Here’s Why Joanna Gaines Refuses to Upgrade Her Engagement Ring

It seems no matter how famous Chip and Joanna Gaines may get, they’ll never lose touch with who they really are. That fact alone was what drew so many fans to Fixer Upper, and has kept them around even after their run on HGTV.

With all of their business endeavors, they’ve managed to amass an impressive net worth of $9 million each — but don’t think that means they’re going to splurge in every area of their lives. Even when Joanna was presented with the opportunity to upgrade her engagement ring, she decided to keep it the way it is.

In the Gaineses’ book, The Magnolia Story, Joanna spilled the reason why she refused to make any changes to her ring — including the adorable story of how Chip proposed.

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

How Chip proposed to Joanna

About a year after the two had started dating in 2001, Chip laid out the plans for getting down on one knee. According to Cosmopolitan, he tricked Joanna into thinking they were headed to a private concert that was four hours away. Hopefully she didn’t get too excited for the concert, because Chip had a different location in mind.

They ended up at a shopping center near his parents’ hometown — which included a jewelry store owned by Billy Holder, a friend of Chip’s dad from high school. Chip got down on one knee without a ring, but as soon as Joanna said yes, they went shopping for one.

Joanna designed her own wedding ring, which may not have been the most traditional route, but ensured she’d end up with a ring she loved. As Joanna explained in The Magnolia Story, “I was able to pick out a nice round diamond and a beautiful, antique-looking platinum setting. I had a blast sitting there with Billy, designing the perfect ring.”

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

How they told their family

Joanna’s custom ring was going to take some time to make, so Billy gave Joanna a substitute ring with a “great big, gaudy fake diamond” she could wear to break the news to friends and family. According to Joanna, Billy joked with Chip, “Your parents are gonna go crazy wondering how much money you spent on this!”

Their family was clearly in on the proposal, because Chip and Joanna drove straight to a nearby hotel for dinner. Joanna’s parents and little sister, as well as Chip’s parents and his sister, were all waiting there to help celebrate. In The Magnolia Story, Joanna recalled how she and Chip strung their family along to think the fake engagement ring was her real one:

There were all sorts of hugs and tears of joy that made that night the most perfect night ever, and of course they were all taken aback by the size of my “diamond.” It’s funny to me that, even way back then, they all seemed to realize that a flashy ring just wasn’t my style. They expected to see me wearing something a little subtler, a little smaller, a little more classic maybe. But we strung them along for a good long while, and we all had a good laugh when Chip finally revealed that the ring was fake.

Why she decided against upgrading her ring

If you watched the third season of Fixer Upper, you may recall an episode in which Chip and Joanna held a 12-year anniversary party on their farm. Billy ended coming to their party, who brought along a variety of diamonds for Joanna to choose from to upgrade her engagement ring. While this moment wasn’t caught on camera, Joanna detailed what happened in The Magnolia Story.

Billy explained that Chip wanted Joanna to pick out a better diamond, which is something her mother had done at one point. Joanna, however, opted against the new diamond. “I said, ‘I’m sorry, but no,’” Joanna recalled. “‘This is the original diamond I picked, and it’s perfect just the way it is.’”

She added, “It wasn’t a ‘perfect’ diamond, but it was perfect for me. I felt bad that Billy wasn’t going to make the big sale he was hoping for that day, but I don’t ever want to replace that diamond or that ring. To me, my ring is part of our story.”