I Was Disappointed the Diamond in My Engagement Ring Wasn’t Big Enough

Elle Silver

Does diamond size matter? It shouldn't.

When it dawned on me that my now ex-husband was going to propose marriage to me, I wondered what kind of diamond he would give me as an engagement ring. In short, how big would the diamond be? I expected a very large diamond. He comes from a wealthy family.

On the night that he proposed to me, he got down on one knee and presented me with the ring. It was beautiful, a platinum band with a glittering diamond. But my heart still sunk when I saw it wasn’t a huge diamond.

It was a nice-size diamond — a three-quarter carat. But I had hoped for bigger — a carat or larger.

I wanted a huge diamond for my engagement ring. 

I had hoped for a diamond like so many of my friends had. Their diamonds were all at least a carat. A couple of my friends even had six- or ten-carat-diamond engagement rings!

But I also felt terrible about sensing any disappointment surrounding this joyous event. I had just been presented with a lovely diamond from the man I loved. He wanted to marry me! And I was upset?

I felt greedy and superficial. My man had just asked me to spend my life with him. Here I was, feeling resentful, annoyed the diamond wasn’t big enough.

What was my problem? As you can imagine, this said much more about me than it did about him.

I had to learn that diamond size doesn't matter.

I was insecure.

I was so insecure during this era. I ultimately had to heal my issues with money before I could build enough self-esteem to be okay with not having a giant, flashy diamond engagement ring.

To this day, I have a lot of insecurities when it comes to my finances. I’ve always had trouble earning money.

I was raised in a family where my dad was very money-oriented. My father had grown up incredibly poor.

As an adult, he worked very hard to earn a living so he could provide for our family. He wanted a better life for us.

But no matter how much he earned, it was never enough for him. My dad brought in a good salary. He was never grateful for what he earned. 

Do you see a pattern here? I reacted to my diamond engagement ring the same way my dad reacted to his myriad of possessions. 

It wasn't enough.

My dad always wanted a bigger house and a nicer car. He felt insecure about his salary.

He was still trying to escape his impoverished childhood. He still felt poor and lacked confidence around people with money.

I also felt insecure around my friends who had bigger diamonds. Here I had been given a stunning diamond ring as a proposal for marriage, but it wasn’t big enough. The diamond needed to be as big as the diamonds my friends had.

In the end, I had to do a lot of inner work to break through these issues.

We equate diamonds with our self-worth and that's wrong.

I don’t fault my now ex-husband for not buying me a giant rock. He bought me a perfectly legitimate three-quarter-carat diamond engagement ring.

But still, I write about this experience because I don’t think I’m the only woman out there who's expected a large diamond in a proposal for marriage.

As a culture, we put too much emphasis on the size of the diamond. I’m not just talking about women. I’m speaking about men, too.  

Women may view the size of the diamond in their engagement ring as a testament to how much their men love them, but men also value themselves by the size of the diamond they can afford to buy for their fiancées.

It’s not right. When we view our self-worth in such terms, we’re bound to be unhappy.

The size of the diamond has no bearing on how much a man loves a woman.

It’s important to understand that we’ve only come to believe that diamonds equal love as a result of an ad campaign. In 1977, DeBeers Diamond company started an ad campaign with the tagline: “Diamonds are forever.” 

With this one campaign, they revolutionized the diamond industry. The campaign was highly successful and made diamonds synonymous with love. 

Diamonds were framed as the most romantic gift a man could give a woman. DeBeers placed a price tag on love and showed women what they should expect from men.

But it’s crucial to remember that prior to this ad campaign, diamond engagement rings were not an expectation. My mother didn’t get a diamond when my dad asked her to marry him. Neither did either of my grandmothers when my grandfathers proposed to them.

DeBeers’ campaign worked. The company’s wholesale diamond sales in the United States increased from $23 million to $2.1 billion between the years 1939 and 1979

So remember this: when we covet big diamonds, we are simply pandering to an industry that benefits from our insecurity. 

Men go into debt to buy their fiancées diamond engagement rings, and if the diamonds aren’t big enough, the women end up feeling bad about it.

The only way around this is to stop caring about the size of the diamond.

Diamond size only matters if you let it. 

What do you think? Does diamond size matter? Please let me know in the comments.

And if you’d like to read about my experience giving back my diamond engagement ring to my ex-husband upon our divorce, you can read about it here: Can a Man Ask for the Engagement Ring Back After a Divorce?

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I'm a relationships expert with a focus on post-divorce dating and family. Everything I've learned about love, I've learned the hard way. You can learn from my mistakes.

Los Angeles, CA
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