6 Reasons Engagement Ring Shopping Objectively Sucks

Alternate Gemstones Look Fake

So fuck diamonds. That's what I said. Sapphires are prettier anyway, and they're different, so I can feel cooler and more special than everybody else while spending less money. Well, that's a laugh.

First of all, the fact that it's not traditional to use a colored gemstone in an engagement ring means half the people I meet won't even know it's an engagement ring. The other half will suspect it might be an engagement ring but are afraid to make a faux pas and ask about it in case it isn't, and there will be a lot of awkward conversations to look forward to.

"This is my class ring! My husband died two years ago! Thanks for bringing it back up!"

Secondly, thanks to crappy plastic children's jewelry, bejeweled "princess" picture frames and the game Bejeweled, most colors of gems look tacky and fake. The only gem other than diamonds that's popularly seen in classy, formal jewelry is the blue sapphire -- and guess what? Those fuckers are almost as expensive at diamonds, some of them more so.

On the one hand, Kate Middleton's engagement ring made sapphires acceptable. On the other hand, no one can afford that shit.

Fortunately, you can get man-made sapphires for a tiny fraction of what a natural sapphire costs. And the man-made ones are structurally nearly flawless; at a level natural sapphires don't usually approach. Unfortunately, they look so perfect and bright that they look fake to most people. Apparently it's the cracks and flaws in natural sapphires that make them look complex and real or something.

Ideal gemstone structure.

"Unique" Alternative Rings All Seem to be Made for Goths and Wiccans

So at this point, we're trying to really think outside of the box. Maybe it doesn't have to be centered on any kind of gem. Maybe I could just get a unique, badass looking ring of some kind, with a dragon on it or something. But searching around for anything that's not a diamond or gemstone ring, all I get is goth jewelry.

Via 3 Rexes Jewelry

And that's fine, if you're a goth, and you like your ring to be all crooked to symbolize the darkness and scarring of your soul or something -- but I'm not. Actually, I'm lying, I also find a lot of Celtic and Wiccan wedding-related jewelry, too.

And again, I'm not Wiccan or Celtic, and my culture doesn't have any ancient ring betrothal traditions because we traditionally had the parents arrange everything and cart you off to the groom's house and eat a lot of food and say goodbye. I guess dragons are sort of traditional though, and I was born in the Year of the Dragon -- so I could legitimately wear some kind of dragon ring.

But the more I look at rings with dragons on them ...

Via Amazon.com

... the more they look like rings worn by people who never have sex.

I don't know, maybe you really can't put anything unique and attention-grabbing on a ring without looking like a dork. Maybe it's just a natural law. Don't get me wrong, it would be really hilarious to be proposed to with a ring that looked like this:

Via 3 Rexes Jewelry

… but the laughter would fade after a couple of days and the embarrassment would last a lifetime.

Forget About the Surprise Factor

You might be wondering why I'm putting so much thought into what's supposed to be a present for me, and traditionally, a surprise present. Well, if we were going by the old De Beers "diamond tradition" rules, I probably wouldn't have to, because the formula's pretty clear. He just needs to find out my ring size and get a solitaire ring with the highest quality diamond he feels like paying for.

And a classy card printed out on the inkjet.

But if we're not going to play that game, it's all uncharted territory and who knows which of the endless possibilities I would or wouldn't like -- especially since I don't wear jewelry and he's got no hints to go on. If it's OK with me to get a $25 ring with a badly-made dragon on it, I have to tell him that because I don't think that would be a very safe guess for him. With so many more questions outside of carat size and setting, it's unfair to make a guy guess on most of them.

"You should have told me you weren't Celtic!"

And no matter how nontraditional you are, it kind of sucks. It takes away from the fun of being surprised. Gender roles aside, it's always fun to be surprised.

Well, not always.

Fed up with all of this, I told him he could just get me a candy ring from one of those candy machines, but he said I would probably eat it, and he's right.

Screw it. I'm proposing to him. With this fancy manly engagement ring.

Via Titanium Kay

Shhh! Nobody tell him! I hope he doesn't read this column.

Be sure to check out more from Christina in The 5 Stupidest Ways Movies Deal With Foreign Languages and 6 Reasons It's Time For Matthew McConaughey To Go Away.

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Christina H

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