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#2078258 06/23/08 05:46 PM
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I can't be the only person who has this question.

A lot of couples, especially in the 1970s, didn't put a lot of stock in engagement rings, and didn't buy one, or just a small one. For years, I have been wanting to get my wife a really nice diamond, but I don't know how to go about it.

I know she would like it, but will say she would rather have (or "we need") this or that furniture, landscaping, new car, etc. That's all true. They are more functional and necessary.

Every year I don't do this, the rings get more expensive, younger people are driving a trend to bigger rings (low quality), and I just can't wait much longer.

So I thought about surprising her, but then I worry about it being too big, or too small, or violating the POJA. Or maybe I will get a lecture about how the first one was so dinky, and what took me so long. This is a mine field for men.

Right now, I am thinking about bringing it up, telling her I really want to do it, and maybe selling her on the idea of a smaller high grade diamond from a reputable firm that will let me trade up any time, take her to the store, let her look and some I have already picked out, and let that overcome her objections?

Any men done this and survived?
Advice from any women is more than welcome.

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My H worried about this for years with a "mother's ring" for me. Yes, we will complain that there are other things that the money could be used for, but I think most women (not all) secretly enjoy the feeling of being "more important" than the necessities in life.

My H had a ring designed for me in the shape of a frog (my favorite creature) with birthstones for each of our children in it. He hid it in a happy meal as my "prize." I loved it because he spent so much thought and energy creating it. I never even questioned the price even though we were broke. It was too special and I could tell that he wanted me to have it.

Are you having trouble with WHICH ring? Or is it more whether or not she would be receptive to a new ring in general? If it's the former, might I suggest you surprise her with a shopping trip to jewelers? You could set it up in advance so that the shop has several rings to choose from without the price tags. That way she can choose what she likes without thinking (too much) of the price.

If the concern is the ring itself...I think that if it is heartfelt, she will receive it well. Tell her that she is worth the money. Remind her that she deserves it. If she really fights it, return it with her (but I don't think she will).


BW 37 (Me).
F?WH 35.
06/97 Married.
Three sons...4, 5, and 7.
06/04 EA begins (Unknown to me).
02/10/05 D-Day EA (Unknown PA).
02/24/08 D-Day LTA 3+ YEARS! (same OW).


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Yes, I am worried about buying the right ring - mainly size that suits her, because I am going to get a quality one that looks good.

And I am concerned that she will protest that I am wasting money, should spend it on furniture or something more useful, should have gotten it sooner, etc.

I hate to look like I can't make a decision, by taking her to the store, and she could back out as soon as I mention it. If I just buy it, and it is not too big, I figure she will appreciate it. If she needs an economic rationalization about how it is high grade, and I can grade up for 100% trade it, etc, I can give that spiel.

But I am just guessing.
That's why I am asking for some help from those who have been there, donen that.

What's too small?
What's too big?
What's the best way to receive the gift?
Or should I just tell her I really want to do this, and let's got see the short list of what I like?
Or just drive up to the store and let the surprise start there?

Thank you.

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Well, in our case, I picked out my wife's engagement ring with only basic input from her. I wound up picking out a unique design, and had them set some sapphire chips in it - because my wife's eyes are blue. Corny, yes, but she still loves it. Every time I get her flowers I try to make sure there's a blue iris in them for the same reason.

Anyway, I was able to get a 40-point diamond in the engagement ring. It was less expensive than a retail place because I got an 'estate diamond' - basically used. I bought the diamond loose and and them fabricate a new ring to go with it.

My point is that you might get more financial mileage out of an estate diamond - with tough economic times a lot of people might be hocking their jewelry.

Look at *her* favorite rings and other jewelry. What do they look like? What do they have in common? Think about what would look good, and then look for rings that fit that criteria.

What is *her* favorite color? It isn't too expensive to add colored precious stones to a ring, and it really jazzes it up.

What are *her* hobbies? Favorite animals, songs, literature, movies, and so on? Think back on something that was special between the two of you - is there some theme you can carry forward into a ring?

Is this a "major" anniversary (30th, 35th) or an off year (29th, 33rd)? Personally I'd save major gifts for a major anniversary, but that's just me.

Too small and too big are just 'facets' of the issue. Diamonds are valued for cut, clarity, color, and carats (size). A small, clear, flawless diamond that is elegantly cut can be worth more than a larger one that has intrusions or imperfections and looks like it was cut with a sledgehammer.

Hope this helps..


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She doesn't have any interests that I can render as jewelry motifs.
I just want to get her a nicer engagement ring. She likes things simple, and we both like quality things. As you say, he important thing about a diamond is how it looks, not how large or gaudy it is.

I guess my quandary today is the same more young men have with the original engagement ring. I know it's the same for me - will she not like it, and will she not like the way I went about it?

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Hi Retread!

Do you think you might be making this harder than it really is? A young man buying an engagement ring has to worry about whether or not the young lady in question will accept his proposal ... the ring being a symbol of his proposal. That's really where the stress comes from.

You are giving your wife a gift, so your worry is solely whether or not she will like the gift. Since you don't know what kind of ring she would like, I don't see anything wrong with telling her that this year your gift to her is a ring upgrade and then take her to pick out exactly what she would like.

If she says that is not what she wants, well, I'm not sure why you would object to that. Is there something this ring symbolizes to YOU perhaps? Personally, I don't ever want to upgrade my ring because it was the ring that was there at the moment my husband asked me to marry him, but I wouldn't mind a nice new piece of anniversary jewelry smile

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Yes, this ring to symbolizes that I think she deserves a nice ring. I couldn't afford a nice one originally, and she said she didn't want a dinky one. She still says things about other women's nice rings, so I figure she wants one.

Every man who pops the question is worried about getting "NO" for an answer.

I am worried that
* she will think I am being silly for wasting money on it
* she will think it is too small
* she will think it is to big, or extravagant
* she will have some negative reaction like, "You finally got me the ring you should have bought years ago".

If I had a storybook relationship, I wouldn't be asking for advice. I would just tell her to get in the car and go to the store to pick one out, or surprise her and she would be so happy. I don't think it works out that way except in the diamond ads.


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Retread,

FWIW Mrs Z and I talked many years ago about this. We agreed that one of the things we would do for our Anniversary every year was to upgrade the diamond. I bought hers from "The Shane Company". They give me every penny I spent the year before on the "old" diamond and I just add to it. I do all the work picking the diamond. Some years I focus more on color, other years I focus on size and inclusions. I've become a mini-diamond expert. For us it becomes a sort of symbol of renewal. It has the added benefit of growing over time. Our anniversary was 4-days ago. Mrs. Z has a HUGE new rock this year since the other one was tainted in my mind, but that's the subject of other posts.

This may not work for you folks if your wife has attached sentimental value to the diamond itself. But it does alleviate some of your concern about it not being "big" enough. Put into what you can and let her know that it can grow over the years, just as your Love will.

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That's exactly what I would like to do.
There is a diamond wholesaler here who will upgrade anytime, any price difference - it doesn't have to be 2X or anything like that.

I just can't get to square one.
I am so gunshy of criticism that I am afraid to do anything.

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Work with the folks at the jeweler and put some thought into it. Then when you give it to her explain why you got THAT rock and what your thought process was. For this year, I put a lot of effort into size, but dropped two letters in color. This was because next year for our 10th, I want to get her an Anniversary band so I won't be upgrading the rock. Trust me, she'll appreciate your thoughts and efforts if this is what you two decide to do. Again, it's not for everyone, but it works for us (plus it has the added benefit of not giving me raging headache trying to think of things to get her)!

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Quote
I am so gunshy of criticism that I am afraid to do anything.

I'm not familiar with your situation Retread, but do you think might be trying to run before you've learned how to walk? Why are you putting so much pressure on yourself to buy an expensive ring now? Why not get her a gift you know she would appreciate? Or if you feel like you don't know, maybe invest that gift money in an activity that would allow you to learn what she would want like a vacation or dance lessons (something you would do together).

One other thought ... you could learn to handle criticism differently. If your wife would truly lay into you and be angry that it has taken you so long to get her a new ring as a reaction to you getting her a new ring ... well, you need to get a backbone and tell her to grow up and not be so ungrateful. That's not a criticism of you. It's her lashing out and being an angry person. Of course this could just be an irrational fear on your part (again since I don't know what has gone on before between you two). I do think a more normal reaction is to feel like the money could have been better spent on something else ... which is also not a criticism of you but an expression of her own preference and something that you should be able to discuss.

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Any jewelry is frivolous, and the money could be better spent on something else. That's an objective fact, about every one every purchased.

I hope I didn't make my wife sound that angry ("lay into me"). If she were, I wouldn't be buying her a ring.

My wife is the main one who would have that point foremost in her mind. Neither of us waste money. We never strain ourselves with a purchase, usually never in debt, and if so, only for less than a year, like when my new car was totalled and I had to replace it before the insurance settlement.

My favorite ring so far is a 1.4 carat flawless, colorless, perfectly cut solitare. I think it is as big as I would want, is the best buy I have found, best quality I have ever seen, and I can easily afford it. But I think she might think that is too extravagant, so I was considering backing way down in size, still something with excellent cut in the VS1 range, then grade her up every year. I won't find a stone like the first one again in my lifetime, though.

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Retread,

I am conservative and frugal. I am a saver, an investor and a number crunching budgeter A few years ago my DH surprised me with a beautiful past, present and future ring for Christmas. I don't know anything about diamonds. I don't know or care what it cost or how he paid for it. It a beautiful expression of his love for me. The risk he took by not knowing my reaction just made it more special. Maybe that is just me but I would be willing to bet that many Ws feel just that way.

God's Blessings,

Say


Me, BW-57
FWH 54
4 kids and 4 grandbabies between us
In recovery since D-day, May 28,2007
FWH never onboard the MB boat but still clinging to the side.
One day at a time by God's grace.
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Retread, most gifts are frivolous. Whether it is a diamond ring, a sapphire necklace, front row tickets to a broadway show, a week in Bermuda or dinner at a 5-star restaurant, these are all things that someone could argue the money could be better spent on something else.

But if it is something your wife would really enjoy, then from her perspective, the money could not have better spent. What I'm hearing from you is a lot of anxiety over this ring purchase and it makes me think that perhaps she might not really want a ring as much as she would want something else. Even if she is very practical (I have never been in debt myself other than my mortgage, so my thinking may be similar to your wife's), she will still have luxuries that she enjoys and would be happy to receive as a gift.

Since you don't know what she would like in a ring, why not bring her into the decision making process? I know many women who picked out their ring and wouldn't have been happy doing it any other way. Maybe you will find out that she would rather spend the money on an annual spa weekend, but wouldn't you want to know that?

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saynomore, was your husband really worried that you wouldn't like the ring? It sounds lovely! My husband has given me surprise jewelry on several occasions and I think he has felt fairly confident that he selected something I would like and would look good on me. For me, not feeling sure, is a sign the gift is not right.

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Thanks, ladies.

When I think back on it, every gift that I got my wife like this, even if she protested a bit, she still treasures (not there are that many).

She just lost an earring from our 10th anniversary on vacation and turned the place upside down before she gave up. I didn't even remember when I gave them to her. You just gave me an idea: I'll take her to replace the earring and steer her over to look at some of the rings I like.

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That sounds like a great idea! I am sure she will appreciate you replacing an earring that has so much sentimental value to her and a new ring would be icing on the cake. I think you already know she is going to love it smile

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Snugglefresh,

He was afraid of my reaction to the amount of money he spent because I am sooo fiscally conservative. We also, at that point in our M needed other things. (Fridge, stove, windows) I'm so glad he bought the ring. eventually we got all of the other things too. (:

Say


Me, BW-57
FWH 54
4 kids and 4 grandbabies between us
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One day at a time by God's grace.
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i can see some positive turn you can make on some of these comments.

* she will think I am being silly for wasting money on it
It may be silly but I am crzy for you and want to show you how important you are. That ring looks really good/sexy on your hand. (my hubby used that sexy line)

* she will think it is too small
Most places easily will let you exchange for something bigger within 15 days.

* she will think it is to big, or extravagant
You are right it is extravagant but I think you are worth it and even more. Look at the sparkle on your finger!! It matches the sparkle in my eyes when I look at you.

* she will have some negative reaction like, "You finally got me the ring you should have bought years ago
Yes I did, I wish I had gotten it so much sooner. You deserve this!

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Good ideas!


Me: 61
Dear Wife: 58
Married: 35 years
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