One woman is reminding people everywhere it is about more than just a ring.

Having a fancy piece of jewelry is nice, but when it comes to matters of the heart the size of a ring or how much it costs isn’t what truly matters. You can’t put a price tag on love, and one woman took to social media to remind people of that after an unpleasant experience ring-shopping with her fiancé.

Why A Pandora Clerk Called A Woman’s Engagement Ring “Pathetic”

man putting a ring on a woman's finger
Photo by Andre Jackson on Unsplash

Back in November 2016, Ariel McRae and her partner, Quinn McRae, were shopping for ring sets at the local mall in Martin, Tennessee. They were at a Pandora store when Ariel eyed a sterling silver, pearl, and cubic zirconia set for $130. But as they were looking at the rings with a kind associate, another came over and rained on their parade.

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“Y’all, can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic,” she said, as per a subsequent Facebook post by Ariel. “Poor Quinn’s face fell and I was a little baffled,” she continued.

“He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page. He already felt like a failure, asking me again and again ‘Are you sure you’ll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?’ He was so upset at the idea of not making me happy enough and of me not wanting to marry him because my rings didn’t cost enough money or weren’t flashy enough.”

One Woman’s Perfect Response To A Rude Pandora Employee

engagement ring in a mint green box
Photo by Jackie Tsang on Unsplash

Despite feeling rather upset over how the associate handled the whole situation, Ariel decided to turn it (and her relationship) into a teachable moment. “Old Ariel would have ripped that woman a new one,” she wrote. “Mature Ariel said, ‘It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters.’ We bought the rings and left.”

Once she got home though, Ariel decided to post about the experience — not just because it happened, but because other people in her life also seemed dissatisfied over the rings she loved and would ask if they were placeholders or if there were plans to upgrade in the future.

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“I wanted people to understand that… a ring is just a bonus. You’re not marrying someone for a ring. You’re marrying someone because you love them,” Ariel told ABC News.

“He scraped up just enough money to buy me two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and CZ to be exact. That’s what sits on my ring finger, and I am so in love with them,” she shared on Facebook.

I wasn’t even thinking about rings, I just wanted to marry my best friend, but he wouldn’t have it.

Ariel McRae

“When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring? Sure they are nice, sure the sentiment is wonderful and I’m not trying to cut down any of your experiences, but when did it come to all that? Why do material possessions equate love??”

How A Woman’s Heartfelt Facebook Post Went Viral

person holding a phone with facebook open on it
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Ariel’s post resonated with a lot of people, and many media outlets picked it up. Her story was shared far and wide, with many people chiming in with their own stories of inexpensive but beloved rings. Eventually, the story got back to Pandora and the company also apologized for the incident.

“Pandora Jewelry regrets that Ariel and Quinn had this experience while shopping for such a meaningful testament to their love. Their experience is not in keeping with our brand values or what we expect from those who sell our products,” the company said in a statement to The Mirror.

“We aspire every day to bring love to people around the world no matter the occasion or sentiment, and we are honored that Ariel and her husband chose Pandora to celebrate this special moment together with unconditional love.”

As for Ariel, she also revealed in her post that she’s never been happier.

“My husband was so afraid of me not wanting him because he couldn’t afford a piece of jewelry,” she continued. “He was afraid that the love I have for him would pale because he couldn’t afford the wedding set I wanted. The world has made it this way and it is so sad.”

Here I am, court-house married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side and happier than I could ever imagine.

Ariel McRae

Why One Woman Believes There Shouldn’t Be Price Tag On Love

woman with engagement ring holding on to a man's arm
Photo by Jenny Marvin on Unsplash

Ariel herself admits that costlier pieces of jewelry can be nice, but it isn’t all that matters. People everywhere have been conditioned to look at the size and cost of an engagement ring when it comes to valuing love, but at the end of the day, it’s just a material thing. It’s a takeaway we should all try to remember when it comes to life in general.

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Having a nice piece of jewelry, a fancy car, or a big house is great. But if we can’t find the real value in our lives: friendship, kindness, generosity, and love, what’s the point of having those nice things? Money can help you out in life but it does not always equate happiness. Thankfully, Ariel reminded us all of that with her beautiful story.


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love is what matters
“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” – Jane Austen