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How much did you pay for your wife's/fiancee's engagement ring?

RSS

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I really want to agree with The Foo. The ring is a gift from the husband to be to his bride to be. Then again, if one is spending a small fortune on the the engagement ring, it would be a good idea if it appealed to the wearer. So, I suppose I see both sides of this argument.

Fortunately I'll never have to deal with this dilemma. But ... from what I hear, there are more and more "bridezillas" out there who are doing their best to put as much decision making as possible in their court.

I'm guessing that Foo didn't marry a bridezilla and his wife to be was and is very happy with that ring.
 

Piobaire

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I think there are no right or wrong answers, as each couple and situation is different, and that's the problem; there is always a "right" answer and we know who's it is.
 

Despos

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Being the outlier in this thread. My wife said she wasn’t a ”diamond type” and didn’t want to wear a diamond ring. We both have simple modest rings. She did say she would appreciate a nice watch and she has a Reverso In place of a special ring.
My wife is drawn to the style of an object rather than the prestige of an object. She may be an outlier too
 
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Jr Mouse

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Being the outlier in this thread. My wife said she wasn’t a ”diamond type” and didn’t want to wear a diamond ring. We both have simple modest rings. She did say she would appreciate a nice watch and she has a Reverso In place of a special ring.
My wife is drawn to the style of an object rather than the prestige of an object. She may be an outlier too
My sister was the same way. She requested a modest ring with a smaller stone then my brother-in-law originally planned to buy her. For her it was about having an unassuming ring that wouldn’t draw to much attention.
 
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GeneralEmployer

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Can I just get the DeBeer's text where all these other parameters are spelled out? I'm not saying people are inventing shit in their heads and using "tradition" as justification, when in fact said shit is not part of the original marketing campaign, but it would be nice to verify this.

GE, old man, this seems right up your alley after your nice (unattributed) quote from Cicero yesterday. Could you dig up the ad campaign that created this tradition so we can see what the official parameters are?
As you know old boy, scholarship is a pleasure, especially when it comes to my occupation (white knight errant).

However, your premise is flawed. You are assuming the contemporary craze for diamond rings is exclusively rooted in the Ayer's ad campaign for DeBeer's. Scholarship on this matter mostly says that this isn't the whole story. Though the below linked article is not unflawed, it was pioneering, and is in the public domain. You can check the journals for better scholarship or PM me so I can mail you my Yale Law Journals.

http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~siow/332/rings.pdf

To summarize and expound upon the above the article, basically what happened was there were laws for women to seek damages for breach of promise for marriage proposals; over time, legislation for emotional damages was included in what became known as the heartbalm laws; then there was a backlash to these laws, the so-caled anti-heartbalm laws, and popular consensus was that the affairs of the heart couldn't be commodified. Enter DeBeers stage center, saying, 'oh yes, they can.' Hence, DeBeers was probably responding to market conditions, not driving them. (For the record, the DeBeers singular rule was the man needed to spend 3 months salary on the ring).

In any event, the legal record is rife with adventurism and opportunism of those who would pick their engagement ring. The Court's disdain, and by extension the public, for this practice is made plain in Pavlicic v. Vogtsberger.

"In January, 1953, in the enthusiastic spirit of an anxious swain, George presented Sara Jane with a $140 wrist watch. Sara Jane selected the watch.

In February, 1953, Sara Jane represented to George that they would both make a better appearance if she had an engagement and wedding ring. George took her to a jewelry store and she made a selection consistent with discretion. George paid $800.

Sara Jane then asked George to take care of the repairing of a ring she had received from her mother. It was a mere matter of adding a diamond. George paid the bill.

Even before George's bank book became Sara Jane's favorite literature she had prevailed upon him to advance substantial sums to her. In June, 1952, she told George she needed $800 to cover her house with insulbrick. George gave her $800 to cover her house with insulbrick."


In any event, as the learned Court as affirmed time and time again, an engagement ring is based on a conditional promise. To invite the rejiggering of the conditional statement in this regard, is to invite all sorts of tomfoolery. I will leave you gentleman with the wise scholarship of the Honorable Sidney Asch:

An analogous arrangement [whereby engagement rings were seen as property of the woman prior to the act of marriage] existed among certain Indian tribes, as described by Francis Parkman, in "The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century." Enterprising Indian maids would enter into connubial agreements with young braves which were to last a day, a week, or more, the ultimate object being matrimony. "The seal of the compact was merely the acceptance of a gift of wampum made by the suitor to the object of his desire or whim. These gifts were never returned on the dissolution of the connection, and as an attractive and enterprising damsel might, and often did, make twenty such marriages before her final establishment, she thus collected a wealth of wampum with which to adorn herself for the village dances."

 

edinatlanta

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Always the same cast of characters coincidentally appearing shortly after I show up ...
Dont worry everyone knows this is your foorum we just happen to post in it.
 

Piobaire

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Always the same cast of characters coincidentally appearing shortly after I show up ...
Shortly after you show up? You showed up in this thread nine years ago. I showed up eight years ago. You also took a pause then showed up at least one more time years apart before the current run.

The answer: too much. It was 2007 and everything was looking up, up, up. Oops.

I bought the diamond from a broker who had the specific cut from the specific cutter that I wanted. Then I took it to a few different jewelers to look at setting options.

I would not buy a Tiffany engagement ring. Honestly, beyond the huge premium (100% more than what you'd pay for the same stone yourself), the workmanship on their mass-produced rings is pretty awful. The pave is a joke. Unless you are buying one of their one-off or special collection pieces, you're getting a mold-made setting off an assembly line. Sucks. It's the equivalent of a fused, RTW Armani Collezioni suit. Cartier and Harry Winston do a much better job. At least their pave settings are properly hand-wrought--but they will both admit, with some prodding, that they don't do the work themselves. Guess who does? Some dudes in the Diamond District. I looked into some Europe-based jewelers as well. Apparently, the best pave work is done in New York City these days. That's where everyone commissions their work. If you can do some moderate sleuthing, you can figure out where to go, save tons of money, and get your girl a better diamond in a better ring.

If you are going to spend big money on a stone, find a skilled jeweler who does truly bespoke, hand-wrought work to do it justice. It is potentially much more delicate and refined looking than mold-made work. But here's the key: make sure whatever method the jeweler uses, he is making a custom, one-off setting sized to your diamond(s). You don't want a mass-produced piece that's just had its prongs adjusted. A true custom setting must be made--you can't just pick it out from the display case. This particularly important if you are doing pave. Pave in pre-made settings with uniformly-sized spaces looks terrible since each pave stone is a slightly different size.

My biggest mistake was insisting on a D colorless diamond with VVS2+ clarity. I paid a stupidly huge premium for that. I could have easily gone with a G-color stone and VS2 that would look just as nice but been either half the price or 50% bigger.
 

GeneralEmployer

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Shortly after you show up? You showed up in this thread nine years ago. I showed up eight years ago. You also took a pause then showed up at least one more time years apart before the current run.
This is much more important than the above requested scholarship I contributed above. Let's take a look at 'the cast of characters' who had any interaction with Foo on this threak, paying attention to when they entered and their purpose for entering.

@edinatlanta entered Friday evening. He did this to nobly set himself up for @Omega Male's virgin joke. Thanks, Ed. You are a team player. He or more less then got roped into the main convo.

@Omega Male also entered Friday evening because I tagged him. Guy's a legend, what can you say?

@Jr Mouse concededly entered Friday evening to comment upon Foo's traditionalist take. However, Jr Mouse is not to be found anywhere near any recent Foo threak during the past several months. Also, Jr Mouses hangs out mostly in political/politicized threaks: obviously this threak is right up his alley since it involves gender roles. His below woke contribution is in keeping with his woke neoliberal corporatist policing/hot takes directed at all and sundry:

...It's not about being demanding or scoffing at such an important gift. They have to wear these things for the rest of their lives.
I get that you both are traditionalists and may come from traditional families but I'm not sure that's the best approach for most guys.
@RSS Everybody knows this guy isn't following Foo around. Anyway, he entered in Feb 2020 when Foo had all but disappeared from this threak.

@Piobaire's defense is solid. I'll let it rest.

Now let's examine plausible instances of poasters following the Foo...

@brokencycle is in every threak. If you're in every threak, you're following everybody, but if you're following everybody, you're following nobody. I suspect BC isn't one person, but actually a multi-user account mostly based out of Balikpapan Indonesia. But this is a story for another time.

@GeneralEmployer -- GUILTY AS CHARGED.
 

Piobaire

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Then there's the threads I stop actively participating in when he shows up, such as, the steak thread. In fact, I'd say that thread in toto is not as active as it was pre-Foo. I've prepared several fine steaks that have not appeared in the threak.
 
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Jr Mouse

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F00 is blessed to have you around GE.
 
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RSS

Stylish Dinosaur
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My wife is drawn to the style of an object rather than the prestige of an object. She may be an outlier too
Style is appeal to one's own soul ... whereas prestige is an appeal to approval by others. Style wins.
 
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LuxLemon

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I also think context is important. The ring, in most cases, is supposed to be a surprise. Hence, wanting to pick one out is a bit like telling somebody where you want your surprise birthday to be. What's worse is that man may already have an heirloom piece that his family wants to give the bride. By the point of engagement, the man should know a woman's taste. He can ask questions in a casual way to get something she'll love.

Of course there are probably plenty of cases where letting the woman pick the ring is not so bad. I think if the man is completely clueless, and the woman's only vice is jewelry, then it may make sense for her to take the lead. But as a general rule, Foo is right. Especially if you're on this forum, you should have enough of a idea of how to shop for a gift.

The Omega story is instructive, however. The woman can always change the ring. Great story because A) Omega's wife is relatively frugal (compared to him) and B) jewelry seems to be her only vice. What does this mean? Even in cases where the person may want more, they can get it later. Seeing how somebody reacts to this litmus test is more valuable than pleasing them. Like I said, 4 times. Soon will be my fifth up to bat.

Genuine question; after a second marriage, let's even stretch it to a third, what's the point in the 4th/5th?
 

edinatlanta

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Genuine question; after a second marriage, let's even stretch it to a third, what's the point in the 4th/5th?
well my dad was married twice before he found the love of his life.
 

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