Looking for a little help: (Women and jewelry hounds) My Engagement Questions

This of multipart so I’m going to break it up for clarity. I’d appreciate opinions on any or all parts:

My SO and I are practically engaged and open about it to family and friends. We are in the initial stages of planning our wedding, the engagement is no secret. The only thing really stopping the engagement is that I haven’t proposed.

The reason I haven’t proposed, is that I don’t have a ring. I don’t want to buy one in one of the very few stores that actually sell them on the rural island I live on. In order to get a ring I need to get South and be able to shop around for a few weeks. That won’t happen until December when I move down to be with her.

I will be visiting her at the end of August and thought about getting her a fairly cheap* pre-engagement engagement ring and proposing to her. I was thinking about one of those “vintage” looking tarnished silver type rings with all the tiny crystals and a very low profile semi-precious stone.

My thinking is that after I get her the real thing the pre-engagement ring would still mean a lot to us but not really get used. By getting something with a slightly different look, a few years from now I could get her some simple matching earrings and it would become part of a set that she could match to a few different outfits.


  1. Does this sound like a good idea, or should I wait? I’m trying to balance the excitement of “showing the friends” which could be lessoned, with her not having a sign of my commitment while I’m not with her. Also balancing the disappointment of her getting the el cheapo ring during the moment, though we have been ring shopping and she wouldn’t believe it was the final product there would be a split second of “what?”
  2. Anybody know the name for the type of jewelry that’s ““vintage” looking tarnished silver type with all the tiny crystals”? I really love the look.
  3. Anybody have any different ideas what to do?
  4. Anybody have any different ideas for a fairly cheap* ring that would be versatile for special occasions in the future?

Another thought is to explain to her that I’m not proposing but give her a ring as a placeholder until I get South and really do it right.
*$200-$300 but that’s not set in stone

Wow, I had never even heard of these islands where you are located. I would think you’d want to go North to Cabo San Lucas to get a real ring. I guess if you’re being so open about the quasi-engagement, one thought would be to just ask your future fiancee what she would like.

If you can get her ring size, which presumably you’d need even for the ‘placeholder’ ring, you could always just get the real ring online rather than using one of the local jewelry stores. I gather your fiancee lives away from you. You didn’t say where, or whether there are more reasonable jewelry stores in her local area, which is another option. Assuming the relative amount of money is less an issue than the high price or limited selection of the local stores, why get the placeholder ring at all?

I agree that you should consider shopping online. My husband got mine that way. There are websites that let you pick your rock, complete with high-res photographs so you can examine the flaws, etc, then pick the setting you want.

Hm, marcasite is an interesting stone that is frequently a feature of fake antique jewelry. The tiny stones is called micro-pave’ or pave’, for ‘paved’ with little stones.

Random google produced this site which has some lovely micropave with cubic zirconia, and here is a page of marcasite rings so you can see what they look like.

Don’t propose to her with a cheap “pre-engagement” ring. Too much “we’re-engaged-but-this-is-not-the-real-ring” explaining to do. For a woman, announcing that you’re engaged and showing everyone your ring is a big part of the whole experience.

Put that $200-$300 towards the real ring. The ring you put on her finger at the actual time you propose is a major part of that memory. For some women, never taking off the ring since it was put there by their fiancé is a big thing; and really, what’s the point of purchasing a pretendy ring that you yourself assume will “not really get used”?

If you’ve already both agreed that you’re engaged, I really don’t think she needs a “placeholder.” Unless of course you’re still in high school.

If you’re already planning a wedding then I would just ask her what she would like for an engagement ring. If she has thoughts she wants to share then the conversation could go in an entirely different direction. I’ve known couples who bought the ring together, and many more couples that had a “surprise” engagement but in reality had been discussing the engagement ring for months, and the guy had a pretty good idea of what to look for. I think the ring you describe sounds perfectly nice if you were happy with that as your gift to her, but it sounds like you’re not (since you keep using the word “cheap”) and I agree that you’re better off putting the money towards something else.

I also agree with the suggestion to shop online, that’s where my husband got my ring and where I got our wedding rings.

You don’t need a ring to be engaged. Once you decide to get married, you’re engaged. Does she want a ring? Does she want a sapphire or a ruby or a diamond? Platinum or yellow gold? Tell people you’re engaged and worry about a ring later. If you decide you really,verbally want something to put on her finger now for a formal asking, make it fun like a cigar band rather than pretend like CZ.

Here are some rings, some of which could be promise rings that would still be worn! (And are not that expensive!)
14kt rose gold diamond leaf and vine wedding ring,engagement ring,wedding band**

This ring is more pricey, but the maker says the diamond will be conflict free. It comes in silver or gold.
Rose Cut Diamond Wreath Ring **
Rose Cut Moissanite Wreath Ring**

Wreath Band - Sterling Silver
Wreath Band** (gold)

SACRED LAUREL silver and 14K gold White Sapphire engagement ring

Victorian Medieval Renaissance Vintage Engagement or Promise Ring

My fiance took the option of giving me a “placeholder” ring made out of paper clips and then let me help him pick the real ring. That was ideal from my view, since I wouldn’t have wanted a “normal” diamond engagement ring. Instead I opted for a ring made out of moissanite and sapphire from moissaniteco.com.

Do you know if your future wife is really set on having a diamond ring? If you’ve never talked to her about it, don’t assume that she’s set on getting a diamond. Many women nowadays prefer stones with more color than diamonds or stones that have some personal meaning to them. That can make an engagement ring much more affordable and you could find a very pretty non-diamond engagement ring in the budget you’ve set for this “pre engagement” ring.
Just do a little research ahead of time to make sure that the stone isn’t so soft that it will be easily damaged by the daily wear of being an engagement ring. One reason I chose sapphires and moissanite for my ring is because they’re both pretty durable stones. One of my friends has an opal engagement ring, which is very pretty, but if I had an opal ring I’d be very worried about it becoming damaged due to how fragile opals are.
(Another thing to be cautious about is that silver is more easily bent and scratched than gold/palladium/platinum are, which is why it’s typically not used for engagement rings).

I personally don’t see much point in having a pre-engagement ring. Either save the money for the actual engagement ring or give her the ring in a different manner, like as a birthday present, and tell her that you didn’t want her to have to wait until you could buy an engagement ring to have a ring from you.

I’m afraid I don’t recognize the style you’re describing, but isn’t the more important thing whether she loves this looks? I mean, it’s possible she thinks this style is really tacky.

I have a birthstone ring that my mother gave me when I turned 18, and if I didn’t have something like that already I’d be happy to have one as a gift or even a “real” engagement ring. Just looking on Amazon for rings with my birthstone and in 14k yellow gold like mine, I see there are nearly 800 options in a wide variety of styles for under $300.

But unless she’s really into being surprised, I think it’s better to either just ask her directly about what type of jewelry she likes or (if you want to be a little more subtle) ask one of her friends or sisters for advice. Even women who are pretty low-maintenance may have strong opinions about what type of jewelry they like, which can be good for your wallet because she might actually prefer something other than the big honkin’ diamond engagement ring you may be imagining. Like I said, I’d be happy with my semi-precious birthstone, and if this were my sister I could tell you that she prefers the fairly inexpensive amethyst (her favorite color is purple) to her actual birthstone, which happens to be one of the more expensive birthstones.

This. You don’t even need a ring to do a formal on-bended-knee proposal. If you really want a ring, you can get one whenever it’s convenient, but the ring has no bearing (presumably) on the status of your relationship. And if either one of you thinks that the ring is more important than the fact that you want to spend your lives together, I’d suggest that would require some serious navel-gazing first, not a proposal.

Short version: if you want to propose, go ahead and propose. You don’t need to wait for a ring.

No diamonds.

My boyfriend proposed to me without a ring, and then took me to the jewelry store so I could pick it out. I liked being able to choose my own.

And being the kind of people we are, we took a break in the middle of ring shopping to go to a bookstore.

Thanks everybody (I think)

We have been ring shopping. I know pretty much what I want to get her for an engagement ring but that won’t happen until we are living together 8 months before our wedding.

I’m wary of shopping for an engagement ring over the internet because it is so hard to judge how tall the rings are. Some rings that I have liked when I viewed them from the top have been incredibly tall when viewed from the side.

Marcasite was what I was thinking of, thank you aruvqan. Thanks ZC I like the suggestions, simple but nice, just what I was looking for.

thanks to everybody… Can any one help about opal rings shopping? I need for a party. I can’t find it. how I will got it. I want to gift it to someone special.

Reported. Bye, opal!

A friend of mine wanted to get engaged on one of the anniversaries of their first date. Since the ring they wanted wasn’t yet ready or paid off, he proposed with one of those giant candy rings. It was very cute and clever.

Well, it sounds like there’s not going to be a big surprise or anything, so why not discuss things with her?

It’s good practice for living together…

Propose with anything, or no ring at all, then go shopping with her. I think women prefer picking out their ring. But no two people are alike. Unless this proposal is coming totally out of the blue, then just talk about it.