An unconventional engagement ring

Engagement ringThe diamond engagement ring is one of those traditions that many frugal people shun. After all, diamonds are expensive, mining practices are often unethical, and who says you even need one?

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I have a traditional diamond engagement ring. I love my engagement ring. It is the fanciest piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned (and probably will ever own), and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. But honestly, it’s important to me because he gave it to me. It could have been anything, and I would cherish it the same way.

My best friend and her soon-to-be official fiance are trying to plan a wedding and start their lives together in this awful economy. Like a lot of people, they’re making decisions to help them save instead of spending more. So when they decided to make their engagement official, they chose an unconventional route for the engagement ring.

My best friend’s fiance’s parents are divorced, but his mom kept her diamond engagement ring. She offered to give it to him so he could propose. They’re having the stone reset in a white gold band that my best friend picked out to make it her own. The cost for this beautiful half-carat diamond ring? Just $350 instead of the usual $1,000+ most people pay.

Because the ring came from his parents, it has sentimental value, and now it will be worn proudly instead of hidden away in a jewelry box. I absolutely love this idea.

Another option for frugal fiances is the non-diamond engagement ring. My sister’s husband gave her a beautiful sapphire ring that cost a fraction of the price of a diamond.

Whatever you choose to symbolize your commitment to your fiance, remember that the important thing is the commitment — not the jewelry.

Photo by wumpiewoo

7 thoughts on “An unconventional engagement ring

  1. This Thrifted Life

    I also have the traditional diamond engagement ring that I’ll never part with for the same reason: it was a gift. If it was very valuable, we would think about trading it in for a CZ like Frugal Babe and pocket the money, but it’s not. So I wear it and enjoy it.

    But other than my wedding/engagement rings, I have very little fancy jewelry and will probably never buy anymore. I just don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and diamonds and jewels have never been something I’ve wanted to own (though I love to admire them!).
    .-= This Thrifted Life´s last blog ..Slowing down =-.

  2. Anne

    I have a nontraditional engagement ring. My late husband and I were both born in December. The engagement ring he bought is two triangular topaz stones set in gold. Because it was a different shape and would require a custom wedding band, we bought a cheap set at Walmart to use for a while until we could afford to get the custom one. David passed away from cancer just over three years later. The stone fell out of the cheap ring soon after, but I still wear my original ring every day.

  3. Bobbi

    My niece is getting married and my mom gave her the wedding set from her first marriage (my sisters father). Two of the diamonds were given to my mom when she was a little girl, from friends of her parents and the other from her soon to be husband. Turns out the 2 diamonds that were given to her were from the 1920 and 1930’s and the new one was from the 50’s. Lots of history and a great piece of jewelry for ‘free’. She absolutle adores the ring and the history that goes along with it.

  4. SJ

    The stone in my ring originally belonged to my husband’s grandmother so it’s at least a hundred years old. We chose a setting we liked with a matching wedding band and had the stone mounted in the new setting. I love that apart from being beautiful, it also carries sentimental value. Whenever I get my ring cleaned at the jeweler, I have the setting checked to be sure the diamond is secure.
    .-= SJ´s last blog ..Slow and Steady Wins the Race =-.

  5. Rachel

    While I do love (some) traditional rings, mine is my favorite. My husband is an artist and in college took a metalsmithing/jewelry making class so he designed and made my ring himself! We decided not to do a different ring for the wedding band so it’s the only one I own and wear. To buy the materials wholesale he probably spent less than $50, but it’s priceless to me!

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