Money for beer.  Times Square, 1995.

Engagement Ring: DePrisco

reviewed by Philip Greenspun

Site Home : Boston-area Wedding : Ring

The most obvious place to get an engagement ring is Tiffany's. I mentioned this to one of my flying buddies and he said "Tiffany's is for people who shop at the mall".

We gave them a test. I wanted a stainless steel wedding band to match my stainless steel watch, the only piece of jewelry that I had ever worn prior to embarking on the marriage experiment. A Google search for "stainless steel ring" brought up a wholesale supplier that would be happy to sell rings at $1 each, but only in quantity 200, and then a bunch of retailers selling the same rings for $25 each (should give you some pause before buying jewelry at retail!). I ended up buying one from for $7, but I had guessed wrong about my ring size and the finish didn't match the watch exactly.

Store A: I showed the ring to the clerks at Tiffany's. They sniffed and suggested that a $4000 platinum ring might be suitable. What about modifying the ring or making something custom? That would take 12 weeks and it happened in factories on the other side of the planet.

Store B: I walked upstairs from Downtown Crossing to DePrisco's showroom. One of the guys there measured my finger, looked at the watch, took the ring into the back, and came back after a few minutes. The ring was now perfectly sized and had a satin finish that was a perfect match for the watch.

Prices at DePrisco are similar to what you'd pay at Internet discounters, but you get the advantage of on-site knowledge, the potential for customization, and a chance to look before you buy.

Do not look at the engagement ring as an investment. Diamonds are plentiful worldwide and technology for growing perfect gem-quality diamond crystals is improving every year. The retail-wholesale spread alone ruins the possibility of reselling a diamond at anything close to what you might have payed. How many hundred dollar bills would you feel comfortable taking out of your wallet and burning? That's how much you spend on a ring.