Thursday, August 12, 2010

Diamonds are Forever


I’ve psyched myself up to propose to my girlfriend of 3 years. I’m wondering if I should propose with an engagement ring or just propose and then take her along to choose one?

I’ve got pretty good taste but I wanted to check in with the man first



You’ve come to the right place.

Women are generally split into two camps; a) want the surprise of their man splashing out on a ring and presenting it to them and b) would never let anyone else buy them something that they’ll wear for ever so why start with the engagement ring.  It sounds very simple to most ladies. Fortunately, Chuck is here to tell you that it is never simple.

This was solidified in Chucks mind a couple of years ago when he was sitting around with a couple of dudes discussing their philosophies on engagement rings. An important side note to this is the fact that most normal guys don’t talk about how much cash they’ve outlaid on the ring because in their minds the greater the amount paid out, the greater they are pussy whipped. “You paid how much for your engagement ring?? Fuck she’s got you by the nuts!”

So what do guys sit around talking about? Where they got it, any sort of mates rates they may have secured, how painful the process was, how big the diamond is. That’s about it.

Anyway, during this conversation one of the lads piped up and with total pride stated that he’d had a really easy time finding a ring, in fact he snagged it from Zamels for 1200 bucks – a steal! Now this guy wasn’t what you’d call impoverished, so the fact that he was so proud of getting a cheap ring alarmed Chuck and confirmed once and for all that the aforementioned man was a total cheapskate. The other thing that was confirmed to Chuck was that the vast majority of men have no idea what they’re in for when it comes to popping the question and handling the ring situation.

So yes Wally, you were right to turn to Chuck. Your boy Chuck has impeccable taste and your about to outlay some significant cash – you need to be on top of your game. Lets consider some key points on the matter:  
  • Most men pay no attention when their woman drops hints about what sort of rock they want when you inevitably propose to them. In fact, Mrs Long has a friend who repeatedly told her partner that she hated princess cut diamonds. She went as far as to say, “anything but a princess cut diamond (gee doesn’t she just sound like a peach)”. So when it was time to buy the diamond, what do you think the poor dude purchased? Yep you guessed it, a princess cut diamond. He just remembered her going on about princess cut diamonds. Chucks point here is this; if you have no idea what your girlfriend likes, do not risk shelling out cash on something that she may absolutely loathe and risk her silently stewing for years or worse yet whipping it back at you. 

  • If you propose without a ring, it’s very much like jumping out of a plane with only one parachute and no back up. Chuck acknowledges that his metaphors are awesomely complex so let Chuck break it down. If you allow your girlfriend into a jewellery store, prepare for things to rapidly spiral out of control – you have no escape plan if things go bad. She will be easily seduced by the sparkling diamonds presented to her by the sales staff who are trained to prey on her desires and your unwillingness to upset her. Even if you had a frank budgetary discussion before the outing, clearly stating your financial limits, are you really going to be able to say no when the rock she likes is ‘only’ 500 smackers more than you’d allowed for (even though it may stretch you financially?)? Of course you’re not going to.The minute you enter a jewellery store with a mission to select a ring, your entering into unchartered waters. Women go crazy for their engagement ring and are easily led astray in the field of diamonds and gold. One way to combat this issue is to cohabitate with your girlfriend first and operate under a shared financial arrangement. The advantage of this is that she’ll be aware of your combined budget and may be less inclined to blow your wad if she knows it will directly impact her way of life*. 

*Of course, Chuck knows this is extremely flimsy. The majority of women would live on lettuce for a month if it meant a spendier diamond. 
  • You need to have a frank conversation with yourself and determine whether or not you actually have any taste. There is nothing worse than you spending time and money crafting a ring that is in reality uglier than home made sin and will have your girlfriend wishing that she’d dumped you earlier rather than having to sit through another one of her friends taking a look at her ring and describing it as “cute”. If you seriously believe you have good taste, get a second opinion. If you realise that your taste sucks, take her with you.

  • If you are adamant about buying the ring before the proposal, at least take the time to figure what sort of gold your girlfriend wears. Nothing screams ‘socially inept’ louder than the douche bag who buys a yellow gold ring for a woman who only wears white gold. 

  • If you stumble across a deal that appears too good to be true, it probably is. The ring is stolen, fake or removed from a dead woman at a funeral parlour. You get what you pay for. 

  • If Naomi Campbell sells you the diamond you’re probably now in possession of a blood diamond and karma will eat you alive. 

  • How do you figure how much to spend? Many say 3 months salary, which works for some and not others. If your earning decent coin it could mean that you’re dropping a serious wad of cash. If you’re not earning huge sums right now, it may mean that you’re not allowing too much at all. The reality is that if you put some time and effort in, your girl will love it no matter what. And if she doesn’t she is a heartless bitch and you should dump her immediately. You found out just in time!

Chuck did a little research on expenditure and found this website that provided tips on saving money on a ring:

Here are the tips (with Chucks comments added for additional clarity)

Here are some alternatives to buying your ring from an expensive jeweler:
  • Use a family ring for your engagement (if your girlfriend hates your mother, probably not a good idea to give her old mums engagement ring. Also, if a family member was brutally murdered, you’d probably want to hold onto that ring)
  • Buy a ring from an antique shop (maybe an ok idea, although you never know where that ring has been)
  • Stunning high quality cubic zirconium (you fucking tightwad. You’d get dumped faster than light if she ever found out she was wearing a piece of glass)
  • Pawn shops or classified ads (ahh sweet, you gave your girlfriend a stolen ring!)
  • Consider an alternative stone to a diamond (L.O.S.E.R)
  • Purchase a setting using several smaller stones instead of one large stone (this may work, but it still screams scrooge) 

Chucks best piece of advice on the issue is to determine a budget and then use 4/5 of the budget to buy a gorgeous diamond. When you propose, present the diamond. You’ve made her day by proposing and her year by going to the effort of procuring the diamond. You can then make her life by taking her along to the jewelers and having that puppy set with the remainder of your cash up your sleeve. You can’t lose in this scenario unless you present a princess cut diamond and she fucking detests them! 


  1. Get a cheaper cut of diamond. Round or (brilliant cut) diamonds are generally more expensive because they have to cut more stone.

  2. There's a third camp who wouldn't want a diamond and wouldn't wear one. It really pisses me off when people think and say that's all that a woman wants or that's all she is after. This third camp woman would like a matching band to whatever my man wants to wear, with no engagement ring. Really. The only thing I would insist on is a thoughtful inscription inside the band. That's what I would consider to be the "diamond". No thoughtful words engraved, no dice.