Will You Buy Your Fiance a Diamond Ring?

It's not very common that a private company's marketing campaign goes viral. It's even rarer that one is able to push their brand into mainstream English vocabulary (read: Zamboni, Kleenex, Google etc). However placing your product at the center of societies most important social ritual? That's probably only been done once by a monopolist named De Beers, with the common mineral: Diamonds.

American males enter adulthood through a peculiar rite of passage - they spend most of their savings on a shiny piece of rock... Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because in 1938 De Beers decided that they would like us to. Prior to a stunningly successful marketing campaign 1938, Americans occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but wasn't a pervasive occurrence.

The De Beers marketing machine continued to churn out the hits. They circulated marketing materials suggesting, apropos of nothing, that a man should spend one month's salary on a diamond ring. It worked so well that De Beers arbitrarily decided to increase the suggestion to two months salary. That's why you think that you need to spend two month's salary on a ring - because the suppliers of the product said so.

Today, over 80% of women in the US receive diamond rings when they get engaged. The domination is complete.

The supply of diamonds is basically controlled by one company that in turn convinced everyone that what it was selling is valuable.

As a naive undergrad student I think it's weird how people shell out big money for diamonds and other jewelry. I understand things like fine wine and art, because of their rarity, but diamonds aren't rare and perfect stones can be synthesized nowadays. It seems like a product that is bought only because it is expensive.

Will you buy one if your significant other wanted it?

Source:
Diamonds are a Sham and it's Time We Stopped Getting Engaged With Them

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Comments (297)

Apr 14, 2014 - 1:37am

Was actually talking about this at work the other day because an associate I work with is getting ready to propose. Agree w/ CorpFinanceGuy....if you don't buy your fiancee a diamond ring, good luck....

Apr 14, 2014 - 8:59am

100% agree. Unless she specifically asks for something other than a diamond...suck it up.

"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money." - Mickey Bergman - Heist (2001)
Apr 16, 2014 - 1:54pm

myfashionhub:

I'm sure there are women out there who don't put much value on diamond rings because they know better. I'm speaking for myself at least.

Good for you. Unfortunately, I have to believe that you are the exception and not the rule...

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Apr 13, 2014 - 10:08pm

I won't.
I agree that the rarity of diamonds is misconceived; the big diamond companies control the supply that arrives at market, creating artificial scarcity. The reason why they're so expensive is mainly because these companies stockpile a bunch of diamonds and then sell them in low supply relative to the total amount of diamonds they have stockpiled.

Apr 13, 2014 - 10:51pm

Not a chance. Ethics aside, it's worthless.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Apr 14, 2014 - 1:00am

Just went through the process of buying one. All I can say is the money you drop acquiring one will mean nothing compared to the impact on your life and finances if you chose the wrong person.

Just deal with it and shell out the cash.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
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Apr 14, 2014 - 1:12am

Get a cube Z. Why people continue to mindlessly do what they are told they have to do is beyond me. Worst case scenario is she breaks with you which isn't an issue since you'll have your 20-30k or whatever and can easily find another woman.

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Apr 14, 2014 - 10:04am

TNA:

Get a cube Z. Why people continue to mindlessly do what they are told they have to do is beyond me. Worst case scenario is she breaks with you which isn't an issue since you'll have your 20-30k or whatever and can easily find another woman.

Must be some girl that is worth less to you than a couple k...I guess another girl like that shouldn't be too difficult to find

Apr 14, 2014 - 2:36pm

TNA:

Get a cube Z. Why people continue to mindlessly do what they are told they have to do is beyond me. Worst case scenario is she breaks with you which isn't an issue since you'll have your 20-30k or whatever and can easily find another woman.

Cube Z are more expensive for smaller stones than diamonds. They marginally get cheaper as you go big, at 2 carat you are in the money with a Z.
Otherwise they look like a Z, and I can tell easily by the naked eye that it's a Z.

Apr 14, 2014 - 9:17am

I was dead set on getting her one but she said multiple times that she doesn't want a diamond ring or any ring with a large stone in it. Everyone I have mentioned this to (myself included) thinks its weird as hell but she legitimately doesn't want one. She really hates flashy thing/jewelry so i guess it makes sense.

Apr 14, 2014 - 5:13pm

JrMistMaker:

I was dead set on getting her one but she said multiple times that she doesn't want a diamond ring or any ring with a large stone in it. Everyone I have mentioned this to (myself included) thinks its weird as hell but she legitimately doesn't want one. She really hates flashy thing/jewelry so i guess it makes sense.


It's a trap...
Apr 14, 2014 - 9:21am

If I bought her a fake, would she even be able to tell the difference?

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.
Apr 14, 2014 - 8:47pm

You are plain wrong - most girls will have looked at rings and know exactly what they like and don't like, and most girls will be able to tell quite easily if the ring is fake

Apr 19, 2014 - 5:24pm

Anihilist:

If I bought her a fake, would she even be able to tell the difference?


Just get a lab-grown stone. Cheaper than a natural diamond but every bit as chemically legit. Stay away from synthetics which are usually CZs (or worse, glass). Yes, you can actually tell, and if you can't, you'll probably bring it to a jeweler to be appraised anyways. Or I would.

By the way, as a data point, all of my girlfriends don't want diamonds. They want rubies, sapphires, emeralds, you name it. Sapphires, in particular, are a popular choice because they symbolize love, truth, and fidelity. Don't ask me how I know this.

Currently: future neurologist, current psychotherapist Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
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Jun 18, 2021 - 7:21am

Those other minerals actually look nice because of the rich color. Diamonds are clear... looks awful.

Array

Apr 14, 2014 - 10:08am

If the diamond has scratches, then it's fake.
Call me a tomboy, but I really don't see the appeal of diamonds. Sure they're sparkly and tough as hell and all, but in the end it's just an overly expensive rock that screams "Rob me! rob me!"

Apr 14, 2014 - 2:37pm

Disjoint:

el0430:

If the diamond has scratches, then it's fake.

Call me a tomboy, but I really don't see the appeal of diamonds. Sure they're sparkly and tough as hell and all, but in the end it's just an overly expensive rock that screams "Rob me! rob me!"

You are full of sh.t diamond can scratch. Google it


only with a bigger diamond
heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Apr 14, 2014 - 11:43am

Never bought my wife a ring (with or without diamond). She earns enough money that she can buy herself one if she wanted one, but she does not want one.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
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Apr 14, 2014 - 11:12am

we studied this phenomenon in my consumer culture class, fascinating. De Beers did some brilliant marketing (placement in movies basically teaching men how to propose). what was my prof's conclusion.... something like 'you'll probably have to end up buying her a ring, just don't spend your life savings on it"

http://diamondsordogs.com/dogs/2012/05/the-real-history-behind-diamond-…

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Apr 14, 2014 - 11:33am

It doesn't really matter why girls expect diamond rings, the point is most girls have come to accept them as social symbols of commitment (and they also want the joy of being able to brag to their friends and family and post it on facebook and parade around for a while). Whether or not you should bother getting married is a separate issue but if you are going to and prefer to actually have a fiance and one without lingering resentment, I don't think you have much choice unfortunately.

Apr 14, 2014 - 1:38pm

Going Concern:

It doesn't really matter why girls expect diamond rings, the point is most girls have come to accept them as social symbols of commitment (and they also want the joy of being able to brag to their friends and family and post it on facebook and parade around for a while). Whether or not you should bother getting married is a separate issue but if you are going to and prefer to actually have a fiance and one without lingering resentment, I don't think you have much choice unfortunately.

Exactly what I was gonna write. She can't post pictures of "I love you" or "life-long commitment" on FB

Apr 14, 2014 - 11:51am

I got the 0.1%.

Didn't want a ring, didn't want a wedding.

My tips for happy marriage - choose a lady with low expectations and high self-discipline.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
Apr 14, 2014 - 1:23pm

This.

It's funny to hear the college sophomore who's never had a relationship longer than a few months proclaim that he will not be buying a diamond ring. Good luck buddy! Women have been dreaming of their perfect wedding dress, wedding venue, wedding ring, and hell even the wedding food ever since 4 years old when they started dressing up as a princess.
I've been married for a couple years and trust me this pragmatic and efficiency over everything mindset won't fly in any worthwhile relationship.

Apr 14, 2014 - 8:43pm

This is very true....I would go so far as to say that girls who know people in finance make more money than people in many other careers would expect a nicer, more expensive ring...

Apr 14, 2014 - 11:56am

OK. I gotta follow up as I didn't feel there were significant posts on WSO for this type of decision when i made it. I've had one freaking roller coaster of a ride for the past few months.

I bought a very expensive designer ring (Ex. Graff / De Beers / Harry Winston) and it was perfect. Then 1 months later my fiance lost it. I had it appraised for 30% above cost and had it insured so boom - got all my money back and some. Ended up realizing there is little reason for going designer when doing the second ring and decided to get a custom one made with jewish jeweler in NYC that was much higher quality (prob 25% more) for the same price due to no brand premium.

If anyone has Q's feel free to PM. I'd be happy to let you know the trade offs of each experience as well as the diamond specs I'd make sure to get. After 4 months negotiating with gemologists I've finally started to understand how the freaking market prices everything.

Best of luck to you boys. Remember - it's girl that's a much more important decision than the ring.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
  • 3
Apr 14, 2014 - 4:51pm

TheBigBambino:
I bought a very expensive designer ring (Ex. Graff / De Beers / Harry Winston)

I cracked up at you using the "think: (DB / CS / UBS)" format for your ring designer. I was planning on calling all the sales people for your diamond company in all the east coast and west coast cities to get them to divulge your true identity. And now it's going to take me three times longer, fuck! ... and that's assuming you didn't just got to Jared.

Apr 14, 2014 - 5:01pm

adapt or die:

TheBigBambino:

I bought a very expensive designer ring (Ex. Graff / De Beers / Harry Winston)

I cracked up at you using the "think: (DB / CS / UBS)" format for your ring designer. I was planning on calling all the sales people for your diamond company in all the east coast and west coast cities to get them to divulge your true identity. And now it's going to take me three times longer, fuck! ... and that's assuming you didn't just got to Jared.


Excellent!
heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Apr 18, 2014 - 8:41pm

TheBigBambino:

Remember - it's girl that's a much more important decision than the ring.

Problem is that for a material number of girls, ring is a much more important decision than the boy.

Apr 24, 2014 - 4:12pm

I'm a girl, friends with a lot of girls, etc etc. Maybe I just surround myself with decent people, but I've never heard of a girl marrying a guy, or even wanting to, for the size of the ring she was going to get. Ever. And I've heard some crazy stuff.

Of course, I've heard of very material girls (as well as boys). But I really doubt that the unveiling of their hidden intentions will be the decision on an engagement ring.

Stop being so paranoid.

Apr 14, 2014 - 1:27pm

You can't go wrong with a Neil Lane ring fit with a cubic zirconia (I think the Bachelor did a great job of making this designer appeal to every single women). It would only be 3-5k and in 5-10 years, assuming you're not making PE shop money now, you can upgrade to a real diamond.

Apr 21, 2014 - 11:10am

MMBanker14:

What is the typical amount spent on a ring as a % of salary? Several girls have told me that their friends [b]expect[/b] their rings to cost about 3 months salary, which I think is insane.

Expect is a dangerous word. If a girlfriend "expected" me to shell out 3 months salary she should expect to be single. Come to think of it, that's a great way to weed out the gold diggers.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.
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Apr 14, 2014 - 1:01pm

I get that if your girl (or guy) just wants one, it's probably not worth fighting over it, but why not go with something like cubic zirconia or moissanite that's both more ethical and more perfect structurally and put the savings to something that will make both of you more happy?

Apr 14, 2014 - 1:28pm

Gotta love the butt hurt men in this thread. If you want to buy a ring, do it. My desire to buy a ring or not isn't a reflection of the quality of woman I or anyone dates.

I would buy a ruby ring. I would give $30K in cash. I'd buy a gold bar for the woman. I am simply not going to waste money on something with zero value. Frankly, any woman who couldn't think rationally about it wouldn't be someone I would want to be with. I mean what's next? You'll need a massive home because her friends have one. Or is a BMQ a sign of love now?

Guys should do whatever they want, but don't make it out to be anything other than you giving into an obvious marketing campaign or not having the sack to say no to a woman.

Also kind of funny how simple gold bands were the standard for hundreds of years, but now marriage is so badass, especially with the 50% divorce rate, that it demands a massive rock.

Side note, no one is talking about a $5K ring. I mean if I ever did get married (bad mistake #1) I would happily buy a $5K ring. I would buy a $10k ring. Because who fucking cares. But we are talking about $20-30K rings here. 2-3 carats. Sorry, but I am not wasting a 3 series worth of cash for something with zero asset value.

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Apr 14, 2014 - 1:37pm

Going Concern:

Solid rant brah...would love to be a fly on the wall when you explain to a girl how to think rationally and analyze asset values

Not really a rant, simply facts. No where did I ever say you should do what I do. You working for DeBeers or something?

I mean the conversation would simply be "no, I am not doing it" and then that would be that. Considering I've said that to prior girlfriends it manages to work out just fine.

But cool dude. Keep getting angry when someone chooses to not do what you think is a rule when in fact it is simply DeBeers selling people bullshit for 80 years.

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Apr 14, 2014 - 1:56pm

Going Concern:

Solid rant brah...would love to be a fly on the wall when you explain to a girl how to think rationally and analyze asset values


Dude, we get it: Most girls can't think rationally about this just like how they can't think rationally about most other things. The average man can't think rationally about most things either.

But do you really strive to marry (if you're into that) an average girl? Are we not the high financier types with great prospects, wit, and offensively good looks? We shouldn't have to settle for a girl who can't conform to our worldviews.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
  • 1
Apr 15, 2014 - 7:08pm

TNA:

Gotta love the butt hurt men in this thread. If you want to buy a ring, do it. My desire to buy a ring or not isn't a reflection of the quality of woman I or anyone dates.

I would buy a ruby ring. I would give $30K in cash. I'd buy a gold bar for the woman. I am simply not going to waste money on something with zero value. Frankly, any woman who couldn't think rationally about it wouldn't be someone I would want to be with. I mean what's next? You'll need a massive home because her friends have one. Or is a BMQ a sign of love now?

Guys should do whatever they want, but don't make it out to be anything other than you giving into an obvious marketing campaign or not having the sack to say no to a woman.

Also kind of funny how simple gold bands were the standard for hundreds of years, but now marriage is so badass, especially with the 50% divorce rate, that it demands a massive rock.

Side note, no one is talking about a $5K ring. I mean if I ever did get married (bad mistake #1) I would happily buy a $5K ring. I would buy a $10k ring. Because who fucking cares. But we are talking about $20-30K rings here. 2-3 carats. Sorry, but I am not wasting a 3 series worth of cash for something with zero asset value.

I'm pretty sure autos are the absolute worse "asset class" to own and depreciate at a rate far, far higher than diamonds.

Apr 15, 2014 - 7:28pm

Gray Fox:

TNA:

Gotta love the butt hurt men in this thread. If you want to buy a ring, do it. My desire to buy a ring or not isn't a reflection of the quality of woman I or anyone dates.

I would buy a ruby ring. I would give $30K in cash. I'd buy a gold bar for the woman. I am simply not going to waste money on something with zero value. Frankly, any woman who couldn't think rationally about it wouldn't be someone I would want to be with. I mean what's next? You'll need a massive home because her friends have one. Or is a BMQ a sign of love now?

Guys should do whatever they want, but don't make it out to be anything other than you giving into an obvious marketing campaign or not having the sack to say no to a woman.

Also kind of funny how simple gold bands were the standard for hundreds of years, but now marriage is so badass, especially with the 50% divorce rate, that it demands a massive rock.

Side note, no one is talking about a $5K ring. I mean if I ever did get married (bad mistake #1) I would happily buy a $5K ring. I would buy a $10k ring. Because who fucking cares. But we are talking about $20-30K rings here. 2-3 carats. Sorry, but I am not wasting a 3 series worth of cash for something with zero asset value.

I'm pretty sure autos are the absolute worse "asset class" to own and depreciate at a rate far, far higher than diamonds.

Actually not, vintage cars are among the most lucrative investments, around 400% over a 10 year period, not bad at all.

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/classic-cars-on-a-road-to-400-returns…

May 14, 2014 - 10:47am

TNA:

Gotta love the butt hurt men in this thread. If you want to buy a ring, do it. My desire to buy a ring or not isn't a reflection of the quality of woman I or anyone dates.

I would buy a ruby ring. I would give $30K in cash. I'd buy a gold bar for the woman. I am simply not going to waste money on something with zero value. Frankly, any woman who couldn't think rationally about it wouldn't be someone I would want to be with. I mean what's next? You'll need a massive home because her friends have one. Or is a BMQ a sign of love now?

Guys should do whatever they want, but don't make it out to be anything other than you giving into an obvious marketing campaign or not having the sack to say no to a woman.

Also kind of funny how simple gold bands were the standard for hundreds of years, but now marriage is so badass, especially with the 50% divorce rate, that it demands a massive rock.

Side note, no one is talking about a $5K ring. I mean if I ever did get married (bad mistake #1) I would happily buy a $5K ring. I would buy a $10k ring. Because who fucking cares. But we are talking about $20-30K rings here. 2-3 carats. Sorry, but I am not wasting a 3 series worth of cash for something with zero asset value.

The divorce rate for two college educated partners who wait until after college to marry is only 20%, and declining:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-myth-of-the-high-rate-of-divorce/000114…

Apr 14, 2014 - 1:59pm

I don't remember really giving any advice. I simply stated what I was going to do. Everyone is different and should operate accordingly. I'll say this. If you have a girl that demands a certain type ring you better be prepared for someone who is going to demand a car, house, vacation, etc.

Apr 14, 2014 - 2:40pm

You buy branded sh.t don't you? And pay more for it, even if it was made by a 5 year old Chinese kid got 2 cents.
Suck it up, and buy a diamond.
They are beautiful stones - all that shit about it being not rare etc.. Is just shit excuses. The supply is extremely well controlled, and a flood of diamond is not about to go all over the market and make that stone worthless for the next 100 years. The Grand pa of a persian friend of mine shoved a bunch of diamonds up his ass when he got out of the country. It helped him carry a bit of his money with him. It's great for laundering or carrying money in case of war.

So diamonds not rare? Who cares, supply are controlled and will be for a very long time.

Were as for your fiancee. Don't be a cheap fuck. Buy her a diamond, she is already putting up with you, be nice.

Apr 14, 2014 - 3:01pm

Disjoint:

You buy branded sh.t don't you? And pay more for it, even if it was made by a 5 year old Chinese kid got 2 cents.

Suck it up, and buy a diamond.

They are beautiful stones - all that shit about it being not rare etc.. Is just shit excuses. The supply is extremely well controlled, and a flood of diamond is not about to go all over the market and make that stone worthless for the next 100 years. The Grand pa of a persian friend of mine shoved a bunch of diamonds up his ass when he got out of the country. It helped him carry a bit of his money with him. It's great for laundering or carrying money in case of war.

So diamonds not rare? Who cares, supply are controlled and will be for a very long time.

Were as for your fiancee. Don't be a cheap fuck. Buy her a diamond, she is already putting up with you, be nice.

Seconding this and would like to add that, although raw diamonds are not rare, well cut investment grade GIA certified diamonds generally increase in value over time with inflation, or much more for very rare diamonds(e.g. colored or very large). If you buy from a family dealer or wholesaler you won't pay much of a mark-up and could sell it for a profit in 5-10 years if you had to.

To claim a diamond has zero value because it is propped up by De Beers supply restrictions and marketing is like saying equities have zero value because they are propped up by the Fed or that the USD has zero value because the government is broke.

Apr 14, 2014 - 3:57pm

Give your fiance some acid then send her to a mine where diamonds are made. After 7 or so hours, said individual would want nothing to do with those things. If the option is not feasible .... mining videos should do the trick. I'm sure You Tube got some documentaries.

Apr 14, 2014 - 4:11pm

Can't believe nobody here knows what the fuck lab diamonds are...

FAR more pure, ethical, and inexpensive than natural diamonds, and 100% real. If you buy a natural or Cube Z, you're an idiot.

$60k natural ring = $2k lab ring (caveat: this only works when you're already rolling dough and don't want to blow your bonus on a rock)

Apr 14, 2014 - 4:47pm

I'm not opposed to a cheapo rock ($1-5k), but the future wifie and I will be getting plain, platinum bands. Engagement ring cash is going into a travel fund and an education fund for the kids.

It's going to cost at least $250k in today's dollars to raise a single kid. Tack on prep school, sports, summer camps, and vacations, and you're running $500k+.

If she doesn't like it... tough luck. Self-selection is a powerful way to prevent yourself from making the worst financial decision of your life.

Apr 14, 2014 - 8:26pm

Ask Patrick. :) @WallStreetOasis.com

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Apr 14, 2014 - 9:11pm

I paid for the brand name. There are some things that you "get what you pay for" and after shopping around at some cheaper places, Tiffany's was just all around better. I paid more, but the service before after and during purchase was a million times better than any place I went to.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
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Apr 14, 2014 - 10:49pm

If the level of service is truly that important to you, I can't argue, but you probably paid 30-50% markup for the Tiffany's service. I spent time looking at Tiffany's, Diamonds Direct (non-name brand diamond supplier), and online over the last few months, and eventually chose to purchase my diamond online for $11,500. A diamond of approximately the same size, clarity, cut, color, and grading agency was offered to me at a final price of $14,900 at Diamonds Direct, the non-name brand retailer. Without a doubt, additional markup would have been incurred on the setting at either retailer.

To say "get what you pay for" is just wrong. You paid 30% markup for somebody to teach you what she wants and then sell it to you at a price they deem is fair. I ended up with the same result, as certified by GIA, whether I went to a retailer or online, but I estimate that I was able to save ~$4,000. The process required planning ahead, an extra Saturday afternoon at the jewelry store getting learned up, and few extra hours on blogs reading about reputable online sources, but it was absolutely worth it to me.

Also, I really hope Tiffany's helped you find away around retail sales tax and that you throw away an additional 6-8% on top of the example retail price above.

Apr 15, 2014 - 8:47am

I know I paid a big mark up and I'm fine with that. I paid that mark up so I didn't have to worry about going through and doing all the research on my own. I knew I was getting a good quality product.

Also, this may not seem like much, but being able to just walk in any day of the week and get your ring cleaned for free is nice when your wife/fiance wants to keep her stone shiny.

They also warranty their rings so if a prong breaks off or anything like that, they'll replace it for free.

Being nervous when buying an engagement ring because it's a big life move, not being pressured into buying a ring and actually helped in a calm manner instead of "what'll it take for you to buy this ring today?" helps a lot too.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
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Apr 14, 2014 - 9:35pm

Why would I sell 50% preferred equity in myself for free much less buy a pebble?

Apr 14, 2014 - 9:43pm

Sir TradesAlot with the most adult response of all of us.

Apr 14, 2014 - 10:00pm

I won't insert myself into this debate about whether diamonds are "worth the money spent" - it's simply a judgment of value.

That said, what I find most interesting about this thread is the illusory distinction between diamonds, whose demand is, putatively, "artificial", and other non-essential goods/services, whose demand is "justified". I hate to be the one to break it to you, but every dollar you spend beyond that which satisfies your primal needs is directed by the "artificiality" of marketing. There is no sense in which you "need" a Mercedes vs. a Ford, a penthouse vs. a pre-war studio, a Rolex vs. a Fossil, a dinner at Per Se vs. a dinner at McDonald's. You are persuaded by the appeal of product placement to your peculiar sensibilities.

The idea that there is some "rational" set of values as distinct from "irrational" alternatives is an exercise in both pure vanity and blissful ignorance. So quick to identify the marketing at play with respect to diamonds, yet so blind to the marketing at play with respect to your Bosch appliances, $10 sandwich, $50k car, view of the city/ocean, leathery-ness of your shoes, bespoke fit of your suit and win:loss ratio of your chosen sports franchise.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
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Apr 18, 2014 - 5:31pm

NorthSider:

I won't insert myself into this debate about whether diamonds are "worth the money spent" - it's simply a judgment of value.

That said, what I find most interesting about this thread is the illusory distinction between diamonds, whose demand is, putatively, "artificial", and other non-essential goods/services, whose demand is "justified". I hate to be the one to break it to you, but every dollar you spend beyond that which satisfies your primal needs is directed by the "artificiality" of marketing. There is no sense in which you "need" a Mercedes vs. a Ford, a penthouse vs. a pre-war studio, a Rolex vs. a Fossil, a dinner at Per Se vs. a dinner at McDonald's. You are persuaded by the appeal of product placement to your peculiar sensibilities.

The idea that there is some "rational" set of values as distinct from "irrational" alternatives is an exercise in both pure vanity and blissful ignorance. So quick to identify the marketing at play with respect to diamonds, yet so blind to the marketing at play with respect to your Bosch appliances, $10 sandwich, $50k car, view of the city/ocean, leathery-ness of your shoes, bespoke fit of your suit and win:loss ratio of your chosen sports franchise.

THIS.

also, this thread is a great display of how many insecure guys work in banking (she wants a diamond=she wants me for my money=my NAV is 0).

Take care to get what you want,otherwise you will be forced to like what you get.
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Apr 14, 2014 - 9:59pm

I went through this a couple of years ago. I always thought no way I am going to waste money on a material item that provides no use in daily life a gum ball machine pops out rings for $0.25.

Well of course I bought a diamond. However, there are two ways to get maximum value for your dollar.

1. Obtain a diamond dealers license and buy directly on the market. It will save you 50-80%, which is thousands. It doesn't take much research and a license is pretty easy to acquire. If you are in NYC someone may just have a family member or friend in the business.

2. Buy online and then have the stone set in a ring later. You will save 30-40%. I did this an was able to buy a stone that was much nicer than I ever would have bought through a traditional retailer. It worked out great since her grandmothers ring had a CZ in it because she gave the diamond away already.

Best of luck to those "never going to fall prey".

Apr 14, 2014 - 10:00pm

All jokes aside. How much coin should an engagement ring set you back? Varying folks say saying things

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it
Apr 14, 2014 - 10:24pm

pktkid10:

All jokes aside. How much coin should an engagement ring set you back? Varying folks say saying things

People say all sorts of bullshit. I spent about one week's worth of pay on an engagement ring and got zero complaints. Of course, I ended up buying an upgraded one 5-8 years later as well when I was making a bit more money (and was splurging on unnecessary watches). Just spend what you want and don't worry about other people so much.
Apr 21, 2014 - 7:35pm

SlikRick:

I don't even think Jamie Dimon would purchase a $50K diamond. Walk into a Tiffany's and ask to see a 3kt-4kt diamond. Those things are a monstrosity and probably reserved for plus size women.


Seriously???? Try a $500,000 ring!
Apr 14, 2014 - 10:21pm

"Yeahhh man, women are sooooo irrational, I don't get it!!!" As he kicks back in his $800 Aeron; sporting a $200 Hermes tie, $700 horsebit Ferragamos, a $1,500 Burberry suit and a $10,000 Rolex; looking out from his 40th floor, $250/sq. ft. office space at 9 West; splitting up his $25,000/month Hamptons rental to compliment his $4,500/month 2br/flex-3 in Stuy Town; dreaming about his future $100,000 sports car; and buying his $2,000 Super Bowl tickets.

Classic WSO.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
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Apr 21, 2014 - 10:53am

NorthSider:

"Yeahhh man, women are sooooo irrational, I don't get it!!!" As he kicks back in his $800 Aeron; sporting a $200 Hermes tie, $700 horsebit Ferragamos, a $1,500 Burberry suit and a $10,000 Rolex; looking out from his 40th floor, $250/sq. ft. office space at 9 West; splitting up his $25,000/month Hamptons rental to compliment his $4,500/month 2br/flex-3 in Stuy Town; dreaming about his future $100,000 sports car; and buying his $2,000 Super Bowl tickets.

Classic WSO.

That Aeron is worth it's weight in diamonds! Anyway my husband gave me a rosary when we got engaged. I may buy a stone less band but ONLY because people always think I'm a unwed mother. But I don't really care I don't own any jewelry

Apr 14, 2014 - 10:31pm

No one pays $700 for normal horsesbit loafers, let's be rational here.

Apr 14, 2014 - 10:47pm

1. Cubic zirconia, in my opinion, sounds cooler

2. If she cares that much about something as petty and materialistic as a ring, she's probably the wrong girl for me

I want a girl who loves me for me, not for the $$$ I'm willing to spend on her

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"
Apr 14, 2014 - 11:01pm

Who the fuck lives in Stuy Town if you had a spot in the Hamptons? Are you new to NYC and living there or some shit that you think Stuy town is a balling place ? Do you buy bottles at joshua tree and mercury too?

Lol @ the "oh enjoy being single" holier than thou commentary from the married guys who are prideful about their ring purchasing ability . do whatever you want , nothing wrong with slaying 20s when you're in your 40s. Better than getting half your rev jacked for alimony after your wife divorces you for working 90 hour workweeks and she begins screwing abercrombie retail guys she finds after shopping for your kids clothes and or on cougarmeet.com

Apr 14, 2014 - 11:48pm

shorttheworld:

Who the fuck lives in Stuy Town if you had a spot in the Hamptons? Are you new to NYC and living there or some shit that you think Stuy town is a balling place ? Do you buy bottles at joshua tree and mercury too?

Oh yes, and I also think a 2br/flex-3 is the epitome of "classy". The number of Stuy Town flex-bedroom junior bankers with Hamptons rentals split 47 ways is truly innumerable.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
  • 1
Apr 14, 2014 - 11:01pm

if buying a rock makes your woman happy, I say do it.

happy wife, happy life!

i'm not smart enough to do everything, but dumb enough to try anything
Apr 15, 2014 - 12:58am

How are you planning on financing the diamond ring? My recommendation would be to back it with as much leverage as possible- make use of that tax shield! Also, check out some of the market comps. Relevant ratios to use include but aren't limited to (ring price/wife's hotness), (ring price/wife's cup size), (ring price/how much she puts out).

While we're on the subject of marriage, make sure you regress your potential mate's income potential with hotness. These assets tend to depreciate extremely fast once they reach ~ 25 years so make sure you are accounting for that. Let me know if I can assist you further. Cheers!

Apr 15, 2014 - 1:12am

I'm not planning on getting married anytime soon, but I would bet a lot of money that I will be buying a diamond ring. If the girl doesn't want one, fine with me, but I doubt that will be the case. Now since she will likely want one, she will probably like a very nice one, (just like I will like a nice car and home), so I'll get her that.

  • 1
Apr 15, 2014 - 1:20am

I like how this thread transitioned from buying a diamond ring to buying a 50k diamond ring, lol. A decent looking reasonably priced diamond ring is standard fare for the whole marriage proposal thing, but if she's expecting something that costs more than a 5-series BMW she's a gold-digger. Getting a diamond ring doesn't equate to just buying anything.

Apr 15, 2014 - 1:49am

JrTrader:

I understand things like fine wine and art, because of their rarity, but diamonds aren't rare and perfect stones can be synthesized nowadays. It seems like a product that is bought only because it is expensive.

Will you buy one if your significant other wanted it?

Source:

Diamonds are a Sham and it's Time We Stopped Getting Engaged With Them

This makes no sense. You cant understand why people pay for diamonds but you can understand why for art??? Art has no value whatsoever and you can easily get a replica that captures the piece EXACTLY.

Apr 15, 2014 - 8:51am

CreditAnalyst85:

JrTrader:

I understand things like fine wine and art, because of their rarity, but diamonds aren't rare and perfect stones can be synthesized nowadays. It seems like a product that is bought only because it is expensive.

Will you buy one if your significant other wanted it?

Source:

Diamonds are a Sham and it's Time We Stopped Getting Engaged With Them

This makes no sense. You cant understand why people pay for diamonds but you can understand why for art??? Art has no value whatsoever and you can easily get a replica that captures the piece EXACTLY.

Or you can buy an "original" piece, that is also a fake.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/art-forger-wolfgang-beltracchis-multimillio…

The art world is completely ridiculous. I worked at an art institute and it just boggles my mind.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
  • 3
Apr 16, 2014 - 12:35pm

As much as really expensive art or wine is also ridiculous, the rarity and uniqueness certainly plays a factor. Art/wine appreciates gradually over time too because of that unlike diamonds. When you buy a bottle of vintage wine you know it might be the last bottle of its type in the world.

Apr 15, 2014 - 7:30am

does anyone else find MissMoneyPenny to be incredibly annoying? or is it just me

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk
  • 3
Apr 15, 2014 - 12:35pm

TonyPerkis:

does anyone else find MissMoneyPenny to be incredibly annoying? or is it just me

MissMoneyPenny is and has always been a turd
Apr 15, 2014 - 10:23am

I couldn't read through this entire thread. Some of the nonsense in it is crazy. I just proposed to my high school sweetheart. She has put up with my shit for over a decade now. I even convinced her that I wasn't going to be able to swing an engagement ring and since she is awesome and totally worth it she was fine with it. After months of shopping/researching I got a fantastic deal on an flawlessly cut round diamond that is breath taking. I then had it set in a unique trench setting for snag free wear since she is an RN. She was absolutely floored when I sprung it on her and it feels fantastic when I catch her looking at it and smiling. Such a simple thing to make the one you are supposed to love for the rest of your life happy. And I spent no where near $10k+.

Apr 15, 2014 - 9:30pm

T-101:

She was absolutely floored when I sprung it on her and it feels fantastic when I catch her looking at it and smiling. .

[quote=Matrick][in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

[/quote] [quote=BatMasterson][in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

[/quote]
Apr 15, 2014 - 12:54pm

If the prenup says that I will get it back

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Apr 15, 2014 - 1:04pm

Matrick:

If the prenup says that I will get it back


/thread
speed boost blaze
Apr 15, 2014 - 7:19pm

aaaaaaaaaaand we found the one who takes this a bit too serious.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Apr 15, 2014 - 3:31pm

I won't. We already arranged that we'll take all the money that we would spend in a fancy Wedding party and expensive jewelry and we'll travel together as Honeymoon :)

One really expensive diamond ring can pay for one-month at the best romantic Resorts in the Caribbean.

Apr 15, 2014 - 5:37pm

You buy the ring for the experience of seeing the excitement on her face as you ask and when she stares at it with a smile on. Your girl may not want one, but I'm damn sure she will be thrilled to have it after her closest friends or a stranger compliments her on how lucky she is.

...
Apr 15, 2014 - 5:53pm

BreakingRich:

You buy the ring for the experience of seeing the excitement on her face as you ask and when she stares at it with a smile on.

Pretty expensive smile, that is.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
Apr 15, 2014 - 6:13pm

So she's not smiling because you've proposed marriage, but because she can run a calculus of the $ value of your commitment?

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
Apr 15, 2014 - 8:11pm

This thread is adorable. Do what you wanna do, but don't act like you have some higher level of existence by "not giving in to the system." I'm not here to argue that, I'm just here to defend the good name of diamonds as an investment class. So, for the record:

1) Diamonds have been and are likely to continue to be a pretty good investment

2) Diamonds are, in fact, limited in supply and OP doesn't characterize them accurately (they're no different than art or fine wine, and are actually better than both of those things because of their liquidity and categorization)

3) Not that it's relevant to anything, but diamond isn't without value outside of jewelry - it has plenty of commercial uses, not entirely useless like a painting

4) De Beers doesn't really control supply like that, they get way too much credit from the media

I hate victims who respect their executioners
  • 4
  • 3
Apr 15, 2014 - 9:34pm

All I can say is that if I every get married, she's the one that will be proposing. Women have more to gain from marriage anyway.

[quote=Matrick][in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

[/quote] [quote=BatMasterson][in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

[/quote]
Apr 15, 2014 - 9:38pm

Traditionally an engagement ring was to signify that a women was "taken"; think wedding ring light. Now it is used to display conspicuous consumption.

If I was to go through with such a process, I mind as well use a wedding ring because the engagement would only last about a week before the event and because we would know each other more intimately than most married couples.

[quote=Matrick][in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

[/quote] [quote=BatMasterson][in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

[/quote]
Apr 15, 2014 - 9:52pm

whatwhatwhat:

think i'll offer my girl her student loans paid off or a ring of equal value

The problem is then it changes the relationship to one about money.

[quote=Matrick][in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

[/quote] [quote=BatMasterson][in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

[/quote]
Apr 15, 2014 - 10:02pm

Tony Snark:

whatwhatwhat:

think i'll offer my girl her student loans paid off or a ring of equal value

The problem is then it changes the relationship to one about money.

It's always been about money dude. Hence why we are having this whole conversation.

  • 2
Apr 16, 2014 - 12:01am

If a survey was taken for average age in this thread it would not be over 25 given some of the comments and likely the current relationship status would be single with lots of lotion...

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

  • 2
Apr 16, 2014 - 1:24am

Diamonds and gems are desirable because they are deemed to be prestigious. Fortunately this is changing. Those on the bleeding edge of elitism in certain areas are starting to eschew diamonds due to their association with conflicts, child exploitation, slave labor, etc. I could see a scenario not too far down the road where diamonds go the way of the fur coat -- once a coveted luxury item, but now unconscionable to actually purchase and wear.

  • 1
Apr 16, 2014 - 2:38am

labanker:

Diamonds and gems are desirable because they are deemed to be prestigious. Fortunately this is changing. Those on the bleeding edge of elitism in certain areas are starting to eschew diamonds due to their association with conflicts, child exploitation, slave labor, etc. I could see a scenario not too far down the road where diamonds go the way of the fur coat -- once a coveted luxury item, but now unconscionable to actually purchase and wear.

Sure there's a movement against fur. But the wealthy still own them and I think what's really died is just the plebeian lust for them, not the ownership by the people who can actually afford a $100,000 coat.

Apr 16, 2014 - 5:34am

Surprised the 3 month salary rule wasnt brought up more. Assuming ring is 3 months salary and you have 10% savings rate of which is all dedicated to the ring fund. It would take 2.5 years to save up enough. That is just insanity.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.
  • 1
Apr 16, 2014 - 9:49am

Another valuable lesson on anonymity

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.
Apr 16, 2014 - 10:40am

The question of buying a diamond ring is parallel to the question of why even get married? Marriage for those who have wealth is a merger of assets legally that is based on the premise that you want to remain "merged" for the rest of your existance. At one point it was taboo to have relations until married, then it was only taboo to live together w/o marriage, then only if you had a child w/o marriage. I still beleive it is taboo to have children w/o getting married, but it no longer carries the social stigma it once did. So the decision to get married is either a financial/legal one the merger concept, a religious one (I'll leave that alone) or a pretense to having children, but is no longer in anyway needed or required. So why? TRADITION! (or really cultural expectations). So if you are going to engage in what is a cultural expectation well then do it right and buy the lady a diamond engagement ring. If you don't plan to have a traditional wedding (and gentlemen if you don't know about these things and you have been together long enough to be expected at family functions it is time to discuss) then the engagement ring is probably not as important. But if you are in love with a women who has dreamed of her wedding since she was 10 years old, well good luck trying to forego the expectation.
Personally my wife is a very humble and practical woman and would have been happy with whatever I got her. But I choose to get her a moderately expensive engagement ring (about 1 month's gross salary at the time) not because she needed to know I love her but infact just like the ad says to let everyone else know. After almost 7 years (and 5 years of marriage w/ 2 kids) I know I made the right choice, because while diamonds are probably overpriced, her ring is still as beautiful the day I purchased it and she still receives compliments today.
For anyone considering a ring I will advise it is easy to get caught up on size, my advice is decide on a budget and find a nice size stone that is of a high (not best) grade in color (F or G), clarity (VVS) and especially cut (ideal, signature or excellent). You dont need internally flawless or perfectly colorless, but it worth getting an ideal cut. A hunking rock that doesn't sparkle will feel cheap and a stone too big will look cartoonish on a small hand. Finally make sure the setting is something she will love as this is literally meant to last a life time.

Doog37
  • 2
Apr 16, 2014 - 10:49am

As a former hedge fund trader, ibank institutional trader, and now reformed startup entrepreneur and founder of Enchanted Diamonds, I can give you my insider perspective.

Everyone on this thread is right. For better or worse diamond engagement rings are a tradition that's not going to stop any time soon.

However, diamonds are NOT an investment. While they can hold some value, investment grade diamonds are rare and are usually only found at Sotheby and Christie's auctions. Diamonds in jewelry? Think of it more like a car. As soon as you take it off the lot it just lost ~30-40% of it's value.

That's the reality. Buying brand names is stupid and a waste of money. No one can recognize a label on a ring nor does that label make it any more valuable upon potential resale. Not trying to make this an endorsement for my company, but I recommend all of you find a budget that you are comfortable with, no matter what you do, it's going to be a hit (top 3 purchase in 99% of buyers lives).

Find a jeweler you can trust, online is better as diamonds ARE a commodity, and a cert is a cert is a cert, as long as it's GIA and not that EGL or IGI for-profit grading nonsense. Find exactly what you want, choose eye clean diamonds over flawless (I don't know anyone who has more than 1X magnification on there eyes), and get a custom ring made specifically for your selected diamond and her finger size.

If you work with the right jeweler, like us at Enchanted Diamonds, your appraisal value can be anywhere from 20-50% more than your purchase price. And, if you ever want to upgrade, we make that process much easier. Sorry for the rant. Happy to answer any and all questions or give advice to anyone who is looking.

Best of luck to all!

Apr 16, 2014 - 11:17am

Monkeys we famous now.

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."
Apr 16, 2014 - 11:26am

Honestly, I think her write up was fair. The comments are redic, but she did a good job with it. For the life of me I don't know why our discussions are article worthy, but hey, more power to them haha.

Apr 16, 2014 - 11:35am

She didn't do much more than ctrl+c / ctrl + v.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
Apr 16, 2014 - 11:41am

I mean true, but she provided alternatives to buying diamonds, etc. I don't think we are whining, more like discussing the merits and the social factors at play. But I suppose the title is supposed to drum up interest vs. say how it really is.

Apr 16, 2014 - 1:23pm

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Buy fear, sell cheer
Apr 16, 2014 - 5:37pm

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Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Apr 17, 2014 - 4:07am

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I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk
Apr 17, 2014 - 7:25am

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Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Apr 16, 2014 - 5:52pm

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Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
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