I look back, yet again, and wonder what in the hell I was thinking. I bought my wife's engagement ring on payments! I was less than 3 months into my first job out of college, she was out of town for the weekend, and I went to the mall (again, back when I did that).
I nervously walked around a few stores and settled on Zales "the Diamond Store". Perfect! They'd help me out and look out for my best interest. That...or, they'd sell me a nice diamond ring at twice the price I could have gotten it elsewhere. But, but, it came with an appraisal card and I was getting a DEAL!
Luckily she said yes, and we've been happily married for almost 10 years. She also knew I bought the ring on credit and I worked hard to have it paid off before we got married. (I think I even succeeded in doing this.) While it wasn't THE RING she wanted, it certainly served it's purpose. It showed initiative, a trait that still gets me in trouble sometimes. More importantly, it showed her I loved her (the act of proposing, that is), and it worked out well in the end.
If I had it to do over again, I'd have saved the money up in cash and gone to a diamond broker for a better deal on a bigger ring. Luckily, I'll never have to shop for another engagement ring as long as I live.