Social Question

thesparrow's avatar

Engagement Ring -- need opinion on this?

Asked by thesparrow (2733points) July 4th, 2012

My boyfriend, now fiancee, proposed to me a few weeks ago. He gave me a soldered heirloom ring (the engagement ring is basically welded to the wedding band). I’ve never been knowledgeable about the etiquette of wearing rings, but I’m not sure how appropriate it is to wear the band with the ring. He’s suggested to separate them but I’m worried separating would decrease the value of the ring. And also, it looks very nice together. My only issue is that I am basically wearing my wedding band with my engagement ring, and I’m not sure with regards to ring-wearing etiquette how that stands since we’re not married yet.

I’d appreciate some feedback from people, maybe some of their own experiences or friends’ and family.

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24 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I would consult with a jeweler about separating the rings. If he says no to that, then I would go ahead and wear the rings together.

gailcalled's avatar

There is no etiquette in regards to either love or jewelry. @marinalife is correct about the issue; can they be separated without breaking? The intrinsic value should not change.

If separated, they will still look just as nice.

Personally, I would see whether the jeweler can break the solder without damaging either ring. If yes, then use the wedding band for the wedding.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Congratulations on the engagement!

My mother’s engagement and wedding ring are soldered together. If she gave it to me, and the fiance and I decided to use it in lieu of something we picked out, then I would hold off wearing it until the wedding.

If an engagement ring is important to you in the interim, then talk to your fiance about it. There are a couple of solutions.

Blackberry's avatar

Um, it doesn’t matter. What are you actually worried about? Wear the ring. If people ask you questions, explain it to them.

bkcunningham's avatar

When are you getting married? Are you getting married? It is cool either way. I’m just wondering how long you would have to go without wearing the ring if you waited until you got married. Otherwise, just wear it whenever you want.

fluthernutter's avatar

I wouldn’t separate them.
That just seems wrong to me somehow.

Wear them both together proudly. And if anyone asks, you’re not just wearing your engagement ring and wedding band, you’re wearing a bit of your fiancĂ©‘s history.

syz's avatar

You can wear whatever you want to wear.

laureth's avatar

Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. What matters is that it means something to you and your sweetie, and if other people get cranky about it, it’s a good thing they’re not marrying you, eh? The rings have exactly as much meaning as you two fine folks give them, in one piece or two.

filmfann's avatar

Borrow or buy another, simpler engagement ring, which you will use until you marry.

JLeslie's avatar


If it were me, I would just wear them. I would not separate them, too much trouble. If you feel uncomfortable wearing them, then wait until you are married to wear them. When is your wedding date? What does your fiance think you should do?

People usually have rings soddered so the rings don’t wear down. When they spin against each other eventually it wears the metal, especially if it is a softer metal. I have my great grandma’s engagement ring, and I had it repaired a little because she wore it with a wedding band. The engagement has a loopish design on either side of the center stone, and that was rubbed a lot by the wedding band. Another reason is so the set is always lined up just for cosmetic reasons.

If there is a chance you will want the option of just wearing the band at times when you are married, then you might want to get them separated anyway.

thesparrow's avatar

First of all, thank you to everyone :) He is a sweet guy and we plan to move out together within the next year or so.

It was actually, not surprisingly, my mother who brought up the issue; she didn’t think it was cool for him to give me an heirloom in the first place, and would rather he’d have paid for a ring himself (I guess typical mother). She had a number of arguments against the ring. She thought it was [1] not very valuable due to it being from a set, I believe (i.e. the band and ring go together) [2] kind of a cheap move and [3] looks as though I’m married because they’re together.

I guess I’d never really been picky with stuff like this so I hadn’t seen any of this; I was just happy I even got a ring and that someone loved and cared about me enough to want to marry me. I’d prefer to know someone was there for me in the ways that matter, not in the ring, and that he is.

I still need to sleep on separating the rings; for now, I think I’ll look for jewelers. But I think a few days will give me some time to think about it. Separating seems like a really big move that shouldn’t be done on a whim.

JLeslie's avatar

@thesparrow I know this will sound harsh, but planning to move in together in a year or so is not in my opinion really being engaged. It is sweet and wonderful he wants to marry you and you him. But, without a weddng date, for me, not really engaged. Committed yes, but not about to get married. I have no problem with you planning to live with him, don’t get me wrong. Maybe you are very young? So, of course you would not be getting married right away? Finishing school, or something like that? I think your mom is right in that it is odd for you to be wearing an heirloom ring in your situation. I don’t think he is being cheap, especially if he is tight on funds. My first engagement ring was zirconia. He insisted I wore a diamond, and I did not want to spend money we did not have, and I did not want a mini small diamond. If you were engaged, and about to be married, wedding date within a year, and planned on wearing the heirloom ring, and his parents are fine with it (are they?) then I would say that is fine, but in your situation it is a little unusual. Not that you have to do what is usual.

thesparrow's avatar

Within the next year is probably an overstatement. More like 2 years.

He has suggested separating them if I want to. My main worry is how this will appear to other members of our family.. I’d need to explain the situation to them about the ring. I’m sure they’d understand if I explained it, but if they didn’t see a traditional diamond they might think something was off. Believe me.. everything about this is a tad unusual. My family is very traditional and I’m used to doing things a certain way.

Well, I don’t want to sound too expectant, but when he’s done school and has a bit more money maybe he’ll get me a nice diamond.

cazzie's avatar

First of all, congratulations. I wish you all the happiness. As for your question…

I never had an engagement ring, and I bought my own wedding ring (and his). I don’t think there is etiquette around this anymore these days. I think it is very much how you feel about things.

In my previous marriage I didn’t really have an engagement ring there either. I used a ring he had bought me previously (that he stressed constantly was NOT an engagement ring) that I really loved with an opal in it, as the ring I had a wedding band made for. I am not a big expensive jewellery person and I love the sentiment behind the bling, rather than how many karats it has.

Wear the ring and think of it as a ready-package deal, especially if this was something that has been passed down in his family. That has some wonderful significance that reeks of tradition and specialness and you should wear it with pride and joy.

thesparrow's avatar

@cazzie Ya, I guess I’m just used to the whole 4-month-salary-diamond deal; my mom has a ring like that. I’ve never seen her ring from her first marriage, though.. possible she never even got one.

That actually sounds nice (the opal one). I’ve started wearing rings now and I love them. I wear the engagement and I wear two rings on my other ring finger.

I know.. I really should.

disquisitive's avatar

I would leave them soldered but would not wear it until married. If you just must flash a ring right now, have them separated.

JLeslie's avatar

@thesparrow Forget the four months salary. Plus, when I was getting married everyone used to say two months salary I think? Four months is a big ring! Even if someone makes a modest salary, say $25k, is what? $8K for a ring? If he makes $50k, that is a $16k ring? That’s a nice ring for a young new couple.

Mine was zirconia as I said, I think it was $250. Years later I now have other rings he has bought me that I wear as a wedding band/engagement thingy. I don’t even really think about it that way, I just usually have a ring on my left ring finger.

thesparrow's avatar

I think I am going to leave it all together. The rings are soldered together but they don’t really look that way because they match.. so from a reasonable distance it just looks like one ring .. even from closer. The band kind of fits into a curve in the ring.

@disquisitive It’s a nice piece of jewelry as is.. that’s the thing. And it’s not big at all. I think separating them would diminish the look. The engagement ring itself wouldn’t look as nice on its own.

@JLeslie That’s nice! It’s the thought that counts, right. Relationships nowadays are so different too.. back then it was kind of like value of the ring represented the man’s ability to provide for the woman and support her. Now we don’t necessarily see it that way

JLeslie's avatar

@thesparrow Financial stability and responsibility are way more important to me. Buying a ring someone cannot afford is irresponsible. Anyone who goes into debt for a ring I think is making a mistake. If he saves up a few months salary and wants to spend it on a ring, I guess that is ok. More important than the ring is he has zero debt, saves money, has a financial plan for the future, because when you are married your credit will be all entagled with his, and money affects almost everything, including relationships.

However, there is a school of thought that if he breaks off the engagement, at least you have the ring. But, if it is an heirloom how can you keep it? You can, but it would feel odd to most people. I couldn’t do it.

Is your mom wary of your relationship with him in general? Is he very controlling, moving too fast, or anything like that? There is a statistic that men who propose very quickly are more likely to be very abusive if they also have some of the other signs.

gailcalled's avatar

@thesparrow; That sounds like a sensible idea, particularly since you seem to really like it as is.

@JLeslie: There is a statistic that men who propose very quickly are more likely to be very abusive if they also have some of the other signs. Can you support that? I am suspicious of such an assertion without some evidence.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled Probably statistic is the wrong word, but it is one of the warning signs of controlling and abusive men. Again, it is only worth thinking about if there are other signs. What we don’t know is how long the OP has been dating him. If they have been together for three years already, obviously this would not be a concern.

It is usually called quick attraction. Here is one site explaining it. Another one here.

I have seen experts on TV talk about it. Basically, the guy is sucking the woman in and controlling her, getting her to commit to him. It is a control maneuver.

laureth's avatar

Financial problems are a big cause for a future divorce. With that in mind, I always wonder why people throw lavish, unaffordable weddings and blow a wad of cash on wedding rings that are traditional big diamonds (even though the tradition is only a marketing scheme by the diamond industry). Going into severe debt to get married might be one explanation of the 50% divorce rate, in other words. Much smarter to stay within what’s easily affordable, let love brighten the day more than any spent money ever could, and start out on a debt-free path in your life together!

thesparrow's avatar

@JLeslie Lol, he is the least controlling person I know. And compared to my friends’ BF’s, I got really lucky. Well, he proposed at about 2 years. My mom’s qualms were more about his unfinished school and the direction this relationship was going in (i.e. marriage plans, finances) rather than about him as a person.

PS. I’ve thought about it and I think I will get the ring separated.

JLeslie's avatar

@thesparrow Good. I wasn’t assuming he was controlling, just put it out there in case. Well, since you aren’t rushing your plans, hopefully your mom won’t be too negative.

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