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Diamond Rant - From a Male Consumer

latte_espresso

Rough_Rock
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Apr 10, 2018
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94
Hey guys - Not sure if this is the right place to post this. But just wanted to rant a bit.

I am about to purchase my engagement ring for my future fiance/wife. We've been dating for 10 years now (since high school). We are both in our mid-20s, in my mind, we're still both relatively young to be engaged. (by New York City standards). However, obviously after dating for quite some time, there are obvious pressure from all around to get married (or at least engaged).

After doing some searching early March, I ultimately decided to pursue a stone from CBI. I am about to spend ~$27K on the engagement ring, which exceeded my original budget of $20K (if I blame anyone, I blame all the information posted here on PS:clap:, and obviously myself for no self control:wall:).

But on a more serious note, this is a overwhelmingly large purchase. Why this bothers me a bit. I came from humble beginnings, my sister and I are both first generation college students. After graduating college, I did decent for myself and landed in corporate america, made a decent living. I paid off my student loans, I never have credit card debt (I always pay in full). I try to be fiscally responsible so that I could retire early. A few years out of college, my girlfriend and I purchased an apartment in the city, which was an amazing feat, however we are tied down to a 30 year mortgage. Understanding that I could lose my job tomorrow or get into an accident, I max out my 401ks every year, I diversify my money into bonds, stocks, reits, cryptos (:wall::wall::wall:) etc.

It just boggles my mind that I will be spending nearly $20k+ on an item that has no value (in my opinion), which I would much rather put into a 3% investment grade bond if anything else or pay down my mortgage. I understand that it's a social norm, the diamond industry have done a tremendous job on marketing. And yes, my girlfriend does want a nice diamond as an engagement ring. Of course, after 10 years of dating and still being together, I know she's the one for me, whos been there for me when I had nothing, $20K should be a measly price to pay to keep a person like this in my life.

End rant.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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9,033
I understand your point of view.

However, when your lady enjoys her sparkly ring and becomes obsessed with it, you might come around to the idea that some things in life are purely for enjoyment and appreciation, like art.

While I would never suggest using a diamond as an investment, you know that by buying from hpd, you will still have value in your purchase.

I would LOVE to see the finished ring.

Welcome to the HPD family.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Oh, my DH and I are also first generation graduates, have done well, don’t carry debt, paid off everything, sock everything into th 401k etc.

It sounds like you can afford this ring, so just remind yourself of all the stereo equipment and electronics you have bought/will buy that not only depreciate but become obsolete, lol.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Bring on the rise of MMDs! :razz: lol
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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You've chosen a very high end product and there is a price premium associated with that but you could also get a perfectly lovely ring on a much smaller budget...it's all about priorities and communication.
 

latte_espresso

Rough_Rock
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Apr 10, 2018
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94
Oh, my DH and I are also first generation graduates, have done well, don’t carry debt, paid off everything, sock everything into th 401k etc.

It sounds like you can afford this ring, so just remind yourself of all the stereo equipment and electronics you have bought/will buy that not only depreciate but become obsolete, lol.
I love the second point. I have tossed out a lot of items that I've bought in the past that probably amounted to $20K. But I guess it's easier to justify a $1K phone depreciating to $200, versus a $20K. But also to that respect, there's a clear value add of the electronics vs. a diamond ring, which is merely a slight feeling of satisfaction/reassurance.
 

daneshpastry

Shiny_Rock
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320
My first thought was also to compare to other luxuries, like cars and electronics, etc., but it's not fair to compare two different themes. Diamonds are a pure luxury - there is literally no use for them in this context - they don't keep you entertained (debatable, of course), they don't get you from point a to point b, they don't keep you warm, and they shouldn't be considered "an investment".

My second thought was, if you can afford it, why not. o_O

My final thought, though, is that you're not comfortable spending the money, so you probably shouldn't. The fact is - there are beautiful(!) stones out there for a fraction of your budgeted amount. You could easily slice that number in half, or more, and I'm sure most people would be thrilled with the ring they get. If your future wife expects something in the $30,000ish range, maybe attempt a compromise.
 

latte_espresso

Rough_Rock
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94
My first thought was also to compare to other luxuries, like cars and electronics, etc., but it's not fair to compare two different themes. Diamonds are a pure luxury - there is literally no use for them in this context - they don't keep you entertained (debatable, of course), they don't get you from point a to point b, they don't keep you warm, and they shouldn't be considered "an investment".

My second thought was, if you can afford it, why not. o_O

My final thought, though, is that you're not comfortable spending the money, so you probably shouldn't. The fact is - there are beautiful(!) stones out there for a fraction of your budgeted amount. You could easily slice that number in half, or more, and I'm sure most people would be thrilled with the ring they get. If your future wife expects something in the $30,000ish range, maybe attempt a compromise.
To your second thought. I always walk around with my girlfriend and get a little jealous of other people's nice things (whether it's gucci/ferragamo loafers, a patek, or even a simple supreme hoodie ($200-300)). And she'll simply respond, "you can afford it, so why not?". And I never really had an answer for it, because yes, I can buy myself a nice $30,000 watch as well or easily wear $1,000 shoes, but my goal is to retire early, and I rather have my money work for me so I try to dress a bit more modest. This could possibly be a "poor man's" mindset, but that's why I don't choose to splurge on myself.

While yes, I'm not comfortable with spending the money, I'm even more uncomfortable losing my girlfriend over paper. I try to work extremely hard so that I never have to stress about money.
 

daneshpastry

Shiny_Rock
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I sincerely hope I'm not offending anyone here, if so, please let me know. I'm just ranting and spewing out thoughts that's been building up.
Nothing offensive has been said (for me anyway).

I just think, ultimately, this forum is for diamond lovers, so you're going to get a lot of lean toward buying the big, pricey stone. So to even that out - I'd go cheaper, go for quality over size, and the person you're buying it for should love it regardless. If they don't, that's a question for an entirely different forum.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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To your second thought. I always walk around with my girlfriend and get a little jealous of other people's nice things (whether it's gucci/ferragamo loafers, a patek, or even a simple supreme hoodie ($200-300)). And she'll simply respond, "you can afford it, so why not?". And I never really had an answer for it, because yes, I can buy myself a nice $30,000 watch as well or easily wear $1,000 shoes, but my goal is to retire early, and I rather have my money work for me so I try to dress a bit more modest. This could possibly be a "poor man's" mindset, but that's why I don't choose to splurge on myself.

While yes, I'm not comfortable with spending the money, I'm even more uncomfortable losing my girlfriend over paper. I try to work extremely hard so that I never have to stress about money.
Don’t give up this mindset. We live below our means and scrutinize every purchase we make. We splurge when we want to on things that we enjoy. You are discriminating in your purchases and that means you respect the power of money. Good for you. it has worked out for us.
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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Nothing offensive has been said (for me anyway).

I just think, ultimately, this forum is for diamond lovers, so you're going to get a lot of lean toward buying the big, pricey stone. So to even that out - I'd go cheaper, go for quality over size, and the person you're buying it for should love it regardless. If they don't, that's a question for an entirely different forum.
I am with @daneshpastry but I'd also add that there's love on this forum for a wide variety of rings. One of my favorite threads is about sub 5k e-rings. If you're buying the big pricey stone just because you feel pressured to & resenting it why not have a discussion with your intended to see if there are alternatives that would meet your her expectations.
 

latte_espresso

Rough_Rock
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94
I am with @daneshpastry but I'd also add that there's love on this forum for a wide variety of rings. One of my favorite threads is about sub 5k e-rings. If you're buying the big pricey stone just because you feel pressured to & resenting it why not have a discussion with your intended to see if there are alternatives that would meet your her expectations.
My girlfriend indicated that "she wanted something that showed that I cared". She's not materialistic by any means. It's tough, because my girlfriend does not ask for much, she's very low maintenance and she has lived with me through my frugal lifestyle. She still wears a $50 white gold earring that I bought for her in high school.

As such, when she made such request, I felt it was only fair that I spend something meaningful.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
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Have a realistic discussion about the engagement ring budget. CBIs have a good upgrade policy. Say you spend $10,000 now. In a few years you can upgrade again. Meanwhile, that saved $10k has earned some interest.

My original engagement ring was $5600 (iirc) in 2011. I had school loans. I paid them off in 2.5 years. Then I got myself another diamond to celebrate. And another and another as we built up our savings.

2017 of May my husband died in a car accident. My employment contract ended the end of June. Despite having a bigger mortgage for the house we bought in 2015 and going from 2 incomes to 0, I'm ok without an income stream. I could probably not work another year or so. I've also even had money to burn on bling and other unnecessaries lol.

So in a nutshell, life can flip on a dime and you don't need to have the end goal now wrt bling. You can creep towards it with regular upgrades. :dance:
 

latte_espresso

Rough_Rock
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Apr 10, 2018
Messages
94
Have a realistic discussion about the engagement ring budget. CBIs have a good upgrade policy. Say you spend $10,000 now. In a few years you can upgrade again. Meanwhile, that saved $10k has earned some interest.

My original engagement ring was $5600 (iirc) in 2011. I had school loans. I paid them off in 2.5 years. Then I got myself another diamond to celebrate. And another and another as we built up our savings.

2017 of May my husband died in a car accident. My employment contract ended the end of June. Despite having a bigger mortgage for the house we bought in 2015 and going from 2 incomes to 0, I'm ok without an income stream. I could probably not work another year or so. I've also even had money to burn on bling and other unnecessaries lol.

So in a nutshell, life can flip on a dime and you don't need to have the end goal now wrt bling. You can creep towards it with regular upgrades. :dance:
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. I always try to be fiscally conservative in case my life flips, but at the same time trying to enjoy life with the YOLO mentality.

Is it selfish to say that I don't want my SO to upgrade? I want this to be a one and done. <- Clearly the frugal side of me talking.
 

latte_espresso

Rough_Rock
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94
Also, what does DH stand for? I've been trying to guess for the longest time, however cannot guess it! I know what it means by context.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
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I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. I always try to be fiscally conservative in case my life flips, but at the same time trying to enjoy life with the YOLO mentality.

Is it selfish to say that I don't want my SO to upgrade? I want this to be a one and done. <- Clearly the frugal side of me talking.
She doesn't have to upgrade. She can be like me - a hoarder of multiple engagement rings Bahahahaha!
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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My girlfriend indicated that "she wanted something that showed that I cared". She's not materialistic by any means. It's tough, because my girlfriend does not ask for much, she's very low maintenance and she has lived with me through my frugal lifestyle. She still wears a $50 white gold earring that I bought for her in high school.

As such, when she made such request, I felt it was only fair that I spend something meaningful.
I don't mean to imply at all that she is materialistic...something that shows you care could mean many different things and the dollar amount is just one of them. There was someone on here who made the ring himself for example, that was an amazing story. Another poster is currently going to great lengths to replicate a setting his SO likes. My overall point is if you're uncomfortable with the purchase, it may be worth talking to her more about what she wants, what's meaningful to her, etc. In any case wishing you and your future finacee the best. :D
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
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If you buy well, it will always have a $$$$ value.
But it has another far important value.
I’m married nearly 20 years now. I have a big rock, like over 5 carats in total.
I cannot even begin to explain to you just how much pleasure and joy having this beauty on my finger brings me.
Every day, in fact many many times a day I will glance down and smile. It’s just a beautiful beautiful ring, it shines, it sparkles and I feel so special that my husband understood (barely as he’s an investment banker) that it meant a lot to me to have my dream ring.
The truth is, I was actively looking at much more modest rings out of respect for his finances. However, we saw this amazing Art Deco ring with a mammoth diamond and my eyes must have nearly popped out their sockets. Never in a million years did I think that would be the one he’d buy, but he saw it in my eyes.
And he bought it for me.:love:
 

Matthews1127

Ideal_Rock
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4,396
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. I always try to be fiscally conservative in case my life flips, but at the same time trying to enjoy life with the YOLO mentality.

Is it selfish to say that I don't want my SO to upgrade? I want this to be a one and done. <- Clearly the frugal side of me talking.
Upgrading is actually the “frugal” way of doing it, as long as you purchase from a vendor with the upgrade policy that works for you. Most cases, it’s less expensive, and your first purchase costs more, out of pocket, than your larger, higher quality, upgrade.
If the sentimentality of this ring is more important, then you need to focus more on quality over quantity. Size isn’t everything, esp if it doesn’t “WOW” her. Impressing other ppl shouldn’t even be a discussion; this is about the two of you, and what pleases the two of you.
I have followed your journey, up to this point. I know what you’re trying to accomplish, and you need to sit back & focus on what is really important: your future with each other.
This ring will be on her finger every day for the rest of your lives, together. She will look at it, every single day, and, as irrelevant as it may be to you, it will mean everything to her. It will mean everything to her because you gave it to her. It will mean more, if it outsparkles everyone else’s...lol! That’s the main focus, when purchasing a diamond: it’s sparkle. I see thousands of diamond rings a week; women come into my office with a wide range of engagement rings on, every day. I see rocks of all shapes & sizes. I notice the big ones, sure....cuz they’re big...but not necessarily because they’re better than their smaller, more sparkly, better quality counterparts.
If her hands are small, a 1-1.5ct diamond will look much larger than it is, on her finger. If you’re pushing for a 1.75-2+ct diamond, because size is a “thing”, focusing on the SPREAD is wiser, and may save you a few bucks, if you find an extremely well cut diamond (HPD, BG, etc). Super Ideals come with a premium price tag for a reason; not just cuz they’re bigger...cuz they’re not always bigger. They maximize their potential to perform better than any other. Cut is everything, and can make a 1.8ct diamond look over 2ct. Weight is just that: weight. That doesn’t mean it’s BIGGER. It means it’s HEAVIER. Cut makes the diamond everything it was meant to be.
I know she’s focused on the numbers. You need to educate her on which numbers she needs to focus on; carat weight isn’t one of them-mm spread is. Colorless diamonds are not all D color. D, E & F all fall into that category. HPD F will not show color. Period. HPD G will not show color, either. All of these tiny compromises will help you save money, and still get you to your end goal: giving her something that “shows you care”. Staying with superideals will get you to the end game, get you the superior cut you want to “WOW” her, and still allow you to achieve your frugal goals of keeping a decent budget, as long as you drop below 2ct, and D color. 1.80+ F VS-VVS HPD should get you what your wallet wants, and put a smile on her face every single day of her life with you.
 

rockysalamander

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I think you need to think a bit harder about her challenge. She did not say "buy me a huge rock", she said I want something "shows me you care". To me, that is more about the setting and small details that reflect her and you. So, think about her and her likes and design ethic. Where did you meet? Do you have a great vacation memory that you can capture? Does she love flowers or faires or terriers? What's her favorite color? Designer? What do you both love? Are there images/symbols/colors that are a "theme" in your relationship? Has she always admired her mother's/friends/famous person's ring? What about it? Open your mind to a larger world than just the center rock. She wants something that shows you spent time and energy, not just money. It is a rare life-partner that looks to the amount you spend on them as a demonstration of love (if you find one, I suggest running away as fast as you can). Our partners want us to demonstrate our love with meaning, thought, time and consideration. That we "get them" and have made and effort to hear them. If she wants a uber-simple setting, can you add a few little personal details like hidden stones or engraved secrets.

For example, I have friends that were Peace Corps volunteers. They are both from montana. When they got engaged, they selected a lab diamond (ethical) flanked by montana sapphires. She wanted three side-stones on each side as that number was the number of years they each were a PCVs. So, they designed a bezel set center with three bezel set side stones in a triangle with pale blue, dark blue and a very very dark blue sapphire on each side to represent the country they volunteered in. They were both trust fund babies and the cost was not the issue, they wanted something meaningful that captured their love and memories of Botswana.

FWIW. I would not recommend spending $27k. You clearly don't want to and it is eating at you. So, start with a setting and some personal details. Then, let's figure out a stone that feel good for you and fits the design style. If you give us some clues, we can point you to some settings that might help make this feel like HER ring.
 

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Matthews1127

Ideal_Rock
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I think you need to think a bit harder about her challenge. She did not say "buy me a huge rock", she said I want something "shows me you care". To me, that is more about the setting and small details that reflect her and you. So, think about her and her likes and design ethic. Where did you meet? Do you have a great vacation memory that you can capture? Does she love flowers or faires or terriers? What's her favorite color? Designer? What do you both love? Are there images/symbols/colors that are a "theme" in your relationship? Has she always admired her mother's/friends/famous person's ring? What about it? Open your mind to a larger world than just the center rock. She wants something that shows you spent time and energy, not just money. It is a rare life-partner that looks to the amount you spend on them as a demonstration of love (if you find one, I suggest running away as fast as you can). Our partners want us to demonstrate our love with meaning, thought, time and consideration. That we "get them" and have made and effort to hear them. If she wants a uber-simple setting, can you add a few little personal details like hidden stones or engraved secrets.

For example, I have friends that were Peace Corps They are both from montana. When they got engaged, they selected a lab diamond (ethical) flanked by montana sapphires. She wanted three side-stones on each side as that number was the number of years they each were a PCVs. So, they designed a bezel set center with three bezel set side stones in a triangle with pale blue, dark blue and a very very dark blue sapphire on each side to represent the country they volunteered in. They were both trust fund babies and the cost was not the issue, they wanted something meaningful that captured their love and memories of Botswana.

FWIW. I would not recommend spending $27k. You clearly don't want to and it is eating at you. So, start with a setting and some personal details. Then, let's figure out a stone that feel good for you and fits the design style. If you give us some clues, we can point you to some settings that might help make this feel like HER ring.
Oh, I love @rockysalamander! I couldn’t have said it better!!! This is such a better idea than the plain soli with the 2+ct rock! This is so MY thing...lol!!
THIS, @mistawow!! ALL THIS!!!
 

Matthews1127

Ideal_Rock
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@rockysalamander,
Not sure if you’ve seen this thread:

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/i-think-i-finally-found-the-stone-final-thoughts-before-trigger.241229/

In here, you’ll find a post where OP’s FF specifically states to him that she wants “the biggest diamond possible”, but no specific size given.
This is where, I believe, the pressure of getting the biggest diamond comes into play.
This complicates things, as he’s told “get me something that shows me you care”, and “the biggest diamond possible”. I feel for OP; this is quite a frustrating position to be in.
I say, do a combo: incorporate sentiment into the setting that will give meaning to the ring, and set a beautifully cut center stone in the ring with the greatest mm spread you can find, within a more reasonable budget. Find a vendor with an amazing upgrade policy, so she can upgrade, later, if she feels the diamond could still be bigger, and make sure the ring you give her now can accommodate a larger diamond, later. You’ll have a “forever” setting that will always keep it’s significance, with the option of switching up the stone it holds.
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
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Now I remember. Thanks for the reminder. I feel for the people buying engagement rings. I have never understood the false modesty and hint method of communication about things. Bleh.

For folks in your age range, even in a big city, a 1.4-1.5 carat would more than reasonable for a couple starting out in life. Seriously. You will hate this ring if you buy so far over your comfort level. That feeling will not go away. The cost of the ring does not equate to the amount or depth of your love and commitment...that's all marketing and silly poppy-cock. There is not relationship, in my experience, between the size of the engagement ring and the success of the marriage. As a sign of your commitment, a ring must come from your heart. Not feel like you are ripping out your heart to pay for it.

https://www.hpdiamonds.com/en-us/diamonddetail/HPD10057
https://www.hpdiamonds.com/en-us/diamonddetail/HPD10008

Put that in a setting that is more personal. With CBI, you lose $0 if she elects to upgrade in the future. Don't look for a "forever" diamond, because you will then be all the more upset if you have to sell this diamond...Life and circumstances change. Buy what suits for now and does not keep you up at night.
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 6, 2014
Messages
2,457
Is it possible she meant biggest diamond possible within whatever budget he feels comfortable with? (As in, sacrifice other things to prioritize size?). If not, maybe sit down and have an honest discussion about budget (not what you can afford, but what you can *comfortably* afford - as these are often two different things). If she’s working and wants more, she can also pitch in. Or wait to get engaged until you’re a bit older and in a more comfortable place financially. Or you can upgrade as you go for special anniversaries.

Plus, I’d suggest ignoring pressure to get married just because other people think it’s time. It’s not their lives so they don’t get a vote. If you’re feeling pressured rather than excited, just don’t. Wait until you’re excited.
 
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