Buy $1M engagement ring from Costco?

A man traditionally offers an engagement ring along with his love when asking a woman to marry him.

Story highlights

  • A membership-only warehouse store is selling a diamond ring online for $1 million
  • HLN money expert Clark Howard says he bought his wife's engagement ring at Costco
  • But one man decided to buy his future wife's ring at a local store for the personal service
It's what so many girls and women dream of: That one special man, down on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage, holding out a sparkling engagement ring.
But what if he bought the ring while he was picking up a jug of milk, a tub of butter and a jumbo pack of toilet paper? Would it take away some of the romance if he bought it at a warehouse membership store?
OK, now take a closer look at the ring, because it could be worth $1 million. Are you breathless and giddy yet?
Well, the groom-to-be probably wouldn't pack up the ring with his groceries because Costco is selling the 6.2-carat one-of-a-kind solitaire diamond ring, valued at $1,496,255 by the International Gemological Institute, only to members online for $1 million.
But would the blushing bride-to-be showing off her super-sized bling face a potentially embarrassing question: "Where did he buy it?"
There should be no stigma there, says HLN money expert Clark Howard, because "nobody asks a woman where her diamond came from."
Howard bought his wife's engagement ring at a membership store "because it was a deal, and she loved it."
"The best part about buying a diamond from Costco is the right to return for a full refund for any reason at any time," Clark said. "That is unheard of in the jewelry business."
Costco officials say they've seen a rise in jewelry sales since their e-commerce site went live five years ago. Their biggest sale so far is an engagement ring that sold for close to $500,000.
Warehouse competitor Sam's Club also offers diamond engagement rings and luxury jewelry online. Currently, their highest priced item tops Costco's - a 97.68 carat total weight yellow and white diamond necklace set in platinum priced just under $2 million.
Costco has received serious inquiries about its million-dollar ring, senior vice president Ginnie Roeglin said.
"Costco appeals to a high demographic profile," Roeglin said. "We offer top-quality merchandise at a terrific value."
The company has recently marketed itself as a discount destination for couples tying the knot -- selling rings, invitations, gourmet food and drink, and even designer wedding gowns.
But some couples say a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime purchase of this kind requires personalized service.
Jack Guest says he shopped online and in stores a few months before finding the perfect diamond for his fiancee.
The health care marketing professional decided to buy his ring at Buckhead Diamond, a small family-owned jewelry boutique in Atlanta.
Guest said he didn't mind paying a little extra for his fiancee's ring because it was important to get to know the people who sold it.
"There's still something to be said for the local merchant," Guest said. "They have value-added services, such as ring cleaning anytime she wants to stop by."
Buckhead Diamond owner David Ben Moshe says the "Costco pricing mentality" takes away the "magic" of purchasing such a personal piece of jewelry.
"If you are going to give your girlfriend an engagement ring, and she's going to see it among bread and tomatoes, she's not going to feel that special," he said.