Bride cops backlash for returning 'cheap' $3k engagement ring

A hurt fiancé has taken to Reddit to ask for advice after his partner returned the $3,000 engagement ring to him because it was “cheap”.

The unnamed man explained that he’d proposed to his partner of five years with a “nice” white gold ring featuring a custom-cut central sapphire — her birthstone — surrounded by a halo of diamonds.

Scared girlfriend rejecting a marriage proposal at home
A bride has copped backlash for returning a "cheap" $3,000 engagement ring. Photo: Getty Images.

Fit for a princess

Before buying the piece he says he discussed preferred styles and stones with his partner, who said she wanted a Princess Diana-style look, and paid particular attention to her likes and dislikes.

“I noticed that she preferred pear-cut stones so I had a sapphire custom cut into a pear shape,” he said.

So far, so good. The man says that his fiancée, with whom he shares an 18-month-old son was initially “very happy” with the ring until her mother, a former jeweller, called it “cheap.”

“She has since given [the ring] back to me and accused me of undervaluing her and what she does for me,” he wrote, adding that his partner does the majority of the cooking and cleaning at home because he ‘works long hours’.


A close up of Kate Middleton's engagement ring, the fiancée of Britain's Prince William, as they pose for photographers during a photocall to mark their engagement, in the State Rooms of St James's Palace, central London.
The inspiration for the ring: Princess Diana's blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring as worn by Kate Middleton in 2010. Photo: Getty Images.

Paying her way

The man said that he effectively ‘pays’ his partner $450 a week to be a stay-at-home-mum instead of returning to full-time work, an idea that he came up with himself.

“Her old job paid her $350/week for full-time work. Full-time child care/house cleaners would cost around $300 to $400 depending on the time of year.

“To me, it made more sense for her to stay at home and bond with our son than to spend the equivalent of her income on childcare/cleaning.”

The man himself claimed to be earning a significant salary so could “easily afford” an expensive engagement ring, adding that if he adhered to the customary ‘10 per cent rule’ he should have forked out around $10 to $15k.

He decided against that, however, because the coronavirus pandemic saw him step in to support various family members who became unwell or were left jobless.

“My parents, sister and nephew have all had Covid this year so I was financially supporting all of them for a while, [and] my sister has lost her job,” he wrote, adding that his own job isn’t entirely stable, either.

The man asked the Reddit community for advice on his predicament. Photo: Reddit.
The man asked the Reddit community for advice on his predicament. Photo: Reddit.

‘Cheap trash’

Despite that, his partner is refusing to speak to him and her parents are accusing him of “using” her and treating her like “cheap trash”.

“I've tried to explain my point of view but they won’t listen and are demanding [I spend] at least 10 per cent [on the] ring.”

The man then threw to his fellow Reddit users for their opinion on whether or not he was in the wrong for opting for a less expensive ring.

The overwhelming response was, no, he’s not in the wrong at all and that affordable rings were perfectly acceptable.

“My husband paid 2k for my ring as there was a 50% discount,” one user wrote.

“As a proud wearer of a 400 dollar engagement ring I can not fathom wasting thousands on a piece of jewellery,” another added.

One user poured cold water over the spending expectations for engagement rings, writing;

“The ‘10% of your income’ is not a rule anyway. It was a marketing ploy invented by the diamond industry,” they wrote.

Others advised the man to reconsider the person he wants to marry.

“Run. If her parents can sway her opinion that much, that’s a huge red flag. And if she also believes that she’s being devalued because she was given a 3k ring, then she clearly has issues,” wrote a user.

“I’m sorry, no matter what your income is, it’s a pandemic, and you’ve clearly been financially affected by it. Her refusing to acknowledge that is ridiculous,” they added.

“Do you really wanna marry this woman?” another asked.

“At the very least, I'd suggest you take your proposal back and tell her you two are clearly not ready to get married yet,” they said.

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