Somehow, when my wife and I got engaged a decade ago, she was kind enough to prevent me from suffering from engagement ring angst (Wall Street Journal article link via Buzzworthy). I was, at the time, a poor musician. We didn't have the traditional down-on-the-knee proposal. My wife found a ring she liked—a row of alternating white and blue sapphires, not a diamond—and we had one made for me to match (we both still wear ours—mine is on my right ring finger).
I certainly fall into the same camp as Jeff Opdyke, author of the article, when he writes, "What is it, though, guys like me wonder, that makes [some] women think that costlier is better in the context of marriage?" I like buying my wife jewelry, and she certainly enjoys wearing it, but spending $10,000 or $25,000 (US!) on a ring instead of, say, a genuinely fabulous vacation, or a chunk of down payment on a house, or some amazing handcrafted furniture, or even a car, seems to me close to insanity. Especially when the price of diamonds is set not by any intrinsic worth, but by a shady worldwide cartel that has been involved in nasty civil wars in Africa, among other things.
I'd certainly love to spend $25,000 on my wife, but there are likely many much better ways to do it if I can ever afford that.