In Discussions, Discussions, Discussions, Life, Money, Shopping, Style, Wardrobe Help

Engagement Ring Alternatives instead of buying diamonds

Now I am not against anything to mark the occasion, even though I think diamonds are a scam.

I am ALL FOR someone wearing a ring, I just don’t get the point of wearing a thousands-of-dollars-plus ring that is the price of a vacation or even a car in some richie rich cases.

I guess to explain my position on it more, I am not into showing off, and actively work against showing off… ergo I am not really into the idea of spending a lot of money to adorn your fianceé’s ring to show off how much you make (or went into debt for) to buy that ring.

It is not my thing, the way luxury cars are also not my thing, nor super fancy homes, or anything that screams:

I burn money and eat its ashes.

You might find this contradictory as I wear luxury clothes (without logos or identifiers as much as possible) but I do it because I enjoy style and looking as nice as possible as evidenced by my outfits on Instagram even as a Mommy running after a toddler, not because I want to show off how much money I put into my outfit.

With that said, here are some engagement rings I think would be wonderful alternatives to a big honkin’ expensive diamond…

FAMILY HEIRLOOM

I am enamoured with the idea of someone proposing with a family heirloom.

What a wonderful, beautiful idea.

kate-middleton-sapphire-engagement-rings

SOMETHING VINTAGE

Like this one from Etsy which says it’s a diamond sapphire but is only $105 (??):


alternate-wedding-rings-engagement-vintage-ring

AN UNCUT DIAMOND OR A FAKE ONE

Maybe a raw diamond. Or a fake one, like this Herkimer diamond which is not actually a diamond but quartz:

alternate-wedding-rings-engagement-herkhimer-diamond-fake

A LACE PRINTED RING

Not a diamond or even a fake one but a silver lace printed ring perhaps, or some mini stacking rings.

Sheena who is a local Montrealaise, makes THE MOST GORGEOUS lace printed rings:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/112506362/lily-lace-ring-in-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_10

AN ALL SILVER ENGAGEMENT RING

The rock looks like a silver stone:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/91345390/faceted-silver-diamond-ring-non-diamond?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=silver%20diamond%20ring&ref=sr_gallery_1

ANOTHER KIND OF ROCK ALTOGETHER

Like this gorgeous stalactite flower ring slice:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/275097474/amethyst-stalactite-flower-slice-ring-us?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=alternate engagement&ref=sr_gallery_31

Or if you really want a diamond, go for it.

Who am I to stop you!?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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14 Comments

  1. SarahN

    Are diamonds ‘worth’ their price? No.

    Are they pricey and therefore seem more important than cheap rings from Etsy or similar? Yes

    I suppose for me, it’s not about diamond, it’s about different, more pricey than anything you’ll have ever again.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      But if you wore a quartz from Etsy, would someone on the street know it is a diamond or not?

      I doubt it unless you’re eagle-eyed and/or a jeweller.

      The resale value of those rings is just as bad as a car.

      Reply
      1. SarahN

        I think resale on gold is certainly a function of the market.

        I do think you pay a ‘retail’ premium on jewelry (the cost for a store to run etc). Having recently had insurance replace my mother’s complete collection, I know the mark ups, and now have the contacts of a wholesaler (due to the horrid event).

        I don’t think (for me) it’s about people knowing the ring’s value. It’s for me to respect it as such a high value ($$) item, something more valuable than anything else I may have. I also want it to be high quality, to some extent, that comes at a cost (again, not the astronomically prices, but more than Claires/Etsy). And… as a possible baby making unemployed person, it’s a piece of capital that to some extent can be sold to release funds. I think when you look at marriage as it traditionally remains (male breadwinner), there’s a lot to be said for the engagement ring as a financial transaction.

        Reply
        1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

          Not gold, diamonds. I have a friend in the diamond business and she’s said that you’d be surprised how many people think diamonds are worth a lot, but in the end, the real worth is when you first sell it.

          Then when you try to resell it back to a jeweller, they won’t give you what it was ‘worth’. Doesn’t hold its value.

          Reply
  2. paige

    These are great choices. I found our wedding bands on Etsy as well. It’s the BEST place to find truly unique jewelry. Ours were made by a marine biologist who does goldsmithing on the side, and her work is so lovely. Knowing who hand-made your jewelry is so satisfying. We didn’t do the proposal/engagement ring thing but I chose an engagement-style ring for my wedding ring: https://www.etsy.com/listing/53930577/sapphire-engagement-ring-silver-bezel.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      OH YES! I love Etsy. I’m probably an addict to it.

      Reply
    2. PhBeads

      Paige, Thank you! I started getting hits on Etsy from this website and so just discovered it, I had not ever seen it before. What a wonderful article and website and thank you so much for mentioning me!

      Reply
  3. Rachel @ The Latte Budget

    Wow, those are some cool and beautiful alternatives! My fiance has a close family friend who is a jeweler, so he got a GREAT deal on a diamond ring for me. I knew rings were expensive though, so we decided to forgo the age old rule of spending “two months’ rent” on a ring. How silly is that rule?! I feel better with a ring that was affordable!

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Two months rent!? I thought it was 3 month’s pay… I am out of the loop.

      Reply
  4. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    My friends got wood inlaid rings for their engagement. I’ve also seen meteorite rings and fossilized bone rings which look cool. We’ll probably just skip straight to plain silver wedding bands.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Now THAT is a cool idea. Nature rings.

      Reply
  5. Roxana

    When my husband proposed he did it with an heirloom ring that has been in his family for generations. It was lovely and I still wear that ring, often.

    My jewelry style is very discrete and I live jewelry that can be worn on a daily basis. Regarding gold and diamonds I don’t really care or fancy them. Just like my mother I am just not into adorning with jewelry. I love wearing a nice pair of earing, a bracelet or a charm but not all of them at once. I also don’t accesorie my outfits with jewelry, I much prefer wearing the same pair of earrngs or charm or bracelet day after day for months until I get bored of them and I switch pairs or items. With 4 or 5 pairs of earrings in solid gold I can look good and professional years and it’s very portant to me that I fon’t spend time changing my jewelry. So, I decided to invest in some nice items I love wearing and that looks good. I gave up buying anything less then silver more than 15 years ago, it’s just not worthy. I preffer to buy something that lasts a lifetime, has some real value AND looks expensive. Designer jewelry made of i’don’t’know’what might seem fancy now but usually doesn’t preserve that well in time. Or it goes out of style. I like looking good and classy and my job works better if I also look “put together and wealthy” and fancy modern designer is not doing it for me. SO, my choices are: :gold/pearls, classic, massive, simple, one item at a time only, suitable for long wear. I rarely buy anything and only if it checks the above and I’m sure I’ll wear it till the end of my life. I am not into diversity when it comes to jewelry, on the contrary.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I really love that sentimentality.

      Reply

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