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History of engagement ring upgrade

Smith3

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
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230
I’m curious when this became a thing or if it always was. My grandparents never upgraded. I know 60th wedding anniversary is diamonds, But that has change now to 10 years. I would love to hear if you know any info or if your grandparents upgraded.
 

Austina

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I’d never even heard of it till I joined PS. In the UK, it isn’t really a thing to upgrade (well certainly not in my circle), all the women I know still have their original engagement rings. I didn’t know my grandparents but I doubt they did, my parents didn’t.
 

lala646

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Nov 4, 2018
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My grandparents had no diamonds to upgrade! Who would have diamonds when they were so poor they didn't even have indoor plumbing? Each were married with very simple gold bands.

My mom has a setting very reflective of her early 1970's wedding. She wore it perhaps a dozen times per year as I was growing up, she just isn't into jewelry, so no thoughts of an upgrade there, not that my father would ever entertain one anyway.
 

lyra

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My mom never had a diamond ring. I upgraded at 25 years. I think my generation is open to it, as are younger generations.
 

monarch64

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I heard about upgrades waaaay back when, I think in 1997, when I was a teenager working at JC Penney in the "fine jewelry" department. They had a trade-in policy and ordered diamonds through Harry Winston at that time. We had a customer who came in every 10 years to upgrade her diamond until she got to 1 carat. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever.
 

AdaBeta27

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921
I’m curious when this became a thing or if it always was. My grandparents never upgraded. I know 60th wedding anniversary is diamonds, But that has change now to 10 years. I would love to hear if you know any info or if your grandparents upgraded.
I think getting a diamond ring of some kind for a mojor anniversary was a lot more common.

Maternal grandparents: No upgrade. She had her original e-ring remounted in the '40s. It was a smaller diamond, .25 or .33 or so. No diamond anniversary band or ring for any anniversary, afaik. Expensive jewelry wasn't a priority for her. I'm sure that if a large diamond ring had been important to her, grandpa would have gladly bought one. Grandma had superb clothes, furniture, china, Oriental rugs, etc.

Paternal grandparents: My mother says her MIL had a nice "big" diamond (around here, a .8 to 1 ct is big. 1.25 is massive.) So probably at some point she had received an anniversary upgrade.

Great aunt: She received a nice diamond anniversary band. No e-ring upgrade.

Parents: Nope. My mother received a .25 ct diamond e-ring, and my father is the type who will never purchase any anniversary ring or upgrade. But she received an awesome OEC 2-stone ring that her sister willed to her, and the bigger OEC in it looks E/F color and about 1.67ct. So kudos to my aunt to see to it that her sister got some high quality bling in spite of the husband. Mom reset her e-ring diamond + an emerald into a pendant before covid, and says now she can dress up but there's still no place she'll go. :lol:

Sister: Nope. Got around a .3 or .33 ct diamond e-ring when they were new grads straight out of college. 3 kids and decades of being the family bread winner later, her lazy husband won't even hold a job much less buy her an upgrade or anniversary ring.

SIL: Nope. She had a custom e-ring made years ago and she's satisfied with it.

Me: Yeah. Shameless upgrade upon upgrade. :lol: Divorced the husband and instantly upgraded my life. (Gave him back his .8ct e-ring, too.) Bought myself a nice 1ct+ at the local pawn shop that sold estate and vintage jewelry. Later bought a GOG Signature H&A and upgraded that to a larger one a couple years later. That was 2009. I think I have quit buying diamonds. The way things are nowadays, I only wear simulants and costume jewelry out in public and wear the real stuff at family gatherings only. :/
 
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GliderPoss

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 25, 2008
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Pfffft! Never even heard of it until I met Pricescope... :lol:

It's definitely not a thing here and if I've ever mentioned it I get complete blank looks from people.

Which is sad really as I know a few ladies who don't like their e-ring very much but think they have no choice to ask for an upgrade. :(sad

Obviously I will upgrade like hell if given the chance. :Up_to_something:
 

123ducklings

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Jun 10, 2020
Messages
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In my real life outside of PS I only know two women who upgraded their rings — one had a solitaire and changed to a larger diamond, the other kept the same stone (sentimental) but changed to a much more blingy setting.

Edit: ooof, got distracted reading the other answers and realized I didn’t quite answer your question. Neither of my grandmothers nor my mother upgraded their rings.
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

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Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
774
When both sets of my grandparents got married, culturally where I’m from there wasn’t really an emphasis on engagement rings as such, both grandmothers received rings as gifts from their in laws but didn’t wear them daily or really treat them as “symbols of marriage”. They each had a collection of rings amassed over time (for special occasions) that they rotated as “daily wear”/“engagement” rings. My mom didn’t upgrade her ring, she received a new one for her 25th wedding anniversary and turned her original e-ring into her daily RHR.
 

missy

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Jun 8, 2008
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40,658
No, neither my parents nor grandparents upgraded their ER. My mom and dad got married without an engagement diamond and instead just with a simple band. My dad didn't have enough money as he was just starting out. About a year later he got her an engagement ring and she never upgraded or changed it. Of course it's exquisite so why would she? It's a classic beauty. My grandparents were poor when they got married and my grandmother had a very modest ring. Not sure when she got it as I never asked because at that time I wasn't really into jewelry.

My mom's ER on her hand. Taken just last month when they visited social distancing in our backyard.

momserandsharedprongband.jpeg.png


My grandmother's ER. Only pic I can find right now.

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 6.40.20 AM.png
 

Tonks

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Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
490
My grandmother definitely upgraded. I don’t know exactly when. She went from a tiny round solitaire to a massive pear. She kept the original e-ring.

My mom also upgraded, and re-set her upgrade several times. She upgraded her wedding band as well. So to me it is normal and not a new thing at all.
 

oodlesofpoodles

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
256
There is a long history of upgrading in my family so for me it is normal. My grandmother had a 1/4 carat center 3 stone from her wedding (at 19) to my grandfather she had that for years and then had a nice custom eternity ring made that became her primary "engagement" ring for a anniversary - she still wore her wedding band with it.
My husbands grandparents got married right after college and he went into oil. Sometime in the 50s-60s she got a honking knuckle buster marquise diamond with baguette sides as a upgrade. Not sure what the original looked like since that was before our time but that sucker was impressive.
I have another grandmother who kept her 1940s original ring always - she got married at 15/16 - he was about to go off to war. She had some nice costume jewelry that I now have but I don't think she ever got more real jewelry - it wasn't something she ever talked about.
Another grandmother married my grandfather while in college - they divorced after 20-30 years then dated each other on and off for another 20 and then remarried. She got a new upgraded ring.
My parents got married with just wedding bands no engagement ring. As time and finances improved she has worked up from her first diamond, a 1/3 carat marquise to a 3 carat antique european cut diamond. At this point she is done and grumbles about the cost of insurance. I told her just give it to me when she's tired of paying that bill.:lol:
My mother in law also upgraded her set to a larger diamond in the last 10 years before she passed.
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 23, 2017
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2,483
I don’t know of anyone in real life who has upgraded their ring, the only people I know who have changed theirs have done so because a ring was lost or stolen. I don’t know people who care much about jewelry though...
 

FL_runner

Shiny_Rock
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Aug 23, 2020
Messages
161
My grandmother had a modest, deco-style engagement ring with small diamonds and much later (maybe 20 or 25 year anniversary?), when their finances were quite different, got a new solitaire.
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 13, 2007
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5,217
My MIL and SIL got upgrades, so that certainly paved the way for me despite differing financial situations. My MIL was still receiving diamonds and new jewelry into her 70's. Diamond earrings, a pendant, etc. She also inherited a tdf OEC and emerald 3 stone antique ring from her great aunt. Plus a bunch of other stuff. SIL started out with a cluster ER and ended up with a 2.5ct RB.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jul 17, 2008
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11,291
No upgrades for my grandmothers. They had beautiful Art Deco rings. My mother died 10 years into marriage. She had a .50 fifties style ring with illusion setting and 2 side stones on each side. My stepmother got the .50 in a tiffany style setting and never upgraded. My motherin law upgraded after her daughter got married with a perfect 1 ct solitaire. She couldn’t be outdone by her daughter. Then the daughter got a 3 ct for an anniversary and MIL was defeated. I went from .35 to 3 stone 2cttw to 2.10 solitaire. I’m done.
 

doberman

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 2, 2012
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1,979
I know older people who upgraded; one of them wore her initial ring along with the upgrade. My family isn't really into jewelry, but after I got engaged my father bought my stepmother a beautiful diamond and sapphire 3 stone that we picked out. I know she'll never upgrade that.

I think that perhaps the custom of upgrading has become more popular, although there are certainly those who virtue signal, saying that they'd NEVER upgrade their rings (like those materialistic, evil women).
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 17, 2008
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22,507
My parents upgraded for their 25th anniversary. That was in 1984. They also took the diamonds out of my mom's original ering and put them
in a new ring for my dad so he got an upgrade too(they were pretty small). For their 50th my dad surprised my mom with a
2 carat 3 stone for a RHR. After that, my mom was done. She was like I dont need any more jewels. (I know that sounds shocking right???:cheeky:)
 

Smith3

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
230
In my real life outside of PS I only know two women who upgraded their rings — one had a solitaire and changed to a larger diamond, the other kept the same stone (sentimental) but changed to a much more blingy setting.

Edit: ooof, got distracted reading the other answers and realized I didn’t quite answer your question. Neither of my grandmothers nor my mother upgraded their rings.
I like knowing about it in General! The only person I know Is my boss who’s upgraded and only really heard about it here. I find it fascinating, thanks for sharing
 

Smith3

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
230
No, neither my parents nor grandparents upgraded their ER. My mom and dad got married without an engagement diamond and instead just with a simple band. My dad didn't have enough money as he was just starting out. About a year later he got her an engagement ring and she never upgraded or changed it. Of course it's exquisite so why would she? It's a classic beauty. My grandparents were poor when they got married and my grandmother had a very modest ring. Not sure when she got it as I never asked because at that time I wasn't really into jewelry.

My mom's ER on her hand. Taken just last month when they visited social distancing in our backyard.

momserandsharedprongband.jpeg.png


My grandmother's ER. Only pic I can find right now.

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 6.40.20 AM.png
Wow!! Your dad did good! With a ring like that you don’t need to upgrade
 

Gussie

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 20, 2017
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My grandmother upgraded. My mom upgraded and reset her stone a few times. My sister upgraded. It's not a big deal for us; we are not very sentimental about jewelry. Guess we're evil materialistic women as @doberman mentioned! :lol-2: :P2:lol-2:
 

Alex T

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Oct 24, 2012
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I’d never even heard of it till I joined PS. In the UK, it isn’t really a thing to upgrade (well certainly not in my circle), all the women I know still have their original engagement rings. I didn’t know my grandparents but I doubt they did, my parents didn’t.
This. I know my grandmother had a 'fancy' engagement ring that she wore on special occasions, bought when they had more money than when they married, but wore her original 99% of the time (which i now treasure & is my most worn RHR).

My paternal grandmother married with just a band & never owned a diamond. They were dirt poor & 7 of them lived in a 2 bedroomed house. The children, dad included, couldn't wait to leave home & make something of themselves. All 5 siblings were incredibly successful, probably driven by the poverty of their childhood.

My mother sometimes also wore a more dressy ring to formal functions, but again, her .25ct solitaire hardly ever left her finger until she was about 70 & her hands became swollen, despite being widowed at 56.

I dream every single day about selling my pear & buying a larger classic Tiffany solotaire around 1.5ct (tiny by PS comparisons!) but i know it'll never happen. What you get in the UK is generally what you keep & love forever.
 
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dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 7, 2013
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Never heard of it until I found PS!

My mum does not like wearing jewellery, except perhaps the odd chunky crystal around her neck.

Would I have upgraded my ER which was a 3-stone EC with about 0.75cttw diamonds in 18K WG?

Probably not.

However, I dropped enough hints that I would like a bigger EC (before I found PS) in addition to my ER and did not get anywhere.

In the end, I parted company with my then hubby, and sold the ER when I needed the money for relocation purposes (I did offer it back to him first).

And I bought myself a larger 1.19ct EC as a 40th present to myself which is my holy grail.

DK :))
 

jbake

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 30, 2018
Messages
448
My grandma had a new ring made, but I’m not sure she would have considered it an upgrade (even though it would be by our definition, I’m sure.) Sometime after my grandpa passed away, my mom made her a new ring using the gold from my grandpa’s fillings and my grandma’s diamond from her original engagement ring as a side stone. Her engagement ring had an illusion head they clipped off, then she kept it in her jewelry box. I now have it & occasionally wear it as a band after having it spruced up a bit.
She wore her new ring on her left hand ring finger until she passed away almost thirty years after my grandpa. One side of the miligrain is almost completely worn off while the other side is still visible. ❤

6B6FEC69-9FDB-4C49-B6FC-D742FCA24D22.jpeg
 

iluvshinythings

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My maternal grandmother passed away before I was born, but they had a literal shotgun wedding (long story) and I doubt she had a diamond. My paternal grandmother wore an engraved, heavy gold band until she died. My grandfather had been gone about five years by then.

My parents had gold bands when they married. They initially matched, but my father's wore through first and my mother's wore through several years later. Both rings literally fell apart from being worn so long and they replaced them with newer gold bands. My mother's looked like my Cartier tri color ring in a solid gold color. She decided she wanted a diamond ring for their 40th anniversary and they bought her a five stone band with a larger center and a matching diamond wedding band. I think she bought it at JC Pennys and I don't know the specifics, but she was so proud of it. She passed away a few years ago and it's been sitting in the bank vault along with her previous band ever since.

My sister upgraded her ring for their 10th anniversary, which was about 20 years ago. I liked her original ring but she got a huge marquis in a JB Star setting and it's TDF. It's ironic now that I thought they were crazy for doing that. Obviously that was before PS. I only know a couple of ladies that have upgraded and a few that received anniversary bands to wear with their original e-rings. I don't even want to talk about how often I've upgraded, but I have The One now. I might change settings but I am very content with the diamond I have now.
 

jaysonsmom

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My B40878F0-AD76-479C-9D95-9DFE8BCAE92B.jpeg My grandmothers never upgraded to my knowledge. My paternal side was so poor (and with 9 kids to feed), I don’t recall her even wearing a ring. As for my maternal grandma, she was a fashionista that left a ton of fun jewelry to my mom and sisters, but they were not wedding jewelry or diamonds....more like opals, pearl sets, coral, Jade, cameo pins etc.

My parents got engaged with a pearl set (ring, earrings, necklace) and a platinum band. My mom got her first diamond 1.12 ct rb about 15 years after they were married, and shortly after she upgraded to her current stone 1.57ct rb. Both of the diamonds were set in yellow gold. When I got married, she gave me her 1.12ct as a wedding gift which I set into my solitaire pendant. I reset my mom’s 1.57ct into a platinum 3 stone about 5 years ago because she said her old setting was outdated and too high, and didn’t match her platinum wedding band so she never wore it. Now she wears her platinum set every day!
 
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AprilBaby

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Jul 17, 2008
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11,291
This looks exactly like my original engagement ring except it had brushed gold instead of the diamonds down the side. Same size diamond. F93B4B66-C19C-48E7-99CA-8B943C730764.jpeg
 

nala

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Oct 23, 2011
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So I must have been 18 or 19 when I first heard of upgrading—on the show 90210. I remember thinking what kind of crappy gift is that? Bc at the time, I had no clue about diamonds. So in the episode, Jim Walsh surprises Cindy Walsh with an upgrade bc they had moved from minn to Beverly Hills. Lol. I canno emphasize enough how unimpressed I was with the idea of upgrading a ring. The concept was so foreign to me! Who knew! Lol.

At the time, I also didn’t understand the concept of buying a diamond and setting separately! My sister in law at the time, who was 10 years my senior, insisted that my then hubby and I go this route—when i set out to replace my stolen ring—but being the arrogant pos that I was, I dismissed her advice bc it sounded weird and Instead we bought a bigger and fancier Marquise diamond ring from BEST!
 

Sally Brown

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Oct 2, 2020
Messages
1
My mother asked for and received a gold watch instead of an engagement ring/wedding band when she married my stepfather.

I think her choice had something to do with the women’s liberation movement in the 1970’s.
 
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