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Put a Ring On It?: 10 Reasons Why Engagement Rings are Overrated

Updated on December 8, 2015
It took a lot of time to pick out this ring. It's not just any ring that can be in this hub.
It took a lot of time to pick out this ring. It's not just any ring that can be in this hub. | Source

So as many of you know, engagement rings are a big deal. They represent the meaningful and committed transition a couple is making into marriage while being normally displaced on a woman's finger, and therefore, more conspicuously representing her transition into marriage.

This is all very well and all in theory, but there's a lot surrounding engagement rings that really just make them overrated. Here's my list of 10 reasons why engagement rings are overrated.

Please Note: this is a not-taking-it-too-seriously but with truths-thrown-in piece. It's not an attack of those that engage in the engagement ring ritual.

#1. Engagement rings are overpriced for what they are.

Engagement rings are expensive. And not they're not just expensive, they're expensive for what they are.

What are engagement rings you ask?

They are carbon. Shiny, shiny, monopolized carbon.

You know what else is made of carbon? You are. Your exhaled breath is. The emissions from your car are.

Carbon, but not as pretty. It's jut not the same thing as a ring, you know?


Blood Diamond=Diamonds that are mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity.

Reflects negative consequences of diamond trade in certain areas and is often related to human rights abuses.

Also called: conflict diamonds, converted diamonds, hot diamonds, or war diamonds

#2. Engagement rings often come from ethically and morally-compromised sources.

Do you know where the diamonds on those engagement rings came from? Like really came from?

Chances are not because we don't really know where anything comes from; however, diamond rings are a market and very often have black market and blood diamond roots.

One in four diamonds sold are conflict stones and it's not really possible to separate ethically-derived diamonds from unethically-derived ones (source).

#3. Engagement rings are a societal expectation rooted in cultural consciousness for profit.

I don't know how making a profit manages to work it's way into so many aspects of our lives but it does. Everything, even our most intimate and most meaningful moments have been cheapened and socialized for someone else to make a profit.

Nothing says "I'll Love You Forever; Share Your Life With Me" like buying an engagement ring. So do it.

Watch the video below. It explains everything.

"Why Engagement Rings are a Scam"--College Humor

#4. Engagement rings are a status symbol.

One of the most unlikeable aspects of engagement ring culture is how engagement rings are seen as status symbols. Even though many things have changed in this day and age, engagement rings are still used to non-verbally evaluate a woman's worth.

In social circles it sometimes appears that women who have an engagement ring have reached some milestone and worth that a woman without an engagement ring doesn't have. Once a woman has an engagement ring other women are supposed to fawn and surround themselves around the ring and the woman wearing it. It's something of a strange practice that mixes together goodwill and best wishes with adoration of the engagement ring and its corresponding status.


#5. Engagement rings: size matters.

Following closely after #4, is the fact that the size of the ring matters--when it shouldn't be about size (or status) at all but rather the actual significance of what the couple is committing to.

However, since the engagement ring is a status symbol then the size of the diamond on the ring is also related to the status of both the giver and of the receiver of the ring.

Prevalent through media and pop culture, men and women learn that the size of the diamond ring is significant. Remember the fawning and engagement ring adoration that I referred to in #4? Well that fawning and engagement ring adoration takes on a notably different tone when the diamond ring is small.

The small size of the diamond ring reflects negatively on the giver and it evokes "pity" for the receiver because of the evaluation of the person she is marrying. It's all over the media and people in real life actually do this.

Judgments abound about a relationship that is between two people all because we are so socialized around engagement rings and the evaluations we make based on them.

*This point relates to traditional gender/relationship roles and does not necessarily apply to same-sex couples.

#6. Engagement rings communicate possession.

Another aspect to engagement rings is that they communicate possession, specifically with respect to the woman in the relationship. It conveys that she is "off the market" and is a "possession" of someone else.

First of all, we are human beings and should not be sold or considered to be sellable as for a market. This also furthers the concept of possession in that women were, and in many parts of the world still are, sold into marriage, given into marriage, are a possession, etc. In some ways, engagement rings are a continuation of distinctions made to women indicating their "marketable status."

And if this line of thinking is too archaic, there is a more modern one in that if both the man and the woman in the relationship are making the commitment to their next chapter, why doesn't the man have an engagement ring? Shouldn't they both have an engagement ring or both not have an engagement ring? Why is one non-verbally "off the market" and one still on?

#7. Engagement rings depreciate as soon as you buy them.

Don't you love it when things last? Like your love?

Well the value of that ring is not going to last. Like cars, computers, and college textbooks, that engagement ring is going to depreciate as soon as you buy it.

So look long or long enough at the engagement ring through the window as you contemplate a relationship investment which is a non-investment (socioeconomically speaking).

#8. Engagement rings affect the wearer's non-verbal communication.

There's something weird that happens to an engaged person's hand once an engagement ring is on it. The presence of the engagement ring causes the wearer to make the hand conspicuous in a phenomenon that I will call "Engagement Hand."

"Engagement Hand" is where a hand that previously did not have an engagement ring on it starts to display and move in a way which highlights the ring. This includes the 90-Degree Limp Fish, the Princess Outward Flip, and the Flip-Swish.

It's a strange occurrence and I don't think it's entirely deliberate, but it's noticeable...and distracting.

#9. Engagement rings are non-functional.

Engagement rings don't actually do anything. I know that's an obvious statement, but they don't.

They don't help a person and their significant other prepare for their new life together. They don't contribute to a mortgage or a shared savings account. They don't make moments or honeymoons.

They mean something, but outside of the act of making a lifelong commitment to one's significant other, they don't do anything to support the actual lifelong commitment.

#10. Engagement rings are a liability.

Even though engagement rings depreciate as soon as you buy them, they're still an expensive item to wear and in so, a liability.

You can lose them, forget them, or outgrow them. They are an attention-grabbing item and are attractive to steal. Go anywhere outside of your comfort zone, and they become more of a hazard than not. Accidentally throw your hand back and you can scratch somebody's face and get sued.

They're a liability I tell you.

"Put a Ring on It"

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Submit a Comment

  • Nalini Marquez profile image

    Nalini Marquez 2 years ago

    There are definitely other ways for modern society to symbolize commitment to a loved one! :-) It just comes down to the individuals (which is what it normally should come down to). Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • thegecko profile image

    Warren Samu 2 years ago from San Diego, CA

    I totally agree! Capitalistic, superficial, and an overall bad investment. Surely modern society can focus on better ways to symbolize commitment to a loved one :)