Diamond Rings and the Working Girl

should-i-take-my-engagement-ring-off-for-interviewThis should be a fun conversation. Reader S wonders what size diamond ring is appropriate for a professional woman…

What size wedding ring/engagement ring is appropriate for a professional office? Personally, I think giant rings are gaudy and tacky. But I overheard a couple of attorneys saying the other day “”Do you ever see a friend posting pictures on facebook about her recent engagement and when you see her ring, you think to yourself ‘oh, honey, I’m so sorry!’”” so I guess rings can be too small as well. What size will keep you safe from the gossip?

I’m glad she asked this question, because I remember some of the comments turned to engagement rings in our conversation on the intern with the Hermes handbag, and there were some fascinating differences of opinion in there. For my $.02, I think that any size ring is appropriate for a professional office, provided that the ring is actually an engagement ring, and not a cocktail ring worn as an engagement ring. (Engagement rings are fairly simple, in part because they’re intended to be worn on a daily basis. Diamond cocktail rings (full disclosure: I own one, love it, and wear it a ton) can be gorgeous, but they’re often bigger (either in length, width, or height), sparklier, and to a certain extent, gaudier, than what an engagement ring is; they should be worn only when the occasion calls for it. I’m right handed, so I like to wear mine on the middle finger of my right hand, particularly if I’m attending a cocktail event where I’ll be holding a glass with my right hand.)  I will say, though, to those of you looking to get engaged, pass this tip on to your soon-to-be fiance: don’t go into debt to buy an engagement ring.  You can always add to the ring later, either by adding diamonds to it as baguettes, by “upgrading” your diamonds (from a less-clear one to a clearer one), or so forth.  (Pictured above:  Acadia Ring Emerald-Cut Diamond Platinum Ring , available at Gemvara for $61,297, also available in combinations of white gold, yellow gold, and almost any other gemstone (for a huge range of prices) — just click “customize”.)

Now: will people make judgments about you and your life based on what your ring looks like? Absolutely. Small ring? She must have married for love. Ginormous ring, particularly on the hand of a coworker who doesn’t seem that invested in the job? Future soccer mom. Women who wear plain bands have a certain cache about them also — I always think that they send a vibe of competence, of “I can’t be bothered to wear a diamond ring on a daily basis because I’m too busy Doing Important Work and Not Thinking About Sparky Things,” but honestly I love my emerald-cut engagement ring too much to not wear it on a regular basis.  Sometimes a ring can overshoot the mark, too — if your ring is absolutely huge and that doesn’t quite jive with what people know about your lifestyle, they’ll just assume it’s fake.

The really interesting question comes when you think about diamond rings and interviews. If you have an absolutely huge diamond ring on your hand, should you take it off for interviews?  The obvious worry is that employers will take one look at the prospective employee and think, “She’s just biding her time until she gets pregnant or until she or her husband inherit the rest of the money.”  So I think it depends, a bit, both on where you’re interviewing (if it’s a government or nonprofit gig, you may want to take it off), where you are in your life (if you already have kids or are past your childbearing years, it becomes less of a concern), and who you are:  if you’re the slightest bit flighty, the ring is going to work against you.  For a lot of very young women just starting their careers, I probably would advise them to take a huge engagement ring off for an interview.

Readers, what do you think about ring size and the office — have you seen engagement rings that are just ridiculously huge for the office?  If you had a huge rock on your finger, would you remove it before you went in for interviews?  What factors play into the decision?

Comments

  1. LawChick says:

    I’m surprised at how few people have commented on large rings being gaudy. I actually think they are unprofessional to an extent, but again if you have no say in picking it out then what can you do. But somehow telling your fiance that you want a smaller ring doesn’t seem as bad as saying you want a bigger one.
    In law school I went to a professionalism forum and each judge present was asked to say give an example of unprofessional (and professional) conduct in the courtroom. One judge said, “Huge engagement rings” as the unprofessional example. I had been actually interning for the judge at the time and thought there were far worse things in his courtroom. But he reasoned that you want people to pay attention to your intellect and argument in a courtroom, not your ring.

    • What would you (or the judge who thinks gaudy rings are unprofessional) consider huge, though? You make a good point that in many cases, the woman who wears the ring doesn’t get to control the purchasing process. My ring is a 2.5 carat cushion solitaire on a plain band, and while it’s definitely a big ring, I’d hate to think that wearing it makes me unprofessional. Everything is relative, too — I have a size 6.5 finger, so while it’s definitely a large-ish ring, it doesn’t have a kind of finger coverage that it would on someone with teeny fingers.

      • This is curious to me also. I have a 2.5 carat cut solitaire and I’m actually quite petite. I’ve never considered not wearing it to court, but maybe once I get married this summer I’ll consider wearing just my wedding band. Since I’m in big law and my finace is in big law, I sometime get comments about how we can afford a ring like mine with our “double income, no kids” but I see lots of rings the size of mine among other female colleagues so I’ve never given it too much thought.

        • I think what is professional depends on one’s work environment. But your work environment shifts when you meet with a client or you go to court, etc.

          So if everyone in your office is wearing a big diamond ring, that might not raise an eye. But when you go to court, you are no longer in your office . . . so I would consider what is appropriate there, and not nec. what flies in your office.

      • LawChick says:

        I just read what I wrote and the beginning sounded a snarky- which is not what I intended, sorry. I would definitely say the size is relative to what size your ring finger is- b/c that can make a small ring look bigger (which is my situation, with a 3 1/2 ring size) or a large ring look smaller.

        I think it also depends on your personality. If you are a nice person and professional overall then I don’t think it matters as much and I can’t say that I know what the engagement of anyone in my office looks like. It is just not what I think to look at. Environment is a big part too. I have had situations where I felt embarrassed because I felt my ring was too large and where I thought it was too small. It is all relative.

        I have a dear friend that I lived with before I got married and we actually both got engaged while living together and within a month of each other. Her ring is probably around 3-4 carats. It was mine cut from the early 1900s and in her husband’s family for years. But her personality fit it perfectly and she was such a nice person that I never thought about it… until my husband said something about how large it was.

        Ring size is so much about the man too- but that is another topic. My husband has made comments about wanting me to “upgrade.” But I’m just not interested.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do think attitudes about this vary regionally. Where I live in northern new england, large diamonds (as well as other flashy displays of wealth) seem crass.

  2. No ring? says:

    Is/was anyone not interested in having an engagement ring, diamond or otherwise? I plan on telling my bf that I don’t want one (for many reasons) and although I’m sure he would be on board, I can only imagine that “no ring” is just as much of a conversation topic as “big ring” or “small ring.”

    I plan on having a wedding band, but really just don’t want an engagement ring. Curious if anyone else has gone that route, what your experience was when telling people you were engaged, etc.

    • I didn’t have an engagement ring (see above), so I didn’t wear a ring until we were actually married. That ring is the same ring I wear now, a plain white gold band from Macy’s. It goes with everything. :)

      • Bridget says:

        I did not have an engagement ring. I actually proposed to my husband, and we were married in a small ceremony a few months later, so we did not have a big engagement, though we did not keep it a secret or anything. When people asked about my ring, and I told them I didn’t have one, they generally responded, “That is so you.” Sometimes the response was snarky and awkward, but in general it was accompanied by a big smile and people said how happy they were for us.

    • punk rock tax attorney says:

      I didn’t have an engagement ring (see my post below), and it wasn’t really a big deal. Maybe a bunch of people were talking behind my back and I was too oblivious to tell, but nobody seemed to react negatively.

    • Yes, I tried that. Apparently it was really important to fiancee (now husband) that I wear an engagement ring; he threatened to wear an engagement ring, too, if that’s what it took! The way we compromised is I got a lovely band with diamonds in it and wore it as both engagement ring and wedding band. (He gave it to me “again” at the wedding ceremony.) I’m really really happy with it–not having a solitaire avoids the really stupid “too big/too small” discussion.

      • Lyssa says:

        I think that there are definitely a lot of men who see it as their responsibility to provide a ring, and would hate not to (probably the same men who open the door for you, but then refuse to go through when you open the next door for them.*) Deal with it when you’re ready and, of course, consider your values, but if it made my fellow happy to provide me a ring, I wouldn’t turn it down, even if I didn’t consider myself a “ring” person.

        (* I’m not putting those men down; I find them charming. And I keep trying to open that second door for them.)

      • What a great solution! I wish I had thought of that. (Though I love my engagement ring – it just wasn’t really my cup of tea when he gave it to me)

    • Dasha says:

      I don’t want an engagement ring, for several reasons. First, it is still difficult to ensure that the diamond is not a conflict diamond. All the various registries that are set up to warrant the “clean” pedigree of your rock are not that reliable, when you really try to establish their source (unless you go for the Canadian diamonds!). I don’t want to look at my hand every day and wonder how many Sierra Leoneans died or were maimed to get to me that diamond. Second, for practical reasons, I think a plain wedding band is much easier to wear on a daily basis (Whenever I type, I have to take off chunky stone rings as they seem to get in a way, and I cannot imagine doing housework without having to take off the ring every time- seems like such a hassle!). Finally, if my partner is going to spend considerable money on a piece of jewelry, I would rather it be a necklace, or earrings, which I would personally get more pleasure out of than a ring. But that’s just me.

      • Superstitious says:

        “First, it is still difficult to ensure that the diamond is not a conflict diamond.”

        This!

        I love heirloom wedding rings because I feel like: (a) the older the ring, the less chance the stones are conflict diamonds, and (b) even if they are, the decades the ring was worn in love negates the bad juju.

        I realize that sounds ridiculous (superstitious belief that blood diamonds bring bad luck to a new union), but it’s no more ridiculous than the hundreds of other superstitious wedding traditions out there. Something old, something blue…right? Plus, my opposition to conflict diamonds is more philosophical than superstitious. The whole reason I think they are bad luck is the human suffering that brought them here in the first place.

        That said, I am not one to stare at others’ diamonds and judge. Just like I don’t judge people who smoke or drive gas guzzlers. I hope more people will choose to do the right thing for themselves and the environment, but it’s not my place to judge those who take a little longer to get there. After all, I eat meat and live in a not-so-green house. I’m taking forever to “get there” on quite a few things I know I could be better about, too.

        • Just to be clear, you’re opposed to conflict diamonds because you think they are bad luck??

          If people want to wear diamonds thats their choice, I’m sure out of the many commercial things I have/partake in someone is bad, but wearing a ring in love doesn’t negate the fact that people die… unless you are actually saying your problem is with the bad luck and not the suffering..

          • Superstitious says:

            This is what I wrote above: “The whole reason I think they are bad luck is the human suffering that brought them here in the first place. ”

            But, like I said, I don’t judge. I’m sure I have (unknowingly) purchased sweatshop apparel and done many things that contribute to the suffering of others. And I know I am not doing enough good in the world. What can I say? I am SO not perfect, but I am trying to be an ethical consumer. Mock me if you really feel like you must.

          • Right exactly… you think they are bad because they are bad luck… I feel like if you are against conflict diamonds it should be because of the bad things that happened to the other people, not the bad luck. . .

      • This is why I want a lab-grown diamond when I get engaged someday. Conflict free and made with SCIENCE! Can’t get much cooler than that.

        Or maybe I’ll go with a ring made from a meteorite. That would rock*, too.

        *I was going to say, “No pun intended,” but I completely intended that.

    • Katie says:

      Me!

      My parents are thrifty immigrants, and even though I was born and raised in the US, I wasn’t even aware there was both an engagement ring AND a wedding band until college. (My mom never had either.) I totally lack whatever emotional cultural attachments people have to engagement rings that most women seem to have.

      My objections are: (1) Conflict diamonds. (2) Why does only the woman wear an engagement ring? Why is it more important for the woman to be claimed than the man? (3) General disinterest in jewelry (it’s too expensive, easy to lose, often ugly). (4) My contracts prof suggested the rise in popularity of engagement rings was somehow correlated with the decline in enforceability of agreements to marry, and the thought of an engagement ring as consideration for whatever loss of marriageability I experience for being engaged really skeeves me out.

      • I don’t have a an engagement ring either. Engagement rings are not a tradition in my family or culture, and it seemed that the only reason I would have gotten one is because the movies told me to.

    • Kanye East says:

      I wear a band but no engagement ring. Never had one, never wanted one.

      • microentrepreneur says:

        I never wanted an engagement ring. We lived together for a long time before we got married, and I decided that I wanted a vintage ring, which we found together, but which I bought (it’s from 1910 and was designed as what we now would call a “cocktail ring.”) It’s unconventional, but so are we. I wear my ring every day and delight in it and have never worried about how it’s perceived.

  3. Has anyone purchased an engagement ring in the San Francisco Bay Area? Any thoughts on good jewelers?

    • I like Steve Padis. He’s in the Jewelry center and in the Gift center. Call ahead to get on the list if you don’t have a commercial license. It’s a wholesaler so you get a great price, their people aren’t on commision, and they have a great selection.They are only open on the weekends in Decemebr though. I think the Jewelry Center location has more engagement rings.

      • My rings are from Steve Padis! We went to a lot of places, and learned about Steve Padis from another friend’s recommendation. Great value and service. It’s kind of a pain to get there and the hours are awful, but it was worth it.

    • Jr. Prof says:

      We (along with many of our friends) liked Brilliant Earth for their Canadian, conflict-free diamonds and recycled gold & platinum. They have a showroom near Union Square – you need an appointment. Good service & very accommodating.

  4. punk rock tax attorney says:

    I don’t get engagement rings. Why do you need two rings? When we decided to get married, my husband and I bought each other matching silver Converse Chuck Taylors that we wore in our wedding. I think that’s a much better choice. We break them out for our anniversary now.

    Also, I never understood why in this day and age, only one person gets a cool engagement present. Never got the whole proposal thing in general — marriage seems like something that ought to be a mutual decision these days. However, I admit I thought it was pretty cool the other day when a guy in my Rotary Club was showing off the jade engagement band his girlfriend gave him that weekend after she proposed to him.

    • Anonymous says:

      I offered to get my now-husband a man-gagement ring, but he declined.

    • Jr. Prof says:

      My Spanish sister-in-law presented my brother with a very nice watch after receiving her engagement ring, as is customary in Spain, so I decided to follow suit. It made the engagement feel more “even” to me – he had something new, nice and long-lasting to wear also. My note with the watch: “yes, it’s time.”

      • I also got my husband a fancy watch after he got me an engagement ring, in return so to speak. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • “Why do you need two rings?” is an odd question. Why do you need anything? I have more than one of lots of items. I have multiple rings, necklaces, bracelets, sunglasses, dresses, shoes, bags, coffee mugs. Why do you need two of anything? Its about personal preference and choices. Some people like jewelry. Some people would never wear sneakers to their wedding. What’s important is that people understand that other’s choices are just that and that such choices have nothing to do with *them*.

      • I feel like this post has devolved into a place for women who don’t like engagement rings or large(r) diamonds to judge women who do. How about not judging another couple’s gifts to each other, period?

      • punk rock tax attorney says:

        All I meant was exactly what I said — personally, I don’t get those things. They don’t make sense to me. If they make sense to someone else, who am I to judge them? Disagreement and/or lack of understanding aren’t the same thing as “judgment.” Of course, other people’s choices have nothing to do with me. My disagreement with other people’s choices is similarly irrelevant. I’m just some weirdo who wore sneakers in my wedding. Who cares?

  5. Marina says:

    I wanted to comment on Kat’s remark about wearing an engagement ring to an interview. My fiance and I paid for the ring together, and he wanted to get a ring that I wouldn’t want to “upgrade” later. That said, it’s over 2 carats and an old mine brillant cut from the early 1900′s and I LOVE it.

    I graduated from law school in 2010 and did many interviews. I have been engaged for about a year and a half, so I have had the chance to wear my ring at many different types of events.

    I wore my ring to one important interview, and the interviewer stared at my ring and I felt awkward since I am mid-20s and she was maybe mid-50s and her ring was noticeably smaller and it seemed like she made it a “thing.”

    I have been working in a non profit for 7 months and I don’t wear my ring at all because it is bigger than all the other rings and I felt like it was not good with my clientele (low income, disabled, elderly, etc).

    I had a super important interview for the new position I’m starting in April. I didn’t wear my engagement ring because I think there is a LOT of judgment associated with what a ring looks like and the fact that you even have one.

    That is what is interesting to me — an engaged woman is potentially a liability. I didn’t want my new employer to have a thought about my commitment.

    And I plan on wearing my engagement ring once I start my new job, since it’s a law firm.

    Thoughts on the interviewing issue?

    • Jr. Prof says:

      Lots of academics don’t wear their engagement rings when interviewing, for the same reasons you mentioned. Some won’t even wear their wedding bands…

      The idea, I suppose, is to have the focus on the professional individual, not what they’re wearing. Thus, the plain, elegant suit, and simple jewelry.

      • Former MidLevel says:

        I understand why academics might not wear a big engagement ring to interviews, but why not a wedding band? I’m not trying to be snarky here–I am sincerely curious.

        • Corporate Tool says:

          Young woman with wedding band, but no mention of children means maternity leave/children could be in the future.

          • Anonymous says:

            I agree and am very wary of wearing my engagement ring (not because it’s large, but because I don’t want to look like I’m going to be planning my wedding at the office, then leave when I have kids) on interviews. But I am also one of the VERY young looking types (was mistaken for thirteen last year – though not while dressed for an office) and am torn: will an engagement ring signal seriousness and maturity against my (apparent) age or just make me look flightier?

    • Chicago says:

      If you don’t wear the ring to the interview and they notice you’re not wearing a ring, aren’t you going to look strange wearing it all the time later? Would all the same bad stereotypes apply as when a guy takes off his wedding ring? I have a pretty large ring and had never thought about taking it off for an interview and now I’m kind or torn.

  6. My engagement ring was a small saphire, which I sometimes wear, but it is separate from the ring I got in my wedding ceremony. I have a huge wedding ring. Its a three stone – a total of almost 5 carats. My husband and I married after our careers were successful and could afford it. It was the early 2000′s and excess was “in.” I loved it and wore it with pride. I worked at a computer company in Houston and big rings were everywhere. I definitely did not have the biggest ring in the building.

    Then, I went to work for a non-profit a few years ago and got sick of the snide comments about my wealth, status, etc., and moved to a thick gold band, occasionally with the saphire engagement ring. However, I wore the “big” ring to the non-profit interview. They hired me, so obviously it did not matter to the hiring manager (male). It was not until I was working and surrounded by people (both men and women) who made snide comments, that I began feeling like I needed to stop wearing it.

    Last year, my mother gave me my grandmother’s wedding ring on my 40th birthday last year and it is a 5-stone 4-carat band. I now wear it every day, with the gold band, making it far more presenece on the hand than the original ring and never feel weird at work. If anyone comments, I say its a family heirloom and not another blink/word from anyone.

    I wear the 3-stone only occasionally and quite honestly, feel obnoxious wearning it. I have worn it to work a handful of times, but mostly it is relegated to weekends and evenings. I’ve considered breaking it down into earrings and a pendant, since it lives in a safe. But, who knows… Its very pretty. I love it, it just does not feel like me any more. If I ever went back to a corporate environment, the ring would probably be right at home.

  7. in-house says:

    I sometimes turned my ring around or didn’t wear it for interviews while I was in law school. I have no idea why, I just wasn’t sure if it would seem gaudy (even though it’s not outrageously sized) or if the interviewee hated diamonds for social reasons, WHO KNOWS?! I think it depends on the interviewee whether it makes a difference. For my current position, being married was an asset–the town isn’t exactly hopping, and my boss didn’t think a young single lady would want to move to a family-friendly but socially lacking place on her own. She’s probably right!

    My good friend didn’t wear an engagement ring at all. Her band is solid gold and passed down from a grandparent. She just isn’t the sparkly, ostentatious type, and she has a conscious conflict with diamonds no matter where they are from (except antiques). Some people will judge no matter what–too big, too small, not at all. And I swear, other people will never even notice. (Particularly men. I was helping interview interns and commented afterward that one candidate didn’t wear a suit, which I thought was odd for a law student. Neither male c/w noticed.)

  8. I got engaged just prior to our company’s holiday party. My boss pulled up my hand as we were talking to a coworker and started showing off my engagement ring. Eventually staff and committee members asked to see my ring. And they were sweet and made nice comments–probably realizing I’m a very private person and hadn’t really discussed this at all if it hadn’t been for my boss’ taking the “initiative.”

    Then at one point, one of the committee members said: that’s small, you must have bought it yourself. I said: nah I would have bought a bigger one, completely different, and at Tiffany. Then laughed and turned my back to him. He felt bad and said: I was just kidding that’s a nice ring.

    Thankfully, I have the skin thickness of a rhino in these situations, so that all just trickled right off my back. But you have to wonder sometimes, what gall people have in the workplace. They seemingly forget we have complete lives outside of 9-5 that have absolutely nothing to do with them, whatsoever.

  9. azone11 says:

    I found this article really interesting. I am a young professional with 8 years of work experience since straight out of college. I have been married for the last 2 and a half years and I have a pretty impressive diamond ring for NYC standards (2.6 carats). I wish I had thought to take my ring off for my last job interview (this is the first time I was interviewing since having the ring), because I am convinced I did not get the salary I deserve as a result. Ladies with large rings going on interviews- TAKE THEM OFF.

  10. Praxidike says:

    My ring is a 1.5 ct princess cut solitaire. My wedding bands were made to fit on either side of the solitaire, and each have about .5ct in a sort-of faux infinity band. They are soldered together. I quite like them and I don’t think the set is overly obtrusive or loud.

    FYI – my husband is from the midwest, I am from the east coast, and we live in the midwest. I do love jewelry (my grandparents are jewelers and own a store) and so quality was more important to me than diamond size.

    I admit that I do judge people on their rings, but usually only when it appears that the ring is an example of extremely conspicuous consumption.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of wearing just a band, but also love diamonds, so like the eternity bands like the one Joe DiMaggio gave Marilyn Monroe have always appealed to me. In those cases–do you wear them when you get engaged or married? If married, do a lot of people ask about the ring?

    • LLM in BsAs says:

      This might be region specific, since solitaire or three stone rigns are not usual in Buenos Aires, but I have an eternity band for an engagement ring (actually a half-eternity) of emerald cut diamonds (no idea the .ct count). I wear it as engaement ring, and then added a plain white gold band for a wedding ring, that is identical to my husband’s. We got them engraved on the inside with our names (I have his, he has mine) and our wedding date. I wear them together with the engagement ring closer to my fingertips.
      Maybe that’s a way to do both?

    • I don’t have an engagement ring but my (antique) wedding band has seven small stones set in the top and I adore it. It’s got the sparkle of diamonds (which I love) but without all the drama. I only wear the one ring.

  12. Eek, I have a biglaw second interview tomorrow and never even considered taking off my ring. I’m a mid-level associate looking to lateral and the stone is 1.75. Do you really think I should take it off?

    • Yes. Better safe than sorry. It really shouldn’t matter. But why risk it?

    • azone11 says:

      This is a tough one. What state are you interviewing in? I think in professions where salaries are much higher (law, finance, etc.) than in the corporate beauty and fashion industry where I am, where it’s also very female-driven, I think 1.75 carats is acceptable. I don’t think you’ll need to take yours off :)

    • Do you have a connection to the area apart from your fiance? I left mine on when interviewing for my current job because the firm is in the state where my fiance grew up, but I had no other “personal” connection to the state. I fully expected the “why here” question, and I figured that if I was going to answer “because my fiance and I want to move closer to his family” it would look more credible if I was wearing the ring, whereas if I wasn’t, the interviewer might think I was not actually engaged and thus less tied to the area.

    • How long have you worn it? I noticed after I started wearing my engagement ring that I moved my hands differently, fidgeted, sometimes couldn’t fit my hand into my purse, etc, and that would all be distracting in an interview. I think I probably would still remove my rings since I fidget with them, but otherwise wouldn’t worry about it at all (I’m a lawyer, working in a law firm, and have a medium-to-large stone for my hand size).

  13. SF Bay Associate says:

    Does anyone have a moissanite ring or seen Moissanite in person? From moissanite’s (probably misleading) product info, it is supposed to be almost the same as a diamond, but much cheaper. Since the thing I like diamonds is the sparkliness, a sparkly moissanite would suit me just fine.

    • SF Bay Associate says:

      Ugh, sorry. the thing I like *about* diamonds…

      • Mme. X says:

        If you want a Moissanite ring for ethical or economic reasons, then go for it! I personally think its a really cool type of stone, and they’re certainly very strong and durable.
        But if you intend to try to pass it off as a diamond, you should know that in the larger sizes (1.5 carats and up) it definitely looks sparkly enough that most people assume its fake. Moissanite is generally *so* sparkly and *so* clear that its pretty easy to guess that unless you had say $30k lying around the ring isn’t real.

        • SF Bay Associate says:

          I have no intention of passing off! I plan to freely state when asked that my 1-1.5 carat stone is moissanite – I just like sparkly things and would love to find something as sparkly but less expensive than a diamond.

          • Aimee says:

            I’ve seen it and it did look like a diamond to me. My husband was adamant I have a “real” diamond though.

          • Ekaterin Nile says:

            I wanted large diamond earrings for a long time and finally, on the recommendation of a friend, bought a pair of Crislu drop earrings at Macy’s for $75 to see if they satisfied my urge.

            http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=343206&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

            I’ve been happy with the fake diamonds, and my husband and I spent the money we could have spent on real diamond earrings on a two-week Mediterranean cruise instead. Worth. Every. Penny. Don’t really care if people think my earrings are genuine or fake. So if you like sparkly things, go for it!

        • Ha, I have a moissanite…. It’s perfect (and as stated above, small, but I’m a *tiny* asian woman…. you’d think I have a rock). I had some fun comments — lots of people thought my husband lied to me and it was real, and one annoying girl told me of course it’s a fake, real diamonds are white, not clear.

          My ring is fantastic, fwiw, and I can indeed at this point in my life walk into a store and drop $50K for whatever ring I feel like, and I have less than zero desire to do so.

      • I have a .75ct round brilliant moissanite engagement ring that my fiance gave me just this month. At my ring’s size, I notice a slight difference in the sparkle factor between it and a diamond only in low lights, where my ring sparkles more. Larger stones will pick up more light, and sparkle more.

        The other thing to consider with a moissanite is that as the stone gets larger, it also becomes less colorless. Some moissanites pick up yellow tones, and some pick up green or gray tones in larger sizes. I haven’t noticed these color differences with my particular stone.

        All in all, I think my ring is perfect (though I’m still adjusting to what feels like a huge center stone to me with my size 5.5 finger). The moissanite is gorgeous (and cost us about 1/10 of what a diamond of its size would have), but more importantly, it was given to me by my very best friend in the world. I hope that you’re equally as happy with whatever ring you decide on!

    • caesia says:

      I have one. I’m also in the no engagement ring camp and I have a platinum channel set ring with 5 smallish moissanite stones in it. I love it – it has the sparkle I wanted without any guilty associations and at a lower price point. Plus I work in IP and I thought it was pretty cool that the process for making moissanite is patented (yes, I’m a patent geek).

      You should be able to go into a jewelry store to look at them… when I was looking, if they didn’t have the stone I wanted, they could order it in for me to see before buying.

  14. Annie says:

    I love the idea of a band you share with your SO symbolizing to the world your commitment to each other, but I just don’t get engagement rings. Plus I read this slate article years ago: http://www.slate.com/id/2167870/

  15. When should you take your rings off after separation? My husband ran away and broke my heart 8 months ago and while I know he has moved on (in fact has wedding plans made) I am still a bit lost and sad. I have a beautiful 3ct diamond solitaire and 5 stone diamond antique eternity ring which I love and quite frankly want to keep but which look strange on my right hand. What have others done in this circumstance?

    PS Funny story- one of my clients once asked me to take my rings off for a meeting with his bank because it looked like he used an expensive legal firm and he wanted to appear broke!!! Bye bye client after that admission!!

    • I’d take them off now. Someone who runs out on his word only to get married in less than 8 months isn’t worth remembering. Have the stones reset in a different ring or necklace at some later point if you’d like, but time to get rid of the rings he gave you.

      Good luck moving on.

      • Gotta concur with this. I can’t imagine you would ever look down at the rings and not remember the rat bastard that gave them to you :) I also think that it might cause some trouble if/when you begin dating and get questions – “What’s that ring?” “Oh, my ex-husband gave these to me”… not sure that gives a great impression about moving on. With that size/number of diamonds, you could get some nice studs made and a necklace to match. I would seek out a good jeweler in your city and see what they can do for you. Good luck, and sorry about your ex-husband.

    • Sorry to hear that. I am recently separated and took off my wedding band when my husband moved out. I had only been wearing a plain white gold band, so many people still have not noticed, although its been over a month.

      It sounds like your diamonds are quite substantial, and could be reset into a necklace or something. Best wishes.

    • Maybe have a pendant made from the 3ct solitaire ? Or something that is totally different ? Just throwing it out there….never been in this situation and sending best wishes your way, whatever you decide.

    • cbackson says:

      My strategy was to wait for a moment when I wasn’t particularly sad and then to take them both off and throw them in a drawer. Like you, my husband left me (it was a surprising and unwanted turn of events, in my case), so taking off the rings was a moment of sadness, not of freedom, celebration, etc. like it might be for someone who chose to leave a bad marriage. Not making it a big deal to take them off helped me – I forced myself to treat it as an afterthought, like “Oh! Better get rid of these” rather than letting it drag me down into the whirlpool of sadness again.

      They’re still sitting in a drawer, but I plan to resell them soon. If I get even 10% of value, I’ll be able to take myself out for a very nice spa day…or a super-fancy dinner with my best girlfriends.

      • Anonymous says:

        I remember not wanting to walk around without my engagement ring and wedding band after I left my husband because I thought people wouldn’t take me seriously if I were “just a young, single woman.” (I live in a very conservative, wealthy, women-who-play-tennis-in-the-middle-of-the-day area.)

        I eventually removed them and replaced them with a ring I bought myself with a center stone that is my birthstone. I bought it at the NY jewelers mart on 47th street when I was there for business, so it was not too expensive.

        Good luck. And you are well quit of him.

  16. I have a decent size ring–I think 1.25 or something and it’s a high quality stone, set in platinum, and I am quite petite. I never take it off, but when I travel to places where it might put me at risk, I rotate the stone so it points towards my palm.

    I waited to get married quite late in life, and ended up with a small wedding because my Dad had just died. We decided together that since our marriage would be relatively short in years, we would enjoy every single little thing about married life, and I wear my rings with joy. I can’t imagine judging anyone’s ring beyond admiring (or not) the style. I hope that the poster who said that what matters more if you are a nice person wearing the ring is correct, and that people at work who see mine are thrilled to see me happily wed!

  17. My engagement ring is a wonderful piece of ethnographic art–which my DH and I picked out together. We wanted something we could share (and later, found a matching piece that shows a mom and child–after we had 2 kids). My wedding band is a variant of a simple gold band, as is his (they don’t match, by the way; we each picked out our own). We’ve been married now for 27 years–and today is our anniversary.

  18. Argie says:

    I mostly just feel like I have gigantic fingers now – size 9ish – after reading about everyone’s petite fingers. :) Oh well, helps with the piano playing…

    • You must have lovely long fingers. But can I argue that playing the piano makes one’s fingers fat? Because of the muscle being built up or something? My fingers are stubby (no more than a 9th interval for me, and that’s a painful slight-roll), but fat. I’ve been playing piano regularly since I was 6, hours per day when I have time. I’d like to think that the two are related so I can pass off my thick fingers with pride. :)

  19. rockless says:

    My 2 cents on the interview question: I do OCI interviews for my firm, and I would probably see a very big engagement ring on a law student as a possible indicator of a person who is marrying a wealthy man or comes from a wealthy background, or both. It would create a little question mark about how committed to hard work this job candidate might be, a few years down the road, when quitting would apparently be a financial option for her. I know it’s not fair, and some folks with money at a young age worked like crazy to get it, or were raised by workhorses and take after their parents, but that would be the question in my mind. It wouldn’t stop me from giving a favorable review to an otherwise very qualified candidate; it would just be something I’d take note of, and wonder about.

    • Would you feel the same way about a man wearing, say, a Rolex watch? If so, fair enough, but I have to say that most people I have encountered with this attitude really have a double standard and would not think twice about a guy wearing a really nice watch or suit.

    • While I completely hate to perpetuate the stereotype, several of my law school classmates have 2+ ct rings and very, very little commitment to actually practicing law in the long term. They are also smart enough to take off the rings for their interviews, because they don’t want the employer figuring this out (and they have said as much to me).

    • Anon for this comment says:

      That is unfair but a fact of life. I have no need to work but I LIKE to work, am good at my job. I think that shows I’m just as committed, if not more so, than those who need to work for whatever reason.

      Not judging here, just saying that different stuff drives different people.

      I have developed a thick skin by now but it still hurts when people look at stuff and go “wow, lovely bag, great husband for buying you that…”…

      hello? i earn more than enough to buy my own stuff.

  20. I’m fascinated by the interviewing questions/answers. I interviewed before I was engaged/married, so it wasn’t an issue for me. I don’t remember noticing rings on women who I have interviewed.

    My field is male-dominated, and many married men (in my company and my clients) don’t wear wedding bands. I have often wondered about that.

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