arms crossed behind back holding a ring in one hand and a white rose in the other
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 25, 2023 ·  6 min read

Man Spends almost $20,000 On Engagement Ring But Fiancée Doesn’t Think It’s Good Enough

A man spent 10 years saving up to buy his girlfriend the perfect ring to ask her to marry him with. Not long after the proposal, she asked to see the ring’s papers and was upset that he purchased a lab-grown diamond instead of a natural one. She wanted him to exchange the $20,000 engagement ring for natural stone, to which he refused. Now in the midst of a big fight with his fiance, he posted on the popular Reddit forum Am I The Asshole to find out if he was wrong in his stance. Here’s what Reddit has to say.

Woman Unhappy With $20,000 Engagement Ring Wants It Exchanged

Now, don’t get me wrong – I understand that an engagement ring is one that you will (presumably) be wearing for the rest of your life. You certainly want it to be one that you think looks nice and that you enjoy wearing. That being said, caring about certain details takes things far beyond just being happy or unhappy with the aesthetics of the ring. Take this man, whose fiance wants him to exchange the $20,000 engagement ring he bought her because it is not a natural diamond.

“Last week was when the trouble started, as she asked me how much I had spent on her ring. I told her that I had spent about $20,000 on it that I had been squirreling away for the last 10 years,” he began his post. “She was initially floored that I had spent so much but later became suspicious that I had managed to get such a large stone (3.6 karats.) for the price, and asked to see the diamond certificate I got with the ring.” (1)

He showed it to her, thinking that perhaps she was concerned he’d been sold a fake diamond. That’s when she saw that he had purchased a lab-grown diamond instead of a natural one. She quickly became very upset.

His Reasons For Buying A Lab-Made Diamond

The man goes on to explain that he is staunchly against the natural diamond industry. As many of us may know, the natural diamond industry is fraught with violence, criminal activity, and human rights violations. He explains that not only has he always been open about his opinion on this but that he also had the help of her mother and her friends, all of whom assured him that she wouldn’t care either way.

“Over the last week I have explained to her multiple times my reasons for going lab grown, (It is better for the environment, I know the exact origin of the stone, so I know it isn’t a conflict stone, and ultimately it is better value for the money and I wanted to get her the most beautiful ring possible.) and that lab grown diamonds are in every way real diamonds and that they are also indistinguishable from natural ones unless you look at their certificate,” he wrote. “I have also pointed out that she had no clue and would have never known if I hadn’t told her the price of her ring. But she insists that she can tell a difference and it is just not the same.” (1)

A Relationship On The Rocks

She then asked him if he would be willing to exchange the ring for one of the same value but with a natural diamond. He says that this is an area that he really doesn’t want to budge on, so he told her no.

“Normally I would be happy to, but I spent months searching for the perfect ring for her and also, though value was the biggest reason for me, the idea of potentially getting a blood diamond really does sicken me,” he wrote. “ I said no, and said if she wanted to give the ring back and end our relationship, that is fine, but I would not exchange it. She called me an asshole and went to stay the night with her parents.” (1)

Since the argument, he has received several messages from her family and friends asking him just to give in and exchange the ring. He really doesn’t want to, though he does admit that he ultimately will if it means saving his relationship.

Natural Diamonds Vs. Lab Diamonds

Many people get confused between lab-grown diamonds and synthetic ones. To be clear, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They have the exact same structure, appearance, and properties as natural diamonds. The only difference is the origin. (2)

These diamonds are made in a lab by arranging carbon atoms in a diamond cubic crystal structure. This is how diamonds grow naturally on the earth. Now, scientists know how to do this in a lab. (2) Though many people view natural diamonds as being superior to lab-grown, in reality, lab-grown are a far better option. Though they look the same, feel the same, and chemically and structurally are exactly the same, lab-grown diamonds (2):

  • Require next to no fossil fuels to produce, versus a significant amount required for mined diamonds
  • Need hardly any water or land to produce, versus the massive amounts required for mined diamonds
  • Don’t involve any conflict and violence, which the natural diamond industry is known for

Read: Bride Reads Cheating Fiancé’s Text Messages Instead of Vows at Their Wedding

$20,000 Engagement Ring Rejection: Reddit’s Response

Reddit overwhelmingly voted that the original poster (OP) was definitely not the asshole. Their opinion of his fiance, however, was much less favorable. (1)

“If my bf bought me a massive ring I would ask how much it was, thank him profusely and tell him to replace it for something cheaper and we can go on holiday together instead. I can’t even comprehend being upset that my 20k ring isn’t the right kind of 20k ring. Massive sign of incompatibility. Totally ungrateful!” wrote one user. (1)

Many suggested that their personal values obviously didn’t align and that, if they were him, they would rethink the marriage entirely. (1)

“As a woman with lab grown diamonds on her engagement ring, can confirm you can’t even tell the difference (actually got a much better quality and bigger diamond for less money!) and makes me feel better knowing noone was exploited. Your fiancée is being a spoilt entitled princess and if this is the hill she wants to die on then I would rethink the marriage.” said another. (1)

“I can’t understand why you’d want to be with someone who is willing to actually end a relationship over a non-conflict diamond that was given to her out of love and a hope for a future together. Mind-boggling to me how much of an A-H she is being. I can only imagine what else she demands or will demand from you going forward.” (1)

OP’s Comments

OP commented back on a few people’s remarks stating that his fiance doesn’t necessarily want a conflict stone; she’s just more willing to risk it than he is. Still, many of the commenters are concerned that her focus lies on the ring and not on what it symbolizes. (1)

“I never once thought of asking my hubby how much he spent on my ring. I absolutely loved the ring! But I loved the fact that he chose it more. The size didn’t matter. The setting didn’t matter. The price didn’t matter.” said one. (1)

There were a handful of people who were on his fiance’s side, saying that because it’s something she will be wearing every day, her opinion is more important. (1) Ultimately, OP will have to make the decision between what his fiance wants and his personal feelings about the diamond industry.

Keep Reading: ‘My friend planned her wedding on the same date my entire family died’


  1. Man Spends almost $20,000 On Engagement Ring But Fiancée Doesn’t Think It’s Good Enough.” Reddit. May 2021.
  2. What is the difference between lab diamonds and cubic zirconia?Ada Diamonds

Attention: While many of these stories are interesting, and we would love to take their word for it, the content in this article was taken from an unverifiable source (i.e., a Reddit forum). As such, we cannot guarantee that these events truly happened in the way that they are described in the original source.