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?


  1. Wow, this conversation is so much less snarky than the Hermes purse thread a while back.

    Just for my two cents, I am a very petite person (3.5 ring size) and have a 2.5 carat round solitaire. It is beautiful, and I love it. However, I would never judge anyone else’s ring. Frankly, I don’t even notice other people’s rings. I am definitely aware that other people in my firm notice my ring (and possibly talk about it when I’m not around), but I don’t really care. You can’t live your whole life worrying about what other people say or think – I love it, the man I’m about to marry gave it to me, and that is all that matters.

  2. just karen :

    Ooh! I am so happy to see this post, because it gives me the excuse to ask for shopping advice I would never otherwise post on this site! My fiance proposed with two ring boxes (which totally tripped me up and almost ruined the proposal because I didn’t “get” what what was going on). The first was a 1 carat solitaire set in white gold. Beautiful, but better yet, the diamond came from my grandmother’s ring and he didn’t go into debt. The second box held his grandmother’s ring, which he is pulling four small diamonds from for me to use to design whatever I want (he found a jeweler who can theoretically make anything from scratch with enough pictures). The four smaller diamonds are about 7 points each (2.6mm in diameter), and I’m not sure what to do with them. I love detailing in the gold on bands, but not sure I can pull that off with the smaller stones – and how to use the smaller stones without them just being lost in the band. Any links to rings people think might work would be MUCH appreciated! (I have fairly small hands if it makes a difference – size 5 on an otherwise totally average sized body). We are open to also buying more small diamonds to make something work. (BTW, after all this ring talk, let me say that yes, I absolutely would have worn a cracker-jack ring if it symbolized my match’s pledge to me).

    • What about using the smaller stones in your wedding band, rather than adding them to your engagement ring?

      • just Karen :

        I’ve thought about that, and we might end up doing it, but the idea of using stones from both of our families in one ring really appeals to me (I also have a ring that’s a setting from my mom’s family and a stone from my dad’s family, and it means the world to me).

    • The plantinum example at this link is my engagement band:
      I can’t remember the size of the diamonds, but I think they might be 10 pts each? I have larger fingers (size 7), but you might be able to do a skinnier band with your smaller fingers.

  3. Well here’s my question, and perhaps I will sound like a weirdo, but here goes:

    I am a very private person and in a serious relationship. I am young in my small office and most people assume I am single because I never talking about my relationships at work ever. One reason being because I have heard so many young female co-workers at various workplaces always going on and on about “my bf this and my bf that…” that I have grown entirely tight-lipped in general for fear of sounding like them. I also don’t want my coworkers asking me my bf’s name and/or where he works and then googling his firm bio, etc. etc. Call me crazy.

    I also don’t think that when the day comes that I do get engaged that I would even want to make that announcement to my firm (because again, they would ask who the groom is and also awkwardness with wedding invites). I feel like I would hide the ring or turn it around or something.

    Do you Corporettes think this is all nutty thinking /behavior?

    • You have every right to keep your personal life to yourself. Every workplace has a different environment about this stuff. At my office it’s not unusual for someone’s spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend to stop by happy hour, so many of us know each others’ significant others. But, by all means, don’t feel pressured to reveal more than you’re comfortable with.

    • I think you could wear the ring without having to make an announcemnet. People will probably see the ring, and ask about it, but you can be vague and say “we’ve been together for a while and decided to make it official, so we are looking forward to a small ceremony with our families” without actually telling them anything specific about the who the groom is and letting it be know that wedding invitations will not be cirulating the office. Keep in mind that if you are both attorneys, you will need to disclose his name and firm at some point because they will need to need to create an ethical screen in the event your firms are ever opposed.

    • I was so annoyed when everyone at work started commenting on my ring and on my engagement. I didn’t even wear the ring to work for the first few months for that reason – just didn’t want to deal with comments. So, I totally hear you.

  4. I’m not in law (like many here are), but I haven’t seen anything ridiculously large at my nonprofit. Since we serve higher education, we have many students working here, some of whom are married as well, and they tend to have smaller rings. I will admit I certainly notice rings, but that’s because I love sparkly things.

    I wouldn’t put too much judgement on a large or small ring in the workplace. You never know what their circumstance was when they made the purchase or what it’s actually worth. When my husband and I got engaged 5 years ago, we were both graduate students, and he opted to purchase a smaller, higher-quality stone (about 0.6 carats) set in platinum rather than going for a larger, lower-quality stone in gold or white gold (gold often contains traces of nickel, which my skin is extremely sensitive to). He followed the old adage of “two months salary” when setting his budget, but for him at the time that wasn’t very much. It would have been completely not worth it to go into any kind of debt for a single item of jewelry. The most important part is that the style is totally me.

    In my experience, those with gaudy rings are also likely to have gaudily huge bags, shoes, etc., so it really isn’t a judgment based just on one item.

  5. Anonymous :

    I agree you need to be careful not to wear a large diamond to a job interview.

    When I got engaged to my first husband, I was 23. We used my grandma’s Art Deco 1930s engagement ring: a 1+ carat round diamond, flanked by pave and baguettes, set in platinum. (I am small: 5’2″, size 4 dresses, ring size 4 1/2.) For my wedding band, we had an eternity band made in platinum with princess cut diamonds all around.

    Four years later, when I was 27, I was interviewing (Southern California, top 20 law school, AmLaw 100 firms). I always took my engagement ring off for interviews and wore only the band. This was 1993/94 and there was a recession going on; I did not want to look like a dilettante/future soccer mom who wouldn’t be serious about the job. Once I started at BigLaw, I wore both rings. I later made partner, totally unrelated to the rings, I assume.

    Many years later, when I got engaged to my current fiance, we had a a ring made in the style of the Cartier Trinity rolling ring design. Three bands, channel set round diamonds all the way around all three bands, set in platinum. It is currently my engagement ring, and when we marry it will also be my wedding band. I wear it to all meetings (including recently to an interview) because it is not a big stone. Although it was expensive and is quite elegant, it is not flashy and I feel comfortable wearing it both with BigLaw colleagues and government employee colleagues. (Unrelated to professionalism issues: I love it and get compliments on it constantly.)

  6. People who stones other than diamonds: what are your thoughts in terms of lasting quality? I would love an aquamarine on an engagement ring, but I have an old aquamarine ring that was my great-grandmother’s (probably about 80 years old at this point), and the stone has been worn completely smooth, so I worry an aquamarine wouldn’t hold up to everyday wear. What stones last?

    And on another note, how have people gone about finding antique/vintage rings? I love art deco/1920s style, but how do you find one and assure you’re not getting ripped off?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Mohns scale of mineral hardness –

      Part of the reason I’m keen on moissanite is that it is so hard. Diamonds are “forever” because they are a 10 on the Mohs scale. Aquamarine, according to Wikipedia, is a Beryl: 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. I love Tanzanite, but the Mohs is only 6.5, which apparently isn’t tough enough to withstand daily wear in a ring setting.

    • Doyle & Doyle is a reputable store in NYC that also has an online store. They will also work with you to find something specific, and while they have many very expensive things, they are very good about working with your budget. I got my wedding band and wedding necklace there and highly recommend them.

    • If you want to see some cool engagement rings with stones that aren’t diamonds….check out this site.


    • Former MidLevel :

      Rubies and sapphires are both hard enough to wear everyday.

    • Erie Basin in Brooklyn has beautiful vintage rings and is run by a very nice man. My engagement and wedding bands were purchased there. Their online shop has a small sampling of their jewelry selection. http://eriebasin.com/shop.html

    • Anon in Ny :

      You can also check out smaller jewelry stores – a number of them have collections “inspired” by antique/vintage styles. The Clay Pot in Brooklyn and CatBird (also in Brooklyn) have a number of options.

  7. This is timely for me. Married 8 years, we were broke at time and also I am not for diamonds for a host of reasons- generally support older used stuff when possible so as not to create demand for mining etc.; don’t like the marketing nonsense; don’t like the expectation and conformity aspects, or the complicated judginess involved; don’t like them, too sharp and boring looking (sorry, diamond lovers, just one person’s view). He knew that and got me a very simple opal ring which I have worn for 8 yrs with a simple band. Several years ago I decided to upgrade and had a lovely emerald band made, but it’s too uncomfortable to wear every day.
    I work in a fairly high level corporate setting now, so felt like I should look fancier. It’s not that I care about the chicks’ viewpoint- it’s that I honestly think image impacts how you advance career-wise. So decided to get a stupid diamond after all even though I predict I will scratch myself and ruin sweaters with it. First I went to antique shops- I LOVE the old platinum art deco rings. Then I asked family, and was able to get a ring from my Mom who doesn’t wear that one anymore. It’s .6 carat but my finger is size 3 so looks fine actually, not small or big. It’s a gold ring so I am going to get a white-tone setting somewhere, hopefully art deco vintage. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet:) but enjoyed reading all this input.

    Can’t really stand the whole diamond thing- but in I shall jump I guess. If it’s an heirloom stone and vintage band that helps me accept it better. Those of you feeling unsure, it’s just hype, don’t worry about the details.

  8. Anne Shirley :

    Can I just say- sigh! I know I’m supposed to be living my life to the fullest etc etc, but I want a ring. And a fiance. And a husband and children and maybe a cat.

    • Well, why can’t living your life to the fullest involve getting yourself a cat and a ring? The fiance part might have to wait but not the others. Only I advise two cats so that they keep each other company.

      • lawtalkinggirl :

        I’m with Anne Shirley, though I’d settle for just a nice boyfriend for right now. Allergic to cats; already have two dogs.

    • lawtalkinggirl :

      I’m with you, though I’d settle for just a nice boyfriend for right now. Allergic to cats; already have two dogs.

    • I absolutely concur.

  9. You ladies rock (hah, no pun intended)! I think it’s so interesting how many different approaches you all have! Though I have an engagement ring (which I love), I tend not to wear it much because I work from home and am very active when I’m out and about. My husband has problems with his knuckle joints and rarely wears his wedding ring. I thought we were really weird until I read this thread! That being said, I always wear my ring in professional settings – I never would have thought that I might be perceived as a liability (isn’t that illegal , anyway?). I do have a modest engagement ring (one larger stone and two smaller stones, maybe 1.25 carats total) with a tiny plain wedding band, so maybe it’s not that noticeable. Anyway, thanks for opening my eyes to the many, many opinions on this!

  10. Does anyone have particular thoughts about women who don’t wear engagement rings, only wedding bands? I’m a young associate in Biglaw, married shortly before starting the job. I wear a gold wedding band with inlaid diamonds — basically, 1/2 of an eternity band.

    I tried wearing the engagement ring with it, but they didn’t lie well together; it wasn’t comfortable. We’ve talked about getting it reset into a band of matching profile but I still don’t know I’d find it comfortable, or feel like wearing both, so no action on that front.

    There’s also no tradition of wearing engagement rings in our families, though that’s atypical for many of the people I work with. My family is from a poor area of the country — I never saw female relatives wearing engagement rings — and men and women in his family until 1.5 generations ago didn’t wear wedding jewelry for religious reasons. So it’s simply not any part of how I ever envisioned my hand would look day-to-day as a married woman.

    • All the married female partners in my office wear only a wedding band. The associates are about 3/4 engagement ring and band. 1/4 only band.

  11. Personally, I think it’d be tacky to wear diamonds before I’m forty.

  12. A lot depends on the size of your hands. When my fiance and I chose to become engaged we had the choice of two heirloom rings from his family. I, being a silly 22 year old at the time, chose the larger. Now, a few years later I’ve actually “traded” and gone with the smaller.

    I have tiny hands and a 3 ct. ring looked RIDICULOUS on me. I actually stopped wearing it because it just looked silly; similar to a little girl playing dress up with mom’s rings. I never wore it to interviews. I always took it off and hoped I wouldn’t have a telling tan line on my finger.

    The smaller ring, center stone a little over a ct., looks so much better on me. I actually get tons more compliments on the smaller ring and my closest friends who know the size of the ring are always amazed at how large the stone looks even though it’s very much an average size. I’m interviewing right now and I proudly wear this one to all interviews.

    BTW – From NY but live in TX for work.

  13. I am amazed that there are still discussions about removing one’s engagement ring for an interview. I was engaged while in college (yeah, yeah, I know) and my career counselor advised me to take off my engagement ring (1.25 carats, solitaire, plain yellow-gold setting – so nothing that could be construed as flashy) because I wouldn’t be seen as “serious.” Of course I said screw it and wore my ring anyway, since I wasn’t going to pretend to be something I wasn’t, and what did getting married have to do with my commitment to my career? Anyway, that advice was straight out of the 1980’s Dress For Success navy-business-suit-and-floppy-bow-tie era, and I thought it died years and years ago. I’m rather horrified to see that that advice is still around. It’s so incredibly dated.

  14. I have a 1/4 carat diamond ring – its not an engagement ring – my mother turned a pair of diamond earrings my dad gave her into rings for my sister and myself. I love the ring, I have a size 8 ring but the setting is so gorgeous you can still see the diamond. I don’t think its the size of the diamond but the quality, cut and style of setting that can make all the difference. That being said – I think I would be dissapointed if my S.O. proposed to me with a 1/4 carat diamond ring – but thats mostly because if we were that broke we could just move the ring I already have to the other hand!

    Also – there is NO way I would go with a sapphire engagement ring right now – stupid Kate Middleton (and I guess by proxy Princess Di)

  15. realistic person :

    Oh come on! You’ve got to be kidding me! Why should you care what other people think about such a thing. Don’t we as women have enough to worry about like: Are my shoes too high? Is my skirt long enough?
    And now you want to add the size of your diamond into the mix? How about we spend less time worry about such trivial matters and more time beating the competition. In other words be more like dudes

    • Dudes dress for success. The reason this site is so popular and there is not a male equilivant, is that there is a long tradition of men in the workplace. Fathers took their sons suit shopping for generations and generations. My mom was very proud taking me to get my first suit a few years after my acceptance to a t-5 law school, but she also has never been in the business world. A son might grow up looking at his father or uncles and internalize things like strong handshake, no flashy ties, always have a crisp dress shirt. For women, its rather new. (not women in the workplace, but the generation to generation tradition of women in high powered workplace.) My future daughter might need corporette at all, I think I and my sister and my friends will be great resources for her. My biggest pet peeve on corporette is the “would men do this.” Men have plenty to worry about in the workplace. They worry about the right watch, the right suit, and the right first impression, being masculine enough, etc.

      • Totally agree. My boyfriend is also an attorney and didn’t learn how to dress from his dad (grew up poor in the rural part of our state) so he definitely worries about having the right shoes/socks/watch/tie. I was lucky that my aunt is a consultant who used to be a VP in a Fortune 500 business, so she came along when I first went suit shopping. Most women do not have that family member to look to and give them advice on what is and isn’t appropriate.

        I also think TV does a much better job showing men how to dress in law or business than it does for women.

  16. I always thought that the reason women take off their rings for interviews was because employers might think that they will want to start a family and be on maternity leave soon after their are hired. Men, on the other hand, seem more stable and committed if they are married. Also, if the men are going to start a family soon it is more likely that they will not leave their job because they will have a family to support. Just the stereotypical ideas about men and women and family responsibility.

  17. I have a big ol’ honking ring — 2.5 carats, and I wear it to the office, and I wore it to interviews. I know it’s a little unrealistic, but if an interviewer looks at my ring and assumes that I’m unmotivated/spoiled/soon to be a soccer mom, then it’s not the place for me. The interviews goes both ways — they have to pass my test, too. Luckily, I work in a place where the people are supportive, unmaterialistic, and generally don’t comment on each other’s appearance.

  18. Seventh Sister :

    This post makes me realize how much I like my engagement ring! It’s really simple – .9 carat diamond, 6-prong setting, plain platinum band. I wear it with a plain platinum wedding band. I have smallish hands and don’t wear a lot of other jewelry. The color of the stone is very, very clear.

    While it’s not the biggest, I see a lot of bigger stones (1.5-2 carats) that just don’t look as pretty. As a two-lawyer family, my husband periodically talks “upgrade,” but there are so many other things (and frankly, so many other pieces of jewelry), I’d rather have in my possession.

    My MIL was appalled at the ring – so plain, so small, I didn’t pick it out,* etc., etc., but I’ll take mine over her obviously flawed, very large yellowish pear diamond in a 1980s yellow gold setting. Her engagement ring reminds me of “Designing Women,” and not in a good way.

    My all-time favorite engagement ring is my maternal grandmother’s – it is a tiny diamond in a big setting, which she wore for 40 years after the death of her husband. Kind of the only sentimental thing about her, may she rest in peace.

    *My husband offered to exchange it and/or let me change the setting, but I liked it just fine.

  19. My engagement ring was picked out by my hubby and paid for in cash. It is 1/4 carat square suspension set in white gold and is beautiful. But I’m a big girl with big hands and hard on my jewelry, so for my wedding ring I designed my own ring – a 1 carat radiant cut diamond flanked by 2 triangular sapphires, each one bezel set in platinum. I wear it for everything except exercise and housework. It provokes many comments, which I find flattering, because it is unique and certainly isn’t ostentatious or gaudy. Because I wear it alone, and it’s not “traditional,” I’m often asked if I’m married!

    But at the end of the day, none of the comments or questions matter to me – I’m more proud of what my ring represents than what it is or how big it is. And on special occasions, I pull out my engagement ring and wear them together because my engagement ring is so special to me.

    As for the DH of over 10 years – I bought him an engagement watch that I have since upgraded, and now I wear the watch (it has a sapphire colored face!).

    And for the record, I’m a partner, but not BigLaw, and have certainly seen my share of rings at work and in court. I admit that I often find jewelry (and shoes, clothes and purses) lends itself to forming judgments – an ugly truth but I admit it. But ultimately it’s the quality of the person that counts, not the wrapping. (Remind me of this next time I’m on the way to the mall….)

  20. Two comments:

    1. Diamonds are to most women what penises are to most men.

    2. There is this beautiful scene in Up in the Air where George Clooney’s character’s sister shows her engagement ring at an engagement party. Her diamond is small, but when she showed it to Clooney’s character, you can tell she had so much love for it because it came from the man she loves. The scene is small, maybe a few seconds long, but it actually brought a tear to my eye.

  21. Liz (Europe) :

    Here’s a thought. Why not wear it under your shirt on a necklace if you want to keep it around and yet can’t wear it to work (because you work in non profit or whatever other reasons)?

    • Do people who work at nonprofits look down on marrieds and/or diamonds? Funny, I would think the nonprofit circuit would have MORE trophy wives than biglaw — not fewer.

  22. as a trial lawyer, i worried about this more from the point of view of how jurors might react to my ring. when i got engaged (about a million years ago), i stuck to a small but very high quality 3/4 karat diamond flanked by small sapphire baguettes. i have very small hands and didn’t want to be overpowered or flashy. although my inlaws expressed concern when we came home with the ring (in 10 years you’re going to want diamond earrings and you’re going to want them bigger than this and it won’t work — my inlaws loved me and always looked out for me), i have to say that in 25 years of wearing it, i’ve never felt the need to take it off for anything. i really like it, although i do agree with the comment about how a woman who wears a plain band comes off.

  23. I did an experiment during on-campus interviewing in law school. For one set of interviews, I wore my engagement ring and wedding band (as I usually do). For the other, I did not. I got exactly the same number of call backs from each set of interviews. Go figure.

  24. Guilt Free Mom :

    I don’t have a strong opinion about e-rings in the office, but do think it’s better to not wear a big diamond to a job interview – better to keep jewelry understated so as not to draw attention away from your skills/experience. However, this post has inspired me to start looking for a fun cocktail ring to purchase!

    • Even if it’s your engagement ring, though? I’ve always thought of those as exceptions to the coco chanel “put it all on, then take one thing off” jewelry rule — it’s more of a default than a situational embellishment. No?

  25. Not Campbell McCoy :

    My engagement ring is probably something Corporette would say verges on a cocktail ring: it has a 3.5 ct center stone and a great deal of art deco style embellishment, topping out at almost 6 carats worth of diamonds. It’s the most opulent thing I’ve ever owned and it’s also the most treasured, in large part because it’s a family heirloom. I do wear it at the office — in fact, I’m, terrified to *ever* remove it, lest I lose it — and the reactions are polarized. Some high-level partners have taken interest in me, and in one of these instances I’m pretty sure the reason was because the partner thought I had blueblood connections that might bring in business. I get invited to pro bono galas and similar events with more frequency than most of my peers, despite my median appearance and lackluster social skills.

    But I have strong feeling that many around the office are dismissing me as someone who will retire in a couple of years for a life of UES brunching. The ironic thing is, I have much less soccer mom propensity than most girls I know: I’ve got no interest in having children, and would sincerely like to make partner. I think that as I age, the ring will be less eye-catching on me, since I see young female partners and other professionals in their 30s and 40s sporting similar jewelery with more regularity.

    I’ve thought long and hard about what I would do with the ring if I interviewed. While removing it seems like a safe, easy option, the upside of wearing it for the right audience can be surprisingly salient. Some highly-placed people respond very favorably to indicia of inherited wealth.

  26. Engagement Rings :

    I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article.

  27. This is an amazing post and i have been looking for such an information for quite some time. Thank you for writing this as this would help me in solving my questions.

  28. It doesnt matter! :

    Tell me this. If rings werent made, and the symbol of being married was something else…people would still be judging you on other things.. BRAND of clothing…or whatever it was. ITS JUST PLAIN DUMB! A ring is a ring! Its a symbol of love! Otherwise it would be just be a big diamond ring without the love and meaning behind it. YOU BE THE JUDGE!

  29. Panda Oso :

    When we got engaged my fiance and I were already homeowners and both over 30 years old. I grew up as a “have” while my fiance grew up as a “have not.” Of course this was just a coincidence of birth, but it is what it is. My desires naturally lean more high end in every way. I say this to openly admit I have higher expectations than some, also I’m from Los Angeles. I have always been an avid ring wearer (many on each hand constantly). When we discussed getting engaged I felt sad to give up all my other rings to wear just one for life so I was secretly hoping he’d knock my socks off. My fiance had given me many other stones in jewelry over the years, so I had no desire for a non-diamond ring. My fiance didn’t want to upgrade the ring later (nor did I, we are very sentimental). When he gave me the ring he said it is a promise of the life he will provide, it is his heart in my hand, it is his expression to show me that he views me as a queen and will always treat me as such, the way my beloved dad (deceased) would have wanted. That means so much to me! It was a sacrifice for my darling to get me my 4 carat iceberg, but he saved and budgeted for it. I did not want or request such a ring, but I love it immensely! I thought 1.5 carats would have been terrific but he felt the need to go bigger, and that’s his choice. I know what that means coming from a humble guy like him. And for that reason I would never stop wearing my E ring just because someone else was jealous/catty/insecure about it. I feel a little sorry for anyone thinking a large E ring is about showing off to others. It is a *personal* gift. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) about anyone else.

    Only once has someone commented that they though it looked fake (an admittedly poor man who was drunk at the time and also trying to hit on me). I have noticed married men’s eyes bulge out when they see my ring even from a distance. And I have seen women literally turn their rings around simply because they’re in line behind me at the grocery store. I have seen older women huff and scoff ( I still look 20 yrs old so that might have something to do with it). I have had friends timidly ask if I’m going to wear it everyday (yes even to work) or if I’m afraid I will get robbed (no). Because my stone is bezel set it never snags anything and is comfortable to wear even while running (which I do a lot), doing errands, dealing with pets, cleaning, typing, etc. The only negative thing I have to say is this: you don’t realize how materialistic *other* people are until they feel they have less than you. I know one girl who caused the break up of her 4 yr relationship because she demanded to get engaged immediately and it better be a nice ring too! She later admitted to me this was because of her coveting my ring. It takes cajones to wear a large ring because others want to judge so quickly (why judge at all, what’s it got to do with you?). When I see a girl with a teeny speck of stardust or a sapphire or a huge CZ on her band I just figure that’s her style. I don’t jump to assumptions about her financial status and how that relates to me.

    I hope every lady gets the ring of her dreams, whatever style or size that may be. I hope we can all be happy for each other finding great guys and having eternal love. And if my workplace doesn’t support my individuality with jewelry maybe that’s not somewhere I’d like to work.

  30. When I was initially job-hunting a friend providing an informational interview commented that I’d do best to down play wearing much jewelry so as to 1) look like I genuinely needed the job (I desperately did!) and 2) not appear too jazzy/call attention to myself needlessly. (I wasn’t wearing a lot – 1.5 carat diamond engagement and wedding rings with two plain gold guard rings on my right hand, as I was divorced.) I never forgot that good advice – and never wore the diamond engagement ring to interviews, but did once I started working as I’d been wearing it and the others for years. A “signature”. ( I dress simply in plain dark business suits at all times in the office, so that was my only accessorizing. No necklaces or loopy scarves and only simple pearl or gold ear studs.) Now I’ve remarried so don’t have an engagement ring (engagment rings for repeat marriages are a recent conceit), just a lovely gold band with small diamonds that I wear with a couple of guard rings (one being my mother’s wedding band) – and for social events, my grandmother’s three-stone ruby and diamond engagement ring or similar – but again, would only wear my own wedding band to an interview. While I like to stack a few simple rings and have some nice ones, I’m careful where I do so. And like another commenter, turning any ring with a noticeable stone inwards towards my palm when on the subway or walking in “iffy” areas is a long-ingrained habit. (Or gloves in cold weather!) Better safe than sorry – and simplicity is always best for an office environment. In my profession, we’re not there to call attention to ourselves.

  31. Anonymous :

    When was sls saphire get engagement ?

  32. Leia Amidala :

    This is what I have to say about all this: get a ring you like or design a ring you like and wear it. Period. Stop worrying if you are “professional” or “not-professional” or what people will think of you. Just be yourself, respect whoever you are dealing with and that’s that. Many people (regardless of socioeconomic status) truly aren’t looking for a person of a certain appearance. They are looking for people who respect them and value them as people while being themselves. That is what stands out regardless of what size rings you have, if you are wearing jeans or a suit, or whatever your hair style is. What matters is if it is YOU. People who can’t respect that shouldn’t be in your life.

    If you feel pressured to have to change what you like to “fit in” to whatever environment you are in then maybe it’s not a healthy environment. Consider that. Be yourself, accept others, go to places that accept you for who you are, and good things will come to you. Stop changing yourself to impress people…just be you!

  33. I’m so glad I found this discussion! My boyfriend and I have just started the process of looking for engagement rings and this whole endeavor is beginning to be a bit stressful for me. Frankly, I have always been a bit oblivious to rings (three of my closest friends got married over the last couple years and I couldn’t describe any of their rings if you paid me) and I’m very uncomfortable with the realization that whatever my boyfriend and I choose will be judged by so many people. You see, I am in my mid-thirties, have been practicing law for about 10 years and I now work in government but for both my boyfriend and I, we simply can’t afford to spend a lot of money on a ring. The budget is somewhere between $3k and $4.5k. While I think there are some good options out there for that price, I’m nervous about choosing a smaller diamond (at this point I prefer a diamond rather than any of the alternatives, but that could change) that I know my lawyer colleagues will judge. One other thought is that because neither of us is “just starting out”, a smaller, more inexpensive ring may raise questions.

    So here’s my question: what is the norm? Given my career details (government attorney), is 1 carat the norm? Oh, and for context, I live and work in the DC area and have relatively small fingers (size 5 last time I checked). And again, I hate the idea of having to ask this question but I just want to make sure I’m ready for whatever comments/judgments are made. Thanks!

  34. I know I’m years late chiming in on this, but all of this judgment being passed on an engagement ring is just…. life. People are ALWAYS judging you. Ring or no ring, and no matter what size. When you walk out the door people judge the way you dress, the way you style your hair, your hygiene, your car, where you live, the way you speak; everything. The ring is no different. It’s all well and good to say: ‘people shouldn’t judge my ring, I don’t care what they think so I’ll wear what I want’. But if you’re jumping through 20 other hoops a day to present yourself as acceptable to your circle or to society (even if you don’t realize you are) then that point kind of falls on deaf ears.

    Yes, I’m young, and yes, my FI is getting me a larger ring. I want a larger ring BECAUSE of said judgments. But I don’t want it so that I’m not teased at work or to feel good about myself, or because I’d be embarrassed by a smaller ring. I want an impressive ring because HE is impressive, and he can afford it. I love showing him off, but I can’t take him everywhere I go (work, college,etc.) However I CAN take the ring. Realistically I know that no one else in the world, not his friends, parents, or anyone will ever know him as well as I do and know how wonderful and amazing he is. But damnit, if someone catches a glimpse of my ring they will at least know then and there that there is a man in my life who is there for me, and who will work hard to give me what I want and need.

    On topic: Your co-workers should be doing their jobs, not looking at your ring.

  35. About not reader S. I would suggest that she talks to her husband about it. Honesty is the best thing in a relationship. He could always buy her a anniversary ring lots of women get new rings after there anniversary tht replace their original ring. It’s doesn’t mean anything bad. I had something similar happen to me after I talked to him he had no idea I wanted something like that. So we went ring shopping and I showed him what I liked. It was the best thing at Christmas I got a new ring and I loved it!!!! Sometimes honesty is the best policy! She needs to not worry about what he will think. That’s what he likes not her. Opposites attract if he loves her he will want to make her happy. Guys are clueless to our feelings unless we tell them. She could even wear her original ring with a new one. Or even a past present future ring is a great ring for that sort of thing. She doesn’t even have to mention the engagement ring mention what she really wants. Doesn’t hurt to ask. Good luck! From NY

  36. Oh and I have a 6 k diamond ring now. Not what I picked out but I love it.

  37. Anonymous :

    I love, love, love my gianormous diamond. We live in the D.C. metro area and I have a 2.31 solitaire Tiffany ring. I really wanted a 3 carat ring but the mark-up of Tiffany’s makes me happy with my 2.31. Size really mattered to me and although my husband is a more low-key guy …he knows that I am materialistic. We are both professionals (me 37 and him 45) and it’s our first marriage. It matters and I do judge people on their rings …just as people are judged by what kind of car they drive.

  38. I also work for a big company. I would NEVER take off my ring for a interview! I think that’s ridiculous that someone would suggest to take of their engagement ring in a interview! So what if you have a big ring! I’m the only female boss in my company and all the guys make jokes saying just don’t let my wife see you with that ring. They have never said it was inappropriate or thought I had money falling out the back of me and not for one second think I was a soccer mom waiting to get pregnant! That too me is offensive to even say something like that! We live in 2013 not the 60’s! I’m a strong independent proud women with a masters degree! Not once did anybody in a interview mention or think I was just taking a job just to pass the time! I have a gorgeous 6 K ring that I could of probably bought a house with but that doesn’t mean nothing! It’s what I like and he could afford it. I have a good amount of jewelry a lot of it is made too, I like unusual jewelry that no one else has. It’s all on what you can afford and who cares if you could buy a car or house or whatever with the amount of what you spent on the ring it’s up to you and your man. I have seen guys put a ring on hold and make payments on it to give their women a nice ring. It’s no ones business and if your not happy you need to say something marriage is about communication without that it will never work. I’m not saying he has to buy you a 6 k ring but if you have a tiny ring and don’t like it say something or while your shopping some day bring him into a jewelry store just to “look” around :) and show him what makes YOUR eyes sparkle! Just a thought. I get compliments on my jewelry all the time and I have never been asked if its real c’mon ladies we can tell what’s real and what’s not. Good luck

  39. Anonymous :

    I think if one can afford it, get whatever you want. I have a modest, yet gorgeous antique ring and I absolutely love it (and was well within my fiances budget). My friend has a massive ring. However, while we have money to travel and do things… she and her husband do not. So I guess it’s what you place higher value on… a giant rock? or a lifetime of traveling and actually doing stuff.

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