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Would you ever replace your wedding / engagement ring?

Posted on 29 Comments 5 min read

[AD | This post is sponsored by LilyArkwright.com]

You know that scene in Gone With the Wind, where Rhett asks Scarlett what kind of engagement ring she wants, and Scarlett’s just all, “A diamond, Rhett: a great big one!” Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stand on engagement rings, too, to be honest.

I mean, I’m all for subtlety in most areas of life, sure – but when it comes to rings, I’m more of a “the bigger, the better” kind of a girl, and there’s just no point in denying it. 

Unfortunately for me. though, when Terry and I got married, our budget was neither bigger nor, er, better, really. Terry had just had his kidney transplant, and, after two years of dialysis, during which I’d had the bright idea of quitting my job to work for myself, our finances weren’t exactly in the best of shapes. We just couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on jewellery, so, in a rare moment of good sense, we spent as little as possible instead –  the idea being that, at some point down the line, when we were filthy rich, and without a care in the world, we would upgrade our rings to something that looked a bit more like Rhett Butler might have bought them on a cheeky little trip to Atlanta, sometime.

would you ever upgrade your engagement ringI suspect that probably sounds pretty unromantic to some of you. Wedding/engagement rings, after all, have a huge amount of sentimental value to most people, and I’m no different in that respect. I love the rings I have: I would never part with them.  As time has gone by, though, I have found myself occasionally wishing that we’d been able to invest just a little bit more in the jewellery I was going to be wearing for the rest of my life: particularly my wedding ring, which I started having second thoughts about almost as soon as we bought it.

As for my engagement ring, meanwhile, I love it, but one of the claws on it has broken, and is going to have to be repaired.  I keep telling myself I’ll take it in to get it fixed, but then I figure I should probably get it professionally cleaned while I’m at it, and you know, if I’m going to be spending money on a ring anyway, maybe I’ll just have a quick look at some potential replacements, and WOW, is THAT how much a diamond costs? And then I’m backing away from the screen slowly, telling myself my rings really aren’t that bad, and maybe I’ll just file this one under, ‘Very expensive things I will probably never buy,’ and do my best to move on, yeah?

The thing is, though, diamond rings are crazy expensive (WHO KNEW, right?). And, despite our best efforts, we never DID manage to become filthy rich, and the kind of people who could just swan into the jeweller’s store and not have to ask the price, unfortunately. So, instead of delivering on our promise to one day upgrade our rings, we bought a new house. And had a kid. And went on a few really great holidays. Oh yeah, and had to fix our car about eleventy-one million times, but I’m trying not to think about that, because the pain of the most recent car-related drama is still too fresh. Where was I? Oh yeah: I don’t for a second regret all of the things we’ve chosen to spend our money on instead of diamonds. I DO, however,  still kind of long for something a little more me to wear on my finger, so when Lily Arkwright offered to send me this beautiful moissanite engagement ring to play with, I really curious to see it:

Now, two things to note, here: 

01. This is not a diamond. It’s moissanite – a naturally-occurring gemstone which is even rarer than diamonds, and, arguably more beautiful, too. This one is lab-grown – as almost all moissanite is, these days –  so it has minimal environmental impact, and is significantly less expensive than the equivalent diamond would be, too, as well as being a more ethical and sustainable option. For those reasons, it’s becoming more and more popular as an alternative to diamonds for engagement rings and wedding bands, and, as it’s almost as hard as diamond (Moissanite scores 9.25 on on the Mohs scale, compared to 10 for diamond), it’s a very durable stone which you can wear every day, without having to worry about scratching it. You can see some more about the differences between diamond vs moissanite here, on the Lily Arkwright website, and the brand also has their own UK showroom, if you want to go and take a look for yourself. They offer a 12 month warranty and have a 30 day returns policy AND they offer 0% interest, so if you’re in the market for something sparkly, they’re definitely worth checking out. 

Lily Arkwright engagement ring

moissanite engagement ring

02. It’s not mine. I mean, I wish, because it’s seriously gorgeous (In a way that made my wedding ring look like it came out of a Christmas cracker or something when I tried them on together…). but no, I was just sent this to have a look at it, and then back it goes, leaving me with the ultimate in first world problems: how can I bear to go back to wearing my own rings, now that I’ve seen what they look like next to this one? HOW? 
Which brings me back to the question that started this post: 

Would you ever replace your wedding or engagement ring? 

If money was no object, I’d definitely do it, controversial though I suspect that admission may be. As I said, I would never get rid of my existing rings, so I think I’d either wear them on my other hand, maybe, or possibly on a necklace, but I would like an upgrade to my wedding ring in particular, and I’m thinking of possibly having the stone in my engagement re-set at some point, given that the ring needs to be repaired anyway. On that subject, Lily Arkwright offer a bespoke ring design service, which is the kind of thing that really appeals to me: back when we chose our wedding bands, we literally just walked into the jeweller’s store closest to us, and picked out something from the selection there, but if I were to do it all over again, I’d definitely want to spend much more time on it, and get something much more personal. (Oh, and they also offer free engraving, which is another thing we decided not to do with our rings, but which I’ve always regretted.) 

What about you, though? Would you replace a ring, and, if so, what would you go for? 


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  • Erika
    October 11, 2019

    We always said a future upgrade would be what we’d do; but, honestly, as time has gone by, I love my rings way too much to replace them. I wouldn’t be opposed to another ring though, but it would have to be my ‘right hand’ ring instead. ?

    • Amber
      October 11, 2019

      Ha! That sounds like a pretty good solution!

      • Sally Clark
        October 11, 2019

        We have just replaced ours, when we were engaged we were not in a place to splash the cash and get what we wanted. Now we can I think it’s fine to upgrade, I won’t ever get rid of my old ones and I loved them but we bought these together and we have the memories of making a special day to get them. It’s not another wedding but it’s a refresh on a commitment and romantic if done right.

  • Mary Katherine
    October 11, 2019

    What an interesting question! After my first marriage, I delightedly sold both the engagement and wedding ring, and joyfully spent the (little) money. I did toy with the idea of throwing them as far out to sea as I could fling, but I enjoyed spending the money more (nothing flashy – probably paid part of my electric bill). My Final Husband is my prince, my-reward-for-everything -I -ever- did- right, and he could never wear a ring because of working with horses all day long. I inherited my grandmothers diamond “dinner ring”, which I adore and will never take off, and I wear my family signet ring on my other hand, so there’s no room for one. So we decided to do without rings at all, and haven’t regretted it one second. But that’s what one does in a second marriage, when one’s old enough to fling convention to the winds. Look forward to that stage, Amber, because it’s SO liberating! Sorry, that’s probably WAY TMI, but that’s how I roll… Great subject, keep up the good work!

  • Karlie
    October 11, 2019

    Sure, why not. I’m from Dallas and it’s quite normal to upgrade/change your wedding ring. I have a friend who has three different solitaires with different stones that she changes out with her wedding band.

  • Sun
    October 11, 2019

    Wow! I have never heard of this type of stone. I’ve just been reading about it on that site and it sounds amazing, I’ve just sent a link to my husband to be xx

  • Dee
    October 11, 2019

    Good question. Like you, my husband and I couldn’t afford much when we got engaged, and so my ring was fairly cheap – it’s funny sometimes when I look at it now and realise that these days I sometimes spend more on a concert ticket or a pair of jeans that we did on my engagement ring! I still love the ring (although I need to get both my wedding and engagement rings resized at some point because I’ve lost a lot of weight), but yes, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a more expensive one to go with it 🙂

  • lalie
    October 11, 2019

    I wouldn’t, I can’t replace a ring that has such a special significance. I would just buy other rings, but my engagement and wedding ring have a meaning, other rings are just .. rings.

    It’s the same as my baby bracelet, I wouldn’t “replace it” (I am wearing mine, just had the chain made – a lot – longer), I wear other bracelets. I can’t upgrade it as such, either it’s that one, or something totally different, it wouldn’t make any sense otherwise. So that why, for me, I can’t replace.

  • Mirta
    October 11, 2019

    We’re about to get married, finally, and have had a look at the prices of wedding bands (OMG). Gold is terribly expensive, so we thought we may settle for silver at this stage, and then upgrade on a 5th or 10th anniversary… Although I think I’ll probably be too sentimental to replace them. Second marriage for both of us, and first time off we both had heavy, quality gold bands, but unfortunately they were probably the most durable things related to our marriages… This time I’m not sorry to settle with modest bands, but a life long relationship.

  • Nicola
    October 11, 2019

    I don’t think I ever could. My fiancé actually had little say in my engagement ring- I had my grandmother’s ring and always knew I wanted to use that- the ring was made as a wedding gift for my grandparents by a family friend and my grandparents had a long and happy life together. I have many memories of sitting on the arm of my grandmother’s armchair and playing with her rings- spinning them around and around her finger. I was 16 when she got sick and had a stroke and I spent as much time as I could in the hospital holding her hand and spinning her rings as I talked to her; I was doing exactly that when she died. After everyone said their goodbyes and the nurses were preparing to take her away I finally let go and they asked about the rings- one was left with her as she loved it so much and her wedding and engagement rings were given to me as per her wishes. I’ve worn them a few times over the years but it never felt right so when we discussed engagement I talked to my fiancé and he respected my wish to wear my grandmother’s ring and had them cleaned, resized, checked and valued for insurance – leaving them with the jeweller was the first time in 15 years that they had not been safely tucked away in my jewellery box. The matching wedding band is still tucked away in the custom ring box my fiancé had made to hold both my rings. My engagement ring brings back so many memories of my grandparents, of their long and happy life together, and of the journey I am starting with my fiancé. We put the money that would have been spent on a ring into a house deposit and brought a house a few months after we were engaged.

    • Amber
      October 11, 2019

      That’s so lovely – I definitely wouldn’t replace something like that, either!

  • ML
    October 11, 2019

    We kept the setting which I love and upgraded the diamond for our 20th anniversary.

  • Cheila Martins
    October 11, 2019

    I got married last Saturday so this is a great question! My engagement ring was very cheap, silver and zirconium. We do not care for diamonds or expensive stuff in general. I do know that diamonds represent eternity so I might get a diamond eventually, just for the meaning. My wedding band is white gold and zirconium and it cost about £200. Very cheap as well. I’d go crazy if I lost it and I’d never change it or upgrade it. But it’s okay with way. It’s a choice the couple should make and I do not think there’s a right or wrong answer.

  • Mardi
    October 11, 2019

    This reminded me that Angie of You Look Fab has a wardrobe of wedding rings

  • Deanna
    October 11, 2019

    I, too, never thought I’d replace my engagement and wedding rings…then I lost my original set. I was devastated; but my husband said he had always wanted to upgrade mine, so I started looking, and fell in LOVE with an anniversary band! It was quite expensive, so we didn’t order it right away, and a few months later I found my original set, so I thought that was the end of it. I was both delighted and sad that I found my original set, btw 🙂 This year we celebrated our 30th anniversary, and my husband bought that anniversary band for me! I love it and wear it all the time – I still have my original set, but those rings are a bit tight on me now, so I currently wear just the new one. I’ll probably have the old set made a bit bigger and wear them when I travel as they are more discreet 🙂

  • Miss Kitty
    October 12, 2019

    I’m not married so I don’t have any sentimental rings myself, so not sure what I would do. My aunt lost her wedding ring at the beach, so got to custom order a new one, which she loves. I quite like the idea of buying rings to mark a special occasion, so to mark an anniversary, birth of a baby, special birthday, anything that is meaningful to you. Your wedding rings will always be special to you, but there’s nothing stopping you buying other rings!

  • Myra
    October 12, 2019

    Do it. I
    have very odd fingers, with very big knuckles. Perhaps that’s how I lost my first wedding ring; a broad patterned gold band that was on trend at the time. So I got a new ring and lost that too, they literally fell off, I really didn’t misplace them. I got a third one, well this time a pair of rings with a pointy bit so they fitted together. Guess what – I lost them too.

    We never got engaged (that’s a whole other story) so I never had an engagement ring and like you I wanted to have a big fat diamond. Decades later (with me ringless for decades, we went on a short city trip to Amsterdam and on our last morning decided to do a tour of a diamond place (it was too late for spring flowers). But when we arrived I decided on the spur of the moment just to look at diamonds rather than the factory tour (we’d done that in the far east on another holiday).
    We were shown into a very plush office with a tiny beautiful lady sitting behind a huge desk. When we sat down she asked what we’d like to see and miraculously I knew exactly what I wanted: carat, cut, colour and clarity of diamond. She picked up the phone and a few minutes later took a tiny package out of a tube behind her. Out came half a dozen light blue paper folded envelopes, each containing a single diamond. Wow! It felt like we were in a Bond movie. I was in love and chose one there and then. It was set in the Tiffany setting in platinum. It was all very impulsive and fantastic, especially when my husband agreed I could have it.
    It cost a small fortune, and took a while to pay for it, but I’ve never regretted it, and guess what I’ve never lost it. I feel a million dollars when I wear it, although I don’t wear it every day.

    Just do it, you’ll never regret it.

    • Amber
      October 12, 2019

      That all sounds amazing – if I ever do replace my engagement ring, I want it to be like that!

  • Katie Davis
    October 12, 2019

    I have replaced mine – we were just 18 both students when we got engaged and had no money at all. Budgets were also tight when we got married 3 years later.

    I had yellow gold engagement and wedding rings, and all my other jewellery is silver – so for Christmas one year after about 14 years of marriage I asked for a replacement wedding ring – and he bought me one the same as Terry’s I believe – which I loved and wore on its own until my 40th, when I chose a beautiful sparkly ring to wear with it.

    I’ve never regretted it – it’s just jewellery!

  • Julia
    October 12, 2019

    We got married when our daughter was 10 months old and both of us were still students. We had a town hall wedding with our families and absolutely no money to spare on rings or a full wedding.
    Instead of buying cheaper rings we decided to save up for the wedding rings we knew we really really wanted and get them when we were ready to have a wedding party, engagement rings aren’t a thing in my culture so I don’t have one.
    Well, life happened and there were always things we needed the money for more. We never had that bigger wedding and it ended up taking 4 years for us to be able to buy the rings. We took the day off with the kids and went to lunch after picking them up from the jeweler.
    We’ve been married for nearly 20 years now and the ring – and thinking back to how and when we got them – makes me happy every time I look at it!
    I can’t see myself ever wanting to change the ring since it’s still the prefect ring for me and I’ve never seen a ring I liked better.

  • Cat
    October 12, 2019

    I want to! This is something I wear all day every day, so we’re allowed to want something we actually like wearing. It’s not like I’d throw my original wedding band in the trash! I’d like something a bit more interesting-looking and elaborate, because the one I have now is a simple silver band that has some visible wear and tear.

    My parents “update” their wedding bands regularly. They just celebrated their 35 anniversay and my mom got herself a new one. Ten years ago, for their 25th, she got one with her kids’ birth stones. My father also changed his recently, got one of these modern ones out of tungsten.

    • Amber
      October 12, 2019

      I love the idea of updating for anniversaries! And I guess it makes sense that if you’re together for a long time, your taste is going to change!

  • Kat
    October 12, 2019

    When my husband and I got engaged, we were dirt poor. We were both barely making ends meet working minimum wage jobs, but he wanted to propose to me when his family took us on vacation to California. He told his parents that and his mom offered to give him her engagement ring for me, which he accepted because he knew it would mean a lot to me. My MIL did get an upgrade for their 10th wedding anniversary. The engagement ring was originally made by a friend of theirs who was a jeweler.
    Anyway, I was overwhelmed by their kindness because she does have two daughters she could gave given it to. I also knew nothing about jewelry or what I liked at the time. So I got this yellow gold round diamond ring, which I had to resize because I have baby fingers. Yellow gold isn’t my favourite though, and while I do love my ring, I do want a second ring that’s more in line with my tastes that I can wear on my other hand. I worry that if I ever change them out, a lot of people will be upset.
    Not to mention, my maternal family has tried to shame me for years because they claim my ring is “too small” and I should be ashamed that my husband didn’t save money from the jobs he was working at the time to get me something big, instead of, you know, paying for rent and whatnot. A part of me doesn’t want to give them that satisfaction for when I am forced to interact with them once every few years.

  • Nicola
    October 12, 2019

    Ooh, that moissanite looks lovely! I’d love to see a stone like that in person.

    I actually DID replace my engagement ring – right before we got married! When my husband and I got engaged, he was a postgraduate student on a stipend and I was an unemployed recent graduate. We got a ring with cubic zirconia (and one lone wee sapphire) for £75.

    Five years later, and we actually have the money to get married, so we do. But a few months before our wedding, one of the stones fell out of my ring.

    It wasn’t a huge deal – it was cubic zirconia, after all, not something precious. We sent it to a jeweller, who set a new stone in it, but in the post on the way back, the sapphire fell out (it was, thankfully, in the envelope, though).

    We took it back to the jeweller, who told us quite bluntly that this was likely to keep happening. It wasn’t a high quality ring and the prongs weren’t the greatest. She said she could try to re-set it but couldn’t promise it wouldn’t happen again to another stone (there were 4 cubic zirconia stones as well as the sapphire, so so far 20% had fallen out), or she could take the stones and set them in a brand new ring.

    I chose the latter option, and so just weeks before my wedding I got a new engagement ring – and I love it!

  • Jess
    October 13, 2019

    I wouldn’t replace my wedding ring or engagement ring – my engagement ring is an antique Art Deco white gold ring with an amazing marquise diamond in the middle and supported on each side of the shank by 6 smaller diamonds – 13 might be an unlucky number for some but for us it’s always been a good number (we even got married on a Friday 13th!) My husband got a very good deal on this ring, it’s been appraised since for our home insurance and it’s worth considerably more than he paid for it.

    So I already got a spectacular engagement ring when we got engaged. In comparison, wedding ring isn’t as flashy, it’s a very simple white gold band, but compliments the engagement ring nicely and is simple enough for daily wear; it won’t snag on anything. I wear my wedding ring constantly, but because my engagement ring is so much of a showstopper, I only wear it on special occasions and the rest of the time it’s locked away securely.

    My dilemma now is that I have two daughters and although one is a toddler and the other is a newborn at the moment, one day they will be grown ups and I wouldn’t want to see them fight over who gets to inherit my engagement ring.

    I’m not looking to replace the engagement ring, but I am thinking about the future and rather than have one of my girls miss out, it might be a good idea to invest in an eternity ring that I could wear daily with my wedding ring, and that way there would be diamond rings for both my girls one day. It wouldn’t be an upgrade, it would just add to my ring set.

  • PatinCal
    October 13, 2019

    After many, many years of marriage the thin band of my original ring wore right through, so we replaced it with a ring that was more to my liking. However, the extra diamonds were free–inherited from a relative. My husband lost his ring, flushed down the toilet by a curious child, so his was replaced as well. To answer the original question, would I replace my ring if it hadn’t worn out? No. Quite frankly, diamonds mean less than nothing to me. It’s the sentimental value that means something.

  • Gayle Smith
    October 17, 2019

    Personally I think you should go for it Amber but I also think you should keep your original rings for sentimental value. I mean why not? If it was me I would definitely go for it.

    Best Wishes
    Gayle. X

  • MarieP
    October 21, 2019

    Broke the prong on my engagement ring, told husband we’d have to get it fixed, he said, “Let’s get it re-done; I think it’s time” (23 years, married). Bought two new smaller diamonds to set on either side of the original (jeweler color-matched them), picked a 3-stone setting I loved, had the original band melted down and re-cast and the engraving re-done. Prettiest piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned; gives me so much joy!