What the Hell Kind of Ring Costs $400,000?


Last night on the masculinist tragicomedy that is HBO’s Ballers, an intriguing plot line unfurled in which party-guy wide receiver Ricky (John David Washington) tries to make up for his philandering ways by buying estranged girlfriend Bella (Annabelle Acosta) a ring worth $400k.

The ring, purchased in a private VIP room at Bvlgari from a velvet tray presented by an upselling blonde with dollar signs in her eyes and a protective glove on her hand, is a seven-karat, princess-cut yellow diamond in what looks like a hulk-sized prong setting. It’s terrifyingly huge. “I feel like she’s about to read my fortune,” says Ricky appreciatively, a newly poured glass of French champagne at his side. “She bout to take your fortune,” quips Ricky’s friend TTD, psychic himself.

The episode was appropriately entitled “Gaslighting,” and made the point that a jewel with the price tag of a house cannot necessarily make up for cheating, particularly the type done in the confines of a totally secret “fun house” kept for throwing out-of-control, fratty parties in which various drugs and shots are procured from the naked flesh of anonymous video chicks. After Bella rhetorically asks Ricky if the ring is for engagement purposes, she dismissively (and awesomely!!) throws that shit in a fountain, forcing Ricky, a public figure, to jump in after it while screaming, “Baby, that’s a $400,000 ring!”

“Kobe spent four million, you delusional prick,” she yells back.

“He makes more than me!” screams poor Ricky, his socks and jeans soaking up shallow pool water. He grovels around for the fortune and keeps screaming: “Baby, come back!”

You can’t put a price tag on love, people. Even still, many have tried! The $400,000 number isn’t all that arbitrary: many a celebrity has copped a ring for that exact amount, to varying degrees of success in the romance department—and the most recent example may have been the inspiration for the Ballers plotline. So what do these suckers look like? And why do they cost more than most people make their entire adult working lives? Let us investigate.

Draya Michele’s Engagement Rock

In June, it was reported that Orlando Scandrick, cutie cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys, popped the hot q to girlfriend Draya Michele, of future Iggy Azalea career dunk Basketball Wives LA. In doing so, he did indeed gift her with a seven-carat, $400,000 ring designed by Jason of Beverly Hills, which is “bringing a new sheen to the trendsetting diamond industry.” And yet, in a fascinating turn of Life Imitating Art, the duo is rumored to have broken up in the months since—and she allegedly tossed his Yeezys in the pool, Bella style, in a fit of rage. Why imagine wild plotlines when the reality is right in the headlines, and on Deadspin?

The Ring

The kind of rock you can see across the runway with the naked eye.

The Lesson

If you feel you may have reason to get back at your man, just make sure you’re near a body of water at all times.

Brad Pitt’s B-day Rock

In December of 2010, it was reported that Angelina Jolie bought a $400k band for Brad Pitt’s 47th birthday, which she then had engraved with the names of their six children, Angie’s own name, and the number 47, which everyone knows is the numeral of God and Star Trek fans.

The Ring

Has not necessarily been identified in public (above is likely just one of many), but Jolie bossed up by flipping the $400k ring gender script

The Lesson

47 is probably a good age to be flossing such fineries.

Lady Gaga’s Engagement Ring

In February, Lady Gaga announced her engagement to boyfriend Taylor Kinney, and Instagrammed a heart-shaped boulder no sane person would want to wrestle with.

The Ring

Diamond experts estimated it at around six carats, for $400k; however, it was crafted by fancy jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz, so a custom piece could have clocked in even more.

The Lesson

Does anyone watch Chicago Fire? Apparently! Do not front on Taylor Kinney’s banking situation.

Nancy Shevell’s Engagement Ring

In 2011, Sir Paul McCartney popped the question with a big ol’ honker to Nancy Shevell, presenting her with a mondo jammer worth upwards of $600,000.

The Ring

This guy, which is larger than my eyeball

The Lesson

Getting married for the third time in your 60s is fairly chill

Charlotte Lucas’s Ill-Fated Engagement Gift

Robert Agostinelli, hedge fund billionaire, presented fiancee Charlotte Lucas with a $400k ring in 2007, but they broke up allegedly because of Agostinelli’s alleged infidelities. As of seven years later, he was trying to get back the ring through lawyerly means, a huge drag for all involved (as well as anyone who even slightly thinks about a billionaire spending almost a decade attempting to retrieve an item that cost like 1/400th of his income).

The Ring

Honkin’; princess-cut; diamond-y

The Lesson

Love hurts, love bleeds, like tears from a stone.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Ballers images via HBO/screenshot. All other images via Getty.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin