Engagement Ring Diamond Too Small!


Dear Robin:

I got engaged last month and I’m so happy!!! My fiancé and I are just starting out in life and graduated from college in May, so we don’t have a lot of money (yet!!). He gave me his grandmother’s ring and don’t get me wrong because I love it but it’s really small!

I asked him if I could upgrade it with a high quality diamond substitute and he was really insulted.  He thinks I am being shallow but I think I am obviously not since I am happy to have a fake diamond!

I know a lot of girls getting engaged right now who are pressuring their guys into getting big real expensive diamonds and I’m not doing that! How can I get him to see this is no big deal?  By the way I saw your ring in a photo on Facebook and it’s beautiful – can I have it?LOL

-Happy Bride

Dear Little Girl:

Back away from the ring and the altar, because you are not ready for marriage. Not even close.  Your tortuous overuse of exclamation points illustrates that not only are you deeply immature, you also need to sue your college for giving you a diploma that you didn’t deserve.

As Queen Elizabeth I noted, “brass shines as fair to the ignorant as gold to the goldsmiths.” In case you don’t get what I am saying, let me put it this way: you are the dummy (also known as “ignorant,” please look it up) in this scenario.


You were given a beautiful ring that belonged to your fiancé’s grandmother. You sent me a photo and it is lovely: a real classic platinum ring with a diamond I would estimate to be about a half carat.

In other words, you are an ungrateful little snot who is more wrapped up in competing with her sorority sisters over who has the bigger rock than planning a life together. We spoke last week about what you envision for your wedding and I know your type.

Please tell your father to read this: Wedding from Hell and give him my email address because I bet he could use some advice right about now.

You haven’t given one moment of thought to marriage, but your every waking moment is spent obsessing over a wedding. To say your priorities are skewed is a tremendous understatement, and your dissatisfaction with the size of your diamond is illustrative of your twisted thinking.

I just re-read everything above and obviously I am coming down very hard on you. For that I am sorry.*  My strong reaction to you is based in part on the unfortunate fact that I used to be you.  I know what it’s like to play “Keeping Up with the Joneses” and I lived that life for a long time.

You don’t want that life.


Poor Mr. Canary in a Coal Mine.**  I spent years chasing a bigger house in a better neighborhood, a higher-paying job, more expensive cars and yes, bigger diamonds for my wedding ring, all in an effort to impress people who frankly didn’t give a good goddamn about me or my pathetic collection of possessions.

You are a very young woman so I forgive you for being silly, vapid and shallow. However, you are incredibly lucky to have found me at this point because I am going to teach you one of the most important lessons in life:

Things don’t matter.

More specifically, things won’t make you happy.  Distilling the point down one more level, the more you get those superficial and material things you desire, the more things you will need to be satisfied.

But you will never be satisfied – not until you fill the hole inside you that compels you to compete with others over items as meaningless as the size of an overpriced mineral that was probably mined by an 8-year old under threat of losing his one remaining hand to another machete attack by Mr. De Beers.


Look at what you are suggesting: replacing something that is real with something that is not, all because you are playing a game of one-upmanship with other women who couldn’t care less about what you have on your finger.  I’m surprised your future ex-husband didn’t rescind the proposal on the spot when you made this ridiculous suggestion.

You have a hell of a lot of growing up to do, my dear, and even though I know you won’t take my advice on this subject I’m going to give it to you anyway: postpone this wedding by at least two or three years.  You haven’t begun to figure out who you are yet, which means your chance at a long-term and successful marriage is nil.

You also haven’t grasped the concept of what really matters in life, and I am basing this on both your original question to me and our follow-up conversation.  My impression of you is that you are smart, funny and driven, but also that you are immature, insecure and outwardly-focused.

I don’t think you need therapy per se, but I suggest you do some deep thinking about why you are so concerned with appearances and style over substance.  It’s time for some navel-gazing, sister.


If you disagree with everything I am saying and plan to proceed with the wedding right away, my advice is that you apologize to your fiancé and acknowledge that your idea for the ring was thoughtless, rude and inconsiderate.

Be happy with the ring and wear it with pride until he demands it back in your divorce mediation.


*(well, not really, but I’m trying to be nicer these days because my managers say it’s good marketing)

** The Original, a.k.a. Mr. Patience and Understanding 1, a.k.a. Baby Daddy

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tamsen

    Oh geez. If you find out the contact information for the unfortunate guy in that relationship I promise I’ll contact him and tell him to run, run as fast as he can. You are spot on; this girl is WAY too immature, self-absorbed and all about appearances to be getting married to anyone. She should just continue to take selfies for the next 30 years, all while wearing fake everything, and faking every facial expression, until she finally figures out that no one cares and no one is watching.

  2. YouCanLeadAHorticulture

    It would be one thing if they were ring shopping, and the fiancee were considering purchasing a half carat diamond ring, and the question writer suggested they go for a big gaudy fake rhinestone instead. Who would say to anyone, I’d rather have something from the real housewives qvc collection that will make people who don’t know what expensive jewelry look like jealous, and will make people who do know what real jewelry look like think I’m tacky and fake. This was a really good one Robin! Way to get everyone fired up! This is why I want to get married at the courthouse and use the money for the wedding on a beautiful experience for my man and I.

  3. Margaret Yost

    Dear Mr. Soon to be of Husband of Ms. Shallow Brat:
    Run for your life!!!

  4. A Loyal Fan

    You know, I bought my wife a pair of earrings last Christmas and they each had a small diamond in them. My wife wore them all them time. I loved the style, but I just kept kicking myself for not having bought bigger diamonds. After a few months I took the earrings back to the jeweler and had a new pair made for her, but this time the diamonds were the right size and higher quality, too. I don’t think she’s taken them off yet. Oh, did I mention that not once did she ever complain about the original pair. (As you might have guessed, this also is a second marriage.) Love your Blog and can’t wait for the columns.

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