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Friday February 6, 2004
We got engaged about 7 weeks ago but today Catherine got her engagement ring. I gave her a cheap one when I proposed and I promised that I would buy a 'real' one later. It was something we had discussed before. My reasoning for it is that I don't want her to buy me an expensive computer so why would I select some piece of jewelry for her? I know it's less romantic but I am happy I did it this way. For me this only makes sense. Yeah, women may say that they really like the ring their men gave them but if you would give them the money that was spend on the ring, would they buy that same ring or something else? I think the answer is pretty easy. On top of that jewelry stores pushes the concept that it is the guy's task to buy a ring. Keep in mind that they know that a man spends more money on an engagement ring than a woman would do and probably spend a lot less time on buying it.

Back in the Netherlands we don't really have the engagement ring tradition and personally I don't like that it exists here. If I ask somebody to spend the rest of my life with me, isn't that the biggest commitment I can ever make and does such a moment need an rock around her finger? Isn't the occasion big enough to stand on it's own? What I don't like the most is that the ring becomes more important than the engagement. "Oh you got engaged. Let me see the ring". Catherine was surprised how many people immediately asked for the ring when she told them she got engaged. (Men, I think there is a conspiracy going on between all the women and the jewelries. If my life comes to end within a few days, you know that I was on to something...)

But in Rome, do like the Romans do. Plus it would be Catherine would get all the questions and confused faces if I wouldn't have bought her a ring and not me. And of course she is worth it to get a ring. I am just wondering when I will get my engagement HDTV from her... (Men, I see an opportunity her to start a new tradition)

So Catherine went on the hunt for a ring. Told her what the budget was and mentioned that she could definitely not go over it even if she would pay for that part. First she went to regular stores and there she even got frustrated. The one she liked was 15,000 and hell has to freeze over before that would happen. Although the budget was not small, she could not find something interesting.

So then she went to the lesser known circuit. Friends of friends had used a wholesaler in the past. And during a visit all of a sudden her budget turned out to be big enough for something she liked. She had brought a sketch of ring she really liked and this person could make it, all within the budget. Everything had to paid in cash though...

Today the ring was waiting for her and so was the official appraisal which gets done by a different company. It was shock to see that the appraised value of the ring was more than 150% higher than I paid for it. I am telling you that I am quite worried to go to a normal retail jeweler now because the retail prices are quite a lot more than the real value.

So now Catherine has a tired arm and I have a lighter wallet all because of the ring... precious, precious...

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