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Engagement ring question--strength or shine?

 
 
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 06:47 pm
Do women generally care more about the quality or appearance of the ring? From everything i've heard, platinum sounds like the better quality metal in terms of strength and purity, but I've also heard that white gold stays shinier and costs less. In terms of everyday wear, which of these metals is actually the better choice for an engagement ring in your opinion?
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roger
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 06:51 pm
@gutterball,
Unless you are picking a really extravagent design, I would toss out strength and structural integrity as a criteria.
chai2
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 07:06 pm
I can't speak specifically to engagement rings, as to the diamonds, but I can tell you of my wedding band.

The higher the karat of gold the softer the metal. I think most people are familiar with 14karat gold.

When I got married 16 years ago, we didn't have a lot of money, and jewelry didn't interest me as much as the meaning of the ring.

We got each other 10karat gold bands, and mines just as shiny, and the etchings in it are in the same condition as the day I put it on.

Then again, I think the person you're marrying needs to be happy.
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Eva
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 07:07 pm
Depends on the design of the ring(s.)

If the shank is thick, white gold will be fine. It will probably never wear through. But if the shank is thin, go with platinum. It doesn't wear at all. My husband's grandmother wore her very thin platinum rings from her wedding day at age 18 to her death at 101, and they were still perfect.

(FYI, the shank is the underneath part of the band...worn on the palm side of the hand. It's the part of the ring that wears out first.)

Platinum is the finer metal and is definitely more expensive. Gold is a soft metal, so they combine it with stronger metals. 18K contains more gold than 14K, but it doesn't wear as well because it's softer. 14K gold is the most common metal for wedding rings. Don't buy platinum to impress people...no one can tell the difference between platinum and white gold just by looking.
Eva
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 07:25 pm
I forgot to say...

You will find the biggest selection in 14K white gold. If your fiancee is like most, the design of the rings will be very important to her. DO NOT pick out her rings without her! (I know it sounds romantic to surprise her with it, but trust me...almost all women prefer to choose their own jewelry.) When you go to the jewelry store together (and this will be a VERY romantic and memorable trip!) you may find out that she's more interested in the diamond (or other stones) than the metal. You never know.

I've had friends who were given rings that were family heirlooms (they first belonged to the groom's mother, grandmother, etc.) Invariably, the bride was touched at first and appreciated the tradition. But sooner or later, she wished she'd had the chance to choose the design she would wear every day through the years. One thoughtful husband took his wife to the jewelry store and let her pick out her own 10th anniversary ring to make up for it.
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 08:31 pm
It totally depends on the girl.

I don't care one bit about jewelry. If Mr. B had taken me to pick out a ring I would have asked if we could go to the camera store instead.

I have a beautiful engagement ring and it is stuck on an even more beautiful 10th anniversary sparkler but they sit in a box. I wear them on special occassions -- like our anniversary. Sometimes.

I do wear my ultra cheap wedding band, though.

I think that in a lot of cases the jewelry is more important to the man.
Eva
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 08:57 pm
@boomerang,
Seriously, Boomer?

I mean, we've all known a lot of girls who SAID they didn't care about jewelry, but they didn't really mean it. They just didn't want to look greedy, or they wanted to take the pressure off the guy. And some said that because they wanted to be seen as anti-traditional. But all of them would have done back flips if a good diamond ring was actually offered!

But I believe you if you say you really mean it. I guess I just don't understand how someone could leave something that beautiful sitting in a box instead of wearing it and enjoying looking at it every day.
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 09:57 pm
I have some lovely jewelry and it all sits in the box. Mr. B finally wised up and learned I just wasn't a jewelry girl.

I have no explaination for my behavior.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 10:04 pm
@Eva,
I gave a couple of diamond rings back over the years. I wear the ones I have mmmmmm maybe once or twice a year, every couple of years.

Other than my gold bracelets I don't really wear any of my "good" jewellry. It's never really been on my agenda. The two best ever gifts from men I've been in relationships with - a pry bar (to help with my renos) and a camera. A camera was definitely a faster way to my heart than a ring could ever have been.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 10:05 pm
@ehBeth,
That being said, I'd rather have a platinum band than a white gold band. I'd wear the plain band steadily - and platinum stands up to decades of 24-7 wear better than gold does.
eoe
 
  2  
Mon 11 Jan, 2010 11:31 pm
@ehBeth,
There are options...I didn't chose a diamond at all but a ring of green gold with a rose gold setting and a ruby and two emeralds from the Museum of Modern Art.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 04:45 am
I say you try to convince your soon-to-be wife that this whole engagement ring business is an antiquated tradition and the "diamonds are a girls best friend" and "how to make 2 months salary last forever" garbage are just great marketing gimmicks that have hookec in most women to their ploys.

It didn't work with my wife, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
dadpad
 
  2  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:05 am
@maporsche,
I told my wife that rings were a symbol of slavery. The ring represents the manacles on a slaves wrists as do bangles and ear rings.
ever notice how people into bondage and discipline have lots of piercings?

It didnt work with her either.
chai2
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 08:04 am
@Eva,
Eva wrote:

Seriously, Boomer?

I mean, we've all known a lot of girls who SAID they didn't care about jewelry, but they didn't really mean it. They just didn't want to look greedy, or they wanted to take the pressure off the guy. And some said that because they wanted to be seen as anti-traditional. But all of them would have done back flips if a good diamond ring was actually offered!

But I believe you if you say you really mean it. I guess I just don't understand how someone could leave something that beautiful sitting in a box instead of wearing it and enjoying looking at it every day.


I'm another one who doesn't care about jewelry, 99.9% of the time.

It would literally make me sick to think I've got all these (to me) "worthless" stones and metals sitting in a box, when the hard earned money they cost could have been used more constructively.

For years, my husband would give me relatively inexpensive pieces of jewelry that I hated. I could not for the life of me figure out why he kept doing that, as I would put it on the day he gave it to me, and never put it on again. It took me a long time to realize that he assumed all women wanted jewelry to be given to them.

One time, apropos of nothing he asked me "do you like turquiose?" I was in the middle of doing something, and thought he meant the color. In fact I never particularly liked that color. Before just saying no (which I should have) I thought to myself "well, turquisose is okay if it's a small accent color", so stupidly I said to him "yeah, it's okay"
My birthday was a month or so later. We were still newly married where, to me at least, there was that newly married sense of excitement when you were handed a gift box.
The gift was what I considered these gawd-awful turquiose southwest style earrings and I think a matching pendant.
They were so far away from anything I ever would have considered owning, or even wanting to have, that I truly didn't realize this was my birthday gift. I dunno, I felt no more about it at that moment than if we just sat down to dinner, and he handed me a napkin.

So, I sat there, with this expectant feeling, because I sensed this was the time he had chosen to give me my birthday present. So I kept waiting for him to hand me my gift, with a "Happy Birthday Darling" He was talking about where he had bought the turquiose, and how he had to make up his mind between this and another, and it sloooooowly dawned on me that this HAD been my gift. I remember this feeling of "what? huh? why?", and I just said to him "well, there're very pretty. I better get ready for work now."

That happened several more times over the next few years, until we were at a point in married life where I could have one of those Come to Jesus talks with him.
One Christmas I had walked straight up to him, handed him a flyer from a store, pointed at something (not jewelry) and said "If you haven't gone x-mas shopping already, this is what I'd really like to have. Here's the store where they're selling it, here's the serial number of the one I'd like, and it's on sale this week."
I was so gosh darn pleased with myself for being so upfront about it. I congratulated myself on growing past the idea that gifts are supposed to be a surprised.
That Christmas, he gave me a box that suspiciously didn't look like he could contain what I had said I really wanted. Ever the optimist Rolling Eyes I figured he'd gotten me 2 gifts.
I opened the box, and inside was a pearl necklace. Not expensive ones, you could tell they were middle of the road moderately priced. I thought to myself "WTF?" and tried not to say that. Again, I waited for the real gift to come out, at the same time thinking that I wish I had the hundred bucks or so that these must have cost. Again, I realized that this was it.

So, being at that stage of marriage, I asked him "what about the whatever was I asked for?
Who knows what the answer was, it wasn't in stock, he thought I'd like this better, etc.
I asked him why pearls, and things started to become clear to me. Apparantly we'd been watching some nature show months back about pearls. At some point I had said "wow, pearls are really pretty"
Lesson learned, never mention that something is pretty unless you want it.
Well, I'll be honest, we did end up having a big fight about it that day. That's when I asked him if he ever noticed that he'd never seen me wearing any jewelry he'd ever given me, and that frankly, I didn't even know where any of it was. Still don't.

Fast forward 15 years. That would be a year ago. Now we're financially stable. I decided I wanted a diamond and blue saphire ring. I found the one I wanted. Went to the store and tried it on. I went home, handed him a picture of it off the internet, and the card of the salesman to ask for at that store, and when he would be working.
That's a ring I wear 3 or 4 days a week.

That said, if I had to sell that ring to provide medical care for one of my pets, it'd be gone in a heartbeat.
boomerang
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 08:35 am
@chai2,
Yeah, chai, I think men are trained to think all women want jewelry.

And I think that women are trained to think they want jewelry.

Mr. B and I just skip gift giving on holidays altogether now, it's so much easier.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:13 am
@Eva,
I agree with Eva in this respect - she also needs to try on the rings to see what looks good on her. For example, I always thought I wanted an engagement ring with three stones - one larger one in the center and two smaller surrounding stones. When I tried one on - it just didn't look right on my finger. I ended up liking a plain round single stone - one that on the surface was not my favorite.

Maybe you could surprise her with asking to marry and then go out an buy one together. Or if you two are already planning - go into any jewerly store and have her try on various "for fun". Then pick the style and type she likes and looks good later and surprise her with her favorite.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:18 am
Also, in general - what are you buying this ring for - her enjoyment - just remember you are not buying the ring for an investment (at least financially) so buy what she likes rather than straight quality. Because clarity was "more expensive" than cut (cut gives the sparkerly look) - I went for a higher cut and lower clarity. The clarity you cannot see unless you look extremely close and/or with microscope.

If I turn my ring to the side and look really close I can see the slight imperfectsion of the clarity - put by looking at my ring it sparkled alot more than one that was priced higher with a higher clarity, lower cut. I opted to save money and get the one that looked better (even though technically it was worth less) - I mean I'm not planning on selling it!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:31 am
I don't care about valuable jewelry as such. I have zero interest in diamond rings in white gold settings (sorry, we all differ, eh?) though I understand others liking them. I have my mother's platinum engagement and wedding rings from the thirties, my grandmother's very thick gold ring that I wore for my wedding day (neither of us cared about the ring then), a white gold very modern wedding ring we picked out for me later on - square, fairly thin, made of two adhering bands, from Cartier (whoo hoo), and he got, a little later since he really liked mine, a similar one copied in silver from our neighborhood silversmith. My favorite ring always has been the one my mother got from her brother when she was sixteen, back in 1917 - like the one Eoe talks about, it is patterned gold mix, in this case with yellow and pink golds, quite intricate, and wrapping a large light green cut zircon that shows light through it when held up to the sun (real zircon, not the recent faux zircons, but not in the league of diamonds, etc.) Very pretty ring.

In contrast, I enjoy "costume" jewelry, including a silver scarab bracelet I recently bought at a pawn shop - which a friend and I had gone to since that was the address where the watch fixit man was - $15.00, I think. I like a lot of museum jewelry, which by definition are reproductions of "historic" designs. I like thrift store jewelry treasures. I like all the pieces some friends in Los Angeles gave me this last year as belated birthday presents, even though they are not pieces I would have picked out. They are gaudy, I'm sentimental about them, and I'll wear them once in a while for fun.

Anyway, I agree with those who say let the woman have a choice in the matter of a ring she is apt to wear for many many years - unless it is some kind of rigid rule in both of your cultures that the woman be surprised.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  1  
Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:52 am
@dadpad,
Interesting methods, fellas.

When I proposed I handed my fiancee a gift certificate I'd crafted out of brown construction paper. In yellow crayon I had written, "Good for 1 FREE marriage."

Goes without saying that I presented a ring the second time I proposed.
0 Replies
 
gutterball
 
  1  
Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:15 pm
@Eva,
Thanks for the info and advice. I'll keep that in mind about the thickness of the shank. If I were to buy platinum, it'd be because it's capable of looking perfect after 80+ years like your husband's grandmother's ring, not to impress people--though I'm sure that would impress people too Smile
 

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