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The true significance of a diamond engagement ring, and how to make it even more special!

By Todd Gray

January 23, 2015

While the majority of the men seem to approach the process of buying a diamond engagement ring as if they are knights preparing to joust with a jeweler to win their beloved bride the ultimate prize. Most women tend to see their engagement ring as a symbol of love, not the spoils of your diamond conquest.

This article is going to take a different twist than other blog posts that I have written because it is going to be about more than just how to buy a diamond engagement ring. As a matter of fact, this is the first in a series of articles that I am going to write about how to improve the nature of your relationships, starting with understanding the true meaning that women place upon the diamond engagement ring that you are going to present them with.

Relationship advice from a diamond broker?

Now you might be wondering why you would ever possibly consider listening to relationship or marital advice offered by a diamond broker. However, in this particular instance, the diamond broker happens to be a practicing Strategic Intervention Coach. At the same time, I also have a lot of experience in helping people to create relationships that are truly amazing, and which have the potential to actually withstand the test of time!

While I am clearly knowledgeable about diamonds, as I should be after being employed as a professional diamond buyer at a trade level for almost 30 years, the reality is that I am even more passionate about helping people develop better relationships, and overcome their personal challenges.

On that note, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to visit my new website Hypnoformance. It will feature more articles about how to better understand the nature of our relationships, and hopefully, better understand ourselves in the process.

What a diamond engagement ring symbolizes:

The historical meaning of a diamond engagement ring is going to differ from my opinion of what a diamond engagement ring means, so I’m not going to get into the history of the diamond engagement ring in this article; rather I would like to focus on what a diamond engagement ring symbolizes for your relationship, and the hidden meaning that your beloved bride is likely to give to the ring on a subconscious level.

The Six Human Needs as taught by Tony Robbins, certainty, variety, significance, love, connection, growth, contributionHuman Needs Psychology teaches that there are Six Human Needs that each of us operate by, and which must be met in order for us to feel satisfied and thrive. The basic categories that encompass our Six Human Needs are:


  • Certainty
  • Variety
  • Significance
  • Love / Connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution

It might seem a bit strange at first to consider the psychological and emotional effect that a diamond engagement ring can have upon your life, however I think that by the time you finish reading this article that you will see the value of a diamond e-ring extends far beyond the initial investment made to purchase it.

How an e-ring satisfies the Six Human Needs:

The true meaning of a diamond engagement ring, six human needs, certainty, security, love, connection, variety“Security” is another word for Certainty. In many ways a diamond engagement ring is a symbol of certainty for a woman, it represents the security that comes with being in a committed relationship, and tells all the world that she is significant in your eyes.

When you drop down on one knee and propose to her at sunset, you create more than just a memorable moment; in all likelihood you invoke feelings of certainty in her subconscious brain. You have chosen her above all others, made a promise to love and cherish her always, to be “the one” that she has dreamed of; this can evolve into deep feelings of contentment and happiness.


Suffice to say that most women place a significant amount of importance on the implied promise of fidelity that accompanies a diamond engagement ring, and that it might be the ring on her finger that keeps her focused on the relationship when the relationship is challenged.

One thing that I have noticed about when women come to me for relationship advice, they almost always stare intently at their diamond wedding set while describing how they feel about their husband, or the current state of their relationship; sometimes they fiddle with their ring, or spin it around on their finger, as if they are anchored to the ring, and contemplating what it all means.

This is a good sign by the way, it means that they are still committed to finding a solution to their relationship problems, whatever they might be; and I believe that reconciliation is possible provided that the positive feelings and emotions tied to the engagement ring, and the relationship that it represents, can be built up and expanded upon.

Variety: Not every woman wants the same thing.

Life would be pretty boring if every day was exactly the same, and if everybody expressed their sense of personal style in the same manner as everybody else. This is why I like to work with vendors like Wink from High Performance Diamonds and Brian Gavin Diamonds, who offer a wide variety of engagement rings in practically every type of popular alloy that is used to make jewelry.

Classic Tiffany style solitaire by Brian Gavin, the six human need for variety, which e-ring suits your styleRegardless of whether your girlfriend’s taste reflects the traditional values expressed by the classic Tiffany style solitaire by Brian Gavin, or she prefers something a little more in vogue like this Park Avenue halo setting from HPD; it is important to realize that the unique nature of a woman’s engagement ring helps fulfill  her need for variety and significance.


By the way, if you’ve been married for awhile, your wife might express a desire to change her wedding set, try to see it as a positive way for her to satisfy her need for some variety, that might also boost her sense of certainty and significance.

While this article focuses on the true significance of a diamond engagement ring, I want to take a moment to point out that much of the hoopla related to wedding planning and the wedding celebration, are driven by our unconscious desire to fulfill our need for variety and significance… try to see the chaos for what it is.

Grooms guide how to survive wedding planning, the six human needs, certainty, variety, significance, love, connection, growth, contributionRemain calm and present throughout all of the time spent planning the wedding, and you will score major dog points in the realm of certainty, by demonstrating that you are a man who can weather the insanity of her ever-changing mind and emotional storms; trust me, it will go a long way! Men who know what it means to be present, know what it means to be present, the rest of you might want to Challenge Your Gravity.


Show her the Significance she desires:

There are many ways that a diamond engagement ring fulfills our need for Significance; as men, we tend to focus upon the technical aspects of the ring, the components that comprise the ring, such as the carat weight of the diamond, the diamond clarity, the diamond color, the diamond cut quality, as well as the design elements and the alloy type.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself…

“What does an engagement ring mean… to her?” and take a moment to consider that the diamond engagement ring that you present her with, will mean something special to her, a meaning that is as special and unique as she is…

The majority of women who I’ve met with, don’t focus as much on the technical aspects of their diamond engagement ring, as they focus on the meaning of their diamond engagement ring.

Now you can spend the rest of your life trying to discover the true meaning of a diamond engagement ring, and what it means to her… or you can use the same approach that I take with my clients, and simply ask her “What does an engagement ring mean to you?” and then shut-up, listen, and take a lot of mental notes.

Pay attention to how she describes the true meaning of a diamond engagement ring, and the special significance that she assigns to it… Listen for clues about how she feels about the ring; whether she describes it using words that describe attributes that are auditory, kinesthetic, or visual.

Discover what a diamond engagement ring means to her, satisfy the six human needs of your Princess BrideShe might tell you about how as a little girl, she used to sit under her favorite tree, reading her favorite book, and dream about the day she would become a princess bride! She might describe how her Hearts & Arrows diamond “sings to her” [auditory] when the sunlight bounces off of it [visual] and it warms her heart [kinesthetic] and that now, whenever she looks at the diamond you chose for her, she knows just how much you love her, and she feels just like a princess!

It is important that you ask her what a diamond engagement ring means to her; that you don’t tell her what an e-ring should mean; or what you’d like the diamond engagement ring to signify for her; although you can certainly express what the ring means to you, as presented to her.


Beyond the Significance that a diamond engagement ring symbolizes, is the obvious significance that may come from the diamond quality, or even the brand of diamond. While some women might fall under the spell cast by Tiffany & Co., others will think that Brian Gavin or Crafted by Infinity offer the best quality hearts and arrows diamonds in the world!

Give special meaning to hearts and arrows pattern in Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, AGSL 104074030054Use your creative genius and give a special meaning to each of the eight hearts and arrows exhibited by a Brian Gavin Signature or Crafted by Infinity round diamond, and you will create a level of significance that is unparalleled in the world of engagement rings! The diamond clarity and color do not have to be the highest, the carat weight doesn’t have to be the largest, but if the diamond cut quality is the best, the diamond will exhibit a pattern of eight hearts and arrows, like this 1.211 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, and it provides you with the perfect platform for expressing what you love about her, or feel about her, in eight to sixteen uniquely special ways.


How to capture hearts and arrows diamonds photographs, photo credit Damien Santana, BGD Signature diamond, AGSL 104060038143You can even incorporate the special hearts and arrows pattern exhibited by your Brian Gavin Signature or Crafted by Infinity diamond, into your wedding invitations, as my clients Monica and Damien did on the one that appears at the beginning of this article. The hearts image that appears on the wedding invitation was actually captured by Damian, making it all the more special! This is one of the photographs that Damien sent me when he was figuring out how to capture an image of the hearts pattern exhibited by the 1.124 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond that he selected for his bride; he also wrote an excellent tutorial on how to photograph H&A diamonds!


By the way, if you plan on having a custom engagement ring made by Brian Gavin, or High Performance Diamonds, you will have the opportunity to name the ring design after your fiance, thus it will appear in their online catalog of engagement ring designs as a tribute to her, forever more…

The Ultimate Symbol of Love & Connection:

You might be wondering why I waited until now to point out that a diamond engagement ring is recognized as the ultimate symbol of love and connection; the reality is that I’m addressing each of the Six Human Needs as they are positioned on the graphic of the six human needs that appears above.

The reality is that order in which we need to meet each of the six human needs will change throughout our lives, from moment to moment, day to day, and year after year, depending on the degree to which they are being met, or rather we interpret that they are being met… but I believe that if a diamond engagement ring is presented in the right manner, with a focus on how it meets the emotional needs of the person it is intended for, that it will go a long, long way towards meeting each of their six human needs; especially in the categories of certainty, variety, significance, love and connection!

Present the diamond engagement ring that you select for her, as a symbol of your love; but don’t just say that’s what it is… she probably expects you to say something like that!

Get Real.

Dig Deep.

Be Honest about how you feel…

Be Vulnerable.

Nothing is creates deep feelings of love and connection than the willingness to be truly Vulnerable! Even if it scares the shit out of you on the inside, tell her how you really feel about her becoming your wife, about your becoming her husband, about the future that you will share together, and perhaps about the anticipation of growing together as a family… and anchor it to her diamond engagement ring, as a symbol that represents the circle of life that you intend to share with her for the rest of your lives together.

The importance of Growing together as a couple:

Believe it or not, a diamond engagement ring is a symbol of your growth as a couple, it signifies that you have reached the next level of your relationship, and that you are moving forward with your lives together.

How to man up and survive planning the perfect weddingIt is likely that the two of you will face many challenges together along the way, not the least of which will be planning your wedding! Accept the fact that many women have been planning the perfect wedding for practically all of their lives, and get it in your head now, that she is still going to change her mind about “all sorts of little stuff” about a million times before the big day… and none of the little stuff matters, if you keep your eye on the prize that is her! Although she might not be consciously aware of it, much of this is a test to determine whether you are marriage material, whether you’ve got what it takes to survive her moods, deal with her mother, accept her ever-changing mind, etc.


Some women approach the prospect of planning the perfect wedding, in the same manner that most men approach putting together the perfect engagement ring; as if they are heading off into battle. It is a good opportunity to show her that the two of you can work together, and that you can remain calm and logical, even when she is being emotional, not that you or I would ever accuse them of being so… ahem, hint.

Make it through the wedding day, and the real fun begins… The veil of marital bliss eventually falls away, and the two of you might find yourselves wondering what it’s all about, whether the love you share has what it takes to last the test of time, and whether you made the right choice; unless you learn to fulfill each of your partner’s Six Human Needs at the highest levels, but that should probably be the subject of another article, just use your imagination for now…

Get curious about the Six Human Needs, talk about this subject with your partner, and figure out how each of you can better meet the other’s six human needs. If you sign up for the Challenge Your Gravity mailing list, I’ll send you a copy of the Six Human Needs assessment that I use with my coaching clients; it will help to identify which of the six human needs you tend to value the highest, and provide insight on to how you can best meet those needs in a positive manner.

Contribution is the key to happiness:

If there is one thing that I have learned throughout the 25+ years I spent as a professional diamond buyer, and especially during the rough times that resulted in Nice Ice being converted from a site that sells diamonds, to one that provides diamond buying advice… is that contribution is the key to happiness, it creates a sense of purpose that is unrivaled by everything else.

We all face challenges in our lives, the challenges which I’ve faced are no more or less difficult than the challenges faced by other people, and I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t regret the events that occurred in the past, because they merely exist as part of the journey that brought me to this point in the adventure, and it is through the course of this journey that I learned the importance of contribution.

Of all the six human needs, I believe that Contribution, the selfless act of doing something that improves the lives of other people, is the one thing that can create a supreme level of satisfaction in all other areas of our lives… it is the gift which keeps on giving.

The contribution of a diamond engagement ring presented to your fiance, is a gift of love which symbolizes all of the beauty which you see in her, every emotion that she invokes within you, it’s sparkle is representative of the way she makes you feel inside… alive, vibrant, and loving, with a song in your heart that sings to the sound of her voice; and hopefully you will find a way to express those feelings when you present the ring to her, so that she will know that her engagement ring means to you, exactly what it means to her.

While I obviously intend for this article to introduce you to my friends Brian Gavin of Brian Gavin Diamonds, and Paul Slegers of Crafted by Infinity, two of my favorite diamond cutters, who happen to be original suppliers of Nice Ice; it is also intended as a contribution in the form of sharing my knowledge and experience, in the hope that it will help improve the nature of your personal relationships.

My mentor in the field of Strategic Intervention is Tony Robbins, who said “Knowledge is not power, it is potential power…” and thus I hope you will harness the power of your newfound understanding of the Six Human Needs, and use it to take your relationships to the next level. By the way, Tony’s Basket Brigade food drive program is an excellent example of how we can all find a way to contribute, the story behind this wonderful Thanksgiving gift is incredible.

Of course, I hope that you will share this article with your friends, and in doing so, contribute to the betterment of other people and their relationships, by sharing the concept of the six human needs.

So what’s next? What would you like to talk about?

As stated previously, this is the first article in a series of articles that will focus on relationship challenges related to getting engaged, and getting married; I’ve definitely got some ideas about what I’d like to write about; but to be honest, I’d like to know if there is something specific that you might be struggling with, or which you’d like to know more about on related subjects; so feel free to send me a note, or leave a comment / suggestion below, obviously your name and any personal details can be omitted from any blog post that might result from your suggestion.

About the author

A mad scientist with a passion for improving diamond cut quality to maximize light performance and sparkle factor. I speak geek in degrees of optical precision between bouts of freediving. My ghostwritten ramblings haunt the rabbit holes of information found on many diamond vendor sites. Diamond buyer, author, consultant, errant seeker of deep blue water.

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  1. I really Enjoyed your article. I’m 40 & never been proposed to & it’s something that has weighed on me emotionally. I’ve been with the same man for 7 years who I know My future is with. He’s been married twice & I think He fears failure. I’ve openly said we don’t need to get married but I want The commitment. I want to know I’m the one. Each holiday I open Expensive jewelry & it upsets me more because it could’ve been the one piece to fulfill me. He doesn’t get the emotion

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Amanda. I’m certain that is a frustrating experience. I sent you an email a few days ago in response, but it might have gone to your spam filter.

      Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year!

      — Todd

  2. Such important advice to ask a woman what an engagement ring means to her and then listen! And to allow the process to be one of exploration and conversation rather than a drag. Thank you for showing how an engagement ring can touch upon all your six human needs.

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed reading our article on the six human needs and how it can affect the process of selecting the right engagement ring.

  3. It’s really easy to get mired in all the nitty gritty of what all the attributes of diamonds are when you want to pick the right one and I think it’s driven by good intentions (men show our love by being really technical and weighing all these things we put value in, and we do that because we love the person we’re giving the diamond to), but sometimes we definitely get a little too overboard and forget to think again about the bigger picture and about the values women are putting on the diamond. Definitely an appreciated article. Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this article; it’s a new direction on Nice Ice, so I truly appreciate the feedback. Congratulations on your engagement! And thank you for letting me be a part of the diamond selection process!

  4. Todd,

    You get it!

    I did some public speaking many years ago, and one of my favorite things to ask the ladies in the audience was how many of them remembered the proposal?

    Nearly all of the ladies raised their hands. I would always dig a little deeper and ask how many remembered what was said, and on down to eventually, what was he wearing.

    While fewer and fewer remembered all of the details, it became clear to me over the years, that the more respectfully and meaningfully the proposal was done, the more detail that was remembered.

    It became very clear to me that the mind was taking mental snapshots of those earth moving moments, and that it is always better with a snapshot to use a fine camera with a crystal clear lens than a cheap Instamatic that might capture the outline of the image, but completely miss the details…


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