned this the hard way when I got my ears pierced at age 11 and had problems with them and with wearing other jewelry that well-meaning family members bought for me. My ears swelled and got red and never quite healed despite the 14k yellow gold studs my mother bought for me upon advice of the doctor who pierced both of our ears. Mom had yellow gold, and never had a problem. Relatives who bought me yellow gold chains and later a watch and rings and more earrings for birthdays and holidays meant well, but wearing them meant I developed hives and blisters, which itched and ran and, with my ears, got infected. I had my ears re-pierced several times, and I was in college when I resigned to never being able to wear “nice” earrings (“nice” at that time/age meant 14k or 18k yellow gold) or nice jewelry of any kind. I tried 18k gold (no luck, same problems), surgical steel (still itched), and “metals” in costume jewelry were no better. When I was 20 I saw a pair of sterling silver earring that I liked, and decided to take a chance on them. It was the first time that my ears did not itch, and as I continued to wear them, I noticed that my ears no longer got red/hives/blisters and no infection or rash. I tried another pair of sterling silver earrings (same result), then a chain (no red rash/ring of blisters/hives around my neck), and finally a sterling silver watch and ring. No rash on my wrist, no problems on my fingers! Woo hoo! I was afraid for the longest time to try gold, but years later I decided to try white gold (different alloys in it than in yellow gold) and purchased a pair of white gold studs. I have no adverse reaction to that pair of earrings either. Since age 20, I have, with the exception of two pairs of earrings and a ring, exclusively worn sterling silver. When I needed to get a medical alert bracelet, despite the pressure from the salesman, I insisted upon sterling silver. I told fiancé #1 many times about my yellow gold allergy; we lived together for years, and he could have taken a look instead my jewelry box to get an idea if he wanted to surprise me.

I accepted his proposal, but told him that I would be taking the ring back to get the setting changed (I would have had to have it re-sized even if I had decided to keep the ring he gave me). He was hurt, and I told him that I wasn’t doing this to hurt him but because I wanted to be able to wear the ring. He pushed back, and I told him that I would let him make the decision—keep the ring and it will sit in a box forever because I can’t wear it or return it to get it re-set in sterling silver or white gold so I could wear it. I told him that I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, that I wasn’t rejecting him but that my yellow gold allergy meant that I couldn’t wear the ring he selected and that I WANTED to wear it because we were engaged. I suggested that we go together to the jeweler so we could both decide upon the new setting, etc.

It did not end well. He told his sisters, his mother, his grandmother, his buddies, his brother that I didn’t want the ring. All of his sisters and his sister in law have gold settings and big rings, but none of them have gold allergies and they all have much bigger hands than I do. His mother told him privately that I obviously didn’t love him (lived with him for 12 years, took care of him, shared a life, etc.) because I wanted to change the setting. His grandmother and father told him that I was an ungrateful, spoiled rhymes with witch and told him that I should keep the ring and wear it on a gold chain around my neck. Hello—that won’t solve the gold allergy problem! His brother told him that no one ever refused a ring, and his mother then told him that not accepting the ring as is meant that I was rejecting him.

We tried to patch things up, but it didn’t work. He told me that the way he proposed was the way it is “supposed” to be, and that the woman is not supposed to have any say in the kind of ring she gets and that she’s not supposed to know what kind it will be. I never had it re-set, and when we broke up, I returned the ring to him.

The second fiancé (now husband) was different. We talked generally about the relationship, where we saw us heading, future plans, etc., and he knew what happened to me with my ex-fiancé. He knew that I wouldn’t be upset if I knew what kind of ring I would be getting (and I told him that I wouldn’t be even more thrilled if we shopped for it together). We discussed the budget for it (none of this three months salary nonsense), my allergy, and my personal taste, looked at a lot of different styles and cuts and shapes of stones, and looking at rings in stores (too expensive and too much like what everyone else has), online, and at estate sales and auctions, I now have an engagement ring I absolutely love and wear every day. It is in sterling silver and is an antique Georgian style ring. The stones are small, but I still wear a size 4.5–I have small fingers, so it works for me. The center stone is a Baroque pearl and the smaller stones on the sides are emeralds. The sterling silver setting has a design along the sides and beautiful scrolls around the stones. He wanted to get me a diamond, but the more we looked at them, the more I decided that it wasn’t worth the cost and that a more unique ring would suit me better.

The ring came in under budget, and the surplus money was set aside for something else. He’s happy that I love the ring and wear it (better than sitting in a box unworn), and I was thrilled to have a say in my ring. I didn’t care about being “surprised”.

His mother fussed because it wasn’t the regulation diamond engagement ring in yellow gold, and told me that she was disappointed because I was the first bride in the family who didn’t wear yellow gold. She, too, said it was “traditional” and asked when I was going to get a “real” engagement ring. It turns out she had given my husband his grandmother’s ring, which is supposed to be passed down from eldest son to eldest son to give to their future wives. It is yellow gold, so he refused, and that is why his mom is upset (he has younger brothers to whom she can give the ring), but she’s waiting for me to have a son so he will have the ring for his future wife.

There are plenty of expectations for all parties, but that’s why communication (consider it good practice for the marriage and the for the rest of your lives together) is key. Gentlemen, if you’re unsure of her tastes, sneak a peak at what’s in her jewelry box, notice what kind of rings she wears, ask her mother, her sisters, her aunts, her best friend. Better still, ask her, take her shopping, look at rings and stones online, go to antique shops, estate sales. There are no rules re engagement rings: you can get what you want. If you want to wear grandma’s ring, that’s fine. If want sterling silver instead of yellow gold, that’s fine too. If a jeweler balks and tells you that engagement rings are supposed to be set in yellow gold, find another jeweler and don’t tell him that the stones are for an engagement ring (you’d be surprised how many will gladly set stones in sterling silver without push back if you don’t tell them it is to be an engagement ring). Maybe some brides are more trendy and thus want white gold, but for some of us, we were wearing white metals long before it became a trend in bridal jewelry and will be wearing white metals long after the white gold trend in bridal jewelry is passé. But if she’s greedy (wants a 2 carat diamond and is unhappy with a 1.7 carat diamond, wants the biggest and most expensive ring she can find and your budget be damned) then I feel sorry for you. Not all of us are greedy and demanding. But be brutally honest about your budget for the ring: sweet cheeks, this is my budget and this is what I can afford. If you want the bigger ring, this is how much longer I will have to work and how much longer you will have to wait to be married in order to afford it, or this is what we’ll have to give up in order to afford it (money that might go towards wedding expenses such as food, flowers, hall, honeymoon, or that might go into the savings for the down deposit on a house, towards the new car we need, etc.).


aster December 6, 2015 at 8:00 am

It’s a sensitive subject for both the giver & receiver. It is always taken as being materialistic if the ring isn’t liked by the person getting it, but in my experience it just came down to different tastes, not the size or expense. I fully appreciate the sentiment & thought put into it by most (unfortunately I’ve heard of times when it really has been quite the opposite) but I think if you have a solid relationship you should be able to talk about anything and be honest with each other (tactfully of course). It is after all something meant to be worn for a lifetime so wearing something you don’t like out of guilt or because you feel you must learn to like it will only cause resentment and impact the relationship in the long run.


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Colt May 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm

I am glad to have found this site. I am now struggling with a lot of guilt and I don’t know what to do. My finacee proposed to me with his mother’s ring and when I asked he admitted he gave this ring to his ex also, but she didn’t wear it for long. His mother was really abusive and he hates her, not just don’t love her. He’s also a 1 percenter, so he can actually buy a ring.

The proposal wasn’t traditional, I just mentioned us maybe getting engaged in a few months and he just found this ring in a drawer and gave it to me. Anyway, I couldn’t get over the fact the this was the ring of his abusive mother’s, which he also gave to his ex-wife. So I talked to him about it, I apologized if I hurt his feelings, I explained my feelings and asked to look at a ring that would be just mine. He went with me to the jeweler immediately, albeit a bit reluctantly, and actually urged me to pick a more expensive ring than what I was looking for (nothing too extravagant, pretty simple 0.71 carat), since I liked it when I put it on.

So all is good, but I still feel guilty and don’t know what to do. I am afraid I hurt him, but I’m also hurt that he did not even purchase a ring, but gave me a ring with so much baggage instead…. So while I love my ring, I am very anxious at this moment.


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