Hot Topic: Should You Upgrade Your Wedding Ring?

man putting wedding band on woman
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Wedding rings are a symbol of love and commitment, but is it okay to upgrade them? Couples on share their views.

When I got married, I chose a simple 18k, rose gold band without stones. I wanted something classic that could be worn with everything, was different than yellow gold and would pair well with my more elaborate engagement ring that had belonged to my grandmother, which my grandparents had given to me and my husband. My choice fit my personal style. And while right now I can't imagine wanting to change my band, I did get married only a year and a half ago, so with time, who knows if I could feel differently? Would want a second band? Or would want to stick with what I have? There are no rules here for what you should or shouldn't do — it's what works for you.

Here, Nesties share their views on upgrading wedding rings:

I've been married for 10 years. I love the wedding ring that my husband gave to me — to me it's the perfect size to feel comfortable wearing every day, and it has sentimental value to me. The problem is that he now has a very prominent career. At business conferences, awards banquets, etc., we are around other very prominent people, and their wives have all upgraded their wedding rings to huge flashy rings. DH wants to upgrade my wedding ring. I'm NOT a “keep up with the Joneses" person and could care less, but I understand. He suggested getting a second big wedding ring for me to wear to these functions, and keep my original one for everyday wear. I like that compromise, but I have a hard time spending $15,000 to $20,000 on a ring that I will only wear occasionally. I can think of way better places to spend that money. Would it be bad to get a fake big flashy wedding looking ring to wear at these functions? It would only be worn 10 to 15 times a year, so wouldn't see much abuse and should last just fine. I haven't mentioned it to DH yet, but I think he would like the compromise as long as it looked good.

Yes, if I was really going to subject myself to this insanity, I would do it with a fake. The idea of dropping $15k to $20k on a ring JUST to “keep up" is just insane.

Seeing as you are the one that has to wear it, you should be able to do/get what you'd like. Personally, I think it's silly to spend that kind of money if it's not something you want, and it's for appearance only. Get a high-quality fake for these events if it makes your husband feel more confident.

I agree. Get a fake. I don't think you should spend that much money on a ring that you yourself don't want.

If you have to wear it, it's your decision. I don't blame you … you shouldn't need a flashy ring to fit in a community. I work with a lot of people who built their wealth, and they still own and wear the wedding rings they had [beforehand].

The only way I'd ever buy something that expensive would be if there was a pretty good chance of an eventual payoff (i.e., would appearing to keep up with the Joneses result in a big promotion/pay raise for your husband?).

Why not some other kind of ring instead of an “upgrade"? What about a fabulous birthstone ring? There are many with oversized center stones and diamond accents. Or what about a diamond cocktail ring? Fabulous, too — those are making a comeback. I'd keep the ring and wedding band as is — it would be for sentimental reasons. Another possibility: Upgrade the shoes, clothing, jewelry/accessories that are worn to these events. You'll get more use out of those.

If you like your wedding ring as-is, don't change it, even temporarily. I also like the idea of buying other jewelry that doesn't need to be worn regularly (other rings, earrings, necklaces or bracelets). I realize that some people use wedding rings as status symbols, but it has more meaning, and is more important than just a silly status symbol, so I recommend not lowering it to such trivial standards. If you do buy a flashy version of your wedding ring to wear occasionally, you could run into the potential situation of seeing one of your “flashy" friends at a time when you're not wearing (or forgot to put on) your flashy ring. If you're worried that these are the type of people that WOULD notice the different ring (and really care), then you destroy the illusion, and create an air of doubt about your “real" social/financial status.

I kinda like the idea of getting a different big flashy piece and keeping your wedding ring the same. It might make a statement that you guys worked your way up to where you are — and you're not ashamed of that.

I wouldn't get a fake ring, because if the reason for getting an upgrade is to fit in with the other wives, they might notice that it's fake and that will defeat the purpose and also make the image that your husband is trying to portray even worse.

I don't think that I'll upgrade my ring, though my wife has told me this is something that we could do in the future. To me, it shows exactly where we are today. If she were to buy me another ring, I would wear it, but on my right hand. This is the ring that we vowed our love to each other with. I would feel bad putting on a fake, even if just for looks, especially to try and impress someone else.

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