Pawn shop proposal; why I’m totally okay with it!

If you happened to have seen the Wordless Wednesday post for this week, you’ll have noticed a certain man proposed to me this weekend, after a fun filled, crazy toddler chasing weekend, he sent her out to me wearing her princess Elsa dress to give me the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. I gasped (who wouldn’t!?) and beamed, all the crazy girl crushing stuff any woman receiving an engagement ring would do but the frugal side of me was having heart palpitations. We never spend large sums of money on ourselves – ever. I was stunned, humbled, in shock. I still am in fact!

Engagement Ring - Pawn Shop Proposal


Then he let me in on a little secret, and one that makes me love him even more!

You see, my ring didn’t come from a mall, or a big fancy jewelry store with high pressure sales people. He didn’t apply for a new credit card or take out a loan, he hadn’t been saving for the past 4 years. He had his heart set on a ring and he went looking for it. He found it at Royal City Jewellers in New Westminster, B.C. They are both a jeweller and a pawn shop.

Yep, my beautiful engagement ring came from a pawn shop. And I am so freaking excited about that!

Okay, I know you are probably wondering how I could be okay with this… but hear me out!

Any store you purchase from has a mark up, it’s how any business stays afloat and in the black. Mall locations have an insane rent and the stores have to compensate for that, include staff costs, advertising, products, etc and you are paying an arm and a leg for something that likely cost them 10% of what they are charging you.

Diamonds aren’t any different. De Beers owns 80% of the worlds diamond mines, they OWN the industry. Diamonds are the only mineral in the world that does not have a set price in place so De Beers can charge the distributors whatever they want. Someone has already paid the inflated price to originally own the ring and then it made it’s way to the pawn shop, who can charge a much lower rate since they skipped the original purchase!

Kind of crazy if you ask me.

He shared with me that he wanted me to have something beautiful but he couldn’t justify putting us in debt for it, with a little one at home, 2 cars on the road and saving for a house there was just no way! So he found a solution, he found a $2500 ring, for less than 1/3 of the price (he obviously won’t give me a total! lol). He was able to find the dream ring HE wanted to propose with and not go into the red!

Some tips…

  • IF you are okay with a second hand ring, let your significant other KNOW. There’s definitely a  stigma around it, so if it’s a-okay in your book, let them know!
  • Do your research, don’t walk into just any store and trust everything you are told. If you are looking for a specific ring with a specific cut, don’t accept anything less
  • Most reputable places have a return policy, mine was 7 days. Plenty of time to have the ring appraised if you are unsure about the purchase.
  • Find a reputable business; Royal City has been in New West since 1955! With plenty of recommendations this is the store he chose but ask around your local area, do some searching and find your spot.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and walk away if need be.

Pawn shops, love them or leave them? Tell me in the comments!


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  1. DARLENE W says:

    I have the same way of thinking as you do, you can get great buys at a pawn shop and dicker over the price too. My son got the engagement ring for his fiancé off an ad on Kijiji and when he picked up the ring it hadn’t even be worn because the seller and his girlfriend broke up before he could pop the question. He got a $4000 ring for $750


  2. suemidd48 says:

    Your post is right on. I’ve found many beautiful rings at antique stores for much lower prices. They just don’t make rings like that anymore either – so simplistically gorgeous. And the marriage is not about the ring – it’s about being there for the long haul. Something you will be able to do by being frugal. You have a good man. Congratulations!

    • Tara says:

      Oh my goodness, the very thought of spending that much on a wedding gives me anxiety! I feel a wedding should be a celebration of LOVE, not of how much money we can spend!

  3. Millet Girl says:

    What a great post!! My husband and I are living debt free and I am all for that!! I think this is an awesome story and so glad you shared it!! Congrats too on the engagement!!
    Stopping by via SITS Sharefest on FB!!

  4. Stephanie Valponi says:

    Congratulations! I totally love this and your story gave me chills! I definietly think its ok. My ring didn’t come from a pawn shop, but it isn’t extravagant either. We were just kids when my husband proposed at 19. He took all the cash he saved up to buy a delicate diamond ring. It holds so much more meaning of who we were I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


  5. Janet P. says:

    I also believe you should never go in debt to buy a ring. That’s not what it’s all about. You can find many beautiful rings at a pawn shop and I say why not?

  6. Elizabeth Vlug says:

    Congratulations. And I love things with a history, you can let your imagination run away with you. You have a beautiful ring and a very thoughtful man in your life. Truly blessed.

  7. Cairine says:

    I don’t think I know enough about diamonds to be sure it was a diamond and not cubic zirconia. That would make it scarey for me.

  8. Laurie P says:

    I would totally be ok with this too! I’ve been to too many large weddings and am very aware what some folks spend on rings etc. It’s obscene really…

    A lot of times, pawn shops have better stuff. Unique items nobody else has, and I’m all for that too!

  9. Lynda Cook says:

    A big Congrats on your engagement!!!! and there is absolutely nothing wrong with where the ring came from, as long as your happy and you love him and the ring of course, that’s all that matters!!

  10. Cheryl says:

    I think a pawn shop ring is a smart start to a marriage!! Shame so many young couples start their marriages off in debt paying for a silly ring??!!

  11. Rosie says:

    I’ve never been to a pawn shop. It is wise to get things that are within your means, even though for some ppl they would rather get into horrible debt on a wedding they can’t afford and a ring, etc., they can’t afford. Then often end up divorced, and all that money, often the parents retirement money, was wasted. Better to be humble and be happy with what you can have without putting yourself and your loved ones in harm’s way.

  12. Nicole a says:

    So nice to see some sensibility these days. So many people seem to go overboard with rings and weddings. I think a house is a far better expense! Congrats.

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