Is There Ever A Right Time To Upgrade Your Engagement Ring?

One of my old friends, Peter mentioned the other day that he got engaged.  He's 37 and she's 28.  They met about 4 years ago at a bar when he was somewhat inebriated but immediately hit it off.

Peter isn't exactly the most studly looking guy standing at 5′ 7″ with a belly hanging over his belt, but he's kind.  They are two months into their engagement and don't plan to get married until next summer.  All was going well until one night, Peter's fiance Nancy inquired about when she could upgrade her engagement ring!


Can you believe it?  After only two months of being engaged, and not even married, Nancy has already asked for an upgrade.  Nancy is 5 feet 2 inches tall with a size 4 wedding finger.  My pinky finger is bigger than that!  Peter got her a beautiful 1.2 carat, princess cut diamond, G color, VS1 clarity with a platinum band.  Cost?  A cool 10 Gs.  Not bad if you ask me, especially on a woman her size where the rock looks closer to 2 carats.

Peter isn't particularly wealthy, but he is older and owns a nice $850,000 condo in a prime part of San Francisco.  Surprisingly, Peter said he shrugged off her question and responded, “Sure honey, you can have whatever you want!

What a wuss is all I could think.  I punched some sense into Peter and asked what he was smoking.  Peter later mentioned that while he was saying “whatever you want“, he was also thinking “whatever you want in 20 years baby!”  That's my boy Peter!

I really wonder about this Nancy girl.  She's not rich herself making roughly $48,000 a year as an aerobics instructor at a private club.  1.2 carats is certainly big enough for almost every single woman I know on the planet.  I just want to tell Peter to dump the girl and get his ring back because any girl this high maintenance and ungrateful so early is sure as hell going to be super high maintenance once she's married!


Peter is in love though, and who am I to judge?  He just laughs me off and makes excuses for Nancy saying she's young and is just “playing around”.  I'm seeing gigantic warning signs as Peter is still struck by his luck that a pretty 20-something year old would fall for a older guy like him.  Peter thought for sure that he'd always stay single if he didn't find someone after his 35th birthday.  As a result, Nancy is literally like a gift from the heavens!


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The Average Cost Of An Engagement Ring

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104 thoughts on “Is There Ever A Right Time To Upgrade Your Engagement Ring?”

  1. Here is a better idea.

    Find a women that hates you and buy here a house , three times. Guaranteed same result after years of fighting.

  2. So, here it is 2018…are they divorced yet? Did she get the condo?

    I stumbled on this because I’m trying to justify in my own mind that asking for a ~ $3500 ring isn’t too much! We are older (44 & 53) and this is a second marriage for both of us. My boyfriend makes about $70k+ depending on how much side work he does during the year.

    The issue is, he is ridiculously frugal on things like this. We’ve been together for 3 years and know that we want to marry. This might give you a clue: he wants to ‘recycle’ his wedding band from his first marriage!!! I’m like, NO. (His first wife past away suddenly, so it’s not like there’s a living, breathing ex around). However, I think he should have a new, different ring that has to do with OUR marriage, not his previous one. Thoughts?

  3. So did she finally get her upgrade? If she did, to how many carats? I think 2 months into an engagement was too soon to bring up the topic of an upgrade. But I do understand why she wanted an upgrade. There are girls who dream to want something big and sparkly to show off to her friends. If the your friend was making that type of income, I think he could’ve gotten her at least a 1.5 – 2 carat center stone engagement ring. However, we are in 2016, and that was over 6 years ago.

    1. Yep, she got an upgrade. But, she’s unhappy in her marriage b/c they have no physical chemistry anymore. She constantly says, “I hate doing my wife duties.” Maybe it’s the 7 year itch!

      I know she’s enjoying going out a lot every weeknight while her husband works. I wonder what she’s up to and who she’s with. Hmmm.

  4. So, here I am, responding 5 years later. Sounds like she was trying to keep up with ‘the Jones’ (oh the young mind) lol. Are they still married? Any kids, yet? Any upgrades, yet? :-)

  5. No, sheila, after 30 years it is not unreasonable to ask for an upgrade. Especially as most of your financial obligations are already paid for. I hope you get your ring!

  6. @ Red
    My husband gave me a .5 diamond thirty years ago and I have a plain gold wedding band. I would never change my wedding band, but would like a quality 1-1.5 diamond ring. He thinks 10-15 thousand dollars is too much to spend for a ring. Our mortgage will be paid off in a few years, our kids colleges are almost paid for, and I work. I live frugally but this is something I have always wanted. He is making me feel selfish.
    Am I?

    1. Nope….not selfish at all. I NEVER thought about upgrading until my husband mentioned it (SHOCKING- I know) lol. We got married in 2000 and upgraded on our 11th. 10th- I received jewelry, but yup, the 11th we both gave each other upgrades. But if I knew then what I know now….it’s best to do wholesale instead of retail and it doesn’t have to cost $10 grand (depending on the quality and color). With a solitaire, the clarity definitely outweighs the color (it’s my opinion). If I’m not too late (after 2 years of posting), best of luck to you!

  7. So did they end up getting married and if so, how’s it going? Is she happy with her ring now, or did they end up talking more about needing an upgrade? She does sound a little unreasonable to me in the price aspect of the situation. And your friend is right, for an upgrade that expensive … it should be a waysss down the road, to even consider.

    I have been with my high school sweetheart since 2000. We have always been very open about what we want in life and knew we wanted to be secure and didn’t want getting married to ever put us into debt. That being said, we got engaged at the beginning of 2010 and had a nice but small and intimate wedding later that same year. Because we didn’t want to go into debt, I specifically asked my husband when it was time, to get me something “smaller” and we then later down the road would either upgrade or replace the stones from my current ring into another setting. My engagement ring was a 3/8 center stone and 5/8 total. It is a beautiful cathedral setting, which I think makes it look bigger than it actually is because the center stone is raised. I love it… but I think I would like something a little bigger and nicer down the road. I don’t think upgrading takes away from how special my first ring is, it’s just more of a symbol of our ever growing love. I don’t want to upgrade though until our 10 year anniversary, assuming we are in a position financially at that point to do so. !0 years would be a great milestone to celebrate. It shouldn’t break the bank or be a huge burden based on what a families income is. I think it’s fine to discuss ahead of time, if that is something she will wishes for later down the road and they live that kind of life style where 10G+ isn’t that big of a deal to them. My husband and I had a clear plan, but then again … my ring was $2800 originally … and ended up being on clearance when we were looking because they were discontinuing the line so he got it for $780. It might seem cheap, but we just lucked out and wanted to be smart about money. I don’t feel like I am embarrassed of a “cheaper” ring – no one would really even know, and to me, it is just as nice as some other rings people show off. Everyone has a different perception of what is nice and will make them happy though. :) It just needs to be agreed upon, ahead of time.

  8. This summer I will be married for 5 years. I got a 1 carat ring and honestly I know that at times I can be materialistic so I do/did want a bigger ring. however I would never want to invest the money in a bigger diamond. I feel that there are better ways to spend the money and a 1 carat is a decent size. I am also not a petite girl, I am 5’6 and my ring size is a 7, so the 1 carat does not look as big as it does on Nancy’s hand.

    I did talk to my husband about possibly upgrading with an Asha diamond. I figured that a 2 carat is under 400, plus whatever it would cost to set it. No one would know the difference but it would give me the bigger ring I want, with out the high cost.

    I know it is mean, but your friend could always switch out her stone for an Asha stone and the upgrade would be cheap and she would be happy

  9. Alright I understand how everyone can be freaking out calling her names and saying it’s a red flag, but really I don’t think it is. To start off with 1.2 carats is small, my bf got me a 1 carat diamond promise ring with side stones (not sure the carat sizes) because we can’t get married right now and I wear it like an engagement ring. Also, he got me that ring right now and he doesn’t even earn that much (he’s a soldier) which goes to show a guy doesn’t have to bring us the biggest rock, but it is nice to see them try and give you the best that they can. In a way, your friend did fail her by not showing her he was trying.

    Anyways, the point is this, whether you want to admit or not your friend was a bit wrong, he should have noted what she would have liked (asking casually) and if he does think she’s too high maintenance for him then he should leave or stay and not critics her for this. Remember she’s wearing this everyday and call it shallow or whatever you do have days when you want to have something amazing. For her it might be the engagement ring she’ll have for the rest of her life and pass it on.

    That’s my take and I’m only giving my opinion like this because my bf’s friends think it was insane of him to do so, while I think it’s sweet (I’m not high maintenance and as long he knows it, it’s all good), but go ahead and judge.

    1. they say the average diamond size is a 1 carat, most people do not get over a carat diamond ring…. Where do you live that you think it is small and just used as a promise ring. Are you sure that the ring you have is not 1 carat total weight?

      1. Yes I’m sure the centre stone is 1 carat as for the side stones, I’m not sure. I live in Canada, but really it’s not so much about where you live, it’s about your personal style. If you like big diamonds then there’s nothing wrong with that – screw the average.

  10. Sam –

    First of all, I cringe at 37 being “older”, as I’m knocking on the doorstep of 40:)

    Ok, but beyond that, I think your friend is not thinking clearly at all – based on how you describe the situation. He seems to lack confidence in his ability to meet a nice girl.

    This girl seems materialistic, and perhaps views him as an ATM? If not, she sure seems high-maintenance.

    Frankly, the honest advice, based on what you’re sharing, would be for this guy to walk away now. Not walk, actually, but RUN. Run for the hills, up north in Marin county:)

    Might be harsh, but I think your friend is smitten and doesn’t see these warning signs in front of him. She won’t get any less high maintenance; there will be higher expectations down the road. Get out now, to protect himself. Let her find someone else to extract from.

  11. Indeed, we should all be a little more thankful. Everytime I’m starving, I think about who is REALLY starving in the world, and shut the hell up in my mind and never utter a word. I stopped complaining about anything openly once 911 hit either. Let’s be strong.

  12. She sounds pretty superficial. My engagement ring is 1/2 carat and although wouldn’t mind having 1 carat, it really doesn’t matter enough to me to upgrade it…ever.

  13. We should all mind our own business. Anyway, marrying for money and material things is not easy on a day to day (night to night?) basis. Nancy deserves everything she can get from a dope buying a pretty woman who probably wouldn’t give him the time of day otherwise. Apparently Peter is marrying for ‘love’ so he is spending his money to get what he wants.

  14. OMG-This one is right up my alley. FS, I am sooooo with you on this one. Dump the woman now while you still can-unless you value a greedy me me me me wife, and if so, then by all means keep her!

  15. I see TWO red flags waving here. First is little Miss Gold-digger on the make for a bigger rock. Second is your friend, who said one thing in answer to her update question, replying that she could have anything she wanted, but instead was thinking another — that there was no way she was getting that rock before 20 years. So if they tie the knot, the harping on a bigger ring will start right away and if he thinks he can handle that kind pressure for 20 years it doesn’t sound like a heck of a lot of fun and games to me. Then again in an odd way they may be made for each other. She’s greedy and he’s not truthful.

  16. Wow. Only 2 months in eh? Sounds like a stretch to me. I would wait at least 10 years before even considering an upgrade. At least wait to reach the wedding altar before requesting an upgrade!!! Something smells fishy about this lady if you ask me. Like the first commenter said “PROCEED WITH CAUTION”.

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