Engagement Rings

I do not like mall dates.

I haven’t got a vast experience to draw from. Just one, in fact. But it did not go well.

Malls are noisy and crowded and littered with traps and pitfalls. And I’m not just talking about Victoria’s Secret, though that’s bad enough.

Actually, I think things went south around the jewelry display.

In general, a casual pass of the jewelry is, in my opinion, a strategic move. Let’s face it – if you marry the guy, he’s going to be buying you jewelry (probably), and you should know beforehand whether you can trust his taste. I’ve had dates I was reluctant to dump merely because of their saving grace of having better taste than mine. Meaning, not only could I trust him to pick out nice stuff, I’d actually want him to do my accessory shopping for me.

But it wasn’t the earrings that threw us into discord. It was the engagement rings.

Yes. There we were on a second date discussing engagement rings.

He said CZ ought to be fine.

I said absolutely not.

We then proceeded to not see eye to eye for about five solid minutes.

What exactly is an engagement ring? To him it was just an expense. Something you have to do when you decide to marry someone. A way of irretrievably consolidating a whole lot of handy green into a very small, shiny, and completely useless object.

I see his side of things. Diamonds are pricy. A young couple has enough expenses without throwing in a rather expensive rock.

I agree that frivolous expenses should be cut down. Skip the bracelet. Skip the necklace. Skip the atara for the tallis. Skip the gold watch. Skip the silver leichter tray (most are ostentatious and awkward anyway). You can skip every “required” gift on the planet and I wouldn’t object. But you can’t skip the engagement ring.

Because to me, the engagement ring symbolizes so much more than an expense.

This ring custom dates back hundreds of years before anyone thought to put an atara on their tallis or their leichter on a solid silver tray. It predates hot desserts at weddings and seven-man bands with singers.

The ring symbolizes a man’s intent to marry a woman, and also exactly how much he values that intent.

Chocolate, flowers, and love letters may also symbolize this, but they severely lack the value. Small gifts and sweet nothings are courtship rituals. A ring is an investment. Nothing says it like diamonds. Or any precious stone. Cubic zirconium, pretty as is it, completely misses the point. We don’t need something glittery to stick on our finger to dazzle passersby and make our friends jealous. Seriously – the very suggestion is insulting.

It’s a Torah concept that once you decide to do something you should perform a tangible action to solidify it for yourself. The ring symbolizes the engagement. There it is – yes – on her finger.

And don’t guys get some (any?) thrill at all from seeing their ring on their betrothed’s finger? Is the engagement not, somehow, more real?

After a bracelet engagement I can see to turning down the ring – might do it myself (those rings are a bit too bulky and flashy for my taste). But that’s the woman’s prerogative. And really, a bracelet doesn’t have the same solidity or cultural clout. No, really, there’s nothing quite like a ring.

So guys, don’t rock the boat.

(grooooaaaan)

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67 thoughts on “Engagement Rings

  1. “The ring symbolizes a man’s intent to marry a woman, and also exactly how much he values that intent”.

    I agree 100%, provided that the aforementioned man actually pays for it, not his parents. It’s easy to spend money you didn’t sweat for. Even if the parents do pay for it, I would still distinguish between a man who works versus a guy who is in Yeshiva. Because I think most people would agree that you don’t really know the value of money, until you’ve worked for it. (and had your own bills to pay)

  2. I actually wanted the CZ, and the husband refused. 🙂

    I also thought the ring wasn’t so important. Then it was lost for a day or two (not my fault), and I was all a-blubber that OH MY GOSH I’M NOT REALLY ENGAGED, blah blah blah. (Phew, we got it back.)

    My husband still maintains he got it from a Cracker Jack box.

  3. Oh, I forgot to add; I’m male. Let’s hear from the women: Does it take the same for a girl (to be working for her money) to appreciate what she is getting?

  4. I didn’t want a diamond. I always wanted a pearl (throwback to my anne of green gables period). I’m too forgetful to wporry about carrying thousands around on my finger every day. my engagement ring is white gold with a pearl, 2 sapphires and 4 teeny-tiny diamonds. And, it cost less than $200 so if I lose it, heartbroken though I will be, I WON’T be beating myself up forever about it. Although I’m doing pretty good, I’ve had it almost 5 years now!

  5. While I agree with Bad 4, I’m not sure my wife does. She hasn’t worn her engagement ring (or wedding ring) for years (after getting pregnant and all, they were a little too tight). I also have grown larger than at my wedding, but I just expand my wedding band to fit my fatter fingers (though next time I may have to shrink it, if possible, since I am losing a little weight and it is getting too loose).

  6. i totally agree with you. i always tell my friends i don’t need the bracelet, leichters, pearl necklace or gold watch. but the ring i want. and i want a real one. its not just about the piece of jewelery, it’s about all that it represents…

  7. I didn’t want a ring because I was afraid I would lose it. I could see why someone would want it though. But I agree with the first comment, your argument stands only if the man spends his own hard earned money. If his parents pay for it, then the value of this ring is not that great in that sense.

  8. I’m a girl and i sooooo don’t agree. where did you get the idea that a diamond ring is a tradition that’s thousands of years old? it was a marketing scheme by de beers that worked well enough to convince girls like you that if you don’t have a diamond you aren’t really engaged/ he doesn’t really love you. rings are an older tradition than diamonds but even that is still only a few hundred years. wedding rings may be a little older than that. i really didn’t want a diamond, i didn’t like them, i was afraid of losing something that expensive, i thought that they weren’t special since they all look more or less the same and everyone has one (i like being different), it was just something the guy felt obligated to buy. it was very important to my husband though, so i do have one and i wear it everyday. but since i was really particular since i didn’t like the whole idea anyway, it took us a really long time to pick out one i liked so i only got it about two weeks before the wedding. i didn’t feel any more engaged for the two weeks with the ring than the rest of three months of engagement. and while i admit its beautiful, i wear it because he wants me to and i love him and want to make him happy, not because i think it has some deeper symbolism of commitment. plus didn’t you watch blood diamonds? do you know how many African villages are being slaughtered so you can have your diamond?

  9. N here, as opposed to “n”.

    Poor form if a guy brings up a CZ — even if his motives are pure and good. One cannot risk having his fiance feel that he values [whatever else he wants to use the money for] over her receiving a standard sign of engagement. To “n” and G: the actual facts around the Jewish and general historicity of a [diamond] engagement ring notwithstanding, if someone expected a diamond or, as Bad4 did what the diamond represents, then the “how about a CZ?” thing may not go over well. Even if the hurt is temporary and kept private, I would be very sorry if I “fashtered” the engagement.

    If the ring wearer insists on a non-diamond for whatever reason, I think it is ok to honor that request — just make sure it wasn’t some kind of bizarre shidduch date test before buying the CZ.

  10. joining the ranks of those thinking this is wrong.
    there is no need to have an engagement ring, or any other engagement object – from a jewish point of view the engagement is meeningless, theres a reason why “kidushin” (the original engagement) is only performed under the chupa. (in fact putting too much emphasis on that ring might cause sfek-kidushin and get youn into quot amess i fthe wedding doesnt come through)

    but even if it was the “kidushin” ring, it only needs to be worth a “pruta”, and the sages specifically recomend not to buy jewlery or anything else that doesnt ave a clear-set value to avoid wrong “daas-makna”. rings only made it into jdaism centuries later, and diamonds were never a jewish thing.

  11. Interesting historical point: bond-rings first became common in the middle ages among the nobles, and they primarily used sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Diamonds weren’t introduced until the 18th century after they were found in Brazil and therefore became more common. When diamonds were found in South Africa in the late 19th century, it flooded the market and so diamond engagement rings became more common for everyone, while birthstones were more expensive and therefore more common among the wealthy. Then the De Beers corporation came into existence and formed a monopoly, reducing supply and raising the price. In 1947, they came up with the phrase “A diamond is forever” (yes, the saying is only 60 years old!), which has been regarded as the single most successful marketing campaign in history. My source – Public Television (I think it was a Nova program, but I could be mistaken – it’s been a few years). So the diamond engagement ring is not an ancient tradition, but rather a more recent successful marketing campaign by the people who sell diamonds.

  12. I’m torn.

    I can understand why a female would want a diamond, as I would swoon (in a bad way) at being presented with zircon. If I’m wearing something, let it be real, thank you.

    But I don’t think, for myself, that the engagement ring is so necessary. I something wider would suit my fingers much better. But my mother would disown me. So I’m not going to rock the boat, as per Bad4’s plea.

    Considering how Yehuda did kedushin with Tamar with a staff and cloak, it really doesn’t have to be portable, but it does announce one’s relationship status rather nicely without awkward questions.

    And one can get ethical diamonds (non-bloody). They are available. And if bought with the significant other’s own money (I think my brothers were required to) that definitely makes them much more . . . endearing.

  13. Male here, recently married to boot. Got my then-financee a rock.

    Having done a lot of soul-searching and about this, I think what it comes down to is different women have different feelings about the importance of diamond rings, and you can’t really argue with them without getting into real trouble. It’s an emotional thing, not a practical one. In my case, we had been together for some time before I learned her position on the rock. I thought it was crazy, but we were so far past the point of letting each other’s foibles get in the way, it wasn’t a deal breaker. If she had made a point of telling me super early on how important a diamond was to her, frankly I might have dumped her. A few dates into a relationship is a rocky time to learn how materialistic your potential partner is.

    All this said, really what the ring is about is a finess issue about his willingness to seriously, materially commit to marriage — to do something more than words. I get that. But there are many more practical ways to do this other than with a diamond. As a vehicle for transferring wealth, it’s a terrible investment.

  14. Re that historical note above, in addition to the diamond engagement ring my hubby bought me–from his own earnings–I also wear the diamond engagement ring my zaydie gave to my babi, which my mother found still hidden when she returned from the camps. That ring was given in 1918, by an ultra frum chassidishe leaning grandfather, and he wasn’t the only one who gave a diamond. Other people with money did also. So diamonds among the frum as a sign of engagement is not all that new.

    As to “As a vehicle for transferring wealth, it’s a terrible investment” I so hope that was said in jest. I’m not wearing an investment on my hand; I’m wearing a sign that my choson valued me “above the price of rubies” (they were cheaper than diamonds back when I got engaged).” I’ve had that ring off my finger exactly 9 times in almost 38 years and when I look at it it never fails to remind me that my hubby chose to marry me of his own volition and valued what we were going to have together.

  15. No! No! No! How far the mighty have fallen!!! What’s happened to you???? You’ve fallen for their tricks as well… No…. no… no…

    O woe to our generation when we value physical possessions blindly.. I agree with the above comments. Using cliches such as| Nothing says it like diamonds”- sorry- WHAT A LOAD OF GARBAGE!!!!! Nothing says it like Twizzlers, for gosh’s sake, is almost as valid a statement. Just because someone decided shiny white stuff is valuable… Argh… Human beings….. Senseless….

    Argh- and no. My fiancee did not get me anything for our engagement. Because it’s not ***about*** that. And I personally would not have it any other way.

    You know me, Bad4…..

  16. “We don’t need something glittery to stick on our finger to dazzle passersby and make our friends jealous”- That’s funny, because from what I’ve seen…..girls need something glittery to stick on their fingers to dazzle passersby and make their friends jealous. ..they get really weird around rings. ..It’s like they forget the dude and concentrate on the ring (which only enforces my theory that ultra-orthodox girls marry mostly for social acceptance among their married peers, and not so much because they’re excited that they’ve found true love or something)…

  17. (For men only to read): I recommend reducing the need for purchasing rings by recycling rings from previous generations, such as from your great-grandparents. If this proves unfeasible, I recommend buying the imitation rings and not saying anything. Let them assume what they want, as Yacov said in this week’s parsha, “I am me, Esau, your firstborn” Clasic double entendre. If she asks if it’s real diamonds just say, “It’s real, diamonds are forever”, which simply acknowledges the ring’s reality.

  18. Any guys out there? I wouldn’t mind a CZ – I can’t tell the difference anyway. Also, I wouldn’t have to worry about losing the ring.

  19. bottom line is not if a diamond is important or not its that the guy was a total jerk/idiot to tell a girl on a second date that he thinks a cz ring would suffice. I mean HELLO thats just a stupid thing to SAY and shows the guy is A) not a thinking person B)not gonna be a supportive thoughtful caring husband.
    not because he wants to save his money for more important things ( thats understandable) but that he would unapolegetically make that comment: its just a pointless concept to prove/point out on a second date

    i think this is true for many things boys/girls say on dates: its not whether the concept is right or wrong its about how one approaches proving a point and which point they choose to bring out – because at the end of the day your spouse does not have to share your opinions about everything you just have to be able to get along by workin around differences and appreciate the others opinions and ideas

  20. A engagement rings are a huge problem halachicaly.

    B, i did get my kallah a bracelet, which i’m still waiting for the shliach to give it to her. 😦

    B”H my kallah agrees.

  21. Eco-friendly, the first thing I did after I got my engagement ring was to get an insurance policy to cover it–and to do that it had to be certified by the Gemological Society–trust me, they would have told me post haste if it were CZ. If your first major action at getting engaged is to lie, even if through omission, to your kallah you’ve got mega problems coming down the road.

  22. I’m so with you on this!

    Not into all the presents, but a diamond ring is a must! And I don’t think it’s materialistic at all. It’s one ring, for the rest of your life, hopefully.

  23. Guesswho is quite correct.
    Those who believe a diamond is the only apt symbol for enduring love have been convinced by one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history. As far as I know, there is no source in Jewish law or history that indicates a diamond ring is the symbol of engagement. The earliest historical reference is the record of Archduke Maximillian of Hamburg giving Mary of Burgundy a diamond betrothal ring in 1477. While he may have sparked a trend for members of royalty, the convention of a diamond engagement was not set as a universal one until much later in history. In the late 19th century, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa made these gems more affordable for people, and, consequently, diamonds became more popular for engagement rings.

    However, the “tradition” only became firmly entrenched in the 20th century as a result of a hugely successful marketing campaign by the DeBeers conglomerate, which controls the largest share of the world’s diamonds. When demand for diamonds sunk to an all time low as a result of the Depression and the World War II, De Beers and the N.W Ayer advertising agency came up with the”A Diamond is Forever” slogan. The slogan worked so well that the diamond solitaire became the paradigmatic engagement ring. To further bolster the diamond market demand subsequent ads by De Beers convinced people to keep their diamond jewelry as cherished heirlooms. It ws not sentimentality they were really encouraging but an elimination of recycling diamond. Without people selling the diamonds in their possession to be set in new rings, the demand for new diamonds remained strong, as it does today.

  24. One additional point – as I learned in chemistry class, pure carbon spontaneously reacts with oxygen in the air to form carbon dioxide. It is an extremely slow reaction, requiring hundreds of years, but id does happen. Diamonds are made of of pure carbon, so if you let a diamond sit for a few centuries, it will eventually disappear. Not that this info is particularly practical, but just so you know, a diamond is NOT truly forever. 😀

  25. bad4 … ur totally off, the idea that the guy buys you for the value of the ring is more demeaning to you.

    With unlimited funds I totally would buy an extravagant ring, but to chose between a ring or a deposit on house, I think even you would agree to wait on the ring.

  26. I agree with Bad4 on all counts.
    I’d rather have a small, genuine diamond than a large pretty CZ (even if only a jeweler could tell the difference).
    It’s not about other people seeing it, it’s about how it would make me feel inside.
    Not saying it’s a deal breaker, and if the guy couldn’t afford one, well that’s life. But I know I’d feel a little bit sad about it. Now the bracelet, watch, pearls, et.al. I could care less about–that’s what costume jewelry counters are for!

  27. Hashkafahically speaking I do find engagement rings problematic. It’s a non-Jewish custom (and one that’s 60 years old at that) and the important thing halachically is shevet prutah and make one’s marriage meaningful.

  28. I didn’t mean that it has to be a diamond, though I think diamonds have the advantage of never clashing with any outfit. And whatever the origin of the custom, the fact is that they are customary. Every custom has to start somewhere.
    I, personally, don’t even like rings. They get in the way. But that’s my individual preference, and everyone is entitled to theirs. But no guy has the right to decide that for me, and if he tries to then he doesn’t understand what it’s all about.

    My point is that if you get a CZ ring then you are missing the entire point of the gift.

    And if you tend to lose jewelry, maybe you shouldn’t get a ring – let him sign over the down payment on the house to you instead. No matter how careless you are, you can’t lose a house. Unless you really do want something shiny to wave in your friends’ faces? Then I cannot speak for you. Get CZ.

  29. Having gotten to know my kallah, and watching her slow change from wanting nothing at all, to wanting something to sometimes remember, me, to wanting something that she can always remember me with (a piece of jewely for someone who hates jewelry) i think that the ring is really less about the ring, and more a reminder of her chatan when she’s distant from him physicaly.

    its something that you can hold on to, look at when you miss him, and know that he’s waiting for you.

    The diamond I think is more about what is simply done, rather than anything else, like if he doesn’t buy a diamond, then he must not really be commiting.

    which is kinda silly but people are silly creatures in general.

  30. a huge problem halachicaly

    I point you to the emotional segnificance of the comments in this thread.


    I’m so with you on this!

    Not into all the presents, but a diamond ring is a must! And I don’t think it’s materialistic at all. It’s one ring, for the rest of your life, hopefully.

    Comment by Frum N’ Flipping

    this comment is a classic example of why a diamond ring is not just a diamond ring, but halachicaly does infact constitute real kiddushin, not in the fake sense that we do today, but in the real halachic, semantic and sociological sense that was in the gemorahs times.

    What is worse, this is not just a read kiddushin (which renders the wedding ring a fake kiddushin, and a bracha levatala, because she was already mekudeshet, and you can’t make up that bracha) but because the ring is attached to a large, expensive, easily faked stone, it is a halachicaly doubtful kiddushin, which must be done again without a bracha., yet still renders, if she is, for instance found to have lost her simanim in the interm for some reason, without reporting it immediately, chayiv misah for adultery.

    its a nasty situation and thats why they completely mevateled the custome, and set erusin right next to nisuyin in all cases.

  31. Chan’s sister, didn’t realize you were keeping tabs on me – I guess now I have to behave.

    OK, I’ll take a real diamond, if you insist…

    The point is – he could get me a CZ and I wouldn’t know the difference. The only rings I ever notice are those mama zetzer blinding ones, and just because I can see them from a mile away doesn’t mean they’re not CZ, too.

  32. I agree that diamonds are a really emotional issue with some women but perhaps they need to be re thinking their priorities

    As for me I’d rather a new computer

  33. “Pressure: it can turn a piece of coal into a flawless diamond, or a average person into a perfect basket-case”

    I do know someone who at their engagement and in their first few years could not afford a diamond ring. At their 25th wedding anniversary he got down on his knee and proposed to her again, this time with a ring.

  34. I think a guy who tells a girl that a CZ ought to be fine is the one looking for the flash. After all you can get a really BIG CZ for very little money. For that matter, why get a ring made from a precious metal at all…how about a brass ring with a piece of cut glass?
    A diamond is a tangible proof of his commitment, and making sure she likes the setting should be important too. She has to wear it for the rest of her life.
    BTW, I have jewelers in my family.

  35. Wow, this is a real super-charged issue. Which is entirely understandable, considering the emotional (not just monetary)investment involved. It does seem to boil down to the guy needing to be very sensitive to his future-kallah’s emotional needs (which he should be, anyway). I always wondered how the ring is supposed to be discussed (in terms of her preference, ring size etc) – because I would hate to end up getting her a ring that wasn’t quite what she wanted. Considering how much of a long-term investment it is, it would pain me to think I bought her something that she wasn’t proud of, or felt disappointed in for whatever reason (design, size, cut, etc)… I’m fascinated by the verbal sparring from both genders defending both perspectives.

  36. I am a jeweler and as such I should probably be pushing diamonds, but I refuse to. I see the expense and totally outlandish. While I think there is something to the ring, and even something to the idea of having something God made that is virtually indestructible under normal conditions as a symbol for you love and engagement, the diamond industry is a huge racket. If you have an heirloom stone, go ahead and use it. Don’t bother buying a “new” stone though. I tend to try to steer chatanim towards marcasite, white sapphire (which also has lovely masorati traditions and whatnot attached to it) or yes, occasionally even CZ. No reason it needs to be a white stone either- and gld is also an option. I just did a stunning piece for someone where the base was sterling silver, it has various mixed metals, and was set with a citrine. I am sure there love is just as strong as anyone else’s and they will be just as happy.

  37. My sister’s ring was set with a variety of stones – precious and semi. It was an imitation of a ring some famous historical personage gave his betrothed, I forget who. It meant a lot to her that he went through the trouble of thinking about and looking for something she’d like. It probably cost less than a diamond, but was an awful lot more meaningful than a CZ. How’s that for a nice halfway?

    To me, CZ is just a way of saying “Okay, we’re ‘yotzei’ with the engagement ring.” If it’s just something to be ‘yotzei’ with, like the watch, bracelet, and all that other junk, why not ditch it, along with all that other junk? Is this a relationship or a contract?

    Chan – would you be happy to know that he gave you a CZ and called it a diamond?

  38. No – that would be called lying.

    I do see your point about being yotzei, though.

    Yes, a real ring does represent something – that you are engaged – but keep in mind that most of the time the chasan’s parents foot the bill for the ring, and so its dollar value has nothing to do with the symbolism.

    It’s not that I don’t want a real ring, it’s just that if, let’s say my chasan has $10,000 to spend, I would rather have him buy me a ring for $5,000 and put the rest towards something more practical and useful (such as a down payment – thanks for the idea.)

  39. “Hashkafahically speaking I do find engagement rings problematic. It’s a non-Jewish custom (and one that’s 60 years old at that) and the important thing halachically is shevet prutah and make one’s marriage meaningful.

    Comment by Leibel
    For the record, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan finds nothing wrong with the engagement ring. See Made in Heaven (p 25. I may do a post on it. But he also cautions couples not to start out in a blaze that can ill afford. See http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/11/hillels-approach-for-chanukah-and-for.html

  40. The thing about the ring is that it’s really, as Bad4 put it, an “investment”. It says to the girl that the guy is serious about this whole marriage-staying-together-for-the-rest-of-our-lives business. It’s more of a subconscious thing, though, I think. The girl figures that he’s not going to impregnate her and then leave her after sinking a significant amount of money into her–that would be a waste of money. If, however, he didn’t spend much on her, and didn’t invest himself in her, he might very well just up and walk away. It’s a guarantee for the girl that this guy is safe, and it’s a guarantee for the guy that the girl will stay with him because she knows that she’s safe. Like Bad4 said, an investment.

  41. Yoni, you distractable dork! You didn’t even answer the question put to you (:D): “Why are rings a halachic problem?” (Of course, not that I expected you to answer it….)

    Okay, I’m answering in his stead: Because if his intention is to marry her, giving any kind of ring is too reminiscent of a wedding ring to lack the weight of a potential kiddushin. Also, if he gives it in front of a lot of people, he does NOT have to say “harei at mekudeshet…”, because the intent is clear. In fact, according to many, as soon as they are that familiar with each other that much, nearly anything passing from his hand to hers is considered to be safek kiddushin. This is for the simple reason that kiddushin must be through some kind of tangible object (plus a ketuba, but that technically came later) worth more than a pruta, given with the express intention that he would marry her.

    So, a ring (and a ring davka) given to her with the express intention that it is binding her to him (as an engagement, which kiddushin used to be) is technically kiddushin, unless it is expressly stated that the ring is given NOT as kiddushin- and most people don’t bother with that. Take, for instance, the NBN example that was posted on this very blog…

  42. I haven’t read the comments yet, so it’s quite possible that someone has already mentioned this.

    The idea of an engagement ring is actually a relatively recent AMERICAN “custom”.

    There has always been a minhag of gifts, but never as a public display or anything like that.

  43. To comment 49 Raphi:
    According to the law, if the engagement is broken, the fiancee is required to return the ring. It’s called a conditional gift.
    So this is not what is keeping them together.

    (I hope it’s not, anyways)

  44. I never knew how common it was for people to wear fake jewelry. I just heard over shabbos that one of the richest orthodox women in nj was at a chasunah once. Someone went up to her and said “I love that ring!” She said, “If you love it so much, take it,” and gave it to her. Then, she added, “I have 6 of these. 1 is real, and that’s in the safe. The other 5 are fakes. People assume since I’m who I am what I wear is always real.”
    So true.

  45. It’s more of a subconscious thing, though, I think. The girl figures that he’s not going to impregnate her and then leave her after sinking a significant amount of money into her–that would be a waste of money. If, however, he didn’t spend much on her, and didn’t invest himself in her, he might very well just up and walk away. It’s a guarantee for the girl that this guy is safe, and it’s a guarantee for the guy that the girl will stay with him because she knows that she’s safe. Like Bad4 said, an investment.

    And why the cynical assumption that a normal frum guy would get her pregnant and then leave? If you’re talking about making an investment I’d say standing with here under a Chuppah in front of his family and friends, undergoing real kiddushin + Nisuin (by being in the Yichud room) and giving her a Kesubah qualify as a serious committment. Also a normal frum guy cares about his kids (even before they’re born).

  46. To Keels: It’s given under the assumption that they won’t break up, though. It’s actually a statement that they won’t break up.

    To Leibel: It’s more of a subconscious thing, like I said. And while I agree with you that a normal frum guy wouldn’t do that, there is always the possibility that he would, and I think that both partners sense that. I think that whole practice of bride-gifts came about because of this–it was a way of verifying that the groom had serious intentions. And if I’m cynical, so what? Better safe than sorry.

  47. I’m in business school, X = investing, Y = insurance, Z = the supply/demand curve analogies are normal for me.

  48. Well, I was actually referring to the cynicalness of your comment. I thought that it was bit odd that you rebuked me for being cynical, and then were cynical yourself, but it doesn’t really matter as I see that you weren’t being cynical. Although I still think that it’s more of an investment than it is insurance. After all, you only invest in something that you think will grow and you only get insurance on something that you think will break. (Corny, I know, but it’s true.)

  49. Folks, the engagement ring is centuries old. The engagement diamond ring is recent. Keep that distinction straight.

  50. I once asked a date if she would choose a full set of CZ jewelry over just the one real diamond ring – if I’ve got x amount to spend what will it be…? I hope asking that is not insensitive…. it shows I’m not trying to just be yotze, but I’m trying to be accommodating…

    Also, if its about being REAL, then don’t choose diamond, choose a stone that actually has value, like a sapphire…. basically as everyone said, its all marketing.

    And chan…. what did you mean “any guys out there, I want a CZ” – if we’ve got a CZ we get a date? 🙂

  51. The Jewish concept of a ring to symbolize commitment, so far as I’m aware, doesn’t exist. A ring has traditionally been used as the object through which Keddushin is performed, but any object may be used. The giving of a diamond ring at the “engagement” is, from a Halachic perspective, meaningless. Breaking off such an engagement would not require a get. It is, essentially, a secular commitment.

    That being said, I do plan on getting a diamond ring for my (hopefully soon to be fiance) girlfriend, simply because I know that that’s what she wants, and if every man always let practicality trump what women wanted we would all be very lonely…

  52. if it’s an insurance policy, then why not sell it once you are married? if anyone thinks that a guy wouldn’t leave his wife (and possibly child) because he spent a few k on her, then they are completely nuts! Think about how bad the situation would have to be, you think a bit of money would influence a life-altering decision?

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