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Why I Don’t Want a Diamond Engagement Ring

I’m nowhere close to reaching that romantic moment when my boyfriend proposes, but the topic of the diamond ring is a conversation I’ve had with so many people already, both married and not. I’m anti-diamond engagement rings – I’m happy for you if you have one and will enjoy the proposal story, sparkle and design, but when the time comes for me to be engaged, I really, really don’t want a diamond ring.

I may be in the minority here ladies, but the diamond ring is not important to me!  Here are the reasons why:

1) The over-inflated price

Literally, the moment the buyer walks out of the store with the diamond ring, its worth is cut IN HALF. That’s because diamonds are over inflated in price to seem like a luxurious item. Diamonds are one of the worst investments possible. Try selling it back the day after your purchase… you will be lucky if you’re able to get more than half its price back!

Don’t believe me? Easy to prove. Just check out the valuation and selling prices on consignment stores like Diamond Queensland.. diamond engagement rings valued initially at $20700 selling for only $8800! Quite the difference.

man panhandling for diamond ring
You’re going to have to panhandle a lot, Corey! (Source)

2) There are perfectly suitable replacements

A friend of mine asked for a ruby ring instead of diamond. She loves the color, uniqueness and look over that of a diamond. Me? No, I have a frugal website for a reason! Give me the fake diamond that sparkles and shines just as well, and I’m happy. I’ve researched it and there are beautiful, diamond-like gems out there that can fool an expert unless looked at closely.

QUICK: is this a diamond? Nay, it is not! It’s a $9 simulant! Check out the video here to see its sparkle under white light.
QUICK: is this a diamond? Nay, it is not! It’s a $9 simulant! Check out the video here to see its sparkle under white light.

3) You could be buying a conflict diamond

Conflict diamonds are illegally traded by rebel forces to fund armed conflict in war-torn regions and civil war against governments, particularly in Africa. They’re often produced through the forced labor of women, children and men.

Thankfully, today there are initiatives to limit the trading of conflict diamonds, but it still makes up a percentage of the diamonds sold worldwide. If you’re absolutely set on buying a diamond, only buy conflict-free, ethically-sourced diamonds from legitimate and known sellers like Orla James. It’s the only way to make sure you’re not indirectly supporting human rights abuses.

4) I don’t want to walk around with a diamond

I had a diamond ring once. I constantly panicked about losing it because I knew its worth. It’s a horrible sensation to feel all the time and I couldn’t enjoy it. Not that I would feel better if I lost an emotionally significant ring – diamond or no diamond – but at least I wouldn’t feel guilty over the financial loss. Besides, I would be terrified to inspire theft as I walk around in the darker, dodgy areas…

5) I really hate oligopolies

I hate monopolies so much more, but oligopolies also get my blood boiling. The diamond industry is a powerful oligopoly in its nature, controlling the output of diamonds to significantly increase their value. I prefer the competition of a capitalistic industry that benefits the consumer and holds the producers to a high standard.

You tell it like it is, Science World!
You tell them, Science World!

6) I would prefer to spend the money elsewhere

Hey dear boyfriend – feel like spending $4000 on me? Then let’s go on an amazing cruise!  I’ll take that a million times over a diamond ring. Even being financially intelligent about the money’s use is a preferable option. If we’re about to start our life together, it’s better to place the money into our home, needs, foods, car payment, etc. We can create romance in other ways!

Yep, this feels like a better choice!
Yep, this feels like a better choice!

About Ronnie E.

Ronnie is the frugal Latina of the group. Hailing from the beautiful Andes Mountains in Bolivia, she lives and breathes frugality. She loves to figure out how to spend less money and takes on the challenge of finding great deals and cheaper options every day.

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  • Terry My Journey With Candida

    I so agree with you. I don’t have an engagement ring and I don’t have a wedding ring. For years I was allergic to jewelry of any kind. Now I’m no longer allergic… but I don’t want or need them.

  • Wow. I’m English and constantly amazed by the size and price of my US friends’ rings! I’d rather cruise too…my ring cost £300 and has little diamonds in the shape of a flower 🙂

  • Garf

    Size of the diamond doesn’t matter to me but I don’t mind if my hubby will upgrade my engagement ring :-). It is just that I am not very particular.

  • When I was first engaged I wore my ring EVERYWHERE. 6 years into marriage and 3 kids later it only goes on once a month for date night

    • hahaha I didn’t even think about that as an option. But I fully understand – who wants to wash dishes with a diamond ring on? Eek! A friend of mine left hers to a side and her kid SWALLOWED it.

  • Jennifer Williams

    I was lucky in that my husband and I agreed that a down payment for our house would be a better investment. We both had rings when we got married and right after our vows took them off because neither of us like jewelry. We will one day pass them down to our boys but they are just plain gold bands that mean everything but cost little!

    • Sweet! Very smart financial decision indeed.

  • Natalie S.

    My husband did spend like 900 on an engagement ring.. but I can’t wear it now.. but he had the money then.. we never had a honey moon.. we’re gonna do it at our 10th anniversary in 2017!

  • Sheila Worthington

    I love diamond but the reason mentioned above made me decide not to like it because my fiance, husband not can’t afford. I still wish someday he still give me a ring with not so biggy real rock

    • It’s so pricey…. 🙁 The important thing is your love for each other!

  • Katherine Bartlett

    My husband spent a lot of my ring but we didn’t have a honeymoon. Would love one now!

    • Still Tickled Pink

      Exactly! Personally, I would prefer a honeymoon to a piece of jewelry that doesn’t do anything or entertain me in any way.

  • Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

    I am with you on this one. We engaged without a ring and my mom had a nice diamond that had been in the family for a while and she “sold it” to my husband for a $50 and he had a custom ring made. My mom thought that she would give us that “gift” sot that I could have something to remember the special moment. He didn’t spend much but it was so meaningful because it was a diamond that had been in my family and the design is custom. I would 100 times prefer a nice trip to Europe over a piece of jewelry. Diamonds are not “forever” (they may last forever but you can loose them, etc.), experiences and memories together ARE.

    • Well said Paula! Love the story.

  • slehan

    I’m with you on this. Diamonds are blood money. Get a beautiful look-alike if you want sparkle and spend the money on something more meaningful – like a honeymoon or new car.

  • Lexie Lane

    All these are definitely great reasons not to have a diamond ring. But I’m not going to lie … I love mine and probably wouldn’t change or replace it. We’ve only been married 6 years, but I haven’t taken it off once, not even when I was pregnant. It sparkles really nicely and always reminds me of that moment my husband proposed to me, which was one of the happiest days of my life. So really … I don’t mind. I love it. 🙂

    • That’s sweet. 🙂

    • Still Tickled Pink

      Great story! I’m not against people having diamond rings who can afford it. For me, I don’t want him breaking his neck and putting himself in financial danger just to get something for me that can be stolen or lost. If he had it like that, get me the diamond, but if not (and my fiance doesn’t – he’s just a working class blue collar joe) then just get me another kind of stone or a cubic zirconia. By the way, I talked him into getting me the cubic zirconia for $30 and I love it!

  • Helga

    I agree with you, and i did not want one either!

  • ladyV

    I don’t want one either, I rather have the cash

  • Evelyn Chuter

    I agree with you on every level. I had a sentiment very expensive diamond and lost it. Never again! Buy a 4000 diamond, then try to sell it. You’ll be lucky to get $800 on it. It’s rediculious. Don’t HAVE ONE, DON’T WANT ONE!

    • Still Tickled Pink

      Amen, sister! Amen!

  • mindy

    I love diamonds I dont what huge ones just simple ones

  • Bree Stegman

    #4 most important to me, we went to the pawn shop and the ring I liked fit perfectly for 200 usd and I love it

    • Amazing! Great frugal choice.

  • rebeccabasset

    I love diamonds, but they don’t have to cost a fortune for me, my Husband bought me one from a Pawn Shop for about $300.00 that I absolutely loved, to replace the simple Gold Band that I got when we got married, but I agree with your choice too!

    Thanks for the post

    • Still Tickled Pink

      OMG! I was about to get mine from the pawn shop too, but the ones I saw were for $150-$300. Then I settled on a rust resistant cubic zirconia ring I saw online for $30.

  • LexK

    Totally agree. Many good points.

  • veronicalee

    I totally agree with you! I would rather save the cash for something else.

  • Still Tickled Pink

    I agree 100%. My fiance wanted to get me a small diamond ring and he set the price limits at $600-$1000. I told him that I appreciated it, but something physical cannot accurately represent the way he really feels about me and his dedication to being committed to me. I told him that I wanted a cubic zirconia ring. Lo and behold, I found the perfect one online for about $30. The problem I came across in finding it though is that CZ rings are so cheap to produce that the ring is often decked out in the fake diamonds; the gaudiness makes it look fake, even if it was real diamonds. It took some work, but I found one that is rust resistant and it also has a unique design. I love it. My boyfriend wants a tungsten ring and we found it on the same store online for $20. Can you believe we bought our rings for $50?! I’m so excited and cannot wait to start my life with him.

    But the part that pisses me off is when people want to get right on the ring to scrutinize it and see how good it is. What’s worst is when they tactlessly ask for the amount of carats or how much it costs. Ugh! My standard answer is, “I guess Jehovah knows for sure.” Hey, it’s true. Besides, I’d rather put that real diamond money towards savings. I don’t want to blow a low of dough on one day of fun just to come back with the repo man at the door and the lights off because we forgot about the other bills we have to take care of together. Also, we are both working class people. We don’t have a lot of money to just be throwing away. If we were rich or perhaps even well off, sure, give me the diamond ring, but I don’t have to have it. It’s not going to make or break our marriage. Additionally, his job is seasonal, so he can be out of work for months at a time. He is looking for a permanent FT job as I am typing this. Like I said, let’s put the extra money to savings. That would be the wisest decision.

    • Thank you for sharing! What an awesome frugal choice. 🙂 You are so right about people asking about the cost and judging.. my boyfriend actually mentioned to me that he would be ashamed to not give me a very expensive diamond ring bc of judgement from friends & family. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t really care about the worth of the ring… it doesn’t mean that someone loves you any more or any less!

  • Jody Doncaster

    I completely agree! My husband and I have matching bands. That is it. Could never see the attraction of a rock that gets caught on everything.

  • Tiffany

    Adore!! My vanity and greed is not my boyfriends duty to fulfill. I love big, enormous, ridiculously expensive diamond rings. But I don’t like them enough to spend any $$ on them! And my boyfriend shouldn’t have to either. Hell I don’t even want a wedding. Waste of $$… I suggested that once every 5 years we invite all our friends and family to come celebrate an anniversary celebration with us that would be casual and more like a reunion, because the real purpose of a wedding is to bring everyone you love together to celebrate and the real purpose of engagement is to announce a commitment. That’s it.

  • Christina

    This may seem Ridiculous, but after watching the Movie,”Blood Diamond,” my Love for Diamonds lessened. More like Diminished…

  • Pamela Gray

    I would rather have a precious or semi-precious stone than any grade or size diamond. The lack of color and over-inflated price -plus so many women have one- degrades the special sentiment in my opinion. I love non-diamond gemstones of color! Call me a diamond hater! Down with boring diamonds. They stink! I would rather hunt on a mountain than have it dug up for one measly stone on my ring finger.

  • Ciara Dwyer

    My husband bought me this set… for $50 it’s so beautiful! And we spent the money on our honeymoon instead :).

  • echo4alpha

    I told my bf that we need to go to Montana and rock hound for a sapphire for an engagement ring. That would be such an amazing experience!