Engagement rings are a big deal. People can get very dramatic about the size of the diamond or the cut of the diamond or the setting. It can be all very complicated and usually, men are just along for the ride. Jewelers have a very unique seat for some of his insane drama.
These stories about the craziest moments jewelers have ever seen regarding engagement rings. Golddiggers, drama queens, mean girls, and scammers all play their parts. It's a fascinating look into the drama-filled world of the lovers and (sometimes) haters.
The Man Blamed The Salesman
“I worked at a luxury jewelry retailer.
An old man came in saying he’s going to propose to his girlfriend and that she’s been hinting at a particular ring. I showed him the exact style (it’s one of the stylized diamonds so it’s always cut in the same shape and size no matter what). It was $4,000. He didn’t like the idea of it being that much, so he asked me to show him other rings. He settled on a ring that was around $2,500.
The next week, he came back but I wasn’t there. A co-worker had to help him and calm him down. He was fuming, apparently. He was so mad. He said I convinced him to get a different ring that his fiance didn’t want. He said I pressured him to get a different ring and totally ruined his engagement and he is now coming back to get the proper ring she asked for.
Yeah, okay, buddy, as a salesperson who works on commission, I really convinced you to get a cheaper ring. Two weeks later, I helped the fiancee with her resizing and he wasn’t with her. She knew by my name that I was the one who ‘tricked’ her fiance to get the cheaper ring, but we didn’t bring it up.
I think she secretly knew her fiance was in the wrong.”
He Lost His Fiancee
“I was once in a jewelry store and there was a 20-30 something guy being helped. I didn’t hear the entire conversation, but I realized that he was returning an engagement ring. When he was finished with the transaction, the salesperson added, ‘My deepest condolences.’
I guess I was shocked because I am not that nosey, but once he left, I asked what happened to his fiancee. Only about a week before he returned the ring, she was not feeling well. She went to bed and never woke up.
Up until that point, she had never had a major illness – turns out she had meningitis.”
Maybe He Was Making A Mistake
“I went with my buddy when he was going to pick a ring out for his soon-to-be fiancee.
We walked in and the seller asked us, ‘What is your price range?’ That way we didn’t immediately go fall in love with a $10k ring when he’s hoping to spend $1k. I thought it was smart.
A couple came in behind us and they got the same question. The guy answers right away, ‘No more than $3,000.’ And the girl with him loses her absolute MIND.
‘Is that ALL I’m worth to you? Is that really all? A measly three thousand? My sister’s ring was fifteen, how am I supposed to spend the holidays with a ring that’s not even HALF that?’
The guy was pretty much acting like he can’t hear her, so she turned her attention to the guy behind the counter. ‘I’m just so embarrassed. We can afford more, I don’t want you to think we’re just some broke kids from off the curb. We have money, we have LOTS of money. I could buy everything in this store if I wanted! It’s not like we don’t have money! He makes more money in a week than you do in a year!’
Then she turned on me (I’m a girl) and starts asking, ‘How much is HE spending on you? I bet it’s more than three thousand! This is just so embarrassing! I can’t believe you’d embarrass me in front of these people! We have money!’
Her boyfriend is literally asking questions about carats and diamond strength and whatever else goes on with rings while she’s going on like a parrot in the background. The guy behind the counter did a pretty good job of tuning her out as well, I was surprised he kept his cool after she started insulting his salary. He just looked kind of dead in the eyes, I’m sure it wasn’t the first clown he’s had at his rodeo.
In the end, they did purchase a ring with the stipulation that he buy her an expensive necklace later; I think they put one on hold or something.”
She Hated The Ring But Could Change It
“I sell engagement rings for an online company, so we don’t see things in person but…
I got a call from the fiancée, she was snooping through his email and found the email. She hated the ring and wanted us to change it. I kept telling her that no, your name isn’t on this order, John is going to have to call us himself to change it. She insisted that isn’t fair and how could she get us to change the ring? I said, ‘It sounds like you need to have a discussion with John.’
They did eventually call together, which is never fun, and argued through half the phone call while exchanging the ring.”
Her Tastes Were Too Expensive For Her Wallet
“A little different as they tried to pick a fight with me.
I had a lady one time who looking to buy herself a nice ring. Her adult daughters were with her and kept talking about a friend that got a ring that was 4 carats total and she should get something like that. She kept looking at these huge (and frankly ugly gaudy) rings and shrugging them off saying she didn’t like this part or that style. She said she wanted a big solitaire and would set it in a new setting with some fancy detailing. We didn’t have what she wanted in store so I pulled up our online catalog that she could order from.
I find a stone that matches what she says she wanted and showed it to her. As I’m confirming the specs, the price of just this stone is over $12,000, she tells me,
‘You need to shut your mouth right now.’
I stopped and just stared.
She lays into me asking if I’m joking, she doesn’t have that kind of money, if she wouldn’t take the cheaper ones I’d shown her then how could I think she’d be able to afford that. Her adult daughters start in too. I let them go off until they’d run out of steam. Then I responded:
‘Earlier you stated the rings I’d shown you were not to your liking. You refused to give me a price you were comfortable with paying. It’s not my place to judge what you may have in the bank as it’s unprofessional for me to assume whether you can or not you can pay for something based solely on your appearance. Now, if you’d like to give me a price range, I’d be happy to show you what we have that would fit your budget. Otherwise, there is a different store across the hall and a third option close to Dillard’s.’
They asked to speak to the manager. I informed them that I was the current manager on duty and if they would like to speak with the store manager, he would be there in the morning.
They left and never came back.
I don’t particularly care for being yelled at but I’m not going to let someone try to walk all over me either. I did give my store manager a heads up as to what had happened since we opened the store together the next morning. All he had to say was maybe next time ‘don’t say it quite so bluntly’ but at that point, they weren’t going to buy anything anyway so no loss. He was a cool dude to work with. Good at having his employees backs while also helping the customers get what they were looking for.”
She Faked Them Out!
“There’s a group of ladies out there who thought I was serious when I did this…
A local jewelry store was closing down and they were holding liquidation sale so my boyfriend and I popped in to check it out. He heads immediately to the watches, and I’m browsing the rings. He finishes first, comes over to see what I’m looking at and does a Homer Simpson and slowly backs away. I ‘threw a fit’ I don’t even remember what all I said, something like, ‘Oh you can look at $700 watches but you can’t even glance at a ring for me?! If you don’t want to marry me, just say so!’ and I stormed out of the store.
He followed, concerned, only to find me laughing my tail off. Thankfully we have the same sense of humor so he found it funny, too, but he still hasn’t put a ring on it…”
She Tried A Shocking Scam
“I’ve been in this business for over 10 years and I’ve sold enough engagement rings that I really have no idea how many are out there at this point. Sooner or later, this is bound to happen. I’ve had it happen a few times.
Here’s the worst story:
A couple comes in together (let’s call them Mike and Stephanie). Mike is ready to spend about $20k, which is a LOT of money for a young couple, and I’m showing them rings in that range, but Stephanie keeps pushing for more, and more, and MORE. Finally, with enough begging, pleading, smiles, and thinly veiled physical promises, she talks him into a 3-carat center diamond, with an elaborate setting, for around $30k. Honestly, I don’t feel great about having to witness this whole exchange, but at the end of the day, it’s none of my business, so I complete the transaction.
About three weeks later, Stephanie comes to my office alone. I assume she needs the ring re-sized or something, but instead, she asks me if I can remove the center diamond and replace it with a CZ (cubic zirconia, a very cheap diamond substitute). I’m surprised, so I stammer, ‘Sure, but why? Are you traveling or something and don’t want to risk the stone?’ She responds that it’s nothing like that, she just prefers to have the CZ in there for now.
Obviously, every red flag in existence is waving in front of my eyes at this point, so I say OK, take her ring, and tell her she can come back in a day or two to pick it up with the CZ in it. But as soon as she’s out the door, I’m dialing Mike. After all, HE’S the one who wrote me a $30k check, so HE’S my customer, not HER. Mike picks up, and after a moment of small talk, I ask him if he knows what Stephanie is up to. ‘NO!’ is the shocked response.
Mike called me back the next day and told me that apparently, Stephanie was planning to call off the engagement and return the ring, but keep the 3-carat diamond. He was obviously very upset and asked me if I could give him a refund. I offered my sympathy and gave him back his money. Needless to say, he was very grateful that I had called him.
About two years later, Mike came back with another woman who I liked much better. They’re happily married with two kids now. Mike and I have become friends and he’s probably referred me 10+ other customers over the years. As for Stephanie, after she left my office that day, I never saw her again.”
He Tried To Do The Right And Paid A Huge Price
“So about 10 years ago, I was in my early 30’s still working for my dad at the jewelry shop he owned. His health was declining so I had pretty much taken over the duties of running the shop. A young couple came in that looked about 20 and they told me that they wanted to get married and wanted to look at engagement rings.
I went through the normal line of questions (what kind of style, what’s your price range, etc.) and through all of it, I could see that the boy was just so happy that he didn’t care. The girl was so extremely picky and rude and the boy just wanted to make her happy. She ended up picking out a set that was worth about $8,000. I could see in the boy’s eyes that he probably didn’t have the money to pay for it, but he agreed that he would come back. He came back, alone about a week and a half later with $8,000 in CASH. I’m not one to turn away money, but I couldn’t help but ask him where he got it. He said that he sold his car that his father had bought him for graduating from college to pay for the ring. I told him that it was a big thing for him to do, but he was an adult so I didn’t try to talk him out of it.
Anyway, about four months go by and the girl comes strolling back into the shop, except this time she’s with a DIFFERENT GUY! And it was the same exact story of both of them wanting to get married and they were there to pick out a ring. I was in completely disbelief that this girl was with somebody else and was pulling the same strings with that she did for the other guy! It made me SO angry because I remembered the other guy that had sold his car to make her happy. I bit my tongue for the most part but throughout little snide comments here and there like, ‘Hey, you look familiar, have you ever been here before?’ She denied all of it, of course.
She picks out another ring, the whole set was worth about $4,500. The guy agrees that he’ll come back and I’m in complete disbelief of the deja vu that I’m experiencing.
But then it gets worse; the girl asks me if I buy used rings. My blood instantly started to boil but I kept my composure and told her that I did. She then pulls out (you guessed it) the ring that I originally sold to her ex that she conned. She said that it was her grandmother’s ring who recently passed away and I just SNAPPED.
I said, ‘Huh, that’s weird, you said your grandma owned this ring? Because it looks exactly like the ring that I sold to your ex-fiance a few months ago!’
She turned beet red and got absolutely furious with me, cussing me out, saying that I was a liar, etc. Then she looks at her current boy toy and says, ‘Well? Do something!’ He looks at her and looks back at me hesitantly and apparently her spell of seduction was strong enough that he decided that lunging at me was a good idea.
He caught me with my hands down at first and knocked me back into a cabinet (which shattered). While I was down, I managed to trip my silent alarm; he then came at me again and I managed to get a couple of shots in. We were going toe to toe for a good 30 seconds when suddenly I felt a warm sensation on the left side of my back (around where the kidneys are). I was in shock and it was like in the movies where I touched the area and brought my hand back up, covered in blood in complete disbelief. The other guy was in disbelief, too, and stopped attacking me. I turned to my side and there stood the girl with a FREAKING knife in her hand. The broad stabbed me!
When the reality of what happened set in, I got extremely dizzy from all of the blood loss and fell to the ground. They ran outside only to be apprehended by police. I was taken to the hospital and later found out that she had lacerated my kidney and I was a lot closer to death than I originally thought.”
A Very Sad Return
“I sold jewelry years ago as a second job. One guy will always come to mind.
He was young, very shy, and only after seeing him a couple of times, and becoming friendly, did I find out that he had a TBI (traumatic brain injury). He would come into the store once a week and look at the rings. When he finally settled on one, we put it on layaway, and he would still come by to look at it each week. I came to really like him, he was a good and decent man.
We counted the days together, each week, we counted down to his big night.
The day he came and picked up the ring, I remember putting it in the fanciest box we had. I wished him well and off he went. When I didn’t see him the following week, I just smiled, knowing he was happy.
About a month later, he came back carrying the little bag. He said, ‘Can I give it back, Charlie?’ I asked him what happened and he told me that she said no. I didn’t ask any more questions.
I would have done anything to fix him at that moment, but I knew that there wasn’t anything I could do or say to make him feel better. So I just told him that I was sorry and I rang up his return.
As he was leaving, I said, ‘She has no idea what she’s missing.’ I never saw him again.”
The Drama Over The Engagement
“I have a friend named Joanne who was a bit socially awkward, which is not that uncommon for lesbians. She decides that she wants to put a timer on herself to motivate her to get out there and meet women. She goes to a jewelry store, picks out a big, gorgeous ring, prices it out exactly as she would want, and then gets a number: $20,000.
So then Joanne goes home and works out a plan. She’s going to put $250/month in the bank for the next seven years. During that time, her goal is to meet a woman worthy of this ring.
She is motivated. This is about 10% of her take-home pay, so it’s a significant amount to her. She starts dating, asking girls out, has a few relationships. Finally, she meets Dawn. Dawn is nothing at all like Joanne. Where Joanne is a bit socially awkward and kind of quiet, Dawn is tall, loud, and boisterous. She laughs too loud and too often for some people. She’s always got a story, she can drink like a sailor, and Joanne is completely in love with her. They meet, date a few times, and in three weeks, Dawn moves into Joanne’s apartment. Some of Joanne’s friends don’t like Dawn. Her roommate doesn’t mind so much.
Dawn loses her job and for three months is looking for another one while she finishes grad school. Dawn may be a bit obnoxious, but she’s seemingly pretty honest. She seems to really care for Joanne.
A couple more years go by and Joanne tells me she’s saved up the amount. She’s got a savings account with $20,000 in it and she wants to ask Dawn to marry her. Dawn has been employed for a few years now as a graphic designer and part time community college professor for art history.
I tell Joanne she should ask Dawn first, but she’s having none of it. Joanne goes to the store, buys a ring almost identical to the one she wanted, and she takes it home to propose to Dawn.
Dawn loses it. She just starts crying. She can’t handle it. She says she won’t give her an answer. She needs time to think. She needs to be alone. Dawn heads out the door – no luggage, no keys. Dawn is just…gone.
Six hours later, Joanne calls me in hysterics. She wants to take the ring back but doesn’t trust herself to drive. Can I take her? Sure.
So if you’ve never been to a jewelry store to return a ring with a sobbing woman, good for you. It’s basically the best way to get people to give you the dirtiest looks possible.
So Joanne and I get the money and we’re heading home. We get to the house and there’s Dawn on the porch. I tell her I’m going to leave but Joanne tells me to stay ‘just in case.’
Turns out Dawn had been proposed to once before – by a guy. Her first boyfriend right out of high school. Dawn is a bit of a drama queen and didn’t even consider ever being married again since gay marriage wasn’t legal in our state at the time. She just figured she’d be one of those ‘old lesbians’ you see on the weekend buying plants. She walked around for almost eight hours, considering it. She told us both that she had to be completely honest, first and foremost. She then told us the following:
-She would absolutely marry Joanne, but there would be no $20,000 ring. There would be no diamond because Dawn hates the diamond industry. Dawn wanted a simple titanium band. ‘Like a dude. Diamonds would just get in the way.’
-Despite her previous kind of weird bohemian existence, she admitted that she’s from a very wealthy, very large family that loves her very much and does not care that she’s gay. Joanne had met her mom once and a brother once, but somehow had missed the fact that Dawn had six total siblings and step-siblings and had a personal trust fund that was well into the seven-figure range. ‘We just never talked about that stuff much as long as the bills got paid,’ she said.
-Dawn said that they shouldn’t get married right away in San Francisco, where they lived, but that they should spend a month traveling first. ‘If we can still stand each other after traveling for a month we’re good.’ Joanne had always wanted to travel but didn’t have the money. That had changed.
When Dawn and Joanne came back from their month abroad, they were very much in love and wanted to get married immediately. A matching pair of titanium rings, $50 each off Amazon. ‘Like a dude,’ as Dawn said. They got married (a ceremony at least) in Golden Gate Park. I was there with some close friends. It was lovely.”
The Guy Need A Snack And A Drink! Stat!
“I don’t work selling engagement rings, but I was witness to a pretty funny event when I was buying an engagement ring.
This guy was there with his friend to shop for an engagement ring (was nervous and needed support?) I guess he started having a panic attack and freaking out about the commitment of getting engaged. He was hyperventilating, sweating, looking pretty bad. The saleswoman had him sit down on a couch, she vanished for a minute, and then came back with a cold one and a warm cookie.
The dude shoveled the cookie down his throat, drank about half the brew immediately, and started calming down.
How much of an all-star was this saleswoman that she had a brew and warm cookies ready? I asked the saleswoman I was talking to (a different one) and she said it happens all the time and they always have cold ones and cookies ready during business hours.”
The Saddest Saps
“I’ve worked at two jewelry stores and I haven’t seen many meltdowns, but it’s darn depressing when a guy would come in and buy a several thousand dollar diamond anniversary ring to try and save his marriage. And then calls six months later asking if he can return it because she’s divorcing him and he can’t keep up on the payments.”