Hubs and I got married before we had our financial game tuned in. We were trying to be good with our money, but we didn’t exactly know what the heck we were doing.
If we were to get married today, with our current financial awareness, we would have done a lot of things differently. We don’t have regrets, but we could have been much better with our funds.
Our old way of spending is most obvious in one shiny area. Shimmering! Sparkling, even!
My wedding ring.
My ring has a history. The design means something. The setting means something. Both of these things are incredibly important to me.
We tried to be frugal with the purchase. Hubs knows a lot of people in the pawn industry and we put them to work looking for a ring that matched my criteria. They searched high and low but couldn’t find what I was looking for. Correction: They found it, but all of the settings they found were for diamonds 5+ carats. I don’t need a 5 carat rock on my hand.
After stumbling through the pawn world and coming up empty handed, we found the ring of my dreams at a jewelry store chain. I didn’t want to buy a ring from a chain. I couldn’t help but focus on the mark up. We walked away and went home.
However, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about the ring. I’m not supposed to be emotionally attached to things, but I was. I broke down to Hubs. It was more than we wanted to spend, but he’s Hubs and he saves the day.
He went back to the store, and my glorious ring had been discontinued. It was now at a clearance price. He offered to pay cash and they gave him a further discount. The ring was still spendy, but after all the discounts, it was around 60% off. Take that, retail mark up.
But here is where things get tricky.
He only bought the actual ring. It came with a Cubic Zirconium stone as a place holder. The stone is 1 carat and to get a real diamond would be incredibly expensive.
The sales women tried to get us to buy the diamond, but we played the broke young love card and said we’d upgrade later.
We never did upgrade.
For the first few years of our marriage, I was self conscious. I LOVED the ring, but I was worried I’d be caught in my frugal fraud. Surely, someone would notice that its not a real diamond. Heck, I hang out with jewelry people all the time. Would they know that my finger is a poser? No one said a thing.
It wasn’t until this last month that I realized how silly I was in my own insecurity. I went to the jewelry store chain for my ring inspection. I’m diligent about keeping the ring in tip top shape because I love it and its my favorite.
At the inspection, the tech threw a wave of compliments my way. I know this is part of a sales pitch, but I like the reminder that my ring is in fact 17 shades of amazing. While looking through a microscope, she inspected the ring and told me my diamond was loose.
She continued chatting about my diamond as she typed up the ticket. What state did we buy the ring? Do we know what store? She was looking for something, but I wasn’t paying attention.
Then she turned around with a squished look on her face and said in a hushed tone… “Is it a CZ?”
Yes it is.
She couldn’t tell while looking through a microscope or while it was in her hand. No one could tell over the last 4 years I’ve proudly worn it.