There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to upgrading an engagement ring. The first is “No, never, it’s a sacred thing”, with the other saying “Why not? Where’s the harm?”. It’s a difficult question to answer, of course, but we think there are many reasons why it is okay to get a different ring, so when and how do you go about it?
People change, our tastes change, our lifestyles change, our lives change. It may well be that, when you bought your original engagement ring, your budget wasn’t anywhere near what it would be today. Alternatively, what seemed beautiful 20 years ago might seem a little dated or even unattractive today. There are many reasons why you might want to change your engagement ring or buy a bigger one, and none of them are because you don’t want to be engaged any more.
Unlike a wedding band, which has both emotional and legal attachments, an engagement ring is a sign, a signal of intent to marry without carrying any of the wider formalities of a wedding. As such, the ring is a little less permanent and, therefore, a lot more subject to change if it’s needed or wanted.
Of course, upgrading your ring doesn’t necessarily mean a complete replacement. It might just mean resetting a stone or adding other stones if the current setting allows it. You can add color with sapphires, rubies or emeralds. You can, if the band is still in good condition, add decoration to the shoulders or even some engraving.
The fact is that an engagement ring can be upgraded at any time, and in whatever manner you see fit, although asking your partner about it within a few weeks might just be a little too early!
A good time to bring the subject up might be when finances have changed sufficiently that an upgrade won’t cause any hardship. Any changes at this stage will almost always be aesthetic, not sentimental, so there’s no real point in exposing yourself to struggling to pay for the changes you want. If you have a budget which restricts what you can do, then consider how best to get the most bang for your buck. The center stone will almost certainly be the most expensive part of any engagement ring, so see about building around that.
Really, using the word “upgrade” is probably a little bit unkind, as it implies the original ring isn’t good enough and that’s probably not the case. It isn’t about spending money just to be seen sporting a huge diamond or waving it about to impress people, it’s about re-modelling what you have to make it more in tune with your personality. If that means the ring makes a statement that is a little bolder than before, then so be it.
There’s lots to think about when getting engaged and the ring, although important, is just one of them. People buy cars – and even houses – they end up dissatisfied with, so why should engagement rings be any different? The key is that you really don’t want to be doing it too often, so choose your time, and your changes, carefully.
Engagement rings are a precious thing, but they’re neither infallible nor immovable. With care, a good ring can become a great one, so don’t be afraid to make the decision to upgrade or re-model. You change over time, why shouldn’t your ring?