With our ten-year wedding anniversary coming up later this year, my husband has been feeling generous. For our anniversary gift, he said I could pick between a few amazing things – either a new, upgraded wedding ring or a trip anywhere in the world.
I think you know how that conversation went. I actually like my wedding ring just the way it is. Not only is it a beautiful two-tone ring with a center sapphire, but it also has sentimental value. Also, I was totally down for a trip somewhere, and ultimately decided to go to Italy. I’ll write about how we booked and paid for that trip with credit cards later, but you catch my drift. I didn’t want a new ring; I wanted to go to somewhere cool and make memories.
Are Diamond Engagement Rings Overrated?
I haven’t been shy about the fact that I’m not a huge jewelry person. In fact, I once wrote an article for a bigger site called, “Act Surprised: Your Diamond Ring Is Not an Investment.”
A few people in the comments were not impressed at all. Most people agreed with me, but others chastised me for my lack of education on matters such as “cut,” “color,” and “clarity.” As they saw it, the reason I wasn’t into diamonds was because I didn’t understand them.
I guess they’re right. I don’t understand at all, nor do I want to. As I see it, words like “color” and “clarity” are terms created by an industry desperate to assign value to something found abundantly in nature – diamonds.
Well guess what, I could easily do the same thing with dirt found in my backyard.
“Hey guys, my dirt has tiny, unique microbes that are out-of-this-world amazing. It’s an XYZ-5 on the dirt quality scale. Super dense to the tune of LQBGTY 46. That means it costs twice as much. Sorry ’bout ya.”
Further, I could even make up crazy standards and convince you that they were real. Because, you know how it works – saying something in an authoritative voice for a few years is enough to make it law.
“From now on, the dirt you buy from me should cost an average of 4 months of your salary.”
You can listen to all the DeBeers talking points you want, but the fact is, I’m not buying it. Your diamond ring is only worth what someone else will pay for it. End of story. And unfortunately, that usually isn’t very much.
Now to the other side of the story.
Opposite Argument: You Aren’t Supposed to Sell Your Ring, Silly
No matter what, there’s one thing I can’t argue with – you aren’t supposed to sell your diamond engagement ring. You’re supposed to stay married, have babies, and live happily ever after in the suburbs. It’s hard to argue with the point that a diamond engagement ring is supposed to be forever. I know I’m getting buried with my ring.
When you look at it that way, the resale of your diamond ring shouldn’t matter so much. When you’re buying for life, you probably should get something high quality that you truly love – even if that means focusing on all those buzz words I like to make fun of.
And a lifetime is a long time. When you’re going to wear something on your hand until you’re 85, it can make sense to spend a little more to get something nice. I’m frugal as all get out, but even I can agree with that.
I guess it all boils down to this: If you’re going to splurge on a diamond engagement ring, you should at least get the best deal you can. There’s no sense in overpaying for something when you can shop around and find it an a price you can truly afford.
Meanwhile, it’s also time to let go of the idea that an engagement ring should cost three month’s salary once and for all. How on Earth is that considered reasonable? A guy making $60,000 per year, for example, is expected to fork over $15,000 for a ring? Nope.
The truth is, you don’t have to spend anything near that. You can buy a used diamond ring at several online sites – or even on craigslist.org. If you think your fiance might frown on getting some divorcee’s ring (which is highly possible), you can also shop at a retailer that offers a warranty and fair return policy.
Are diamond engagement rings overrated? The truth is, it all depends on what you think – not what I think. Only you can decide. If you love jewelry and want a ring you’ll be happy to look at for the next 50 years, then perhaps it will be a good investment.
Personally, I would rather go to Italy.
Do you think diamond engagement rings are overrated? What is your engagement ring like?